New biodegradable semiconductor could make e-waste a thing of the past

May 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on New biodegradable semiconductor could make e-waste a thing of the past

50 million tons of electronics are expected to be trashed this year, according to a United Nations Environment Program report . A Stanford University team was concerned over the escalating epidemic of e-waste , so they created a semiconductor – a component in most of our electronics – that can actually be broken down with a weak acid such as vinegar. Nine Stanford researchers, joined by one scientist from Hewlett Packard Labs and two engineers from the University of California, Santa Barbara , set out to rethink electronics. Engineer Zhenan Bao, who heads up the Bao Research Group at Stanford, said they found inspiration from human skin . Skin stretches, can heal itself, and is ultimately biodegradable . The researchers wanted to take these characteristics and apply them to electronics. Related: INFOGRAPHIC: The dangerous untold story of e-waste They created a flexible polymer able to decompose. Postdoctoral fellow Ting Lei said it’s the first ever “semiconductive polymer that can decompose.” But that’s just one part of a semiconductor. The team also designed a degradable electronic circuit and a biodegradable substrate material. They used iron – a nontoxic, environmentally friendly product – instead of the gold usually used for electronic components. They made a paper-like substrate with cellulose ; the transparent substrate allows the semiconductor to adhere to rough or smooth surfaces, like onto an avocado as seen in the picture above or on human skin. The semiconductor could even be implanted inside a body. According to Stanford, “When the electronic device is no longer needed, the whole thing can biodegrade into nontoxic components.” The team envisions a number of uses for their semiconductors, like in wearable electronics . They could be made into patches allowing people to track their blood pressure, for example, or could be dropped via plane into a forest to survey the landscape, and eventually they would biodegrade instead of littering the environment . The journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America published the research online the beginning of May. Via Stanford University and New Atlas Images via Stanford University/Bao lab

The rest is here:
New biodegradable semiconductor could make e-waste a thing of the past

Living Baubotanik tree tower rises in Germany

August 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Living Baubotanik tree tower rises in Germany

Baubotanik, or Living Plant Constructions, is the brainchild of architect Dr. Ferdinand Ludwig who found inspiration in the ancient art of tree shaping that’s spanned cultures worldwide, from medieval European topiary to Japanese bonsai . Baubotanik puts a modern spin on the natural process of grafting by adding metal scaffolding and other construction materials to transform the trees into a load-bearing structure. Over time, the exposed tree tissue grows around and bonds with the man-made materials. Related: India’s Amazing Tree Bridges Are Made of Living Roots and Vines! After years of research, Ludwig found that the most suitable tree species were those that are flexible and fast growing, such as sycamore/plane tree, poplar, birch, and hornbeam. While willow , a favorite material among tree sculptors like Patrick Dougherty , initially met Ludwig’s standards, he now avoids them citing problems with rot and durability. Ludwig and the Baubotanik Research Group have completed three seminal works over the last decade that test these botanically inspired building methods. In 2005, Ludwig collaborated with architect Oliver Storz and sculptor Cornelius Hackenbracht to grow and construct a footbridge made from willow trees and metal scaffolding. Stainless steel tubes were inserted between young willow saplings that eventually grew around the material until the tube was fully embedded. The tubes are used as handrails for the 2.5-meter-tall elevated walking surface made from steel grates that’s supported by the tree “columns.” Another early Baubotanik creation is the three-story-tall willow tower with a height of nearly nine meters and an eight-square-meter footprint. Unlike the footbridge, the tower design began with temporary steel tube scaffolding anchored into the ground. Containers of willow were inserted in the structure and watered constantly to encourage fast growth. The architects shaped the willow saplings into crisscrossing formations and drilled them in place with screws to preserve the contorted shapes. The metal scaffolding will be removed once the living structure is stable enough to support itself. The Plane-Tree-Cube Nagold is the biggest Baubotanik building to date and the first of its kind to be developed for an urban environment. Created for a 2012 regional horticultural show in Nagold, the award-winning building is constructed from live sycamore and a massive metal scaffolding structure that serves as a temporary base. The sycamore is shaped over time using pipes, regulators, sensors, and valves. The public was invited to enter the treehouse and climb its three levels. Like the tower, the Plane-Tree-Cube was developed so that the metal scaffolding can be removed once the shaped sycamores have achieved a stable state. Part sculpture and part architecture, these beautiful Baubotanik buildings are no replacement for conventional construction practices. Not only are they time and labor intensive, but they also demand ongoing maintenance as living, breathing structures. However, these thought provoking buildings aren’t for naught. They encourage us to embrace biodesign , harness nature’s existing benefits, and design with nature to create a more sustainable future. + Baubotanik Via ArchDaily Images via Baubotanik

