Uravu’s zero-electricity Aqua Panels produce gallons of water from thin air

April 4, 2018 by  
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Uravu , a startup based in Hyderabad, India, has created a device that can produce water from an unlikely source–the air itself. The company’s affordable, electricity-free Aqua Panels use solar thermal energy to convert vapor into usable water – and they should be available to the public within two years. “There’s no need of any electricity or moving parts,” Uravu co-founder Swapnil Shrivastav told Quartz India . “It is just a passive device that you can leave on your rooftop and it will generate water. The process starts at night, and by evening next day you’ll have water.” Uravu is named after a Malayalam word that sometimes refers to freshwater springs and can be translated as “source.” While the technology behind Uravu’s system is not new, it did have some problems. “You need high humidity and energy consumption (involved) is high,” said Shrivastav, referring to the outdated technology. “There are a lot of moving parts. What we wanted to do was have a simple modular device.” The company found inspiration in the fact that the atmosphere is constantly holding various amounts of moisture. “So that got us thinking why this resource isn’t being utilised,” said Shrivastav. “[Water vapor] also doesn’t limit itself to desalination which happens only in the coast. Or rainfall which doesn’t happen everywhere.” Related: Giant curtain built in Peru to study climate change in the cloud forests To produce drinking water , users will have to supplement their device with an attachable mineral cartridge. The current prototype generates approximately 50 liters (13.20 gallons) daily, though the team hopes to someday develop a machine capable of producing 2,000 liters (528.34 gallons) per day. “Initially we’ll be working with governments and strategic partners, and we want to reach places where there is water scarcity , such as parts of Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, and rural areas,” explained Shrivastav. “We will be trying to start with a household device and aim at community-level projects.” + Uravu Via Quartz India Images via Depositphotos and Uravu

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Uravu’s zero-electricity Aqua Panels produce gallons of water from thin air

Plogging: Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup

February 5, 2018 by  
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Plogging is a fitness trend that will help get you and the environment in shape. The BBC reported Scandinavians dreamed up this environmentally friendly form of exercise that blends jogging and picking up trash, and it’s taking off around the world. Joggers are taking their workout to new levels as they simultaneously run and pick up litter . The BBC said not only do ploggers receive the benefits of running, but also of core-boosting squat movements to bend down and grab those bottles, cans, or other junk discarded on the ground. All you need to become a plogger is a workout outfit, a bag to collect garbage, and, ideally, a pair of gloves. Related: This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter Core77 reported environmentalist Erik Ahlström is one of the movers and shakers behind the trend. When he moved from Swedish ski resort town Åre to Stockholm , he thought the city looked like a dump. He organized jogging groups to run equipped with gloves and garbage bags in an effort to clean up the city. He called this activity plogging, according to Core77, from the Swedish words for “to jog” and “to pick.” Plogga gruppen i Sundsvall går på djupet. Bra jobbat! #sundsvall @plogga A post shared by Plogga (@plogga) on Jul 12, 2017 at 12:27pm PDT Many people tend to sigh when they see litter, but the thought of picking it up still grosses them out. The plogging movement could change that, per the website Plogga , by making it trendy to clean up trash. Plogga cites Ahlström as the creator of plogging and calls on other people to get involved. The organization will help people get started or speak to businesses or schools about the fitness trend. En strålande förmiddag på så många vis! #plogging med underbara människor (för övrigt sjukt mycket skräp på bara en kvart!!!!) och sedan fantastiska stigar kring Hellasgården och stopp för kaffe. Japp, strålande på alla sätt!! ???? #teamnordictrail #plogga #plogging @ecotrailstockholm2017 @teamnordictrail @erikahlstromsweden @mar_ado A post shared by Miranda Kvist (@mirandakvist) on Oct 30, 2016 at 5:59am PDT The craze has caught on around the world. Plogging teams and communities are popping up from Paris to the United Kingdom to Thailand . + Plogga Via the BBC and Core77 Images via Depositphotos and Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash På regnigt uppdrag med bästa PLOGGA gänget i Visby/Almedalen! #plogga #havsmiljöinstitutet #hållsverigerent #almedalen #radiogotland A post shared by Plogga (@plogga) on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:40am PDT Idag har vi ploggat (plockat skräp+joggat). Förenat nytta med nöje. Det kändes så bra att röra på sig samtidigt som vi gav naturen lite ??. Vi fick ihop två fulla påsar på bara 3km. Tänkte köra igen nästa helg. Någon som hakar på oss? @supermiljobloggen @efagervall @markusfagervall @mrultimategreen @hallsverigerent @plogga #plogging #hållsverigerent #ettskräpomdagen A post shared by IDA KJOS (@idakjos) on Sep 16, 2017 at 8:47am PDT Plogging- Environmental tidy up Swedish style ie running whilst pick up rubbish . #plogging ,#plogger ,#swedish ,#environment ,#cleanup ,#runner ,#byronbayrunners A post shared by Geoff Bensley (@geoffbensley) on Feb 3, 2018 at 11:38pm PST

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Plogging: Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup

