Green tech finds (5/6/10)

Seed-laden packing boxes, energy capture from sewage, and the power of pokeberries (pictured above)… your green tech finds for the week.

  • Electricity to gas: German researchers are experimenting with converting excess power from renewable energy sources into methane. This creates a means for storing this energy in a manner that could be used with existing natural gas infrastructure.

  • Pokeberries to power: New solar cell technology under development by Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and FiberCell, Inc. makes use of dye from pokeberries to increase the cells’ ability to absorb sunlight. (via Calfinder and Smartplanet)

  • Smart watering: Ever see sprinklers going off when its raining… or has been raining for days? ET Water Systems‘ SmartBox irrigation controller (designed for college campuses or office building parks) considers site-specific data and weather information before turning on the sprinklers. (via CNET Green Tech)

  • Lowering the carbon footprint of cremation: The California state Assembly is considering a bill to broaden the definition of cremation so funeral home owners can start using “bio-cremation” machines, which “use a liquid chemical process to dissolve bodies instead of cremating them with fire.”

  • Packing boxes that sprout trees: The Life Box is a cardboard packing box embedded with tree seeds and mycorrhizal fungal spores. Package recipients can tear the box up and plant the pieces to grow tree seedlings. The company has plans for customizing the boxes by zip codes (no invasive species), and is considering garden, wildflower, and native grass varieties. (via Springwise)

  • Sewage power: The Budd Inlet sewage treatment plant in Olympia, Washington has installed a cogeneration system that captures methane produced from the treatment process, and uses the gas to power equipment at the plant. (via Cleantechnica)

  • The artificial leaf: Researchers at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China presented their work on a biomimetic leaf that could potentially split water to make hydrogen fuel to the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society last month. (via GreenUpgrader)

Got a find? Let us know about it in the comments…


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