Celebrating Earth Day this month seems to bring out more green research and development news which all came out just last week.
According to the website Chemie.de, chemists from Virginia Tech have been developing a low-cost hydrogen producing system using plant sugars, water and a cocktail of enzymes. Improving the technology could eventually lead to production of sugar-powered vehicles, they said.
In California, the state’s public utilities commission agreed to fund the University of California’s new $600m green think tank, the California Institute for Climate Solutions (CICS), by adding surcharges to their customers monthly gas and electricity bills. Sources said the surcharge will probably cost just around 25c./month…probably.
At the American Chemical Society’s 235th national meeting, scientists reported the growing promises of charcoal derived from heated biomass for use as fertilizer. Dubbed “black gold agriculture,” the revolutionary farming technique of using biochar can reportedly reduce greenhouse gases by trapping them in charcoal-laced soil as well as cheaply improve poor soil quality. Also at that meeting, another group of scientists from Colorado State University said they have discovered a way of making bamboo fabric that has antibacterial properties and is resistant to uv radiation from the sun.
Speaking of bacteria, chemical company Evonik is participating in a research from Germany’s University of Freiburg where certain bacteria can absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and bind it via their metabolism. The new metabolic pathway not only has a potential in climate control but also in the field of chemical synthesis either to substitute chemical production processes with biotech processes or to develop new products using completely new methods, said Evonik.