Rolls-Royce to launch all-electric plane in 2020

The racing plane is hoped to be the fastest electric plane in existence.

  • The electric aircraft industry is just starting to get off the ground, with Siemens breaking the world record for the fastest electric aircraft in 2017.
  • With ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight), Rolls-Royce intends to beat that record in the spring of 2020.
  • While these are existing developments, the field of electric aviation has significant challenges to face before we can expect to see electric long-distance passenger planes.
Keep reading

Fashion contributes to 10 percent of humanity's carbon emissions

Fast fashion has a devastating impact on the environment. Here's what you need to know before heading to Zara this holiday season.

Photo Credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • The fashion industry is responsible for an alarming 10 percent of all of humanity's carbon emissions.
  • Eighty-five percent of all textiles are trashed each year, ending up in a landfill or incinerated.
  • By wearing one item of clothing for 9 months longer a person can actually reduce his or her carbon footprint by 30 percent.
Keep reading

Focus on renewable energy, not carbon capture, say researchers

Rather than scrubbing the emissions from fossil fuel plants, a new analysis suggests we should simply replace those power plants with renewable alternatives.

Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • Retrofitting carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to fossil fuel-based power plants makes sense; our main problem, after all, is the CO2 these plants emit, right?
  • Early studies have suggested that these CCS solutions could be 85 to 95 percent efficient. A new study that is among the first to study actual field data suggests this wildly underestimates the impact of upstream and downstream sources of emissions, as well as the energy needs of CCS solutions themselves.
  • Instead, the researchers say, our best bet is to just replace fossil fuel-based power plants with ones that use renewable energy.
Keep reading

MIT engineers unveil emissions-free cement

Electrochemical methods such as this could someday dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the planet.

Chiang et al.
  • Cement production accounts for 8 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.
  • The new method uses renewable electricity to generate heat for the mixing process, while an electrochemical technique allows for carbon dioxide to be captured and stored.
  • This method isn't likely to be implemented at scale anytime soon, but it's an "important first step," the researchers said.
Keep reading

New carbon capture method is a “paradigm shift," say MIT engineers

The new method appears to be more efficient and cheaper than current carbon capture technologies.

Sahag Voskian via Vimeo
  • Capturing and storing carbon before it enters the atmosphere is a promising technique that's already helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • However, current technologies are generally too expensive or inefficient to be used on a large-scale basis.
  • A new carbon capture method aims to change that by using electrochemical sheets to capture carbon from the air.
Keep reading