You may or may not know, but most food production uses a lot of oil. A lot of this oil is used in the production of fertilizer. As mentioned in the previous post, the University of Minnesota is working on a way to use windpower air and water to create nitrogen fertilizer. This would significantly reduce the amount of oil that is used on our nations fields. Providing a sustainable way to create fertilizer (if using fertilizer is a good idea or not I leave to another debate).
The number one problem with the “hydrogen economy” is the hydrogen. Its light, hard to store, and unfortunately does not occur naturally isolated in nature. That means you have to bust it loose from something else. Most often this is from natural gas using a steam reforming process that uses more energy to make the hydrogen than you get from burning/reacting the hydrogen.
So what are we to do? We don’t want to use a fossil fuel, and we don’t want to waste that much energy. We could use water as our electrolyzing source…but we would still need lots of electricity. Really the only good option for producing hydrogen is to use water, and renewable energy. Enter the wind to hydrogen project.
Silicon Valley is moving towards a green future. While many other companies are reluctant to even mention global warming, many tech companies are embracing a path towards a green future.
In Silicon Valley, though, climate change is pretty much taken as a given. It’s part of the tech industry’s shift in recent years toward the green end of the spectrum. This year, Silicon Valley delegates — in a combination of good will and self-interest — will be fanning out across the country to preach on the issue to the unconverted.
Just last week, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a regional business booster association founded in 1977 by David Packard, of H-P fame, announced a 12-point campaign called Clean and Green that takes traditional regional planning issues, such as ride-sharing and mass transit, and frames them in the context of global warming. The same group made headlines earlier last year by breaking with other California business groups to endorse the legislation being pushed by nouveau-environmentalist Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to limit greenhouse gases, among other steps.
Carl Guardino, the tech group’s CEO, says the position on global warming has the support of all 210 member companies, which includes virtually all of the area’s major technology players. Mr. Guardino says his group will be spending this year challenging business groups around the U.S. to follow the example set by his association, such as to greatly increase car pooling at local companies.
“These are engineers and they are really good at looking at science,” says Mr. Guardino. “And the science with climate change is undeniable.”
Name: Universal Joint
Designer: Mark Sims, based on a 1992 design by
K. Eric Drexler and Ralph Merkle
Date: May 25, 2006
Number of components: 4 (which form a single covalent structure)
Number of atoms: 3,846
Width: 3.8 nm
Height: 3.8 nm
Length: 6.4 nm (not including shafts)
Click the picture to watch it animate!
I stumbled upon this rather interesting bit of software, Nanorex allows you to design nano scale machinery and run simulations of how the stuff would work. Nano-scale machines may one day allow us to do all sorts of interesting and fun things. The best possible option is that one day we all have night vision and can jump over buildings in a single bound…or perhaps we could use them to cure illness if you are into that sort of thing.
This week we talk about Cape Wind and the its politics, China’s use of renewable energy to help reduce poverty, and using natural prairie grasses as a source of biofuel. All of this and pictures await you after the more. If you have some renewable energy news you think I should know about please don’t be afraid to contact us and let us know.
Lets get started!