Plastic trash is a rapidly growing environmental problem. But a biodegradable and natural material could replace plastic packaging and eliminate this problem.
Energy and environment
The 1969 discovery of oil at the Ekofisk field in the North Sea transformed Norway into an internationally important energy nation. But long before black gold was being pumped from the Norwegian Continental Shelf, Norway’s economy was fuelled by a different kind of energy: hydropower.
Research scientists are collaborating with industry to find ways of building wind turbines up to 200 metres high.
If 4,000 Norwegian farms and nurseries produced biochar and mixed it with the soil, we could halve CO2 emissions from the agricultural sector. This entirely natural approach also produces more robust and healthy plants.
Most efforts to control ice build-up on structures like wind turbines and solar cells involve creating a surface that repels water. But Norwegian researchers have engineered a different approach that allows ice to form on a surface, but then causes it to crack off.
SINTEF’s climate change ambassador Nils Røkke is on his way to Brussels looking forward to a new job and new assignments. He has been appointed as Chair of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA). This in a world in which the threats posed by climate change are increasingly being portrayed as “fake news”.
Carl Folke, a groundbreaking researcher in his field, has been awarded the Gunnerus Sustainability Science Award for 2017.
When hydropower reservoirs traps organic matter, it leads to higher local greenhouse gas emissions. But the emissions are not increased but displaced. A new tool calculates the real greenhouse gas footprints of reservoirs.
A series of first-ever maps shows regional-scale differences in carbon footprints in the EU. The maps can help guide local and regional policies designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
How does technology change people, and how do people change in response to technology? Sixteen people volunteered to live in a high-tech, zero-emission house to help researchers answer those exact questions.
Heavy-duty trucks will soon be driving around in Trondheim, Norway, fuelled by hydrogen created with solar power, and emitting only pure water vapour as “exhaust”. Not only will hydrogen technology revolutionize road transport, it will also enable ships and trains to run emission-free.
State-of-the-art solar cells are efficient – but are even more so when they are kept clean. A cleaning robot developed by Norwegian researchers enables solar panels to deliver at full capacity.
Science has made great strides since Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish Nobel Laureate who in 1896 first determined that carbon dioxide from human activity could warm the planet. The same progress hasn’t been made in increasing the number of women in the sciences.
Imagine breathing polluted New Delhi air. It’s a scorching 40 degrees and the humidity is high. But you’re not in New Delhi – you’re in an art installation, during the Starmus festival in Trondheim in June.
Nils Røkke, Director of Sustainability at SINTEF, is the new Chairman of the European Energy Research Alliance.
Researchers from Norway and Singapore are working together to build cities floating at sea and underground universities.
Japanese researchers have access to the largest scientific vessel ever constructed, one that has a 120 metre tall derrick capable of drilling to 7500 metres below the seafloor. They’re using it to hunt for life deep under the seafloor and explore for mineral deposits at the bottom of the ocean — topics that are of great interest to Norwegian researchers.
Production of electricity is responsible for about a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, and demand is poised to rise as underserved populations connect to the grid, and electronics and electric vehicles proliferate. So stopping global warming will require a transformation of electricity production. But it is important to avoid various environmental pitfalls in this transition, researchers say.
How can ships travelling in the Arctic maintain their position when ice pushes them in different directions?
Researchers rely on super microscopes to develop more efficient next-generation batteries.
Some of the ice in the Juvfonne glacier in Jotunheimen National Park in central Norway has been dated to be 7600 years old, currently the oldest dated ice on mainland Norway.
Storing compressed air in sealed tunnels and mines could be a way of storing energy in the future – if an EU project in which Norway is a partner is successful.
Svalbard’s cold climate means that its glaciers are solid and frozen to the ground. This allows for winter travel into unique ice caves that contain plants and material that froze into the glacial ice as it formed.