Dairy waste is being turned into bioplastics and plant food

Dairies generate a substantial amount of organic waste, including wastewater and whey, which are now being used to create products like bioplastics. Image credit - Keith Weller/USDA/Wikimedia, public domain

Sarah Wild Dairies in Europe are major economic drivers in rural areas, but they produce significant waste from cleaning and processing. Wastewater and milk residue, which are typically disposed of, are now being turned into new products such as phosphate-rich fertiliser and bioplastics. The EU produced 172.2 million tonnes of raw milk in 2018 and demand for milk is … Read more

Six innovations to tackle coronavirus

Single-patient isolation pods can help protect air ambulance crews from infection, allowing coronavirus patients to be transported to areas with higher intensive care capacity. Image credit - EpiGuard

by Chris Pate From bioluminescent testing kits to disinfecting robots, Horizon examines six innovations and technologies currently being developed to tackle the coronavirus. 1. Coronavirus-popping surface coating An anti-microbial coating that destroys the coronavirus on impact could help to decontaminate commonly used surfaces, according to scientists from the UK. The coating, which can be dipped or … Read more

Air pollution affects brain development – but when does the damage start?

90% of brain development happens by the age of four, so scientists want to understand the effects of air pollution at the earliest stages of life. Image credit - Unsplash/Pixabay, licenced under Unsplash licence

by Ian Le Guillou The emergency rooms in Barcelona were collapsing under the pressure. Hundreds of patients were arriving in desperate need as they struggled to breathe, while intensive care units struggled to cope with the sudden influx of respiratory problems. Epidemiologists scrambled to trace the source of the outbreak.  This epidemic in the 1980s might … Read more

Quiet and green: Why hydrogen planes could be the future of aviation

Hydrogen-powered planes are still in their infancy but the first commercial versions could enter the European market by 2035 according to a new report. Image credit - DLR/CC BY-3.0

by Jonathan O’Callaghan Today, aviation is responsible for 3.6% of EU greenhouse gas emissions. Modern planes use kerosene as fuel, releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But what if there was another way? One possible solution is to use a new type of fuel in planes that doesn’t produce harmful emissions – hydrogen. Long-touted as a sustainable … Read more

How Europe’s city façades and pavements are being used to harvest clean energy

A coat of special green paint used on panels at a school gym in Almere, the Netherlands, helps the panels absorb sunlight for heating and for hot water. Image credit - Emergo

Building façades and pavements in Dutch and Italian cities are being turned into smart, energy-harvesting surfaces and equipped with sensors to power, heat and cool spaces and even monitor roads. Europeans have become used to seeing solar panels on the roofs of buildings. But there are plenty of other man-made surfaces in our cities and … Read more