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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Wood chips to biofuel in hours

Until now, it has taken weeks to make biofuel from trees. This slow pace has been a bottleneck for the industry. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have now shortened the process to a few hours.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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A collection of carbon footprint data for building products

The information has been collected in the European ECO2 research project. The main objectives of the project were to define principles for carbon footprint assessment, and to assess greenhouse gas impacts of wooden building products and buildings.

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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Shifting winds in turbine arrays

Researchers modeling how changes in air flow patterns affect wind turbines' output power have found that the wind can supply energy from an unexpected direction: below. According to the researchers, many wind turbine array studies overlook the fact that important airflow changes occur inside the array.

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2013

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Weatherizing homes to uniform standard can achieve $33 billion in annual energy savings

With winter around the corner some homeowners may be thinking about plugging all the leaks in their home to make them less drafty. Imagine if every homeowner in the country did that -- how much energy could be saved? Using physics-based modeling of the US housing stock, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found in a new study that upgrading airtightness to a uniform level could achieve as much as $33 billion in annual energy savings.

Posted: Oct 21st, 2013

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The potential of straw for the energy mix has been underestimated

Straw from agriculture could play an important role in the future energy mix for Germany. Up until now it has been underutilized as a biomass residue and waste material. These were the conclusions of a study conducted by the Thueringian Regional Institute for Agriculture, the German Biomass Research Center, and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research.

Posted: Oct 21st, 2013

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Explainer: what is carbon capture and utilisation?

The predominant view is that CO2 is a waste product, and a polluting one at that, even though small amounts are used to carbonate fizzy drinks, or to make urea or useful industrial solvents. But because of our fossil fuel energy use, we have large amounts of CO2 available that could be put to better use as a resource. This could be done without disrupting the natural carbon cycle, while reusing the carbon to create new products would also decrease fossil fuel use.

Posted: Oct 18th, 2013

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California passes grid energy storage mandate

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today established an energy storage target of 1,325 megawatts for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric by 2020, with installations required no later than the end of 2024.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2013

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Innovative system uses bamboo to treat wastewater

The EU-funded project BRITER-WATER ('Market replication of bamboo remediation of food industry effluent grey water for re-use') looked at developing and demonstrating an innovative wastewater treatment system using bamboo.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2013

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Urgent investment required for battery storage of green electricity

In the coming years, the Netherlands will have to work hard on Smart Grids, intelligent local networks with new storage capacity for green electricity. It will thus be possible to counter the impending instability caused by the increasing power surges of electricity from wind turbines and solar cells. Large numbers of locally installed batteries should accommodate the increasing fluctuations in the electricity grid that are inherent to sun and wind energy.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2013

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Sun and photocatalysts will clean polluted water - cheaply and quickly

A little amount of appropriately prepared powder is poured in water polluted with phenol and cellulose. A bit of the sun and after fifteen minutes harmful compounds disappear, and the powder can be filtered off and reused. Sounds like a fairy tale? Perhaps, but it is not magic, only a masterly use of chemistry and physics by researchers from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.

Posted: Oct 17th, 2013

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