A Low-cost, eco-friendly and rechargeable battery has been developed by a team of researchers headed by Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. This battery could be utilized to store energy in solar power facilities on rainy days.
The air-breathing battery utilizes the chemical energy produced by means of oxidation of iron plates which are exposed to the air. Currently, these batteries can store between 8 to 24 hours’ worth of energy.
The federal government and California utilities have shown their interest in this project. A patent is pending for this battery. Though these iron-air batteries were developed many decades ago, they were inefficient because of hydrolysis, which is a chemical reaction of hydrogen generation that occurs within the battery and sucks 50% of the battery’s energy.
The iron-air batteries developed by Narayan and his team were 10x more efficient, reducing energy loss by 4%. The researchers were able to achieve this by adding a small quantity of bismuth sulfide which helps in reducing wasteful hydrogen generation.
At present, Narayan and his team are continuing with their research to make the battery more efficient using less material and to store more energy.
Will.i.am will debut his collaboration with The Coca-Cola Company for a global sustainability project, Ekocycle, this Wednesday during the Olympics. The movement was initiated in the hopes of making some of today’s most popular products more sustainable.
The idea was developed in 2009 by the music multihyphenate, who claims he was inspired by travelling around the globe and learning what the world will look like in 2020.
“People can recycle, take action, inspire others, and then go to Ekocycle.com to look at the products and even suggest products that they might like to see,” will said during a news conference on Tuesday morning. The first product to be marketed and released by the initiative will be a pair of EkoCycle Beats by Dre headphones, which will be made of recycled goods and retail at about $350.
There are a number of other brands that are going to help in the sustainability effort of Ekocycle, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
“I want to see high end glasses, high end shoes, high end bags,” will admitted.
The goal for will.i.am and Coca Cola is get consumers to see that their favorite high-end products are now also able to help the planet. Ekocycle is an experiment of awareness, more than anything else.
As you watch LeBron James and the rest of the latest iteration of the Dream Team on the hardwood, they’ll be playing in uniforms sewn together using 22 recycled plastic bottles.
The fabric of the men’s jersey top is made with approximately 96 percent recycled polyester, and the shorts feature 100 percent recycled polyester created using former plastic bottles. Thanks to an engineered fabric that features mesh in some areas and fewer seams, the shorts weigh 14 ounces lighter than the average professional basketball shorts.
The recycled uniforms have ventured outside the basketball arena too. Brazil’s breakout soccer star, Neymar, wears the Green Speed boot with a shirt and shorts made from fabric that comes almost entirely from recycled plastic drink bottles. The bottles are washed and chopped into flakes before they are melted down into thread and used to weave the fabric.
The philosophy of Green Speed, Nike’s new soccer cleat debuting at the Olympics, is to offer a minimum of parts to reduce waste and excess weight, building a high-performance shoe from components with a low environmental impact.
Nike’s ultrafast tracksuit, the official American track uniform, is made of the same recycled plastic thread as the team USA basketball unis. But the track stars gets something else: dimples.
Martin Lotti, Nike’s global Olympic creative director, says the Aeroswift suit strategically places dimpled fabric on key areas of the athlete’s suit to “offer the greatest aerodynamic drag reduction” possible. By riffing the look of a golf ball, he says, the suit shaved .023 seconds from a 100-meter dash as tested in wind tunnels (and thousandths of a second matter in the Games).
All over the world, people often buy and drink Coca Cola straight from the bottle. This is not the case in El Salvador, buying Coca Coke in a bottle is often too expensive for the locals.
Convenient stores and street vendors have come up with a brilliant idea to keep the cost down so everyone can enjoy Coca Cola. They started serving soft drinks cheaply in a disposable plastic bag.
In order to reconnect the locals with their iconic branding, Coca Cola has designed an inexpensive and biodegradable ‘Coca Cola bag’.
The bag was designed in the shape of a Coca Coke bottle creating a new brand experience for the locals in a cheap and affordable way.
The Coca Cola bag was so popular, that it even made its way to neighbouring regions and countries.
Which do you prefer—bottle or bag?
New Energy Technologies has announced an improvement in manufacturing see-through solar cells generating electricity on glass.
US solar company New Energy Technologies collaborated with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on developing low-cost materials and an application technique to optimise the movement of electrons within the ultra-thin solar cells.
