Tag Archives | Eco-Friendly

Orlando Uses Sewage To Produce Electricity

Photo:  wfmillar (CC)

Photo: wfmillar (CC)

Can poop be turned into power? The city of Orlando has been working with private-industry partners on turning sewage into electricity in an attempt to answer the age-old question: ‘What if you could take sewage and get rid of it cleanly and quickly, without dumping it in rivers or landfills — and generate pollution-free electricity at the same time?’ Orlando Sentinel reports:

Orlando officials think they’ve perfected a technology that has flummoxed scientists for decades — one they hope will be used worldwide to turn sewage into electricity and earn the city tens of millions of dollars in royalties.

If city officials and their private-industry partners are right, it could be the biggest thing in sewage treatment since the flush toilet.

“We call it poop to power in five minutes,” said project consultant Roy Pelletier.

While the five-year, $8.5 million project has drawn little attention locally, a small, experimental test plant off busy Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida has drawn visitors from Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Europe and elsewhere in recent weeks.

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German Inventor Saves Fuel By Flying A Kite

SkySail kite being demonstrated at promotional event. Photo: Ursula Horn (CC)

SkySail kite being demonstrated at promotional event. Photo: Ursula Horn (CC)

SkySails has invented a method that could cut down on ‘fuel consumption, costs and carbon footprints’ for commercial ships by developing giant kites. The Raw Story reports:

The blue-hulled vessel would slip by unnoticed on most seas if not for the white kite, high above her prow, towing her to what its creators hope will be a bright, wind-efficient future.

The enormous kite, which looks like a paraglider, works in tandem with the ship’s engines, cutting back on fuel consumption, costs, and carbon footprint.

“Using kites you can harness more energy than with any other type of wind-powered equipment,” said German inventor Stephan Wrage, whose company SkySails is looking for lift-off on the back of worldwide efforts to boost renewable energy.

The 160-square-metre (524-square-foot) kite, tethered to a yellow rope, can sail 500 metres into the skies where winds are both stronger and more stable, according to the 38-year-old Wrage.

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Making Chicken Feathers Into Plastic

Chickens

Photo: Paebi (CC)

Could chicken feathers help reduce our waste? The American Chemical Society has announced that a more environment-friendly plastic can be produced using the discarded feathers of chickens. BBC reports:

The millions of tonnes of chicken feathers discarded each year could be used in plastics, researchers say.

A study reported at the American Chemical Society meeting in the US suggests feathers could lead to more environment-friendly, lighter plastics.

The chemical recipe requires significantly less petroleum-derived material.

However, tests on a grander scale will be necessary to establish the idea’s industrial feasibility.

Such “biowaste” materials have been proposed as components of plastic formulations before.

Feathers, like hair and fingernails, are made up principally of the tough and chemically stable protein keratin, and can lend strength while reducing weight in the mixtures of plastics chemicals known as composites.

Researchers at the US agricultural authority have even published research into the possibility of incorporating chicken feathers into plastics, as an additive in composites that are made largely of a chemical polymer.

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Garbage Hotel Opens In Madrid

Photo: TresSugar

Photo: TresSugar

Looking for a place to stay in Madrid? Make an ec0-friendly reservation at the Beach Garbage Hotel! The Leader Post reports:

A new hotel has opened in the heart of Madrid proudly declaring that it’s complete rubbish.

More of a wooden shack than a five-star establishment, the walls of the Beach Garbage Hotel are strewn with detritus dragged up by the tide, recovered from landfills or snapped up at flea markets.

Among the wall decorations: Plastic drums, wooden frames, musical instruments, striped socks, tyres, and children’s books.

In the five rooms there are street lights, wobbly sideboards, and torn Persian rugs, ready to welcome the lucky winners of a Facebook competition whose prize was a free stay.

Out front, there is a small patch of sand and palm trees.

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