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Monthly Archives: December 2011

In 2011 …

Written by , on December 31, 2011

Just in case you’re still not sure that the climate is behaving a little strangely, in 2011: Greenhouse gases rose to record levels; Temperatures were the 11th highest ever recorded; The Arctic Sea ice melt almost equalled the 2007 record; The world had its 300th consecutive month of above average temperatures; North America experienced massive […]  Read more »

U.S. to Close Up 20% of Coal Power Station by 2016

Written by , on December 31, 2011

For decades, the United States produced more of its electricity from coal than all other fuels combined. As recentlly as 2003, 51% of US electricity came from burning coal. But the use of coal is starting to decline rapidly. In 2011, coal will account for 41% of US power generation, down 2% from the previous […]  Read more »

Sustainable Days of Christmas

Written by , on December 17, 2011

Partridges and turtle-doves are endangered, gold rings cost $1,600 an ounce, milk maids and leaping lords haven’t been seen for years – it’s time for a sustainable Christmas list: On the first day of Christmas, my true love brought to me … Food that was grown locally; On the second day of Christmas, my true […]  Read more »

Building a Wind Turbine (in 7 minutes)

Written by , on December 15, 2011

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Vitamin Boost for Fuel Cells

Written by , on December 8, 2011

Scientists at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Science in Taiwan have reported that a carbon-based catalyst loaded with vitamin B12 showed promise as a low-cost alternative to platinum in fuel cells. In order to generate electricity, hydrogen fuel cells require an oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode together with an oxidiztation reaction (producing water) […]  Read more »

Lithium Production as a Geothermal Power Byproduct

Written by , on December 7, 2011

Simbol Materials, a Californian company, plans to extract lithium, as well as zinc and manganese, from the brine that is pumped by geothermal power plants. Currently many geothermal plants pump hot brine from deep underground to produce steam and then inject the cooled brine back into the ground. This brine is rich in minerals including […]  Read more »

New Material Could Make Grid-scale Batteries Feasible

Written by , on December 1, 2011

Researchers at Stanford University have used nanoparticles of a copper compound to develop a high-power battery electrode that they believe could help make large-scale batteries sufficently efficient, durable and inexpensive for grid power storage. In laboratory tests, the electrode survived 40,000 cycles of charging and discharging, after which it could still be charged to more […]  Read more »

New Climate Model Claimed To Be More Accurate

Written by , on December 1, 2011

A study published in Science journal, claims to have narrowed the range by which the world’s temperature can be expected to rise with a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations from pre-industrial levels. Earlier studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2007 report, have precicted a rise of between 2.0°C and 4.5°C, with a […]  Read more »