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Monthly Archives: January 2009

High Speed Trains Rivalling Air Travel

Written by , on January 31, 2009

A high-speed train linking Rome and Milan, which opened last year, is the first of a series of high-speed links which are soon to open or begin construction. The new Red Arrow train between Rome and Milan travels at up to 300 kilometres per hour and completes the 475 kilometre journey in about three and […]  Read more »

“Burial at Sea” Carbon Solution

Written by , on January 31, 2009

Stuart Strand of the University of Washington has proposed making bales of crop residue, such as stalks, and sinking them into the deep ocean in order to sequester carbon. Strand calculates that the the process of harvesting, transporting and sinking bales of crop waste, weighed down by stones, in ocean waters below 1,500 metres, would […]  Read more »


Written by , on January 31, 2009

Using the energy of children at play to help solve one of the world’s great problems – a billion people without sufficient water – seems too good to be true. But the PlayPump does just this – and it’s already in more than 1,000 schools in South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia. The Playpump is […]  Read more »

Square Holes for Square Trash and Round Holes for Round Trash

Written by , on January 31, 2009

Sean Duffy, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University, has conducted a study to find out what makes people fail to recycle. He concluded that “People fail to recycle for a number of reasons, including misinformation and forgetfulness; however, it is also a design problem.” When he examined different types of recycling bins and […]  Read more »

Big Orders for Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Written by , on January 31, 2009

Coca-Cola Enterprises (US) has announced that it is more than doubling the size of its hybrid electric delivery fleet, Coca-Cola will have the largest hybrid delivery fleet in North America with 327 hybrid trucks on the road. The new hybrid trucks will be comparable in capacity to the company’s current large delivery trucks, with a […]  Read more »

New Catalyst for Ethanol-powered Fuel Cells

Written by , on January 31, 2009

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Delaware and Yeshiva University, have developed a new catalyst that could make ethanol-powered fuel cells feasible. Hydrogen fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into water and, as part of the process, produce electricity. However, efficient production, storage and transport of hydrogen for […]  Read more »

James Lovelock: Biochar Is Our Only Hope

Written by , on January 24, 2009

In an interview in New Scientist magazine, the British environmentalist and author of the Gaia hypothesis which treats the Earth as a single organism, argues that unless we remove significant amounts of carbon dixide from the atmosphere, temperatures will increase by as much as 4ºC by the end of the century. He claims that at […]  Read more »

Thermal Photovotaics Could Reach 85% Efficiency

Written by , on January 23, 2009

A new approach to converting heat into electricity using solar cells could make a technology called thermal photovoltaics more practical.  A Boston company, MTPV Corp, claims it can deliver "an order of magnitude" more power than regular thermal photovoltaics. Thermal photovoltaics use solar cells to convert the light that radiates from a hot surface into […]  Read more »

Green Whisky

Written by , on January 23, 2009

First beer went green, now it’s scotch whisky’s turn. Scottish authorities have given planning permission for a consortium of distillers to build a biomass-fueled combined heat and power plant for the whisky industry in Speyside. Helius Energy Plc and the Combination of Rothes Distillers Ltd will build the plant, which will use distillery by-products and […]  Read more »

Scientist Wants to Paint the Town White

Written by , on January 18, 2009

A Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist, Hashem Akbari, is poised to launch a campaign to paint the world white. Inspired by the whitewashed villages around the Mediterranean, he argues that if we turn enough of the world’s dark urban landscape white, it would reflect sufficient sunlight to delay global warming and give us some precious […]  Read more »