Eco-Friendly Archives

July 9, 2007

Stanford Continues to Roll Out Eco-Friendly Cars

What: Equinox, an eco-friendly car designed by a Stanford Solar Car Project team
When: July 14, 2007
Where: Science & Engineering Quad

The Stanford Solar Car Project team will show off its next-generation vehicle, Equinox, before its race across the Australian Outback this fall. Teams from across the globe will race from the tropical northern city of Darwin to the finish line in the parched desert of Adelaide, on the southern coast. Equinox includes a space-grade solar array and a digital electrical system.

Students and the public are invited to the unveiling next week, and many sponsors are expected to be present. University sponsors include Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education John Bravman ‘79, The President’s Office and the School of Earth Sciences. Commercial firms include Akeena Solar, Henkel, backpack supplier JanSport and high-performance electrical car startup Tesla Motors.

More on this story....

January 11, 2008

Inexpensive Indian car concerns environmentalists.

In continuing coverage from Thursday's briefing, in a front-page story, the New York Times (1/11, A1, Sengupta) reports that this week, when "Tata Motors unveiled the world's cheapest car, the $2,500 Nano," carmakers "from across the world [went] to New Delhi to peddle their wares to a bubbling Indian car market." While "incomes rise, car loans proliferate, and the auto industry churns out low-cost cars to nudge them off their motorcycles," Indians "bought 1.5 million cars last year," and, "[b]y some estimates, India is expected to soar past China this year as the fastest-growing car market." Not surprisingly, "Indian environmentalists have assailed the car craze, particularly because of the country's relatively relaxed emissions standards and the proliferation of diesel-powered cars."

The AP (1/11) continues, "The potential impact of Tata's Nano has given environmentalists nightmares, with visions of the tiny cars clogging India's already-choked roads and collectively spewing millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the air." However, according to industry analysts, "For millions of people in the developing world, Tata Motors' new" subcompact sedan "may yield a transportation revolution as big as Henry Ford's Model T." John Casesa of the Casesa Shapiro Group called the car "a potentially gigantic development if it delivers what has been promised."

The U.K.'s Financial Times (1/11, Johnson) adds that Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Motors, said that the company "made no claim to have made the most eco-friendly car in the world." However, "he pointed to the car's fuel-efficiency, noting it would achieve more than 20km a liter with its 0.62-liter engine and meet Indian and European emissions standards." Tarun Das, described by the Times as "chief mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry," said that "he sees the Nano as a godsend for the Indian economy." Many Indian industrialists assert that "[s]uch entrepreneurial verve...will boost the confidence of Indian industrialists long overshadowed by China's manufacturing prowess."

"The Nano has sparked a race among global automakers to come up with vehicles at rock-bottom prices to appeal to the new lucrative segment of consumers in India and other emerging markets," noted the AFP (1/10, MacRae). "The budget car's nearest rival, the Maruti 800 from Japanese-owned Maruti Suzuki, sells for $4,800."

snipped from ASEE First Bell, January 11, 2008

March 11, 2008

David Keith's surprising ideas on climate change

David Keith studies our climate, and the many ideas we've come up with to fix it. A wildly original thinker, he challenges us to look at climate solutions that may seem daring, sometimes even shocking.

Check out his recent presentation on climate change at the TED 2008 conference

March 13, 2008

Green Energy Now Even Greener

A new study shows that solar energy produces only about one-tenth as much carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions as does conventional power generation. Read the full article in Science News.

March 17, 2008

Electricity From Painted Solar Cells

Unlike conventional solar cells, solar cells painted onto flexible steel surfaces being developed at Swansea, are more efficient at capturing low light radiation, meaning that they are better suited to northern countries. Read more at Science Daily.

March 31, 2008

New library made of rammed earth construction

From the Wyoming Casper Star Tribune 3/24

"The new wing under construction at the Sublette County Library represents a groundbreaking project for the community -- literally.

The $5 million addition is being built out of dirt.

Dirt from nearby Cora, to be exact.

The first-ever rammed-earth public building in the nation will complement Pinedale's decade-old library when the expansion project is completed in March 2009, library officials said."

