Friday, March 7, 2008

A New Form Of Attaining Hydrogen

By Rachael

Scientist have found a “proof-of-concept” system that changes water into hydrogen by using only sunlight. Molecular light absorbers can use more of the visible spectrum in a process that mimics natural photosynthesis. Experiments with natural and synthetic dye molecules have produced either hydrogen or oxygen by using chemicals consumed in the process. They haven’t, yet, created an ongoing, continuous process. The article I found this from goes much more in depth with the molecules and other things involved in the process. To laern more visit.

From Contaminant to Hydrogen

By Rachael

In 2002, Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Biotechnology’s director, Bruce Rittmann, invented a treatment system called the membrane biofilm reactor. This process uses naturally occurring micro-organisms to remove contaminants from water. It removes contaminants such as TCE (chlorinated solvent trichloroethene) which is used as a cleaning agent and solvent for many military, commercial, and industrial applications. The improper handling, storage, and disposal of TCE has lead to frequent detection of TCE in the groundwater. TCE has the potential to cause livre damage, malfunctions in the central nervous system and it is considered a likely human carcinogen. Scientists have discovered specialized micro-organisms that can replace the chlorine in the chlorinated molecules with hydrogen. This process is called reductive dechlorination. The process is much more complicated but these are the basics.. See

Nuclear Plants Coming to Texas

by Vinny

NRG Energy, is planning to buil eight nuclear power plants in Texas in order to help fight global warming. While the reactors are up to $6 billion dollars to construct, the state is going to assist by making tax cuts on local property, making guarantees that Texas will do all the clean up work after the plant has been shut down a long time down the road, and making tax exemptions for clean energy plants. But these plans will meet opposition. Many people, including former Vice-President Al Gore, are against nuclear plants because of the problems that might occur, but aren't likely.
Let's hope these plans arae enacted, and more nuclear plants get going worldwide.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ethanol Cartoon

By Chris
Check out this cartoon that expresses our views on ethanol production.

Comparing Fuel Costs

By Chris

Current Feb. 2008 Mar. 2007

National Average $3.178 $2.977 $2.490

Colorado Average $3.080 $2.926 $2.447

Denver $3.024 $2.873 $2.399

Grand Junction $3.134 $2.992 $2.474

Real Solar Cooking

by Scott

As the hunger for power rises, new alternative ways of getting energy are emerging. A new power plant has begun to run just south of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is not your typical solar plant with many panels placed to create electricity. This plant places many mirrors throughout the desert. The mirrors focus light onto a certain fluid and heats it enough to make steam to turn a turbine. This plant, conveniently placed where sun is not an issue, could power several large hotels in Las Vegas with the neon included. Another 10 plants are in planning for California, Arizona, and Nevada. These 10 plants would produce as much power as three nuclear reactors and can be built in two years, compared to the decade-long process of building a nuclear plant. This is a good advance to alternateve energy as a larger part of energy production.

Pipeline near Silt facing enviromentalists

by Garrett

Enviromental groups and Pitkin County Colorado (Aspen) commisioners have sued the BLM and the United States Forest Service for a pipeline that would go through roadless areas.
The 25.5 mile, 20 inch diameter pipeline would run north to Divide Creek. Enviromental groups say a 100 foot wide construction corridor would violate the roadless rule. Some other plaintiffs incude Western Wilderness Workshop, Western Colorado Congress, Western Slope Enviromental Resource Council, and High Country Citizens Alliance and Center for Biological Diversity. The BLM and The Forest Service management have said the pipeline is legal and would disturb few acres.


By Riley Ruse
A new age has come, the age of wind turbines.The company Hornet Power Systems says the Hornet 600 and the Hornet 1000 are the ceapest high power wind turbines ever. The blade start up speed is only 4.3 MPH. The power up speed is 12 MPH, and it is available in 12, 24, 48, 90 and 120 volt battery banks. They work for boats, RVs and battery charging for home power systems. These turbines will always give max power for max winds. Visit to save energy and keep your walet full.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Sweet Swimming Pool!

by Vinny

Wanna swim and feel ok about it? No worries here, since the wind shade roof! This public swimming pool will have have wind turbines on the roof that will power lights for night swimming, pump clean water, and heat the pool when things get chilly! Too bad it doesn't exist yet, but let's hope some engineers find this and decide to make it! For some more pictures, go here.

