Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy

September 6, 2018 by  
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Scientists at the University of Buffalo have discovered an adept way of storing renewable energy thanks to waste water produced from the textile industry. Polluted water containing blue dye, chemically referred to as methylene blue, has been found to have electrical properties and may soon be repurposed to revolutionize the battery industry in the near future. The revelation could help the textile industry, which is not known for its sustainable practices, reach a milestone in dealing with its water pollution and consumption issues. Similarly, for countries such as Sri Lanka where the textile industry makes up the majority of income, the discovery is paramount in facing the world’s changing environmental standards. Only 5 percent of methylene blue is absorbed by fabric in the dyeing process, meaning that thousands of liters of dye are released by factories daily to produce the azure hues people love to wear. The rest of the dye, now infused into water sources, is simply thrown away. Discovering the electrical properties of methylene blue — which is also used as medicine in some blood diseases, urinary tract infections and cyanide poisoning cases — is a game changer for both the textile industry and countries where textiles are increasingly damaging the environment. Related: Biotech company Nanollose could offer plant-free alternatives for the textile industry “The textile industry is what most of my country’s income is based on, but it’s associated with a lot of waste water, which is causing problems,” collaborating chemist and Sri Lankan national Anjula Kosswattaarachchi explained. “The good thing is we can repurpose the wastewater and create a green energy storage technology.” The research, published last month in the scientific journal ChemElectroChem reveals how methylene blue molecules change form when voltage is applied to the compound. Two protons and two electrons are taken on by the deep blue dye to form leuco-methylene blue, a colorless byproduct. Related: The devastating reason Mumbai dogs are turning blue This composition is then used by chemists in alternating reduction and oxidation processes, making it a successful alternative to current battery compositions. Using a solar cell to generate power, large quantities of the dye can be transformed into leuco-methylene blue. Alternately, the reverse process is employed at night when the electricity is needed back from the dye. Best of all, by varying the size of the cell in which the dye is subject to the voltage, the desired power output may be obtained independent of the size of the chemical storage tanks. This is a quality that other batteries, such as lithium ion models, do not have. The configuration is being referred to as the redox flow battery, which is already available with vanadium solutions, however the near-perfect reversibility exhibited by the methylene blue composition will certainly create some competition. Kosswattaarachchi and PhD supervisor Tim Cook are now working on repeating tests with actual samples of waste water, which contain other chemicals as well as the methylene blue, and creating scalable models in an effort to refashion both textiles and renewable energy into more sustainable models. + ChemElectroChem Via Cosmos Image via Daniel Romero

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Blue dye could be the next key to harnessing renewable energy

Artist upcycles discarded cassette tapes into eco-friendly MusicCloth

May 16, 2018 by  
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When Singaporean artist and founder of Rehyphen®  Jessica Chuan Yi Xin stumbled upon a stash of forgotten cassette tapes in her room, she brainstormed a way to reuse the material rather than contribute to the growing problem of e-waste. A bit of ingenuity and experimentation led her to develop MusicCloth®, a handwoven textile made from upcycled magnetic tapes. According to the United Nations , nearly 45 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated in 2016 — an increase of 8 percent from just two years prior. As an advocate for the environment, Chuan created MusicCloth® to raise awareness for upcycling and the global problem of e-waste. Chuan developed the innovative textile after nine months of research and development using cassette tapes donated by friends and family. In 2016, she launched a successful  Kickstarter  campaign for MusicCloth® tote bags. The campaign not only raised the funds needed to take the project to the next level, but it also allowed her to collect cassette tapes from donors around the world. Chuan weaves MusicCloth® by hand in a simple yet labor-intensive process. In addition to tote bags, the malleable material has been used to create art , wallets, notebooks and dresses. Chuan and her team at Rehyphen® also expanded to offer workshops through Airbnb’s “Experiences” platform to teach visitors in Singapore how to weave MusicCloth® creations. The globally recognized textile has even found a place in New York City’s Material ConneXion library and has also been recognized by the University of Pennsylvania and Red Dot 21. The material was recently entered in the Golden Pin Design Award’s new Integration Design category. Related: This jewelry is made with upcycled gold from Dell computers “We hope to encourage people to see waste with fresh perspective, and get curious about how things are made,” Chuan said. “We throw things away for they are broken, no longer useful or having lost their charm. We, however, elevate everyday objects to a work of art, and to show that up-cycling art is not an environment movement but instead is a reminder that observing the other side of existence is the essence of art.” + Rehyphen® Images via Rehyphen®

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Artist upcycles discarded cassette tapes into eco-friendly MusicCloth

Can China’s textile industry clean up its supply chain?

