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An Indian chemical plant has figured out how to turn its carbon emissions into baking soda

An Indian chemical plant has figured out how to turn its carbon emissions into baking soda This could solve a lot of problems. PETER DOCKRILL 4 JAN 2017 AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to FlipboardShare to Copy Link A chemical plant in India is the first in the world to run a new system for capturing carbon emissions and converting them into baking soda. The Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals plant, in the industrial port city of Tuticorin, is expecting to convert some 60,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually into baking soda and other chemicals – and the scientists behind the process say the technique could be used to ultimately capture and transform up to 10 percent of global emissions from coal. While carbon capture technology is not a new thing, what’s remarkable about the Tuticorin installation is that it’s running without subsidies from the government – suggesting the researchers have developed a profitable, practical system that could have the commercial potential to expand to other plants and industries. “I am a businessman. I never thought about saving the planet,” the managing director of the plant, Ramachadran Gopalan, told the BBC. “I needed a reliable stream of CO2, and …

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Physicists have figured out how to create matter and antimatter using light

A team of researchers from the Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IAP RAS) has just announced that they managed to calculate how to create matter and antimatter using lasers. This means that, by focusing high-powered laser pulses, we might soon be able to create matter and antimatter using light. To break this down a bit, light is made of high-energy photons. When high-energy photons go through strong electric fields, they lose enough radiation that they become gamma rays and create electron-positron pairs, thus creating a new state of matter. “A strong electric field can, generally speaking, ‘boil the vacuum,’ which is full of ‘virtual particles,’ such as electron-positron pairs. The field can convert these types of particles from a virtual state, in which the particles aren’t directly observable, to a real one,” says Igor Kostyukov of IAP RAS, who references their calculations on the concept of quantum electrodynamics (QED). NASA Astrophysics A QED cascade is a series of processes that starts with electrons and positrons accelerating within a laser field. It will then be followed by the release of high-energy photons, electrons, and positrons. As high-energy photons decay, it will produce electron-positron pairs. Essentially, a …

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The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train is coming to Germany The future is here.

The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger train has been unveiled this week by French transport company Alstom, which will be operating the incredibly quiet and environmentally friendly ‘Coradia iLint’ in Germany from next year. The best thing about the Coradia iLint train is that it only leaks excess steam and condensed water into the atmosphere, which means it offers a zero-emissions alternative to Germany’s 4,000-strong fleet of diesel trains. The train was presented to the public for the first time last week at Berlin’s InnoTrans trade show. Nicknamed the hydrail, it’s set to become the first hydrogen-powered passenger train to regularly operate over long distances. The iLint is expected to run on the Buxtehude-Bremervörde-Bremerhaven-Cuxhaven regional line in the northwestern German state of Lower Saxony, with testing and approval procedures to be carried out later this year, and public access to open up by December 2017. According to German newspaper Die Welt, Lower Saxony’s local transportation authority has so far ordered 14 iLint trains from Alstom, and if they prove to be a success, more will likely be seen in other regional areas of the country. Interest in the train has also been expressed by leaders in the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The iLint …

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Human Growth round the world

Global height study finds out who grew the most in the past 100 years Get up, stand up. JACINTA BOWLER 27 JUL 2016 933 In a global height analysis based on nearly 1,500 studies, Dutch men and Latvian women topped the charts, standing tallest at heights of 182.5cm and 169.8cm on average respectively. The study found heights have changed dramatically between 1914 and 2014, with South Korean women showing the largest increase of 20.2 cm over the period. Americans are leading the race in another trend – plateauing. The study shows that although humans as a species are still getting taller, countries such as the US, UK, and Japan have stopped or slowed growing significantly in the last 30-40 years. The US, once home to the 3rd tallest men and 4th tallest women in the world, are now sitting in 37th and 42nd place respectively. “This study gives us a picture of the health of nations over the past century, and reveals the average height of some nations may even be shrinking while others continue to grow taller,” said lead researcher Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London in the UK. “Our study also shows the English-speaking world, especially the USA, is …

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