Each of these cells is arranged in a network and interconnected by way of a virtually invisible grid-like wiring system.
Within these ultra-thin solar cells, the light-induced movement of electrons generates electricity.
When SolarWindow prototypes are exposed to light, the light’s energy prompts electron movement through specific physical and chemical mechanisms leading to power generation.
Dr Scott Hammond, principal scientist at New Energy Technologies, said the discovery could also favourably improve durability and shelf-life of the company’s future SolarWindow products.
SolarWindow technology is currently under development for eventual commercial deployment in the estimated 85 million commercial buildings and homes in America.
eBay plans to build a data centre to handle its billions of dollars in retail transactions that will draw its power from alternative energy fuel cells rather than the national power grid, which is heavily dependent on coal plants.
Bloom Energy servers. The company will provide the cells for a new data centre that will handle eBay’s retail transactions.
It will be the first major internet company to use alternative power as a primary source for energy-hungry data centres, although the new centre will connect to the electricity grid for backup. Environmental groups have issued a series of rebukes to Internet companies because of their heavy reliance on coal-fired power to run their centres.
Two of the simplest Eco tips.
Make sure you are not standing by.
Did you know that an average family can save 150kg of CO2 a year just by turning things off? Appliances in standby mode account for around 10% of UK household energy use – so unplug devices when not in use, or invest in a standby saver – it’ll save you around £40 per year.
Energy efficient lighting.
In most homes, lighting accounts for 10 to 15% of the electricity bill. Use a smart meter to compare the power consumption of normal light bulbs with that of ow energy and energy saving light bulbs – you’ll be amazed at the difference, and at how much you can save (about 80% of the energy of normal bulbs, actually).
The F70 uses HY-KERS technology, developed for Ferrari’s racing team, to couple two electric motors and a pack of batteries to a 12-cylinder engine.
Many makers of expensive performance cars have long valued one characteristic most: raw power. But now Ferrari, the preferred drug for many deep-pocketed drivers with a need for speed, is turning to fuel-saving hybrid technology to create its most powerful and expensive model.
Using technology developed for Formula One racing, the Italian automaker’s first hybrid, dubbed the F70, will combine two electric motors with a 12-cylinder gasoline engine to produce more horsepower than any previous Ferrari while cutting fuel consumption by 40 percent.
KFC is the latest brand to be targeted by activist group Greenpeace as it faces a global campaign lobbying against its involvement with a controversial supplier accused of contributing to deforestation. Fast-food chain KFC has strongly denied allegations from Greenpeace that some of its packaging contains material sourced from Indonesian rainforests.
The claims, which appeared in a report published by the campaign group, were also rejected by supplier Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), who Greenpeace alleged used timber from rainforests.
A spokesperson for KFC UK & Ireland said “100 per cent of KFC UK & Ireland’s packaging is either recycled or from sustainable sources. Neither KFC UK&I, nor any of our suppliers, source from APP.”
But the environmental group is standing by its report. Robin Oakley from Greenpeace said: “We have obtained a clear chain of custody that shows KFC buying their products from a company in Cambridgeshire, who buy their paper and pulp from APP.”
Greenpeace have even created a website to help get their message across. www.kfc-secretrecipe.com/
Apple plans to power its main data centre entirely with renewable energy by the end of this year, taking steps to address longstanding environmental concerns about the rapid expansion of high-consuming computer server farms.
The two solar farms will cover 250 acres, among the largest in the industry, the Apple CFO, Peter Oppenheimer, told Reuters. Apple plans on using coal-free electricity in all three of its data centres, with the Maiden facility coal-free by the end of 2012.
Once up, the solar farm will supply 84m kWh of energy annually. The sites will employ high-efficiency solar cells and an advanced solar tracking system.
Concerns about the ever-expanding power consumption of computer data centres have mounted in recent years, as technology giants build enormous facilities housing servers to cater to an explosion in internet traffic, multimedia use and enterprise services hosting, via cloud computing.
Greenpeace, which has also targeted Amazon and Microsoft with clean energy campaigns, saluted Apple’s decision.
“Apple’s announcement today is a great sign that Apple is taking seriously the hundreds of thousands of its customers who have asked for an iCloud powered by clean energy, not dirty coal,” Greenpeace International senior IT asnalyst Gary Cook.