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DEC 11

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Improved Solar Cells with Light Trapping Nano Holes
Written by Philip Proefrock on 11/12/12   

Another development to improve the efficiency of solar panels has been announced by researchers from Princeton University led by professor Stephen Chou. By using a nanostructured "sandwich" of metal and cialis by mail plastic, the efficiency of thin film solar collectors was improved by 175 percent.

The nanoscale lattice on top of the sandwich is able to follow link where to get cialis cheap trap light with openings called a "plasmonic cavity with subwavelength hole array" or PlaCSH. The layer is made of gold and is only 30 nanometers thick. Each hole is 175 nanometers in diameter and spaced 25 nanometers apart. The opening is smaller than the wavelength of light, which traps it rather than allowing it to reflect off the collector, which leads to improved conversion of light to electricity.

The mesh layer also replaces the indium-tin-oxide (ITO) layer which is typically on top of thin-film solar cells, which is one of canadian pharmacy online the most expensive parts of these cells. The ITO layer is also more brittle, while the PlaCSH is extremely bendable.

image credit: Chou lab

via: Phys Org


DEC 02

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Navy May Still Be Able to Sail Its "Great Green Fleet"
Written by Philip Proefrock on 02/12/12   

The US Navy is getting a reprieve from what looked like strong Congressional opposition to further use of biofuels in Navy vessels. Restrictions imposed this past May by Congress against the best way to take cialis further use of biofuels by the Navy were recently repealed in the Senate.

The Navy has been testing the use of biofuels for the past few years, and this legislation makes it more likely that the Navy can continue to explore the use of biofuels with its fleets. The Navy's "Great Green Fleet" planned for 2016 may still be a viable possibility.

The top military leadership is generally in favor of green measures. The armed services have been adopting greater use of more sustainable materials, and they recognize the internet pharmacy propecia strategic importance of energy conservation and self-reliance for energy needs. As a whole, the US Department of Defense is the single largest single user of oil in the world, so developing more sustainable sources is beneficial to them strategically as well as reducing their environmental impacts.

image: Public Domain by US Navy/Wikimedia Commons

via: Danger Room


NOV 29

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Spark EV Introduced at LA Auto Show
Written by Philip Proefrock on 29/11/12   

Chevrolet is introducing an electric version of its Spark small car. The Spark EV is being called a "high tech electric city car," and its initial rollout is being aimed at urban markets and areas with a growing infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

Driving range numbers, which are usually a concern for potential electric vehicle drivers, have not been included in the GM press release, although the company claims it will have some of the best EV range. The Spark EV will optionally offer a new fast-charge system which allows the battery to be charged to 80 percent of capacity in about 20 minutes. The SAE Combo DC Fast Charging capability is a new industry standard, and the Spark EV will be the first electric vehicle to offer it in North America. The Spark EV will also have a "confidence gauge" that shows the expected driving range based on driving habits and other conditions.

Spark EV is powered by an advanced electric motor and battery system. It consists of a GM-designed, coaxial drive unit and getting cialis electric motor that together deliver 130 hp (more than 100 kW) and 400 lb.-ft. (542 Nm) of torque for instant acceleration; and a more than 20-kWh lithium ion battery is expected to provide among the best EV range performance in its segment.

The Spark EV is a 2014 model, and will initially be available in California and Oregon, as well as in Canada and South Korea and "other global markets." Pricing for the Spark EV, according to GM, will be less than $25,000 with tax incentives.

via: GM Media


NOV 28

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A Self-Filling Water Bottle
Written by Philip Proefrock on 28/11/12   

The need for water is important in many parts of the world without the infrastructure to provide safe drinking water. There are many personal technologies that can be used water purification or water gathering. While the idea of a self-filling water bottle may at first sound like magic, it's based on nanotechnology and biomimicry.

NBD Nano is named for the Namib Desert Beetle, whose shell functions to collect water for the insect, and which served as the inspiration for the technology. The technique behind this uses hydrophilic (water retaining) and hydrophobic (water repelling) coatings to concentrate moisture in the air onto the hydrophilic surfaces, and then, as the droplets become big enough, the water runs into a central collector. A small fan is used to move air over the surface to improve collection.

