The Science of Sustainability

Engineering

Bike To The Future

Bike To The Future

Meet the ELF — a solar and pedal powered vehicle bridging the gap between bicycles and cars. See the ELF in action in this new QUEST video.

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QUEST TV – Inventing the Future: Bikes, Bugs and Fashionistas

QUEST TV – Inventing the Future: Bikes, Bugs and Fashionistas

Meet innovators building sun-powered velomobiles, transforming flies into fishmeal, and converting husks into fashion. Also, discover a vast network of ocean observatories.

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Let Them Eat Flies

Let Them Eat Flies

QUEST goes behind the scenes at an innovative “bug farm” in Ohio, where engineer and entrepreneur Glen Courtright harnesses the power of flies to turn food waste into sustainable fish feed.

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Vacant Lots Get a Green Makeover

Vacant Lots Get a Green Makeover

Vacant lots are a big problem for cities with population loss, like Cleveland, where researchers are testing a cost-efficient way to transform abandoned land into spaces that revitalize neighborhoods and improve the environment.

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Farm Waste Fashionistas

Farm Waste Fashionistas

In this video, discover how a biochemical engineer in Nebraska is transforming corn husks into fibers for clothing. Could husk fibers rival cotton as a mainstay for textiles in the future?

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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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The Ski-cast: Is There Hope for the Slopes?

The Ski-cast: Is There Hope for the Slopes?

Despite predictions that many ski resorts in New England and around the nation may no longer be economically viable in just 15 years, researchers point to adaptation as the key to staying the course.

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Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

Landowners Make Way for More Shoreline

How one family’s decision to remove their waterfront wall has sparked the recovery of coastal ecosystems on a popular Washington island.

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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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Birds, Blades, and the Brutal Business of Clean Energy

Birds, Blades, and the Brutal Business of Clean Energy

Does a shift toward renewable energy sources mean choosing between wind turbines and wildlife? Author William H. Funk weighs in.

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In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

In Dry Year, California Looks to Cloud Seeding

There’s no doubt about it – it’s dry out there. 2013 ended as the driest year ever recorded in many parts of California. So water managers are trying to squeeze out every last drop with an old technology: cloud seeding.

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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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Career Spotlight: Kite Designer

Career Spotlight: Kite Designer

Damon Vander Lind works at Makani Power building high-altitude kites that can generate more power than conventional wind turbines.

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Career Spotlight: Mechatronics Engineer

Career Spotlight: Mechatronics Engineer

Leila Madrone is a mechatronics engineer who leads a team that is designing heliostats — mechanisms used in concentrating solar power systems.

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Building Better Homes for Bumblebee Queens

Building Better Homes for Bumblebee Queens

A Nebraska scientist is building bumblebee boxes in an effort to learn more about these mysterious pollinators and get the public engaged in the scientific process.

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Going Off The Grid: Competition Spurs Innovations in Solar Home Design

Going Off The Grid: Competition Spurs Innovations in Solar Home Design

Watch students from the Missouri University of Science and Technology as they compete in the Solar Decathlon; a contest that challenges university teams to build energy efficient homes powered entirely by the sun.

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Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

The largest solar plant in the world – in California’s Mojave Desert – goes through its last test before opening, after a debate that pitted renewable energy against a threatened tortoise.

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After the Frack

After the Frack

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a process of extracting natural gas that creates large amounts of contaminated wastewater. QUEST travels to Ohio to investigate how this wastewater is produced and the controversy over how to safely dispose of it.

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Improving Golf’s Environmental Scorecard

Improving Golf’s Environmental Scorecard

How thinking outside the (tee) box can help the environment, save money, and improve your golf game.

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