Imagine a future where packaging is made entirely from waste material and biodegrades to harmless by-products. Or where your home's cavity wall insulation foam is made from captured CO2 emissions. Or where construction materials, vehicle components and engineering plastics are sophisticated biological composites comprised of tough cellulose fibres embedded in naturally derived polymers.
Farmers who grow corn and soybeans can take advantage of government price support programs and crop insurance, but similar programs are not available for those who grow biomass crops such as Miscanthus.
The promising laboratory results suggest a path to greatly increasing the use of fly ash in concrete, leading to sizable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, construction costs and landfill volumes. Global production of cement for concrete accounts for 5 to 8 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.
Easy-to-access visualisation of the 'very shallow geothermal potential' of Europe has been made possible thanks to an EU-funded project. By harmonising pre-existing data relating to geological, hydrogeological, soil and climate, the THERMOMAP project has developed an open source web service, accessible to all.
Electric mobility may be economically efficient today. Battery-based electric drives can be applied efficiently in urban buses, for instance. Frequent acceleration and slow-down processes as well as a high utilization rate in short-distance traffic make their use profitable even when considering current battery costs. At the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will present an e-city bus demonstrator to illustrate the concept.
Tiny solar cells applied directly to a silicon chip are a potential way of efficiently and reliably powering wireless sensor networks in the future. Above all, this would simplify large-scale applications, for instance in agriculture.
Arizona State University and Sandia National Laboratories have signed a formal partnership agreement on important renewable energy challenges. The goals of the memorandum of understanding are to encourage collaborative research, build educational and workforce development programs and inform policy endeavors.
Researchers have developed a method by which molecular hydrogen-producing catalysts can be interfaced with a semiconductor that absorbs visible light. Experimental results indicate that the catalyst and the light-absorber are interfaced structurally as well as functionally.