There has been some amazing advances in the fuel-world, such as airplanes being powered by cooking oil and other biofuels being used to replace gasoline. Along the lines of the latter, we're now eyeing trees as a source to help lessen our reliance on dead dinosaurs.
Alaska Airlines recently launched 75 passenger flights running on a 20% biofuel blend made with reclaimed cooking oil. Once we learned this fuel blend met aviation and military safety, environmental, and performance standards we breathed a huge sigh of relief. And this, right after some airlines decided to go electric when taxiing.
Electric planes are a great idea, but they're still a long way off from carrying any serious payloads. In the meantime, one airline wants to make their jets into Prius like hybrids, at least while they're still on the ground.
Droughts are devastating to farmers, killing off scores of crops thanks to a total lack of rain over a long period of time. But this years James Dyson Award winner is the Airdrop, an "air harvester" that promises to make droughts less of an issue in the future.
Odds are, if you're reading this, you're already part of a modern civilization. But what if the Earth got hit by a giant comet and we all needed to start from scratch? Most of us wouldn't have a clue what to do, but this open source project aims to provide start-up civilizations with everything they need to make a self-sufficient jump into modernity.
In the age of touchscreen smartphones, it's strange that people still turn dials to control their heat and air conditioning. The Nest thermostat aims to change that.
The vision of future Earth as depicted in films, whether utopian or dystopian, almost always includes a solar air ship of some sort. Now one group of aerodynamics engineers have created what looks like a very real solution to make such a vehicle a reality.
The X-Prize-winning team known as Edison2 has continued to push the envelope in the realm of electric vehicles, this time unveiling its mileage-crushing new electric Very Light Car (eVLC).
Researchers in South Korea may have found a way to design "smart windows" that could work wonders in making the average home far more efficient. In the usual spirit of a breakthrough, their approach takes something that wasn't feasible yesterday and promises to be stable and inexpensive tomorrow.
It's a bold statement to be sure, but Google is making it in the company's first public disclosure of its total energy use: the company has had a carbon footprint of zero for well on four years now. That's even more impressive when you consider that Google needs a quarter of a nuclear power plant to keep all of its searches and gmails and whatnot going.