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Risky Business

The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States (PDF); prospectus (PDF); press coverage (YT) - "The signature effects of human-induced climate change—rising seas, increased damage from storm surge, more frequent bouts of extreme heat—all have specific, measurable impacts on our nation's current assets and ongoing economic activity. [The report] uses a standard risk-assessment approach to determine the range of potential consequences for each region of the U.S.—as well as for selected sectors of the economy—if we continue on our current path..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 24, 2014 - 34 comments

Absolute Zero is 0K

James Dewar, Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, and the quest for liquified hydrogen and helium. Come for the superfluidity, stay for the Supreme Court of the Netherlands decisions and multiple lab assistants losing eyes in explosions.
posted by Chrysostom on Mar 21, 2014 - 34 comments

Indirect fusion's nothing less than HiiiPoWeR

Installed solar capacity is growing by leaps and bounds, led by Walmart and Apple, and helped by bonds backed by solar power payments,[*] which have sent industry stocks soaring, even as molten salt and new battery technologies come on line to generate storage for use when the sun doesn't shine. Of course we could always go to geostationary orbit -- or the moon -- as well we may (if politics allow it) as thirst from the developing world grows beyond the earth's carrying capacity. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 30, 2013 - 41 comments

New method to produce abundant hydrogen from Virginia Tech scientists.

Does it at low temp (122 deg F) and atmospheric pressue. Uses a normal plant sugar, Xylose, and any quantity of biomass. The trick seems to be a cocktail of enzymes from microorganisms that grow at extreme temperatures such at the boiling point of water.
posted by aleph on Apr 5, 2013 - 41 comments

"...it's always good for a scientist to be proven wrong..."

Professor Martyn Poliakoff of Periodic Table Videos fame learns something about burning balloons full of hydrogen via high speed camera footage.
posted by loquacious on Jan 11, 2013 - 34 comments

2H2O2 → 2H2O(l) + O2(g)

What do you get when you mix hydrogen peroxide, iodine and dishsoap? Elephant's Toothpaste (or Elefantenzahnpasta, if you prefer German). Many more class experiments from the 2nd link here. [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Oct 26, 2012 - 26 comments

Songs in the key of H

Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Peter F. Hamilton discuss their books with fans (video). The Hydrogen Sonata, the 10th of Bank's Culture books, will be released October 12th, read the first chapter here. Meanwhile it's 20 years since Reynolds first started work on Revelation Space.
posted by Artw on Oct 7, 2012 - 94 comments

Hydrogen production breakthrough?

"This system could produce hydrogen anyplace that there is wastewater near sea water," said Bruce E. Logan, Kappe Professor of Environmental Engineering. "It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy." [more inside]
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 21, 2011 - 83 comments

The Energy Landscape of 2041

Energy: the new thirty years' war; we are heading for a global succeed-or-perish contest among the energy big hitters – but who will be the winners and losers? Michael Klare; (via )
posted by adamvasco on Jun 30, 2011 - 60 comments

Cheap Water

The race is on: India by 2020, China by 2025 - will the US get there at all?
posted by PuppyCat on Oct 21, 2010 - 24 comments

Bioprospecting or biopiracy?

Although banned in 1997, the last several years, Bioprospecting at Yellowstone National Park has become more and more privatized. Research at nearby Montana State University has been underway, using virus cages for next generation flash drives, using fungus to turn straw into olive oil, and algae to turn garbage into hydrogen.
posted by agent of bad karma on Jan 11, 2010 - 9 comments

Cupcakes are mostly made of four elements

There must be something about cupcakes and the periodic table of the elements. Not sure who did it first, but now it is ubiquitous. Then of course there is The Periodic Table of Cupcakes, which is a whole other matter. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Nov 30, 2009 - 18 comments

the future of fuel?

Using photosynthesis to power hydrogen production
Researchers have found that if they insert platinum nanoclusters into the photosynthetic machinery of bacteria, one acre could produce an amount of hydrogen equivalent to 79 gallons of gas per day. [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 13, 2009 - 37 comments

Suspended Animation with Rotton Egg Gas!?!?

