MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

June 13, 2017 by  
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Steel and glass manufacturing generates large amounts of waste heat that’s not easy to capture – devices that do the job are either prohibitively expensive or don’t work in the requisite high temperatures. But a team of three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created a device that solves both issues at once. The high-temperature liquid thermoelectric device, which converts industrial waste heat into energy , could be a game-changer. Converting waste heat to electricity is often accomplished through solid-state thermoelectric devices, but at certain high temperatures they just don’t work, or are so expensive they can’t be used in much other than spaceships. In contrast, the MIT liquid thermoelectric device could pave the way for affordable conversion of waste heat into electricity. It includes a molten compound of tin and sulfur much cheaper than the solid-state bismuth telluride found in many commercial thermoelectric devices. That material is around 150 times more expensive than tin sulfide per cubic meter, according to MIT, and it only operates at temperatures of around 500 degrees Celsius. Related: Tiny thermophotovoltaic device harvests energy from infrared wavelengths The new MIT device, built by graduate student Youyang Zhao, operates at temperatures of 950 to 1,074 degrees Celsius. And as he changed the temperatures in which the device operated, he saw no significant performance drop. The researchers, however, don’t think most glass or steel plants would adopt the device simply to save the planet. But assistant professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore, of whose research group Zhao is a part, said they might be interested if heat management could enable them to operate at even higher temperatures – allowing them to increase productivity or lengthen the lifespan of their equipment. According to MIT, thanks to the molten compounds in the new device, managing heat at high temperatures is now a possibility. The two scientists were joined by recent PhD graduate Charles Rinzler for a paper published by ECS Journal of Solid State Science and Technology . Via MIT News Images via Youyang Zhao and Denis Paiste/Materials Processing Center

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MIT researchers pioneer affordable way to turn waste heat into power

Norway’s Fleinvaer cabins offer the ultimate in off-grid living on a remote island

June 13, 2017 by  
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These isolated cabins built on a remote island in Norway take off-grid living to new heights. Located on the country’s Arctic archipelago and only reachable by ferry, the Fleinvaer Cabins offer the ultimate in solitude. The retreat consists of four cabins designed for sleeping, plus bonus accommodations in a nearby cave. The island’s cluster of cabins are supported by four dedicated structures that house a kitchen, studio, sauna, and a bath. The rest of the cabins are built for sleeping. For those looking to go a step further into nature, there’s also a cave near the sauna’s pier that can be slept in. Technically, the cabins offer enough space for 12 people, but according to the Fleinvaer website, the experience is really designed for those looking for true solitude, “Here are no shops, and no cars. Here is no stress, and no dangerous animals.” Related: Rugged eco-friendly cabins offer off-grid lodging in Norway’s wilderness To get to the island of Fleinvaer, guests must take a ferry from downtown Bodø. Basic necessities like food are organized with the hosts before arrival because there are absolutely no shops on the island . Additionally, guests are encouraged to pack few items – just some wool clothing and a pair of shorts. The cabins are also a welcome retreat for creatives . Every year, the island hosts six, week-long “Artist in Residences” programs in collaboration with the Nordland county council’s culture department. + Fordypningsrommet Fleinvaer Cabins Via Uncrate Photography by Kathrine Sørgård & Fredrik Asplin via Fordypningsrommet

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Norway’s Fleinvaer cabins offer the ultimate in off-grid living on a remote island

A who’s who among the COP21 commitments

November 30, 2015 by  
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It could be the world’s last chance to save the planet, and more businesses are onboard than ever. Here’s a guide to the names behind the names.

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A who’s who among the COP21 commitments

How Audi merged biomimicry and urban mobility

November 30, 2015 by  
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A transportation design challenge by the German automaker borrowed inspiration from the organizational structure of biological cells.

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How Audi merged biomimicry and urban mobility

How business can participate in Paris

November 30, 2015 by  
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Step-by-step instructions for a business to effectively engage at COP21.

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How business can participate in Paris

Microwave-powered rockets could be a game changer for space travel

August 19, 2015 by  
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Escape Dynamics, a start-up in Colorado , recently tested a prototype of their new rocket engine. But instead of launching a rocket powered with typical  rocket fuel, they launched it using microwaves by beaming power at the ship from an antenna. The system – which brilliantly incorporates a gyrotron, a power conditioning unit designed to supply highly stable current and voltage, and a modular power supply unit – could make space travel not only more affordable, but it could help save the planet by reducing the chemicals needed to launch into orbit. Read the rest of Microwave-powered rockets could be a game changer for space travel

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Microwave-powered rockets could be a game changer for space travel

INFOGRAPHIC: The most interesting environmental lawsuits in the world

April 29, 2015 by  
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When it comes to protecting the environment, political action and grassroots movements tend to get the most attention. But environmental lawsuits have proven to be an important – if unglamorous – way to help save the planet. This infographic from Australia-based Hones La Hood Lawyers reveals some of the most interesting environmental law cases throughout history and the positive (and not so positive) changes that they brought about, including who benefited from the BP oil spill fines and how current EPA air quality regulations came about. Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: The most interesting environmental lawsuits in the world Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bp oil spill , BP oil spill fines , Deepwater Horizon lawsuit , Deepwater Horizon Spill , environmental law , epa , EPA air regulation , federal air regulations , Haliburton deepwater horizon , infographics , Tasmania dam , trafigura

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INFOGRAPHIC: The most interesting environmental lawsuits in the world

Pope Francis will urge Catholics to combat climate change

January 1, 2015 by  
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In March 2015, Pope Francis plans to deliver an edict urging his followers to take action against climate change . This conservationist call-to-action will be the first of its kind delivered by a pope. The edict will call for 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide to become active in efforts to save the planet. Read the rest of Pope Francis will urge Catholics to combat climate change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: catholic , Climate Change , climate summit , conservation , edict , encyclical , environmental issues , General Assembly , global warming , Pope , Pope Francis , United Nations , Vatican City

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Pope Francis will urge Catholics to combat climate change

4 Simple Ways to Save Energy

August 12, 2013 by  
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Whether you want to slash energy usage to save the planet’s resources or are just looking for ways to bring down your monthly bills, there are several easy ways to begin saving energy today. These year-round solutions are simple but …

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4 Simple Ways to Save Energy

How shopping can help save the planet

July 18, 2012 by  
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Conscious consumers can reward companies that are responsible and punish those that are not. Here are three examples of how this has changed corporate behavior.

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How shopping can help save the planet

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