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The latest news about environmental and green
technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Urban underground holds sustainable energy

Vast energy sources are slumbering below big cities. Sustainable energies for heating in winter and cooling in summer may be extracted from heated groundwater aquifers. Researchers from KIT and ETH Zurich developed an analytical heat flux model and found that increasing heat in the underground is mainly caused by an increase in surface temperatures and heat release from buildings.

Posted: Oct 28th, 2013

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Bio-electrochemical systems: electricity generators of the future?

Billions of euros are spent treating trillions of litres of wastewater every year, consuming substantial amounts of energy. However, this wastewater could act as a renewable resource, saving significant quantities of energy and money, as it contains organic pollutants which can be used to produce electricity, hydrogen and high-value chemicals, such as caustic soda.

Posted: Oct 25th, 2013

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A thermoelectric materials emulator

Converting heat directly into power could be a major source of renewable energy. A novel approach to study this so called thermoelectricity may help to design new materials that are highly efficient. In an experiment with cold atoms trapped by lasers at ETH Zurich an international group of physicists precisely simulates the behavior of thermoelectric materials.

Posted: Oct 24th, 2013

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Generating electricity from 20 suns

What do lighthouses have in common with a groundbreaking spacecraft propulsion system? And how can the technology they share help us here on Earth to generate electricity more efficiently?

Posted: Oct 23rd, 2013

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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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