Tech giant Apple has said it will be 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2030 by offsetting emissions of the greenhouse gas from its operations. The iPhone maker said it will have a net zero carbon footprint in 10 years across its entire business, including its manufacturing supply chain. Apple is already carbon neutral for its global corporate operations, such as its offices and data centres, which are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. But this new commitment means every Apple device sold, including iPhones and Mac computers, will have net zero climate impact, according to the company. Apple's most recent environmental report, covering the fiscal year 2018, put its carbon footprint at 25.2 million tons.
Researchers at University of Toronto Engineering and Carnegie Mellon University are using artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress in transforming waste carbon into a commercially valuable product with record efficiency. They leveraged AI to speed up the search for the key material in a new catalyst that converts carbon dioxide (CO2) into ethylene--a chemical precursor to a wide range of products, from plastics to dish detergent. The resulting electrocatalyst is the most efficient in its class. If run using wind or solar power, the system also provides an efficient way to store electricity from these renewable but intermittent sources. "Using clean electricity to convert CO2 into ethylene, which has a $60 billion global market, can improve the economics of both carbon capture and clean energy storage," says Professor Ted Sargent, one of the senior authors on a new paper published today in Nature.
Just behind us, a giant industrial magnet powered up with warning signs dotted about its perimeter so we wouldn't scramble our phones. Before long, John Durrell, a specialist in superconductor engineering (who took apart more machines as a teenager than he can remember), arrived with a set of tools in his hands and a glint in his eye.
As micro-molding gives way to "nano-molding," processors will need creative answers to the problems of handling flyspeck-sized parts. Farms may replace oil wells as the source of new plastics. Biopolymers made from cornstarch or other renewable feedstocks will supple-ment petrochemical-derived polymers in a wide range of applications. What if you could change the color of every part right at the machine? Instant color changes may be part of the coming era of "mass customization." New methods of polymer production will allow custom materials to be "programmed" for individual applications. Say Hello to Nano Molding The new frontier of injection molding is "shrinking," says Carl Schiffer, managing partner at Dr. Boy GmbH in Germany. Miniaturization in electronic and medical parts will help push today's micro-molding toward "nano"-size parts. Machinery will need to evolve to meet the "nano" challenge. Shot sizes must become smaller, and screw diameters are already shrinking from the standard lower limit of 14 mm.