Research round-up

July 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

  • A team from Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, has successfully trialled pollution-eating concrete for road surfaces. 1000sq m of road surface in Hengelo was paved with concrete containing titanium dioxide, which removes harmful nitrous oxides – typically emitted in vehicle exhaust fumes – from the atmosphere in a photocatalytic process, and converts them into nitrates which are washed away with the rain. Nitrous oxide levels were reduced by 25-45% (Science Daily).
  • Discarded cardboard coffee cups make an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and biomass for ethanol, according to researchers at the University of Manitoba. 100 discarded cups make 1.3 litres of ethanol, and cups from the Tim Horton chain are better than Starbucks’,they say.
  • The US Department of Energy has announced recipients for its latest $92million tranche of funding; amongst 43 projects  selected, there are three automotive research programmes to benefit. These are HRL Laboratories (with partners including GM and Virginia Polytechnic), working on compact, low-cost battery chargers for electric cars; Arkansas Power Electronics (partners incl. Toyota, University of Arkansas), developing an ultra-compact charger and transformer for plug-in hybrids; and Case Western Reserve (w/ G&S Titanium and Evans Capacitor Company), developing high-voltage and high-density capacitors for use in hybrid vehicles. Full story at Green Car Congress.

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