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Keeping It Green
Updated: Sept 22, 2017
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The Next Big Green Things Defined

 

Insect Eyes Inspire New Solar Cell Design

Congestion Solved

Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could pave the way to a new generation of advanced photovoltaics, say Stanford University scientists.

In a new study, the Stanford team used the insect-inspired design to protect a fragile photovoltaic material called perovskite from deteriorating when exposed to heat, moisture or mechanical stress. The results are published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science (E&ES).

 

 

 

 

Congestion Problem Solved

Congestion Solved

Cities becoming so overcrowded with traffic, even emergency vehiclies become stymied. What if there was a better way?

Watch this video for a very different approach, by clicking on the image at left.

 

 

 

 

Lean, Green Locomotives

Lean Green Loco

As the world continues to explore new ways of limiting carbon emissions in the transport sector and beyond, a new wave of eco-friendly locomotives is emerging to maximise the environmental benefits of rail transport.. More here.

 

Turn Your Organic Waste Into Energy for Your HomeHomBiogas

HomeBiogas, an Israel-based startup, has created an affordable and compact anaerobic digester that converts organic waste into cooking gas and liquid fertilizer. Home wastes like food scraps, kitchen trash and pet manure no longer have to go to waste.

Here’s how it works: after the HomeBiogas system is fed organic matter, microorganisms break down the biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. The end product is biogas and biofertilizer. More here.

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World’s Lightest and Most Compact
Electric Bike Can Fold Into a Backpack

Compact Electric Bike

Folding bikes are already incredibly convenient, but throw in a battery and an electric motor, and now it’s a bike commuter’s dream. At 26 pounds, the A-Bike Electric claims to be the lightest and most compact e-bike in world.

With its tiny wheels and a battery that’s the size of a thermos, the ride is so small it can tuck inside a backpack or under a desk, making it a cinch to take onto a subway, train or car. Parking isn’t even an issue when you can easily take it inside of a store or restaurant. Read more.

 

 

LED Lights to Cut 60-Watt Bulb to Five Watts

Philips has cut the amount of power of its overhead LED tube light in half, a sign of continuing improvements in LED lighting geared at displacing incumbent technologies.

The company says it has built a prototype of a tubular overhead LED light that produces 200 lumens of light with a watt of power. Its current products produce light at 100 lumens per watt, about the same as florescent tube lights. Even though the price of LEDs will be higher, Philips thinks that they can start to displace more of the florescent tube lights that are everywhere from office buildings to parking garages based on energy savings. Read More


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Don't Be "Shocked"
By this Automotive Advance.

Despite shifting into higher gear within the consumer's green conscience, hybrid vehicles are still tethered to the gas pump via a fuel-thirsty 100-year-old invention: the internal combustion engine.

Wave Disk GeneratorHowever, researchers at Michigan State University have built a prototype gasoline engine that requires no transmission, crankshaft, pistons, valves, fuel compression, cooling systems or fluids. Their so-called Wave Disk Generator could greatly improve the efficiency of gas-electric hybrid automobiles and potentially decrease auto emissions up to 90 percent when compared with conventional combustion engines. Read this Discovery Channel Story and watch the video.

Drying Clothes Without Heat

It could make your home safer and more energy efficient. It could be as affordable as your current clothes dryer.

"It consumes almost 5 to 10 times less energy," said Ayyoub Momen, a scientist with the laboratory better known as one of the birthplaces of the atomic bomb. The laboratory, under the U.S. Department of Energy, now conducts research into clean energy and national security problems.

Momen stumbled on a technology that uses vibrations, rather than heat, to dry clothes. It uses ultrasonic transducers to dry the fabric. The vibrations turn the water into a cold mist.


This Massive Tower May Be the
Future of Energy in the U.S.

Solar Wind Tower The country's largest freestanding structure will soon start construction — and it's going to be a solar-wind tower. Projected to reach 2,250 feet, it will be considerably taller than other American landmarks like the 1,454-foot Empire State Building. Designed by Maryland-based Solar Wind Energy Tower Inc., the solar-wind hybrid facility just secured funding to build its first model, which is projected to stand near San Luis, Ariz., by 2018.

