A new AI-made enzyme can devour plastics in hours instead of centuries

By  Derya Ozdemir

Here is a truth that you literally cannot run away from: plastic is, simply, everywhere.

From toothbrushes to disposable coffee lids, plastic has made its way into every part of our lives. It’s incredibly useful because it’s durable; however, the flip side is that it’s also really hard to get rid of, which is why it’ll continue to be a part of our lives for hundreds of years to come.

Continue reading… “A new AI-made enzyme can devour plastics in hours instead of centuries”

Anglo American Unveils World’s Largest Hydrogen Truck Prototype

By Charné Hundermark

Global mining company Anglo American has launched a prototype of the world’s largest hydrogen-fueled mining truck at the Mogalakwena Platinum Group Metals (PGMs) mine in South Africa. Representing part of the company’s nuGen Zero Emission Haulage Solution – an end-to-end integrated green hydrogen production, fueling and haulage system for mine sites developed by the company’s FutureSmart Mining program – the truck marks a significant step towards improving sustainable mining operations both in South Africa and globally.

In the presence of H.E. Gwede Mantashe, Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy of South Africa, Anglo American unveiled a 2 MW hydrogen-battery hybrid truck that is designed to operate in everyday mining conditions. Anglo American plans to replace the company’s 40 diesel-powered fleet with green hydrogen systems, reducing emissions and ensuring that eight of the company’s mines reach carbon neutrality by 2030. With a capacity to carry up to 315 tons of ore each, solar power will be utilized by a hydrogen electrolyzer that will split water and provide hydrogen fuel.

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‘Game-changing’ tech can extract 99% of carbon dioxide directly from the air

The fuel cell could be a ‘game changer’, researchers believe.

By Rob Waugh

A new system powered by hydrogen can capture 99% of carbon dioxide (CO2) from air, according to scientists.

Researchers at University of Delaware said the breakthrough, in a device the size of a soft drink can, could be a “significant advance” for CO2 capture.

It could also lead to more efficient fuel cells for use in cars.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is one of the new technologies that scientists hope will play an important role in tackling the climate crisis.

It involves the capture of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels in power generation, which is then stored underground.

The Delaware research team, led by Professor Yushan Yan, reported its method in Nature Energy.

Fuel cells work by converting fuel chemical energy directly into electricity and are used in hybrid or zero-emission vehicles.

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Although not a direct replacement for concrete, hempcrete has many benefits as a building material.

By Nate Berg

It has become almost a cliché to discuss the benefits of hemp, the supposed wonder plant with almost endless uses— from woven fibers to edible seeds to bioplastics. “Of course, hemp is that magic crop that does everything,” says Nicholas Carter, an environmental researcher who, along with Tushar Mehta, a Toronto-based doctor, runs the website Plant Based Data. His work involves reading through scientific papers and studies and summarizing the most important work supporting plants as a source of food and other important uses. Given the hype, Carter wondered just how much power hemp really had. “I wanted to see the research out there on it, to see what’s actually real, what’s actually backed by evidence,” he says.

Magic? Not exactly. But Carter came away from his attempted debunking a hemp believer. And one of the most promising of its many uses, he found, is its application as a building material known as hempcrete.

Like its namesake concrete, hempcrete is a material mixed with a binder that hardens it into a solid in the form of blocks and panels. Made from the dried woody core of hemp stalks and a lime-based binder, hempcrete can be cast just like concrete. But unlike concrete and its binding cement, which accounts for about 8% of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions annually, hempcrete actually sequesters CO2. According to a recent study, hempcrete can sequester 307 kilograms of CO2 per cubic meter (19 pounds per cubic foot), roughly the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of three refrigerators.


Israeli Start-Up Creates Robotic Beehives To Support Dwindling Bee Colonies

Bharat Sharma

By Bharat Sharma

An Israeli startup has done the unthinkable by creating an artificial beehive to facilitate stable bee colonies under ideal conditions.

The next-gen hive which constitutes multiple layers of honeycombs can house up to 2 million bees… and that’s not it!

The robotic set-up also scans beehives for diseases, pesticides, and other hazards that may pose a threat to the gentle creatures.

On multiple occasions, scientists have highlighted how dwindling populations of bees threaten existing ecosystems on planet Earth.

In the face of new dangers posed by climate change clubbed with receding natural habitats for organisms, beekeepers are trying out new ways to preserve existing populations of bees. 

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This Solar-Powered Robot Is Basically a Beach Cleaning Roomba

4ocean partners with Poralu Marine for a more effective way to clear up trash.

The plastic pollution crisis has no doubt devastated ocean ecosystems worldwide. With a continual rise in trash and litter on shorelines, 4ocean has partnered with Poralu Marine to create an effective and sustainable solution for beach cleanups.

The BeBot is essentially a solar-powered, beach cleaning robot specifically designed to recover any coastal plastic debris The electric-powered bot can clean up to 3,000 sqm of beach per hour, making it 20 to 30 times more efficient than cleaning the trash on the beach by hand. Easy to manoeuver and operate, the BeBot can be operated from 950 feet away.

Continue reading… “This Solar-Powered Robot Is Basically a Beach Cleaning Roomba”

Hyundai’s experimental hydrogen-powered trucks are America-bound

The fleet just reached a big milestone

Hyundai’s fleet of hydrogen-powered truck prototypes reached a significant milestone in Europe in June 2021. With a successful testing phase comes a tremendous amount of data, and the information gathered during 11 months of real-world evaluation across the pond will ultimately help the firm design a truck sized for American roads.