Suspended Animation with Rotton Egg Gas!?!? - It may smell like rotten eggs, but it turns out H2S may be able to slow down the chain of chemical degradation that causes death in cells that are deprived of oxygen. Biologist Mark Roth can supposedly take a lab rat, stop its heart with a dose of hydrogen sulfide, and bring it back to life an hour later just by turning off the gas. Interesting...
posted by d4v1dr0b3r7s0n on Oct 16, 2009 - 28 comments

Potholes on the road to a green future

Inspired by a recent Wall Street Journal* article, Robert Rapier, chemical engineer, peakist, blogger, and currently chief technology officer for a bioenergy company, reviews the pretenders, contenders, and niche players in the emerging field of green energy, with particular consideration of liquid fuels. Meanwhile, the boffins at Foreign Policy consider the risks of the coming of the green energy era, and depict the end of the oil age. (Both part of FP's extensive look at the end of oil; previously.) [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Sep 8, 2009 - 19 comments

Hydrogen. It's the fuel of the future, and it always will be.

Pics of the new Tesla S-Model have been leaked. With an anticipated price tag of 50K and a potential 45-minute recharge time, will this finally kick-start a true replacement to the internal combustion engine? And if so, where will the electricity come from? What future is there for the fuel-cell vehicle, or will fuel cells remain stationary? Is that really it for hydrogen? [more inside]
posted by molecicco on Mar 28, 2009 - 68 comments

common reactor

Babies born in 1954 have more Carbon-14 in their DNA ; trees have rings with a spike of C14 in that year, and even ringless equatorial trees will show an increase of radiocarbon if they were alive in 1954.

In the mid 1950s the United States, Britain, France and Russia tested not quite a million nuclear weapons. Maybe some part of them is still with you.
posted by plexi on Nov 16, 2008 - 63 comments

What a Joker!

Back in 1978, Jack Nicholson was ahead of his time.
posted by gman on Jul 30, 2008 - 49 comments

Next up, the Perpetual Motion Machine

Last week, Genepax Co demonstrated a car that it says runs on water. Video of the demonstration is here. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes on Jun 24, 2008 - 76 comments

Zed's zero carbon, baby: hydrogen-cell motorbikes

If hydrogen-cell cars are no good, how about hydrogen-cell motorbikes!
posted by nthdegx on May 14, 2008 - 22 comments

If you squint your eyes it could pass for a private jet

Is solar-powered flight getting any nearer? As noted previously on Metafilter, solar powered aviation has travelled a long way since the heady days of the Gossamer Penguin. But could it actually one day power commerical flight? [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot on May 11, 2008 - 25 comments

Cryogenic Venting

Light Reflection: a brilliant fan of cryogenics venting from a relief valve on STS-122 Atlantis' ET (external tank) post-separation. Also see this handheld video of the ET, with money shots at 2:15 and 3:55. [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Feb 21, 2008 - 13 comments

Oh, the humanity!

Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen. Thomas E. Mallouk and W. Justin Youngblood, postdoctoral fellow in chemistry, together with collaborators at Arizona State University, developed a catalyst system that, combined with a dye, can mimic the electron transfer and water oxidation processes that occur in plants during photosynthesis. They reported the results of their experiments at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science today in Boston.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Feb 18, 2008 - 48 comments

IT'S THE ONLY WAY TO BE SURE!

All these worlds are yours, save Europa. Attempt no landings he...llo! What the hell is wrong with you!? Did you just nuke Jupiter?
posted by loquacious on Apr 9, 2007 - 86 comments

His energy bill is $0

Mike Strizki lives in the nation's first solar-hydrogen house. "The technology this civil engineer has been able to string together – solar panels, a hydrogen fuel cell, storage tanks, and a piece of equipment called an electrolyzer – provides electricity to his home year-round, even on the cloudiest of winter days. Mr. Strizki's monthly utility bill is zero – he's off the power grid – and his system creates no carbon-dioxide emissions. Neither does the fuel-cell car parked in his garage, which runs off the hydrogen his system creates."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Mar 16, 2007 - 28 comments

Is this the true ultimate driving machine?

