New technology capable of converting waste into bio-energy coming to University of Alberta

A shipping container-sized pilot plant that can process a variety of wastes into valuable biofuels will be shipped from Germany to Edmonton thanks to a new future energy research collaboration between the University of Alberta and Germany’s Fraunhofer Society.The plant, known as Biobattery, uses thermo-catalytic reforming (TCR) technology developed by Fraunhofer bioengineering researcher Andreas Hornung to process a variety of wastes into three valuable products––bio-oil, char and gases––at a rate of 30 kilograms per hour.

Deforestation linked to palm oil production is making Indonesia warmer

In the past decades, large areas of forest in Sumatra, Indonesia have been replaced by cash crops like oil palm and rubber plantations. New research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences, shows that these changes in land use increase temperatures in the region. The added warming could affect plants and animals and make parts of the country more vulnerable to wildfires.

Scavenging to survive below the seafloor

Microorganisms living in the sediments buried below the seafloor obtain their nutrients by using secreted enzymes to degrade adsorbed detritus. A new study shows that in order to survive for long time scales, microorganisms eat one another after they die.

'Scars' Left by Icebergs Record West Antarctic Ice Retreat

Thousands of marks on the Antarctic seafloor, caused by icebergs which broke free from glaciers more than ten thousand years ago, show how part of the Antarctic Ice Sheet retreated rapidly at the end of the last ice age as it balanced precariously on sloping ground and became unstable. Today, as the global climate continues to warm, rapid and sustained retreat may be close to happening again, and could trigger runaway ice retreat into the interior of the continent, which in turn would cause sea levels to rise even faster than currently projected.

Deforestation Linked to Palm Oil Production is Making Indonesia Warmer

In the past decades, large areas of forest in Sumatra, Indonesia have been replaced by cash crops like oil palm and rubber plantations. New research, published in the European Geosciences Union journal Biogeosciences, shows that these changes in land use increase temperatures in the region. The added warming could affect plants and animals and make parts of the country more vulnerable to wildfires.

NASA Finds Heavy Rain, Wind Shear and Towering Clouds in Tropical Storm Saola

NASA satellites have provided various views of Tropical Storm Saola as it tracks toward Japan in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. The GPM and Suomi NPP satellites found heavy rainfall, towering thunderstorms and a tropical cyclone still being affected by vertical wind shear.

Sussex Physicists Have Breakthrough on Brittle Smartphone Screens

Scientists at the University of Sussex may have found a solution to the long-standing problem of brittle smartphone screens.

Discovery Lights Path for Alzheimer's Research

A probe invented at Rice University that lights up when it binds to a misfolded amyloid beta peptide — the kind suspected of causing Alzheimer’s disease — has identified a specific binding site on the protein that could facilitate better drugs to treat the disease.

New Fractal-Like Concentrating Solar Power Receivers Are Better at Absorbing Sunlight

Sandia National Laboratories engineers have developed new fractal-like, concentrating solar power receivers for small- to medium-scale use that are up to 20 percent more effective at absorbing sunlight than current technology.

Among 'Green' Energy, Hydropower is the Most Dangerous

Many governments are promoting a move away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources. However, in a study published today, scientists highlight some of the ecological dangers this wave of ‘green’ energy poses.