The company is pursuing a variety of possible applications for the technique. While it is not yet a commercial product, this offers a possibility of only today order viagra viagra making water scarcity less of a problem in an increasingly water-dependent world.

image: Public Domain by Moongateclimber/Wikimedia Commons

via: PRI


NOV 16

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New Cap-and-Trade Auction Takes Place
Written by Philip Proefrock on 16/11/12   

The eighth largest economy in the world has a new carbon cap-and-trade program in place. And no, it's not a country in Europe, it's the State of California, which this week auctioned the rights to emit 60 million tons of carbon dioxide.

The California Air Rights Board auction serves to set a price on the cheapest levitra prices emission of a ton of CO2. Companies can decide whether to invest in cleaner, more efficient systems, or can choose to pay for the right to pollute. As noted in the Marketplace report, "We've been living in a world where there is no price on pollution," says Dan Kammen, a professor of energy policy at U.C. Berkeley. "It doesn't send the right signals. It doesn't reward innovators."

Absent such a system, industry has been free to exhaust CO2 into the atmosphere without regard to united healthcare viagra impact on others. Establishing a market for carbon emissions will begin to put a price on that right, and to allow the true costs of canadian viagra india carbon emissions to be more accurately reflected in the economy.

The California Chamber of Commerce has filed a lawsuit to object to the auction, but the Air Rights Board believes that the auction will withstand legal challenge.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Dori/Wikimedia Commons

via: Marketplace


NOV 15

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Google Supporting USGBC on Green Building Materials
Written by Philip Proefrock on 15/11/12   

A grant of $3 million from Google to the US Green Building Council (USGBC) was announced during the cheap fast levitra annual Greenbuild conference which is taking place in San Francisco this week. Google has been a leader with the greening of its own facilities and has taken a very proactive step in avoiding the use of "red list" construction materials in its own facilities.

The grant is meant to click here levitra samples in canada be used for furthering green building materials research and the promotion of communications in and online pharmacy viagra accepts paypal around the green building process. "The grant supports three related efforts: research on building materials and their effect on health, development of new building transparency tools, and encouraging conversation between industry stakeholders." More specific detail about how this grant will be applied by USGBC remains to be announced.

Google's grant gives the USGBC some leverage of its own since some credits in the LEED building rating system have been targets of the best choice drug generic cialis objection by strong monied interests.  These include the credit for use of certified sustainable wood and the proposed materials credits that incorporate open reporting of chemical content of products and "for selecting products for which the chemical ingredients in the product are inventoried using an accepted methodology and for selecting products verified to minimize the cialisbest cialis use and generation of harmful substances."

via: Eco-Structure


NOV 07

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Rogue Geoengineering Project in the North Pacific
Written by Philip Proefrock on 07/11/12   

Like the plot of a low-budget spy movie, this past July, roughly 100 tons of iron sulphate was dumped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean by a "controversial American businessman." The program was not part of any governmental- or consensus-based program, but is instead a private project to effect large-scale change to the planet.

The rationale for this is a belief that it will promote growth of viagra tablets for sale plankton, which will grow (in a plankton bloom) and absorb carbon dioxide before sinking to the ocean bed. The CO2 will remain sequestered if the plankton do not subsequently break down on the sea floor. However, earlier tests have not proved successful.

Tests caried out a few years ago showed only limited succes with ocean fertilization. Critics point out a number of potential unwanted side effects to this approach:

"It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later," said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. "Some possible effects, such as deep-water oxygen depletion and canadian generic viagra on line alteration of distant food webs, should rule out ocean manipulation. History is full of examples of ecological manipulations that backfired."

The California-based businessman behind this dumping has been involved in previous failed projects do similar things near the Galapagos and the Canary Islands. His earlier efforts are also credited as part of the incentive for the United Nations to pass an international moratorium on ocean fertilization experiments.

image: Public Domain - US EPA

via: Guardian


NOV 06

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Solar Power Gets Streamlined Approvals
Written by Philip Proefrock on 06/11/12   

Installing grid-scale solar power arrays has gotten a bit easier with a new program recently rolled out by the US Department of the Interior to allow simpler, more streamlined process for projects on federal land in six western states.

Locations have been identified for an initial set of 17 Solar Energy Zones (SEZs), totaling about 285,000 acres of public lands, that will serve as priority areas for commercial-scale solar development. These are sites that are suited for solar power development and that have access to existing or planned power transmission lines, allowing for ready integration with the grid.

