Let’s Explore Hydrogen-Powered Cars

Credit: Aston Martin

Credit: Aston Martin

Hydrogen powered motor vehicles might best be described as a technology that started to emerge, stopped, went through several changes, and now has started to emerge once again. According to even rather old statements by researchers present at the Emerging Technologies Conference symposium at MIT, hydrogen cars are now a real possibility as a result of changes in design ethics. Read More →

Examining Minerals Present in Biomass

Image: © Ashley Cooper/Corbis

Image: © Ashley Cooper/Corbis

As the search for low carbon fuels continues, biomass has become increasingly more attractive to various industries. Biotechnology researchers are therefore looking into pyrolysis — gasification and combustion methods that would take regular organic material and convert it into a high-yield energy source. Several substances in ash chemistry influence corrosion and slag creation after combustion has occurred. Researchers are also looking into this to see if anything can be done to increase the amount of thermal energy that industries can get out of these fuels. Read More →

Neural Networks Could Make Automated Oilrigs a Reality

Offshore Drilling Rig

Geologists are constantly searching for new sources of energy, but offshore drilling remains controversial. Environmentally sensitive areas can be damaged by oil spills, and water supplies are easily poisoned. Researchers feel that a majority of oil spills are caused by human error. Read More →

Let’s Explore Flywheel Energy Storage Devices

Credit: Flybrid Systems, L.P.

Credit: Flybrid Systems, L.P.

Flywheel energy storage devices could be looked at as a radical application of very traditional technology. They work by maintaining rotational energy by moving a flywheel. This same idea is used to keep a mechanical watch ticking.

A majority of modern FES devices use electricity to put the flywheel in motion, but some researchers are interested in the idea of using mechanical energy to start and stop the wheel. Read More →

What’s Killing Our Honey Bees – And What’s at Stake?

bees

Along with other pollinators (which include hoverflies, butterflies and moths), honey bees perform a crucial role in the production of one-third of all the food we eat. Honey bees alone pollinate roughly fourteen billion dollars’ worth of food crops annually. They comprise a necessary part of the living ecosystem, and we would be hard-pressed to supply our world’s food needs without them. Read More →

Studying Ancient Earth’s Geochemistry

Image Credit: University of Washington

Image Credit: University of Washington

Researchers still have much to learn about the volcanism that shaped our planet’s early history. New evidence from a team led by Carnegie’s Frances Jenner demonstrates that some of the tectonic processes driving volcanic activity, such as those taking place today, were occurring as early as 3.8 billion years ago. Their work is published in Geology [citation below]. Read More →

Clean Energy Action Plan for U.S.

Clean-Green-Energy

The global clean energy marketplace is expanding rapidly, but the competitive position of American industry is at risk because of increased competition abroad and uncertain policies at home, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Read More →

New Path to More Efficient Organic Solar Cells

Image Credit: Harald Ade, NC State University

Image Credit: Harald Ade, NC State University

Why are efficient and affordable solar cells so highly coveted? Volume. The amount of solar energy lighting up Earth’s land mass every year is nearly 3,000 times the total amount of annual human energy use. Read More →

Age of Sail 2.0

SkySails

Wind power is free, which is why German engineers have been experimenting with a device they termed SkySails. They’ve proved that inflatable kites can actually haul freighters across the ocean. This mirrors research conducted over 20 years ago by a Japanese firm. Those who say that sails aren’t a new emerging technology should be careful, since the efforts are actually becoming popular with scientists. Read More →

Vertical Farming Might be Taking Off in Urban Areas

Pyramind Farm by Eric Ellingsen and Dickson Despommier

Pyramind Farm by Eric Ellingsen and Dickson Despommier

Many people talk about how land use isn’t sustainable, but an emerging technology could soon be changing that. Human population centers are expected to continue to grow even with stagnating birthrates. That means that eventually a larger percentage of people will live in urban areas. Cities will probably start to spill out into the surrounding areas in the same way that they have in the past. Read More →