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News and Opinion

Coverage of sustainable materials since December 7, 2021.

Toymaker Lego to stick to its quest to find sustainable materials despite failed recycle attempt

"...Also known as green methanol, e-methanol is composed of waste carbon dioxide and hydrogen, created by using renewable energy to split water molecules..."


Countries must forge Global Blue Deal to protect the ocean: UNCTAD

"...Climate and EnvironmentThe ocean can provide vast opportunities for developing countries to build more innovative and resilient economies, but climate change, pollution and overfishing threaten the livelihoods of some three billion people who rely on it for food and income..."


Global clean energy investing tops US$1 trillion for first time ever

"...The report covers renewables, energy storage, electric vehicles and electrified heating (i. e. , heat pumps), as well as hydrogen fuel, nuclear power, sustainable materials and carbon-capture technologies..."


Prototype EV scrubs CO2 from the air as it drives along

"...The fact that the Zem is an electric vehicle means that zero carbon dioxide is emitted while it's being driven around. As the focus of this project was the car's carbon footprint and recyclability, details on the drivetrain are scant but the students have told us that there are nine 2. 3-kWh modular battery packs installed, there's a 22-kW motor and there's "an old Audi differential with a relatively high gear ratio to increase the torque..."


Architecture cant wait for regulators to lead on sustainability

"...Some regulators have demonstrated serious commitment to sustainability and awareness of its feasibility with rigorous, evidence-backed development guidelines. In these cases, design can act as a bolster for policy, with architects lending their expertise in industry-specific methods to realize the vision of policymakers and climate advocates. The City of Toronto set an example in 2017 with the implementation of a Zero Emissions Buildings Framework that sets aggressive goals for emissions reduction by 2030, targeting both new construction and existing building stock..."


Self-charging moisture battery promises sweat-powered wearables

"...Half of the solar energy that bathes the Earth in warmth goes into a single process, according to some researchers: evaporating the water that covers some 71 percent of our fragile blue marble. Australian company Strategic Elements wants that energy back, and it's working with the University of New South Wales and the CSIRO to develop a flexible, self-charging battery technology that harvests electrical energy from moisture in the air to directly power devices without ever needing to plug them in. The company's shares leapt more than 40 percent on the Australian stock exchange today after it announced what it calls a "step-change" in this self-charging technology, increasing its electrical charge capability from the milliamp-hour range up into the ampere hours..."


GE's produces world's largest recyclable wind turbine blade

"...Through its massive wind turbines and innovative offshore designs, GE continues sharpening its toolkit in a bid to built the future of sustainable energy, and a newly unveiled turbine blade shows how that can extend to the materials used. A consortium led by the company has manufactured the world's largest thermoplastic blade, designed to serve as full-scale example of a fully recyclable wind turbine blade. Wind energy has become an important pillar in our fossil fuel-free future, but that doesn't mean it comes without environmental concerns of its own..."


ONE's 752-mile EV battery propels plans for its first US factory

"...We want to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles by eliminating range anxiety, which holds back most consumers today, Mujeeb Ijaz, founder and CEO of ONE, said. We are now focused on evolving this proof-of-concept battery into a new product called GeminiTM, which will enable long distance trips on a single charge while improving cost and safety using sustainable materials. To further these efforts, the company has just raised US$65 million in a new funding round led by BMW i Ventures..."


Polestar O2 e-convertible concept strips top off electric performance

"...The Tesla Roadster might have kickstarted the modern electric car revolution, but since then, electric convertibles have been very few and far between. This seems certain to change as electric cars continue to multiply and take over market share, and Polestar is getting in front of the curve with the O2 concept. The new drop-top picks up where the 2020 Precept concept left off, showing Polestar's intriguing vision of a sporty electric 2+2 that lets the clean, emissions-free air flow freely..."


Electronic textile makes for touchscreen curtains or clothes

"...Textiles have been getting smarter for years, but theyre usually fairly limited in size and scope. Now a team of scientists led by Cambridge has woven together a 46-inch textile display, loaded with LEDs, sensors and energy storage, which can be made using existing industrial manufacturing processes. Theres been no shortage of smart fabrics and textiles unveiled in recent years, including some that absorb energy from sunlight and movement, some that sense touch like a trackpad, and some that could be incorporated into clothes to heat or cool the wearer..."