Scientists uncover hidden Mayan city of 10M people in Guatemala

February 5, 2018 by  
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An international team of researchers have identified tens of thousands of previously unknown Mayan structures using a high-tech aerial mapping technology known as Lidar. Discovered in the jungles of Guatemala , the ancient structures include homes, pyramids, defense installations, large-scale agricultural fields, and irrigation canals, suggesting that up to 10 million people lived in the area at its peak. “That is two to three times more [inhabitants] than people were saying there were,” Marcello A Canuto, a professor of anthropology at Tulane University, told The Guardian . Those that did live there clearly altered the landscape far more dramatically than previously thought. The research team, which includes scientists from the United States , Europe, and Guatemala working in collaboration with Guatemala’s Mayan Heritage and Nature Foundation , used Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, to virtually cut through the thick jungle . Lidar works by bouncing pulsed laser light off of the ground to unveil contours otherwise hidden. In addition to its use in archaeology, lidar also serves to assist the control and navigation of self-driving cars. Further areas of lidar application include seismology, laser guidance, and atmospheric physics. Related: Hidden passageway discovered at ancient Mayan ruins The recent discoveries in the Peten region of Guatemala have shown that in some areas of the now-thick jungle, up to 95 percent of land was used for agriculture . “Their agriculture is much more intensive and therefore sustainable than we thought, and they were cultivating every inch of the land,” Francisco Estrada-Belli, research assistant professor at Tulane University, told The Guardian . To do so, the Mayans drained swampland that even today is considered unfit for farming. The large scale of the projects demonstrates the coordinated effort required to complete them. “There’s state involvement here, because we see large canals being dug that are re-directing natural water flows,” Thomas Garrison, assistant professor of anthropology at Ithaca College in New York, told The Guardian . Despite the discovery’s massive size, it would have likely remained unknown without Lidar technology. “I found [an ancient road],” explained Garrison, “but if I had not had the Lidar and known that that’s what it was, I would have walked right over it, because of how dense the jungle is.” Via The Guardian Images via Ithaca College and Depositphotos

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Scientists uncover hidden Mayan city of 10M people in Guatemala

Elon Musk shows first glimpse of the Boring Company tunnel beneath LA

November 1, 2017 by  
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Elon Musk just gave us a peek into the future with a new picture of The Boring Company’s tunnel under Los Angeles . He shared the picture snapped recently on social media, and it seems the project started less than a year ago is well underway. In an image that looks straight out of science fiction, Musk shared a glimpse of what The Boring Company has been up to in Los Angeles. They’ve been anything but idle: the startup has built a tunnel for transportation beneath the city notorious for traffic woes. Musk shared the picture of the tunnel on Twitter on October 28, and said it had been taken the day before. Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company receives green light to dig a two-mile test tunnel Picture of The Boring Company LA tunnel taken yesterday pic.twitter.com/TfdVKyXFsJ — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2017 Musk said on Twitter the tunnel is 500-feet-long right now, and in three to four months, will be two miles long, “and hopefully stretch the whole 405 N-S corridor from LAX to the 101 in a year or so.” Musk provided more detail on his Instagram, according to Twitter user Kilian/0strich, who shared a screenshot of Musk’s Instagram comment saying, “First route will go roughly parallel to the 405 from LAX to the 101, with on/offramps every mile or so. It will work like a fast freeway, where electric skates carrying vehicles and people pods on the main artery travel at up to 150mph, and the skates switch to side tunnels to exit and enter. This is a big difference compared to subways that stop at every stop, whether you’re getting off or not.” The Boring Company explains on their Frequently Asked Questions page that an electric skate is a “fast plate on wheels propelled by an electric motor.” The zero-emissions, autonomous vehicles can transport goods or automobiles – and if a vacuum shell is added, can become a Hyperloop pod. + The Boring Company Images via The Boring Company and Depositphotos

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Elon Musk shows first glimpse of the Boring Company tunnel beneath LA

The Startup Using Crows to Clean Up Cigarette Litter

October 17, 2017 by  
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Just how big of a problem is cigarette litter? The … The post The Startup Using Crows to Clean Up Cigarette Litter appeared first on Earth911.com.

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The Startup Using Crows to Clean Up Cigarette Litter

Impossible Foods cooks up a new paradigm for the food system

May 26, 2017 by  
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Mission possible: Impossible Foods’ sustainability manager discusses how the startup built a plant-based burger that may revolutionize fast food.

