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How to recycle in a nut shell.

Harvest a hazelnut, and you’re left with a shell.

These hard, thin, slow-decaying husks are typically mulched or discarded, but Washington State University scientist Vikram Yadama has found a new way to upcyle leftover hazelnut shells into durable panels for cabinets, tables, and other products.

At WSU’s Composite Materials Engineering Center, Yadama and a team of doctoral students turn agricultural waste products, such as shells, fibers, and stubble, into resin-strengthened architectural and decorative panels.

Part of WSU Extension, Yadama collaborates with manufacturers to share ideas and create new techniques. Funded by the National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Small Business Innovation Research Program and inspired by a Northwest client seeking help making compressed fiber panels, his latest project explores hazelnut shells as an ideal main ingredient.


How to "whine" about pesticides in vineyards.

It’s a sunny Sunday morning. You’re driving through the rolling hills of one of South Australia’s magnificent wine regions. There is perfectly manicured, green and lush grapevines as far as the eye can see.

Suddenly, a monster-looking machine appears on the scene and disrupts the tranquil drive: what is it doing? You might be looking at a fungicide sprayer.

Fruit crops are susceptible to many unwanted fungi that can cause disease. Just take a look in your fruit bowl and you might see some fungi there.

Grape growers spray fungicides, a specific type of pesticide to inhibit or kill fungi that can cause disease. It is a crucial viticultural practice that occurs throughout the growing season to help protect both the vines and developing grape bunches. Growers will adjust the amount that they spray based on the season’s weather and, might spray less if it is hot and dry or more if it is wet and rainy.

It is generally agreed that fungicides are sprayed to kill the harmful fungi; however, they can also kill beneficial organisms living on those vines and bunches, known as yeast.

These tiny creatures we cannot see with the naked eye are micro-fungi and are related to the microorganisms that cause disease. However, these yeasts can also be beneficial and may play an important role in the wine industry.

Yeasts transform sugar in grape juice into ethanol and carbon dioxide. In the case of ‘wild’ wines, native yeast – those coming from the vineyard – are the only microorganisms that will ferment the grape juice, transforming it into wine.


For more wine related puns please check out the link below!

How to use "not natural" intelligence to reduce the impact on natural resources.

Drones and artificial intelligence are used in the Innovation Fund project ReDoCO2 to develop a decision-making tool for determining which peatland soils can provide the greatest climate gain with lower greenhouse gas emissions. The tool contributes to the climate goal of reducing greenhouse gases and the green transition of agriculture.

The Danish Climate Act has set a target that Denmark must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. by 2030 compared to the level in 1990. And with the Folketing’s „Agreement on green transition of Danish agriculture“, the focus on agricultural emissions is high. Longterm, the goal is for Denmark to be a climate-neutral society by 2050.

„(…) It is a colossal challenge that requires strengthened collaboration, increased capacity for research, innovation and rapid implementation, as well as not least massive investments in new technology and changed land use,“ writes head of the Department of Agroecology Jørgen E. Olesen in a chronicle on (in Danish)

It requires new technologies and collaborations if the climate plan for Danish agriculture is to be achieved. And that is exactly what is in focus in the Innovation Fund project ReDoCO2.

Lena Kaatz

Lena Kaatz

Neben ihrem Masterstudium mit dem Schwerpunkt Nutztierwissenschaften stellt sie den Göttinger Wissenschaftler:innen die berühmten 5 Fragen und entdeckt jeden Freitag die neusten Forschungsergebnisse aus aller Welt.

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