Even fish can eat Nuatan, the bioplastic that could answer the plastic pollution crisis

October 1, 2018 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Even fish can eat Nuatan, the bioplastic that could answer the plastic pollution crisis

A potential solution to the world’s plastic pollution crisis has recently been unveiled at the London Design Festival. Crafting Plastics Studio, established by design duo Vlasta Kubušová and Miroslav Král, created the all-natural alternative, which is made from corn starch, sugar and cooking oil. According to the team, who researches and constructs cutting-edge materials for their avant-garde designs, Nuatan has the possibility to “replace all the packaging we know,” because it is so safe that even fish can eat it. At a glance, Nuatan may seem elementary in its composition, however, Kubušová and Král spent six years conceiving the bioplastic with material scientists at the Slovak University of Technology. This is time well spent, considering that the composition is enduring, rapidly degradable and safe to ingest. More durable than previous bioplastic samples, the material can last up to 15 years and withstands temperatures over 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). Related: This edible, plastic-free packaging is grown from kombucha starter “For the first time, a fully bio-based, biodegradable material can be considered as a competitor in terms of properties and processability,” the designers explained. Nuatan’s applications are limitless, because the poly-blend is not restricted to blow-forming like traditional plastics are. Crafting Plastics Studio designed the material to succeed in any production chain. “We’re using it for 3D printing , injection molding and other plastic manufacturing technologies,” the team said. Approval of a food-safety certificate would mean that Nuatan could realistically replace all packaging , because the material is biodegradable. Industrial composters would have no trouble breaking down the substance. The possible solution to replacing single-use plastics such as plastic bags, plates, straws, water bottles, cutlery and others is found in the patented combination of naturally derived Polyacid Acid (PLA) from corn starch with Polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), which is corn starch that has been processed by microorganisms. Because Nuatan’s composition is not formulated from carbon-based raw materials, “it degrades inside the human body or animals,” Kubušová explained. This biocompatible feature, along with Nuatan’s durability, means that it can be used in nearly everything except heavy-duty situations, such as vehicle construction. At a lower energy and resource consumption value than traditional petroleum-based plastics, Nuatan ticks all the boxes regarding environmental sustainability and climate change relief. Faced with a high cost of production, there is still some time before the new bioplastic will see widespread use. But increased demand could help drive the cost of materials down to affordable levels. “We are hoping to find collaborators who want to include it in the right products, and not combine it with other materials, so it’s a mono-material,” Kubušová said. Faithful to their ethical and capable inception, the team made a very valid point — “If we can find the right collaborators, it can change things a lot.” For a lot of people, a lot of animals and a lot of places on Earth… + Crafting Plastics Via Dezeen Images via Adam Šakový, Andrej Andrej and Lucia Scerankova / Crafting Plastics

See original here:
Even fish can eat Nuatan, the bioplastic that could answer the plastic pollution crisis

"We were blown away" – researchers eliminate obstacles to fusion energy

November 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on "We were blown away" – researchers eliminate obstacles to fusion energy

Fusion powers the sun, and if we could harness it here on Earth, we could obtain unlimited clean energy . Scientists have been working on that aim for years, and now researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory , Massachusetts Institute of Technology , and Texas A&M University just made a huge leap forwards. Helium , a byproduct of the process, typically bubbles and weakens the materials comprising a fusion reactor . But inside of nanocomposite solids, instead of the metal of regular fusion reactors, helium doesn’t form into destructive bubbles – it actually tunnels vein-like channels to potentially escape. Fusion energy isn’t easy to generate in part because of the difficulty in finding materials able to withstand the grueling conditions inside a fusion reactor’s core. These researchers may have found an answer by exploring how helium behaves in nanocomposite solids – and the results surprised them. Because while helium doesn’t endanger the environment , according to Texas A&M University, it does damage fusion reactor materials. Inside a solid material, helium bubbles out, akin to carbon dioxide in carbonated water. Related: These mini spherical reactors could help scale fusion energy by 2030 Michael Demkowicz, Texas A&M associate professor, said, “Literally, you get these helium bubbles inside of the metal that stay there forever because the metal is solid. As you accumulate more and more helium, the bubbles start to link up and destroy the entire material.” But inside nanocomposite solids – which Texas A&M describes as “materials made of stacks of thick metal layers” – helium didn’t bubble. Instead, it actually made channels similar to human veins. Demkowicz said, “We were blown away by what we saw. As you put more and more helium inside these nanocomposites, rather than destroying the material, the veins actually start to interconnect, resulting in kind of a vascular system.” And the researchers think the helium could then flow out of the material “without causing any further damage,” according to Texas A&M. The surprising discovery could have more applications than in just fusion reactors. Demkowicz said, “I think the bigger picture here is in vascularized solids…What else could be transported through such networks? Perhaps heat or electricity or even chemicals that could help the material self-heal .” The journal Science Advances published the research this month. Via Texas A&M University and Futurism Images via Wikimedia Commons and Texas A&M University

