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The challenge for the designers is for staff to feel like they are sitting on a park bench...

The PNC Financial Services Group hopes to exceed LEED Platinum requirements along with promoting a healthy indoor workplace with its latest development – the Tower at PNC Plaza. Located in downtown Pittsburgh on the corner of Fifth and Wood Streets, the building will be approximately 800,00 gross sq.ft (74,322 sq.mt) in size with a construction budget of approximately US$240 million. The "breathing" design created by architecture firm Gensler moves away from the traditional closed air-conditioned environment and has the lofty aim of becoming the greenest skyscraper in the world.  Read More

Is there a future for synthetic gasoline? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Air Fuel Synthesis, Ltd. (AFS), a small company in the northern English county of Durham, has recently made headlines for a chemical process that claims to synthesize gasoline from air and water. In essence, AFS is using energy to unburn fuel so that it can be burned as fuel again – a great deal of energy. Sixty kWh of electric energy are used up to store 9 kWh of that energy in a liter of gasoline. When you take into consideration that gasoline vehicles are about 15 percent efficient, a car fueled with synthetic gasoline would use roughly 35 times more energy on a given trip than would an electric vehicle. Not, it would seem, a prescription for a commercially valuable green product.  Read More

The LiquidPiston X2 rotary engine boasts a thermal efficiency of 75 percent

The internal combustion engine (ICE) has had a remarkably successful century and a half. Unfortunately, it’s notoriously inefficient, wasting anywhere from 30 to 99 percent of the energy it produces and spews unburned fuel into the air. Last week, Gizmag interviewed Dr. Alexander Shkolnik, President and CEO of LiquidPiston, Inc. about its LiquidPiston X2 - a 40-bhp rotary engine that burns a variety of fuels and requires no valves, cooling systems, radiators or mufflers, yet promises a thermodynamic efficiency of 75 percent.  Read More

A new study by Swiss research group Empa found that some biofuels, especially the ones mad...

The controversial debate over the sustainability of biofuels has been reignited by new research from Swiss-based research institute Empa. While the study maintains that biofuels can be sustainable depending on certain conditions and the technology involved, the findings suggest that only a few are more environmentally friendly than gasoline.  Read More

Cooling the emissions from coal-fired power plants would significantly reduce the levels o...

A team of physicists from the University of Oregon (UO) has calculated that cooling the emissions from coal-fired power plants would result in a reduction of the levels of dangerous chemicals entering the atmosphere, including CO2, by 90 percent. While cryogenic treatment would also see a 25 percent drop in efficiency, and therefore result in electricity costs increasing around a quarter, the researchers believe these would be offset by benefits to society, such as reductions in health-care and climate-change costs.  Read More

A new additive based on glycerol helps reduce pollution in marine bunker fuel used in crui...

The bunker fuel used in cruise liners and freighters is some of the cheapest, crudest fuel available. It’s also among the dirtiest. Scientists from the Maine Maritime Academy and SeaChange Group LLC led by George N. Harakas, Ph.D announced at the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society that they have developed what they call "Bunker Green" fuel. This fuel uses an ingredient commonly used in food and medicine to reduce sulfur and other emissions in ocean vessels.  Read More

Nanostellar has developed a mineral catalyst that outperforms platinum at a fraction of th...

Diesel engines are a classic example of good news and bad news. The good news is that diesel engines are much more fuel efficient than petrol engines. The bad news is that they belch out some pretty nasty emissions like nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide. The good news is that catalytic converters can scrub those out. The bad news is that last Friday the platinum needed by the converters is selling for US$1,473.10 an ounce. Now the good news is that a team at Nanostellar in Redwood, California, has developed a mineral catalyst that outperforms platinum at a fraction of the cost.  Read More

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh, Embraer Commercial Aviation Pre...

Three of the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers have set aside their differences in an effort to accelerate the development of biofuel for commercial aviation. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer say they have agreed to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels that will help the aviation industry reduce its carbon footprint.  Read More

Scania trucks will soon offer Active Prediction

As useful as GPS is in the modern world, we're really only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to some of the potential functionality of satellite-based navigation. The Active Prediction system under development at Scania, a member of Volkswagen AG, is one example. The system fuses GPS and cruise control, allowing the vehicle to predict terrain features of the road ahead and help to boost gas mileage.  Read More

The toilet trike will hit the Japanese roads in the coming days, making its way from Kyush...

If you think this smells like a PR stunt, you're right. In an effort to raise awareness about bathroom emissions and water savings, Japanese toilet manufacturer TOTO has created the Toilet Bike Neo Project ... yep, it's a road-going, three-wheeled toilet fueled by "biogas" generated from the toilet waste.  Read More

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