SHENDY is an open-source and low-cost arsenic detector being developed by an international group of students. The aim is to create a smartphone connected device that can test whether groundwater is safe to drink based on its arsenic content, which is often at poisonous levels in post-conflict zones and after natural disasters.
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.
Image credit: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Inhabitat features the WaterSeer – an in-development device that draws water from cooled air through condensation. From the article:
The Water Seer device is planted six or more feet into the ground, and soil is then packed around its metal neck. The top of the Water Seer holds a vertical wind turbine, which spins internal fan blades to draw air into the subterranean chamber. Because the underground chamber portion of the Water Seer is cooled by the surrounding earth, water condenses in the reservoir to creates sort of an artificial well, from which people can draw clean, safe drinking water around the clock.
Wired features a concept drone lifeguard – called the Otari – that could help people at risk of drowning in swimming pools.
FastCoExist highlights a concept design for a desalination plant that proposes a novel approach to extracting salt from seawater. As explained in the article, ‘The Pipe’ would use a magnetic field to remove the salt, rather than using filters which are commonly used in existing desalination plants.
FastCoExist reports on a small and low cost device that can speed up the process of killing bacteria in water to make it safe for drinking.
Inhabitat reports on the use of drones in Nevada seed cloud formation to encourage more rainfall.
PSFK highlights a Kickstarter project for sportswear made from sustainable and recycled materials. From the article:
The material “is a blend of fibers from the eucalyptus plant, used water bottles and Tencel, a sustainable fiber from wood. The water bottles are rerouted from landfills into factories which clean them and remold them into polyester yarns. About 10 water bottles goes into the production of one Pistol Lake long-sleeved shirt.”
FastCoExist features a water-saving shower that filters and re-uses waste water:
“Instead of letting water flow down the drain, the Showerloop catches the water, sends it through several filters to purify it, and then pumps it back to the showerhead. The water circulates in a loop until someone’s ready to get out.”
Inhabitat features the development of a graphene water filter that is much faster than existing solutions, and can filter out anything larger than one nanometer, including bacteria and viruses.
FastCoExist highlights the work of Japanese researchers that shows promise in helping to tackle the massive problem of plastic waste. They have identified a strain of bacetria (Ideonella sakaiensis) that can break down PET plastics.
FastCoExist reports on research at Harvard, where a nano-material is showing great promise in drawing water from the air. Inspired by a mix of natural features from desert beetles and cactus spines, the material could have industrial applications – e.g. speeding up condensation at thermal power plants – as well as harvesting water from the air in arid or rain-starved places.