An Engine To Harness Sound Waves

Etalim Sound Wave MachineEtalim, a startup company, has developed a new type of engine that could generate electricity with the efficiency of a fuel cell, but which costs only about as much as an internal combustion engine. The engine uses thermoacoustics to achieve these efficiences.

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Tubine-Free Wind POWER

From the New York Times Magazine 2011 Ideas Issue

Conservationists argue that wind turbines pose a risk to birds, bats and sensitive habitats like shorelines. People living close to wind farms, meanwhile, complain of constant noise and vibration. This year, engineers responded with a new way to draw electricity from the wind: oscillating wind panels. Click the icon on the left to read more and catch the video.

Plastics From Bugs

OPX Biotechnologies uses genetic engineering to speed the development of organisms that make chemicals and fuel.

A startup that has successfully engineered bacteria to make common industrial chemicals is now using its technology to engineer organisms to make renewable fuel. Read More


Future of Thin-film Solar

  Thin Film Solar

Watch this Em-Tech Video of an interview with CalTech Professor Harry Atwater on making solar competetive with fossil fuels, without governemnt subsidies. We wish those subsidies were not available to the fossil fuels industry, so the playing field would be level to begin with.


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Guzzlers to Hybrids?

A handful of companies hope to carve a new niche by converting fleets of gas- or diesel-powered trucks, vans, and cars into hybrids and plug-in hybrids–and they’re attracting millions of dollars of funding to do it. In some cases, they say, the conversions could pay for themselves in fuel and maintenance savings in just a few years. Companies hope to turn aging trucks, vans, and taxis into more efficient hybrids. you can Read More here.


Solar Paint

Smart Window Glass Melbourne: Scientists have developed a new solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen - the cleanest source of energy.

The paint contains a newly developed compound that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines and electronics fresh and dry.

However, unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen.  Read More

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Smart Window Glass

Smart Window GlassWindows that absorb or reflect light and heat at the flick of a switch could help cut heating and cooling bills. A company called Soladigm has developed methods for making these “electrochromic” windows cheaply, making them more viable for homes and office buildings.

"Tuneable" windows would let people adjust light and heat levels, but until now it's been hard to make them affordable.  Read More


Green Concrete

Green Concrete

Nikolaos Vlasopoulos, chief scientist at London-based startup Novacem, is trying to eliminate green-house gas emissions with a cement that absorbs more CO2 than is released during its manufacture. It locks away as much as 100 kilograms of the greenhouse gas per ton  Read More


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CO2 to BioFuel, Bypassing the Middleman

CO2 to BioFuelBiofuels ultimately come from carbon dioxide and water, so why persist in making them from biomass--corn or switchgrass or algae?

When Noubar Afeyan, the CEO of Flagship Ventures in Cambridge, MA, set out to invent the ideal renewable fuel, he decided to eliminate the middleman. Biofuels ultimately come from carbon dioxide and water, so why persist in making them from biomass--corn or switchgrass or algae? "What we wanted to know," Afeyan says, "is could we engineer a system that could convert carbon dioxide directly into any fuel that we wanted?"

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Light-Trapping Photovoltaics

Kylie Catchpole

In 1995, Kylie Catchpole decided to take a risk on a field that was nearly moribund: photovoltaics. "There was a sense that I might have difficulty ever being employed," she recalls. But her gamble paid off. In 2006 Catchpole, then a postdoc, discovered something that opened the door to making thin-film solar cells significantly more efficient at converting light into electricity. It's an advance that could help make solar power more competitive with fossil fuels. Read More

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Bacteria Make Diesel from Biomass

Bacteria to Diesel

The bacteria, developed by South San Francisco company LS9 in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, make the necessary enzymes for every step along the synthesis pathway and can convert biomass into fuel without the need for additional processing. Read More


Flexible Sheets Capture Energy from Movement

Flexible Sheet Energy Capture

Researchers at Princeton University have created a flexible material that harvests record amounts of energy when stressed. The researchers say the material could be incorporated into the soles of shoes to power portable electronics, or even placed on a heart patient's lungs to recharge a pacemaker as he breathes. Read More

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Vehicle to Grid Technology

Electric-drive vehicles, whether powered by batteries, fuel cells, or gasoline hybrids, have within them the energy source and power electronics capable of producing the 60 Hz AC electricity that powers our homes and offices. When connections are added to allow this electricity to flow from cars to power lines, we call it "vehicle to grid" power, or V2G. Cars pack a lot of power. One properly designed electric-drive vehicle can put out over 10kW, the average draw of 10 houses. The key to realizing economic value from V2G are grid-integrated vehicle controls to dispatch according to power system needs.

