Home » Archive

Articles tagged with: sustainable

WATER »

[8 Jul 2011 | No Comment | 5,966 views]
New Nanomaterial Makes Adsorption Chilling Even Cooler!

It’s that time of year again when the mercury climbs just above 100 degrees every single day and it’s so hot that the sun obliterates any clouds brash enough to assemble themselves with the intent to produce rain.  Everything is wilted, melted, bleached out, overswept by a hot wind that makes the tail end of a jet engine seem like a lovely place with a calm and refreshing breeze.
So given these conditions, it will come as no surprise that researchers led by Peter McGrail out of the Pacific Northwest National …

METAL »

[24 Jun 2011 | No Comment | 4,686 views]
Got Heat? Got Metal? MAKE ELECTRICITY!

I admit that my understanding of generators is pretty hazy, but I think the general idea is to wave magnets in front of conductive wire in an orderly fashion in order to produce a flow of current.  Once you have an electric current the door to a world of unmitigated awesome opens up and all of a sudden you have light when the sun has set and the ability to microwave popcorn.

Image courtesy todayifoundout.com
A fascinating new metal alloy material under development by researchers at the University of Minnesota, led by Professor Richard James, works …

FIRE »

[22 May 2011 | No Comment | 2,723 views]
Get the Glow: Duo-Gard Lumenatrix Backlighting System

I have a secret theory, based on anecdotal evidence supplied by my over-active imagination, that glowing architectural surfaces encourage people to spend more money.  I wonder why glowing, shiny objects are so alluring to human beings? It’s not like we have gizzards.  At any rate, if glowing surfaces do encourage people to open their wallets and part with the brass, it is quite a good thing because artificially illuminated glowing architectural surfaces cost a great deal to construct AND require supermegakilotons of energy to run.

Image courtesy thenewyorkgreenadvocate.blogspot.com
The Lumenatrix Backlighting System …

FIRE »

[27 Apr 2011 | No Comment | 2,739 views]
MIT Scientists Enlist an Army of Viruses to Improve Solar Cell Efficiency

For a long time I believed all viruses to be evil due to their pernicious habits: causing common colds, infecting people and spreading influenza and other viral diseases, and wiping out hard drives with grim efficiency.  A group of researchers at MIT decided to give viruses a chance to show a softer side, and they found out that “going viral” can benefit solar cell technology by improving its efficiency by one third.
Scientists have been working with carbon nanotubes (essentially, rolled up sheets of graphene) to encourage solar cells to convert …

WOOD »

[29 Mar 2011 | 2 Comments | 3,856 views]
TimberSIL GlassWood: Long-lasting Non-Toxic Wood Infused with Glass

In ninth grade English class I was forced to read a book called Frankenstein, which I found horrifying not only because it chronicled the slow march to destruction of a hideous, emotionally overwrought monster created out of various bits and pieces of the recently deceased, but also because the denouement takes place up at the north pole. In my imagination the north pole is bitterly cold and dark, full of craggy icebergs, ancient snow, and super predators including walruses with pointy tusks, hungry polar bears, and ferocious cold-adapted velociraptors.

Image courtesy mirror.uncyc.org
In the case of Frankenstein’s monster, manufacturing a …

FIRE, WATER »

[17 Feb 2011 | 3 Comments | 7,902 views]
Solve the Future Energy Crisis: Coat Everything with Solar Paint

To me a solar cell is kind of like a Lamborghini: difficult to acquire, difficult to maintain, and unless you’re extremely lucky, only semi-functional. Today’s solar cells only convert a small percentage of the energy from the sun into electricity, and that’s before they get dirty.  “It’s challenging to get high efficiencies of conversion. For example, the basic single junction solar cell is fundamentally limited to an efficiency of 30 percent. So, if you made a perfect solar cell, the highest efficiency would be 30 percent. Currently, manufacturing cells with anything near that …

EARTH »

[27 Jan 2011 | 2 Comments | 5,608 views]
A Dutch Machine that Lays Brick like an Unrolled Carpet

Every once in a while I like to find out about a new way to use a very old material, like brick for instance. Human beings have been working with brick at least since the times when the flooding of the Euphrates might engender the total destruction of the walls Gilgamesh built around his city, so the material definitely qualifies as ancient.  And I found out about a rather interesting way that a Dutch company, Tiger Stone, has been laying brick: they are rolling roads out like carpet.

I have no idea …

WOOD »

[11 May 2010 | No Comment | 14,402 views]
Pulverized and Recycled Vulcanized Rubber ON THE GROUND!

Sometimes when you’re really mad and you’re an adult, you just want to throw something on the ground and smash it to smithereens in order to vent your frustration with “the system”.  In fact, in the United States each year 300 million tires are thrown on the ground by adults of both genders.  Some of these tires are then buried under other trash and discarded objects in landfills, and some of them are sheepishly picked up again and burned for fuel in cement kilns.  For a long time, throwing tires on the ground …

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...