Archive for June, 2007

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil – earth – 26 June 2007 – New Scientist Environment

Giant microwave turns plastic back to oil – earth – 26 June 2007 – New Scientist Environment

Key to GRC’s process is a machine that uses 1200 different frequencies within the microwave range, which act on specific hydrocarbon materials. As the material is zapped at the appropriate wavelength, part of the hydrocarbons that make up the plastic and rubber in the material are broken down into diesel oil and combustible gas.

This is important for both recycling reasons and for the profound dependency we have on plastics.

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Google Desktop for Linux

Google Desktop Download
Requires glibc 2.3.2 , gtk 2.2.0

Google has finally released a version of Google Desktop Search for linux. I am _very_ happy about this. Yay.

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Cheap, green, food-friendly biofuel produced in India – SciDev.Net

Cheap, green, food-friendly biofuel produced in India – SciDev.Net
Ethanol is produced from the sweet juice in the stalk of the sweet sorghum. The researchers responsible for the hybrid say by using sorghum, resource-poor farmers will still be able to use the sorghum grain and protect food security, while earning an additional income from selling the stalks.

This is the kind of stuff we won’t see in the US until Big Corn stops wielding its influence like a mighty cob.

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Metal chloride catalytic conversion of glucose to hydroxymethylfurfural

It probably sounds kinda boring and weak as a post title but it signals a very important scientific discovery. In an article published in Science magazine (fulltext, abstract) we learn that a team lead by chemist Conrad Zhang at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has discovered that chromium dichloride can catalyze the transformation of one the major components of plant cellulose into another chemical that can easily be used as a plastic or even fuel stock precursor. Environmentally speaking, this means logging for plastics rather than drilling. It means that a sustainable plastics industry just became a lot closer to reality.

More coverage at Scientific American and the Press Esc blog

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links for 2007-06-11

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links for 2007-06-08

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links for 2007-06-01

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