Green tech in 'Formula Zero' race Formula Zero karts Delft University's Greenchoice leads the newly established table The world's first international hydrogen-powered motorsport race was held in Rotterdam this weekend. Dubbed the Formula Zero championship, the contest pitted teams from five countries against each other in a zero-emissions go-kart race. Each team's entry was powered by a commercial fuel cell that produces electricity from hydrogen.
Towards a cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences: progress, visions and challenges
Lincoln D. Stein
A Global View of Gene Activity and Alternative Splicing by Deep Sequencing of the Human Transcriptome
Electricity generation provides 18,000 terawatt-hours of energy a year, around 40% of humanity's total energy use. In doing so it produces more than 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the largest sectoral contribution of humanity's fossil-fuel derived emissions. Yet there is a wide range of technologies — from solar and wind to nuclear and geothermal — that can generate electricity without net carbon emissions from fuel.
Samsung is hoping to steal a little of the Olympic spotlight in Beijing on Thursday as it unveils its latest “eco-phone.” The E200 Eco is the third phone Samsung has introduced this year with parts made from bioplastics — materials extracted from corn. It is the first, however, in which the entire case is bioplastic.
Spanish shopkeeper finds Homer Simpson euro
Switching from beef to kangaroo burgers could significantly help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says an Australian scientist.
New Catalyst Marks Major Step in the March Toward Hydrogen Fuel
Robert F. Service
Climate change concerns, high gas prices, and a good deal of international friction would fade if scientists could learn a trick every houseplant knows: how to absorb sunlight and store its energy in chemical bonds. What's needed are catalysts capable of taking electricity and using it to split water to generate hydrogen gas, a clean fuel. Unfortunately, the catalysts discovered so far work under harsh chemical conditions, and the best ones are made from platinum, a rare and expensive metal.
No more. This week, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge led by chemist Daniel Nocera report online in Science a new water-splitting catalyst that works under environmentally friendly conditions (www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1162018). More important, it's made from cobalt and phosphorus, fairly cheap and abundant elements. The new catalyst needs improvements before it can solve the world's energy problems, but several outside researchers say it's a crucial development.
"This is a great result," says John Turner, an electrochemist and water-splitting expert at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. Thomas Moore, a chemist at Arizona State University in Tempe, goes further. "It's a big-to-giant step" in the direction of powering industrial societies with renewable fuels, he says. "I'd say it's a breakthrough." Meanwhile, on pages 671 and 676, other groups report related advances--a cheap plastic fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen to electricity, and a solid oxide fuel cell catalyst that operates at lower temperatures--that affect another vital component of any future solar hydrogen system.
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