Since untold quantities of oil started flowing into the Gulf, there's been a lot of talk about bacteria that eat oil. While those microbes might help remediate those millions of barrels of crude, one geoscientist thinks we might be able to use them to keep oil in the ground in the first place.
Given the way the government is beating up on a certain foreign oil company this morning, it's easy to think perhaps this is the impetus America needs to align government, industry, and popular sentiment toward developing home-grown renewable energy sources. But a look at the charges the Bureau of Land Management levies against solar power projects on public lands tells a different tale. In fact, it seems the more efficient your power plant, the more the BLM wants you to pony up.
As BP sits down for a not-so-friendly back and forth with Congress this morning it seems the oil giant is resigned to let the Gulf oil leak flow until the relief wells are completed in August. But a nuclear physicist from California thinks he’s devised a method that could stop the gushing well by pumping steel balls into the riser. It’s likely to work, he says, and even if it fails it won’t make matters any worse. Naturally, not everyone involved is so optimistic.
First the British invented waterproof Wellington boots; now they've invented a way to derive power from those boots. Could corduroy-friction-power be far off?
The European telecom firm Orange, which sponsors the huge Glastonbury Festival at the end of June, is promoting its new "Power Wellies" as a means for festivalgoers to keep their cellphones charged.
As the Gulf oil leak continues unhindered today, BP is trying yet another tactic to stem the flow of crude into coastal waters. But amid the news surrounding this latest effort -- it's another containment dome scheme like the two that failed before, in case you're keeping score at home -- comes this interesting bit of news via the New York Times: The U.S. government has actually addressed the proposed idea of sealing off the well with a nuclear blast. Their stance on the scheme: Absolutely not.
BP's latest attempt to plug the Gulf oil leak is now more than 24 hours old, and initial assessments look promising. While we're by no means out of the woods yet, government and BP officials are cautiously optimistic that the so-called top kill is succeeding to stem the flow of oil from the busted riser into the Gulf of Mexico.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Lab wanted to model and simulate the next generation of nuclear power facilities. While software that models a partial nuclear core or radiation transport exists in spades, the ORNL team wanted to model entire facilities at once. So they did what anyone would do: They started from scratch, merging a decade of research with the world's fastest supercomputer to build Denovo, the most sophisticated modeling software in the industry, to simulate entire nuclear facilities in one comprehensive snapshot.
In what the BBC is calling "a claim that is likely to be met with some scepticism," North Korea has announced that it has made huge strides toward developing thermonuclear power, going so far as to claim that the nation's scientists have built a "unique thermo-nuclear reaction device."
We've got your skepticism right here.
If you’re an ocean-transiting container ship, friction is a drag. The bigger your load, the more energy it takes to propel you through the water, and that means increased fuel costs and increased emissions. But by mimicking the hydrophobic characteristics of the water fern, researchers at the University of Bonn think they can create container ships that move faster – and more efficiently – from port to port.