The thorny problem of solving fertilizer pollution while also feeding the world
Nitrogen-based fertilizers have hugely increased agricultural output, but rain washes them into rivers and oceans with dire consequences. Zhejiang University researchers are searching for a middle ground.Every summer, vast quantities of algae and zooplankton flourish in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. These algal blooms gobble up oxygen, leaving a ‘dead zone’ in the ocean that covers around 10,000 square kilometres, and is largely devoid of life. The oxygen-zapping algae and zooplankton ...
ZJU scientists discover a lignin-derived material to improve plant growth
Lignin, Earth’s most abundant natural aromatic polymer, constitutes nearly one-third of the carbon reserves in the natural world and serves as one of the major components of plant cell walls. In the biomass refinery sector, lignin is commonly discharged as a waste product in the biorefining system. On the other hand, micronutrient deficiencies in staple crops contribute to widespread micronutrient malnutrition, known as hidden hunger, affecting approximately one third of the global population. ...
Retrace the ancient Silk Road
During their summer vacation, the “ZJU Campus Experience Officers” and the research team from the School of Earth Sciences retraced an epic journey. They crossed the Hexi Corridor, an essential segment of the ancient Silk Road, traversed the Qilian Mountains, and ventured deep into the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Following the footsteps of time, they endeavored to decode the intricate climate changes spanning the last 30 millennia.Why did the once-flourishing ancient civilizations that graced this ...
Innovative green methanol: lighting the way for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou
On the evening of September 23, the 19th Asian Games commenced in Hangzhou with a captivating opening ceremony.The remarkable moment saw a “digital torchbearer” and swimming Olympic champion WANG Shun jointly lighting the cauldron, a moment that held the global audience spellbound.This unprecedented digital cauldron-lighting ceremony began with a Transformer-like digital figure – made up of over 100 million virtual sparks, each representing a participant of the online torch relay. Notably, thi...
ZJU scientists develop approach to transforming polyurethane forms into high-value 3D printing resins
In a world where used seats, mattresses, and insulated boxes are often discarded, the question arises: where will they eventually end up? Will they contribute to the growing problem of garbage disposal or find a way to be efficiently recycled? Polyurethane foams, a material widely used in many aspects of our lives, have long posed a challenge when it comes to their destination after being discarded.In response to this long-standing challenge, Professor XIE Tao’s team from the College of Chemica...
Perovskite: unleash the light of a new LED technology
Light management is the key to overcoming the efficiency bottleneck of perovskite LEDs.Perovskite LEDs represent a new generation of light source technology for display, lighting and communications. They combine the flexibility and thinness of OLEDs, with the broadband color tunability similar to III-V LEDs. With years of active research worldwide, encouraging breakthroughs were made in improving the efficiencyand, more recently, stability of perovskite LEDs to rival the performance of...
Prof. GU Baojing wins inaugural Frontiers Planet Prize
The International Champions of the Frontiers Planet Prize 2023 were announced during the Awards Ceremony at the Frontiers Forum Live on April 27. Prof. GU Baojing from the Zhejiang University College of Environmental & Resource Sciences was one of the four recipients of the 1st edition of the Frontiers Planet Prize.GU Baojing engages in interdisciplinary research into resource and environmental management. His research article, entitled “Abating ammonia is more cost-effective than...
Tree species richness increases spatial variation but not overall wood decomposition
Deadwood contains 10-20% of the global forest carbon stocks, and variations in their decomposition rate produce a huge impact on regional and even global carbon emissions. To achieve the goals of global carbon neutrality in 2050 and climate neutrality in 2067, many countries have adopted afforestation as a crucial way to enhance natural carbon sinks. However, various anthropogenic factors, such as afforestation methods and tree species selection, may accelerate the decomposition rate of woody de...
ZJU scientists make a new discovery about megalake systems and paleoclimatic dynamics in the East Gobi
Arid and semi-arid zones are not only environmentally fragile but also the major source of global dust deposits and sandstorms. In the context of global warming, studies about the history of environmental changes in arid zones are crucial to predicting future trends as well. However, there has long been a paucity of paleoenvironmental records in arid zones. Moreover, relevant opinions have always been the subject of intense debate. LI Hongwei and YANG Xiaoping et al. at the Zhejiang Un...
Plant luminescence aids low-carbon lifestyle
It is a revolutionary practice to promote eco-friendly production modes and low-carbon lifestyles. Lighting accounts for approximately 20% of global energy consumption and plays a paramount role in researching into the sustainable use of energy for mankind. As biotechnology is burgeoning today, the luminous “fantasy forest” no longer exists in the realm of science fiction, and plant luminescence, as an ideal way of sustainable resource utilization, has inched towards the reality, opening the d...