Michelin is letting the air out of its tires: Why that matters for sustainable mobility

June 10, 2019 by  
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The 130-year-old French tire company will test the technology first on electric passenger vehicles in collaboration with General Motors.

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Michelin is letting the air out of its tires: Why that matters for sustainable mobility

A conversation with Google’s circularity maven, CSO Kate Brandt

June 10, 2019 by  
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A Q&A with Google’s resident circular economy expert and Circularity 19 advisor on how tech matters to new systems.

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A conversation with Google’s circularity maven, CSO Kate Brandt

Valser is using carbon capture technology to carbonate its beverages

December 28, 2018 by  
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Valser, a Coca-Cola-owned brand of sparkling water based in Switzerland, is embracing new climate capture technology. Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland (the bottling plant that makes Valser) has partnered with Climeworks, a pioneering company that captures carbon dioxide, to use the new technology to carbonate its water . Climeworks has already partnered with a greenhouse that uses CO2 to help plants grow faster, and since the beverage industry is one of the only existing markets that uses carbon dioxide , it seemed like the natural next step. But, the technology won’t stop there. Christoph Gebald, co-founder and director of Climeworks, says that other applications are coming, including making carbon-neutral fuel or concrete to make plastic , shoes and fish feed. But, it’s the greenhouse and beverage industries that use carbon dioxide on a large scale, and this is how Climeworks hopes to scale up its technology. At Climeworks plants, the company uses its one-of-a-kind  technology to capture CO2 inside shipping containers by pulling air inside of them and then processing it through filters — working almost like an incredibly powerful tree. When a filter gets full, the team heats the collector and release the gas in a pure form so it can be injected into deep underground storage. Related: Google Street View cars will map air pollution in cities worldwide The amount of carbon dioxide in the air is higher than it has been for millennia (about 400,000 years to be exact), and this new process from Climeworks will help address this problem. But, putting the CO2 into beverages instead of underground still allows the fizz to come out when you open the bottle. To help impact climate change , the amount of carbon dioxide we need to remove from the air could be around 10 billion tons per year — according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — and the global food and beverage industry produces about 6 million tons annually. So there is still a long way to go. “The beverage industry is really the bridge from today — no existing market — to enabling us to further work down our cost curve and industrialize the technology,” says Gebald. “It’s really the missing bridge between startups and, one day, climate-relevant scale to remove carbon from the air.” Sucking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is currently a more expensive option than resorting to other sources, but it does make sense for some locations. Once the technology becomes cheaper, it will become a more attractive option for other businesses. Via Fast Company Images via ExplorerBob

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Valser is using carbon capture technology to carbonate its beverages

A mix of energy sources advance Hawaii’s renewables goal

August 21, 2017 by  
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Once Hawaii publicized its goal to be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2045, the state’s options to get there expanded greatly. “We saw a slew of different solutions that can help Hawaii get to its renewables goal,” said Luis Salaveria, director of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). That includes the renewables mix of hydro, wind and solar, as well as the technology to get power on the grid. 

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A mix of energy sources advance Hawaii’s renewables goal

Japan Airlines wants to transform used clothes into jet fuel

December 11, 2016 by  
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Old clothes could be given new life as jet fuel thanks to a new collaboration between Japan Airlines , recycling firm Japan Environmental Planning (Jeplan), and the Green Earth Institute . Jeplan developed a method to turn discarded garments, collected from retailers like Aeon and Muji , into biofuel using a kind of fermentation technology and is in the process of building an experimental fuel plant at one of its factory locations. Although cotton yields only a small amount of fuel, the resourcefulness of the technology and benefits of diverting unwanted clothes from landfills is promising.

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Japan Airlines wants to transform used clothes into jet fuel

Deborah Acosta on using data to generate economic value

September 30, 2016 by  
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The inspiring data-driven story of how a sleepy residential community transformed itself into an innovation ecosystem.

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Deborah Acosta on using data to generate economic value

Osmosis Power Is Off the Table Now

January 5, 2016 by  
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Not every energy technology that is explored is going to lead to a successful new power industry. Osmosis power was one of the more unusual technologies we’ve come across. But now, after a few years of investigation, it appears that this technology is not a viable option for larger scale power generation. Statkraft, the Norwegian company which had opened a pioneering research facility to explore the potential of osmotic power generation, has closed its operations .  Moreover, a recent research publication looking at the technology finds that biofouling , the accumulation of algae, bacteria, and other organic material on surfaces where they adversely affect the performance of the system, makes the technology unfit for power generation at the present time. It is not inconceivable that further technological developments might be developed that could make osmotic power generation a viable system. However, with so many other ways of producing power cleanly and inexpensively, and with the other challenges presented in using osmosis, it is likely that this option will remain shelved.

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Osmosis Power Is Off the Table Now

ArcaSpace’s hoverboard uses powerful fans to keep you afloat for 6 minutes

December 29, 2015 by  
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The year 2015 marked advancements in the technology of one of the biggest fantasies of the future: the hoverboard. Between Back to the Future Day and even Lexus dreaming up its own device, this year has been all about hovering. And now, the creators of the ArcaBoard have joined the movement. Built by ArcaSpace , this board’s Long Endurance model can hover for six minutes , powered by 36 powerful fans working in tandem to keep the rider lifted. This next step may shift us closer to McFly levels of our hoverboard dreams. Read the rest of ArcaSpace’s hoverboard uses powerful fans to keep you afloat for 6 minutes

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Sponge Suit bikini can help you clean the ocean while you swim

October 10, 2015 by  
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In the future, you could help clean up the oceans just by playing in your bikini. Sponge Suit is a smart bathing suit that absorbs pollution while you play in the surf. Though one may not make a huge difference, if many people got in on the technology, it could have a huge impact. READ MORE >

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Sponge Suit bikini can help you clean the ocean while you swim

New Bubble Greenhouses could produce fresh water and food in drought-stricken regions

July 28, 2015 by  
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As water shortages threaten to destabilize many of the world’s driest regions, including California , researchers have developed an innovative new type of greenhouse that can provide fresh water and grow food. Engineers from Murdoch University believe that a 1,615 square foot Bubble Greenhouse “could produce around eight cubic metres of freshwater and up to 30 kilograms of crops each day.” The sealed design of the greenhouse will also protect crops from insects and disease, and the researchers say the technology should be easy to implement. Read the rest of New Bubble Greenhouses could produce fresh water and food in drought-stricken regions

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