July 23, 2015 by  
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Groups including the China National Textile and Apparel Council are moving to increase social responsibility in industry plagued by labor and environmental issues.

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Can China’s textile industry clean up its supply chain?

Re Rag Rug Makes Socially and Ecologically Responsible Rugs from Textile Waste

February 21, 2014 by  
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Re Rag Rug is an experimental design project that explores the social and ecological sustainability of the rug. Supported by the Swedish Art Grants Committee Konstnärsnämnden , the team behind the initiative designed 12 unique rugs using 12 different textile techniques over a 12 month period. The group reused waste and excess from the textile industry and old clothes, fabric that would otherwise be discarded, as the main material for their creative inventions. The 12 rugs were exhibited at Färgfabriken, Stockholm, and received recognition at the Elle Decoration Sweden Design Awards 2014 . + Re Rag Rug 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: 12 rug designs , Elle awards , green design , re rag rug , reader submitted content , Recycled Materials , sustainable design , Sweden , Swedish design , textile waste        

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Re Rag Rug Makes Socially and Ecologically Responsible Rugs from Textile Waste

H&M’s New Line Of Eco-Friendly Denim Closes The Loop On Textile Recycling

January 19, 2014 by  
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We recycle our bottles, cans, and newspapers, but what about clothes that are past their prime? Last year, Swedish apparel chain H&M made headlines by launching the world’s first global clothes recycling program . Now, the fruits of that labor are making their way to market. On the one year anniversary of its recycling program announcement, H&M will reveal a new line of denim products made with recycled program derived from repurposed clothing. Proceeds from sales of the recycled denim garments will benefit the H&M Conscious Foundation, where the money will be used to fund projects designed to close the loop on textiles. Learn more by following the link below. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chemicals in clothing , clothing recycling , ecouterre , h&m , H&M eco-friendly denim , H&M recycled denim , recycled denim , recycled jeans , textile recycling , textile waste        

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H&M’s New Line Of Eco-Friendly Denim Closes The Loop On Textile Recycling

Incredible Scenes and Landscapes Made Entirely from Recycled Blue Jeans

January 14, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Incredible Scenes and Landscapes Made Entirely from Recycled Blue Jeans Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: blue , blue jeans , denim , denimu , England , fairmount , green interiors , Guinness , huddersfield , ian berry , Indiana , james dean , landscapes , London , medium , NISSAN , Sweden , textile

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Incredible Scenes and Landscapes Made Entirely from Recycled Blue Jeans

Color It Green: Nike to Adopt Waterless Textile Dyeing

February 7, 2012 by  
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A innovative new technology uses recycled CO2 to color fabric, saving miliions of gallons of water and emissions.

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Color It Green: Nike to Adopt Waterless Textile Dyeing

5 Lessons from AirDye on Building a Strong Green Brand

December 7, 2011 by  
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Efforts by the firm AirDye to sharply reduce the water used by the textile industry in coloring fabrics offer marketing lessons to any company than wants to build a green brand.  

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5 Lessons from AirDye on Building a Strong Green Brand

Leadership Void at COP17 Creates Private Sector Opportunity

December 7, 2011 by  
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Public and private sectors working to find solutions to climate change gathered at the World Climate Summit.

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Leadership Void at COP17 Creates Private Sector Opportunity

Cycling Across Scandinavia: Gothenburg to Boras, Sweden Doesn’t Strip

August 8, 2011 by  
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“To see the Google Map version of this route, follow this link .” Guest poster Robert Ouellette has written for the National Post, Corporate Knights and his own Reading Toronto. He is cycling across Sweden and reports: Sarah and I have spent the better part of an hour trying to find the major road leading out of Gothenburg towards our first stop, Boras, an industrial town built on the textile trade. Something is missing out here at the fringe of Sweden’s second largest city. It makes na… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Cycling Across Scandinavia: Gothenburg to Boras, Sweden Doesn’t Strip

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