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Environment

Fuel cell design breakthrough
 (pictured: Honda FCX Fuel Cell Vehicle)

A team of scientists from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM) has designed a new "super-lattice" material with incredibly high ion conductivity properties that could lead to the development of more efficient fuel cells capable of operating at room temperature.  Read More

Reconnect computer recycling program expanded

Dell and Goodwill Industries have added Virginia to the list of States offering their “Reconnect” drop-off program for the recycling of unwanted computers. The program aims to divert over 2.7 million pounds of used computers and computer equipment from area landfills over the next year; and provide consumer education on the importance of environmentally-responsible computer disposal.  Read More

Planning ahead: US electricity generation sources

While the current Wall Street financial crisis has many on edge in regard to the short term future of the economy, Google has displayed some far-sighted corporate leadership in releasing its plan for how to reduce fossil fuel use by 2030. "Clean Energy 2030" is designed to stimulate debate on a range of energy consumption issues and includes proposals to slash vehicle oil consumption and CO2 emissions by 38% and reduce US reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity generation by 88% through a significant boost to solar, wind and geothermal output. Importantly, the report also focusses on the "win-win" potential for this aggressive attack on climate change, citing a figure of $1.0 trillion net savings over the 22-year life of the plan.  Read More

Samsung Recycling Direct program

Samsung Electronics America has launched a "Recycling Direct program" dedicated to the take-back and recycling of its consumer electronics across all product lines. Effective immediately, the public can take their Samsung electronic goods sold in the United States to one of 174 fixed drop-off locations across the country and have them recycled free of charge.  Read More

Biolsolar Backsheet

A little under two months ago, Biosolar unveiled its BioBacksheet, an innovation which reduces the cost of solar cells by replacing traditional petroleum-based components with materials derived from renewable plant sources. The company has now announced details of improvements to the solar backsheet manufacturing technique that will help to further reduce the cost of production.  Read More

Plans unveiled for 100MW biomass facilities

The largest power supply cooperative in the US has announced plans to build up to three 100MW biomass electric generating facilities in the state of Georgia. Oglethorpe Power Corporation’s (OPC’s) power plants are designed to be carbon-neutral and utilize woody biomass, one of Georgia’s most abundant renewable resources.  Read More

Sunrise Solar Solar Bric

Sunrise Solar Corp has unveiled a new building brick that integrates solar technologies into traditional construction materials. The Solar Light "Bric" is able to capture the sun’s rays and convert them to energy to power an embedded light without the need to connect to the electrical grid or flick a switch.  Read More

Solar Stik portable solar generator

Portable solar panels are popping up at an increasing rate in campgrounds and caravan parks where they are an environmentally friendly and mercifully silent alternative to fuel burning generators. This example from Solar Stik offers rugged solution that can be used in conjunction with a wind generator and adapted for a variety of applications on land and water.  Read More

c-Si solar cell layers

Currently, photovoltaic modules in solar panels employ petroleum-based plastics as a protective backing, increasing their overall carbon footprint and maintaining a reliance the fossil fuel economy. To free solar power from the uncertainties of oil prices, and to help make them a truly green power source, BioSolar has developed bio-based components that are ready to replace the backsheet, substrate and superstrate components of solar panels. The materials have a lifespan of 20-25 years, and, most importantly, they are 25% cheaper to manufacture than the plastic alternative.  Read More

GE Hybrid locomotive protoype in Chicago

GE Transportation will parade its Evolution Hybrid locomotive prototype at the RSI Railway Technology Exhibition in Chicago later this month. Promising significant fuel and emissions savings, the diesel-electric hybrid technology captures and stores the energy generated by braking a 207 ton train and delivers it back to the propulsion system in the form of an on-demand, 2000 horsepower boost.  Read More

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