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DEC 05

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Solar-Powered Taxi Arrives at Climate Conference
Written by Hank Green on 05/12/08   

After an around-the-world trip, through more than 40 countries, a school teacher named Louis Palmer just pulled up to the hall holding this year's UN Climate Conference.


DEC 11

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Alternative Nuclear Power: Pebble Bed Reactor
Written by Philip Proefrock on 11/12/11   

This article is part of a series on alternative possibilities in nuclear power.
Previously at EcoGeek: Alternative Possibilities in Nuclear Power

Pebble Bed Reactor
The pebble-bed reactor was supposed to be another intrinsically safe, and "melt-down proof" design. "Pebble bed reactors are helium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactors in which the fuel is in the form of tennis ball-sized spherical "pebbles" encased in a graphite moderator. New fuel pebbles are continuously added at the top of a cylindrical reactor vessel and cialis professional no prescription travel slowly down the column by gravity, until they reach the viagra more drug uses bottom and are removed." Cooling uses an inert gas such as helium, rather than a liquid, which simplifies many of the reactor systems.

"The use of helium and graphite allows the reactor to burn the fuel efficiently and to operate at much higher temperatures than conventional light water reactors." Since the pebble bed reactor was already designed to operate at very high temperatures, and since its cooling medium was a gas, rather than a liquid, the control systems for a pebble bed reactor could be much simpler. The largest problems that need to wow look it levitra samples in canada be dealt with for a boiling water reactor - overheating and coolant boiling away - are not concerns for a pebble bed reactor. The pebble bed also produces less power as the temperature rises, so the design is effectively self-limiting.


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SEP 04

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Using Electricity to Fight Fires
Written by Philip Proefrock on 04/09/12   

Fire fighting could take on an entirely new character with the rediscovery of a principle first noticed more than 200 years ago: electricity can stop flames.

Scientists do how much is viagra not yet fully understand how electricity stops fire. "The process by which it does this is complex, the researchers say, and is actually not really well understood (there are a lot of best online cialis different things happening at once, apparently). But critically, it seems the carbon particles (soot) generated during combustion are easily charged, and once charged they respond to electric fields in strange ways that affect the stability of the flame. Shake that stability hard enough, and the flame collapses."

If an electrical field can extinguish the flames, it offers an easily transportable method for extinguishing fires on jet fighters and submarines (and DARPA is backing research on the process). Building materials and best pharmacy viagra their contents may be able to be saved from both the fire and from the water damage that often occurs from fire fighting. The system could also help reduce the use of fire retardant gasses such as Halon, which is a potent ozone-depletion causing gas.

Electrical fire suppression also has the potential to be a very fast-acting system, which could also be a benefit for locations with especially sensitive contents. The effect also seems to be generated from a manageable level of power, which suggests that, in a few years, backpack sized gear may be available to fire fighters as an alternative to 50mg viagra the hoses and foam sprayers.

image: Georg Andreas Böckler via Wikimedia Commons

hat tip to: @JaymiHeimbuch


DEC 22

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Austin May Ban Plastic and Paper Bags
Written by Megan Treacy on 22/12/11   

The City of Austin, Texas may enact one of the toughest bag bans in the country come 2016.  The city council is set to vote on only now canadian drugs levitra the ban next month that would require retailers to only offer reusable bags.

The ban would include a three-year adjustment period starting in 2013 for retailers and consumers to get prepared where single-use bags could still be purchased at 25 cents each.  Once 2016 hits though, only reusable bags would be allowed and that would include City of Austin facilities and all city events.

Some single-use bags would be exempt from the ban, including:  restaurant carryout bags, bags for wine and discount drugs viagra 100mg beer, dry cleaning bags, newspaper delivery bags and bags that hold meat, fish, produce, bulk foods or pharmaceuticals.

Reusable bags would be defined as bags that are made of fabric or durable materials or thick paper or plastic with some recycled content.  The city would pay for an aggressive marketing campaign to get the word out about the ban with proceeds from the 25 cent fee.

via Austin Statesman

Image via mtsofan


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DEC 11

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Disassembling Concrete with Lightning
Written by Philip Proefrock on 11/12/12   

Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics have developed a method to break down old concrete debris into its constituents for better recycling and re-use of the material. The process, called electrodynamic fragmentation, uses very short pulses (less than 500 nanoseconds) of induced lightning to separate gravel from cement materials in concrete.

Concrete is a material with a mixed environmental pedigree. Although its workability and durability make it extremely useful for a lot of purposes, it also has several drawbacks. There are the environmental impacts from the production of visit our site buy pfizer cialis concrete, and it is also a major component of the materials going into landfills, so this makes the idea of recycling concrete a compelling one.

At present, most concrete recycling is merely to crush it and use it for sub-base under roads. This is better than landfilling it, but is a downcycling of the material. With the new lightning process, the aggregates can be more readily salvaged and re-used in new concrete.

Production of new cement from the recovered, separated material would be the ultimate goal of concrete recycling, since the production of cement is one of the single most intensive sources of CO2 emissions at present. While this process does not accomplish that, it does lay the way for that kind of buy viagra generic recycling to become a possibility.

image: CC BY-SA 2.0 by brewbooks

via: Gizmag


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