Top Ten Gas Savers

1. Slow Down
Speeds over 40 miles per hour (mph) creates incredible wind resistance that your car must overcome. This increased resistance causes your car to burn more fuel. Traveling at 55 mph give you up to 21% better mileage when compared speeds of 65 mph and 70 mph.

2. Shift Gears
Running your automobile at high speeds in low gear can use 45% more fuel than if you were in the right gear.

3. Keep Windows Closed on the Highway
The increased drag caused by open windows can reduce gas mileage up to 10%.

4. Drive Proactively
Slowing down and speeding up wastes fuel. Also, accelerate before approaching a hill rather than when you are climbing it. You engine is forced to work harder on an incline, thus reducing gas mileage.

5. Avoid Rough Roads
Dirt and gravel roads can reduce gas mileage up to 30%.

6. Keep Your Car in Good Working Order
Make sure tune ups and oil changes are up to date. Also, make sure you tires are properly inflated. A well-kept car requires less stress on the engine and increases gas mileage.

7. Remove Excess Weight
All of the junk that some people accumulate in their cars can start to add up. Trunks filled completely and other excess weight causes the engine to work harder. Whenever the engine needs to work more, fuel efficiency decreases.

8. Don't Idle for Long Periods of Time
Idling for one minute equals the amount of gas used to start the car's engine. If you are forced to sit at an idle, put the car in neutral. Using neutral reduces strain on the transmission and allows it to cool.

9. Don't Warm Up Your Car
Older cars required time to let the engine start working. Newer cars are designed to start cold.

10. Accelerate Slowly
Taking off to a fast start burns fuel unnecessarily. This is equal to revving the engine.
Thanks to:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fuel-less Flight - Gravity Powered Aircraft

By Wyatt

This video shows a plane that stores hydrogen in its side compartments then floats into the air like a balloon. This plane also uses compressed air to fly higher into the sky. Once it has reached its maximum height the plane turns into a glider. However this plane can only fly to a certain hight because the air's density changes.

Oil Prices

By Garrett

Oil spiked to over 102 dollars Monday, March 3 effecting everyone in the country. The government says that builders are building less, manufacturers are cutting back, not to mention the millions of private residents being affected at the pump. High energy costs have made companies raise their prices on private residents, then those companies and people cut back hurting the economy. According to the AAA the average price for a gallon of gasoline stands at $3.165 Monday. Some analysts say that the price per gallon for gasoline will go over $4 during the summer driving season.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Pedal powered Snow Plow

By Landon
Kevin Blake, of Wisconsin, engineered and built a snow plow run by leg power. He installed a pedal system to the four wheeled contraption and a few scrapers on front. Rather than burning gas and sending up fumes, this machine relies on your strength. It is a good way to keep warm on a cold winter day. Check out this news clip to see it in action.

Cell Suicide!

Craig Venter, a scientist who mapped his genome and the genetic diversity of the oceans said Thursday he is creating a life form that feeds on climate-ruining carbon dioxide to produce fuel. He announced his “fourth-generation fuel” project at an elite Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in Monterey, California. Between the audience was Al Gore and Larry Page, co-founder of Google.
“We think we will have fourth-generation fuels in about 18 months, with CO2 as the fuel stock. We have 20 million genes which I call the design components of the future,” Venter said. “We are limited here only by our imagination...If they could produce things on the scale we need, this would be a methane planet,The scale is what is critical; which is why we need to genetically design them.”
The genetics of octane-producing organisms can be regulated to increase the amount of CO2 they eat and the amount of octane they output, according to Venter. Scientists put “suicide genes” into their living creations so that if they escape the lab, they can be triggered to kill themselves.Venter said he is also working on organisms that make vaccines for the flu and other illnesses.
“We will see an exponential change in the pace of the sophistication of organisms and what they can do,We are a ways away from designing people. Our goal is just to make sure they survive long enough to do that"

Wind Energy Update

By Wyatt

Wind energy has been used for centuries by converting it into mechanical energy move boats, in mills for grain transformation, or to pump water. Nowadays, technology allows us to use wind energy more efficiently. Wind mills allow us to produce electricity using a generator coupled to blades.
The first commercial applications date from the 1980’s with turbines of typically 50kW and rotors with diameter of 12 meters. Currently, manufacturers are able to provide turbines with a capacity of 5MW and above, with rotors that can go up to 130 meters.
Here are three types of wind turbines:
• squirrel-cage induction generator with a gear box increasing the number of revolutions from the shaft to the desired number in the generator - only available for less then 1.5 MW because of resonance problems
• double-feed (wound rotor) induction generator with a gear box increasing the number of revolutions from the shaft to the desired number in the generator. Includes a converter that injects a current with variable frequency into the rotor windings of the generator to decouple electrical and mechanical frequencies
• direct drive synchronous generator with a directive drive (possible with variable speed) and generator and grid fully decoupled through power electronics.