Read more:
"We were blown away" – researchers eliminate obstacles to fusion energy

Scientists discover new Earth-like planet only 11 light years away

November 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Scientists discover new Earth-like planet only 11 light years away

Scientists have discovered an Earth-like planet only 11 light years away that may support life. Named after the star around which it orbits, Ross 128b was identified by a team of researchers at the European Southern Observatory as having a projected mass of 1.35 times that of Earth and may have surface temperatures suitable for sustaining life as we know it . Although scientists are withholding their judgement as to whether the planet is habitable, they are nonetheless encouraged by positive signs they have observed thus far. Although Ross 128b is currently 11 light years away, it is moving in Earth’s direction. Within 79,000 years, a blip on the cosmic timeline, Ross 128b will become Earth’s closest Earth-like neighbor, dethroning the current titleholder, Proxima Centauri b. Ross 128b was discovered after European scientists made 157 observations of Ross 128 while working at the HARPS spectrograph in Chile . Through these observations of the star , HARPS was able to confirm Ross 128b’s orbit of 9.9 days, meaning that it is 20 times closer to its star than Earth is to the sun. Related: Scientists say ice may fizz and bubble like champagne when floating in outer space Ross 128b could boast surface temperatures as low as -76 degrees F or as high as 69 degrees F. “It is probably preferable to refer to Ross 128 b as a temperate planet,” wrote the study’s authors . Its proximity to a small star is encouraging for scientists who seek more Earth-like planets, as it is easier to detect these planets near M dwarf stars like Ross 128. “They’re literally all over the place,” said Emily Rice, research associate in astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History, in an interview with Gizmodo . “It’s so much parameter space that we haven’t explored, like the size of these stars and the size of these planets . You don’t just want one. You want a bunch of them to figure out the general properties of these things.” Via Gizmodo Images via  ESO/M. Kornmesser (1)

Read the rest here: 
Scientists discover new Earth-like planet only 11 light years away

Inspiring youth village for orphans generates solar power for nearly 10% of Rwanda

November 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Inspiring youth village for orphans generates solar power for nearly 10% of Rwanda

More than one million people in a population of over 11 million in Rwanda are orphans . After hearing about this crisis, couple Anne Heyman and Seth Merrin started the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) to offer a safe community and four-year high school education for at-risk orphans. Today, over 500 teenagers from across Rwanda’s 30 districts call the youth village home — and an on-site solar plant provides clean energy to other parts of the country. After hearing about Rwanda’s orphan crisis, Heyman was reminded of youth villages Israel constructed to house children orphaned after the Holocaust. The couple began ASYV to help teenagers specifically, as they knew of several organizations already working to care for orphaned babies. On 144 acres, hundreds of teenagers now receive an education and a family. Related: This modular orphanage in Thailand was built using local and recycled materials ASYV organizes students into families. Each group has a mama, a Rwandan educator who resides in a house with the teens, and a big brother or big sister or Rwandan guidance counselor who visits once a week. They also have a cousin, a foreign volunteer who comes for a year. ASYV recruits teenagers from around the country, taking in 125 every year. A village Health and Wellness Center provides medical and mental care, with health education on topics like HIV/AIDS, malaria prevention, and diet. Life Enrichment Applied Programs allow students to get involved in athletics or the arts. A farm , where students can get hands-on farming experience, provides around 30 percent of the village’s food. There’s even a 8.5-megawatt solar plant on village grounds. According to ASYV, “It is the first sub-Saharan grid-connected solar project, and provides electricity to nearly 10 percent of Rwanda.” Students of mixed ethnicities live together, as the youth village hopes to express reconciliation in Rwanda. One student, who asked to remain nameless, told National Geographic, “Of course, I know that some of my brothers are born from parents who could have been killers in the genocide. But why should we punish them for crimes they did not commit? I don’t want to know what their parents did. I only see them as my brothers and sisters.” Ten years in, graduates of the youth village have gone on to higher education at universities like Brown University or the University of Pennsylvania. Student Emmanuel Nkund’unkundiye, at ASYV’s first graduation ceremony, said, “Many people call us orphans but this time we are no longer orphans, we have a home.” Check out ASYV’s website for more information on the community, or on how to get involved . + Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Via National Geographic Images via Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village Facebook

