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Environmental


— Automotive

HumanCar aims for a healthy planet with healthy drivers

By - March 1, 2010 4 Pictures
At first glance it might look a bit like an elongated pedal car for kids, but its designers are convinced the HumanCar Imagine PS is a serious player in the search for cleaner, greener ways to get around. The vehicle converts the rowing motion of the driver and any passengers into rotational thrust to charge a battery and power the vehicle in conjunction with an electric motor. So not only is it healthy for the planet – it is healthy for the occupants too. And as an added bonus the vehicle can also be used store energy and act as a backup power generator to provide electricity to the home. Read More
— Environment

UN urges action on e-waste

By - February 25, 2010
Ever wonder what happens to discarded televisions and obsolete home computers, or do you prefer not to think about it? According to a United Nations study on recycling, the volume of disused electronic products, or “e-waste” as it is known, has risen dramatically as it coincides with growth in sales in developing countries. Read More
— Science

Brighter, whiter clouds could fight global warming

By - February 22, 2010
Scientists in the US have been cloud-spotting over shipping lanes and have noticed something more interesting than teddy-bear shapes and faces. They have detected that rising steam from passing ships has caused brightening in the clouds which they theorize alters the reflectivity of the cloud and prevents the energy from reaching the Earth. They propose that if this could be achieved artificially via geoengineering it could be an effective defense against global warming. Read More
— Medical

Compostable plastics breakthrough sounds sweet

By - February 18, 2010 2 Pictures
Traditional environmental enemies food packaging and other disposable plastic items could soon be composted at home along with organic waste and not collected for landfill thanks to a new sugar-based polymer being developed at Imperial College London. The degradable polymer is made from sugars known as lignocellulosic biomass, which come from non-food crops like fast-growing trees and grasses, or renewable biomass from agricultural or food waste. Read More
— Environment

Winter Olympics gets a touch of greenery

By - February 17, 2010 5 Pictures
When Vancouver won the competition to host the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games thoughts immediately turned to construction, and one of the most awe-inspiring initiatives has to be the redesign of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Center (VCAEC). Currently hosting the international broadcasting and media hub for the Winter Olympics, this waterfront building is not only beautiful and functional but is environmentally sustainable, boasting a green electricity program, a seawater heating and cooling system and the largest "living roof" in Canada populated with 40,000 plants and grasses. Read More
— Motorcycles

The motorcycle air conditioner (no, really)

By - February 16, 2010 7 Pictures
Yes, a motorcycle air conditioner. As you can see in the picture, though, it’s not as dumb as it sounds. In fact, it’s pretty clever. Haven’t you ever watched bikers riding around in the summer heat wearing full leathers, and wondered how they can stand it? They can’t. They’re boiling to death in there. Some opt to wear shorts and T-shirts instead, but from a safety standpoint... it’s not a sensible alternative, let’s put it that way. What is sensible is a process that pumps cooled air into a vest that the rider wears under their jacket. And that’s just what the EntroSys Motorcycle Air Conditioning system is. Read More
— Around The Home

Nanopool says the case is clear for spray-on glass

By - February 10, 2010 2 Pictures
Yep, you read it right, spray-on glass. It could revolutionize the fields of agriculture, medicine, fashion, transportation - really, it would be easier to list where it might not be applicable. The remarkable product, called Liquid Glass, was developed by the German nano-tech firm Nanopool GmbH. Their patented process, known as “SiO2 ultra thin layering” involves extracting silica molecules from quartz sand, adding them to water or ethanol, and then... well, they won’t tell us what they do next, but the end result is a 100 nanometer-thick, clear, flexible, breathable coating that can be applied to almost any surface. We’re told that there are no added nano-particles, resins or additives - the coating is formed using quantum forces. The possible uses are endless. Read More
— Automotive

Future cars: Auto bodywork composite doubles as a battery

By - February 7, 2010
The problem is clear. Hybrid cars and EVs rely on batteries for power, but batteries are bulky and heavy, causing the car to use up more energy. But what if a car's bodywork was made of a strong, lightweight material that could store and discharge electrical energy just as a conventional battery does? In pursuing this goal, researchers at the Imperial College London are developing a key building block for the hybrid car of the future, and the implications go way beyond automobiles - think wafer thin mobile phones and laptops that don't need a separate battery because they draw power from their casing. Read More
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