Fly AshMost concrete produced is from portland cement, and it consumes more energy and pollutes more than any other industry including steel and plastics.  It contributes 5-8% of all greenhouse gases just by itself, and prduction is growing at about 5% annually.

Fly ash is a waste product of a coal combustion plant.  It is the non-combustible portion of coal that used to be released into the air before through the smoke stack before the government put more strict regulations on what can be release into the atmosphere.  The particles themselves are spherical and smooth and more fine than cement particles.

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Reusing Bottle Caps

A woman from Greece decided that she got tired of throwing away bottle caps, so she decided to save them and have her kids play with them.  Then one day, struck by inspiration, Alison Davidson decided that the bottle caps were beautiful in their own right, and decided that she had to do something with... Read More »

Latest Articles

Silicon-based LED Bulbs

If you are concerned with light efficiency at all, you know that LED bulbs are the future of lighting.  They are more efficient than both incandescents and CFL’s.  ESL bulbs are currently giving them a run for their money due to the high initial cost of LED’s, but Bridgelux thinks the new silicon- based LED bulbs they are working on will change that.

Recharge Alkaline Batteries

You heard that right.  Alkaline batteries can be recharged.  A battery is nothing more than 2 or more electrically active metals with an electrolyte in between them.  The electrolyte both separates the metals and allows electrons to go between the metals.  When a battery discharges, a chemical reaction takes place within that little AA battery to produce the current.  

Making Electronics More Efficient

Have you ever wondered why laptops need the “charging brick”?  Laptops have had these for as long as I can remember.  In laptops, high-voltage AC power is converted to low-voltage DC power.  Apple helped to make them a little less unsightly by making them a bit smaller.  However they are still cumbersome at best.  Fret no more.  A Google Ventures backed company called Transphorm has created a technology that will eliminate the charging brick.

Illuminate Highways With Turbine Light

One way to make our cities more energy efficient is to use the energy we already use and make it go further.  That is the concept behind Turbine Light.  It uses the wind generated by cars and trucks to power the lights and recycles that energy used to produce more energy to light the highways.  It is a good idea, but there are a few issues with this concept.

Volkswagon NCC Hybrid Coupe Concept

One problem with hybrid cars is that they look like hybrid cars.  Perhaps something that will help to bridge the aesthetic gap between what is green and what is gas could be the new Volkswagon NCC Hybrid Coupe Concept that was unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.  This car, although not perfect, helps to shed the “green cars are ugly” image with aggressive styling and smart technology.

Teenagers In West Philladelphia Shooting For Automotive X Prize

Hybrid AttackTeenagers in a unlikely neighborhood attending West Philadelphia High School Academy for Automotive and Mechanical Engineering have built a hybrid that will go 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds and get over 60 mpg.  They have also come up with an innovative, yet logical way to achieve these astounding statistics.  

Artificial Leaf

The artificial leaf could be one of the most important inventions of this decade.  No, this wasn’t the first time someone has invented such a thing, but it was the first time someone perfected the technology and is on the cusp of making it widely available.  Meet Daniel Nocera, Ph.D.

Hydrogen From Urine

A hydrogen economy would be great.  We could potentially have a limitless supply of energy because it is one of the most abundant elements on the planet while the only by product of its combustion would be water.

Currently a huge detractor is that hydrogen is expensive to produce.  Water is very stable, and it takes a lot of energy to break apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.  Gerardine Botte of Ohio University has created a new catalyst that can extract the hydrogen from urine.

Solar Energy Telescope

There has been a lot of research into making solar panels more efficient collecting the sun’s energy.  However, Roger Angel and researchers at the University of Arizona are tackling the problem of solar energy collection from a different angle.  The goal is to make solar energy as affordable as energy from fossil fuels at a $1/watt installed.

Project Kaisei

plasticvortexAll along we have all heard rumors about vast areas of floating garbage in our oceans, particularly with problematic plastics in the area officially known as the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone. But, until you see the images of sea turtles tangled in plastic shopping bags and dolphins dodging discarded plastic toys and containers in the North Pacific Gyre, it is hard to grasp just how vast and complicated this issue has become.

Hornets Causing Honey Bee Population Collapse In France

giant hornetWorldwide, bee populations have been mysteriously in decline.  This of course is big trouble, not just for the production of honey, but for the ecosystem as a whole.  As you probably have learned in school, bees are an integral part of a plant’s life cycle in being able to cross pollinate.

French officials have discovered that there is an invasion of bee-eating Chinese hornets, Vespa veluntina that may be causing bee colony collapse.  It only takes a few hornets to wipe out an entire bee hive.  The hornets first kill all the bees and then proceed to eat the honey and feed the bee larvae to their young.

10 Ways to Save Water Today

water_drop1As we all know drinking water is a precious thing.  Its such a shame that so much of it goes down the drain without it even entering our body.  I am pretty sure that I am conscious of it because my parents strived for an efficient lifestyle (turn off the lights if you are not in the room…turn off the tv if you are not watching it…etc…)  So here are some tips to save water starting today.

1.  Many people leave the water running when doing the dishes.  This is not necessary.  This is how I do the dishes.  I turn the water on about 1/4 to 1/3 of full blast.  During this time, I scour the dining ware.  Then I wash a small sized

Solar Window Produces Electricity and Sticks Tongue Out at HOA’s

It is almost universally agreed that renewable energy is the future whether it is solar, wind, wave, or bio energy.  However it seems that many home owner associations are opposed to solar panels on roofs and/or wind turbines in back yards.  There are some innovative thinkers out there that have a solution.  At Taipei’s International Optoelectronics Week, the Chin Hua solar window was making electricity from what seemed to be a regular window albeit a slightly foggy window.

Self-Healing Concrete

One of the best ways to be green is to make the most of what is already being used.  It is hard to do with concrete due to its brittle nature.  Once it is broken, it is hard to fix without costly man hours and the use of more natural resources.

However, Michelle Pelletier, a graduate student at the University of Rhode Island, has discovered a way for concrete to heal itself.  Pelletier found that after fracturing concrete mixed with a microencapsulated sodium silicate agent into standard concrete can cause the concrete to regain up to 26 percent of its original strength.  It is speculated that a higher concentration of the sodium silicate will result in a higher rebounding strength.

Nanotech Film Could Boost Solar Efficiency

nanostructure filmChemical Engineers at Oregon State University have come up w/ a way to deposit a “nanostructure film” on a multitude of surfaces.  The film will essentially make solar cells less reflective and able to absorb more photons for conversion of light to energy.  This new technology will enable solar cells to perform better at a lower price.  What makes this technology even more convenient is that it can be applied on site in a dispenser’s office.  No special manufacturing process is needed.