Don’t Smoke ‘Em Even if You’ve Got ‘Em

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Biofuels would be wonderful if they didn’t starve people while feeding trucks, cars and airplanes.  Living with such a constraint, though, might prove to be productive, profitable, and environmentally sound. The Guardian describes efforts in America’s tobacco country to grow a crop that will be less destructive of human lungs and hearts if it is consumed in jet engines rather than in cigarettes. “’We’re experimenting with varieties that were discarded 50 years ago by traditional tobacco growers because the flavors were poor or the plants didn’t have enough nicotine,’ explains Tyton [BioEnergy Systems] co-founder Peter Majeranowski.” In a case that oddly enough is GMO free, “Researchers are pioneering selective breeding techniques and genetic engineering to increase tobacco’s sugar and seed …

Dipping and Coating for Better Batteries

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Could dipping electrodes in a secret sauce improve supercapacitor and battery endurance and power?  Could coating cell internals be the flavor of the month?  These recipes for better batteries may improve things at a better than normal rate, if California researchers have anything to say about it. Working with his compatriot Dr. Jaephil Cho in South Korean, Dr. Cui of Stanford University has been a leader in developing improved battery technology, even developing a painted paper battery.  In an appearance at the 2009 Electric Aircraft Symposium, Cui explained a basic truth of battery development – that improvements generally created about eight percent greater power or endurance in cells every year, leading to a doubling of battery capabilities every seven and one-half …

Big Blue and Blue Sky Thinking

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

Would a 500-mile electric vehicle battery interest you? IBM, not normally thought of as a purveyor of electric vehicles, is backing a large-scale push from their Almaden Laboratory in San Jose, California, using the lithium-air battery demonstrated by recent experiments at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Newcastle as a basis for their research.  IBM is teaming with UC Berkeley and all five National Laboratories as part of Big Blue’s Big Green Innovations program. Initially launched as a means of reducing the 98 percent of carbon emissions from non-information technology related activities and the two percent from IT activities, the Big Green Initiative took a turn in the last several months toward the development of a 500-mile battery …