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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Low-cost Technique Produces Ultra-clean Fuels

Written by , on March 31, 2010

Albin Czernichowski, a professor at the University of Orleans in France has developed a small, low-tech, inexpensive device called a "GlidArc reactor" that produces super-clean fuels from waste materials, such as a biodiesel fuel that releases ten times less air pollution than conventional diesel. The reactors, about the size of a refrigerator, are custom designed […]  Read more »

Plant-based Tyres

Written by , on March 31, 2010

About 1 billion car tyres are made each year and each one takes around 25 litres of oil to make. The oil is used to manufacture isoprene. Researchers at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and the biotechnology company, Genencor, are developing a way of making bio-isoprene from plant waste products like sugar cane, corn […]  Read more »

Worldwide Investments in Renewables

Written by , on March 29, 2010

An international meeting on climate finance has approved plans to mobilise US$40 billion for country-led low-carbon growth. The Clean Technology Fund endorsed investment plans for Colombia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, bringing the number of plans in place around the world to 13. Donors to the Fund, which is managed by the World Bank, are the […]  Read more »

Toshiba in Talks about Developing Travelling Wave Reactors

Written by , on March 24, 2010

Toshiba is in talks Terrapower, a company backed by Bill Gates, to jointly develop traveling wave nuclear reactors which are designed to use depleted uranium as fuel and could run for 60 years or more without refueling. (See for a description of travelling wave reactors.) Toshiba owns the Westinghouse Electric Company whose technology is […]  Read more »

“New Nuclear” – Power from Nuclear Waste

Written by , on March 24, 2010

A traveling-wave reactor is a kind of nuclear reactor that can convert fertile material into nuclear fuel as it runs. Travelling wave reactors differ from other kinds of  reactors in their ability to use little or no enriched uranium; instead they burn fuel made from depleted uranium, spent fuel removed from light-water reactors, natural uranium, […]  Read more »

Power from Nuclear Fusion within Two Years?

Written by , on March 23, 2010

Scientists have been working on developing nuclear fusion power generation since the early 1950s. The main problem has always been that more energy has been required to produce the reaction than is produced. Scientists at the National Ignition Facility in California believe that their latest experiments will overcome the problem. Their technique uses lasers to […]  Read more »

51 Varieties of Electric Cars by 2012

Written by , on March 22, 2010

According to Evan Thornley, chief executive of Better Place Australia, 51 new models of plug-in electric cars are planned to on the world market by 2012. Mr Thorley believes that the complete conversion to electric cars is inevitable. “We know how the movie ends. Battery prices are going down, petrol prices are going up – […]  Read more »

Small-scale Desalination Device

Written by , on March 22, 2010

Researchers led by Jongyoon Han at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a nanotechnology device able to extract salt from seawater, paving the way for small-scale desalination for drought regions and disaster zones. Conventional desalination works by forcing water through a membrane to remove molecules of salt. This process requires a lot of energy […]  Read more »

Breakthrough in Producing Hydrogen from Water Using Sunlight

Written by , on March 21, 2010

Scientists at the University of East Anglia, led by Professor Thomas Nann, have reported a breakthrough in the production of hydrogen from water using the energy of sunlight. Hydrogen is obtained from water by electrolysis. But, because the efficiency of the process is typically only between 20 and 40%, using a solar photovoltaic process to […]  Read more »

Cyclones to Get Fewer But Fiercer

Written by , on March 21, 2010

A new study on the likely effect of climate change on tropical cyclones, published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, predicts slightly fewer but much more destructive cyclones. John McBride, principal research scientist for the Bureau of Meteorology says one of the most consistent findings is that the southern hemisphere […]  Read more »