The development of so-called transient materials could lead to electronics that dissolve when they're no longer needed, leaving no bulk to clutter landfills. Researchers at Iowa State University have made some progress in the field, but devices are envisioned that would disappear without a trace on command, perhaps stimulated by the application of heat.
The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is using two buoys designed to collect data on harnessing offshore wind energy in coastal waters. One buoy is planned for Coos Bay, Ore., and the second is set for Virginia Beach, Va. Researchers will use the buoys to learn about "air-sea interactions and their impact on how much wind energy a turbine could capture at particular offsite locations," said the PNNL