Although electric vehicles can claim to be greener by producing zero local emissions, the electricity used to charge their batteries needs to come from somewhere. For most people, that somewhere is usually a fossil fuel-powered power station, lessening the green credentials of such vehicles. In an effort to let drivers go the extra green mile, Ford and solar technology company SunPower have teamed up to offer buyers of Ford's upcoming EVs a discounted rooftop solar system to provide enough renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicles.
The Gemasolar Concentrated Solar Power
(CSP) plant near Seville, Spain, has achieved a full 24 hours of solar power production one month after starting commercial operation. The 19.9 MW plant uses a huge array of mirrors to heat a molten salt storage system in the central tower which is then used to run steam turbines, resulting in the ability to continue energy production after the sun goes down.
With the rising price of fuel and more stringent emissions regulations, there is a strong need for the aviation industry to begin taking steps to earn its green wings. It's not surprising therefore that biofuel
was one of the hot topics at this week's Paris Air Show
with both Boeing's 747-8
and Gulfstream's G450 business jet making the trip across the Atlantic on biofuel blends. The G450 flew in from Morristown, New Jersey, after a seven hour flight in which one of its Rolls-Royce engines was powered by a 50/50 blend of Honeywell Green Jet Fuel and petroleum-based jet fuel.
Internal combustion engines are likely to remain in widespread use for some time yet, but it's possible that we may be bidding adieu to that most iconic of engine parts, the spark plug. Researchers from Japan's National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) are creating laser igniters that could one day replace spark plugs in automobile engines. Not only would these lasers allow for better performance and fuel economy, but cars using them would also create less harmful emissions.
The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform Europe's transport infrastructure by 2050. The roadmap for a Single European Transport Area includes forty initiatives for road, rail and air travel that aim to increase mobility, reduce reliance on oil imports, cut emissions by 60% and combat congestion by halving the use of "conventionally fueled" cars in urban transport by 2030 with a view to phasing them out in cities by 2050.
Students at Michigan Technological University have designed and constructed their own mini-smokestack to showcase a new method for scrubbing carbon dioxide from emissions. The approach is similar to SkyMine
technology, but instead of producing sodium bicarbonate as a byproduct, it turns captured carbon into a solid material that could have applications as a construction material.
Pretty much everyone knows that driving too fast wastes fuel and creates excess carbon emissions, as does revving the engine and not bothering with tune-ups. We can try to alter our driving habits accordingly, but how can we know how much
to alter them? What speed should we drive at when, and how often should we take our car to the garage? These questions can be instantly and completely answered, right in your car, if you’re using an Eco-Navigator device.
It has been estimated that up to 85 percent of all wood materials (such as particleboard or plywood) contain adhesives that in turn contain formaldehyde, and the World Health Organization has classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to simply avoid eating those wood products – even the fumes given off by formaldehyde have been shown to pose a health hazard. Many people turn to keeping spider plants in their homes or offices, as they help neutralize airborne toxins, but now help could be coming from another source. German researchers have discovered that by adding special minerals to wood adhesives, those adhesives themselves can help clean the air.
technology that shuts off a vehicle’s engine when it comes to a stop to save fuel is a standard feature on many hybrid and electric-vehicles (EVs), including Ford’s Fusion Hybrid
and Escape Hybrid
has now announced its Auto Start-Stop system will be added to conventional cars, crossovers and SUVs in North America from 2012.
The HybriDrive series propulsion system developed by BAE Systems
is currently enhancing the fuel efficiency and cutting emissions on more than 3,000 transit buses in cities around the world, including New York
. The system is specifically suited to the driving patterns of urban transport, which involve low average speeds and frequent stopping and starting. To meet the needs of applications that have higher operating speeds and less frequent stops, BAE is developing a new parallel hybrid propulsion system to bring the fuel-saving benefits of its technology to medium and heavy-duty trucks.