Environmentally-friendly

  • ​It was back in April that we heard about how scientists had made concrete stronger and more eco-friendly by adding graphene to it. Now, researchers at Lancaster University are reporting that they've achieved even better results using cheaper "nano platelets" derived from root vegetable fibers.
  • ​Although it's associated with nasty cigarettes, the tobacco plant is also a potential source of vaccines, biofuel and antibiotics. Now, a chemical from the plant is also being used as a bug repellent for crops, which could replace eco-unfriendly insecticides.
  • Science
    ​Traditional synthetic hair dyes can be quite toxic, not only to our bodies, but also to the environment. As a result, scientists are developing non-toxic dyes based on substances such as graphene. Now, it appears that waste blackcurrant skins can also do the job.
  • Organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and even recycled plastics are being transformed into clothing for eco-aware fashionistas. Australia's Nanollose is going an even greener route with a system that makes use of biomass waste from the coconut industry to create a plant-free fiber.​
  • ​As useful as it is, plastic isn’t the most environmentally-friendly material. To try to wean us off it, chemists at Colorado State University have now developed a polymer that apparently has all the benefits, but can be easily broken down and recycled over and over.
  • ​Graphene, the "wonder material" composed of a one-atom-thick sheet of linked carbon atoms, is the world's strongest manmade material. Now, scientists have used it to create a new type of concrete that is much stronger, water-resistant and eco-friendly than what we're used to.
  • ​It's one of the dilemmas of vacationing at the seaside – you want protection from the sun, yet most sunscreens are harmful to the marine environment. Well, scientists may be onto a solution. They've discovered that a compound found naturally in seaweed could keep us from getting burned.
  • The plastic microbeads that give products like toothpaste a smooth texture pose a big problem. They're small enough that they don't get caught by sewage filtration systems, and can be ingested by wildlife once in the sea. With that in mind, scientists have developed biodegradable microbeads.​
  • In what might be a case of two wrongs making a right, an Australian startup has shown that it is possible to get a cleaner blend of fuel by combining oil derived from old tires with diesel. ​
  • What if we could get rid of cigarette butt litter by using them to make bricks? A team at RMIT University in Australia tried the idea out and found that not only could it reduce toxic waste, but also makes for better bricks.
  • A major redevelopment of Ford's Dearborn campus in Michigan is set to see it become greener, more high-tech and better at fostering innovation. Ford says the 10-year project will both reflect and aid its increasing focus on mobility as well as its continued car manufacturing operations.
  • While most of us may not give much thought to the dyes used in color inks, they are in fact often quite toxic. That's why scientists have developed a more eco-friendly alternative – a non-toxic ink that produces different colors by altering the nanostructure of the material to which it's applied.