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Category: Green Tech

Scottish Researchers Want to Give Cars a Whiskey for the Road

Raise a glass, and fill up your ride, too. Rightly so, the Scots (purveyors of some of the world's finest spirits) have found a way to power cars with leftover whiskey. According to the BBC News, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University used the delicious distilled drink's byproducts to create biobutanol, a fuel that's 30-percent more efficient than ethanol and can be put straight into a gas...

World's Largest Tidal Turbine Getting Anchored off Scotland's Chilly Coast

For island-dwellers, water is the most readily available natural resource, which is why a Scottish energy company sees fit to install a gigantic tidal turbine off its coast. According to BBC News, Atlantis Resources recently unveiled its AK-1000 turbine, which stands 73-feet tall, weighs 130 tons, and can generate enough electricity to power 1,000 homes. The 1-megawatt turbine has two giant...

SoBi Social Bike Sharing System Saves Money, Gas, Earth

SoBi, or Social Bikes, is a new bike-sharing system being developed by urban planner and bike advocate Ryan Rzepecki. SoBi uses some of the concepts and technologies behind mobile social networking to connect cyclists with bikes -- and each other -- in ways that actually save money over traditional bike-sharing systems. Where traditional bike share systems require special docks placed at...

Volkswagen to Launch Hybrid Beetle at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Next year, Volkswagen's most recognizable, dome-shaped classic will be getting a redesign. According to Autoblog Green, VW plans to debut a Beetle with a hybrid powertrain and a new exterior design at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. The car's specs should be similar to the New Compact Coupe (NCC) that VW revealed last year. That vehicle carried a 1.4-liter TSI inline-four cylinder engine, a...

Solar Power Cheaper Than Nuclear Power, Duke Study Finds

It's easy to talk about the benefits of 'green' power, but the bottom line is that the method has to be affordable before people will use it. According to Physorg, a study conducted at Duke University claims that solar power in North Carolina has now become more cost-efficient than nuclear power. Earlier this year, the cost of producing one kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar power dropped to 16...

'Precious' Bike Blazes Across U.S., Tweets About It With British Smugness

If you had to choose one bike to ride across the continental U.S., you probably wouldn't choose one named 'Precious.' The moniker doesn't exactly ooze the kind of fearless aggression you'd expect from your riding partner, and, in recent years, it's become more synonymous with slow-moving behemoths than swift speed machines. One 'bike with a brain,' however, is out to debunk all of our...

First Public Quick-Charge Station Isn't All That Public

Portland General Electric (PGE) and NEC unveiled what they've billed as "North America's first public-use, quick-charge station for electric vehicles" yesterday. Governor Ted Kulongoski helped to juice up a yet-to-be-released Nissan LEAF at the station, which will charge lithium-ion-battery-based vehicles to 80-percent of their capacity in 20 to 30 minutes. "The station was awarded public-use...

BlackTrail BT-01 Electric Bike Retails for $80,000

Green vehicles, for many people, have become status symbols rather than just modes of transportation. For example, take the BlackTrail BT-01 electric bike. Manufactured in a limited run of 667 models by Germany's PG-Bikes, this electric hog retails for around $80,000. It's built from lightweight carbon fiber and aerospace aluminum, and weighs just 44 pounds. A 2.5 hour charge on the 17Ah Li-ion...

China Plans Giant, Road-Straddling 'Buses' to Defeat Traffic

China thinks it may have a solution to its growing car and congestion problem: giant buses that straddle the road. Although calling these monstrosities "buses" seem misguided (as they run on tracks, and independently of other street traffic), it's obvious that they could greatly increase the speed and quality of your average Beijing commute. The shuttles arch over the road, allowing other...

Microsoft Launches Web-Connected 'Hohm' Power Monitor

Microsoft and Blue Line Innovations have teamed up to bring another eco-conscious gadget to the marketplace, aiming to help consumers conserve energy and money. The Hohm PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway is being sold for $249, and connects with Microsoft's Hohm service. Hohm tracks energy usage throughout your home, and converts that raw data into real-life dollars and cents. The combined Wi-Fi...

'Plastiki,' a Boat Made From 12,500 Plastic Bottles, Sails Across the Pacific

A boat constructed from thousands of plastic bottles has completed its journey across the Pacific Ocean, from San Francisco to Sydney Harbor. According to Popular Science, the Plastiki, which is a catamaran made from about 12,500 plastic bottles, sailed more than 9,000 miles in four months to raise awareness of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch -- a pile of waste the size of Texas that's floating...

HighDro Power Concept Turns to Toilet Flushes for Energy

A U.K. industrial design student has discovered a way to harness energy each time a toilet is flushed or a bathtub is drained. According to Creative Boom, Tom Broadbent's HighDro Power works much like a miniature hydroelectric dam, inside your building's sewage pipes. When water drains from a toilet, tub, sink or any other appliance, it travels down the pipes, through the device and spins four...

RFID-Embedded Smart Mug Makes Coffee Shops Even More Smug

Chris Hallberg, a Marquette University student, has created the world's first smart coffee mug, or 'Smug,' which could make ordering "the usual" at your local coffee shop a breeze. According to Read Write Web, the Smug is embedded with an RFID chip that stores a customer's order history and account information. Without ever opening your mouth or wallet, you can watch as the barista scans the...

Lightweight, Slightly Embarrassing T.25 Offers 74 MPG at $9,000

Our most common objection to green cars, whether electric, hybrid or alternative-fuel, is that they are -- always it seems -- plagued by goofy looks, poor performance and featherweight construction. Though not an exception to any of those rules, the T.25 is still impressive in that it gets a whopping 74 miles to the gallon, and that it costs -- right off the showroom floor -- no more than $9,000....

DIY Bicycle Rigged to Charge USB Devices While Riders Cruise

With so many geeks riding bicycles, it was only a matter of time until the two-wheeled mode of transportation would get wired. An Instructables.com user recently posted a set of DIY instructions that demonstrates how to rig a bike to power USB devices. The user took a regular USB car adapter, and connected it to a voltage regulator, which leads to a stepper motor mounted near the bike's rear...