Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem

Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem

A Department of Energy-sponsored report estimated in 2014 that the US nuclear industry would produce 94 percent less fuel waste if big, old reactors were replaced with new smaller ones.

The Pandemic Gave Scientists a New Way to Spy on Emissions

The Pandemic Gave Scientists a New Way to Spy on Emissions

For example, they can add up how much gasoline is being burned and how many fossil fuel power plants are running at a given time, to calculate how much carbon is being exhaled into the atmosphere.

Biofuels Are Getting a Second Look—and Some Tough Questions

Biofuels Are Getting a Second Look—and Some Tough Questions

The RFS was supposed to reduce reliance on fuel imports and lessen the environmental impact of the transportation sector, but when it was introduced some scientists warned that it might end up increasing overall emissions.

The Nuclear Reactors of the Future Have a Russia Problem

The Nuclear Reactors of the Future Have a Russia Problem

Do this again and again in a series of centrifuges known as a cascade, siphoning off the U-235 each time, and pretty soon you’ll have low-enriched uranium, fuel for a traditional nuclear reactor.

Machines of War Take a Heavy Toll on Ukraine—and the Planet

Machines of War Take a Heavy Toll on Ukraine—and the Planet

But a hidden crisis is unfolding too: The carbon emitted by war machines is helping warm the planet at a critical moment in human history, when every day not spent decarbonizing adds to the compounding misery of climate change.

Can ‘Green’ Ammonia Be a Climate Fix?

Can ‘Green’ Ammonia Be a Climate Fix?

The wind powers a chemical plant that makes ammonia, which can not only be spread as fertilizer under the turbines, but also fuels an experimental tractor, stores energy for a non-windy day, and—soon—will heat the barns that dry their grains.

Battery-Powered Trains Are Picking Up Speed

Battery-Powered Trains Are Picking Up Speed

Last fall, researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and UCLA’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability predicted that retrofitting traditional diesel locomotives with battery power could save railroads $94 billion in fuel costs over 20 years, after buying the batteries, and would keep tons of pollutants out of the air.

When It Comes to Buses, Will Hydrogen or Electric Win?

When It Comes to Buses, Will Hydrogen or Electric Win?

But hydrogen technology and infrastructure is more expensive, says Collins, while the skill sets in the industry for using electric buses are also likely higher than for hydrogen.

Are Green Jet Fuels Finally Ready for Takeoff?

Are Green Jet Fuels Finally Ready for Takeoff?

One engine was burning standard petroleum-based aviation fuel from a Texas refinery, while the other was running on gas produced entirely from leftover cooking oil and grease from a factory in Los Angeles.

This Software Aims to Make Your Flight Smoother—and Help the Planet

This Software Aims to Make Your Flight Smoother—and Help the Planet

That’s because airplane engines are designed to operate in the air, says Hamsa Balakrishnan, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT who studies airport operations.As a result, “there’s a lot of inefficiency that gets built in,” says Balakrishnan, the MIT professor.

Climate Change Is the New Dot-Com Bubble

Climate Change Is the New Dot-Com Bubble

I made a list of all the interesting climate startups, around 2,000 of them, and turned it into an ebook so I could read it on my phone at night.

The Push for Ad Agencies to Ditch Big Oil Clients

The Push for Ad Agencies to Ditch Big Oil Clients

“Shell might come to us with a $1 million contract, and we’re walking away from that,” says Roger Ramirez, chief growth officer of the New York–based ad agency Mustache, which signed onto the pledge earlier this year.

Wildfires Used to Be Helpful. How Did They Get So Hellish?

Wildfires Used to Be Helpful. How Did They Get So Hellish?

A wildfire that would once chew through a few dozen acres of underbrush, making way for new plant growth, now burns with extreme ferocity, producing so much heat and smoke that it can generate its own thunderclouds , which light more fires.

How Food Waste Could Be Turned Into Climate-Friendly Jet Fuel

How Food Waste Could Be Turned Into Climate-Friendly Jet Fuel

The researchers demonstrated that with the right catalysts, both of these reactions work extremely well and produce a mix of hydrocarbons with properties similar to that of jet fuel.

Biden Wants the Government to Run on EVs. It Won’t Be Easy

Biden Wants the Government to Run on EVs. It Won’t Be Easy

“If people see that their mail delivery people are driving electric vehicles, they’ll get the confidence they’ll need,” says Doug Kettles, director of the Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, a Department of Energy-supported group that promotes advanced vehicle technologies.

