Natural gas power plants produce substantial amounts of gases that lead to global warming. Replacing old coal-fired power plants with new natural gas plants could cause climate damage to increase over the next decades, unless their methane leakage rates are very low and the new power plants are very efficient.
Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common plastic.
Polylactic acid is a degradable plastic used mostly for packaging. To meet the rising demand, researchers have developed an eco-friendly process to make large amounts of lactic acid from glycerol, a waste by-product in the production of biodiesel.
The building sector accounts for 40 percent of primary energy consumption in Europe. Home owners seeking for energy efficiency are faced with confusing and sometimes contradictory information. Now, researchers have developed a smartphone app in the EU project ENBUS! that helps home owners calculate the tangible benefits of energy efficiency measures before investing.
The basic idea behind HYDRACT is to replace compressed air with water pressure as the power source for operating process valves. The water hydraulic technology can potentially be used for many other applications as a replacement for compressed air.