This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy

Most factories gobble up natural resources while belching out pollution – but could these mammoth buildings actually benefit the cities of the future? Designers Tianshu Liu and Lingshen Xie just unveiled plans for a cleaner and greener vertical factory that doubles as a self-sustaining ecosystem . The soaring structure consists of alternating layers of industry and nature that support each other to create a sustainable urban environment. The forward-thinking design recently came in second place in the 2017 Evolo Skyscraper Competition . The multi-layered complexes would actively contribute to the environment of megacities, emitting zero CO2 emissions, improving local energy efficiency , and providing a higher quality of life for factory workers. Related: China plans its first “Forest City” to fight air pollution The vertical factory was inspired by the rapidly-growing city of Manila, where urbanization is spawning new industries and more pollution. The Vertical Factory would ensure green growth by transforming the city’s organic waste into water, fertilizer, heat and electricity. Via Evolo

Read the rest here:
This futuristic vertical factory feeds off a city’s waste to produce energy

Doughnut Economics: the long-sought alternative to endless growth

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Doughnut Economics: the long-sought alternative to endless growth

Finding a healthy alternative to the prevailing growth model that has strained the planet to bursting is the holy grail of environmental economics. And it looks like maybe we’ve found it. George Monbiot, the most dynamic environmental journalist I know, wrote about Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist , which “redraws the economy” in such a way that the planet and its inhabitants can thrive, with or without growth. It’s so similar to the kind of closed-loop thinking we see frequently on Inhabitat, whether in permaculture design or William McDonough’s new approach to integrating the carbon cycle , it seemed important to share. I’ll point out a few excerpts below, but please do read Monbiot’s longer analysis . It starts with what he says is the most important question: “So what are we going to do about it?” Monbiot writes: Raworth points out that economics in the 20th century “lost the desire to articulate its goals”. It aspired to be a science of human behaviour: a science based on a deeply flawed portrait of humanity. The dominant model – “rational economic man”, self-interested, isolated, calculating – says more about the nature of economists than it does about other humans. The loss of an explicit objective allowed the discipline to be captured by a proxy goal: endless growth. In her book, Raworth emphasizes that economics should provide a model that doesn’t require growth in order to meet “the needs of all within the means of the planet.” And, she offers one. As Monbiot points out, we have a messy situation where power rests in the hands of a few who really don’t seem terribly concerned to acknowledge the planet’s limits, or, therefore, the limits to economic growth, so mustering political might not be so easy. Here’s how our current economic system works, in a nutshell, according to Monbiot: The central image in mainstream economics is the circular flow diagram. It depicts a closed flow of income cycling between households, businesses, banks, government and trade, operating in a social and ecological vacuum. Energy, materials, the natural world, human society, power, the wealth we hold in common … all are missing from the model. The unpaid work of carers – principally women – is ignored, though no economy could function without them. Like rational economic man, this representation of economic activity bears little relationship to reality. Raworth’s model “embeds” economics into existing natural and social systems, “showing how it depends on the flow of materials and energy , and reminding us that we are more than just workers, consumers and owners of capital.” Again from Monbiot, writing for The Guardian : The diagram consists of two rings. The inner ring of the doughnut represents a sufficiency of the resources we need to lead a good life: food, clean water, housing, sanitation, energy, education, healthcare, democracy. Anyone living within that ring, in the hole in the middle of the doughnut, is in a state of deprivation. The outer ring of the doughnut consists of the Earth’s environmental limits, beyond which we inflict dangerous levels of climate change, ozone depletion, water pollution, loss of species and other assaults on the living world. The area between the two rings – the doughnut itself – is the “ecologically safe and socially just space” in which humanity should strive to live. The purpose of economics should be to help us enter that space and stay there. It’s hard to understate how exciting this revelation is for those of us thinking of a way out of our current predicament. We need an economic system that works with the Earth, instead of against it, to provide for all of us – rather than too much for too few. Images via George Monbiot, Kate Raworth, Pixabay

Read the rest here: 
Doughnut Economics: the long-sought alternative to endless growth

7,000 methane gas bubbles in Siberia on the verge of exploding

March 22, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 7,000 methane gas bubbles in Siberia on the verge of exploding

