Construction waste to be turned into gas masks and sports equipment

MDF is widely used in the walls of buildings and has so far proven hard to recycle.

Huge volumes of waste building materials that are discarded every year could be recycled into new products such as gas masks and sports equipment following research being conducted by scientists and recycling firms. Dr Kenny Vanreppelen, a renewable product researcher and founder of Belgian start-up Act&Sorb, set up the FibreCarb project to recycle waste fibreboard … Read more

Solar Impulse ‘Efficient Solution’ label for profitable start-ups to boost clean energy investment

Investors respond better to the profit potential of green innovations such as solar-powered planes rather than their eco-credentials, according to Dr Bertrand Piccard, founder of Solar Impulse.

The pioneering solar flight foundation Solar Impulse has launched an ‘Efficient Solution’ label for clean energy start-ups and innovations that can demonstrate their profitability, in a bid to boost investment in the sector. It was one of a number of initiatives launched at the Mission Innovation clean energy conference in Malmö, Sweden, on 23 May. … Read more

Noise pollution is one of the biggest health risks in city life

Traffic noise increases people's blood pressure which is related to heart attacks and strokes.

Noise is one of the biggest pollutants in modern cities but the risk is often overlooked despite being linked to an increased risk of early death, according to research conducted by scientists. ‘Noise produces a stimulus to the central nervous system and this stimulus releases some hormones,’ said Dr David Rojas from the Barcelona Institute … Read more

Cleaned-up data shows bigger-than-thought reduction in Europe’s NO2 pollution – Dr Folkert Boersma

New, improved algorithms show that nitrogen dioxide pollution is declining faster than thought in Europe.

An analysis of a newly cleaned-up dataset tracking Europe’s air pollution has revealed that nitrogen dioxide levels are on a steeper downward trend than previously thought, according to Dr Folkert Boersma from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, who says that ensuring the quality of Earth observation data can reveal new insights into climate change. He … Read more

Supercomputers and space-based laser to help predict extreme weather events

Extreme weather events such as heavy storms are becoming more common.

From droughts and forest fires to floods and big freezes, extreme weather events are on the rise. But to what extent are these linked to climate change? Just months before the world’s first wind monitoring satellite enters orbit, scientists have finalised a climate model with exceptional resolution, and the new tools will help identify how … Read more

Radical closed-wing aircraft design could see greener skies take flight

An artist's view of the PrandtlPlane shows what future commercial aircrafts could look like.

Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying. With nearly 1 billion passengers … Read more