Sci/tech

A Better, Cheaper Way To Make Biofuels: Algae
August 28, 2007 03:56 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

GILBERT, Ariz. - An Arizona company says they've developed a better, cheaper way to make biofuels, and more of it, from algae. Diversified Energy Corporation has developed a "breakthrough algae production system". The system is called "Simgae", for 'simple algae'. It utilizes common agriculture and irrigation components to produce algae at a fraction of the cost of competing systems. At 1/2 - 1/16th the capital cost, profitable oil production costs at $0.08 - $0.12/pound, and low operations and maintenance requirements, the system offer the biofuels industry access to cheap and readily available oils and starches for the production of biodiesel, ethanol, and other renewable fuels.

New Optical Fiber Home Network Demonstrates 100Mb Capacity
August 28, 2007 12:47 PM - Paul Schaefer and Quinn Shanahan, ENN

DENVER - Mitsubishi International and partner Firecomms says they'll demonstrate a new home network with a transmission rate of 100 Mb of Ethernet content. The trick, the company says, is a network entirely comprised of Polymer Optical Fiber. That increase in capacity is a big jump from existing home capacity say experts. The technology means web pages that load faster, video with fewer breaks and potentially more resolution.

International Consortium Is Created to Build World's Largest Submillimeter Telescope
August 28, 2007 11:50 AM - Caltech

Five institutions from North America and Europe have created a consortium to oversee the building of a 25-meter submillimeter telescope on a high elevation in Chile. When completed in 2013, the $100 million instrument will be the premier telescope of its kind in the world. The project is formally known as the Cornell Caltech Atacama Telescope (CCAT), and has been in the works since a $2 million feasibility/concept design study was begun in 2004 by the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University. Now that the study has been completed, the partners are moving to the next phase of the process.

Cyclone Power Technologies Tests Fuel Made From Oranges
August 28, 2007 07:08 AM - , Green Progress

Cyclone Power Technologies announced today that it has burned a bio-fuel derived from orange peels in the high-performance fuel injector of its Green Revolution Engine.

Engineers Perfecting Hydrogen-Generating Technology
August 27, 2007 08:12 PM - Emil Venere, Purdue University

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers at Purdue University have further developed a technology that could represent a pollution-free energy source for a range of potential applications, from golf carts to submarines and cars to emergency portable generators. The technology produces hydrogen by adding water to an alloy of aluminum and gallium. When water is added to the alloy, the aluminum splits water by attracting oxygen, liberating hydrogen in the process. The Purdue researchers are developing a method to create particles of the alloy that could be placed in a tank to react with water and produce hydrogen on demand.

Israeli Researchers To Investigate Ocean Energy Source
August 27, 2007 03:48 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

University of Haifa, Israel - The University of Haifa in cooperation with Stanford University, is embarking on a unique, wide-ranging research effort to investigate energy production using a gas lying just below the sea floor, as an alternative to oil.

MIT aims for kinder, gentler scallop dredge
August 27, 2007 03:16 PM - MIT

The director of MIT Sea Grant's Center for Fisheries Engineering Research wants to build a better dredge-even though he's the first to admit that current dredges do a fine job of catching the creatures. What current dredges don't do, says Goudey, is take into consideration unintended consequences, such as damaging bottom habitat -- a concern since the 1986 reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act introduced the issue of essential fish habitat.

European hot spots and fires identified from space
August 27, 2007 02:47 PM - European Space Agency

Hot spots across Southeastern Europe from 21 to 26 August have been detected with instruments aboard ESA satellites, which have been continuously surveying fires burning across the Earth’s surface for a decade. Working like thermometers in the sky, the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) on ESA’s ERS-2 satellite and the Advanced Along Track Scanning Radiometer (AATSR) on ESA’s Envisat satellite measure thermal infrared radiation to take the temperature of Earth's land surfaces.

Flying robot to aid China Antarctic expedition
August 27, 2007 01:50 PM - Reuters

A robot that can fly "like a mini-helicopter" and a second that can glide across ice will aid Chinese scientists during an Antarctic expedition slated for October, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Using Life's Building Blocks to Control Nanoparticle Assembly
August 27, 2007 08:17 AM - Kendra Snyder - Brookhaven National Labs

Using DNA, the molecule that carries life's genetic instructions, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are studying how to control both the speed of nanoparticle assembly and the structure of its resulting nanoclusters. Learning how to control and tailor the assembly of nanoparticles, which have dimensions on the order of billionths of a meter, could potentially lead to applications ranging from more efficient energy generation and data storage to cell-targeted systems for drug delivery. Mathew Maye, a chemist in Brookhaven's newly opened Center for Functional Nanomaterials, will present the latest findings in this field at the 234th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

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