Last summer researchers revealed crazy bubbling tundra in Siberia in a surreal video. Scientists believe the weird phenomenon is caused by methane released by melting permafrost . Now around 7,000 of those bubbles are getting ready to explode. The bursts could result in small potholes – or large craters . Researchers uncovered 15 bubbles causing the ground to lurch like a waterbed on Bely Island in Siberia last summer. Then scientists found around 7,000 more bubbles on the Gydan and Yamal peninsulas. Yamal Department for Science and Innovation director Alexey Titovsky recently told The Siberian Times, “With time the bubble explodes, releasing gas. This is how gigantic funnels form.” Related: Insane video shows Siberian ground bubbling like a “wobbling waterbed” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06Xc3LtZRWo Scientists think the mysterious craters – or funnels – are connected to climate change . They think when permafrost melts, it releases methane, which causes eruptions that then result in craters. That’s the theory, anyway – Titovsky said they’re continuing to research the bubbles. He told The Siberian Times, “We need to know which bumps are dangerous and which are not. Scientists are working on detecting and structuring signs of potential threat, like the maximum height of a bump and pressure that the earth can withstand.” According to The Siberian Times, scientists are making a map of Yamal’s underground gas bubbles, which could threaten infrastructure and transport in what the publication described as a key energy production region. The Russian Academy of Science’s Ural branch also connected thawing permafrost with the phenomenon. A spokesperson told The Siberian Times of the bubbles, “Their appearance at such high latitudes is most likely linked to thawing permafrost which is in turn linked to overall rise of temperature on the north of Eurasia during the last several decades. An abnormally warm summer in 2016 on the Yamal peninsula must have added to the process.” Researchers Dorothee Ehrich and Alexander Sokolov punctured one of the 15 bubbles found last year, and found the air escaping from the bumps included 20 times more carbon dioxide and 200 times more methane than nearby air, according to EcoWatch. Via EcoWatch and The Siberian Times Images via screenshot ( 1 , 2 )

Original post: 
7,000 methane gas bubbles in Siberia on the verge of exploding

Dramatic disintegration of Canada permafrost threatens huge carbon release

March 3, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Dramatic disintegration of Canada permafrost threatens huge carbon release

Permafrost , or frozen soil , is rapidly collapsing across a 52,000 square mile area in northwest Canada – about the size of the entire state of Alabama. New research from the Northwest Territories Geological Survey (NTGS) finds the permafrost thaw is intensifying, a dramatic disintegration that could speed up climate change . When these slabs of Arctic permafrost collapse, they send silt and mud rich in carbon into waterways. The research shows the decay is resulting in landslides that could alter large swaths of landscape. Similar phenomenon have been noted in Scandinavia, Siberia, and Alaska. The new study sought to measure permafrost decay in Canada using satellite images and other data – and Steven Kokelj of NTGS, lead author of a paper published in February by Geology , said “things have really taken off” in the face of climate change. Scientists from universities in New Zealand and Canada also contributed to the research. Related: Alaskan permafrost could melt in the next 55 years, says world’s leading expert The scientists observed permafrost disintegrating in 40- to 60-mile stretches of the terrain, revealing “extensive landscapes [that] remain poised for climate-driven change.” Other research has suggested thawing permafrost could lead to the collapse of coastlines or creation of new lakes or valleys. All that silt and mud could affect fish and other species living in the waterways, limiting development of aquatic plants, but scientists still need to determine how exactly this added mud might impact fish. Also up for debate is how quickly the carbon in melted permafrost becomes carbon dioxide (CO2). Scientist Suzanne Tank of the University of Alberta told InsideClimate News the carbon in permafrost becomes coarse particles that don’t become CO2 right away. But Swedish researchers conducted a study suggesting soil particles are in fact converted rapidly to CO2 when the soil is carried along to the sea. Via InsideClimate News Images via Wikimedia Commons and U.S. Geological Survey on Flickr

Excerpt from:
Dramatic disintegration of Canada permafrost threatens huge carbon release

How One Plant in India Learned to Turn Carbon into Baking Soda

February 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech, Green

Comments Off on How One Plant in India Learned to Turn Carbon into Baking Soda

As far as environmentalists are concerned, carbon dioxide and baking soda sit at entirely opposite ends of the eco spectrum. One is a greenhouse gas we have far too much of, an unfortunate by-product of our modern lifestyle; the other is a beloved…

Originally posted here:
How One Plant in India Learned to Turn Carbon into Baking Soda

Powerful new Penn State battery turns waste CO2 into electricity

February 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Powerful new Penn State battery turns waste CO2 into electricity

