Renewlogy turns low-grade plastic into usable fuels

June 7, 2019 by  
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Renewlogy is a three-way win: it’s a profitable business model, keeps plastic out of the landfills , and produces usable fuel. The creators of Renewlogy technology found inspiration out of disgust when they learned that less than 10 percent of plastic was being recycled through traditional recycling processes. Armed with an MIT education and pinpoint focus, the team designed a recycling system that can be built on-site, specific to the needs of the waste management company, with no pollution. With this method, Renewlogy’s systems can process up to 10 tons of plastic waste daily without the need for additional transportation costs and the fuel emissions that go along with it. Renewlogy systems offer a range of benefits over traditional recycling systems, primarily that they are able to accept all types of plastic, including the low-grade, single-use types that are otherwise not recyclable. Not only does this mean commercial processing of these low-grade materials, but the process even accepts contaminated and mixed streams of plastic that get thrown out in other systems. Related: How to celebrate World Environment Day Like standard recycling centers, the process begins with the collection and delivery of materials. Once onsite, the commingled plastic heads into the hopper where it is shredded into smaller pieces. Through a proprietary chemical process, the materials are then converted into high-value products used to make virgin plastic, diesel fuel and other petrochemical products. Gases offset throughout the process are captured and recycled so there are no toxic emissions . The first continuous-process commercial system in the United States was set up in Utah as a demonstration facility. From there, another large scale unit has been installed in Nova Scotia and several businesses are committed to integrating the system across the U.S. currently. Renewlogy has a waiting list where interested parties can sign up. As production of facilities ramps up, the company also has ocean clean-up goals on the horizon. Targeting limited-land use communities like islands and emerging urban developments that both struggle with limited space, the hope of the Renewlogy team is that they will be able to convert plastic into fuel onsite so that waste compilation is eliminated altogether. To support marine vessels collecting plastic from the ocean, Renewlogy offers a small-scale, portable system that can be used on-board the ship. In addition, they have developed ReFence, a system that diverts plastics out of rivers before it reaches the ocean . With an overarching goal of eliminating all plastic from landfills and ocean pollution , Renewlogy aims to set a long-term, sustainable example with continuing innovation in the field of plastic processing. + Renewlogy Images via Shutterstock

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Renewlogy turns low-grade plastic into usable fuels

A massive urban vineyard will envelop a new research center in Milan

June 7, 2019 by  
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International design and innovation firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has won first place in the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group’s international competition with VITAE, a new research center in Milan that will be covered in a 650-foot-long urban vineyard. The vegetation is remarkable not only for its sheer size, but also for its use in a publicly accessible footpath that will link the street level to the rooftop. The building was developed for real estate group Convivio and was created in a team with the consortium Habitech as environmental experts. Once complete, VITAE will transform a formerly vacant, post-industrial lot in via Serio in the south of Milan into a mixed-use development that includes a farm-to-table restaurant, high-tech offices, facilities for the leading molecular and oncology research center ICOM, guest rooms for international researchers and more than 5,000 square meters of public space. Inspired by biophilic design, the architects created a vegetated pedestrian path with a vine-covered pergola that will ascend the side of the building and provide visitors the chance to see terraces and greenhouses for urban farming and hydroponic cultivation. This “green spiral” inspired the project’s name, VITAE, which means “life” in Latin and “vine” in Italian. “VITAE tries to address humankind’s innate ‘ biophilia ,’ as formulated by the great American biologist Edward O. Wilson,” said Saverio Panata, partner at CRA and project manager of VITAE. “We are talking about the natural tendency of our species to seek our happiness through immersion in nature. Thanks to new technologies, it is now possible to achieve this goal even in the heart of the city — this is particularly relevant in a building that is devoted to scientific research.” Related: CRA grows a sustainable pavilion out of mushrooms in just 6 weeks C40’s Reinventing Cities competition recognized VITAE as the winner for its promotion of carbon-neutral and resilient urban regeneration as well as for its adaptive reuse aspect. Construction on CRA’s project is slated to begin construction in late 2019. + Carlo Ratti Associati Images via Carlo Ratti Associati

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A massive urban vineyard will envelop a new research center in Milan

A 1923 building in Quebec is now a light-filled public market complete with aquaponics systems

June 7, 2019 by  
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Discerning foodies in Quebec will soon have a beautiful new market to buy their locally grown fare. Local architectural firms Bisson Associés and Atelier Pierre Thibault are at the final stages of converting the Pavillon du Commerce, which dates back to 1923, into the light-filled Grand Marché, a public market that features aquaponics systems. As one of Quebec’s most beloved buildings, the architects were determined to retain as many original features of the nearly century-old Pavillon du Commerce as possible while turning it into a modern public market . The renovation managed to conserve the building’s beautiful wooden ceilings and brick walls as well as its original columns and pediments. Related: MVRDV-designed market in Taiwan will grow food on a massive green roof Although the new market, which boasts a whopping 96,875 square feet, retains a lot of the building’s original features, the architectural team managed to implement a number of modern materials into the new space. For instance, the interior facades of the building as well as the individual stalls were all constructed using CLT panels . The market will also be equipped with an on-site food waste management system that collects organic matter to be sent to the city’s biomethanation plant. According to the architects, the new market was designed to be a city landmark and general meeting place. The stalls are carefully placed in a village-like layout meant to foster socialization. The interior space is bathed in natural light thanks to large skylights and fully-opening windows on the south-facing facade, and it also features a wooden, bleacher-like staircase where people can sit and chat. In addition to selling local fare, the market will include a family space for workshops, a cooking school, an urban gardening education center and a technology showcase that highlights agro-food innovation. To focus on sustainable food growth, the market is working with the Institute on Nutrition and Functional Foods to install an aquaponics system and a mycelium incubator in the market. Not only will this space be used to sustainably grow food, but it will also be designed as a training and research center for the general public. + Bisson Associés + Atelier Pierre Thibault Photography by Maxime Brouillet via v2com

