DEUTSCHE BAHN TO INTRODUCE HYDROGEN TRAIN BY 2024, CUTTING 330 TONS OF CO2 A YEAR

Helen Coffey

Deutche-Bahn-hydrogen-train
Deutsche Bahn is launching a hydrogen train

‘This is the only way for DB to be climate neutral in 2050,’ says board member

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has announced it will launch a hydrogen train and accompanying gas station by 2024, in a system set to save 330 tons of carbon emissions in one year.

The German rail company has said it will run a comprehensive year-long trial of the new system, which will replace a diesel engine running between Tübingen, Horb and Pforzheim in the southwest state of Baden-Württemberg.

DB is converting one of its maintenance workshops so that the hydrogen train can be serviced there, alongside developing a new type of filling station that means it will be just as quick to refuel as a diesel train, taking just 15 minutes.

Siemens Mobility is responsible for building the new train, while the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is providing the funding.

The hydrogen train should initially be able to run for 600km before needing to be refuelled, roughly equivalent to the distance between London and Edinburgh. Its top speed will be 160km/h.

Continue reading… “DEUTSCHE BAHN TO INTRODUCE HYDROGEN TRAIN BY 2024, CUTTING 330 TONS OF CO2 A YEAR”

Web Summit 2019: This is what the house of 2025 could look like

8C63BD76-FD61-4865-BC24-E665A794B4A8

The way we sleep, eat and retreat from the world around us is poised for significant transformation, David Eun, Samsung’s Chief Innovation Officer, told this week at Web Summit.

Eun presented a sketch of Samsung’s vision for the house of the future. The aim is to foster experiences on a foundation of technology and innovation, he said, “the likes of which we have never seen before.”

With the advent of 5G, the percentage of connected devices in the home will continue to grow, “and in the near future, the question won’t be how many devices are connected. The question will actually be, how many devices are not connected.”

Continue reading… “Web Summit 2019: This is what the house of 2025 could look like”

Arriving soon: Electric aviation for passengers

0D5FDD67-70F3-475F-A71E-A0F9909D590F

Drone pilots don’t need to be told about the wonders of electric flight. But Scientific American believes electric aviation for passengers may be here sooner than we think as the industry struggles to decarbonize.

It’s one of the top ten emerging technologies the magazine highlights in its most recent issue.

In an article co-written by Katherine Hamilton and Tammy Ma, the authors point out that air travel accounted for 2.5 percent of global carbon emissions in 2019. And that number could triple by 2050. Electric airplanes could be one solution.

Continue reading… “Arriving soon: Electric aviation for passengers”

This coffee table’s sliding indoor garden is the ultimate millennial-friendly plant parenting hack

9C4E23FC-5746-4D43-BA3C-17A08E2814BB

Home gardening is difficult enough as it is, but it gets even trickier when you live in small city quarters. With city living’s and home gardening’s popularity rising in recent years, those of us who live in apartment complexes might feel discouraged from starting home garden projects – they’re messy and time-consuming, not to mention that a lot of space is usually a prerequisite. That’s why SOLE was created. SOLE, a home gardening system, poses first as a small coffee table only to reveal a hidden, self-maintained, miniature garden for city dwellers who want to fill their homes up with some natural greens, but not the fuss that typically comes with them.

More people are moving into cities, which means that access to home gardening is decreasing since natural light is harder to come by and smaller apartment spaces, like efficiency studios, are preferred. Thankfully, SOLE’s coffee table was designed to take up as little space as possible in order to fit into even the smallest of studios. Indoor urban gardening is usually practiced by using grow box containers that require a lot of window ledge space and natural sunlight – both of which can be hard to come by in city apartment searches. In order to make home gardening possible in any city-living space, SOLE maintains the perfect climate, temperature, and nutrients for you and your chosen plants so long as they fit inside the coffee table’s extensive body. While researching the influence of temperature, exposure time, intensity, color from visible light, along with the distance and angle of light distribution, the designers behind SOLE decided to incorporate a lighting system that would enhance plant growth by imitating the effect the sun’s rays have on indoor plants.

Continue reading… “This coffee table’s sliding indoor garden is the ultimate millennial-friendly plant parenting hack”

These researchers have found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules

 8BE8D0F9-1282-40EA-A055-38E877D024B5

More than 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced in the last six decades.

However, recycling plastic can be difficult as the most common process involves melting and reworking the material.

A new process developed by the University of California can turn polyethylene into useful smaller molecules.

If you thought those flimsy disposable plastic grocery bags represented most of our plastic waste problem, think again. The volume of plastic the world throws away every year could rebuild the Ming Dynasty’s Great Wall of China – about 3,700 miles long.

