New green materials could power smart devices using ambient light

We are increasingly using more smart devices like smartphones, smart speakers, and wearable health and wellness sensors in our homes, offices, and public buildings. However, the batteries they use can deplete quickly and contain toxic and rare environmentally damaging chemicals, so researchers are looking for better ways to power the devices.

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Alternative fuels originating either from renewable or circular-economy feedstock decrease particle number emission

Alternative fuels originating either from renewable or circular-economy feedstock will not bring penalties in terms of number-based particle emissions in high- or medium-speed non-road engines. This is a conclusion of Teemu Ovaska’s doctoral dissertation in the field of Energy Technology.

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Environmentally friendly method could lower costs to recycle lithium-ion batteries

A new process for restoring spent cathodes to mint condition could make it more economical to recycle lithium-ion batteries. The process, developed by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego, is more environmentally friendly than today’s methods; it uses greener ingredients, consumes 80 to 90% less energy, and emits about 75% less greenhouse gases.

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New strategy to ‘buffer’ climate change: Developing cheaper, eco-friendly solar cells

Solar power is an eco-friendly alternative to conventional, non-renewable sources of energy. However, current solar panels require the use of toxic materials as buffers, which is not sustainable. To this end, a team of scientists in Korea developed a new eco-friendly alternative, called the ZTO buffer, which can overcome this limitation. This new development to make solar panels even more sustainable is indeed a cherry on top.

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Camel-fur-inspired power-free system harnesses insulation and evaporation to keep items cool

Camels have evolved a seemingly counterintuitive approach to keeping cool while conserving water in a scorching desert environment: They have a thick coat of insulating fur. Applying essentially the same approach, researchers at MIT have now developed a system that could help keep things like pharmaceuticals or fresh produce cool in hot environments, without the need for a power supply.

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Estimating the actual costs of converting to renewable energy sources

A pair of researchers at Imperial College London has taken on the difficult task of attempting to estimate the actual cost of utilities converting to renewable energy sources. In their paper published in the journal Nature Energy, Philip Heptonstall and Robert Gross looked at the costs associated with installation, hardware, maintenance, distribution and handling of off-times for renewable energy sources and compared them to traditional sources such as coal and oil.

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