Duke University researchers use light to convert carbon dioxide to fuel

February 24, 2017 by  
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What if the carbon dioxide building up in our atmosphere could be put to good use as fuel ? For years chemists have chased a catalyst that could aid the reaction converting carbon dioxide to methane , a building block for many fuels – and now Duke University scientists have found just such a catalyst in tiny rhodium nanoparticles . Duke University researchers converted carbon dioxide into methane with the help of rhodium nanoparticles, which harness ultraviolet light’s energy to catalyze carbon dioxide’s conversion into methane. Rhodium is one of Earth’s rarest elements, but according to Duke University it plays a key role in our daily lives by speeding up reactions in industrial processes like making detergent or drugs. Rhodium also helps break down toxic pollutants in our cars’ catalytic converters. Related: Scientists create a new kind of matter called time crystals The fact that the scientists employed light to power the reaction is important. When graduate student Xiao Zhang tried heating up the nanoparticles to 300 degrees Celsius, the reaction did produce methane but also produced an equal amount of poisonous carbon monoxide . But when he instead used a high-powered ultraviolet LED lamp, the reaction yielded almost entirely methane. Jie Liu, chemistry professor and paper co-author, said in a statement, “The fact that you can use light to influence a specific reaction pathway is very exciting. This discovery will really advance the understanding of catalysis.” The scientists now hope to find a way to employ natural sunlight in the reaction, which Duke University says would be “a potential boon to alternative energy .” The journal Nature Communications published the research of seven scientists from Duke University’s chemistry and physics departments online this week. Via Duke University Images via Chad Scales/Duke University and Xiao Zhang/Duke University

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Duke University researchers use light to convert carbon dioxide to fuel

Massive “Tree of Life” digital map is the first to connect 2.3 million organisms

September 22, 2015 by  
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Scientists from across the world have gathered together to create the first ever, incredibly comprehensive, digital map of all known life. Called the Tree of Life, it  shows how 2.3 million species of animals, plants, fungi, and microbes branched off over the years from a common ancestor. Researchers from 11 organizations worked together to create the genetic map of all life on Earth, traced over 3.5 billion years of shared history, and it is open to all to use. Read the rest of Massive “Tree of Life” digital map is the first to connect 2.3 million organisms

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Massive “Tree of Life” digital map is the first to connect 2.3 million organisms

Why are all the lions dying at India’s Lion Safari breeding program?

September 22, 2015 by  
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In India, there is a place where Asiatic lions should be thriving, but instead they are mysteriously dying. It’s called the Lion Safari , and its purported goal is to help reintroduce the nearly-extinct Asiatic lion to areas in India where this species used to live. The small lion breeding program is situated near the town of Etawah, which is the hometown of Akhilesh Yadav, the incumbent Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. In the past year, at least seven lions have died at the facility , including two adult lions last fall and five newborn cubs this summer. This means that all of the lion cubs born at the facility so far have died soon after birth. The worst part about this tragedy is that nobody outside the park really knows why the lions are dying. Read the rest of Why are all the lions dying at India’s Lion Safari breeding program?

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Why are all the lions dying at India’s Lion Safari breeding program?

How you can make an edible water “bottle” at home

September 22, 2015 by  
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We were fascinated when we first came across the Ooho , an edible water “bottle” conceived by three students to reduce plastic waste, and decided to make one of our own. Check out our DIY video and DO try this at home! READ MORE >

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How you can make an edible water “bottle” at home

The Sixth Mass Extinction of Fauna and Flora is Imminent, Duke University Study Reveals

June 20, 2014 by  
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A new study has revealed that extinction rates for plants and animals are currently 1,000 times higher than they were before humans arrived. The rate is so high, in fact, that the planet hasn’t seen anything like it since the dinosaurs were wiped out in a mass extinction event 65 million years ago. If we don’t take measures to address the situation , the lead scientist for the project, biologist Stuart Pimm of Duke University , says that we are heading for a sixth mass extinction . Read the rest of The Sixth Mass Extinction of Fauna and Flora is Imminent, Duke University Study Reveals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 6th mass extinction , Duke University , extinction rate , extinction rate is 1000 times higher than before humans , global warming , mass extinction , sixth mass extinction , Stuart Pimm

