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Climate Change

A London black cab

May 23, 2008 While improvements in engine technology have led to a marked improvement in fuel efficiency and carbon emissions in vehicles running on internal combustion engines in recent years, even greater cuts in emissions need to be made to tackle the global environmental problems associated with them. We’ve seen commercial airlines turning to biofuels, trucks running on liquefied natural gas and buses using ethanol engines. One of the most promising solutions for the humble car of the future could is hydrogen fuel cell systems, with a number of car manufacturers investing heavily in development.  Read More

£10 million prize for innovation in marine renewable energy

April 29, 2008 The Scottish Government has offered the world’s biggest ever cash prize for innovation in the field of renewable marine-based energy. It is hoped that the £10 million (US$20 million) award will not only contribute to the global energy problem, but will help bolster Scotland’s own clean energy sector which already accounts for 16% of the nation’s generated electricity.  Read More

Using captured CO2 in DVD manufacture
 Credit: ACS

April 10, 2008 Chemists are investigating ways to use carbon dioxide removed from smokestack emissions to make a raw material for the production of DVDs, CD-ROMs, beverage bottles and other products made from polycarbonate plastics.  Read More

Tidal power breakthrough

Bristol based renewable energy company Marine Current Turbines has completed the first installation phase of the 1.2MW SeaGen Tidal System at Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough - a site chosen for its combination of fast tidal current and ability to provide shelter from bad weather which may hinder the construction process. It is expected that the breakthrough power plant will be operational around mid-year with its massive 16m diameter twin rotors harnessing the tides to produce the equivalent amount of energy it takes to power 1000 homes. After its final assembly at the Harland & Wolff dockyard in Belfast, the crane barge “Rambiz” positioned the 1000 tonne structure onto the seabed 400m from the shoreline where it will be secured by four pins drilled to a depth of around nine meters.  Read More

Tore Skjetne and Viking Venture's  Joar Welde with the snow-like crystals
 Photo: Svein Tø...

April 2, 2008 Traditional water-purification techniques such as filtration or distillation attempt to remove the contaminants from water by fluid flow. Reversing this thinking, a new Scandinavian spin-off company is researching a new method of purification that takes the clean water molecules out of the contaminated matter using carbon dioxide gas.  Read More

ITM and Roush Technologies to collaborate on hydrogen vehicles

April 2, 2008 Fifty million metric tons of hydrogen were produced in 2004, and the hydrogen production industry grows at an estimated 10% per year. But for hydrogen-powered cars to emerge as a serious competitor to fossil-fuel-powered transport there still needs to be substantial development of infrastructure. The latest push towards this goal in the U.K has seen ITM Power Plc and Roush Technologies Ltd sign a co-operative agreement that not only aims to put hydrogen-fueled commercial vehicles on the market within months, but also encompasses the development of hydrogen refueling station infrastructure that will enable vehicle operators to generate their own hydrogen supplies.  Read More

Continental to conduct biofuel test

Continental Airlines, in conjunction with Boeing and GE Aviation, has announced plans to conduct a biofuel demonstration flight in the first half of 2009. Continental will be the first major U.S. carrier to undertake such a flight in an effort to identify sustainable fuel solutions for the aviation industry.  Read More

Capstone MicroTurbines

March 5, 2008 Installation of microturbines has been completed in New York with the aim of providing clean energy and reducing the City’s residential and commercial carbon emissions. MicroTurbine systems, developed by Capstone, have been installed in four locations around the City and are fueled by clean burning natural gas, and emit very low emissions.  Read More

Carbon capture for automobiles

February 18, 2008 Carbon capture and storage has been touted as a method for slashing carbon emissions in power plants – now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology say it can be used to combat one of the most widespread greenhouse gas offenders: the automobile. Georgia Tech has outlined a concept system where carbon is isolated from fossil fuels, disposed of at a refueling station, and eventually recycled into new fuel. Not only is the closed-loop cycle carbon emission free, it is also renewable and efficient.  Read More

Alternative aircraft fuel test flight
 Photo: Airbus S.A.S. 2008

February 5, 2008 The Airbus A380 has become the first commercial aircraft to complete a flight using liquid fuel processed from gas. GTL involves converting natural gas, which emits the least carbon of all the fossil fuels, to a liquid fuel oil, which can be used as a fuel substitute, or mixed with regular fuel. The three-hour flight from the UK to France was the first stage of a test flight program to evaluate the environmental impact of alternative fuels in the airline market.  Read More

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