Is this BMW version what some were waiting for? I've heard about complaints on hybrid performance. BMW claims to be the best in performance. But did they miss the boat?
posted by wiggles on Dec 4, 2006 - 37 comments

Stan Meyer and the Water Powered Car

Stan Meyer invented a water powered car that estimates showed could travel from one US coast to the other on 22 gallons of water. He shows the in car in operation in this old news clip. So what ever happened to him? He died after eating at a restaurant on March 21, 1998. An autopsy report showed the cause of death to be poisoning.
posted by banished on Nov 21, 2006 - 165 comments

Eleven miles of scrolling...

"A Hydrogen Atom is only about a ten millionth of a millimeter in diameter, but the proton in the middle is a hundred thousand times smaller, and the electron whizzing around the outside is a thousand times smaller than THAT. The rest of the atom is empty. I tried to picture it, and I couldn't. So I put together this page - and I still can't picture it." Awesome illustration on perspective and particles - *warning* very wide page, may be dangerous to your browser. Also, the relative size of planets (via the always interesting 37signals blog.)
posted by rsanheim on Aug 29, 2006 - 26 comments

So what happened?

Hydrogen fuel has been discussed many times on MeFi, but I wasn't able to find a previous link to this video clip (Google Video warning) showing Jack Nicholson, circa 1978, showing off his hydrogen powered car. The accents of the broadcasters, in case you're wondering, are east coast Canadian, possibly Newfoundland.
posted by Zinger on Aug 24, 2006 - 21 comments

Water Power

Water Power (embedded video). Inventor creates a hydrogen-powered vehicle that can run completely on water, or rather HHO. This is perhaps nothing new (or is it?), but fasinating nonetheless. Warning: annoying local news reportage.
posted by zardoz on May 16, 2006 - 43 comments

Energy-efficient urban commuting options

With gas prices rising, SUV sales (16-20 mpg city) have been declining. What are some alternatives for urban commuters? Prius (56 mpg) and other hybrid vehicles. SmartCar (50 mpg city; available in Canada, but not the US) and other microcars. Electric motor scooters and bicycles. Electric cars like the General Motors EV1 seem to be stalled, although people are working on a battery-powered SmartCar. What about hydrogen vehicles? In the medium term, MIT's Laboratory for Energy and the Environment doesn't think they'll outperform hybrids (full report). A comparison of fuel-cell and battery electric vehicles gets into some of the details of how they work.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 11, 2005 - 83 comments

No flux capacitor needed

Smaller than a DVD player - small enough to sit comfortably under the hood of any truck or car - it could be big enough to solve the world's greenhouse gas emission problems, at least for the near future. In fact, it could make the Kyoto protocol obsolete.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 17, 2005 - 72 comments

Around the world on 8 litres of fuel?

Around the world on 8 litres of fuel? I'd be more excited about this if the automotive industry hadn't been teasing us with cool, feature laden concept cars for years, and then actually producing boring combustion engine sedans.
posted by Fozzie on Jun 29, 2005 - 10 comments

...we could handle a shark easily...

Larry's U.S. Navy Airship Picture Book. No longer available in paper, but still with us in bits. Lawrence F. Rodrigues served in the Navy, in Airship Squadron 3, out of Lakehurst NAS, beginning in 1953. This website presents photos and memories of his service days. It's fascinating.

As a bonus, you may wish to read up on the Details of Modern Airship Construction, ca. 1927, or to return to Dannysoar's site to observe the plans for a twelve-foot model helium-lofted rubber-band powered flying stick-and-tissue dirigible (scroll down a bit).

Up Ship!

didn't someone end a post with those words this year? Google didn't raise hide nor hair of it for me...
posted by mwhybark on Jul 4, 2004 - 3 comments

Hydrogen Cars.

