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France Aims to Go Green, Cut Nuclear Power

May 26, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

France's lower house of parliament has approved a bill aimed at boosting renewable energy and reducing the country's reliance on nuclear power, among other environment-friendly measures. The French government wants to be exemplary this year in environmental matters, since Paris is hosting a UN-backed conference in December where 196 countries plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to fight global warming.

How do Natural Gas Trucks Impact the Environment?

May 22, 2015 7:00 am | by ACS | News | Comments

Some major trucking companies are turning to natural gas to fuel their fleets— and to earn "...

How Microbes Gain Power While Making Methane

May 19, 2015 7:00 am | by Stanford Univ. | News | Comments

Scientists have solved a long-standing mystery about methanogens, unique microorganisms that...

Cigarette Butts May Be Energy Solution

May 18, 2015 8:37 am | by ResearchSEA | News | Comments

Scientists in South Korea have developed a new way to store energy that also offers a solution...

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ICYMI: A Storm from Space, a New State of Matter and a Disturbing Biology Class

May 15, 2015 7:00 am | by Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief | News | Comments

Welcome to Laboratory Equipment's new Friday series, In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), where we bring you three trending news stories from the week. Storms, matter and PETA are on the menu this week. 

Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson Launch Kickstarter for Sun-powered Spacecraft

May 14, 2015 3:51 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The Planetary Society is reaching out to the public through a new Kickstarter campaign to launch its two LightSail projects – sending spacecraft out the farthest reaches of the galaxy on the power of sunbeams. Leading the charge are the Society’s CEO, Bill Nye, known as the Science Guy, and celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Power Company to Provide Water to Owners of Tainted Wells

May 13, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Mitch Weiss, Michael Biesecker | News | Comments

Duke Energy says it will begin delivering bottled water to homeowners living near the company's coal ash pits in North Carolina who have been advised by state health officials not to drink or cook with their well water. More than 150 residential wells tested near Duke's dumps have failed to meet state groundwater standards. That represents more than 93 percent of the 163 tested thus far.  

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Nuclear Reactor May Be Offline for Weeks

May 11, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press | News | Comments

A reactor at a New York nuclear power plant could be offline for weeks because of a transformer fire and oil leak. Several thousand gallons of oil spilled into the Hudson River after a Saturday transformer fire on the non-nuclear side of the Indian Point plant.  

UN: Technology has Changed Carbon Politics

May 7, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Rod McGuirk | News | Comments

Technological advances that have reduced prices and improved efficiency of renewable energy have helped transform the politics around climate change since 2009 when an attempt to forge a global deal on reducing greenhouse gas emissions failed, the UN climate chief said today.

Fracking Wells Contaminated Pennsylvania’s Drinking Water

May 5, 2015 10:01 am | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

Fracking chemicals used to capture natural gas deep underground infiltrated the drinking water wells of a handful of Pennsylvania homes, according to a new study. The three homes in Bradford County, Penn., had wells containing a mish-mash of organic compounds that were similar to the mix used by the drilling companies.

Want to Go Green? GM Cuts Cost of Hybrid

May 4, 2015 9:20 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

General Motors is knocking nearly $1,200 off the price of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car. The company says the new Volt will start at $33,995 including shipping when it goes on sale in the fall. The current version costs $35,170.

Elon Musk Introduces Home Solar Battery System

May 1, 2015 1:51 pm | by Seth Augenstein, Digital Reporter | News | Comments

The Powerwall battery is designed to get charged by solar panels during times of peak sunlight– and then to power the household during peak usage times, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced at an unveiling in Hawthorne, California.

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Obama Signs Bipartisan Energy Bill

May 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama has signed long-delayed legislation to boost energy efficiency in buildings. Obama signed the bill into law in the Oval Office. He was surrounded by a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

Leg Brace Produces Energy from Movement

May 1, 2015 7:00 am | by Rice Univ. | Videos | Comments

Engineering students have created an energy-generating knee brace that they hope may someday help power artificial hearts. The device is a modified medical brace that generates power with every bend of the knee.

Artificial Photosynthesis Key to Fuels, Plastics, Medicine

April 29, 2015 3:00 pm | by ACS | News | Comments

The global industrial sector accounts for more than half of the total energy used every year. Now, scientists are inventing a new artificial photosynthetic system that could one day reduce industry’s dependence on fossil fuel-derived energy by powering part of the sector with solar energy and bacteria.

