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

May 8, 2017 by  
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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

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

Why didn’t the California pipeline that spilled 101,000 gallons of oil have an auto shut-off valve?

May 26, 2015 by  
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New reports indicate that the California pipeline that spilled thousands of gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean on May 19th is the only pipeline of its kind in the United States without an auto shut-off valve. Several decades ago, the original owner of the Plains All American Pipeline argued in a Santa Barbara County court that since the pipeline is part of an interstate network and federal regulators are not required to have an auto shut off valve, they should also be exempt. They won the argument and the pipeline hasn’t had an auto shut-off valve since. Read the rest of Why didn’t the California pipeline that spilled 101,000 gallons of oil have an auto shut-off valve? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: burst pipeline , California , California oil spill , El Capitan , El Refugio , environmental destruction , no auto valve shutoff , oil spill , pacific ocean , Plains All America Pipeline , public beaches , santa barbara , Santa Barbara County , Santa Barbara Oil Spill , Wildlife

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Why didn’t the California pipeline that spilled 101,000 gallons of oil have an auto shut-off valve?

Pipeline crack spills 21,000 gallons of oil along Santa Barbara coast

May 20, 2015 by  
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Rescue crews are working to contain a four-mile wide slick after a pipeline crack Tuesday May 19 caused an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil to flow into the area’s pristine waters and coat the popular shores of Rufugio State Beach, California with tar. The area lies within the Santa Barbara Channel and features an otherwise healthy, population of sea life and birds. While the scope of the damage is not yet fully known, eyewitness reports suggest that sea lions have been caught up in the crude. Read the rest of Pipeline crack spills 21,000 gallons of oil along Santa Barbara coast Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: california energy , california oil , california wildlife , channel islands national marine sanctuary , environmental disaster , oil pipeline crack , oil slick , oil spill , refugio state beach oil , santa barbara oil , sea life oil

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Pipeline crack spills 21,000 gallons of oil along Santa Barbara coast

Build a personalized world map for your wall that chronicles your travels, one country at a time

May 20, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of Build a personalized world map for your wall that chronicles your travels, one country at a time Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bold tuesday , explore the world , go world map , Travel , travel records , wanderlust , world poster , world travel

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Build a personalized world map for your wall that chronicles your travels, one country at a time

There Are Still 2 Million Barrels of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Hanging Out in the Gulf of Mexico

October 29, 2014 by  
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A new study by a team from the University of California-Santa Barbara, University of California-Irvine, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute has found that there are still two million barrels-worth of oil from BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster sitting on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. The study, published October 27, 2014 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes a “bathtub ring” of oil droplets covering an area of the seabed larger than Rhode Island. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of There Are Still 2 Million Barrels of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Hanging Out in the Gulf of Mexico Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: deepwater horizon , environmental disaster , gulf of mexico , macondo well , oil drilling , oil droplets , oil gulf of mexico , oil slick , oil spill , sea bed , sea floor , university of california

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There Are Still 2 Million Barrels of BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Hanging Out in the Gulf of Mexico

Old Cigarette Factory to Become Solar and Wind Battery Plant

October 29, 2014 by  
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Normally when a massive factory closes its doors an outlet mall or giant water park pops up in its place. But one former cigarette plant in Concord, North Carolina is turning into something completely unexpected. Swiss battery manufacturer Alveo announced plans to turn a 3.5 million square-foot cigarette factory into a facility that makes batteries for solar and wind farms. Read the rest of Old Cigarette Factory to Become Solar and Wind Battery Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , Cigarette factory , cigarette factory to battery factory , Philip Morris factory , renewable energy , renewable power batteries , solar batteries , Solar Power , Tesla batteries , wind batteries

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Old Cigarette Factory to Become Solar and Wind Battery Plant

Man Spends $35,000 to Convert His Home into a Feline Fantasyland

March 10, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Man Spends $35,000 to Convert His Home into a Feline Fantasyland Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cat-friendly design , feline-friendly houses , floor-to-ceiling scratch posts , house designed for cats , Santa Barbara cat house , Trillium Enterprises , wall-mounted walkways        

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Man Spends $35,000 to Convert His Home into a Feline Fantasyland

The Santa Barbara Auto Camp is a Hotel for Airstream Lovers

January 21, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of The Santa Barbara Auto Camp is a Hotel for Airstream Lovers Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: airstream trailer , american riviera , anacapa , Arizona , California , central coast , corian , green renovation , hgtv , hofmann architecture , hollywood , Matthew Hofmann , mission creek , pacific coast highway , san miguel , santa barbara , santa barbara auto camp , Santa Cruz , Santa Rosa , sovereign , vintage

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The Santa Barbara Auto Camp is a Hotel for Airstream Lovers

Bicycling Month in Santa Barbara Commences with Cycle Chic Fashion Show (Event)

May 4, 2010 by  
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Santa Barbara’s month-long bicycle celebration, called Cyclemaynia will commence in style with Cycle Chic Fashion Show , this Thursday, May 6. The show will feature bicycles , accessories, and attire appropriate for a bevy of events occurring in the coastal California city, from riding to the farmer’s market to attending the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

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Bicycling Month in Santa Barbara Commences with Cycle Chic Fashion Show (Event)

PG&E to Try Next Round of Wave Power Tests off Santa Barbara Coast

December 12, 2009 by  
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Moving on from the problems encountered in the Northern California wave energy tests off Mendocino and Humboldt Counties; PG&E has just filed a new preliminary permit application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for another three-year study of a potential wave power site. Vandenberg Air Force Base on the Santa Barbara County coast is the new host.

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PG&E to Try Next Round of Wave Power Tests off Santa Barbara Coast

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