Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:06:15 PM EST
Bangladesh 'is growing' due to freak environmental conditions - Times Online

Bangladesh is often held up as the 'ground zero' of climate change, with environmental experts predicting that rising sea levels could engulf much of the country of 150 million people within the next 50 years.

But a recent survey by a Bangladeshi research institute shows that the country's landmass has actually increased by more than 1,000 square km (386 square miles) since 1973, due to rivers dumping sediment as they meet the sea.

Bangladesh could also gain another 1,000 square km by 2050, according to scientists from the state-run Centre for Environment and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) in Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital.

CEGIS, which is funded by the Dutch government, reached its conclusion after studying satellite images of the country dating back to 1973.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How to turn water into rocket fuel - scientists unlock power of the sun - Science, News - The Independent

Scientists have devised a cheap and simple method of turning water into rocket fuel using solar power in a development that could generate a new source of green energy for the home and workplace.

The researchers used electricity from solar panels to split water into oxygen and hydrogen - the constituents of rocket fuel - with a technology that scientists believe could solve many of the problems that have hampered the development of solar energy.

With the help of a simple and yet highly efficient "chemistry set" made out of commonly available materials, the scientists have found a way of storing solar energy as a chemical fuel that can be used to power pollution-free electricity generators known as hydrogen fuel cells.

Until now the concept has stagnated because it has been too costly and difficult to use solar-generated electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen in a domestic setting, but the new method relies on the discovery of a catalyst that speeds up the conversion of water into high-energy fuel.

by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, progress only on the catalysis part. Why the tie to solar energy ?

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:43:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because solar energy has had issues with energy storage, ie no energy at night. The catalyser raises the efficiency of electrolysis to the point where useful quantities of hydrogen are produced that makes the use of expensive solar arrays viable for this process.

{I assume}

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 05:17:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I assume you're right. It's about energy storage. Same goes to some extent for wind power.

The hydrogen would be used to power fuel cells.

Alternatives would be battery storage or compressed air, or pumped water storage.

There was a recent post on TOD on compressed air storage, if you are interested.

The Oil Drum: Canada | Compressed Air Energy Storage - How viable is it?

One of the most critical aspects of the implementation of renewable electricity is the ability to store electricity.  If a good solution existed right now, our situation would be a good deal easier.  On the face of it, compressed air seems a likely candidate: relatively easy to make, store and use - so what is the problem?  Why isn't it used routinely?
More Thermodynamics than You Ever Wanted to Know?

We usually speak of storing and using energy without being very precise about what we mean.  That ends forever if you take a few chemistry or engineering courses.  Thermodynamics rules everything.

(Conclusion: compressed air isn't very good)

Likewise, with conversion to hydrogen the efficiency of the process is crucial.

Generation of hydrogen is one of the bottlenecks, another is storage.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 06:32:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Energy storage in the form of hydrogen is a problem of cost effectiveness times efficiency.  Daniel Nocera of MIT seems to have solved the problem for the electrode that generates hydrogen. He has devised a self regenerating electrode.  They use platinum for the oxygen side.  The problem there is price.

I can only presume that the reference to testing against platinum is for purposes of showing relative efficiency.   Platinum is almost the default catalyst for most reactions, where price is no object. Has long been so. Interesting article with links to other interesting work.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 08:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Africa's Literary Treasure Trove: The Rush to Save Timbuktu's Crumbling Manuscripts - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Fabled Timbuktu, once the site of the world's southernmost Islamic university, harbors thousands upon thousands of long-forgotten manuscripts. A dozen academic instutions from around the world are now working frantically to save and evaluate the crumbling documents.

 The Grand Mosque at Djenne, Mali. The area's rich cultural heritage is only being slowly discovered. Bundles of paper covered with ancient Arabic letters lie on tables and dusty leather stools. In the sweltering heat, a man wearing blue Muslim robes flips through a worn folio, while others are busy repairing yellowed pages.

An astonishing project is underway in Timbuktu, Mali, one of the world's poorest countries. On the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, experts are opening an enchanted Aladdin's Cave, filled with hundreds of thousands of ancient documents.

by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:16:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Doctors hail farmer's double arm transplant - Times Online

Since losing his arms in a horrific threshing accident life has been a misery for a 54-year-old German farmer. Unable to tie his laces, feed himself or touch his wife, he was close to suicide.

Then he saw a television film about an Austrian policeman who was given new hands after unpacking a parcel bomb - the farmer promptly volunteered for what may be the world's first double whole arm transplant. Now he has the arms of a teenager and is waiting to feel his fingers again.

Doctors at Munich's Clinic on the Right Side of the Isar said today that the farmer - his name is being withheld - was doing well after the operation last weekend.

"It was a terrific team operation," said Dr Christoph Hoehnke, one of the lead surgeons.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China inaugurates 220mph fastest rail service in world in time for Olympics - Times Online

They came with cameras and binoculars and gathered on the mud banks of the railway lines. Less than one hundred metres away, nestled under the vast roof of Beijing South Station, they could already see the train.

"Oh my God, it's so beautiful," whispered Ren Dongsheng, one of dozens of train enthusiasts and locals waiting to witness the inaugural journey of the fastest rail service on the planet.

Mr Ren, 64, said: "I have always loved trains, so for China to have the fastest trains in the world and for them to leave from the biggest train station in Asia ... it's incredible." Indeed, for a nation that loves superlatives, today was a red letter day.

Trains on the new rail link between Beijing and the Olympic co-host city of Tianjin will travel at 350 kilometres per hour (220mph), easily beating France's TGV trains, which travel at 320 km/h, and making Japan's bullet trains look like plodding steam engines. Maglev trains do not count, the authorities say, because they do not run on rails.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:18:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aral sea rescue plan claimed a success according to the Kazakh government | Environment | guardian.co.uk

One of the 20th century's great ecological disasters has been partly reversed, according to a report that claims the waters are rising once more in part of the Aral sea.

The team behind an Aral sea restoration plan claims that the water level in the northern part of the sea in central Asia has risen by 30% in three years because a dyke has been built and leaking irrigation channels mended. As a result the amount of water flowing down the Syr Daria River into the sea has increased.

Now, the salty drying waters which had dwindled and contained only a single species of fish, host 15 different species of fish and more birds, reptiles and plants, says a report by the Kazakhstan government.

Fishing has also been rejuvenated, and a second phase of the scheme is underway to restore pasture and improve grazing.

by Fran on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 at 03:21:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC: The power of female blogging

"With so many people paying attention to what we are saying there is a tendency for some to write things they think will be commercially acceptable, " warned Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil.

Advice on how to deal with such a conflict came from Maria of Immoral Matriarch who urged bloggers to "keep it real".

"As long as you are honest. If you love the product or TV show, I want to hear 'you.' I don't write with the intention of making money, but if anyone wants to give it to me I will take it. But you are not going to censor me.

"If I want to curse or say something politically incorrect, I am going to say it," she added.

I still believe that Withdrawal of Purchase collated by online communities will change the W*st*rn business model - soon.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Aug 2nd, 2008 at 07:15:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC NEWS | Technology | The power of female blogging
"In this medium women are creating their own terms in their own voice," she said.

Because when cash is tight and your income depends on pretending to be an independent voice supported by stupid dinosaur giant brands, freedom of thought is guaranteed.

Or something.

If this hadn't been about stupid dinosaur giant brands it could have been interesting.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Aug 2nd, 2008 at 08:47:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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