Changespotting

Rachael McKinnon rounds up the best the web has to offer

Changespotting: The energy efficiency edition

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The waste associated with whiskey distillation will help power homes in Scotland from 2013. Photo / Thinkstock
The waste associated with whiskey distillation will help power homes in Scotland from 2013. Photo / Thinkstock

Whiskey is one of Scotland's largest industries and by 2013 the Rothes Project will make the spirit beneficial not only to the country's economy but also the environment. There is a significant amount of waste associated with a distillery and two components of the process "draff" - used-up grains - and pot ale can now be given new use in powering 9000 homes and as organic fertiliser, respectively.

A group of scientists at MIT have found a way to manipulate water-dwelling micro-organisms into producing more hydrogen, which they anticipate will be the most viable, clean fuel in the near future. These micro-organisms tend to produce self-sustaining sugar over hydrogen, but by adding a bioengineered enzyme into the mix scientists believe they can manipulate the organisms into focusing more on hydrogen production.

Solar panels spend so much of their time being functional, it is a refreshing break from the norm to be reminded that they can also be beautiful. This chandelier lamp is called Virtue of Blue and is made up of hundreds of solar cell butterflies that absorb energy and light up the bulb around which they appear to flutter.

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