LINKS OF THE WEEK: March 20-26, 2023
Oxygen-ion batteries, Puerto Rico's first community-led microgrid, ebike rebates, plus some bold claims being made by thermal energy storage start-up, Rondo.
OXYGEN-ION BATTERIES THAT DON’T DIMINISH OVER TIME – Researchers at Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) say they have developed an oxygen-ion battery with a storage capacity that doesn't decrease over time, leading to an extremely long lifespan compared to other batteries. This battery can be produced without rare metals and could be used for in large energy storage systems, e.g., to store electrical energy from renewable sources. Good news if true!
PUERTO RICO’S FIRST COMMUNITY-LED MICROGRID IS READY TO LAUNCH – I imagine we're going to be seeing a lot more community microgrid systems being developed in the decades to come – especially in places with fragile electricity systems being increasingly battered by climate-change intensified storms.
LOLIWARE BECOMES THE HIGHEST-FUNDED SEAWEED MATERIALS COMPANY – Biomaterials start-up Loliware secured $6 million in funding last month, bringing total investments to $15.4 million and making it the best-funded seaweed materials tech company to date. The fact that their seaweed-based plastic alternative is designed to work with existing machinery is pretty cool…
EBIKE REBATES AROUND THE WORLD – Thinking about buying an ebike? Check out Ride Review's list of rebate incentives to see if any are available in your area. You could save a decent chunk of money on your new ride!
CAN THIS COMPANY ELIMINATE 15% OF GLOBAL CO2 EMISSIONS IN 15 YEARS? – Thermal energy storage start-up Rondo claims to offer low-cost, zero-emission industrial heat and power and says its heat batteries have the potential to eliminate 15% of global CO2 emissions in 15 years. Amazing potential or overblown claims meant to woo investors?
PURIFYING DYE-CONTAMINATED WATER WITH CELLULOSE – Researchers in Sweden have developed a way to purify dye-contaminated water using a wood-based material. They say lab tests with industrial water have shown that more than 80% of dye pollutants are removed and see opportunities to improve on that. Their next step is to conduct field studies in India, where large amounts of dyes are released into lakes, rivers and streams every year.
GROWING MUSHROOMS ALONGSIDE TREES COULD FEED MILLIONS – Scientists in Scotland published a study showing that growing edible mushrooms alongside trees could produce a valuable food source for millions of people while mitigating the impact of climate change and reducing the need for deforestation to make way for crops. The future is fungal!
SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR GLOBAL WATER RESOURCES – A recent review study led by The University of Texas at Austin provides an overview of the planet's surface and underground freshwater supplies and strategies for sustainably managing them. The study draws on data from satellites, climate models, monitoring networks and almost 200 scientific papers. Here’s hoping that people in power to do something actually read it!
HARVESTING RARE EARTH ELEMENTS FROM WASTEWATER USING BACTERIA – German scientists have shown that exotic photosynthetic cyanobacteria can efficiently absorb REEs from wastewater produced from mining, metallurgy, or the recycling of e-waste. The absorbed REEs can then be washed from the biomass and collected for reuse.
USING MUSSELS TO CLEAN POLLUTED WATERWAYS – Scientists in Australia constructed a large-scale mussel reef to remove pollutants from the Swan River. The shellfish were able to filter 35% of the estuary’s total volume and absorbed more than 42 tonnes of organic matter into their tissues. I love natural solutions to manmade problems!
WE NEED THE RIGHT KIND OF CLIMATE OPTIMISM – Great article by Our World in Data lead researcher Hannah Ritchie on the dangers of climate doomerism and why "changeable optimism" is the attitude we need now. “The world is awful. The world is much better. The world can be much better.” - Max Rosen