Author Archives: vimalkurup

West African Black Rhinoceros Declared Extinct

The West African Black Rhinoceros or Western Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes) is declared extinct by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) after a recent survey failed to spot any individuals. As per the global assessment by IUCN there are no Wild Black Rhinos remaining in West Africa.

The West African Black Rhinoceros once widespread in the savanna of central-west Africa but declined from poaching. According to IUCN a subspecies of white rhino in central Africa is also listed as possibly extinct.

The IUCN reports that despite conservation efforts, 25% of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction. As part of its latest work it has reassessed several rhinoceros groups.

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Veolia World Solar Challenge

The 2011 Veolia World Solar Challenge has officially begun in Darwin, Australia. 37 racing teams from 20 countries around the word is competing in the event. The teams will travel 3000 plus kilometers from Darwin to reach  the finishing point at Adelaide.

According to the organizers:
“It’s all about energy management! Based on the original notion that a 1000W car would complete the journey in 50 hours, solar cars are allowed a nominal 5kW hours of stored energy, which is 10% of that theoretical figure. All other energy must come from the sun or be recovered from the kinetic energy of the vehicle”

Solar Team Twente came first in the qualification round that was held on last Saturday and secured the first starting position in the race. Nuon Solar Team and Michigan University finished in second and third positions respectively.


The Challenge crosses the centre of Australia – stretching 3000km from Darwin to Adelaide.
Enthusiast can follow their favorite teams during the challenge as satelite tracking systems are implemented in each vechichles.

The fastest teams are expected to reach the official finish line just outside Adelaide late Wednesday or early Thursday

Event Website: http://www.worldsolarchallenge.org/

Artificial Leaf To Harness Sun’s Energy

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have created an artificial leaf that could harness Sun’s energy and provide a potentially limitless source of energy by the process of photosynthesis, that green plants use to convert sunlight and water into energy.

The new device is a playing card sized silicon wafer coated on either side with two different catalysts. The silicon absorbs sunlight and passes that energy to the catalysts to split water into molecules of hydrogen and oxygen.

“A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades,” said Daniel Nocera, Ph.D., who led the research team. “We believe we have done it. The artificial leaf shows particular promise as an inexpensive source of electricity for homes of the poor in developing countries. Our goal is to make each home its own power station,” he said. “One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology.

The hydrogen and oxygen gases would be stored in a fuel cell, which uses those two materials to produce electricity, located either on top of the house or beside it.

“Nature is powered by photosynthesis, and I think that the future world will be powered by photosynthesis as well in the form of this artificial leaf,” said Nocera, a chemist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.

Read More at ScienceDaily

Photo Credits@

Spisharam

mickeyvdo

OAT Shoes: Biodegradable Shoes

OATS Shoes

From the OAT Shoe Website “OAT Shoes is a brand-new initiative in shoe design combining attractive style and biodegradable materials to produce sneakers that not only look good, but leave no mark on the environment when you throw them out.”

OAT shoes are made using hemp, cork, bio-cotton, certified biodegradable plastics, chlorine-free bleach and other nontoxic materials, the shoes are designed to completely break down when buried in the ground

The prices of the shoes are not yet announced and initially they will be available only in Europe.

OAT Shoes Website : http://www.oatshoes.com/

Liquid Magma as Geothermal Energy Source

Magma

Image courtesy@ michi_s

An Icelandic team was drilling into the Krafla caldera as part of the Iceland Deep Drilling Project, an industry-government consortium, to test whether “supercritical” water (very hot water under very high pressure ) could be exploited as a source of power.

They planned to drill to 15,000 feet, but at 6,900 feet, magma (molten rock from the Earth’s core) flowed into the well, forcing them to stop. But this prompted them to test magma as geothermal energy source.

Krafla Geothermal Energy

Krafla caldera

“Because we drilled into magma, this borehole could now be a really high-quality geothermal well,” said Peter Schiffmann, professor of geology at UC Davis and a member of the research team along with fellow UC Davis geology professor Robert Zierenberg and UC Davis graduate student Naomi Marks. The project was led by Wilfred Elders, a geology professor at UC Riverside.

When tested, the magma well produced dry steam at 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius). The team estimated that this steam could generate up to 25 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 25,000 to 30,000 homes.
That compares to 5 to 8 megawatts produced by a typical geothermal well, Elders said. Iceland already gets about one-third of its electricity and almost all of its home heating from geothermal sources.

