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Alternative Energy

WSU chemist Choong-Shik Yoo, seen here with students, has used super-high pressures to cre...

Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or on a giant planet, researchers from Washington State University (WSU) have created a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of energy. Described by one of the researchers as “the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” the material holds potential for creating a new class of energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidizing materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and high temperature superconductors.  Read More

The experimental setup used to measure the catalytic activity of the strontium-substituted...

Rechargeable batteries and fuel cells are seen as the two contenders to serve as a power source for the next generation of environmentally friendly vehicles. A significant barrier to achieving greater efficiency in the latter is the slow rate of oxygen production from the cathode, which limits the power output of the device. Now an unexpected find by MIT researchers regarding the behavior of incredibly thin sheets of material could lead to major improvements .  Read More

Members of Purdue University's hydrothermolysis research team (Prof. Varma at left)

Fuel cell cars have come one step closer to practicality with researchers from Indiana’s Purdue University announcing a new process for the generation and storage of hydrogen. The process is called hydrothermolysis, and is a combination of hydrolysis and thermolysis – the two prevalent methods of hydrogen generation that some scientists consider impractical for use in automobiles. The new process utilizes powdered ammonia borane, a chemical that has one of the highest hydrogen yields of any solid substance.  Read More

Nokero's N100 weatherproof solar lightbulb could provide a clean, safe and affordable ligh...

As public consultation starts on ways to reduce and replace fuel-burning lighting around the globe, Nokero has announced a solar-powered LED solution aimed squarely at disaster areas and the developing world. The rugged, rainproof N100 is about the same size as a standard lightbulb but requires no electricity and offers users around two hours of bright light in exchange for a day's worth of sun.  Read More

The Horizon MiniPak will almost certainly be the public's first experience of the coming H...

Today is a day that you will probably tell your grandchildren about – the day they released the first affordable, pocket-sized fuel cell for personal usage. As with flying cars, personal jet packs and a usable voice recognition computer interface, the promise of a safe, affordable, personal power plant was entering the realm of perpetual vaporware. Now it's finally here! Whatsmore, at US$100, the Horizon MiniPak might well prove to be the “disruptive” technology the press release claims it to be. By producing electricity from hydrogen at the point of use and offering effectively unlimited run-time for personal electronics, it will almost certainly be the public's first experience of the coming Hydrogen Economy.  Read More

Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed install two electricity-producing bicycles wh...

If you find yourself in an expensive hotel without the funds to cover that three-course seafood buffet you've just demolished, you may not be led to the back of the kitchen to scrub pots and pans after all... you could be off to the gym instead. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers has installed two electricity-producing bicycles which are connected to the hotel's main electricity supply. Guests who pedal hard enough not only get a dose of environmental feel-goodness, but can also score a complimentary meal.  Read More

Princeton researchers have developed a new way to manufacture electronic devices made of p...

It seems that half the world’s R&D is involved in solar energy, which isn’t a bad thing considering the mess our reliance on traditional energy generation has got us into. Interestingly, engineers at Princeton University have developed a new technique for producing electricity-conducting plastics that could dramatically lower the cost of manufacturing solar panels, making alternative power within reach of more consumers and industry.  Read More

Technosphere by James Law Cybertecture

It's been a while since we've taken a look at the weird and wonderful canvas that is Dubai's skyline of the future, and this proposal from James Law Cybertecture would slot neatly in among radical designs like the Almeisan Tower and the spiraling ZPO. Shaped like a giant disco ball, the Technosphere is conceived as a self-sustaining model of the Earth in miniature incorporating a range of active and passive systems to meet these goals.  Read More

Japan's Tokai Challenger solar vehicle has taken victory in the Global Green Challenge

Japan's Tokai Challenger solar vehicle has taken victory against a strong international field in the 2009 Global Green Challenge. After covering almost 1860 miles (3000km) in four days across Australia's baking red center, the entry from Japan's Tokai University crossed the finish line at 3.39pm local time. The team's run was nearly flawless, reporting only a single flat tire with just over 100 miles of the course to race and the win breaks a string of four consecutive victories by the Dutch Nuon team, which is currently battling it out for second place against University of Michigan Solar Car Team.  Read More

The Maya 300 electric car can travel up to 120 miles per charge and reach a top speed of 3...

Baltimore has taken the environmental benefits of car-sharing programs a step further by launching one that features the all-electric, zero local emissions Maya 300. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the Maya 300 seats five, can travel up to 120 miles on a single charge, has a top speed of 35mph and can be charged via a standard 110V household electrical outlet.  Read More

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