Real-world users have collectively put 1 million kilometers (about 621,400 miles) on the 46 trucks that Hyundai built for testing purposes, meaning each rig has covered an average of around 13,500 miles. They’re in the hands of 25 different companies operating in Switzerland, including some in the logistics, distribution, and supermarket sectors. So far, users have been pleased: They praised the Xcient truck’s long driving range and short refueling times, attributes that a comparable electric model wouldn’t be able to offer. Specific figures weren’t released.

Hyundai will continue manufacturing the Xcient for early adopters in Switzerland. It plans to build 140 units of the truck for the Swiss market in 2021, and it hopes that number will grow to 1,600 by 2025. Starting the project in Switzerland was a decision that carried relatively few risks. It’s a country that’s roughly a tenth the size of California, and its road network is relatively well developed. Next, the South Korean company will branch out into other European countries. It hasn’t decided where yet, but it singled out Germany and Holland as likely candidates.

The trucks that Hyundai is letting loose on European roads are all rigid-body models, meaning the box is attached to the frame. Looking ahead, engineers hope to use the data gathered on the Old Continent to develop a semi truck (also called a tractor unit) that will be closer to the Freightliner and Peterbilt models that roam America’s highways. It’s no coincidence that these prototypes will be launched and tested in the United States.

Via Autoblog.com


Hyundai raises hydrogen game with new line of fuel-cell trucks

A new class of the Xcient Hyundai truck, equipped with more efficient fuel cells with longer life-span, is due to arrive in Europe in the fourth quarter, said Mark Freymueller, CEO of Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility (HHM).

And it’s not the only one taking steps in that direction.

FRANKFURT — South Korea’s Hyundai Motor plans to ship a new series of fuel-cell trucks to Europe later this year, turning up the heat on rivals in a battle to test the viability of hydrogen-powered heavy goods transport.

Hydrogen lags electric batteries in the green transport stakes because it is more expensive, but proponents say for long-haul transport hydrogen-powered trucks have the advantage because they have a greater range.

HHM, a joint venture between Hyundai and Swiss hydrogen company H2 Energy, has been renting out “green” hydrogen trucks to commercial clients in Switzerland since last October in the world’s most advanced pilot in the field.

HHM plans to go into other European countries next year. “Germany and the Netherlands are the most likely,” Freymueller told Reuters, adding there was also interest for pilots from Austria, Norway, France, Italy, Spain and Denmark.

Hyundai’s latest push will put more pressure on local players, which are developing their own hydrogen plans.

These include Germany’s Daimler with Sweden’s Volvo and Italy’s Iveco, a unit of Italian-American vehicle maker CNH Industrial, which is cooperating with low-emission truckmaker Nikola .

Hydrogen has come into the spotlight in Europe, where EU environment ministers want truck CO2 emissions cut by a third by 2030 from 2019 levels, threatening potential diesel bans and higher taxes but promising up to 75% of lower road tolls for greener vehicles.

Continue reading… “Hyundai raises hydrogen game with new line of fuel-cell trucks”

French Rail Company Orders 12 Hydrogen Trains

Alstom France head Jean-Baptiste Eymeoud said the trains are designed to run up to 600 kilometres (375 miles) on each hydrogen charge, and should begin service in 2025.  

French national railway SNCF said Thursday it has ordered 12 hydrogen-powered trains to begin tests in four regions in 2023 as it eyes a zero-emissions future with the nascent technology.

The trains are to be built by the French industrial group Alstom and operate on either hydrogen or electricity when overhead catenary wires are available, a joint statement said.

They are designed to run up to 600 kilometres (375 miles) on each hydrogen charge, and “should begin service in 2025,” Alstom France head Jean-Baptiste Eymeoud was quoted as saying.

The contract is worth 190 million euros ($225 million) for the 12 first trains, which are to seat 218 passengers and be divided evenly among the four regions in eastern and southern France.

Alstom first tested prototypes in Germany three years ago and has now begun a commercial phase with 41 orders for the 72-metre-long (yards) trains.

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A French company is developing the world’s first hydrogen-powered cargo transport vessel, which is scheduled to make its debut some time later this year, Renewable Energy Magazine reports.

The boat, built by Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), is set to be deployed on the river Seine in Paris and will use compressed hydrogen produced from electrolysis as its sole power source. The vessel is designed for inland water routes only and is not designed to sail the oceans.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise,” Matthieu Blanc, director of CFT, told the magazine. “As part of the Flagships project, we are happy to be leading the way on reducing emissions from transport and demonstrating the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in waterborne applications.”



Helen Coffey

Deutsche Bahn is launching a hydrogen train

‘This is the only way for DB to be climate neutral in 2050,’ says board member

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced it will launch a hydrogen train and accompanying gas station by 2024, in a system set to save 330 tons of carbon emissions in one year.

The German rail company has said it will run a comprehensive year-long trial of the new system, which will replace a diesel engine running between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim in the southwest state of Baden-Württemberg.

DB is converting one of its maintenance workshops so that the hydrogen train can be serviced there, alongside developing a new type of filling station that means it will be just as quick to refuel as a diesel train, taking just 15 minutes.

Siemens Mobility is responsible for building the new train, while the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is providing the funding.

The hydrogen train should initially be able to run for 600km before needing to be refuelled, roughly equivalent to the distance between London and Edinburgh. Its top speed will be 160km/h.


Web Summit 2019: This is what the house of 2025 could look like


The way we sleep, eat and retreat from the world around us is poised for significant transformation, David Eun, Samsung’s Chief Innovation Officer, told this week at Web Summit.

Eun presented a sketch of Samsung’s vision for the house of the future. The aim is to foster experiences on a foundation of technology and innovation, he said, “the likes of which we have never seen before.”

With the advent of 5G, the percentage of connected devices in the home will continue to grow, “and in the near future, the question won’t be how many devices are connected. The question will actually be, how many devices are not connected.”

Continue reading… “Web Summit 2019: This is what the house of 2025 could look like”