Continue reading… “These researchers have found a way to turn a common plastic into high-value molecules”

Getting a country from moderate/high EV purchase rate to 100% EV market share – some ideas

2B4EB2B3-85AE-4C92-942F-26BDE7EA9FC7

 Norway just hit 82% plugin vehicle new car sales in September 2020. This raises the question: “Why are 18% of the purchases non-plugin vehicles?” That got me dreaming up ideas for how to get a country from moderate EV market share (5–10%, for example) to 100% EV market share. Perhaps some of those ideas could be effective in Norway now, and other countries later as they get closer and closer to a high percentage of plugin vehicles.

Continue reading… “Getting a country from moderate/high EV purchase rate to 100% EV market share – some ideas”

Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel

8B610081-34E4-4643-BC96-6EF2898D88A7

(CNN) — After more than a decade of planning, work has begun on the world’s longest immersed tunnel. Descending up to 40 meters beneath the Baltic Sea, Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will link Denmark and Germany, slashing journey times when it opens in 2029.

The tunnel, which will be 18 kilometers (11.1 miles) long, is one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects, with a construction budget of over €7 billion ($8.2 billion).

By way of comparison, the 50-kilometer (31-mile) Channel Tunnel linking England and France, completed in 1993, cost the equivalent of £12 billion ($15.5 billion) in today’s money. Although longer than the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel, the Channel Tunnel, was made using a boring machine, rather than by immersing pre-built tunnel sections.

It will be built across the Fehmarn Belt, a strait between the German island of Fehmarn and the Danish island of Lolland, and is designed as an alternative to the current ferry service from Rødby and Puttgarden, which carries millions of passengers every year. Where the crossing now takes 45 minutes by ferry, it will take just seven minutes by train and 10 minutes by car.

Continue reading… “Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will be the world’s longest immersed tunnel”

Hyundai delivers first fuel cell trucks to Switzerland

AAEBCE77-CCA2-4740-98EC-9F6BDE948AFC

LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – South Korean carmaker Hyundai on Wednesday presented the first seven hydrogen-powered trucks to customers in Switzerland, out of 50 such vehicles scheduled this year to bring zero-emission commercial vehicles to European roads.

For long haul, proponents say hydrogen-powered trucks have an advantage over electric rivals as they have a greater range and require less charging times but their uptake and mass production has been slow because they are expensive.

However, a McKinsey study in January said that once relative efficiencies of the power sources and lifetime costs of a truck are factored in, green hydrogen could reach cost parity with diesel by 2030.

Hyundai has been partnering with Swiss companies to build a value chain covering the production of green hydrogen from hydropower, hydrogen charging stations and the service and maintenance of the trucks.

Continue reading… “Hyundai delivers first fuel cell trucks to Switzerland”

This vegan leather made from cactus is a genuinely green alternative

95FDBB1D-2B2F-4A4E-9E5F-CC64121656E5

This is Desserto by Adriano Di Marti, a vegan leather made from cactus that is an eco and animal-friendly alternative to animal leather or synthetic leather. Like the aforementioned leathers, Desserto has competitive features, such as elasticity and it’s also customizable and breathable. It’s also biodegradable, flexible, non-toxic, and doesn’t stain.

Continue reading… “This vegan leather made from cactus is a genuinely green alternative”

Formula E founder develops world’s first electric powerboat championship

 

D72D98A5-51F3-4E76-92DE-7F5EFCB191EE

Image: E1 World Electric Powerboat Series

Alejandro Agag, founder of both the Formula E and Extreme E championships, has just announced the formation of an all-electric powerboat league called the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series. Once again, the whole goal of the series is to draw attention to the environmental concerns that impact marine life.

It’s a similar mission statement to that of both FE and Extreme E. Open-wheel FE races on the streets of large metropolitan cities like Paris and Berlin in order to draw attention to electric technology. Extreme E, by contrast, takes place in remote locations for the same purpose.

The powerboat series seems to have more in common with Extreme E in its mission. From Agag:

The earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers are under huge environmental pressure and the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series will lead the way in electrifying water mobility for future generations.

Continue reading… “Formula E founder develops world’s first electric powerboat championship”

Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene

785D0211-4E66-45B9-AEDB-81E8A1260923

A team of University of Arkansas physicists has successfully developed a circuit capable of capturing graphene’s thermal motion and converting it into an electrical current.

“An energy-harvesting circuit based on graphene could be incorporated into a chip to provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power for small devices or sensors,” said Paul Thibado, professor of physics and lead researcher in the discovery.

The findings, published in the journal Physical Review E, are proof of a theory the physicists developed at the U of A three years ago that freestanding graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms—ripples and buckles in a way that holds promise for energy harvesting.

The idea of harvesting energy from graphene is controversial because it refutes physicist Richard Feynman’s well-known assertion that the thermal motion of atoms, known as Brownian motion, cannot do work. Thibado’s team found that at room temperature the thermal motion of graphene does in fact induce an alternating current (AC) in a circuit, an achievement thought to be impossible.

Continue reading… “Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene”