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Useful things from gelatine29 July 2015
Yarn from slaughterhouse waste

ETH and Empa researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibres. Now they are working on making the yarn even more water-resistant.
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THRIVE sets its sights on waste heat27 July 2015
Waste not, want not

As part of the National Research Program “Energy Turnaround” NRP 70 the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) is supporting the interdisciplinary research project “THRIVE”. With IBM Research – Zurich and the Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil as leading houses, scientists from Empa, ETH Zurich, HEIG-VD and PSI will be teaming up with industrial partners until 2017 to develop a heat pump that is powered by waste heat.
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EmpaNews 49 published20 July 2015
Concrete heating

An unique experiment is currently underway in Seelisberg: a construction physicist from Lucerne had Empa researchers install six cubic meters of special concrete in the garage of his vacation home. The concrete stores heat during the summer and releases it in the winter as and when needed. The system enables the house to be heated for weeks – sustainably and ecologically.

See the whole story (pdf)
Pictures can be downloaded here.

Video «Wunderbeton als Wärmespeicher» (German language), SRF Einstein, 12.03.2015

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Fuel crucial for life cycle assessment15 July 2015
Are fuel cells environmentally friendly? Not always!

Fuel cells are regarded as the technology of the future for both cars and household heating systems. As a result, they have a key role to play in the switch to renewable energies. But are fuel cells always more environmentally friendly? An international team of scientists headed by Empa performed a series of calculations and reached a conclusion: It depends on the fuel.  
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