More than seven years after Pennsylvania officials requested that the disposal of radium-laden fracking wastewater into surface waters be restricted, a new Duke study finds that high levels of radioactivity persist in stream sediments at three disposal sites. Radioactivity at these sites is 650 times higher than at unaffected sites upstream. The contamination comes from conventional, or non-fracked, oil and gas wastewater, which, under current state regulations, can still be treated and discharged into streams.
Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University are developing a new technology for multipurpose application of large amounts of weapons-grade plutonium accumulated in Russia and across the world. Instead of expensive storage of this nuclear material, TPU physicists propose to burn weapons-grade plutonium in reactors with thorium fuel, converting it into power and thermal energy. The units are capable of operating at low capacity (from 60 MW) at least 10-20 years.
Plastics are often derived from petroleum, contributing to reliance on fossil fuels and driving harmful greenhouse gas emissions. To change that, Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) scientists are trying to take the pliable nature of plastic in another direction, developing new and renewable ways of creating plastics from biomass.
The nominal cell operating life of perovskite solar cells is strongly influenced by their inner architecture.This was shown by two scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the Technical University of Munich. They combined experiments with numerical simulations in order to explain this observation.
An associate of Siberian Federal University (SFU) teamed up with his foreign colleagues to increase the efficiency of the heat transfer medium used in solar power plants. The results of the study were published in Renewable Energy journal.
A Berkeley Lab-led team of researchers has reported that a new lithium-sulfur battery component allows a doubling in capacity compared to a conventional lithium-sulfur battery, even after more than 100 charge cycles.
Planting 20 percent more trees in our megacities would double the benefits of urban forests, like pollution reduction, carbon sequestration and energy reduction, according to a study in Ecological Modelling. The authors of the study say city planners, residents and other stakeholders should start looking within cities for natural resources and conserve the nature in our urban areas by planting more trees.
The volume of hydraulic fracturing fluid and the location of well pads control the frequency and occurrence of measurable earthquakes, new Alberta Geological Survey and UAlberta research has found.
Next-generation smart windows and facade devices are the main subjects in the research project Large-Area Fluidic Windows which has been coordinated at the University Jena, Germany. A new type of such smart windows was now presented in Advanced Sustainable Systems. In their paper the Jena materials researchers introduce prototypes of a window that changes its light permeability at the touch of a button, and, at the same time, can be used for solar-thermal energy harvesting.
Microwaves usage across the EU alone emits as much carbon dioxide as nearly seven million cars according to a new study by the University of Manchester. Researchers at the university have carried out the first ever comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of microwaves, considering their whole life cycle, from 'cradle to grave.'