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Keeping It Green

(There's no Planet B)

What do you think will be.....

The Next Big Green Thing?


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Updated: August 14, 2019

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The Next Big Green Things Defined

(Click on the image for more information.)

 

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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 


Turn Your Organic Waste
Into Energy for Your Home

HomBiogas

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.

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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.

 

 

LED Lights to Cut
60-Watt Bulb to Five Watts

LED Energy Cutter

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.


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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 Generator

However, 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. Click the on the graphic to read the 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.


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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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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.


Smart Window Glass


Smart Window Glass

In 2017 Kinestral Technologies unveiled the first installation of its new Halio smart-tinting glass at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.’s (NYSE:ARE) San Francisco office. Halio is the most responsive smart-tinting glass on the market, transitioning from clear to dark within seconds and achieving its darkest, neutral gray tint in less than three minutes.


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.


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CO2 to BioFuel,
Bypassing the Middleman


CO2 to BioFuel

Biofuels 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?"


 

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.

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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.

Flexible Sheets Capture
Energy from Movement

Flexible Sheet Energy Capture

The day of charging cellphones with finger swipes and powering Bluetooth headsets simply by walking is now much closer.

Michigan State University engineering researchers have created a new way to harvest energy from human motion, using a film-like device that actually can be folded to create more power. With the low-cost device, known as a nanogenerator, the scientists successfully operated an LCD touch screen, a bank of 20 LED lights and a flexible keyboard, all with a simple touching or pressing motion and without the aid of a battery (click the respective links to see a short video of each demonstration).

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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 Energy

Fresno 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 Energy

BrilliantLight Power (BLP) Inc. 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.

 

 

 

Electric Scooters for Green Commuters

Does 15 MPH with Zero Emmisions

URB Electric Scooter

There 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.


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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.

 

 

 

What's It All About, 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
(Does .85 p/g Sound Good?)

 

Fuel From This Air

Advocates of America’s Green New Deal or other radical efforts to decarbonize the world economy in the face of a looming climate crisis may well have one of their greatest champions in a rumpled 65-year-old who lives in the Toronto suburbs.

Roger Gordon wears a navy wool coat that extends well past the bottom of his green knit sweater on a chilly day in February. He talks with a quintessentially Canadian politeness as he rails against what he sees as a massive conspiracy to suppress his life’s work — which could amount to a fuel revolution.

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Kite Wind

 

Kite Wind Elergy Generation

The high-altitude wind of the troposphere represents an untapped energy source that is larger than the world’s current energy needs. The concept of Kitenergy is to use wings or power kites, linked to the ground by two ropes, to reach altitudes of about 800-1000 m above the ground. At such elevations, winds are stronger and more constant compared to the elevation where actual wind towers operate. The flight of the airfoils is tracked using on-board wireless instrumentation and it is suitably driven by an automatic control unit, able to differentially pull the ropes to influence the wing motion.


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.........


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

Amonia to Hydrogen Process

UK 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.

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Solar Impulse 2 - Progress Eagle

 

Solar Impulse Plane

As 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.

 

 

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Solar Roadways

Solar Roadways

Solar 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.

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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


Gravity LightSolar-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.

GravityLight is powered by the lift of a weight.

As the weight falls it turns a gear train, driving the motor that powers the LEDs.

GravityLight doesn't need batteries or sunlight and costs nothing to run. It takes seconds to lift the weight that powers GravityLight, creating 20 minutes of light on its descent.

Click the image for more information.

 

 

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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Printable Solar Cells

Printable Solar

A U of T Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.

Click the image for the rest of the story.

 

 

 

 

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.

Solar is Now Out the Window

Solar Windows Tech

SolarWindow™ achieves payback within one year, according to first-ever independently validated financial modeling results. To produce the equivalent amount of energy with conventional solar systems would require at least 5-11 years for payback and at least 10-12 acres of valuable urban land. Unlike the many acres of expensive downtown real estate required for solar array fields, SolarWindow™ systems can be installed on the readily-available vast window glass surfaces on tall towers and skyscrapers.

 

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Emmissions Absorbing Sculpture

Solar Windows Tech

Kengo Kuma just unveiled a spiraling, air-purifying sculpture that can absorb the emissions produced by 90,000 cars in a year. Kuma’s “Breath/ng” is made from a cutting-edge fabric with a nano-molecule activated core that separates and absorbs toxic molecules. Developed by Anemotech, this pollution-neutralizing material uses the natural flow of air to purify the surrounding environment.

 

All-Weather Miniloop

Solar Windows Tech

Architect Richard Moreta just unveiled the MINILOOP, an enclosed cycleway that could be a dream come true for bicycle commuters. Envisioned as the “ideal zero-emission transportation system,” the MINILOOP is designed to harness renewable energy and supply excess power to the local city grid. Geared to satisfy even the most fair-weather cyclists, the cycleway would be enclosed in a weather-resistant elevated pipeline and it’s designed to cater to bicycles and e-bikes.

 

Out of the Box Thinking Leads
to Energy Efficiency Breakthrough

Out of the box thinking

The term “out of the box thinking” seems a little overused, but in this case it appropriately describes the unique thought process that has led one research team to a fantastic discovery. What if there was a way to control magnetic waves the way we control electric current?

Research led by a University of Sussex scientist has turned a 156-year-old law of physics on its head in a development which could lead to more efficient recharging of batteries in cars and mobile phones.

Dr Jordi Prat-Camps, a research fellow at the University of Sussex, has for the first time demonstrated that the coupling between two magnetic elements can be made extremely asymmetrical. Working with colleagues from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and University of Innsbruck, Dr Prat-Camps’ research rips up the physics rule book by showing it is possible to make one magnet connect to another without the connection happening in the opposite direction. (Click image for more info)

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Fabric-based Solar Cells

Fabric Solar Cells

New textile-based solar cells developed by Fraunhofer researchers, semitrailers could soon be producing the electricity needed to power cooling systems or other onboard equipment. In short, textile-based solar cells could soon be adding a whole new dimension to photovoltaics, complementing the use of conventional silicon-based solar cells.

In the future, we may well see other surfaces being exploited for photovoltaic generation. Truck tarps, for example, could be used to produce the electricity consumed by the driver when underway or parked up for the night, or to power electronic systems used to locate trailers in shipping terminals.