The World's First Fully Solar-Powered Train Just Left the Station

Futurism: The Byron Bay Railroad Company has created the first fully solar-powered train. While it doesn't travel long distances, it does prove that the Sun is a viable source of energy for passenger transportation.

In 10 years' time trains could be solar powered

Alice Bell for The Guardian: A technique has been devised that allows electricity to flow directly from solar panels to electrified train tracks to the trains themselves making solar powered trains more feasible than ever before

Batteries can't solve the world's biggest energy-storage problem. One startup has a solution.

Akshat Rathi for Quartz: Electrochaea has also figured out a way to power the whole enterprise with the excess green energy produced during particularly sunny and windy days that otherwise would have gone to waste, because there would have been no way to store it.

Could Tesla Power its Electric Truck with Solar Panels?

Rhett Alain for Wired: How much power and how much energy (those are two different things) could you get from solar panels on the trailer?

Meet the startups changing the future of energy

Bonnie Christian for Wired: At this years WIRED Energy conference, some of the sector's most innovative early-stage companies pitched their ideas.

Lamborghini's New Concept Electric Car is Energy Storage On Wheels

Dom Galeon for Futurism: Together with MIT, Italian carmaker Lamborghini developed a new electric supercar that can also store energy. With supercapacitors instead of batteries, the Terzo Millennio is able to carry more power, which it can store in its carbon fiber body.

New Biofuel Could Work in Regular Diesel Engines

Edd Gent for Scientific American: The need for specially designed engines to run biodiesel is holding back the technology

First generation biofuels don't have to mean food shortages, according to UN official

Biofuels International: Dubois argued that biofuels should be seen as a tool for responsible investment in agriculture and rural development.

A better way of converting coffee waste to biofuel?

Ben Coxworth for New Atlas: Scientists have developed a simpler new process for converting coffee grounds to biofuel.

Block Island to start getting power from wind turbines

Mark Harrington for Newsday: Block Island on Monday will formally throw the switch on a first-time connection to the New England energy grid through a new cable to the mainland, and begin receiving power from the countrys first five offshore wind turbines.

An Italian company is turning hot sand into clean energy

Giuliano Balestrieri, Business Insider Italia: The same heat that burns your feet when you walk on sand could be the key to making clean energy and endless electricity. An Italian firm, Magaldi Group, is doing so by using sand as a storage system to eventually concentrate solar energy.

SAAB Gripen flies on 100 percent biofuel

The flights marked the first time a single-engined fighter flew with 100 percent biofuel. A twin seat Gripen D was used for the flights that took off from Saabs facilities in Linköping, Sweden.

Scientists harness solar power to produce hydrogen from biomass

University of Cambridge via Biomass Magazine: Dr Moritz Kuehnel, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, joint lead author on a new research paper published in Nature Energy, says: "Lignocellulose is nature's equivalent to armoured concrete. It consists of strong, highly crystalline cellulose fibres, that are interwoven with lignin and hemicellulose which act as a glue. This rigid structure has evolved to give plants and trees mechanical stability and protect them from degradation, and makes chemical utilisation of lignocellulose so challenging." The new technology relies on a simple photocatalytic conversion process. Catalytic nanoparticles are added to alkaline water in which the biomass is suspended. This is then placed in front of a light in the lab which mimics solar light. The solution is ideal for absorbing this light and converting the biomass into gaseous hydrogen which can then be collected from the headspace. The hydrogen is free of fuel-cell inhibitors, such as carbon monoxide, which allows it to be used for power. Full Article:

Why more and more countries are taking an interest in geothermal energy

Bianca Nogrady for VOX: At 2:46 pm local time on Friday, March 11, 2011, Japan was rocked by the largest earthquake ever to strike its shores. The 9.1-magnitude quake triggered a devastating tsunami that killed more than 15,000 people. It also took out the backup emergency generators that cooled the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant complex, causing a series of catastrophic meltdowns. But amid the chaos, the Yanaizu-Nishiyama geothermal power plant in Fukushima prefecture didnt miss a beat. Along with two more of the nine geothermal power plants in the region, the 65-megawatt facility continued to generate power, even as many other power plants around them failed because of damaged equipment and transmission lines."This is big news for many geothermal people around the world," says Kasumi Yasukawa, principal research manager at the Institute for Geo-Resources and Environment in Japans National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. In a country as seismically active as Japan, it was a clear signal that geothermal energy was worth investing in. Cont'd...

How Flushing your Toilet could help create Biofuel

Laura A. Shepard for Popular Science: Picture a giant toilet bowl looming larger than life outside the UN headquarters in New York. It sounds like an absurd scene, but the stunt from three years ago was not a childish prank. It was a serious statement to mark the first World Toilet Day and raise awareness of the fact that one third of the worlds population lacks access to toilets. Addressing the global sanitation crisis is a top priority among the UNs Sustainable Development Goals, and it now has an exciting solution. In fact, science may soon make your toilet bowl a viable alternative energy source. Your flushes can produce two or three gallons of biofuel per year when the wastewater is treated using a process, developed scientists and engineers at the Department of Energys Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, called hydro-thermal liquefaction (HTL). HTL emulates the way crude oil forms naturally, when biomass decays under high pressure and heat for millions of years - but it only takes 45 minutes. Cont'd...

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