Supercomputing improves biomass fuel conversion

Read the full story from the University of California-Riverside.

Pretreating plant biomass with THF-water causes lignin globules on the cellulose surface to expand and break away from one another and the cellulose fibers. The expanded lignin is also more exposed to catalytic fragmentation by dilute acid. As a result, lignin can be more efficiently depolymerized, solubilized, and transported out of the cell wall at milder treatment conditions. Co-solvents allow easier recovery of both lignin and sugars, making renewable fuel production easier and more cost-effective.

Going green? Not so easy for mainstream brands

Read the full story from San Diego State University.

Recent research shows that when mainstream brands advertise using visual cues suggesting the product is environmentally friendly or ‘green’ consumers may actually evaluate the product as being less effective and switch to a more niche green brand.

Opinion: People Make It So Hard to Ditch Plastic Straws

Read the full story from Bloomberg.

Eliminating plastic straws offers a case study in how simple solutions can be devilishly tricky to implement — and sometimes even worse than the problems they were meant to solve. For that, we can largely thank ourselves and our behavioral quirks.

A New Old Way To Combat Toxic Algae: Float It Up, Then Skim It Off

Read the full story from Valley Public Radio.

The Army Corps of Engineers is testing methods based on wastewater treatment to remove the green slime, which can produce toxins that threaten drinking water supplies, local economies, and human health.

Climate Mobilization Act

Read the full post at JD Supra.

On April 18, 2019, the New York City Council passed legislation, referred to as the Climate Mobilization Act, which includes bills designed to aggressively reduce carbon emissions produced by New York City’s buildings. According to a study conducted by the New York City Mayor’s Office, buildings currently account for almost 70% of the city’s green-house gas emissions. The bills set heavy fines for building owners’ non-compliance. Notwithstanding strong objections from the real estate industry, the bills found overwhelming support in the New York City Council and passed with a vote of 45-2.

Walkability is key: A look at greenspace use

Read the full story from the University of Arizona.

New research suggests the key to getting more people to use public greenspaces may be making access to them easier and safer.

How we care for the environment may have social consequences

Read the full story from Penn State University.

Anyone can express their commitment to the environment through individual efforts, but some pro-environmental or ‘green’ behaviors may be seen as either feminine or masculine, which researchers say may have social consequences.

Conservation or construction? Deciding waterbird hotspots

Read the full story from Michigan State University.

Scientists show that conservation and construction decisions should rely on multiple approaches to determine waterbird ‘hotspots,’ not just on one analysis method as is often done.

To conserve water, Indian farmers fire up air pollution

Read the full story from Cornell University.

A measure to conserve groundwater in northwestern India has led to unexpected consequences: added air pollution in an area already beset by haze and smog.

Non-lethal impacts of seabirds’ plastic ingestion

Read the full story from the University of Tasmania.

A new study of seabirds that had ingested plastic debris has revealed a range of non-lethal impacts on their health and physiology. While seabird deaths due to swallowing plastic debris or becoming entangled in it have received global attention, the non-lethal effects on seabirds that survive plastic ingestion are less well-known.