Complete article:

America's West Becoming Much Hotter, Drier

The American West is heating up more rapidly than the rest of the world, according to a new analysis by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization. The news is especially bad for some of the nation’s fastest growing cities, which receive water from the drought-stricken Colorado River.
Read the full story.

April 2, 2008

Algae as Major Hydrogen Fuel Source

Scientists at U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory are answering the call for alternative fuels by chemically manipulating algae for production of the next generation of renewable fuels – hydrogen gas. Read more about the project at Argonne Labs News.

April 9, 2008

Bamboo as a Sustainable Fabric

Widely available in Japan, China, India and other countries, bamboo fabric is soft, durable and elastic. Subhash Appidi and Ajoy Sarkar, Ph.D., from Colorado State University have now discovered a way of making bamboo fabric that is resistant to the sun's damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation and has anti-bacterial properties. Read more about their research in EurekAlert!.

April 27, 2008

Mushrooms proposed for bioremediation

Fort Bragg, CA - The town is considering a project to use mushrooms for bioremediation after years of dioxin contamination from a former Georgia-Pacific mill. The city has approved a pilot project to test the effectiveness of mushrooms to extract dioxins.

Full article from The New York Times, 4/27/08
Saddled With Legacy of Dioxin, Town Considers an Odd Ally: The Mushroom, by Annie Correal

April 29, 2008

Energy Crossroads Conference at Stanford

The Stanford chapter of Energy Crossroads proudly presents "From Vision to Action: Sparking Global Change", April 30-May1, 2008.

With keynotes by - Cathy Zoi, CEO of Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection and Michael Shellenberger, Author of/ Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility.

Free with Student ID or Stanford Affiliates cards, $30 general public. Visit for registration and full conference agenda.

May 9, 2008

Make your own ethanol at home

From Reuters:

E-Fuel Co has announced the release of it's "MicroFueler" that allows you to make your own fuel at home using sugar. At $10,000.00 a unit you may want to get your neighbors to chip in.

More from Reuters:

About the MicroFueler from Engadget:

May 13, 2008

Converting Computer Waste Into Safe Products

Researchers in Romania and Turkey have developed a simple, efficient method for recycling printed circuit boards into environmentally-friendly raw materials for use in fuel, plastic, and other useful consumer products. Read more in the article "Feedstock Recycling from the Printed Circuit Boards of Used Computers", Energy & Fuels. May 21, 2008.

May 20, 2008

Flogos - Floating Logos

Made from a soap based foam, the Flogos are filled with gases such as helium rather than air. Once it comes out of the machine it floats away.They can travel 20-30 miles and go as high as 20,000 thousand feet. They are also environmentally safe. The test sizes are small, but larger ones can be made. Read more on MSNBC

June 5, 2008

Solar cells digused as leaves

Researchers at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Mitsubishi, and Tokki Corp have designed a thin-film solar cell disguised as a leaves on a plant. They plan to develop these thin-film solar cells for use in architecture as well as other everyday uses like toys, household items, clothes etc.

Complete article:

July 9, 2008

Flat-screen TVs is worsening climate change

If you didn't feel guilty about your TV habits already, here's a new reason: a chemical used in making flat-screen televisions has been found to be a potent greenhouse gas, 17,000 times stronger than carbon dioxide. In a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, atmospheric chemist Michael Prather called nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3, "the missing greenhouse gas," and warned that the climate could suffer as the chemical is produced in ever greater amounts to meet soaring demand for LCD displays. If all of the NF3 produced in 2008 were released into the atmosphere, it would have as much warming effect as 67 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. NF3 isn't covered by the Kyoto Protocol because it was only being produced in tiny amounts in 1997 when the treaty was negotiated. Ironically, NF3 was developed as an alternative to perfluorocarbons, greenhouse gases that are governed by Kyoto.

Read more about it at CNET News

August 5, 2008

MIT primed to unleash solar revolution

MIT researchers say they have hit upon a simple, inexpensive, highly efficient process for storing solar energy using nothing but abundant, non-toxic natural materials. The key component in the new process is a new catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water. The new catalyst works at room temperature, in neutral pH water, and it's easy to set up.

Read more at MIT News

About Eco-Friendly

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stanford Engineering Library Blog in the Eco-Friendly category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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