Image of the Week: Converter Accepts Different Power Sources

April 28, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Arkansas | News | Comments

Engineering researchers have invented a novel electrical power converter system that simultaneously accepts power from a variety of energy sources and converts it for use in the electrical grid system. Innovations in this field are critical as the U.S. moves toward integration of renewable energy sources to the national power grid.

Flight is Greener than Driving

April 27, 2015 3:00 pm | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Flying in a plane is not only safer than driving a car, it's also better for the environment. In follow-up research from last year, a study found that it takes twice as much energy to drive than to fly.

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Nanoscale Blocks, DNA 'Glue' Shape 3-D Superlattices

April 24, 2015 7:00 am | by Brookhaven National Laboratory | News | Comments

Taking child's play with building blocks to a whole new level— the nanometer scale— scientists have constructed 3-D "superlattice" multicomponent nanoparticle arrays where the arrangement of particles is driven by the shape of the tiny building blocks. The method uses linker molecules made of complementary strands of DNA to overcome the blocks' tendency to pack together in a way that would separate differently shaped components.

Today in Lab History- Robert Oppenheimer

April 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Robert Oppenheimer, Father of the Atomic Bomb, was born April 22, 1904 as Julius Robert Oppenheimer. He played a large role in the Manhattan Project and witnessed the first atomic bomb detonation— the Trinity Test.

Greener Buses May Aid Student Health

April 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Michigan | News | Comments

Use of clean fuels and updated pollution control measures in the school buses 25 million children ride every day could result in 14 million fewer absences from school a year. In research, believed to be the first to measure the individual impact on children of the federal mandate to reduce diesel emissions, scientists found improved health and less absenteeism, especially among asthmatic children.

Engineered Wood May Aid Pulp, Paper, Biofuel Industries

April 22, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated the potential for softwoods to process more easily into pulp and paper if engineered to incorporate a key feature of hardwoods. The find could improve the economics of the pulp, paper and biofuels industries and reduce those industries' environmental impact.

Texan Quakes Linked to Natural Gas Drilling

April 21, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Seth Borenstein | News | Comments

In 84 days from November 2013 to January 2014, the area around Azle, Texas, shook with 27 magnitude 2 or greater earthquakes, while scientists monitored the shaking. With real-time monitors, scientists have linked the swarm of small earthquakes to nearby natural gas wells and wastewater injection.

Five Years After Disaster, Drillers Push to Go Deeper

April 20, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Cain Burdeau | News | Comments

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010. Five years after the nation's worst offshore oil spill, the industry is working on drilling even further into the risky depths beneath the Gulf of Mexico to tap massive deposits once thought unreachable.

Q&A: Ioannis Ieropoulos and Power Harnessed from Waste

April 16, 2015 7:00 am | by Lily Barback, Associate Editor | News | Comments

Laboratory Equipment’s scientist of the week is Ioannis Ieropoulos from the Univ. of the West of England, Bristol. He and a team created a toilet that generates electricity from urine using microbial fuel cells. 

Big Data Pinpoints Perfect Locations for Hydro-power

April 14, 2015 7:00 am | by Univ. of Leicester | News | Comments

A technology has the potential to revolutionize the sourcing of renewable energy from rivers. A software app automatically selects appropriate locations in rivers to site a large range of micro renewable hydro-power turbines and determines the environmental sensitivity of the location.

Calculator Could Choose Switzerland's Energy Future

April 13, 2015 8:40 am | by EPFL | News | Comments

EPFL’s Energy Center has developed an information platform on energy transition. In particular, it proposes a national energy calculator to develop scenarios for Switzerland’s energy future.  

Understanding Debris is Key to Improved Batteries

April 13, 2015 7:00 am | by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory | Videos | Comments

An eruption of lithium at the tip of a battery's electrode, cracks in the electrode's body, and a coat forming on the electrode's surface reveal how recharging a battery many times leads to its demise. Using a powerful microscope to watch multiple cycles of charging and discharging under real battery conditions, researchers have gained insight into the chemistry that clogs rechargeable lithium batteries.

Cleanup Effort at Deepwater Horizon Site Was More Toxic than Oil

April 10, 2015 7:00 am | by Temple Univ. | News | Comments

The dispersant used to remediate the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is more toxic to cold-water corals than the spilled oil, according to a study. The study comes just before the spill’s fifth anniversary, on April 20.

Power Utility is Too Big to Be Safe

April 9, 2015 3:00 pm | by Associated Press, Ellen Knickmeyer | News | Comments

Repeated natural-gas accidents— including a 2010 pipeline explosion that killed eight people— suggest that California's largest power utility could be too big to operate safely, the state's top utility regulator says.

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