South Korean fusion reactor sets new endurance record

There’s still a very long way to go before fusion reactors become viable (several decades?), but a 70 second blast of high performance plasma at a South Korean research facility could be a small step in the right direction.

Via Engadget: https://www.engadget.com/2016/12/19/fusion-reactor-endurance-record/

Could A Giant Vacuum Cleaner Tackle Pollution?

FastCoExist highlights a device that sucks fine particulate matter from the air, that if deployed in sufficient numbers would clean the air in cities and other polluted areas.

The Dutch inventors claim the huge ‘vacuum cleaners’ can filter most of the fine particles emitted from vehicles / power plants and through industrial pollution – that have both health and climate impacts.
Source: https://www.fastcoexist.com/3065052/change-generation/this-giant-dutch-vacuum-cleaner-sucks-pollution-out-of-the-sky

Royal Caribbean to use LNG and fuel cells on ships to reduce emissions

Luxury cruises are increasingly popular but can come with huge environmental costs around ports and whilst at sea, due to sulfur and other harmful particulates from the heavy fuel oil burnt by most ships. Royal Caribbean is aiming to reduce such emissions from future cruise liners through a combination of liquefied natural gas and fuel cells from the early 2020’s.

rcl-lng-infographic-projecticon-r-299x414

Image credit: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Source: http://www.rclcorporate.com/rcl-steps-to-the-fore-with-plans-for-fuel-cell-technology/

Via: Engadget

UK to build the world’s largest offshore windfarm

Engadget reports on plans to build the largest offshore wind farm – Hornsea Project 1 and 2 -off the east coast of the UK to generate 1,800 MW and power 1.8m homes.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/17/worlds-largest-offshore-windfarm-uk/

Largest offshore wind farm to power 1m homes in the Netherlands

Inhabitat highlights plans for what will be the worlds largest offshore wind farm – to be built off the coast of The Netherlands. As well as its impressive scale – powering c. 1 million homes – the project should also result in some of the most cost effective wind energy anywhere.  

Source: http://inhabitat.com/worlds-largest-and-cheapest-offshore-wind-farm-will-power-1m-homes/

Research shows potential for turning CO2 to stone

The BBC reports on a promising new method for storing CO2, tested by researchers in Iceland. From the article:

The researchers report an experiment in Iceland where they have pumped CO2 and water underground into volcanic rock.

Reactions with the minerals in the deep basalts convert the carbon dioxide to a stable, immobile chalky solid.

Even more encouraging, the team writes in Science magazine, is the speed at which this process occurs: on the order of months.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36494501

Norway commits to zero deforestation

Inhabitat reports that the Norwegian government has become the first to commit to zero-deforestation through procurement, supply chain or investment.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/norway-becomes-the-first-country-in-world-to-commit-to-a-zero-deforestation-supply-chain/

Solar cell creates power from sun and rain

Engadget reports on the development of new solar cell technology that could allow solar panels to generate power from both sunlight and rain, by incorporating a thin layer of graphene. The approach has some way to go before becoming viable but it could encourage wider instalation of solar panels in climates with more variable weather.

http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/11/solar-cell-generates-power-from-raindrops/

New process uses CO2 as cement replacement

Phys.org reports on a process proposed by a multi-disciplinary team at UCLA to capture and utilise CO2 from power plant smokestacks and then use the gas to create a new building material like cement – CO2NCRETE.

Source: http://phys.org/news/2016-03-carbon-dioxide-sustainable-concrete.html (via Engadget)

Eco-friendly bricks made from sand and bacteria

BioMason

Inhabitat features eco-friendly bricks made by BioMason from a mixture of sand and bacteria, that could have a huge, positive impact on the environment. Not only are they produced more quickly and with less energy and CO2 emissions than regular bricks, they can also soak up pollution from the atmosphere.

Inhabitat states: “Traditional bricks, which are also made from sand and binding agents, have to be “fired” for three to five days, a process which generates approximately 800 million tons of carbon emissions each year. BioMason’s biobricks take only two or three days to ‘grow’ and eliminate the emissions altogether. What’s more, Dosier says her company’s bricks can even absorb pollution, making them an active agent in the war against climate change.”

Source: http://inhabitat.com/biomasons-bricks-grown-with-sand-and-bacteria-to-hit-the-market-next-year/

Concept: solar balloons capture energy above the clouds – via Inhabitat

Inhabitat reports on a concept for harnessing solar energy from above the clouds: NextPV – a French-Japanese partnership – is investigating the potential for arrays of balloons at 6km above the ground that could capture energy and presumably transmit it down to the ground.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/high-flying-solar-balloon-farms-could-harness-the-suns-energy-miles-above-the-clouds/

3-d printed turbine freezes seawater to make it drinkable – via FastCoExist

The new approach could also be significantly (up to 8 times) cheaper than existing desalination plants, most of which rely on heat to remove salt from seawater. 
Source: http://m.fastcompany.com/3053467/ges-new-3-d-printed-turbines-freeze-seawater-to-make-it-drinkable