SnippETS for 9 August 2018


Welcome to this week’s edition of our SnippETS newsletter.

In this edition we start with a good overview of world energy investment trends and then look at carbon capture and sequestration, followed by the evils of methane explained.

Next we have articles about using waste for energy and a car that is fully recyclable and made from renewable resources.

We also have articles about how young people in Asia are responding to environmental issues and we finish with an article about how fruit waste is being used to create an organic coating that helps avoid wastage of food.

In the latest IEA report we see global energy investment sat at $1.8tn in 2017, down 2% from 2016. This comprehensive report discusses investments in renewables, fossil fuels, nuclear and carbon capture – the latter which saw a peak in 2009, before collapsing to virtually nothing. The report stated that a dedicated commercial incentive as low as $50 per tonne of sequestered CO2 could trigger significant investment in the capture and storage of CO2 globally. Read more.....

News that the world might safely store billions of tonnes of sequestered CO2 is certainly welcome. Researchers found that large amounts of CO2 could be stored under the ground or sea with only a small risk of surface leakage in the following 10,000 years. The findings show that CO2 storage is safe and only becomes safer and more secure the longer it stays in the ground, due to a range of physical processes such as mineralisation. Read more.....

How bad a Greenhouse Gas is methane? Global warming potential (GWP) is a number that allows experts to compare methane with carbon dioxide. While CO2 persists in the atmosphere for centuries, or even millennia, methane warms the planet on steroids for a decade or two before decaying to CO2. In those short decades, methane warms the planet by 86 times as much as CO2, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Read more....

In Rotorua, Red Stag Timber is repurposing 100,000 tonnes of wood residue including bark, sawdust and shavings from the company’s planers. By generating 7.5 megawatts of electricity on site, using biomass fired boilers and steam powered turbines, the mill has reduced its CO2 emissions by 6,100 tonnes per year, and, by exporting excess electricity back into the grid, generates an income of about $500,000 per year. Read more.....


With the increasing move to electric vehicles, it is good to see even further innovation in this area, with the creation of the 100% recyclable electric car called Noah. Its body and chassis are made entirely from renewable resources - natural and bio-based materials, so it also has a reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional plastics. The speed and range are also not too bad for an urban use vehicle. Read more.....

Here in NZ we can expect to see recycled PET plastic used for 3D printing. A NZ company, Reforge, is developing a process to convert your recyclable plastic bottles into the filament that 3D printers use. Reforge also wants to develop a micro recycling and production factory that fits inside a shipping container, so in remote situations, or emergencies, you can print what you need. Read more.....


Environmental issues are a top priority for Asia’s youth. When you consider that 60% of the world’s young people live in the Asia–Pacific region; you have the potential for great change. Here is a story about some of them taking action to fix what has been broken and setting the stage for a better future!

Read more.....


We next look at how addressing energy used in food processing contributes to more sustainable agriculture, and with an expected world population of around 9.8 billion by 2050 something has got to give. Countless technologies and innovations can foster a more energy and resource efficient agri-food chain, and renewable energy sources can further improve the sector’s carbon footprint and feed the world’s growing population. Read more.....

Food waste and plastic pollution are two big problems facing the world. A new innovation that turns unwanted fruit peels, seeds and pulp into a non-toxic, organic coating is set to combat both issues. Apeel-coated avocados reportedly stay ripe (without spoiling) twice as long as their untreated counterparts. This is indeed a win-win for the environment and the consumer and it is a good example of waste being put to good use. Read more.....

This week in Innovation, waste heat can be converted to electricity more efficiently using one-dimensional nanoscale materials as thin as an atom -- ushering a new way of generating sustainable energy -- thanks to new research.

Read more.....

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