Hydrogen use doesn’t emit carbon but its production often does. That could soon change

Trucks on Orkney carry hydrogen produced by wind- and tide-powered electrolysis in special lightweight high pressure cylinders, designed to adhere to the low weight limit of the island roads.

Hydrogen can be used to power cars, supply electricity and heat homes, all with zero carbon emissions. The snag is that the vast majority of hydrogen itself is derived from fossil fuels – a fact that scientists are now hoping to change. They plan to clean up production to kickstart a dedicated economy – something that … Read more

Artificial forest air and light-based chemical reactions tackle indoor pollution

In an office environment, the air could contain over 300 chemicals, according to NAAVA founder Niko Järvinen. Image credit-NAAVA

The air in our offices and homes can contain a higher mix of chemicals than outdoors, but next-generation purifiers are aiming to absorb the harmful particles and let us all breathe a bit easier. Detergents, tobacco, cosmetics, new furniture, paints, printers and even pets – all these release different chemicals that millions of people breathe … Read more

Catching ultrafine emissions could help develop cleaner cars

Scientists are developing a device to trap and analyse ultrafine particles from car exhausts.

Modern engines – in particular those which inject fuel at high pressure – maximise efficiency and cut carbon dioxide emissions, but may also release harder-to-catch pollution associated with cancers and lung, heart and Alzheimer’s diseases. In response, European researchers are analysing exhaust particles down to one billionth of a metre, which may help in the development of … Read more

Ultrafine pollution particles create air of menace

As many as 6.5 million premature deaths every year are attributed to air pollution, according to the World Health Organization.

An air quality study has for the first time detected nano-sized particles of air pollution in children’s urine. With a diameter of just 100 nanometers – a thousandth of the width of a human hair – these ultrafine particles are the smallest particles found in air pollution and have been linked to heart disease and respiratory conditions … Read more