Continued here: 
Inspiring youth village for orphans generates solar power for nearly 10% of Rwanda

The circular economy’s missing ingredient: Local

August 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on The circular economy’s missing ingredient: Local

A lesson from Chicago on one often-overlooked aspect of the material reuse craze.

Go here to see the original:
The circular economy’s missing ingredient: Local

Are countries legally required to protect citizens from climate change?

August 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Are countries legally required to protect citizens from climate change?

A Dutch court recently ruled that greenhouse gas reduction is a state obligation. Here’s what that could mean for the rest of the world.

Excerpt from:
Are countries legally required to protect citizens from climate change?

Jumpstarting sustainability — without big ideas, money or executive support

August 21, 2015 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Jumpstarting sustainability — without big ideas, money or executive support

You don’t need a multimillion-dollar budget or an environmental activist as a CEO to catalyze change for the better at your company.

See the original post:
Jumpstarting sustainability — without big ideas, money or executive support

Could this new material make it possible to clean up oil spills with a net?

April 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Could this new material make it possible to clean up oil spills with a net?

This piece of steel mesh doesn’t look like much but it might be one of the only things that can separate oil from water . The mesh allows water to go through, but it causes oil to float on top, thanks to an oil-repelling coating on the surface. Researchers mixed water and oil together and then poured the mixture (well, as well as it could be mixed) through the material. The oil was collected on the top of the material and could then be collected in a beaker separately from the water. This type of coating is under development at Ohio State University and is part of a suite of nature inspired nanotechnologies according to Phys.org. This discovery could eventually lead to great strides in the clean-up techniques of oil spills , which endanger wildlife and the environment on a near daily basis. Via Phys.org Images via Ohio State University Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: clean oil spill , cloth collects oil , nanotechnology mesh cloth , oil and water mesh cloth , oil and water separation , oil separation cloth , oil spill , oil spill clean up

Here is the original post:
Could this new material make it possible to clean up oil spills with a net?

Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need

April 20, 2015 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need

Like every great story, The Shoe That Grows began with someone seeing a need and figuring out a way to fill it. In 2007, Kenton Lee was living in Nairobi, Kenya. While walking to church one day, he noticed a little girl who was wearing shoes  that were way too small. This of course lent itself to the question, “why?” and the resulting answer was an idea. “What if kids had shoes that could adjust and expand, so that they always had a pair that fit?” Read the rest of Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: adjustable shoe , developing countries , impoverished kids shoes , kenton lee , shoe , shoes for impoverished kids , the shoe that grows

See the original post here:
Innovative “growing shoe” helps protect children in need

NASA-Funded 3D Food Printer Whips up an Entire Pizza

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on NASA-Funded 3D Food Printer Whips up an Entire Pizza

Last year NASA decided to fund one man’s plan to build a food 3D printer for astronauts, and now the first prototype can 3D print an entire pizza. Some of these initial pies may not look like much, but the man behind the project, mechanical engineer Anjan Contractor, intends to perfect his edible design. Read the rest of NASA-Funded 3D Food Printer Whips up an Entire Pizza Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3d printed food , 3d printed pizza , 3d Printer in Space , 3D printers , 3D printing , Anjan Contractor , Anjan Contractor pizza , food astronauts , food in space , NASA food research , ystems and Material Research Corporation        

See the original post:
NASA-Funded 3D Food Printer Whips up an Entire Pizza

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 1259 access attempts in the last 7 days.