With so much excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, researchers from every corner of the globe are working on innovative ways to soak it up. Penn State University scientists have gone a step further with a powerful new battery that not only soaks up CO2, but also repurposes it to make more energy . Their pH-gradient flow cell battery is not the first of its kind, but it is the most powerful – take a closer look after the jump. In an article published by Environmental Science and Technology Letters , the Penn State researchers note the discrepancy between CO2 concentrations in regular air and exhaust gases created by fossil fuel combustion results in an “untapped energy source for producing electricity.” “One method of capturing this energy is dissolving CO2 gas into water and then converting the produced chemical potential energy into electrical power using an electrochemical system,” they write. While previous attempts to convert CO2 into electricity have been successful, the researchers say power densities were limited, and ion-exchange technology expensive. They said their ph-gradient flow cell battery is considerably more powerful. Related: Plants are keeping atmospheric CO2 levels stable, but it won’t last forever “In this approach, two identical supercapacitive manganese oxide electrodes were separated by a nonselective membrane and exposed to an aqueous buffer solution sparged with either CO2 gas or air,” they write. “This pH-gradient flow cell produced an average power density of 0.82 W/m2, which was nearly 200 times higher than values reported using previous approaches.” Engadget breaks this down for lay readers: “As ions are exchanged between the denser CO2 solution and normal air solution, the voltage changes at the manganese oxide electrodes in either tank. This stimulates the flow of electrons between the two connected electrodes and voilà: electricity.” They also report that the process can essentially be reversed to recharge the battery, and that Penn State was able to repeat this process 50 times without losing performance. For now, the researchers aren’t ready to scale their technology, but when they do, they envision it embedded in power plants, diverting atmospheric CO2, and slowly chipping away at one of the most epic challenges humans have ever faced: climate change . Via Engadget Images via Environmental Science and Technology Letters, Pexels

Read the original here:
Powerful new Penn State battery turns waste CO2 into electricity

Tiny power plant sucks CO2 from the air and turns it into fuel

November 11, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Tiny power plant sucks CO2 from the air and turns it into fuel

Ineratec , an offshoot of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has devised a creative solution to the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) soaking the atmosphere. The company developed a small power plant that sucks CO2 out of the air and turns it into fuel . Researchers aim to switch on a pilot plant, called the Soletair Project, at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland later this year. Ineratec’s mini power plant is so small it can fit inside a shipping container . KIT says there are three parts to the system: a microstructured reactor, a direct air capture unit created by VIT, and an electrolysis unit which runs on solar power created by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT). The direct air capture unit extracts CO2 out of the air and then the reactor converts the CO2 and regenerative hydrogen via the electrolysis unit into fuel. The Ineratec founders say the system can produce gasoline, kerosene, or diesel. Related: Cutting-edge MIT research converts carbon emissions into usable liquid fuel Ineratec founder Tim Böltken told New Atlas, “We supply an entirely new, modular technology that is a real alternative to the costly large chemical facilities used for the conventional gas-to-liquid process.” Böltken said there are many other possible applications for the plant, including gathering fuel from sewage treatment facilities. He also suggested organic farmers might be able to use the system to generate energy. VTT Principal Scientist Pekka Simell said in a statement , “The project will produce expertise for enterprises in various fields, and it will result in a multidisciplinary industrial integration that no one company can achieve on its own.” VTT and LUT will build a demonstration plant set to being operating this year, and in 2017 LUT plans to continue testing. According to KIT, Ineratec is planning to commercialize the compact plant, which could hit the market in 2018. Via New Atlas Images via Ineratec and KIT

View original post here:
Tiny power plant sucks CO2 from the air and turns it into fuel

CO2 levels likely to stay above 400ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows

June 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on CO2 levels likely to stay above 400ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows

A new study reveals that carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere are likely to remain above 400 parts per million (ppm) throughout this year and for many years to come. Scientists from the Met Office Hadley Centre and Scripps Institution of Oceanography scrutinized data from NOAA’s Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii and forecasted that levels would not dip below 400ppm for ‘our lifetimes.’ According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), CO2 concentrations of ” about 450ppm or lower are likely to maintain warming below 2 degrees Celsius over the 21st century relative to pre-industrial levels.” But lead author on the paper Richard Betts said we could pass that number in 20 years or less. He told the Guardian that even if we reduce emissions immediately, we might be able to delay reaching 450ppm but “it is still looking like a challenge to stay below 450ppm.” Related: Global CO2 concentrations exceed 400ppm ‘point of no return’ for first time Paper co-author Ralph Keeling said, “Back in September last year, we suspected that we were measuring CO2 concentrations below 400ppm for the last time. Now it is looking like this was indeed the case.” El Niño has played a role in climbing carbon dioxide levels, but we’ll likely see higher CO2 levels than the last large El Niño storm during 1997 and 1998 because ” manmade emissions ” have risen by 25 percent since that storm, according to The Guardian. Met Office experts are fairly confident in these projections. They predicted in November 2015 that in May 2016 “mean concentrations of atmospheric CO2” would hit 407.57ppm. The actual figure was 407.7ppm. During 2015, NOAA reported that the “annual growth rate” of C02 in the atmosphere rose by 3.05ppm . NOAA lead scientist Pieter Tans said “Carbon dioxide levels are increasing faster than they have in hundreds of thousands of years. It’s explosive compared to natural processes.” Via The Guardian Images via Rick Sharloch on Flickr and NOAA Photo Library on Flickr

