Researchers test seawater air conditioning as a renewable cooling alternative

October 20, 2020 by  
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A new study led by the International Institute of Applied System Analysis (IIASA) indicates that using seawater air conditioning is a greener alternative to conventional AC and could reduce cooling costs significantly. The study, which was published in the journal Energy Efficiency , was conducted to determine the pros and cons of seawater air conditioning (SWAC). The researchers behind the study say that there is a need to find renewable air conditioning alternatives to conventional options as global warming worsens . The study looks at the possibility of pumping deep seawater from 700-1,200 meters deep at the temperature of 3° to 5° Celsius to the coast, where it exchanges heat within a cooling system. The study now shows that just one cubic meter of seawater could provide cooling energy equivalent to that provided by 21 wind turbines. To better understand the pros and cons of SWAC systems, the researchers developed a computational model used to estimate the cost of cooling around the world. The model was also used in determining the possibility of using this approach in all parts of the world. Related: Cool ways to skip the air conditioning and still keep your home chill The results showed that while it is possible to use SWAC systems in many parts of the world, they would require heavy initial investments. But in comparison to conventional air conditioning, the research determined that SWAC would offer lower operational costs. Further, the study found that in some coastal cities and islands, the cooling costs would drop as much as 77% of the normal cooling costs via conventional AC. According to the study, the primary consumers of this technology would be airports, hotels and resorts among other establishments that consume high quantities of power. According to Julian Hunt, lead author of the study, SWAC systems have the potential of increasing efficiency over time. “We call this approach ‘High-Velocity Seawater Air-conditioning’,” Hunt explained. “This design configuration allows such projects to be built with an initial cooling load and expand the cooling load modularly through smaller additional capital costs.” While the study has established many positives of using seawater air conditioning, there are challenges that were identified. The systems would need to be handled and monitored carefully to preserve marine life and not disrupt the ecosystems. Hunt said, “While it does have its challenges, seawater air-conditioning is an innovative and sustainable technology that has great potential for expanding into a benchmark system for cooling in tropical locations close to the deep sea and will help fulfill our cooling needs in a warming world.” + IIASA Image via Dean Moriarty

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Researchers test seawater air conditioning as a renewable cooling alternative

Applying rock dust to farms could boost carbon sequestration

July 10, 2020 by  
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A report in the journal Nature has revealed that enhanced rock weathering (ERW) could help slow climate change by sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This process involves spreading rock dust on farmland to help absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide. When rocks, such as basalt and other silicates, are crushed and added to the soil, they dissolve and react with carbon dioxide, forming carbonates and lock carbon dioxide. Although this is the first time that scientists are proposing this approach in dealing with carbon dioxide, it is not a new concept. Normally, farmers use limestone dust on the soil to reduce acidification. The use of limestone in agriculture helps enhance yield. If the proposed enhanced rock weathering technique is adopted, farmers could incorporate other types of rock dust on their land. Related: Eos Bioreactor uses AI and algae to combat climate change According to the study, this approach could help capture up to 2 billion metric tons of CO2 each year. This is equal to the combined emissions of Germany and Japan. Interestingly, this technique is much cheaper than conventional methods of carbon capturing. The scientists behind the study say that the cost of capturing a ton of CO2 could be as low as $55 in countries such as India, China, Mexico, Indonesia and Brazil. For the U.S., Canada and Europe, the cost of capturing one metric ton of CO2 with ERW would be about $160. The scientists propose using basalt as the optimal rock for ERW. Given that basalt is already produced in most mines as a byproduct, adding it to farmland soils can easily be instituted. Further, the countries that contribute the highest amounts of carbon dioxide are the best candidates for the ERW technique. Countries such as China, India and the U.S. have large farmlands that can be used to capture excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Given that carbon emissions are a big problem for the entire world, this technique might just be the light at the end of the tunnel. The enhanced rock weathering technique is affordable and practical, making it a win-win. + Nature Via The Guardian Image via Pixabay

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Applying rock dust to farms could boost carbon sequestration

Kyle Rudzinski, director of sustainability strategy at Levi Strauss & Co. on cutting fashion’s emissions

November 5, 2018 by  
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Levi Strauss & Co. recently announced its big push to cut emissions and improve material reuse. Redesigning clothing and a large global company for a more positive environmental impact at the same time aren’t easy tasks. But Kyle Rudzinski, director of sustainability strategy at Levi Strauss & Co., is optimistic. He sat down with John Davies, senior vice president at GreenBiz, to discuss his approach.

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Kyle Rudzinski, director of sustainability strategy at Levi Strauss & Co. on cutting fashion’s emissions

The case for pursuing clean energy through systems thinking

June 22, 2018 by  
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The executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens reflects on how this approach has helped his organization reduce CO2 emissions twice as much and twice as fast as the Paris Agreement.

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The case for pursuing clean energy through systems thinking

A ‘persuasion strategy’ to race to 100 percent renewable energy

August 3, 2017 by  
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This approach helped people in Hawaii agree to a grand renewable energy goal. Now it can help them get there.

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A ‘persuasion strategy’ to race to 100 percent renewable energy

Creating the Humane Economy

February 23, 2017 by  
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Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle shares his approach to “animal protection 2.0,” the role of corporate and consumer in tranforming the lives of animals worldwide, and how this disruption can actually be a driver of business value.

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Creating the Humane Economy

The Elektron is the worlds most compact folding electric bike

August 15, 2016 by  
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Most electric bicycles on the market are heavy and difficult to carry around. But the Elektron from Tern and Bosch is a new kind of e-bike : light, compact, and able to fold up small enough to fit in a car trunk. The Elektron is capable of driving 31-62 miles on a single charge, making it perfect for most daily commutes. It runs on a 400Wh Bosch battery and can fold up in just ten seconds. The bike is engineered to resist extreme temperatures, so it’s usable year-round. Unfortunately, the bike isn’t for sale just yet, but the company plans to open for preorders in October through Kickstarter. They claim this approach will yield valuable public feedback before the product goes to market. + Tern Bicycles Via Acquire  

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The Elektron is the worlds most compact folding electric bike

Domtar’s collaborative approach to sustainable forestry

March 3, 2016 by  
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Sponsored story: Protecting the world’s forests has become a business imperative. That’s why sustainable forestry principles guide this approach.

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Domtar’s collaborative approach to sustainable forestry

Can D.C. help flush away misconceptions about biosolids?

November 6, 2015 by  
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In an effort to move beyond the ick factor, District of Columbia water officials are among those reconsidering their approach to solid waste.

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Can D.C. help flush away misconceptions about biosolids?

Finally, A Children’s Paint Kit For Your Pint-Sized Picasso

September 8, 2015 by  
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Leah Fanning Mebane surrounds herself with beauty, in her art, her philosophy, and her approach to creation. It was only natural then, when she found herself pregnant with her son, Django, in 2009, that she felt called to renew her dedication to…

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Finally, A Children’s Paint Kit For Your Pint-Sized Picasso

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