Op-ed: Strategies to reduce embodied carbon in the built environment

"...Embodied carbon consists of all the emissions associated with building construction, including extraction, transportation, manufacturing and installation of building materials on-site, as well as the operational and end-of-life emissions of those materials. It is also largely upfront carbonthe greenhouse gas emissions that are released in the early phases of a life cyclewhich means that its negative impact now cannot be reversed later. Most importantly, the magnitude of embodied carbon emissions between now and 2030 dwarfs the incremental impact of operational carbon, therefore, the immediate focus for embodied carbon reductions must be on the next decade..."


Recommended Reading

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Informative Video

Discussions, Documentaries, and Investigative Reports about sustainable materials.

Can innovative projects turn the tide on plastic litter in our seas? | DW Documentary

"...The Nomads are taking a different tack by recycling old boards, using sustainable materials and turning old wetsuits and flip flops into surfing accessories..."


Why Is Bamboo the Most Sustainable Material?

"...The rapidly renewable, carbon-neutral material has the potential to fight climate change..."


10 Eco-Friendly Building Materials of the Future

"...They allow designers and engineers to construct green buildings with a low carbon footprint..."


Academic Research

Recent peer-reviewed papers about sustainable materials relevant to the latest news.

Sustainable development by carbon emission reduction and its quantification: an overview of current methods and best practices

"...This review paper examines a range of strategies and methodologies, including green building rating systems, sustainable materials and renewable energy, smart building management systems, carbon capture and storage, life cycle assessments, and greenhouse protocols, that can facilitate sustainable development by reducing and quantifying carbon emissions..."


Eco-design of geopolymer-based materials recycling porcelain stoneware wastes: a life cycle assessment study

"...This study presents an effective eco-design approach to obtain sustainable materials through a low energy consumption manufacturing process, a feature that is essential in a historical period of high geopolitical instability which makes the supplying of fossil fuels difficult and particularly expensive..."


Green construction for low-carbon cities: a review

"...Here, we review green construction with focus on history, carbon emissions, policies, models, life cycle assessment, and sustainable materials such as biochar, bioplastic, agricultural waste, animal wool, fly ash and self-healing concrete..."


Material Efficiency and 3R Objectives forSustainable Industry Applications

"...Smart materials can be divided into two areas: load-bearing materials that ensure the rigidity and strength of the structure and at the same time impact protection, and materials providing certain active functions, especially process control, information transfer, servo drive, efficient conversion, energy storage, and so on..."


Use of Biochar for Sustainable Environmental Remediation

"...Biochar is shown to be effective for nutrient removal from wastewater, mixed contaminant removal from stormwater, contaminated soil remediation, and fugitive landfill gas mitigation..."


Designs of Building Envelopes with Improved Energy Efficiency

"...To reduce the heating and cooling load of the building sector, the incorporation of sustainable materials having good thermal insulating properties is a key way to move towards a sustainable future along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions..."


Value-retained vs. impacts avoided: the differentiated contributions of remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair, and reuse withi

"...Value-retention processes (VRPs), a collective term that includes practices of direct reuse, repair, refurbishment, and remanufacturing, can facilitate the cycling of products and components within a circular economy (CE)..."


Circular Materials and Circular Design?Review on Challenges Towards Sustainable Manufacturing and Recycling

"...The selection and engineering of materials is a critical component towards the development of a circular economy model..."


Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Through Education on Renewable Energy

"...Education plays a decisive role in achieving the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, by developing human resources and raising awareness at community level in promoting and implementing the concept of Sustainable Development and Sustainable Energy..."


Future Generation Materials and Techniques for Sustainable Construction

"...Even though many claims to the benefits that sustainable construction can bring, sustainable materials still seem not mainstreamed in the construction industry..."


Progress and current challenges for CO2 capture materials from ambient air

"...As a major component of greenhouse gases, excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere can affect human health and ecosystems..."


Structural Performance and Eco-efficiency Assessment of Biofilms Obtained by a Green Single-Step Modification of Starch and Aga

"...Furthermore, starch films containing Agave fibers showed the lowest environmental impacts regarding global warming, ozone depletion, freshwater eutrophication, land use, fossil resource scarcity, and water consumption..."