A new way to curb nitrogen pollution: Regulate fertilizer producers, not just farmers

January 25, 2019 by  
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Make the industry better design out the superpollutant from fertilizers — don’t blame the consumers with few other options.

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A new way to curb nitrogen pollution: Regulate fertilizer producers, not just farmers

How to save a shelf-life: cutting down on food waste across its supply chain

January 25, 2019 by  
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Here’s how better packaging and labeling can help change throw-away culture.

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How to save a shelf-life: cutting down on food waste across its supply chain

Catalyzing a new carbon economy

October 30, 2018 by  
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An exploration of the new carbon economy, the promise of “carbon capture 2.0” and the market for carbon-utilizing and carbon-removing products and services across industries. From reinventing supply chains to transforming atmospheric CO2 into materials that can be used in the production of cement, plastics, and more, this multi-faced discussion will explore the potential for carbon as an economic driver rather than environmental enemy.

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Catalyzing a new carbon economy

Reduction is no longer enough: Welcome to the new age of carbon removal

October 23, 2018 by  
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A heightened focus on solutions for sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere.

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Reduction is no longer enough: Welcome to the new age of carbon removal

Episode 145: A ballad to Oakland during VERGE 18, clearing the air on carbon removal

October 19, 2018 by  
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Plus, two unique examples of corporate innovation in renewable electricity procurement.

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Episode 145: A ballad to Oakland during VERGE 18, clearing the air on carbon removal

On blockchain bluster and beliefs

July 27, 2018 by  
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Plus, meet three groups exploring automation for carbon offsets.

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On blockchain bluster and beliefs

Feeling blue? How this entrepreneur created a natural dye

June 20, 2018 by  
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With regenerative agriculture and carbon capture, Stony Creek Colors is pioneering into the new sustainable textile industry.

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Feeling blue? How this entrepreneur created a natural dye

Feeling blue? How this entrepreneur created a natural dye

June 20, 2018 by  
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With regenerative agriculture and carbon capture, Stony Creek Colors is pioneering into the new sustainable textile industry.

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Feeling blue? How this entrepreneur created a natural dye

NET Power’s zero-emissions natural gas plant could change the game

June 4, 2018 by  
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Last week, NET Power officially began operations at its 50-megawatt, emissions-free  natural gas power plant in La Porte, Texas . If all goes well, the plant’s design could pave the way to a cleaner energy future. Instead of using air to drive a turbine and generate electricity, the plant uses heated carbon dioxide; the pure carbon dioxide emissions are then captured and stored rather than released into the atmosphere. Testing thus far has proven to be positive. “We’re still smiling,” lead designer and chemical engineer Rodney Allam told Nature . The goal is for NET Power’s technology to be as effective and affordable as conventional, emissions-producing natural gas production, but with added benefits for the environment and the company. Designed by Toshiba, the plant’s innovative turbine and carbon capture system is capable of storing carbon long-term or for use in other industrial applications. For example, nitrogen and argon captured in the process could be contained and transferred elsewhere. NET Power claims that its plant is so efficient that it will become profitable before it even starts to sell captured gases. Related: Nuns build open-air chapel to protest natural gas pipeline on their land “If the plant does everything they say, it’s hard to imagine why you would want to build a traditional power plant,” atmospheric scientist Daniel Cohan told Nature . “But there are still a lot of ifs ahead.” The major imminent challenge is refining the combustion process for oxygen and methane , which must contend with carbon dioxide, typically an inhibitor of combustion. The company is otherwise on track to deliver, with a 300-megawatt power plant potentially being built by 2021. The company’s plan is to achieve clean, profitable natural gas energy without the assistance of subsidies, which can be subject to the whims of changing governments in Congress and the White House.” We don’t like to rely on policy around here, we like to rely on science,” NET Power CEO Bill Brown told Nature . Via Nature Images via NetPower

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NET Power’s zero-emissions natural gas plant could change the game

Bio-inspired membrane captures 90% of CO2 in power plant emissions

May 8, 2018 by  
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Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a new biologically inspired membrane that can capture carbon dioxide from power plant smoke. Sandia fellow and University of New Mexico regents’ professor Jeff Brinker said, “Our inexpensive method follows nature’s lead in our use of a water-based membrane only 18 nanometers thick that incorporates natural enzymes to capture 90 percent of carbon dioxide released. This is almost 70 percent better than current commercial methods, and it’s done at a fraction of the cost.” Brinker said that, in the past, it has been prohibitively expensive to remove CO2 from coal smoke with available polymer membranes. However, his team’s membrane boasts a “relatively low cost of $40 per ton.” The researchers call the membrane a ‘memzyme’ because it operates like a filter but is near-saturated with carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme “developed by living cells over millions of years to help rid themselves of carbon dioxide efficiently and rapidly.” University of New Mexico professor Ying-Bing Jiang came up with the concept of employing watery membranes, inspired by processes in the human body that separate out CO2. Brinker said the arrangement of the membrane inside the flue of a generating station would be similar to a catalytic converter in a car. Related: 18-year-old invents cheaper CO2 capture tech to fight climate change The work is patented and energy companies have shown interest. In addition, the membranes have worked efficiently for months in laboratory settings. Nature Communications published the work online earlier this month; researchers from other institutions in the United States contributed. + Sandia National Laboratories + Nature Communications Images via Randy Montoya and courtesy of Sandia National Laboratories

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Bio-inspired membrane captures 90% of CO2 in power plant emissions

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