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Impossible Foods cooks up a new paradigm for the food system

Architects envision a bright new future for Milan’s abandoned railways

May 4, 2017 by  
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Five international studios recently unveiled exciting plans to revitalize seven disused rail yards in Milan, Italy. MAD Architects , EMBT , Stefano Boeri Architects , Cino Zucchi Architetti and Mecanoo reimagined the brownfield sites as beautiful green spaces with social housing and green transportation systems. MAD Architects focused on incorporating sustainable mobility in their design. The team envisioned an entire ecosystem of cycle lanes, footpaths, and pedestrian-friendly spaces that connect different spatial concepts dedicated to different functions. Related: MAD offers up two design proposals for Lucas Museum: one for SF, one for LA Miralles Tagliabue EMBT designed a project named Miracoli a Milano (Miracles in Milan) that includes an area devoted to creativity, one that focuses on education, one dedicated to leisure and entertainment, and a zone for emerging, innovative start-up companies . Stefano Boeri Architects proposed an urban reforestation project for the city. The proposal would transform 90% of the site area into public lawns, woods, green spaces, and orchards interconnected by a sustainable mobility network. Related: UNESCO announces winning design for the Bamiyan Cultural Center in Afghanistan Dutch firm Mecanoo designed seven mobility hubs where trains, subway lines, trams and busses would meet and link to other local and regional hubs. Cino Zucchi Architetti designed a proposal that references the traditional Brolo wooded garden. They replicated the flexibility of this space and envisioned different sites as distinctive environments dominated by greenery. + MAD Architects + Miralles Tagliabue EMBT + Stefano Boeri Architects + Cino Zucchi Architetti + Mecanoo Via Dezeen

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Architects envision a bright new future for Milan’s abandoned railways

Indian ‘fruit of the gods’ could lower cost of solar cells by 40%

May 4, 2017 by  
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Could India’s ‘fruit of the gods’ help lower the price of solar cells ? Scientists at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee discovered jamun, a black plum, contains a pigment able to absorb sunlight. They think utilizing the fruit in mass production of solar panels could slash costs. Jamun, Syzygium cumini , is indigenous to south Asia and is sold on the street for cheap prices. Jamun trees can grow to be nearly 100 feet tall and live for 100 years, and the black plums from those trees are lauded for medicinal and nutritional value. But now they may play a role in generating clean energy as well, thanks to their pigment anthocyanin. Related: India doubles down on solar power with huge park capacity increase IIT-Roorkee assistant professor Soumitra Satapathi told Quartz India, “We were looking at why the jamuns are black. We extracted the pigment using ethanol and found that anthocyanin was a great absorber of sunlight.” Satapathi and two other researchers from the institute used that anthocyanin as a sensitizer in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). They think utilizing naturally occurring dyes, like the jamun pigment, could lower solar panel costs by 40 percent. Anthocyanin is also found in blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and cranberries. DSSCs aren’t as efficient as traditional silicon-based solar cells yet, but could offer a low cost alternative – beneficial especially for India as the country aims to gain 40 percent of energy from renewables by 2030. But the IIT scientists aren’t quite there yet; their DSSCs only have an efficiency of 0.5 percent, contrasted with traditional solar cells’ efficiency of over 15 percent. Nevertheless, the scientists pointed out jamun is widely available, and could offer a biodegradable , non-toxic alternative to synthetic dyes that have been used in DSSCs. The IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics published the research online recently. Via EcoWatch and Quartz India Images via Dinesh Valke on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Indian ‘fruit of the gods’ could lower cost of solar cells by 40%

Tesla executives start mysterious new recycling company

May 3, 2017 by  
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You’d think with battery production commencing at the new Gigafactory and Tesla being the most valuable car company in America, the company’s executives would have their hands full. But it appears Tesla’s Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey Straubel and head of special products Andrew Stevenson have quietly filed documents for a new company aiming to “unlock the value of your materials.” CB Insights found a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing , with Straubel and Stevenson listed as executives on a new company called Redwood Materials . They already have a $2 million investment from an undisclosed investor. Their office is in Redwood City, California, fairly close to Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto. Related: Tesla just announced plans to build up to five Gigafactories Could Tesla be behind the company? According to its scant website, Redwood Materials offers “advanced technology and process development for materials recycling , remanufacturing, and reuse” – and that’s about all we know. A Tesla spokesperson didn’t answer The Verge’s request for clarification. But the publication said it’s quite possible Tesla isn’t involved with Redwood Materials at all. In the past Straubel has invested in companies that aren’t connected to Tesla, like a 2016 investment in energy storage company Axiom Energy. He’s also mentioned an interest in mineral recycling. Last year he said Tesla would recycle electric vehicle batteries and reuse those materials. In a recent March 2017 keynote address, Stevenson mentioned “re-thinking the materials supply chain ” as an area of innovation for the car company. Battery production requires materials like nickel, manganese, cobalt, graphite, copper, and lithium, and it makes sense Tesla would want to obtain reused materials for their batteries as much as possible as they ramp up production from 80,000 cars in 2016 to one million in 2020. The Redwood Materials website offers no other details, although you can enter an email address for updates. Via CB Insights , The Verge and Electrek Images via cchana on Flickr and Lwp Kommunikáció on Flickr

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Tesla executives start mysterious new recycling company

"Vibranium" hyperloop pods will be 10 time stronger than steel

May 25, 2016 by  
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When Hyperloop Transportation Technologies announced that it would be using a new type of carbon fiber to make its capsules, what stuck out to many comic and film fans wasn’t the technical details of the innovative new material, but the name: “Vibranium.” The material takes its name from the fictional metal used in the Captain America comics to create the hero’s nearly indestructible shield. However, the name isn’t the only exciting thing about the startup’s announcement. Unlike the…

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"Vibranium" hyperloop pods will be 10 time stronger than steel

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