Archive for September, 2012


Are Hybrid Cars Really Greener?

hybrid carsTrying to go green is always a challenge. There is a sea of information – and misinformation – to be had on what choices are actually greener, and which just seem that way. Hybrid cars are one such item.

Hybrids were advertised as the salvation of the auto industry. As gas expenditures were choking the world, and oil companies were returning record profits, Hybrids burst onto the scene claiming that they could save the consumer money, and keep the Earth alive a little longer than their straight gas counterparts.

The detractors were quick to appear, namely because those that did not have hybrid technology in development did not want their customer base to flee to greener pastures. One of the biggest claims that held water was that producing a hybrid car caused so many emissions that even if you drove one, there was still more pollution being pumped into the air, between the emissions of the car and the emissions of production, than if you were to just buy a standard vehicle. Continue reading ‘Are Hybrid Cars Really Greener?’


The Virus-Based Battery

virus battery

We always enjoy looking at the upcoming battery technologies. We were fascinated by the paintable battery that was being developed by Rice University, in part because it showed an alternative way of thinking about how a battery can be constructed. It cracked the door for finding new ways to create an anode, a cathode, and thus build a new kind of Li-Ion battery. In this same vein, researchers are now competing to create a fully organically based battery that employs viruses as their primary method of construction.


Tiny but Powerful

Though invisible to the naked eye, viral outbreaks bear the force to decimate whole populations. This is due to their ability of viruses to infect a host and then use the body of their incubator to the advantage of the virus. Viruses for one of the heartiest forms of life on the planet due to this self-replicating nature that turns the cells against itself by using the basic building blocks of life to the advantage of the virus.

Continue reading ‘The Virus-Based Battery’


Nanotechnology Changes The Way That Batteries Work

nanotechnology batteriesThe word “nanotechnology” conjures images out of science fiction. Microscopic machines that can be injected into a person’s bloodstream or surveillance equipment undetectable by the naked eye. The reality is that nanotechnology is not usually as sexy or dangerous as novels and movies would have us believe. On the other hand, what it lacks in mass market appeal, it more than makes up for with raw, practical utility. Nanotechnology used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles can make them cheaper to produce, cheaper to buy, more useful for long trips, and able to recharge at a greatly increased rate.

Increased Power and Storage

Researchers have found that by coating the surface of an electrode within a standard Li-Ion battery with nanoparticles they can create greater surface area which allows more current to move between the electrode and the chemicals contained within the battery. This improved power flow allows the battery to increase its power output, which means it can supply more energy more efficiently. This is good news for electric and hybrid vehicles by reducing the overall weight of the batteries they use.

The other advantage to more efficient power flow within the battery is that recharge times are significantly reduced because more electricity can enter the battery more quickly. Continue reading ‘Nanotechnology Changes The Way That Batteries Work’

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