German car manufacturer Audi has reportedly invented a carbon-neutral diesel fuel, made solely from water, carbon dioxide and renewable energy sources. And the crystal clear ‘e-diesel’ is already being used to power the Audi A8 owned by the country’s Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka.
The creation of the fuel is a huge step forward for sustainable transport, but the fact that it’s being backed by an automotive giant is even more exciting. Audi has now set up a pilot plant in Dresden, Germany, operated by clean tech company Sunfire, which will pump out 160 litres of the synthetic diesel every day in the coming months. (more…)
By using solar power to charge a cache of batteries, scientists at MIT have figured out a way to remove salt from water through electrodialysis at an extremely efficient rate.
David L. Chandler explains, “Electrodialysis works by passing a stream of water between two electrodes with opposite charges. Because the salt dissolved in water consists of positive and negative ions, the electrodes pull the ions out of the water, leaving fresher water at the centre of the flow. A series of membranes separate the freshwater stream from increasingly salty ones.”
MIT’s advancement in the actual membrane is another reason for the increased rate of efficiency. Compared to the 40% to 60% of traditional reverse osmosis systems, they are able to turn 90% of the saltwater fed into the machine into drinking water. In one day this machine can filter 2,100 gallons of water.
According to mechanical engineer, Amos Winter, working on the project “both electrodialysis and reverse osmosis require the use of membranes, but those in an electrodialysis system are exposed to lower pressures and can be cleared of salt buildup simply by reversing the electrical polarity. That means the expensive membranes should last much longer and require less maintenance, Winter says.”
As David Cohen-Tanugi points out in the following video, graphene is the new super filtration material:
Since the “financial repression,” the most powerful people have only gotten more powerful. A 2013 Oxfam report found that 80 people had as much wealth as 1/2 of humanity, and a few months later Forbes said the number had dropped to 67. Many of us asked who exactly these people are, and now the list has been released. (more…)
McDonald’s MCD shuttered 350 poorly performing stores in Japan, the United States, and China the first three months of 2015 as part of its plan to boost its sagging profits.
Those previously unannounced closings, disclosed on a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Wednesday, are on top of the 350 shutterings the world’s largest restaurant chain had already targeted for the year. While those 700 store closings this year represent a fraction of the 32,500 or so restaurants worldwide, they show how aggressive McDonald’s is getting in pruning poorly attended locations that are dragging down its results. (more…)