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EU-funded researchers have used novel carbon materials to make lightweight, energy-efficient supercapacitors, the energy storage devices that supply power to electric vehicles during acceleration. Their work promises to extend the distance electric vehicles can travel before a recharge. This improved performance could boost their appeal on the market, help make EU manufacturers more competitive, and contribute to the EU's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Published: 3 July 2015
Asthmatics already know that certain weather conditions can leave them short of breath. If sufferers of this and other diseases had access to an alert system warning of environmental conditions that could put them at risk, lives might be saved. The EO2HEAVEN project has done the groundwork for such a system. It is already in use to some extent in Germany, South Africa and Uganda.
Published: 23 June 2015
The world needs more drinking water, without damaging ecosystems, and the sea is one possible source. EU-funded researchers are developing a self-cleaning filter membrane for desalination plants that cuts their energy use, waste and maintenance costs compared to those of existing filters.
Published: 22 June 2015
A detailed picture of European weather patterns over the past decades is now emerging thanks to an EU-funded project to re-analyse historical records. The results will help governments plan for climate change by better understanding past trends and extreme events.
Published: 19 June 2015
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has the potential to help the EU significantly cut its greenhouse gas emissions. However, a lack of low-cost and energy-efficient capture technologies is hampering their take-up. EU-funded researchers have developed new CCS technologies to produce efficient and cost-effective electrical power from fossil fuels with near-zero emissions. One solution has been patented, while another is being prepared for market.
Published: 18 June 2015
Published: 18 June 2015
Cellular regeneration allows wound healing in humans but in other vertebrates such as salamanders, it goes a step further: they can regenerate their limbs in their full complexity of bones, nerves, muscle and skin and can do it over and over again. Prof. Elly Tanaka studies these amazing capacities and, mirroring the process, has successfully grown a piece of mouse spinal cord in vitro.
Published: 17 June 2015
The Sun provides a steady source of power that could make solar energy a sustainable alternative to conventional sources of energy, provided that technological advances can actually reduce energy production costs. Prof. Michael Gratzel modified the composition of dye-sensitized solar cells to significantly increase their efficiency, including for indoor use. His result laid the ground for paradigm shifts that could revolutionise solar cells technology.
Published: 16 June 2015
Most of our actions can have an impact on the environment, be it minor, long-lasting or simply irreversible. But how can this effect be measured, avoided, predicted? What are the specificities of long-term risks and how can collective decisions be taken effectively to tackle those threats?
Published: 15 June 2015
In industrial societies, consumption has traditionally been an end in itself. Growth is achieved by selling more products, but often also results in unnecessary waste, resource depletion, pollution and other environmental damage. It doesn't have to be this way. Research by an EU-funded project indicates that a switch to a more service-oriented approach could be better for the environment and society as a whole, while boosting growth and competitiveness.
Published: 11 June 2015