Critics Ask if refinery "green"

By Garett

The Dallas-based company looking to build a 10 billion dollar oil refinery in southeastern South Dakota says it will be a "green" refinery. The problem with this is there is no consensus telling what "green" is. According to Denny Larson an oil refinery can't be truly "green". Our oil drilling in Canadian tar sands is not as clean as oil extracted from the middle east according to Larson. The union County Commision will consider Hyperion's request for the 3800 acre site into a planned developement.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

"My Mom's Greener Than My Dad."

According to a study by the Environmental Transport Association, women tend to be more environmentally friendly than men. These findings reflect both the increased likelihood of women being concerned with the pollution caused by their driving as well as their willingness to explore alternatives to driving. 16 percent of men who drive are "not worried too much" by the fact their cars pollute, while only 6 percent of British women hold this attitude, according to Eco Street.
The spokesperson for the ETA says that “Women find it easier to reduce their reliance on cars possibly because they are more open minded about the alternatives to driving - they appear generally more optimistic than men about the changes they can make to the environment.”
When it comes down to the bare bones of the matter, though, women are the green drivers just because they’re likely to drive less. Right in line with the point we often try to drive home: the greenest car is the one you don’t drive. Really, the greenest driver is the one that uses alternative transportation.
The Environmental Transport Association is a greener version of AAA claims to be “the world’s only carbon neutral motoring organization that aims to raise awareness of the impact of excessive car use.”
As stated, women are more likely to find other means of transportation. According to the spin they and others put onto a recent psychology study done at Queen Mary University of London, “Women and gay men are ‘worst drivers’” based on their slower reactions to spatial information. Of course there are enough studies that contradict this and paint young men as the dangerous drivers. In my opinion, isn't everyone a bad driver?(although some are worse than others.)

BMW Releases Commercial for Hydrogen Cars

Video of the Week #3

Recently, BMW released a commercial for their line of hydrogen cars. Could this mean that car companies actually care about the environment? Or, do they just care about profits? That, in my opinion, does not matter, what really matters is that they are producing this sort of car.

Florida Bus Company Goes Green

By Wyatt

Lynx, a central bus company in Florida, received a two-year, $2.5 million grant from the Florida Renewable Energy Grants Program. This money was used to help transition their 290 buses from diesel engines to biodiesel engines by 2010. when opening in 2009, Lynx will be the first transit agency in the entire state and nation to operate and produce its own energy.

Energy Conserving Eyes

By Riley Ruse

Have you ever heard of something so bizarre yet incredibly logical? This true story about some researchers at Florida University and what they found is a perfect match.
They found that the conventional solar panels used today, only take in, or absorb, 50-65% of the suns rays due to how many of the suns wavelengths can pass into the cell without being deflected away. Thankfully, a surprising source has just flown in; moth eyes. Apparently, the moth's eye has clusters of photoreceptor cells
that work like tiny cameras designed to absorb 95% or more of the suns rays. This is probably because the moth, being nocturnal, needs to see where it's going. Anyway, the researchers in Florida have found a way to mimic a moth's eye by applying nanoparticles in a liquid suspension to a spinning silicon wafer. Lets all hope that they're able to apply this to a solar panel so we all feel sunny side up.

U.S. Prepares to Capitalize on its Carbon Emmisions

By Chris

What is the cost of pollution? In the near future, the greenhouse gases that are produced by major companies, may be priced, sold, and traded like stock. This industry could drastically affect the national economy.

As soon as this summer, Congress could vote on a "cap-and-trade" system that would limit carbon emissions produced by big companies. Under such a system, the amount of allowable emissions from each produced is limited, and companies that produce more or less gases could buy or sell carbon "credits."

