Sustainability

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Earth’s population could shrink soon

Better opportunities for women mean that the threat of overcrowding the planet may not be as dramatic as people fear. The population may well decline in a few decades.

Michelin-class composting

Now you can learn how to compost food scraps from a Michelin restaurant. Restaurant Credo folks in Trondheim will be showing off their artistry at the FUTURUM exhibit, part of NTNU’s science festival The Big Challenge.

Gas instead of coal is 50% better for the climate

We can do a lot to save the climate by switching from coal to natural gas. And we can shelve concerns about the negative climate impact of methane emissions from gas production, say researchers.

Finding ways to use less salt on snowy roads

It’s springtime in much of the northern hemisphere, although spring snowstorms are still possible. When that happens, salt trucks and ploughs help make roads safe. But road salt can be bad for the environment, and can rust cars, bicycles and other metal. New research shows that salt use can be safely — and substantially — cut in certain circumstances.

WITH PHOTO COLLECTION

When the Chinese giant awakes

When China sets its sights on a goal, the country can change at a blindingly rapid pace. Now the country is focused on innovation and technological innovations, with renewable energy at the forefront.

Norwegian trees can power our jets

As much as 20 per cent of jet fuel burned in Norway in 2030 could be biofuel made from the country’s forest residues. This alone could cut greenhouse gas emissions from Norway’s aviation sector by 17 per cent.

Spending our carbon budgets wisely

Our carbon emissions are much higher than are needed for us to have happy, healthy lives. But cutting these emissions requires us to think differently about how we measure growth and progress.

Ecolabels alone don’t work

NTNU researchers wanted to see if labelling products and putting up signs in stores would encourage more consumers to buy sustainable seafood. The results showed that customers bought significantly more seafood generally – including options that were not sustainably harvested.

Geoengineering, other technologies won’t solve climate woes

The countries of the world still need to cut their carbon dioxide emissions to reach the Paris Agreement’s climate targets. Relying on tree planting and alternative technological solutions such as geoengineering will not make enough of a difference.

Minerals and Materials for a Sustainable Future

For the first time this week, the Nature Research Group, publishers of Nature, will host an international conference in Trondheim in cooperation with NTNU, SINTEF and the Geological Survey of Norway. The theme for the conference, which runs from 11-13 September, is the sustainable use of minerals and materials.

New super laboratory coming to Trondheim

Research on minerals and materials is important in helping society make the transition to a greener economy. NTNU, the Geological Survey of Norway and SINTEF have joined forces to establish a national laboratory to that end.

Coastal cruise ships with wings on the bow are on the way

Ships with wings? Researchers are piloting this NTNU-spawned technology on new coastal cruise ships now being tested in Trondheim. The wings – or foils – use less fuel and make the journey more comfortable for passengers.

Clothing, furniture play a role in ocean and freshwater pollution

Lakes choked with algae and marine “dead zones” result from too many nutrients in the water. The traditional culprit is agriculture, which relies on fertilizer to boost plant growth. But the production of consumer goods, like clothing, is also a major — and growing — contributor.

New filter removes run-off chemicals

The filter will first be used to recover aircraft de-icing chemicals. In the future it will also be used in urban areas to remove environmental toxins, pollution and probably microplastics.

Capturing CO2 using heat pumps

Capturing the greenhouse gas CO2 from industrial processes such as cement manufacture is a demanding and therefore expensive exercise. However, by introducing a renewable powered heat pump in the capture system, the energy required to capture CO2 is reduced by three quarters.

How well do solar cells really work in the Nordic climate?

Experiments in SINTEF’s climate lab demonstrate that solar cells work very effectively in Norway in spite of the rain and cold. But there is one thing that owners should be aware of if they want to get the most from the sun’s energy.

Our cities are hidden power stations

Waste heat and locally-produced renewable energy can be generated by compact, “urban power plants” that are efficient enough to supply heat to entire housing estates.