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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Many plastics labeled 'biodegradable' don't break down as expected

Plastic products advertised as biodegradable have recently emerged, but they sound almost too good to be true. Scientists have now found out that, at least for now, consumers have good reason to doubt these claims. In a new study, plastics designed to degrade didn't break down any faster than their more conventional counterparts.

Posted: May 6th, 2015

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Researchers produce jet fuel compounds from fungus

Researchers have found a way to make jet fuel from a common black fungus found in decaying leaves, soil and rotting fruit. The researchers hope the process leads to economically viable production of aviation biofuels in the next five years.

Posted: May 6th, 2015

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Energy storage is crucial, but it's not the only piece in the puzzle

A few years ago, it was rooftop solar. Now battery storage is the new silver bullet to solve our energy problems. Storage is a great step forward, and it will play an important role in our sustainable energy future. But it is just one piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is our energy future.

Posted: May 6th, 2015

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Recycling aluminium, one can at a time

Producing pure aluminium from ore accounts for as much as 1 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Recycling is the best way to reduce that carbon footprint - but manufacturers and recycling companies will have to plan carefully to avoid problems with impurities that accumulate in recycled aluminium over time.

Posted: Apr 30th, 2015

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Wood-derived foam materials

Since most foam materials are made of petrochemical plastics, they aren't very climate-friendly. But now an alternative is in sight - a novel foam material produced entirely from wood, which is not harmful to the environment and is also recyclable. In the long term, wood foam could replace conventional products used for thermal insulation, packaging.

Posted: Apr 29th, 2015

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Cost-efficiency of plug-in hybrids calculated a thousand times faster

Plug-in hybrids have low fuel consumption, but require more costly parts than cars with a regular combustion engine. During development, the optimal cost balance must be calculated, which has been extremely time consuming to date. Now researchers have developed a new method that dramatically reduces the time needed for these calculations.

Posted: Apr 21st, 2015

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