See more here: 
CO2 levels likely to stay above 400ppm for the rest of our lives, new study shows

The new Tate Modern designed by Herzog & de Meuron opens its doors

June 16, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on The new Tate Modern designed by Herzog & de Meuron opens its doors

According to the Tate Modern , the Switch House is “the most important new cultural building to open in Britain since the British Library.” The Switch House will increase the size of Tate Modern by 60 percent with galleries, a panoramic viewing terrace, and the first permanent spaces for live art in old oil tanks. Building materials such as concrete, oak, and brick comprise the Switch House. High ceilings, spiral staircases, and tall thin windows add to the aesthetic. Related: Tate Modern’s Energy Efficient Redesign by Hertzog & de Meuron The Switch House will be the site of a new program Tate Modern is launching later in 2016 called the Tate Exchange. The ” open experiment ” will take over an entire floor and provide a space for innovative workshops and events. Tate Modern says 50 organizations will be part of the Tate Exchange, including artists, healthcare trusts, charities, universities, and community radio stations. Tate Director Nicholas Serota said it will be a “combination of the Open University, art school, TED talks, and Guardian debates, all wrapped into one.” The day before the museum opens to all, 3,000 schoolchildren from all around the UK will get to experience the Switch House. They will be the first members of the public to explore the building and artwork inside. Artist Bob and Roberta Smith will welcome the children. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said , “Bringing culture to this neglected area of London has transformed it.” Herzog & de Meuron designed Tate Modern’s Bankside Power Station conversion back in 2000 as well. + Tate Modern Via World Architecture News Photography by Iwan Baan

See original here: 
The new Tate Modern designed by Herzog & de Meuron opens its doors

Icelandic power plant transforms carbon emissions into stone

June 10, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Icelandic power plant transforms carbon emissions into stone

In a world first, a team of engineers and scientists at Iceland’s Hellisheidi power plant have been able to capture carbon emissions and turn them into stone for storage. This new process, described in this week’s issue of the journal Science , involves mixing carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide released by the plant with water, and injecting the mixture into underground layers of basalt. Within months, the mixture is converted into rock-hard carbonate, safely storing the carbon and preventing it from entering the atmosphere. http://vimeo.com/119512256 The CarbFix Project brought together scientists from Columbia University, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Iceland, and Reykjavik Energy, the operator of the plant. Initially, scientists were concerned the process might take hundreds or thousands of years to occur naturally. Instead, large portions had mineralized into a stable form within a few months, and 95% completed the process within two years . The quick action of the process is promising — provided that a power plant is located in an area with easy access to layers of underground volcanic basalt. These conditions are perfectly suited to the seismically active landscape of Iceland, but might not work as well in other parts of the globe. Related: Crystal Compounds Used as Super-Efficient Carbon Storage Sponges There are other challenges to implementing this process widely. For one thing, the Hellisheidi plant is a geothermal energy facility, which uses turbines to process superheated water pumped from deep underground. Not only do these types of facilities produce far less carbon than a traditional coal-fired plant (only about 5%), they also have access to vast amounts of water which can be injected back underground. While sea water could be used to help sequester carbon in some facilities that burn fossil fuels , access to water may be a struggle in many regions. Still, there are many areas along the seafloors of the US coast where the process could easily be implemented. While the Hellisheidi plant has so far been able to process CO2 for about $30 per ton, it’s likely that a coal-fired power plant would end up spending closer to $130 per ton of carbon converted into stone. + The CarbFix Project Via Forbes Photos via The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Read the original here:
Icelandic power plant transforms carbon emissions into stone

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1179 access attempts in the last 7 days.