Environment

Virginia Tech

The water emergency in Flint, Michigan might not have come to light without the work of a team of Virginia Tech researchers.

Toxic levels of lead in the city’s tap water were ignored by officials, until it proved there was a problem. And according to the leader of that team, Flint is just the tip of the iceberg.

Virginia Tech Environmental Engineering Professor Marc Edwards got a call from a distraught mother in Flint Michigan last year.  An EPA employee named Miguel Del Toral had gone out of his way to help her when no one else would listen.

Virginia Wood Powers Green Energy Transition

Jan 15, 2016

The evolution of green energy in this country looks very different from one state to the next.  The Southwest has plenty of sunshine.  The Midwest gets strong, steady winds to power land-based turbines, and the Mid-Atlantic is blessed with offshore wind and wood.  Sandy Hausman reports on how the forests of Virginia could reduce demand for coal and oil while building local economies.

Green Fuel Feeds Virginia's Rural Economy

Jan 13, 2016
Virginia Tech

Every year, Virginia spends a billion dollars on energy from somewhere else – fuel oil, propane or kerosene to heat homes.  Now, farmers in Virginia are growing an alternative fuel – a clean, sustainable grass that promises to keep the cash here in the Commonwealth.  Sandy Hausman has that story.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

With so many cars on the road this holiday season, it’s easy to see why automobiles account for almost half of the country’s fuel consumption.  But what if cars could recover some of that energy for other uses? An engineering professor at Virginia Tech is working on a way to give cars exactly that kind of ‘energy bump.’

Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lei Zuo and his team are working on a new kind of shock absorber that would not only enhance a car’s ride, but also create energy just from driving on the road.

Every year, 250 million inner tubes from tires are tossed into landfills.  It’s an environmental problem, but it’s also a business opportunity. 

America’s highways are filled with trucks that ride on tires, and when those wheels of rubber must be replaced, their inner tubes often end up in the trash.  That seemed a shame to Angela Greene.

“I stumbled upon a backpack that I really liked.  It was made of inner tubes, and we just became very interested in inner tubes, because they’re very pretty.”  

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