enviroaura

Method efficiently breaks down plastic bottles into component parts

A research team has demonstrated that a material called a metal-organic framework (MOF) is a stable and selective catalyst for breaking down polyester-based plastic into its component parts. Only three things are needed: plastic, hydrogen and the catalyst. An important bonus is that one of the component parts the plastic is broken down into is …

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Solution to world’s largest waste stream: Make sand

After water, sand is the most exploited natural resource on the planet. However, its extraction from seas, rivers, beaches and quarries has an impact on the environment and surrounding communities. A new study has found that a step-change in mineral processing could drastically reduce mineral waste — the world’s largest waste stream — while creating …

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Methane from waste should not be wasted: Exploring landfill ecosystems

Scientists explore microbial communities flourishing in leachate, a liquid percolating through solid waste in a landfill. They find that the composition and behavior of specific microbes found in arid landfills, like those in Arizona, are distinct from similar communities in more subtropical or temperate climates. Microbial composition also differs depending on the age of the …

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Modeling Earth’s magnetosphere in the laboratory

Scientists report a method to study smaller magnetospheres, sometimes just millimeters thick, in the laboratory. The new experimental platform combines the magnetic field of the Large Plasma Device with a fast laser-driven plasma and a current-driven dipole magnet. The LAPD magnetic field provides a model of the solar system’s interplanetary magnetic field, while the laser-driven …

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