More from the University of Delaware.


Carbon Capture with Nanotubes

Membranes made with carbon nanotubes could reduce the amount of energy needed to capture carbon-dioxide emissions from smokestacks, and therefore cut costs, according to a company that will receive $1 million from the new advanced-research projects agency for energy, Arpa-e, to develop the technology. Read More

In another aericle from Tech Times, there is this headline:

Researchers Turn CO2 From
The Atmosphere Into Carbon Nanofibers

A group of researchers claims that they were able to fulfill what majority of scientists and government officials have long dreamt - transforming the most widespread greenhouse gas called carbon dioxide (CO2) into something beneficial. Specifically, they stated that they were able to come up with a technology that can economically turn atmospheric CO2 directly into carbon nanofibers, which may be used for industrial and commercial purposes. Read More

Simple Elixir: "Miracle Liquid"

Sounds like the old "Saturday Night Live" gag for Shimmer, the faux floor polish plugged by Gilda Radner. But the elixir is real. U.S. regulators have approved it. And it's starting to replace the toxic chemicals Americans use at home and on the job. Read More

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Electric Cars to Al

An overarching plan to replace the world's gas cars with electric ones--really, really quickly. The nutty thing is, it just might work; the streetside charging outlets for these cars are already under construction in six countries and two U.S. states. (You can watch the story here.)


Not Just a Load of Manure

Farmers Turning to Alernative Sources of Power

Manure Making EnergyFresno Bee Nov. 6th 2008 - With energy prices high and crop prices sluggish, farmers are turning to solar power, converting animal waste to natural gas and planting exotic trees to help them survive in a tough economy.

The article looks at a dairy farmer and entrepreneur who spoke this week at the first Farming Clean Energy Conference. David Albers is president of a company that builds facilities to extract methane gas from cow manure.

Unlike other companies that use the gas to power farm buildings, Albers’ company pumps it into a pipeline to be sold to Pacific Gas & Electric Co. He and participating dairies benefit by getting paid for the gas while also managing their cow waste in a more environmentally friendly way. He says he has contracts or letters of intent with 100 dairies to join the project.


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New Energy Source


Black Light EnergyBlackLight Power (BLP) Inc. today announced the successful independent replication and validation of its 1,000 watt and 50,000 watt reactors based on its proprietary new clean energy technology. This follows BLP's May announcement that it had successfully tested a new non-polluting energy source. Learn More

 

 

 

Electric Scooters for Green Commuters

Does 15 MPH with Zero Emmisions

URB Electric ScooterThere are tons of options on the market for bicycles and electric bikes for commuters, but most of them can't pack down to the size of a carry-on bag and go with you on the bus or train.

This little e-vehicle could be the missing link for traveling that 'last mile' between transit station and destination.

The URB-E is essentially a foldable electric scooter, although one that you can sit on, and it packs a lot of features into a small package. Weighing in at just 27 pounds, and folding up to about the size of a small wheeled carry-on bag (16?x16?x 36?), this portable electric vehicle is capable of going up to 15 mph and traveling up to 20 miles on a single charge.
Read More


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Compressed Air Vehicle for the U.S.

Peugeot debuts first-ever hybrid gasoline-air vehicle

At the 2013 Geneva auto show, Peugeot unveiled the first-of-its-kind HybridAir system in its 2008 model, with a drive system that combines compressed air and gasoline power. Read More

 

What's It All About, Algae?

Wide Scale Biodiesel Production from Algae

From Forbes December 2013 - Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are claiming success in perfecting a method that can transform a pea-soupy solution of algae into crude oil by pressure cooking it for about 30 minutes. The process, called hydrothermal liquefaction, also works on other streams of organic matter, such as municipal sewage. And the crude oil created is lightweight and low in sulfur and can be “dropped in” to refineries that process fossil crudes.


