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Preventing Pollution

Full Circle Carbon: Making Fuel from Greenhouse Gas

hexaneWe're very good at turning hydrocarbons into CO2.  We're very bad at turning CO2 into hydrocarbons.  Of course, CO2 has a much lower energy state than hydrocarbons, so that makes perfect sense.  But what if we could do it.  First take the power out of the hydrocarbons, then put the power back in, then take it out, then put it in, indefinitely. 

I'll tell you, we'd prevent the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere without having to completely restructure our society.  Now I'm not sayin' I wouldn't mind a bit of viagra sales drug restructuring, but it certainly couldn't hurt to try to convert CO2 to hydrocarbons. 

And researchers at the University of Messina in Italy are trying.  Exposing CO2 to a platinum-paladium coated nanotubes and  the protons from water split by the sun in the presence of a titanium photocatylst can produce five and six carbon long hydrocarbons. These can then be efficiently converted into gasoline.
This is basically just a new kind of solar power that immediately stores the power extracted from the sun in a hydrocarbon chain, but it is an elegant, though complex, process.  It is, however, a slow process and only around 2% of the CO2 is converted to hydrocarbons, but the researchers believe that this number can be improved substantially by adding heat to canada medication viagra the reaction (I assume, some renewable heat source, or just the heat left over at the power plant) and also by increasing the surface area of the nanocatylist. 

The process is certainly far to expensive to implement right now, but researchers are confident that a viable version could be ready to produce hydrocarbons industrially "within a decade."

Via New Scientist

The Next Generation of Rechargeable Batteries


You might have noticed that whenever we at EcoGeek talk about a product that is how can i buy cialis in canada battery powered we mention, nay recommend, nay demand rechargeables. There are few reasons not to use rechargeables. Each one holds within in the power to be used hundreds of times and, thus, the power to replace hundreds of alkalines that would have normally been purchased and then thrown away. Batteries contain nasty stuff, so we need to use as few as possible.
But rechargeables do have one or two disadvantages. First, they don't hold quite as much charge as an Alkaline.  Or, if they do, they don't after a while of order cheapest cialis online using them. Second, when purchased, they must be charged before use.  Which, I admit, can be annoying. 

Well,  that simply isn't the case anymore. Hybrio batteries are a new kind of NiMH battery that has an extremely low self discharge rate and can hold more charge than a regular alkaline battery. The come and AA and AAA and, amazingly, aren't really that expensive. You can buy them in the UK now for about $13 for four, and they'll be available in the US soon.   Best of all, you don't have to get a new charger, your old NiMH charger will work just fine.  You do have an NiMH charger...don't you?

99.99% Mercury Recovery from Fluorescent Bulbs

Here's something even less sexy than low-emissions cows.

Fluorescent lights are wonderful things, especially compared to their 5-times-more-heat-than-light-generating, power-sucking brethern. But they have their disadvantages as well.  Particularly, they contain small amounts of mercury, which is 1. Toxic, and 2. Requires mining.


Some manufacturers are producing low-mercury fluorescent lamps and we applaud them.  But we've been hoping that someone was going to see all this wasted mercury as the price of levitra opportunity it is.

Mercury Waste Solutions provides prepaid shipping containers (FedEx and UPS) for the safe collection and shipping of fluorescent tubes, batteries, and other mercury containing objects for recycling. They claim to be able to recover 99.99% of the mercury with their processing of the waste.

Unfortunately, this is currently corporate-, and institutional-level stuff. The shipping containers are for large numbers of lamps (dozens or more) and are not exactly inexpensive. On your own, you wouldn't fill one up for a very long time. But your neighborhood might be able to, and certainly city-wide recycling programs could be created.  We just love to see how quickly solutions can be created after a problem is recognized.


Closer to Complete Burn: Georgia Tech. Radically Reducing Emissions

When we say Complete Burn, we mean that all of the fuel is being turned into carbon dioxide.  While no one is ready to get excited about CO2 anymore, it is the desired product of pfizer levitra combustion and it is not deadly like carbon monoxide and the various nitrous oxides that spew forth from tail pipes and buy cialis in canada no prescription power plants as a result of improper combustion.  We breathe carbon dioxide every day, it's pleasant.  Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, we only breathe right before we die of carbon monoxide poisoning.

A new type of combustion chamber created by researchers at Georgia Tech. has reduced the amount of CO and NOX gasses created by combustion to below anything seen in tradtional combustion (> 10ppm and > 1ppm respectively.)  The new chamber might almost be called emissionless, if it weren't for all that pesky CO2 that it's still emitting. 

This ultra-low emission combustion chamber alters one simple precept of combustion.  Instead of mixing the fuel and the air before injecting them into the just try! dosage levitra chamber, it injects the fuel and the air separately.  The flow of air and fuel into the chamber can be directed and altered in order to ensure a more complete and proper burn of gel viagra the fuel.  The design is much more simple than other high-tech emissions reducing chambers and it could be cost effective for anything from power plants to household water heaters. 

We can also go ahead and best price viagra add this to innovations that will be making flight more environmentally friendly as putting one of these in an single airplane engine could prevent literally tons of nitrogen oxides from being released into the environment.
 Via Georgia Tech.  Spotted at Hugg

Electricity from your flush

In case you just looked down at your to-do list and tapped your pencil thoughtfully on the entry "What have scientists in Belgium been up to?," we here at Ecogeek are happy to supply the answer.
They've been turning toilet water into electricity. No kidding.
Researchers at Ghent University have been working with microbial fuel cells, which are an emerging technology that helps capture the energy that is emitted when bacteria break down waste.
The project is still in a trial phase, but prototypes have produced small amounts of electricity.
Link via Ecofriend , news via ABC
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