Glowing plants light up the world

A team of Russian scientists have gene-hacked two species of the tobacco plant to emit a visible glow — around the clock, for the entire duration of their life cycle.

What if, as the sun went down, the unassuming plants in your windowsill began to glow, lighting up the space around them like tiny botanical lamps? Thanks to recent innovations by Russian engineers, these living lamps could soon become a reality.

The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp — a lamp that you don’t have to plug in. The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself.


A beautiful video shows off the science fiction-like effect.



Scientists have coaxed other plants to glow by injecting them with chemicals — but these new plants exhibit bioluminescence without such intervention, as ScienceAlert points out.

The goal isn’t just to light up the next greenhouse like a Christmas tree. The scientists want to learn how plants’ metabolisms work by looking at the way they react to external environments.

To get the plants to glow, the team used a ‘fungal bioluminescence system’ that’s capable of turning a common acid found in all plants into luciferin, the compound in organisms that can generate bioluminescence, as outlined in the scientists’ paper published in the journal Nature this week.

The phenomenon is bright enough to be visible to the naked eye, but not powerful enough to read a book, according to ScienceAlert.

Glowing effect

The glowing effect didn’t interfere with any of the plant’s natural functions, including “overall phenotype, chlorophyll and carotenoid content, flowering time and seed germination,” according to the paper, except for a “12 percent increase in median height of transgenic plants.”

The scientists have already gene-hacked other more popular flowering plants including petunias and roses.

In fact, “although caffeic acid is not native to animals, autonomous luminescence could also be enabled in animals,” the paper reads.




Sandmotor will strengthen British coastline

Bacton & Walcott Sandscaping

The Dutch Sandmoter is building extra protection for the British coastline. Building with nature is the intention of the Sandmotor.

Since 2011, an artificial sandbank has been lying near the coast Holland. It naturally feeds the beaches and dunes with new sand and thus keeps it safe. Another sandmotor is rising near the British coast. It is the first time that the Dutch sand engine concept has been applied elsewhere. Read More

Delft Hyperloop fourth in competition

Students from Delft Hyperloop with their vehicle in the vacuum tube, in preparation for the final of the Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019.

Last sunday, a student team Delft Hyperloop took part in the final of the Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019 of SpaceX in Los Angeles.

Because of various malfunctions, the vehicle didn’t reach the intended top speed. Nevertheless, the students finished in fourth place. Read More

Sponsh absorbs water from air


sponsh water from air

Sponsh water from air

Sponsh absorbs water from air and releases it. When it‘s cold, like during the night, Sponsh gets moisture from the air to exude during the day.

It is a temperature-sensitive special coating, that is hydrophilic with low temperatures and hydrophobic with high temperatures.

It consists for 90 percent of recycled PET. You can roll Sponsh as a cloth around almond trees or vines, but also place it on the ground to directly provide crops with water.

Read More

Flood overview USA 2018; we can’t ignore the climate change

Flood Washington USA 2018

Flood Washington USA 2018

There was some historic rainfall and flooding through the United States in 2018. At a glance, historic events (1,000-year rainfall events), have occurred at least five times this year across the country!

These have lasted for at least 24-hour periods, but some have lasted for longer. According to, here are five notable, long-duration, high-impact rainfall events that happened this year. Read More

Startup accelerator Berkeley SkyDeck is ready to accept new tech innovations ready for launch? Apply for Berkeley SkyDeck

berkeley SkyDeck

Berkeley SkyDeck view over de San Francisco Bay

Berkeley SkyDeck’s startup application is live now through September 21, 2018. Do you want to develop your tech innovation to the next level? How does it sounds: working and living in Berkeley / San Francisco surrounded by 150 university mentors, labs and lot’s of Silicon energy? And … an investment of $ 100,000 dollar?

SkyDeck Berkeley offers a 6-month acceleration process for promising startups in any vertical who are affiliated with UC Berkeley, any UC campus, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, or global founders.

Read More

Eindhoven is building a Green Residential Tower With a Vertical Forest

Eindhoven is building a Green Residential Tower With a Vertical Forest

This green residential tower will have 19 floors and 125 social apartments, 125 trees and 5,200 shrubs and plants

Eindhoven is building a special green residential tower of 70 meters high. The ‘Trudo Vertical Forest’ becomes the world’s first vertical forest in social housing. By 2019 the residential tower must be ready.