Hydrogen Cars. I had been expecting something akin to the Sinclair C5, but these are full production models within the Ford Focus range. The article predicts that although they'll initially appear in niche markets such as public transport, in a few years we'll all be able to drive about in them, creating a cleaner, happier world.
posted by feelinglistless on Oct 17, 2002 - 23 comments

Michigan: Land of Alternative energy?

Michigan: Land of Alternative energy? "DTE Energy [Detroit Edison] said Monday it has a deal to build and test a hydrogen system capable of generating more than 15,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The $3-million test project, funded by DTE and the U.S. Department of Energy, is to be operational in 2005. " Wayne State University is also jumping on the bandwagon. What, if anything, is your town doing (or claiming it will do)?
posted by PinkStainlessTail on Sep 24, 2002 - 15 comments

"Suckers.

"Suckers. They're all watching the wrong cards. They're watching the borax. They're watching the fuel cell and its clean tailpipe. They should be watching the hydrogen. That's the payoff card." Car and Driver takes issue with the Hydrogen on Demand system used in Chrysler's Natrium concept and billed by the media as a possible solution to the problem of producing, storing, and transporting hydrogen.
posted by tirade on Aug 1, 2002 - 7 comments

We're now one step closer

We're now one step closer to making fuel cell cars. It was announced a few days ago that Quantum Technologies' Hydrogen Storage Tank capable of powering current fuel cell cars up to 300 miles has received the highest rating from a German auto safety commission. This is part of the previously discussed billion dollar effort by GM to bring fuel cell cars to the market. Seems like we're getting one step closer to finally saying goodbye to fossil fuel powered cars.
posted by statusquo on Aug 1, 2002 - 16 comments

"If we sort out Iraq and Detroit develops a hydrogen engine," says a U.S. diplomat, "Saudi Arabia will go back to being a fascinating, benighted part of the world that people don't visit."
posted by artifex on Jul 30, 2002 - 19 comments

Huge hydrogen stores found below Earth's crust.

Huge hydrogen stores found below Earth's crust. "Scientists have discovered vast quantities of hydrogen gas, widely regarded as the most promising alternative to today's dwindling stocks of fossil fuels, lying beneath the Earth's crust. The discovery has stunned energy experts, who believe that it could provide virtually limitless supplies of clean fuel for cars, homes and industry." This discovery sounds too good to be true (for us energy-hungry humans that is, bad news for the bacteria.)
posted by homunculus on Apr 15, 2002 - 29 comments

Iceland moves to become the first country to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen for all its energy needs.

Iceland moves to become the first country to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen for all its energy needs. I find it fitting that a society descended from Vikings will become the world's first hydrogen society.
posted by homunculus on Dec 27, 2001 - 32 comments

These guys cool and trap anti-electrons (positrons) and at the same time cool and trap anti-protons. Why? Because they want to make cold anti-hydrogen and compare its properties with ordinary hydrogen. Pretty cool all round, really.

"Any difference between antimatter and matter would be extremely interesting since we do not yet understand why we have a universe made of matter. We would expect that the big bang that originated our universe would create equal amounts of antimatter and matter, which would then annihilate, leaving nothing. The great mystery is why enough matter was left over that we and our matter universe could exist."
posted by lagado on Jun 24, 2001 - 11 comments

HydroGen1, a fuel-cell vehicle of tomorrow

HydroGen1, a fuel-cell vehicle of tomorrow The prototype's power comes from electric motor supplied with current from a fuel cell that runs on pure hydrogen. The hydrogen supply is stored in liquid form at minus 253 degrees Celsius in a special storage tank called a "Cryo tank," which is similar to a vacuum storage bottle. I'm just imagining the fun they will have at the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety while crash testing this thing.
posted by fluxcreative on Jun 5, 2001 - 19 comments

Presenting the no-gasoline, no-pollution, no-engine personal flier

Presenting the no-gasoline, no-pollution, no-engine personal flier Hydrogen peroxide is used to fuel individual rocket motors at the tips of helicoptor like rotors.... James Bond eat your heart out :)
posted by zeoslap on Feb 22, 2001 - 5 comments

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