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Monthly Archives: June 2009

Reports: Ample Capacity to Grow Food

Written by , on June 28, 2009

Two reports from world bodies have been published week saying that the world has ample capaicty to feed its projected increased population. The first report, from the OECD and the UN Food & Agriculture Organization, projects ten years from the food price increases of 2008. It concludes that "Some 1.6 billion hectares could be added […]  Read more »

How Much Water Does It Take?

Written by , on June 26, 2009

Treehugger has published a post which points out that, when all of the factors such as transport and production of the container, are taken into account, it takes 200 litres of water to produce a take-away latté. So, how much water do some of the other “necessities” of modern life consume? A pair of jeans […]  Read more »

Scotland Sets High Target

Written by , on June 26, 2009

The Scottish parliament has committed to a binding goal to cut greenhouse gases by 42 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels. In April, Britain formally adopted a legally-binding target of reducing greenhouse gases by 34 percent. Scotland, whicch has some local autonomy has gone further – surpassing the German target of 40 percent, which was […]  Read more »

Greener Air Conditioning

Written by , on June 26, 2009

A Hamburg-based company, Thermodyna, has developed an air-conditioning system that uses only the sun’s heat to produce hot or cool air as required. The core of the system is a Schukey motor. For cooling, a solar panel uses the sun’s heat to produce steam which is converted into mechanical energy. This drives a pump which […]  Read more »

Demand for Hybrids Soars in Japan

Written by , on June 26, 2009

When the third-generation Toyota Prius was released in Japan a month ago, Toyota’s sales target for the month was 10,000 vehicles. Actual orders reached 180,000! The Prius was the top-selling vehicle in Japan in May – the first time that it has achieved the top spot. Honda’s hybrid Insight, released in February, was the third […]  Read more »

Chinese 4-Seater SUV Has 400 km Range

Written by , on June 14, 2009

Chinese vehicle manufacturer, New Power, claims to have developed a full-sized electric four-seater with a range of 400 kilometress which will go into production in China next year. The company plans to bring it to the UK “within the next couple of years”. Known as the Zhong Tai, the vehicle has lithium-ion batteries that can […]  Read more »

First Large-scale Floating Wind Turbine Launched

Written by , on June 14, 2009

Siemens and StatoilHydro have installed what they say is the world’s first large-scale floating turbine. The installation off the coast of Norway will undergo testing for two years. To date, wind turbinrs could only be installed in relatively shallow offshore locations – up to about 50 metres deep. The floating wind turbines, which have a […]  Read more »

Smart Power Outlets Could Save Lives and Energy

Written by , on June 14, 2009

Inventor and entrepreneur, John La Grou, hasdeveloped a "smart" electrical power outlet, called a Safeplug, containing a  microprocessor. The main reason for the invention was to prevent electrical fires by giving the wall socket sufficient intelligence to detect that an appliance was drawing too much power and shut it off. However, the Safeplug also has […]  Read more »

Synthetic Sponges Could Capture Carbon Dioxide

Written by , on June 14, 2009

Chemical engineer, Dr Andrew Harris amd his research team at Sydney University’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions have been awarded a research grant from the European Energy Company, E.ON, to investigate materials like silicon carbide and alumina for building synthetic sponges, which would be grafted with calcium oxide to absorb carbon dioxide. Dr Harris is using […]  Read more »

Lithium-sulphur Batteries Could Triple Storage

Written by , on June 14, 2009

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario have developed a prototype of a lithium-sulphur rechargeable battery that can store three times the power of a conventional lithium-ion battery in the same volume while being significantly lighter and potentially cheaper to manufacture. As with lithium-ion technology, lithium-sulphur batteries store the electrical charge in one electrode […]  Read more »