Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sauter Carbon Offset Design's Ark Angel LSV

Like its Super Nova and Ocean Empire LSV stablemates, the 78 meter (256 ft) Ark Angel LSV (Life Support Vessel) from Sauter Carbon Offset Design harnesses energy from a variety of renewable sources to achieve up to 100 percent reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. When using its four 400 kW Daimler Bluetec Turbo Compound DD16 diesel engines, Sauter says that the green megayacht is capable of sailing at 28 knots while still reducing fuel consumption and emissions by 50 percent.  Read More

Tesla has announced a battery recycling program for Europe

When weighing up the impact of electric-vehicles on the environment two factors come to the fore. EV's produce no emissions locally, but depending on where the energy comes from, they can still be producing greenhouse gases back at the power plant ... the so called "long-tailpipe" argument. That's one. The second is batteries – or more specifically, how much energy goes into making them and what to do with the massive battery packs in these cars once they've passed their lifespan. Auto manufacturers building EV infrastructure are taking this second factor into consideration and now EV pioneer Tesla has announced a battery recycling program throughout Europe that will help reduce the carbon footprint of its vehicles.  Read More

An 845 megawatt wind farm to be built in central Oregon has received support from the DOE

A large scale wind farm to be built in central Oregon has received "a conditional commitment to provide a partial guarantee for a $1.3 billion loan" from the U.S. Department of Energy. Made up of 338 GE wind turbines, the Caithness Shepherds Flat 845 megawatt project will create 400 construction jobs (plus 35 permanent jobs once up and running) and promises a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that produced by more than 200,000 cars.  Read More

The Super Nova 60 features adjustable camber fully rotational wingsails

Looking to claim the environmental high ground at the next megayacht owners potluck get together? Sauter Carbon Offset Design has unveiled what it calls “the world’s first carbon neutral megayacht,” and it could be just what you’re looking for. Harnessing energy from sustainable sources such as photovoltaic (PV) cells, power sailing kinetic energy regeneration and wingsails, the Super Nova 60 is capable of generating enough surplus energy to allow it to cruise carbon neutral for 7,000 nautical miles a year... and it can feed energy back into the grid while docked. Now you can enjoy cruising around the Mediterranean in luxury with an environmentally clear conscience.  Read More

Biochar – a charcoal created by pyrolysis could offset 12 percent of human greenhouse ga...

According to a new study, as much as 12 percent of the world’s human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials. That’s more than would be offset if the same plants and materials were burned to generate bioenergy, says the study. Additionally, biochar could improve food production in the world’s poorest regions as it increases soil fertility.  Read More

The D double bubble aircraft design promises a 70 percent improvement in fuel economy (Ima...

The contribution of aircraft to greenhouse gas emissions has been well documented and while biofuels are being trialled in an effort to combat the issue, an expected doubling in air traffic by 2035 suggests that a fundamental shift in technology is needed to make real progress. That's the starting point for the D “double bubble” – a design concept presented to NASA by an MIT led research team which promises a 70 percent improvement in fuel economy, reduced noise, lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and the ability to use shorter runways.  Read More

Dr. Henry Daniell has developed a cheap way to produce ethanol from waste materials (Image...

While it may not quite be the Mr. Fusion energy reactor Doc Brown uses to convert household scraps into power for his time-traveling DeLorean, scientists have found a way to turn discarded fruit peels, newspapers and other waste products into cheap fuel to power the world’s vehicles. Its developer says the new approach is greener and less expensive than the current methods available to run vehicles on cleaner fuel and is part of his goal to relegate gasoline to a secondary fuel.  Read More

Genetically engineered strains of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus in a Petri di...

As part of the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning fossil fuels researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a greener way to extract biofuel from bacteria. The team has genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. As an added bonus that reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis.  Read More

ETA report takes a close look at the real impact of EVs on the environment

“Electric cars should be rewarded for their energy efficiency, not for moving emissions from exhaust pipes to powerstation chimneys” says the UK's Environmental Transport Association (ETA). In a report titled "How to avoid an electric shock - Electric cars: from hype to reality", the ETA has taken a close look at electric-powered vehicles (EVs) and their associated technologies. In what could be a shock to some commuters – and governments - the report states that EVs could potentially speed climate change, rather than reduce it, and might not be as good for the planet as some of the spin suggests. Simply put, it’s not necessarily the cars themselves that will cause the damage, but the way the electricity is generated to power them and how often we drive them. For instance, EVs powered by “green energy” - wind or solar - are obviously superior, but if the electricity comes from coal, hybrids perform better.  Read More

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introducing the hydrogen-powered Tyrano zero emi...

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has introduced Vision Industries’ Tyrano semi truck – a hydrogen-powered zero emissions vehicle designed to replace diesel and LNG short haul trucks in California. Vision says the Tyrano is the world’s first “green” heavy duty class 8 truck with zero emissions (zero CO2, zero fossil fuels, zero noise pollution and a zero carbon footprint). What’s more, the company claims the Tyrano is twice as powerful as a conventional diesel-powered vehicle.  Read More

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