Accidental Creation of a New Material That can Capture Water from Air

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Some of the most groundbreaking scientific discoveries happened by accident and now there’s another one to add to the list. A team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has accidently created a material that can capture water from the humidity in the air. They were trying to create magnetic nanowires and failed, but this new material they created is even more promising.

The material is made of carbon-rich nanorods, which they observed began oozing water whenever the humidity in the specimen holder ranged from 50 to 80 percent. They vigorously tested the findings, and discovered that the nanorods absorb water in low humidity and release it as water vapor when the humidity is high. The researches describe this material as behaving much like a sponge, in the sense that it is capable of wringing itself out halfway before it’s fully saturated with water. (more…)

By |February 14th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

Food Recycling Gadget that Fits in Any Home

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WLabs has come up with the so-called Zera Food Recycler gadget, which does exactly what the name suggests. It is a compact food recycler, which is small enough to fit into most homes, even very small ones. But that’s not the only problem it solves. It also allows for creating natural fertilizer in our homes without the associated smell, and judging by the fact that it has already greatly exceeded its funding goal on Indiegogo, it is exactly what people have been waiting for.

The Zera Food Recycler is basically a bin into which you can throw all of your kitchen scraps. The idea is to collect these scraps for a week, and then use the gadget to turn them into homemade nutrient-rich fertilizer in only 24 hours. Once the machine is full, a packet made up of coconut husk fibers and baking soda is placed into the bin. Then you simply press the START button and the gadget begins the process of heating, slicing, mixing and oxygenating the foodstuffs inside it. It takes less than 24 hours to turn the food into fertilizer, which can be retrieved from the bottom of the storage bin. Thanks to a HEPA filter there is no foul odor associated with this process. The gadget can also be controlled and operated via a smartphone app. (more…)

By |February 7th, 2017|Green Tech|0 Comments

Off-Grid Cabin That Doubles as Ski Slope

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This fun cabin was designed by the architecture firm Vardehaugen of Norway. It can function completely off-the-grid and features a sloping roof that the architects claim can serve as a ski/sledding trail and even a ski jumping slope, though I’m not sure how safe the latter is. (more…)

By |January 16th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tiny Off-the-Grid Home That Follows the Sun

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Downsizing isn’t the only advantage of opting for a tiny home it seems. The Portland, Oregon-based firm Path Architecture has designed a unique tiny house, which is capable of rotating to follow the sun. Since a version of this home can be used completely off-the-grid, its ability to turn with the sun greatly increases the solar power harvesting potential.

The home is called simply 359, which is derived from the fact that it can be turned almost 360 degrees. It measures just 12 feet by 12 feet, for an area of 144 square feet. It does feature very high ceilings though, which makes up for the tiny footprint, and it is actually quite roomy inside. They are offering two versions, one which is designed to be connected to the grid and another that can be used off-the-grid. The latter is equipped with a solar power array mounted on the roof and a composting toilet. The on-grid version needs to be connected to city services for water and electricity, and features a normal flush toilet. (more…)

By |January 13th, 2017|Green Building|0 Comments

Flood-Proof Home

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The UK (and I’m sure many other countries) is facing the problem of having areas of land that can’t be developed for housing because they are in a flood prone area. However, the proposed Elevating House could solve this problem. It is basically a house that can be raised on stilts when a flood comes. Sounds simple enough.

Elevating House was designed by the company Larkfleet Group. It is a three-bedroom family home and its design is very similar to other homes found across the UK. But what sets it apart drastically is the mechanical jacking system, which allows it to be raised 5 ft (1.5 m) off the ground. The system is comprised of a motor, a gearbox, and drive shafts, and is capable of lifting 72 tons (65 UK tonnes) in just 5 minutes. The home will also feature a modular steel-frame design, making it easy to disassemble and reassemble elsewhere atop a traditional foundation. (more…)

By |December 26th, 2016|Green Building|0 Comments

Use Solar Power to Grill Your Burgers This Summer

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The SolSource, made by the firm One Earth Designs, has been around for awhile and they made quite a few waves a few years ago with their three-in-one solar gadget, which uses solar power to cook food, generate electricity and purify water. The latest version of the device they’re offering is just a cooker, which according to the company heats up five times faster than a charcoal grill. It can also deliver up to 1,000 watts of power, and is capable of harvesting sunlight seven times more efficiently than a typical PV panel. It also requires no fuel of any kind to run, just the sun. (more…)

By |December 19th, 2016|Green Tech|0 Comments