The vertical forest will absorb annually about 50,000 kilos of CO2 and will supply 13,750 kilos of oxygen. Read More

Heat pump clear and comprehensive information

Heat pump clear and comprehensive information

renewable geothermal heat source, which will supply between 40 and 50% of our heat requirements.

A heat pump works on electricity. The heat pump extracts ‘free’ energy from the environment (renewable, green energy). With every kWh of energy from the ‘socket’ the heat pump generates 3 to 4 kWh ‘free’ from the environment.
Therefore, a heat pump is up to 5 times more economical than an electric central heating boiler.

Read More

MemPower: Clear Water And Electricity from Ocean Water

MemPower, clean drinking water and electricity from ocean water

You can also use it for processes in industry such as the energy and chemical sector and the food and bio-based industry.

While there is plenty of water in the world, good-quality drinking water can be scarce. MemPower employs membrane distillation using solar or residual heat to produce very pure water.

This new technology does not need electricity but generates it instead, so clean drinking water and electricity are produced from saltwater at the same time.

Wageningen University & Research is looking for partners to further develop and market this promising innovation, which won the MBR Global Water Award in 2017.

Read More

Wateropvang en waterhergebruik

Wateropvang en waterhergebruik

Mooi voorbeeld van het opvangen van hemelwater op een groen dak dat hergebruikt wordt voor toilet, wassen en sproeien

Wateropvang wordt belangrijker naarmate het klimaat meer verandert. Het is nu half juli 2018 en er is de afgelopen drie maanden nauwelijks regen gevallen.

En als het regent lijkt het wel een tropische moesson en kan het rioleringssysteem het niet aan met als gevolg overstromingen.

Dus moeten we slimmer met water omgaan. Opvangen als er heel veel valt en zoveel mogelijk water hergebruiken.

Read More

New storm water catchment concepts

Living Lab Rainshell water concept

Construction of the Rainshell concept and its filter bed of shells and minerals to retain and simultaneously clean the runoff water.

Last week, VP Delta opened a living lab facility for new storm water catchment concepts for a more smart way to handle storm water in cities.

As a result of the expected increase of extreme rainfall events, several Dutch SME-companies developed innovative concepts to handle extreme volumes of storm water and store in underneath hardened urban surface. Read More

De Klimaatverandering wordt steeds meer zichtbaar in de wereld

Klimaatverandering en SLIMCirculair '18-'19De Klimaatverandering wordt steeds meer zichtbaar in de wereld. De klimaatimpact als gevolg van massale uitstoot van methaan en CO2 uit zich op talloze manieren:

  • de hitte wordt intenser
  • seizoenen verschuiven
  • het aantal en de intensiteit van orkanen neemt toe

Read More

Water management results from around the world

Water footprint, reuse, recycle, waste water, wastewater, climate change, industry, measure, 6 stepsRobert Brears, Author of Urban Water Security (Wiley) presented a selection of results on best practices in water management from around the world. We share the best practices Robert collected.

Smart water meters are key to intelligent decision-making

With rapid urbanization and climate change increasing water scarcity, cities and their respective water utilities are turning to smart meters and related technologies to manage water more efficiently. Read more here.

NYC’s Big Water Savings Goal

New York City’s demand for drinking water is at its lowest in 50 years even though the city’s population has reached a record high of over 8.6 million people. Not resting on its laurels, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released the 2018 Water Demand Management Plan to realize further savings. Read more here

Fit for Purpose Recycled Water in Australia

Water recycling makes non-potable wastewater useful, reducing the economic and environmental costs of establishing new water supplies. Read how Australia’s Queensland Urban Utilities provides fit for purpose recycled water to its customers. Read more here.

The Water-Energy Nexus in Athens

Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (EYDAP) is the largest water utility in Greece providing services to 4.3 million customers. Read how EYDAP is reducing water-energy nexus pressures here.


*Robert C. Brears is the author of Urban Water Security (Wiley), The Green Economy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus (Palgrave Macmillan), Natural Resource Management and the Circular Economy (Palgrave Macmillan), and Blue and Green Cities (Palgrave Macmillan). He is Founder of Our Future WaterMitidaption, and Mark and Focus.

LinkedIn Groups: Our Future Water / Urban Water Security



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Flood solutions – Flood Risk Management (Dossier)



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University Delft, course e-mobility business models

crowd funding, sustainable future

Projects worldwide show that financial sustainability is a hard nut to crack, especially when technology is still under development and governments are searching for the right policies to increase adoption.

