The Science of Sustainability

Chemistry

Will Recycling Phosphorus Help Stop Algae Blooms?

Will Recycling Phosphorus Help Stop Algae Blooms?

A new Wisconsin facility aims to clean up algae-plagued lakes by stripping phosphorus out of wastewater.

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Biodegradable Plastics: Too Good to Be True?

Biodegradable Plastics: Too Good to Be True?

Products advertised as “green” aren't always what they appear to be. New research from Ohio State University adds supposedly biodegradable plastics to that list.

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Foraging for a Better Beer

Foraging for a Better Beer

Watch as a Durham, NC brewery makes persimmon beer from foraging to fermentation.

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From Coal to Canvas:  An Artist Turns Toxic Runoff into Palette-Worthy Paints

From Coal to Canvas: An Artist Turns Toxic Runoff into Palette-Worthy Paints

In this video from QUEST Ohio, discover how an artist is repurposing runoff from coalmines to create a variety of rich paint pigments—and draw attention to the state’s polluted waterways.

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Do Water Pollution Tests Lead to "Dead Zones"?

Do Water Pollution Tests Lead to "Dead Zones"?

The problem with pee: a scientist blows the whistle on sewage-treatment plants, claiming they harm water quality even when meeting official pollution-control limits.

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Cats, Chemicals, and Consumer Power

Cats, Chemicals, and Consumer Power

How daily exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals affects people and pets.

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Dredging Up a Problem

Dredging Up a Problem

The Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio — known for catching fire in the 1960s — relies on frequent dredging to keep the shipping channels open. Now a controversial new proposal to dump the dredged material into Lake Erie has residents worried about contamination of the public water supply.

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From the Top of the Space Needle: A New View on Carbon Emissions

From the Top of the Space Needle: A New View on Carbon Emissions

A CO2 monitor atop Seattle’s Space Needle supplies empirical data on the city's carbon emissions

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Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Could your driveway be poisoning your kids?

Parking lots coated with coal tar, a gooey black waste product of steel manufacturing, shed the coatings at a high rate. This toxic residue is showing up in dust on nearby apartment surfaces.

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Denimite: Discovering New Frontiers for Old Jeans

Denimite: Discovering New Frontiers for Old Jeans

A husband and wife team explore the potential for using recycled denim to create solid composite countertops, dashboards and other unexpected items.

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A Better Way to Patch Potholes

A Better Way to Patch Potholes

Inspired by footraces across a giant bathtub of cornstarch, engineering students think they have hit on a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to fix potholes.

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Biodiesel Power

Biodiesel Power

From the deep fryer to the fuel tank, how one North Carolina company is using cooking grease to power a community.

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Cementing a More Sustainable Future

Cementing a More Sustainable Future

A team of innovative students at UNC Charlotte develop a game-changing material poised to improve the way we build our cities and our homes.

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Recycling Dirt: A New Niche in the Fracking Industry

Recycling Dirt: A New Niche in the Fracking Industry

As an alternative to the landfill, some companies now recycle contaminated rock shavings left over from drilling for natural gas.

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Could Ants Teach the Biofuel Industry a Thing or Two?

Could Ants Teach the Biofuel Industry a Thing or Two?

How leaf-cutter ants and fungus gardens could provide the model for sustainably producing biofuels.

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The Great Escape: How Soil Protects Us from Carbon Emissions

The Great Escape: How Soil Protects Us from Carbon Emissions

Recent measurements show that the billions of tons of old carbon hidden deep in the earth may release into the atmosphere, greatly accelerating climate change.

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Harnessing The Hidden Power of Cow Manure

Harnessing The Hidden Power of Cow Manure

A dairy farm in British Colombia uses new technologies to convert manure into electricity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and remove the stink.

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To Drink, or Not To Drink

To Drink, or Not To Drink

A new bacteria testing kit has the potential to save millions of lives, one glass of water at a time.

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From Trash to Cash: Old Landfills Yield New Opportunities

From Trash to Cash: Old Landfills Yield New Opportunities

As resources become more expensive, America may start mining its landfills for raw materials.

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Sustainable Spirits: Liquor for the Locavore

Sustainable Spirits: Liquor for the Locavore

Find out how an artisanal distillery is using locally-sourced ingredients to craft liquors that support a legacy of small agricultural producers on a storied Wisconsin Island.

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