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India Shuts Down Coca-Cola Plant for Extracting Too Much Groundwater

June 20, 2014 by  
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Officials in the Indian city of Varanasi have ordered a Coca-Cola bottling factory in the nearby village of Mehdiganj to close down for using too much groundwater. The local community has campaigned against the factory for years, claiming it has depleted available water supplies and polluted groundwater and soil with its waste. Read the rest of India Shuts Down Coca-Cola Plant for Extracting Too Much Groundwater Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags:

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Bomastraat: Belgian Warehouse Home Shelters Three Shipping Containers Inside

June 20, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Bomastraat: Belgian Warehouse Home Shelters Three Shipping Containers Inside Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , belgium , cross-ventilation , Daylighting , Ghent , green materials , green renovation , NU architectuuratelier , Prefab Housing , recycled containers , renovated industrial building , shipping containers

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Bomastraat: Belgian Warehouse Home Shelters Three Shipping Containers Inside

Bounce Below Suspends Three Massive Trampolines Deep Inside a North Wales Cave

June 20, 2014 by  
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Love caves? Love trampolines? Now you can combine the two in one riveting experience. Adventure company Bounce Below installed three giant trampolines inside the sprawling belly of Llechwedd Slate Caverns for visitors to bounce on. The trampolines are safely suspended from the cave walls and ceilings, and a host of vibrant LED lights illuminate the subterranean playground. Read the rest of Bounce Below Suspends Three Massive Trampolines Deep Inside a North Wales Cave Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bounce Below , Caves north wales , eco design , green design , Llechwedd Slate caverns , sustainable design , trampoline in a cavern , Zip World

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Bounce Below Suspends Three Massive Trampolines Deep Inside a North Wales Cave

Study Discovers Fracking Wastewater Irradiated and Polluted a Pennsylvania River

October 2, 2013 by  
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Photo: Adam Gregor / Shutterstock Fracking for shale gas doesn’t exactly have the best track record for safety or positive environmental impact . Well, go ahead add another unfortunate environmental catastrophe to the fracking record. Duke University researchers recently discovered elevated levels of radioactivity, salts and metals in the western Pennsylvanian Blacklick Creek that the Josephine Brine Treatment Facility uses to discharge treated wastewater from oil and gas operations. Read the rest of Study Discovers Fracking Wastewater Irradiated and Polluted a Pennsylvania River Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Avner Vengosh , Blacklick Creek , Disposing of Radioactive Materials , Duke University , environmental destruction , Environmental Impact Studies , fracking , Josephine Brine Treatment Facility , News , pennsylvania , poison , radiation , radioactive , Radium , radon gas , renewable energy , research , science , shale gas , toxic        

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Study Discovers Fracking Wastewater Irradiated and Polluted a Pennsylvania River

Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan Targets Dirty Coal Power Plants; No Decision on Keystone XL

June 25, 2013 by  
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Image via Shutterstock In a speech today President Obama unveiled the United States’ new Climate Change Action Plan, which calls for a three-pronged approach to cut pollution, build resilience, and join international efforts to reduce global carbon emissions. The plan promises to invest in enough clean energy to power six million homes by 2020, while also improving the efficiency of federal buildings and appliances. It also promises to strengthen and reinforce roads, bridges and shorelines, as well as power plants and healthcare facilities, in order to help communities across America adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change . The comprehensive plan involves a series of small, incremental changes that will put a meaningful dent in greenhouse gas emissions , but natural gas still forms part of the energy mix and the plan does not make any definitive judgement on the Keystone XL pipeline – and some critics say his actions to lead the international community to reduce global carbon emissions fall short of what is required to prevent a four degree global temperature increase by 2100 . Read the rest of Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan Targets Dirty Coal Power Plants; No Decision on Keystone XL Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 350.org , clean air act , Climate Change , Duke University , end fuel subsidies , Environment , epa , fossil fuel industry , fuel efficiency standards , Georgetown University , global warming , greenhouse gas emissions , IIED , improve efficiency of power plants , News , nrdc , Obama climate change address , president obama , Sierra Club        

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