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Monthly Archive: August 2010

New Type of Filter Could Quadruple LCD Efficiency

Written by , on August 31, 2010

Researchers at the University of Michigan have published an article in Nature Communications describing an optical film that promises to boost the overall efficiency of LCDs by more than 400 percent. Normally, LCDs use several layers of optical devices, such as prisms, to colorize, polarize, and shutter light from a backlight,. Inefficiencies in each layer […]  Read more »

Save Fuel by Asking Directions

Written by , on August 31, 2010

According to a survey carried out for the British insurance company, Shiela’s Wheels, the average British male motorist drives an extra 444 kilometres a year, and the average female motorist drives an extra 412 kilometres a year, as a result of being lost. The company calculated that motorists waste an average of about 1,660 litres […]  Read more »

“Dry Water” Could Absorb Greenhouse Gases

Written by , on August 30, 2010

"Dry water" is actually tiny droplets of normal wet water coated in silica. The result is a powder that resembles fine sugar but is 95% water. It was discovered in 1968 and has been used in the cosmetics industry. Scientists at Liverpool University have found that "dry water" has a powerful ability to absorb gases. […]  Read more »

Big Renewables Projects for California

Written by , on August 30, 2010

The California Energy Commission has about a dozen large-scale solar thermal energy projects seeking approval before the end of 2010. Many companies are in a scramble to get approval for their solar projects started this year in order to take advantage of a Treasury grant program and the Department of Energy’s renewable-energy loan-guarantee program, both […]  Read more »

Peugeot Announces World First Diesel/Electric Car

Written by , on August 24, 2010

Peugeot has announced that the world’s first diesel/electric hybrid car, based on its 3008 model, will go on sale in the next European spring. The car has a 163-horsepower 2.0-litre diesel engine and a 37-horsepower electric motor. Claimed fuel consumption is 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres. The car has four modes of operation: Auto – […]  Read more »

Machine Turns Plastic into Oil

Written by , on August 23, 2010

A Japanese company, Blest, has developed a small machine that it claims can convert several types of plastic back into oil. The machine is able to process polyethylene, polystyrene and polypropylene but not PET bottles. The result is a crude gas that can fuel things like generators or stoves and, when refined, can fuel a […]  Read more »

Keeping Solar Panels Clean Using “Martian Technology”

Written by , on August 23, 2010

Dust significantly reduces the effectiveness of solar panels. This is particularly a problem in deserts which often have very good sunlight but also a lot of dust and not much water for cleaning the panels. A team at Boston Unoversity, led by Dr Malay K. Mazumder, has suggested a solution using technology developed for the […]  Read more »

The Majestic Plastic Bag

Written by , on August 20, 2010

The Californian environmental group Heal the Bay has released this BBC nature file-style mockumentary:  Read more »

New Advanced Climate Software Available Free

Written by , on August 20, 2010

The Universities Corporation for Atmospheric Research has released new modelling software which will allow scientists to study climate change in far more detail. The software is available free from the Community Earth Systems Model web site. The Community Earth System Model will be one of the primary climate models used for the next assessment by […]  Read more »

Electricity from Sewage

Written by , on August 18, 2010

Engineers at Oregon State University have made a significant advance toward producing electricity from sewage. Bacteria from biowaste such as sewage are placed in an anode chamber, where they form a biofilm, consume nutrients and grow. In the process they release electrons. The sewage is literally the fuel for electricity production. The engineers found that […]  Read more »