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Emissions

The C-Max Solar Energi Concept uses solar panels on its top for charging

A plug-in hybrid car sounds like an excellent way of squaring the circle between the green cred of an electric car and the range and reliability of one that runs on petrol, but what if you live somewhere that’s a bit off the grid? Ford’s answer is its C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which makes its debut at CES next week. The car uses a combination of high-efficiency solar panels and a separate frame roofed with a Fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight on the panels to give it a proper charge without using the engine or plugging into the electrical mains.  Read More

The new system being tested on the A6 highway, near Madrid

According to scientists at Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), approximately five percent of vehicles on the road are responsible for about 90 percent of toxic vehicle emissions. Short of pulling each and every car over to analyze its tailpipe output, though, how does one go about identifying the offenders? Well, the UC3M researchers have helped design a system that images the emissions of individual vehicles in real time, on highways up to three lanes wide.  Read More

Ford says that the F-150 is the only half-ton pickup truck to offer the LPG/CNG option

Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles don't get quite as much attention as flashier battery electrics, fuel cell cars and plug-in hybrids, but they are a compelling alternative-fuel option that is available right now. They become even more compelling when they offer dual fuel capabilities. Ford has equipped the 2014 F-150 with such capabilities, calling it the only half-ton pickup truck of its kind.  Read More

The range of Yikebikes now ranges from US$2000 to US$4000

With big changes likely in the global transport infrastructure, the race is on to create the missing link – the smallest, lightest man-packable form of motorized transport yet known. Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Nissan have all shown vehicles in this area, but none have yet hit the market. The best-of-breed is currently the Yikebike and it announced today that it has further extended its lead, lightening its US$4,000 Carbon model from 11.5 kg to 11.2 kg and extending its range to 15 km (9.3 miles). There's also now a choice of Yikebikes with two cheaper versions at 12.7 kg ($3,000) and 14 kg ($2000).  Read More

Researchers have developed a new metal organic framework material that makes carbon captur...

Carbon capture is one of the many solutions proposed to curb emissions of CO2. But, so far, methods being used require a great deal of energy to release the captured carbon from the capture material for storage. Now researchers at the University of South Florida (USF), in a partnership with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), have announced what they claim is a more energy-efficient alternative in the shape of a cheaper, more efficient and reusable material for CO2 capture and separation.  Read More

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

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