Algae are an incredible species, and one that is severely underestimated a lot of the time. Because of the exceptional capabilities and properties these photosynthetic organisms possess, they are being looked into for usage in a variety of fields, one notably being biofuels. Algae, quite literally, have the potential to change the game of where we get our energy altogether. There are just a few barriers to get past first.

Introduction to Algal Biofuels

Down to the basics — what are biofuels, and what are algae?

Today’s Biofuels

When you hear the word biofuels, the segment bio likely makes you think of synonymous words, like green


Polyethylene is the most widely produced plastic in the world, primarily used for plastic bottles, bags and films. Over 60 million tonnes are produced every year. Biopolyethylene is a biobased alternative that is becoming commonly utilized in the cosmetics industry and can be obtained from sugar cane, sugar beet, and wheat grain as opposed to petroleum. This is much better for the environment in a variety of ways, as the plastic retains identical properties to its counterpart while alleviating the need for fossil fuels. Why, then, has biopolyethylene not fully replaced regular polyethylene?

The Problem With Polyethylene

Polyethylene is a lightweight and durable thermoplastic…


Perovskites are on the rise in the solar industry, being both high performing and low cost. They are the most rapidly growing advancement within photovoltaics. Where they were only 3% effective at converting UV light to electricity back in 2006, today they are reaching efficiencies over 25%. Perovskites may have their barriers to commercialization, but they’re likely worth fighting for.

What Are Perovskites?

Perovskites are any materials that have the same crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide, the first ever discovered perovskite crystal. Since silicon isn’t involved with the usage or production of perovskites, they have the potential to become the superior thin-film…


There’s a big controversy around certain bioplastics. This is because, a lot of the time, bioplastics aren’t as great as they seem. In fact, a lot of these products are greenwashed. Despite them being somewhat better than plastic in their ability to break down, some are not as sustainable as you might expect.

What is PLA?

The most popular bioplastic is made from polylactic acid, also called polylactide, and otherwise known as PLA. PLA is a biodegradable form of thermoplastic, produced from renewable sources such as sugarcane, cassava roots, and corn starch as opposed to common thermoplastics that are petroleum-based.

This kind of…


Plastics are integral to our everyday life — an understatement, really, seeing as a predicted 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year. Why, then, do we continue to use them? Plastic pollution isn’t news to us. Plastics do have exceptional properties, like malleability, mouldability, strength, durability, weight, and, perhaps most importantly, low price. Plastic is cheap and that makes it easy and suitable for many different products. Bioplastics have emerged as an alternative, but in some cases are just as fatal as conventional plastics.

Common Bioplastics, and Their Problem

Bioplastics can either be categorized as biobased or biodegradable. Biodegradable plastics are petroleum-based…


Plastics provide benefits regarding design freedom, flexibility, and lightness, and are ultimately integral to all of our lives. However, they accumulate in the environment and generate a lot of waste. Within Canada, only 9% of plastic is recycled, the rest going toward landfills, the environment, or incineration. We are polluting the ocean with 12.7 million tonnes of plastic every year, and there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. What’s worse, by 2050, it is predicted that we will be producing three times as much plastic as we do today.

Therefore, to address the…


Abstract

The climate crisis is not fresh news. It’s been happening for years now, but is nearing the point of being irreversible. When examining the causes of a calamity like this it’s safe to say that there are more than one, but carbon dioxide emissions are certainly a large contributor, especially as they are caused by human activity. Carbon dioxide is a natural gas that we breathe out, but when fossil fuels like oil and coal are burned, and pursuits like deforestation occur, there results in an excess amount in the atmosphere. In 2019 CO2 made up 80% of US greenhouse…


We tell ourselves that we persist with our usage of oil because it’s good for the economy. We tell ourselves that we could never switch to a world of renewable energies because it’s simply impossible. We couldn’t handle it. We don’t have the necessary infrastructure. Is this really true?

You’ve likely heard about the Deepwater Horizon incident, where 800,000 birds, 65,000 turtles, and 11 workers died, 1,300 miles of the U.S. Gulf Coast were blanketed in oil, and $32 billion put into cleanup. Yet another example of demolition produced by our insatiable need for oil.

Every time I hear the…


For a long time, I’ve been looking at fusion on Earth, but recently pivoted to looking at fusion in space. I discovered fusion propelled rockets from this research, and went on to do more research into other energy-based innovations in space to find solar sails. This paper will outline an idea to combine the two to create an improved rocket.

The Principles Behind Fusion Rockets

Fusion energy is the mechanism that powers the sun and stars. Hydrogen nuclei fuse together to create helium, as well as neutrons and energy in the form of light. Scientists wondered if they could reproduce this phenomenon in a lab…


Today I turned 15 years old, and I want to take this time to write about my learnings. It was an incredible year; my book came out, I joined the Knowledge Society, consulted for companies like the UN, vastly grew my network, spoke on a world-class stage, and met lifelong friends. I also started developing my passions, namely in the intersection between nanotechnology and sustainable energy. It was more than I could have imagined and I’ve gained so much knowledge and value that I want to share with you. …

Naila Moloo

Innovator at TKS ~ Sustainable energy through nanotechnology

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