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Emissions

Urban Transport Feature

Lighter Yikebike EV models join growing Transport Appliance marketplace

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

Environment

Researchers develop more energy efficient carbon capture material

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

Architecture

Pittsburgh's "breathing" building aims to be the world's greenest skyscraper

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

Environment

Air + water = gasoline? Not quite...

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

Automotive

LiquidPiston unveils 40-bhp X2 rotary engine with 75 percent thermal efficiency

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

Environment

New study distils the eco footprint of biofuels

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

Environment

Cryogenic treatment could cut coal-fired power plant emissions by 90%

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

Glycerol additive makes cruise ships greener

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

Environment

Scientists develop catalyst that cleans diesel emissions without platinum

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

Aircraft manufacturers accelerate biofuel commercialization

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

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