Sustainability

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Previous studies of Pre-Columbian earthworks in the Amazon basin have left a gap in the Upper Tapajós Basin (UTB). Here, the authors detect 104 Pre-Columbian earthworks in the UTB, suggesting continuous occupation across southern Amazonia and higher population densities than previously estimated.

    • Jonas Gregorio de Souza
    • , Denise Pahl Schaan
    •  & José Iriarte
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Direct transformation of methanol into two- or multi-carbon compounds is extremely attractive but remains a challenge. Here, the authors report an efficient photocatalytic route to the transformation of methanol into ethylene glycol and hydrogen over a molybdenum disulfide nanofoam-modified cadmium sulfide nanorod catalyst.

    • Shunji Xie
    • , Zebin Shen
    •  & Ye Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Precisely controlling the surface properties of base-metal oxide catalysts to tune the reaction selectivity remains a challenge. Here, the authors show that a green modification of manganese oxide surface with carboxylates can be used to tune the ammoxidation selectivity toward the desired products.

    • Xiuquan Jia
    • , Jiping Ma
    •  & Jie Xu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The development of sustainable food systems requires an understanding of potential trade-off between various objectives. Here, Chaudhary et al. examine how different nations score on food system performance across several domains, including environment, nutrition, and sociocultural wellbeing.

    • Abhishek Chaudhary
    • , David Gustafson
    •  & Alexander Mathys
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The synthesis of azo- and azoxy-aromatic dyes via photoreduction of nitroaromatics is hindered by high costs and low catalytic efficiencies and selectivities. Here the authors demonstrate the facile synthesis of these important dyes from their corresponding nitroaromatic precursors by using an inexpensive graphitic C3N4 photocatalyst.

    • Yitao Dai
    • , Chao Li
    •  & Ren Su
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Prioritising areas for conservation is hindered by disagreements over ecological targets. Here, Armsworth et al. combine a simulation approach and case study to test if considering economic return on investment aids in prioritisation, and find that its impact on reaching agreements varies greatly.

    • Paul R. Armsworth
    • , Heather B. Jackson
    •  & Nathan A. Sutton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Human activity and related land use change are the primary cause of soil erosion. Here, the authors show the impacts of 21st century global land use change on soil erosion based on an unprecedentedly high resolution global model that provides insights into the mitigating effects of conservation agriculture.

    • Pasquale Borrelli
    • , David A. Robinson
    •  & Panos Panagos
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Organic agriculture requires fewer inputs but produces lower yields than conventional farming. Here, via a modeling approach, Muller et al. predict that if food waste and meat consumption are reduced, organic agriculture could feed the world without requiring cropland expansion.

    • Adrian Muller
    • , Christian Schader
    •  & Urs Niggli
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The consequences of poverty eradication on limiting warming to 2 °C are not fully clear. Here, Hubacek et al. find that while ending extreme poverty does not jeopardize the climate target, moving everybody to a modest expenditure level increases required mitigation rate by 27%

    • Klaus Hubacek
    • , Giovanni Baiocchi
    •  & Anand Patwardhan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Globally diarrheal disease through contaminated water sources is a major cause of child mortality. Here, the authors compile a database of 293,362 children in 35 countries and find that upstream tree cover is linked to a lower probability of diarrheal disease and that increasing tree cover may lower mortality.

    • Diego Herrera
    • , Alicia Ellis
    •  & Taylor H. Ricketts
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The health consequences of exposure to pesticides are uncertain and subject to much debate. Here, the effect of exposure during pregnancy is investigated in an agriculturally dominated residential area, showing that an increase in adverse birth outcomes is observed with very high levels of pesticide exposure.

    • Ashley E. Larsen
    • , Steven D. Gaines
    •  & Olivier Deschênes
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using precious noble elements as single atom metal catalysts is highly desirable and effective. Here the authors show the use of platinum atom catalysts anchored in mesoporous Al2O3for selective hydrogenation and CO oxidation that have better stability and performance compared to their nanoparticle counterparts.

    • Zailei Zhang
    • , Yihan Zhu
    •  & Ning Yan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Lignin is cheap and abundant, and potentially a major source of aromatic compounds. Here the authors show selective production of arenes via hydrodeoxygenation of lignin over Ru/Nb2O5, and mechanistically show the strong influence of the Nb2O5support on phenolic bond dissociation energies.

    • Yi Shao
    • , Qineng Xia
    •  & Yanqin Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Trivalent lanthanides possess similar chemical properties, making their separation from one another challenging. Here, Wang and colleagues demonstrate that their subtle chemical differences can be greatly amplified during borate crystallization, leading to a low cost and highly efficient separation strategy.

    • Xuemiao Yin
    • , Yaxing Wang
    •  & Shuao Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Given the scarcity and cost of platinum, it is important to develop sustainable processes for its recycling. Here, the authors report the dissolution of metallic platinum using reductive and oxidative gases to repetitively change its surface oxidation state, in the absence of an external electric current.

    • Nejc Hodnik
    • , Claudio Baldizzone
    •  & Karl J. J. Mayrhofer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Energy storage and biomass utilization are two major challenges for sustainability. Here the authors use a major lignin hydrogenolysis product for the synthesis of an N-heterocycle and develop a bimetallic catalyst for repeated hydrogenation/dehydrogenation of this and other molecules for hydrogen storage.

    • Daniel Forberg
    • , Tobias Schwob
    •  & Rhett Kempe