Sci/tech

Conti's lithium-ion cell to power Mercedes hybrid
March 1, 2008 08:06 AM - Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler's luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz, will launch an S-Class hybrid next year equipped with a lithium-ion battery supplied by Continental in what Daimler said on Friday was a crucial technological breakthrough. "The Stuttgart-based automaker is the world's first manufacturer to have succeeded in adapting lithium-ion technology to the demanding requirements of automotive applications," it said in a statement.

Keeping the Carbon In the Car
February 29, 2008 09:25 AM - , Green Pages

The Georgia Institute of Technology wants to make a hydrogen-fueled vehicle that separates and stores carbon dioxide until it can be sequestered The Georgia Institute of Technology has thrown one more idea into the mix: a zero-emission, hydrogen-powered car that would separate carbon dioxide from liquid fuel and gather it for sequestration underground or in the ocean. Further down the line, the scientists envision transforming that captured CO2 into more fuel, creating a sort of cycle.

Liquid water found flowing on Mars? Not yet
February 29, 2008 08:50 AM - University of Arizona

Liquid water has not been found on the Martian surface within the last decade after all, according to new research. The finding casts doubt on the 2006 report that the bright spots in some Martian gullies indicate that liquid water flowed down those gullies sometime since 1999.

Antarctic boulders may point to sea level rise
February 29, 2008 12:20 AM - Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) - Boulders as big as soccer balls show that a thinning of West Antarctic glaciers has become 20 times faster in recent decades and may hold clues to future sea level rise, scientists said on Friday. Rocks trapped in glacier ice start to react like clockwork when exposed to the air because of a bombardment of cosmic rays. Scientists studied boulders by three glaciers to find how long they have been out of the ice and so judge the pace of thinning.

Bad blends: biofuel labeling often inaccurate
February 28, 2008 10:04 AM - ENN

While sampling blended biodiesel fuels purchased from small-scale retailers, researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found that many of the blends do not contain the advertised amount of biofuel. Marine chemist Chris Reddy and colleagues sampled pure biodiesel and blends from more than a dozen distributors across the United States. When testing fuels listed as 20 percent biodiesel (commonly known as B20), they found that the actual percentage of biofuel ranged from as little as 10 percent to as much as 74 percent. Only 10 percent of samples met the specifications for biofuel blends required for vehicles of the U.S. Department of Defense, one of the leading consumers of the products.

Solar Cell Directly Splits Water for Hydrogen
February 28, 2008 09:58 AM - , Green Progress

Plants trees and algae do it - even some bacteria and moss do it, but scientists have had a difficult time developing methods to turn sunlight into useful fuel. Now, Penn State researchers have a proof-of-concept device that can split water and produce recoverable hydrogen.

Wither the Grapes of Worth?
February 28, 2008 09:53 AM - , Global Policy Innovations Program

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened in Norway this week, providing a permafrost home for the genetic diversity of the world's food plants. According to the Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the vault can store 4.5 million different seed samples, duplicating seed collections from genebanks around the world. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are currently not allowed in the vault without special approval. Though the underground facility is fortified against global warming, French Chardonnay is not, and a non-GMO version could become a thing of the past if temperature trends continue.

Has the mystery of the Antarctic ice sheet been solved?
February 28, 2008 09:43 AM - ENN

A team of scientists from Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales travelled to Africa to find new evidence of climate change which helps explain some of the mystery surrounding the appearance of the Antarctic ice sheet. Ice sheet formation in the Antarctic is one of the most important climatic shifts in Earth’s history. However, previous temperature records show no evidence of the oceans cooling at this time, but instead suggest they actually warmed, presenting a confusing picture of the climate system which has long been a mystery in palaeoclimatology.

Exploring the Green-BoP Nexus Pt. 1: A Nano-Sized Car Reveals
February 27, 2008 10:34 AM - , Next Billion

The launch of the Tata Nano, the ridiculously low-priced car that could open a floodgate of new drivers in India and elsewhere, is undoubtedly one of the milestone innovations marking the early years of the 21st century. This is not just because of the unprecedented feat of technological and design innovation it represents but because of the huge rift it exposes in the public debate over the linkages between two crucial concepts, poverty and environment.

Hydrogen Gas Fueled Vehicles A Step Closer
February 27, 2008 09:41 AM - University of California - Los Angeles

While liquid hydrogen is denser and takes up less space, it is very expensive and difficult to produce. It also reduces the environmental benefits of hydrogen vehicles. Widespread commercial acceptance of these vehicles will require finding the right material that can store hydrogen gas at high volumetric and gravimetric densities in reasonably sized light-weight fuel tanks.

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