Fuel from Thin Air

Fuel From This Air

Using concentrated solar energy to reverse combustion, a research team from Sandia National Laboratories is building a prototype device intended to chemically “re-energize” carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide using concentrated solar power.    Read more

 

 

 

Almost Free Hydrogen

Scientists have figured out a method for producing hydrogen that requires less energy to make than the output it creates. This has been one of the great obstacles to hydrogen adaptation. Read more

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Kite Wind

Kite Wind Elergy Generation

Researchers in Italy have high hopes for a new wind-power generator that resembles a backyard drying rack on steroids. Despite its appearance, the Kite Wind Generator, or KiteGen for short, could produce as much energy as a nuclear power plant.............
Read more

Geothermal Gets Loopy

Geothermal Loop System

A Geothermal Loop System sits securely in the earth underneath your home.
It's zig-zag grid of underground pipe acts like a giant, low-energy heating & cooling machine. The system transfers air, water, or coolant through hundreds of feet of underground plumbing. After passing that media through the plumbing, the air, water, or coolant reenters your building, passing over your HVAC's heating & cooling coils and saving you about 80% on your #1 energy expense..........
Read More


Hydrogen Breakthrough Could
Be Game-changer for the Future of Car Fuels

Amonia to Hydrogen ProcessUK researchers today announced what they believe to be a game changer in the use of hydrogen as a "green" A new discovery by scientists at the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), offers a viable solution to the challenges of storage and cost by using ammonia as a clean and secure hydrogen-containing energy source to produce hydrogen on-demand in situ. Read More

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Solar Impulse 2 - Progress Eagle

 

Solar Impulse PlaneAs the Solar Impulse 2 makes its historic round-the-world trip powered only by the energy of the sun, it’s not so crazy to think that sometime in the future, commercial flying will abandon dirty fossil fuels. Read More

 

 

Solar Roadways

video icon

Solar RoadwaysSolar Roadways is a modular paving system of solar panels that can withstand the heaviest of trucks (250,000 pounds). These Solar Road Panels can be installed on roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, bike paths, playgrounds... literally any surface under the sun. They pay for themselves primarily through the generation of electricity, which can power homes and businesses connected via driveways and parking lots.A nationwide system could produce more clean renewable energy than a country uses as a whole (http://solarroadways.com/numbers.shtml). They have many other features as well, including: heating elements to stay snow/ice free, LEDs to make road lines and signage, and attached Cable Corridor to store and treat stormwater and provide a "home" for power and data cables. EVs will be able to charge with energy from the sun (instead of fossil fuels) from parking lots and driveways and after a roadway system is in place, mutual induction technology will allow for charging while driving. Read More.

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Solar Lighting

Use sunlight to illuminate your rooms. No skylight necessary....Read More

Game-Changing Lamp Powered by Gravity
Could Provide Light to Billions


Solar-powered electricity systems have often been touted as a solution for those living without reliable access to electricity, but another Earthly force is also readily available (and doesn’t surrender to inclement weather or nightfall): Gravity.

 

 

 

Gravity Light

 

 

 

 

Climeworks Carbon Capture Device

Climeworks

Carbon capture is essential to the fight against climate change and keeping temperatures below a two-degree-Celsius increase, according to Swiss-based Climeworks. For a few years now they’ve been working on technology to suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and sell it to agriculture or energy industries for reuse. And now they’ve finally switched on the final product – the world’s first Direct Air Capture (DAC) commercial plant on top of a waste recovery facility in Zurich, Switzerland.

Click the image for more information.

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Seasteadding - Not Homesteading

Climeworks

Low-lying islands in the Pacific, like Kiribati and parts of French Polynesia, face the imminent threat of disappearing because of sea level rise. Hencken believes that seasteading offers one practical solution for these places to create new, resilient territory on which to continue to exist … Hencken looks forward to working with French Polynesia’s youth in building new ocean tech that can benefit the island nation and subsequently be spun out to places in need of new land. He said that once they’ve built a successful pilot, he can imagine deploying similar seasteads to places like Miami and Bangladesh.”

Click the image for more information.