When tested, the magma well produced dry steam at 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius). The team estimated that this steam could generate up to 25 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 25,000 to 30,000 homes.That compares to 5 to 8 megawatts produced by a typical geothermal well, Elders said. Iceland already gets about one-third of its electricity and almost all of its home heating from geothermal sources.

A paper describing geological results from the well was published this month in the journal GeologyA paper describing geological results from the well was published this month in the journal Geology

Source: physorg.com

China Initiates Thorium Molten Salt Reactor Project

A molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of nuclear fission reactor where the primary coolant is a molten salt mixture, which can run at high temperatures (for higher thermodynamic efficiency) while staying at low vapor pressure for reduced mechanical stress and increased safety, and is less reactive than molten sodium coolant. The nuclear fuel may be solid fuel rods, or dissolved in the coolant itself, which eliminates fuel fabrication, simplifies reactor structure, equalizes burnup, and allows online reprocessing. MSR is also known as a liquid fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR), and pronounced “lifter”. (Source: Wikipedia)

Molten Salt Reactor

The People’s Republic of China has initiated a research and development project in thorium molten-salt reactor technology, it was announced in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) annual conference on Tuesday, January 25.

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California’s First Molten Salt Solar Energy Project

A variety of fluids have been tested to transport the sun’s heat, including water, air, oil, and sodium, but molten salt was selected as best. Molten salt is used in solar power tower systems because it is liquid at atmosphere pressure, it provides an efficient, low-cost medium in which to store thermal energy, its operating temperatures are compatible with today’s high-pressure and high-temperature steam turbines, and it is non-flammable and nontoxic. In addition, molten salt is used in the chemical and metals industries as a heat-transport fluid, so experience with molten-salt systems exists in non-solar settings. [Source Wikipedia]

California has approved a new solar project that could revolutionize how we use energy from the sun – namely because it will be able to keep producing electricity even after night falls.
SolarReserve‘s Rice Solar Energy Project uses molten salt to store solar thermal energy. Since the salt will be able to reach temperatures over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and retain most of the heat it collects during the day, the plant will have the ability to keep churning out heat long after the sun goes down.

California has approved a new solar project that could revolutionize how we use energy from the sun – namely because it will be able to keep producing electricity even after night falls. SolarReserve‘s Rice Solar Energy Project uses molten salt to store solar thermal energy. Since the salt will be able to reach temperatures over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and retain most of the heat it collects during the day, the plant will have the ability to keep churning out heat long after the sun goes down.

Read More at Inhabitat.

United Nations Climate Change Conference Cancun 2010

The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Cancún, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. The conference is officially referred to as the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 6th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties (CMP 6) to the Kyoto Protocol.

For Updates: http://cc2010.mx/en/

Municipal Solid Waste To fuel from Green Power Inc

Energy from WasteThanks to a recent EPA ruling, Green Power Inc. will be commencing the building of municipal solid waste (MSW) to fuel plants for clients around the world, with $2 billion in contracts.

The US Department of Energy reports that in 2006 the US land filled 140 million tons of residual biomass (total MSW including inorganic was 170 million tons). According to Green Power Inc (GPI) this 140 million ton biomass resource has the potential of becoming 13 billion gallons per year (BGPY) of Fossil Free Fuel®, and offsetting 7% (nearly one month’s worth) of our imported crude.

In August of 2009, GPI was shut down by Washington state’s Ecology Department who said GPI had “not provided adequate compliance with the environmental air quality regulations.”  This was cleared on September 8, 2010 by an EPA ruling that support’s GPI’s claim and reverses Washington state’s Ecology Department’s claim that placed the GPI process in the class of incinerators, which it is not.

Sources:

Green Power Inc.

Pure Energy Systems News

Green Super Cars At Paris Auto Show

Carbon conscious and environment friendly people who loves cars can cheer. Auto makes went bold and displayed Green Super Cars at the Paris Auto Show. The term green doesn’t mean these 200+ MPH cars will suddenly see 50mpg numbers. The idea is to employ foward-thinking technology that will eventually trickle down to a green car for daily use. This is why supercars are so important.

jaguar_c-x75

The Green Supercars that were displayed are Porsche 911 GT3 electric hybrid and Jaguar C-X75.

Porsche 911 GT3 uses a 480HP flat-six gasoline engine for the rear wheels and twin 60 kW motors for the front.

Jaguar C-X75 have four 195HP electric motors at each of the wheels, powered by an extended range . Jaguar claims the vehicle can go 68 miles on battery power alone

Read More at CrunchGear.com

CNET