The next president will likely support such a plan, because all three of the major candidates have said that they favor the cap-and-trade system. Already, some of the country is starting similar plans. In the Northeast, power plants in 10 states will face regional carbon cap-and-trade rules beginning next year. In California a system could affect virtually all companies by 2012. Europe already has a plan, and it is now being expanded.

Already, major companies such as Nike Inc. and Dell Inc. have voluntarily agreed to go "carbon neutral," for public relations reasons and also to get ahead of the game. Some cities, such as Austin, Texas, have pledged to make their municipal operations "carbon neutral," also.

You hear about small handheld wind generators and solor panels to plug your iPods into but a new technology has risen to compete with these other sources of energy alternatives. Scientists have been able to make a way for your clothes to create electricity by any type of movement. The clothes use the piezoelectric effect which occurs when pressure is applied to certain materials. The scientist have been able to weave tiny wires within clothes that create this affect. Any type of movement of the clothes such as being rustled in the wind or walking would create electricity.

Winds Abroad

By Chris

Europe has embraced commercial wind energy. Some examples:

  • DENMARK produces 20% of its electric power from wind and plans to double that figure over the next few decades.

  • In GERMANY, nearly 19,000 wind turbines cover the country, generating 5% of its electricity. It will be start building hundreds of new turbines in the North and Baltic seas next year.

  • BRITAIN plans to 7,000 wind turbines-enough to power all of the nations houses by 2020.

The question now is whether the United States will embrace wind power, because right now less than 3% of the electricity produced comes in this form.

Can Wind Power Our Future?

By ChrisCape Cod Mass., holds many of its deep rooted traditions very close to it. It is no surprise that when and energy entrepreneur proposed building 130 wind turbines standing over more than 400 feet tall 5 miles south of Cape Cod, locals were shocked. The turbines would provide most of the electricity in the area, but they would be visible from the million dollar summer-home shoreline.

Immediately, year round residents were divided over the plan. Lynn Sherwood, a fifth grade teacher loved the idea. "It's a no-brainer," she said. About a third of Sherwood's students have asthma, and experts say that if the town's electricity wasn't produced by fossil fuels, that the air quality would significantly increase the air quality. In Massachusetts, Cape Cape Cod air quality ranks among the worst. On the other hand, some people argued that the turbines would ruin the beauty of the area.

Today, nearly seven years later, Cape Cod remains divided about the proposal. Wealthy objectors have spent around $20 million trying to end the project, but the energy developer has spent more than $30 million to push it foreword. Polls show that more than 80% percent of the state at large support the idea, and state officials say that the turbines could save electricity consumers of New England $25 million a year.

Throughout the nation, battles similar to the one in Cape Cod are raging. Many opponents to wind turbines have successfully stalled their building. They say that wind turbines are noisy, unsightly, expensive, harm wildlife, rely on federal and state subsidies, and do not provide a dependable supply of electricity.

To counter, supports say that the technology would reduce America's dependency on fossil fuels, provide high-paying jobs to locals, and clean up the nation's dirty air and water. They say that damage to the environment could be reduced by building away from certain areas. Experts add that while not controllable, wind patterns can be predicted, and therefore is reliable.

Wind energy has been around for many years. The Romans used windmills to grind grain, the early Americans also used windmills to pump water, and even in the early 20th century to generate electricity. Inventor Charles F. Brush designed the first windmill that powered electric lights in 1877. The bulky machine lasted 12 years and had 144 blades. Today, turbines are sleek, powerful, and highly efficient.

Although the United States is well suited to generated electricity from wind, less that 3% of the nation's electricity is produced this way. Texas is the leader in the wind industry, but even there wind contributes only 4% of the electricity generated in the state. California sits in a distant second. In Europe, however, wind energy plays a major part in electrical production. Experts say that the production of more wind plants in the U.S. would significantly reduce the amount of fossil fuels used.

Electric cars could make a comeback with this...

by Vinny

Electric cars, an interesting idea. You plug it into an outlet every night, and the next day your off to wherever you need to go. Some don't think this idea is that good though, due to it being just about as bad as regular cars because it still uses some type of coal to get that energy to charge it. But this could change. "Lifeport" by Envision is a garage that has a bunch of solar panels on top, which could produce around 16.4 kilowatts per day and be enough to charge your car and power part or maybe even your whole house! Its even easy to make since it all comes in a do it yourself kit with recycled light gauge steel framework. Hopefully, this new garage will catch on, and leading to more electric cars.