The University Delft offers a course e-mobility. Learn from experts how to develop profitable e-mobility business models.
This new course explains how can electric mobility work for various businesses, including fleet managers, automobile manufacturers and charging infrastructure providers.


Started on June 26, 2018 Read More

34,000 km of plastic roads of plastic in India

34,000 km of plastic roads of plastic in India

Fisherman in India’s southern state of Kerala are taking on the battle to cut the level of plastic waste in the oceans.

Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads. Every one of India’s 1.3 billion people uses an average 11kg of plastic each year. After being used, much of this plastic finds its way to the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, where it can maim and kill fish, birds and other marine wildlife. But since last year, fisherman in India’s southern state of Kerala are taking on the battle to cut the level of plastic waste in the oceans.

Last summer Kerala’s fisheries minister J. Mercykutty Amma started a scheme to clean up the oceans. Under her direction, the state government launched a campaign called Suchitwa Sagaram, or Clean Sea, which trains fishermen to collect the plastic and bring it back to shore. In Suchitwa Sagaram’s first 10 months, fisherman have removed 25 tonnes of plastic from the Arabian Sean, including 10 tonnes of plastic bags and bottles, according to a UN report on the scheme. Read More

Insurance for your Solar Panels

pv insuranceLearn about the common insurance risks associated with Solar PV projects and how to protect assets against costly set-backs in this insightful presentation given by Sam Walsh, Senior Vice President, Senior Underwriter at GCube Insurance Services. Read More

Groen in de stad helpt tegen hittestress en is goed voor waterafvoer bij extreme buien

The world we want in 2050: a green, inclusive and regenerative economy

Groene daken zijn daken waarop planten groeien, zoals grassen of vetplanten. Ze bestrijden hitte- en wateroverlast, ze isoleren goed en ze bevorderen de biodiversiteit.

Groen in de stad verbetert het milieu, zorgt voor een rijke biodiversiteit, vermindert luchtvervuiling, zorgt voor waterberging, dempt geluidshinder en verkoelt in warme periode. Kortom, groen is essentieel voor een klimaatbestendige en duurzame omgeving. 

Kortom, groen is essentieel voor een klimaatbestendige en duurzame omgeving.

Read More

SKYWISE – BioSmart food tray

SKYWISE founder Sergio Correa de J. Medina

SKYWISE founder Sergio Correa de J. Medina

SKYWISE – BioSmart food tray is an innovation and re-design of airline food services: a case for bioplastics systemic adoption.

This proposal seeks to redesign and repurpose food tray items with alternative, proven, bio-based plastics that are both biodegradable and compostable.

Our concept is mindful of the critical efficiency issues both at the catering facilities as well as those of cabin crew’s tasks and galley operations.

We envision scenarios that not only maintain the exact same on-board food services convenience but can actually streamline and even simplify flight crew’s tasks. Read More

Normandy: Surfing scientist studies harmful algae blooms, which are poisonous for fish and even humans

Normandy surfing scientist

Normandy: surfing scientist Bob Brewin 

Normandy: Bob Brewin is pioneering a new technique in satellite oceanography – by going surfing. 

The Plymouth Marine Laboratory scientist uses his board to take sea surface temperature measurements, and then use them to better interpret data from European satellite Sentinel-3. Read More

Bin2Barrel recycles plastics into fuel for the shipping industry


The diesel fuel will be sold to the shipping industry.
Photo Marc Ruyg

In the port of Amsterdam, Bin2Barrel has started the construction of the factory, which can save 57,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually. The factory will be capable of recycling non-recyclable plastic streams into fuel.

The Dutch company Bin2Barrel, focuses on the development of ‘Plastic to Fuel’ projects. By producing sustainable fuel from the plastic, non-recyclable plastics still get a useful application. Read More

Sweden opens first electric road: Driving and charging at the same time!

Sweden opens first electric road

Sweden is at the cutting edge of this technology, which we now hope to introduce in other areas of the country and the world.

Sweden has opened the world’s first electrified road. The 1.2-mile route, between Stockholm Arlanda airport and a logistics site, will now actively charge cars and lorries as they travel along it using an innovative energy transfer system.

Plans are in place to expand the project throughout other parts of the country and the world.

In 2017, Sweden opened another electric road with lines and taps.

Hybrid trucks specially fitted with a device called a ‘pantograph power collector’ can drive underneath the lines and tap into the power. When connected to the lines, they run completely on electricity.  Read More