President Biden, Please Don't Get Into Carbon Farming

President Biden, Please Don't Get Into Carbon Farming

But before putting any taxpayer money on this train, consider some inconvenient truths: First, the carbon farming practices being promoted as something new have all been in use for decades, and all were originally adopted for reasons unrelated to climate change.

Could Carbon Dioxide Be Turned Into Jet Fuel?

Could Carbon Dioxide Be Turned Into Jet Fuel?

By adding heat (350 degrees Celsius, which is 662 degrees Fahrenheit) to citric acid, hydrogen, and a catalyst made of iron, manganese, and potassium to the carbon dioxide, the team was able to produce liquid fuel that would work in a jet engine.

Underground Brine Could Be a Source of Oxygen on Mars

Underground Brine Could Be a Source of Oxygen on Mars

When powered up, brine flowed through the device, splitting into pure oxygen gas captured on the anode side and pure hydrogen gas on the cathode side.DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2008613117 (About DOIs).This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.📩 Want the latest on tech, science, and more?

Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math

Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math

“The magic of cellular automata is that by aggregating very simple rules in a space, it actually is able to capture what is called an ‘emergent behavior,’ which is a behavior that is extremely complex,” says Imperial College London engineer Guillermo Rein, coauthor of a new paper describing the work in the journal Proceedings of the Combustion Institute.

Is Lightning-Fast Plasma the Key to a Cleaner Car Engine?

Is Lightning-Fast Plasma the Key to a Cleaner Car Engine?

For years, the Vehicle Technology Office has been focused on swapping out conventional gasoline with more environmentally friendly biofuels .“An internal combustion engine can utilize a wide range of fuels, and some of those can be partially renewable,” says Howell.

The Joy of ‘Analog’ Cooking on a Green Coleman Camp Stove

The Joy of ‘Analog’ Cooking on a Green Coleman Camp Stove

The Coleman certainly has its flaws, and I'll get to those, but let's pause here and talk about an industry-wide problem: the lack of easy recycling for the camp fuel canisters.

Nuclear ‘Power Balls’ May Make Meltdowns a Thing of the Past

Nuclear ‘Power Balls’ May Make Meltdowns a Thing of the Past

In a conventional nuclear reactor, the main line of defense against a meltdown is the fuel control rod, which power plant operators use to control the fission rate in the core.

‘Carbon Farming’ Could Make US Agriculture Truly Green

‘Carbon Farming’ Could Make US Agriculture Truly Green

When a company buys carbon offsets , it funds projects elsewhere to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as planting trees in Indonesia or installing giant machines inside California dairies that suck up the methane produced by burping and farting cows and turn it into a usable biofuel.

After 60 Years, Explosion-Powered Rockets Are Nearly Here

After 60 Years, Explosion-Powered Rockets Are Nearly Here

As the director of the Propulsion and Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Central Florida, Ahmed has spent the last few years developing a next generation rocket engine that uses controlled explosions to boost stuff into space.

How to Refuel a Nuclear Power Plant During a Pandemic

How to Refuel a Nuclear Power Plant During a Pandemic

The latest shipment of fuel arrived at the plant well before the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill, says Greg Cameron, the nuclear communications director at Palo Verde.

A One-Time Poultry Farmer Invents the Future of Refrigeration

A One-Time Poultry Farmer Invents the Future of Refrigeration

In the case of, say, a gasoline-powered car, the fuel is mixed with air, crammed into a piston chamber, and set alight, causing it to jump more than 1,000 degrees in temperature.

How Airlines Are Trying to Boost Efficiency and Cut Emissions

How Airlines Are Trying to Boost Efficiency and Cut Emissions

Improvements to air traffic control could also help reduce emissions by as much as 12 percent, per a 1999 estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Hungry Animals Can Change How Severely a Landscape Burns

Hungry Animals Can Change How Severely a Landscape Burns

The grazers might also prefer grasses to shrubs, which changes the vertical structure of the vegetation, further increasing the fire risk.So while the grazers are doing a helpful job of eating up some potential tinder, they’re leaving behind vegetation that is extra-flammable—which is a mixed bag, in terms of wildfire prevention.

Recycled Nuclear Waste Will Power a New Reactor

Recycled Nuclear Waste Will Power a New Reactor

For the past year, scientists at INL have started recycling spent uranium to meet the fuel needs of a new generation of small commercial reactors.

Cheap Nanoparticles Pave the Way for Carbon-Neutral Fuel

Cheap Nanoparticles Pave the Way for Carbon-Neutral Fuel

So in 2011, an Icelandic energy startup called Carbon Recycling International built the George Olah plant, which captures Svartsengi’s CO2 emissions and turns them into a carbon-neutral fuel.