The contents of your toilet is precious – to algae,anyway. Human waste is packed with phosphorus and nitrogen, nutrients that algae needs to grow. Researchers have developed bioreactors, like this machinery designed by ClearAS in Missoula, USA, that exploit the way that algae grows rapidly when exposed to human waste. The system is packed with algae that extracts nutrients from wastewater, therefore cleaning the water to ensure it meets industry standards. The algae is then used to make materials for bioplastics and bioenergy. A full-scale system is up and running at South Davis sewers in Utah, treating 18 million litres of water daily.
SET IN STONE
Geothermal power plants, which use heat from the Earth’s core to generate energy, may provide a steady stream of electricity, but they’re not entirely clean. They produce some emissions – mostly CO2 released when hot water is pumped up from carbonate-containing rocks.
However, at this well (one of over 100 at the Hellisheiði power plant in Iceland) CO2 can be returned to the rocks by adding it to water that is reinjected back into the ground after energy production. Scientists once thought this ‘remineralisation’ process took hundreds of years, but a 2016 study showed it is rapid – working within a year or two to lock the CO2 away. Iceland’s CO2 emissions from geothermal energy are low, but remineralisation keeps the environmental impact to an absolute minimum.
GREENHOUSE ON FIRE
Iceland’s Svartsengi lava field might seem a bizarre setting for biotech, but beneath the barren landscape in this image is a vast stream of power. As you can see in the background, steam vents from the ground, a visible sign of Svartsengi’s volcanic energy.
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Inside The World's First Airport For Drones And Flying Cars
Plans to build the world’s first off-grid transport hub for drones and air-taxis have just received government funding. The Urban Air Port, located in Coventry, will offer flying electric vehicles a place to charge and load up. The project aims to lay the groundwork for a web of transport hubs that could provide a green, clean remedy to our cities’ groaning infrastructure. Daniel Bennett talks to Ricky Sandhu, the founder and CEO of Urban Air Port, to see if the idea could take off.
Pumas In The Peaks
Living secretive lives against the spectacular backdrop of Chile’s Torres del Paine, Patagonia’s pumas are proving a conservation success.
Waste Not, Want Not
Meet the communities forging the way to a trash-free future, by reshaping unwanted by-products into valuable resources
A Scientist's Guide To Life - How To Get Fit At Home
Due to the coronavirus, more people are exercising indoors. This month, we ask exercise researchers Matt Cocks and Katie Hesketh how to get fit at home
A Safe Space
Intrusive social media and online shouting matches have left people seeking the internet hideouts that allow them to be themselves
How Your Brain Creates Reality
Do we see the world as it really is, or are we creating our own reality? Here, we delve into the neuroscience behind the world that we experience
Species That Glow In The Dark
From the ocean depths to remote rainforests, bioluminescent organisms light up the natural world. We take an illuminating look at the species that glow in the dark.
A Universe Full Of See-Through Stars
Mysterious discoveries around the globe have opened up a tantalising possibility: the cosmos could be full of ghostly stars that are invisible to our most sensitive detectors
Who Is Britain's Greatest Prime Minister?
Three hundred years ago this month, Robert Walpole became Britain’s first PM. To mark this huge moment in political history, we asked five historians to nominate the 10 leaders who they believe accomplished most during their residency in Number 10
Alexa, Tell Me A Story
Dr Lara Martin wants to teach artificial intelligence how to tell a tale and tell it well. She reveals to Amy Barrett why we need to train machines how to be storytellers and what Dungeons & Dragons has to do with it all….
Cruise amid the remote beauty of Greenland.
Into the Denmark Strait
A bristlingly cold gale whipped across the silvery North Atlantic and up the narrow fjord.
See the world through the viewfinder of one of the world’s foremost adventure photographers.
The new Ford F150 Arctic truck goes for a shakedown run in Iceland
Whether landscapes or wildlife, airline liveries tell a story from nose to tail.
SOME LIKE IT HOT...SOME PREFER NOT
When the promise of Caribbean sunburns and crowds have lost their luster, it may be time to head for cooler climates further north.
Land of Lights
Iceland is actually about 90% ice-free – and 100% charming
Iceland’s unlikely agricultural success
A Tribute to Orri Vigfússon, The Greatest Friend Wild Atlantic Salmon Could Ever Have
The Northwest's coolest upscale RV Park. A dune-side resort down under. A luxurious private island. A scandinavian Heli-Ski resort. From the world's new adventure frontiers to its best places to stay, here are Men's Journal's 2020 Travel Awards.