The sites have been identified by the Department of Energy as having excellent solar access, as well as having "relatively low conflict with biological, cultural and historic resources." This allows a faster approval process for developing these areas with less red tape to be dealt with.

image: Public Domain U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Jeremiah Handeland/Wikimedia

via: Department of Interior Press Release


NOV 05

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Dissolving Circuit Boards for Easier Electronics Recycling
Written by Philip Proefrock on 05/11/12   

Recycling and reusing electronic components could be made much easier with a new polymer that produces a circuit board that will dissolve when immersed in hot water. The circuit board was developed by the UK’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL) as part of the ReUSE (Reuseable, Unzippable, Sustainable Electronics) project.

The circuit board material is hardy enough to withstand ordinary heat and moisture, but full immersion in hot water acts to release the components from the board. This allows for over 90% of the electronics materials to be recovered, whereas typically less than 2% of the materials on a circuit board are re-used.

Although this is not necessarily beneficial for the repairability of electronics, it could be a definite improvement in helping get a handle on the growing mountains of electronics waste and make recycling of electronics components and recovery of minerals an easier process.

Video link: YouTube

image: CC BY-SA 1.0 by Mark Pellegrini/Wikimedia

via: Treehugger


OCT 24

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Synthetic Fuel Made From Air and Water
Written by Philip Proefrock on 24/10/12   

An English company called Air Fuel Synthesis has begun producing gasoline (petrol) directly from air and water. Using carbon capture technology to sequester CO2 out of the atmosphere, and electrolysis to crack water into its constuituent hydrogen and oxygen, the company's process then combines the hydrogen and carbon dioxide to create synthetic gasoline or other fuels.

To be carbon emissions neutral, any carbon that is going to be burned as fuel ought to have come from the atmosphere, rather than from fossil sources buried in the ground. That is why plant-based and microbial methods of producing fuel are considered relatively clean, since the carbon in them was atmospheric. This process short circuits that even further by directly extracting the CO2 from the air and synthetically creating the gasoline replacement.

In addition to the direct atmospheric carbon extraction, the process also uses renewable energy to power the electrolysis process, so that the carbon debt is not merely transferred. Although the feedstock is free, the other costs of the process are likely too high for this to be an immediate replacement for oil drilling and refining, at least in the short term. And the process has only been able to produce a small amount of fuel in its test facility, yielding just five liters (less than 1.5 gallons) in two months. But cost and capacity are issues that can be improved as the method is developed and scaled up.

This adds to the number of non-petroleum processes being developed for fuel production we have seen. It seems less a question of cheap viagra generic whether these methods will work than it is one of which ones will reach commercial scale, and how soon that happens.

via: Treehugger


OCT 19

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Greener Plastics or More Greenwash?
Written by Philip Proefrock on 19/10/12   

While it may sound like a repeat of the Organic Vinyl April Fools joke from a few years ago, new bio-polymers are getting touted as a green alternative for conventional plastic. While there are some positive aspects to using plant-based feedstock rather than fossil materials, Building Green offers a strong critique of the problems still inherent in bio-PVC.

Avoiding petroleum feedstocks is a good move in general, although the diversion of food crop products is as troubling to us as it is when it is done to produce fuel. Price fluctuations and increased volatility in the oil markets make this a good business strategy for companies producing and using these plastics. But, the core question remains: "Is it greener, or is it merely greenwash?"

Although carbon issues are now closely linked with the broader green movement, carbon isn't the only deciding factor that makes something green or not. With vinyls, as Building Green writes, "The problem is that material sourcing isn't the issue with PVC--and the biggest concerns that have made PVC the subject of more debate than other polymers have come from problems on the "salt" side of the manufacturing process. Dioxins--the most potent cancer-causing chemicals known to science--are produced in large quantity in the manufacture of the vinyl chloride monomer and then again when this chlorinated plastic is burned in incinerators and uncontrolled landfill fires. Getting the polymer from a biobased source merely sugarcoats PVC without addressing the discount cialis online fundamental problem."

Other plastics like PET, the primary material used for carbonated beverage bottles, are also being produced from biomaterial stocks. This is more of viagra non prescription an advantage since the resulting products are compatible with current recycling programs instead of needing to be separated as some other bioplastic containers have needed.

image credit: Cjp24/Wikimedia Commons

via: BuildingGreen


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