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How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents

25-04-2014

The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the U.S., but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water resources, say researchers. They add that degraded water quality is a potential risk ...

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Galactic gas stations could fuel future missions to the moon

MIT team proposes storing extra rocket fuel in space for future missions

10-03-2014

Future lunar missions may be fueled by gas stations in space, according to MIT engineers: A spacecraft might dock at a propellant depot, somewhere between the Earth and the moon, and pick up extra rocket fuel before making its way to the lunar surface. Orbiting way stations could reduce the fuel ...

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Plastic shopping bags make a fine diesel fuel

14-02-2014

Plastic shopping bags, an abundant source of litter on land and at sea, can be converted into diesel, natural gas and other useful petroleum products, researchers report. The conversion produces significantly more energy than it requires and results in transportation fuels – diesel, for example – ...

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Suburban sprawl accounts for 50 percent of US household carbon footprint

24-01-2014

Many U.S. cities are taking steps to grow urban centers in an attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But a challenge is the significant carbon footprint of spacious suburban living, which in many areas, may be cancelling out these efforts. The report, appearing in the ACS journal ...

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Thousands of potentially harmful natural gas leaks found in Washington

20-01-2014

High levels of natural gas are escaping from the aging pipes beneath the streets of the nation's capital, creating potentially harmful concentrations in some locations, a new study has found. Natural gas leaks pose explosion risks, health concerns and contribute to climate change. The paper, ...

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Suburban sprawl cancels carbon footprint savings of dense urban cores

Interactive maps of US metro areas shows striking differences between cities and suburbs

08-01-2014

According to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, population-dense cities contribute less greenhouse gas emissions per person than other areas of the country, but these cities' extensive suburbs essentially wipe out the climate benefits. Dominated by emissions ...

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The entropy of nations

Global energy inequality lessens, but for how long?

07-01-2014

The 18th century writer Adam Smith provided a workable metaphor for the way society utilizes resources. In his book "The Wealth of Nations," he argued that even as individuals strive, through personal industry, to maximize their advantage in life, they inadvertently contribute---as if under the ...

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Mix of graphene nanoribbons, polymer has potential for cars, soda, beer

14-10-2013

A discovery at Rice University aims to make vehicles that run on compressed natural gas more practical. It might also prolong the shelf life of bottled beer and soda. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour has enhanced a polymer material to make it far more impermeable to pressurized gas and far ...

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Ethanol not a major factor in reducing gas prices

MIT economist finds that biofuels, contrary to claims, do not meaningfully affect what drivers pay at the pump

14-10-2013

If you have stopped at a gas station recently, there is a good chance your auto has consumed fuel with ethanol blended into it. Yet the price of gasoline is not substantially affected by the volume of its ethanol content, according to a paper co-authored by an MIT economist. The study seeks to ...

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Laying down a discerning membrane

08-10-2013

One of the thinnest membranes ever made is also highly discriminating when it comes to the molecules going through it. Engineers at the University of South Carolina have constructed a graphene oxide membrane less than 2 nanometers thick with high permeation selectivity between hydrogen and carbon ...

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