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technologies – renewables, energy savings, fuel cells

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Sunlight-driven CO2 fixation

The increased use of renewable energy sources, particularly sunlight, is highly desirable, as is industrial production that is as CO2-neutral as possible. Both of these wishes could be fulfilled if CO2 could be used as the raw material in a system driven by solar energy. Japanese researchers have now introduced an approach to this type of process.

Posted: Nov 19th, 2012

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Environmental impact assessment: the state of the art

In a recent issue of Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, Richard K. Morgan of the University of Otago, New Zealand, reviews the progress of the EIA, with particular emphasis on the last 15-20 years. He also assesses whether EIA is ready for future challenges.

Posted: Nov 19th, 2012

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'Dangerous threshold' can hinder UN climate change negotiations

The identified critical threshold for dangerous climate change saying that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius seems not to have helped the climate negotiations so far. New research shows that negotiations based on such a threshold fail because its value is determined by Nature. Climate negotiators should focus on other collective strategies.

Posted: Nov 16th, 2012

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Plant hormone could help produce biofuels

Scientists at The University of Manchester have identified how a plant hormone can affect the rate of cell division in vascular tissue in plants. The findings demonstrate how the hormone controls plant growth to produce more biomass which could be used to make the next generation of biofuels.

Posted: Nov 14th, 2012

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Melting glaciers raise sea level

Anthropogenic climate change leads to melting glaciers and rising sea level. Between 1902 and 2009, melting glaciers contributed 11 cm to sea level rise. They were therefore the most important cause of sea level rise.

Posted: Nov 14th, 2012

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Researchers find new access to abundant biomass for advanced biofuels

After cellulose, xylan is the most abundant biomass material on Earth, and therefore represents an enormous potential source of stored solar energy for the production of advance biofuels. A major roadblock, however, has been extracting xylan from plant cell walls. Researchers have taken a significant step towards removing this roadblock by identifying a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves both the extraction of xylan and the overall release of the sugars needed to make biofuels.

Posted: Nov 12th, 2012

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Plastic waste set in concrete

A new method designed to create expanded construction nodules from mixed plastic waste may replace the expanded clay traditionally used in light concrete that is not used for structural part of a building and often contains air bubbles.

Posted: Nov 12th, 2012

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