Portable electronics and electric cars both need a steady supply of lithium, and while the world has plenty of it (at least for the foreseeable future), hardly any is produced in the U.S. That is about to change, as a California startup aims to produce lithium from the waste product of another 21st century new-energy technology: Geothermal power plants.
With rare earth supplies uncertain and gold and silver prices spiking, a new international project wants to mine a potentially huge untapped source of minerals and metals: that dresser drawer where you’re hoarding all your old cell phones.
You know how much fun it is to break off the opener tab of a soda can and drop it into the can once you're done with the soda? (So much fun!) Well, two Spanish engineers have taken that experience one step further. Their DAlH2Orean remote-controlled car runs on a combination of recycled aluminum soda can tabs and sodium hydroxide, creating a zero-emissions hydrogen vehicle.
A Japanese inventor has figured out a way to convert plastic grocery bags, bottles and caps back into the petroleum from whence they came, providing a ready fuel source for individual homes that also diverts waste from landfills.