Tag Archives | Fuel

US Navy Develops Technology to Turn Sea Water Into Fuel: Death Knell For Big Oil?

PIC: PD

PIC: PD

Apparently the Navy has developed the capacity to convert sea water into fuel. They say that it can power a number of different vehicles. (But probably not your car until the petrol companies have sucked each and every drop of oil out of the Earth. Then they’ll probably monetize sea water…)

The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as “a game-changer” because it would signficantly [SIC] shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Tiny Fuel Cells Run On Spit

PIC: Bruce Logan, Penn State (C)

PIC: Bruce Logan, Penn State (C)

This microbial fuel cell runs on saliva. I wonder if there will come a day when we’ll be able to spit on our digital devices to charge them? You can click here for Professor Logan’s page about the devices and see one in action (but only if you have a Windows Movie Player???)

Via eScienceNews:

Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers. Bruce E. Logan, Evan Pugh Professor and Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering, Penn State, credited the idea to fellow researcher Justine E. Mink. “The idea was Justine’s because she was thinking about sensors for such things as glucose monitoring for diabetics and she wondered if a mini microbial fuel cell could be used,” Logan said. “There is a lot of organic stuff in saliva.”

Microbial fuel cells create energy when bacteria break down organic material producing a charge that is transferred to the anode.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Entertainment Company to Excavate Infamous Atari E.T. Video Game Dump

250px-etvideogamecoverThere’s been a rumor  for decades that video game company Atari buried tons of unsold copies of its legendarily bad video game ET in a, Alamogordo, New Mexico dump. While Atari spokespersons at the time did confirm that they had dumped some material there, they described it as largely consisting of defective equipment (as opposed to defective ideas for video games). Now, entertainment company Fuel is planning to excavate the site to see what’s really under all of that New Mexico dirt.

Superficially, the story itself is little more than smirk-worthy. Even people who grew up playing the 2600 might only barely remember the ET game, and the history of video games based on movies is rife with missteps. Historical archaeologist Paul Mullens isn’t content with a superficial examination, instead taking a wider perspective on the activity in a short essay, which you can find at his blog.

Via Archaeology and Material Culture:

Nevertheless, there is something archaeologically telling in the popular allure of the project, and it is almost certainly that 30-year narrative about the ET game that a digital marketer would recognize as compelling.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Can Fuel be Created from Human Fat?

SumoThis article proposes a new “transfer of energy stores that can ease our fuel burden” by harvesting human body fat for fuel!

“In energy terms, the average BTU of a gallon of human body fat is actually 11% higher than the BTU of a gallon of diesel gasoline,” reports science writer James Kent — noting that the IRS is already granting a 50-cent-per-gallon incentive for the conversion of other animal fats. (And he tells the story of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who powered his SUV with fat from his liposuction patients — plus his girlfriend’s SUV.)

While fat-sucking may seem like a strange response to gas shortages, there’s the equivalent of 637 million gallons of fuel stored in our fat, and the average person carries at least two gallons of high-grade biodiesel fuel in their body. (This article even suggests low-cost liposuction clinics — possibly covered by Medicare, and receiving government subsidies as an alternative fuel source.)”… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Yesterday’s News Could Be Tomorrow’s Fuel

800px-World_newspapers_Everyday millions of newspapers are read and then throw out or, hopefully, recycled. Instead of turning those papers into other paper products, they may be able to be used for fuel. Via Discovery News:

Tulane University scientists discovered a strain of clostridia bacteria, dubbed “TU-103,” that can devour old newspapers to produce butanol, a substitute for gasoline.

Old editions of the Times Picayune, New Orleans’ daily newspaper, have been successfully used by the researchers to produce butanol from the cellulose in the paper. Cellulose is a structural material in plants.

TU-103 is the first bacterial strain found in nature (not genetically engineered) to produce butanol directly from cellulose. It is also the only strain yet found that can grow in the presence of oxygen. Keeping bacterial fermentation chambers air tight makes other strains more expensive to work with.

“This discovery could reduce the cost to produce bio-butanol,” said David Mullin, who’s lab discovered the bacterial strain, in a Tulane press release.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

KLM To Use Recycled Frying Oil To Fuel Flights

800px-Klm.fokker.f100.ph-ofg.arpKLM airlines are going green, well, at least for some flights. BBC reports:

The Dutch airline KLM says it plans to use recycled cooking oil on 200 flights between Paris and Amsterdam.

The fuel, biokerosene, is derived from used frying oil, which has to be tested to meet the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene.

Airlines are under EU pressure to cut their carbon emissions by 3% by 2012.

KLM’s interest in biofuels dates back to 2009, when it ran a test flight carrying 40 people, including the then Dutch economics affairs minister.

The 90-minute flight was majority powered by traditional aviation fuel, with just one of the its four engines powered 50% by biofuel.

Future flights will use half traditional kerosene and half biofuel.

[Continues at BBC News]… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Alternative Energy: Turn Your Poo Into Fuel!

Photo: Wessex Water

Photo: Wessex Water

Want an alternative use for the contents of your septic tank?

Mohammed Saddiq has the answer, the poop-mobile! Bristol streets have been the first test run of the methane-powered car which allows an alternative to petroleum fuel. BBC covers the story:

The BBC’s John Maguire is given a tour of the methane-powered car by developer Mohammed Saddiq

A “poo-powered” VW Beetle has taken to the streets of Bristol in an attempt to encourage sustainable motoring.

The Bio-Bug runs on processed methane gas generated as part of the raw sewage treatment process.

Engineers from Wessex Water estimate the waste from 70 homes would generate enough gas to run the car for 10,000 miles (16,100km).

Despite being powered by fuel created from sewage, the car does not smell unpleasant.

“It performs like a normal car – you wouldn’t know it was powered by biogas,” a company spokesman said.

To use biogas as vehicle fuel without affecting vehicle performance or reliability the gas needs to be treated to remove the carbon dioxide content.

Read the rest

Continue Reading