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Scientists develop inexpensive device that can harvest energy from a light breeze and store it as electricity

When exposed to winds with a velocity as low as two metres per second (m/s), the device can produce a voltage of three volts and generate electricity power of up to 290 microwatts, which is sufficient to power a commercial sensor device and for it to also send the data to a mobile phone or …

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Artificial enzyme splits water

Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels. It can be produced from water using electricity. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, it is called green hydrogen. But it would be even more sustainable if hydrogen could be produced directly with the energy of sunlight. In nature, light-driven water splitting takes place during …

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La Niña winters could keep on coming

New research led by the University of Washington offers a possible explanation. The study, recently published in Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that climate change is, in the short term, favoring La Niñas. “The Pacific Ocean naturally cycles between El Niño and La Niña conditions, but our work suggests that climate change could currently be weighing …

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Scientists crack upcycling plastics to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

“The world needs more and better options for extracting the energy and molecular value from its waste plastics,” said co-lead author Susannah Scott, Distinguished Professor and Mellichamp Chair of Sustainable Catalytic Processing at UC Santa Barbara. Conventional plastic recycling methods result in low-value plastic molecules and, thus, offer little incentive to recycle the mountains of …

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Key breakthrough links changes in length-of-day with climate prediction

A team of scientists, led by Professor Adam Scaife from the University of Exeter, has used state-of-the-art mathematical modelling to show how fluctuations in the length of the day can be predicted more than a year in advance — significantly longer than currently possible. The team suggest this long-range forecasting also originates from a new …

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Success in synthesizing biodegradable plastic materials using sunlight and CO2

The research team led by Professor Yutaka Amao from the Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at Osaka Metropolitan University has successfully synthesized 3-hydroxybutyrate, a raw material for poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) — a strong water-insoluble polyester used for packaging materials — from acetone and CO2. With a visible light-driven catalytic system utilizing sunlight and two biocatalysts, the …

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Process converts polyethylene bags, plastics to polymer building blocks

But a new process developed at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) could change all that. The process uses catalysts to break the long polyethylene (PE) polymers into uniform chunks — the three-carbon molecule propylene — that are the feedstocks for making other types of high-value plastic, such as …

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