Go here to see the original:
Living Baubotanik tree tower rises in Germany

Rolling Rosphere Robot Can Travel Over Virtually Any Terrain

July 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Rolling Rosphere Robot Can Travel Over Virtually Any Terrain

A team at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Spain has designed and developed a rolling spherical robot that could be used in a wide range of outdoor applications – including farming. The  Robotics and Cybernetics Research Group believes that their Rosphere robot could carry out tasks more efficiently than current robots that are designed to work on uneven and rural land. Read the rest of Rolling Rosphere Robot Can Travel Over Virtually Any Terrain Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agriculture , farming , farming robot , robotic sphere , spherical robot , Universidad Politécnica de Madrid        

Here is the original:
Rolling Rosphere Robot Can Travel Over Virtually Any Terrain

Despite naysayers, green energy keeps growing

March 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Despite naysayers, green energy keeps growing

Despite plenty of struggles in 2011, clean energy markets jumped 31 percent last year, according to research group Clean Edge. It expects those markets will keep growing — albeit more slowly — in the next decade to reach $385 billion by 2021.

The rest is here:
Despite naysayers, green energy keeps growing

Why business needs cities

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on Why business needs cities

Can you have a healthy company in an unhealthy city? Arguably, no. And vice versa.

See the rest here:
Why business needs cities

Another Jump in Thin-Film Solar Efficiency

June 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Another Jump in Thin-Film Solar Efficiency

Researchers at Empa (the Swiss national research laboratory) have achieved a new record in thin-film solar cell efficiency. The flexible solar cells are made from copper indium gallium diselenide ( CIGS ), and these cells have achieved an energy conversion efficiency of 18.7 percent

More:
Another Jump in Thin-Film Solar Efficiency

Harnessing The Wind’s Vibrations For Electricity

May 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Harnessing The Wind’s Vibrations For Electricity

Photos: Cornell University Vibro-Research Group (From left: Jamie Pelletier, Albert Dodson, Rona Banai, Zach Gould, Marco Zhang, mechanical engineering professor Frank Moon and Jared Valentin.) As a renewable energy resource, wind has lots going for it – but one major downside is the cost to set up the wind turbines themselves, not to mention the problematic visual impact and the noise pollution it generates (often likened to a small jet engine, especially for those living close by). However, undergraduate students from Cornell University’s Vibro-Wind Research Group are working on a space-saving prototype that will harness win… Read the full story on TreeHugger

View original post here: 
Harnessing The Wind’s Vibrations For Electricity

Japanese Researchers Create Printable Lithium Batteries

January 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Japanese Researchers Create Printable Lithium Batteries

Photos via EcoFriend A Japanese research group has just begun developing lithium polymer batteries that can be manufactured en masse–with roll-to-roll printing technology. The new lithium battery, designed for use with “a flexible solar battery or display,” will be fully printable–and therefore thinner, and subject to cheaper, more efficient production. …

Here is the original post: 
Japanese Researchers Create Printable Lithium Batteries

Bad Behavior has blocked 1312 access attempts in the last 7 days.