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A 1923 building in Quebec is now a light-filled public market complete with aquaponics systems

LEGO runs into stumbling blocks on its path to greener bricks

August 2, 2017 by  
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LEGO wants to make everything awesome for the planet. In 2015 , the Danish toy-maker pledged to spend $150 million and hire more than than 100 extra staffers to research and develop sustainable alternatives to the petrochemical-based plastics it uses to make its signature building blocks. The goal, the company said then, was to transition to either a bio-based version of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, its current primary raw material, or a polymer with a lower environmental footprint by 2030. Finding a suitable replacement, however, has proven thornier than anticipated. “We want any bio-based material to be capable of being precisely molded, or to mold to just a few microns,” Tim Brooks, vice president of environmental responsibility for the LEGO Group, told Quartz . “And we want it to be shiny.” Manifesting that gleam has proven to be a stumbling, well, block . Next to a traditional plastic brick, a prototype brick made from wheat sugar appears dull and matte. Related: BIG’s LEGO House tops out with opening date in September Not that LEGO is going to give up, of course. Climate change is real, and the world’s leading companies will have to rein in their fossil-fuel use if the human race wants a fighting chance at survival. “We know that making bricks has an impact on the planet, and we want it to be a positive one,” Brooks said. + LEGO [Via Quartz ]

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LEGO runs into stumbling blocks on its path to greener bricks

LEGO’s Partnership with Shell Pollutes Kids’ Imaginations Along with the Planet

July 9, 2014 by  
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Picture a group of children playing with their favorite LEGO set. Their imaginations will be running wild as they pop those little blocks together, building all kinds of structures and making the smiling characters take part in any number of cool adventures. In this particular LEGO set, huskies and polar bears frolic about on ice floes while folks with families fish in the water nearby. Now, picture those same kids pouring crude oil all over the scene for accuracy’s sake. Sounds horrific, doesn’t it? Well, it may not be all that far-fetched: LEGO’s partnership with Shell has toy sets and bricks branded with the oil company’s logo in one of the most inappropriate partnerships imaginable. Read the rest of LEGO’s Partnership with Shell Pollutes Kids’ Imaginations Along with the Planet Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arctic , Arctic Drilling , Children , Climate Change , deep sea drilling , drilling , environmental destruction , flaring , fracking , gas , lego , lego block shell , legoblockshell , oil , oil and gas , oil drilling , oil spill , oil spills , penguins , petrochemical , petrochemical industry , polar bears , Pollution , Shell , toys

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ASMO Phone Charger Stops Eating Energy When You Unplug Your Phone

July 9, 2014 by  
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ASMO is the first mobile phone charger in the world that does not consume standby power. Every year, energy waste from the world’s 6.8 billion mobile phones costs us the equivalent of power produced by two nuclear plants . And the figures and waste are growing all the time. Which is why this simple gadget has the potential to revolutionize global electricity consumption. Unlike other chargers, ASMO automatically stops drawing energy when the phone is unplugged, yet it also fires right back up when the phone is plugged back in. The most common question we hear is: “How come no one has not come up with that idea yet?” Honestly, we don’t know. Luckily, we’ve got a patent pending. Just replace your old mobile charger with this unique technology, keep calm and start saving. If you’d like to own one of your own, check out the ASMO Kickstarter campaign . + ASMO Charger The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , ASMO Charger , charger that stops charging , clean tech , eco design , Energy Savings , green design , green gadgets , green mobile phone charger , mobile phone charger , reader submitted content , sustainable design , unplugged charger stops charging

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ASMO Phone Charger Stops Eating Energy When You Unplug Your Phone

6 Reasons to Kill the Keystone XL Pipeline Project

August 2, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of 6 Reasons to Kill the Keystone XL Pipeline Project Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alberta Petrochemical Refinery , canadian tar sands , carbon emissions , Climate Change , environmental destruction , environmental disasters , First People , fossil fuels , global warming , Indigenous Canadians , keystone pipeline , Keystone XL Pipeline , oil , President Obama Keystone , tar sands , tar sands oil        

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UrbanEden: Net-Zero Solar-Powered Home Planted Like a Tree in the City

August 2, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of UrbanEden: Net-Zero Solar-Powered Home Planted Like a Tree in the City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , eco design , green design , modular design , net-zero prefab homes , prefab design , rooftop solar panels , solar decathlon 2013 , Solar Decathlon Team UNC Charlotte , solar powered homes , sustainable design , tiny homes , UrbanEden        

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UrbanEden: Net-Zero Solar-Powered Home Planted Like a Tree in the City

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