Creating liquid fuel with electricity


Researchers have generated isobutanol from CO2 using a genetically engineered microorganism with solar electricity the sole energy input.

Electric vehicles have come a long way in the past decade, but they still have many disadvantages when compared to internal combustion engine-driven vehicles. The lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles have a much lower energy storage density when compared to liquid fuel, they take longer to “refuel,” and they lack the supporting infrastructure that has built up around conventional vehicles over the past century. Now researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a process that could allow liquid fuel to be produced using solar generated electricity.

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Drinkify your music tonight


What do these sound like?

I recently stumbled across this site called drinkify. It recommends beverages to compliment your favorite music. Somebody really had a lot of fun with this one! Being a music junkie I plugged in some of my faves, but then gave it a trick question and another. So here’s what I’ve been hearing in my drinks…

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NASA discovers there may be flowing water on Mars

water on mars

Dark seasonal streaks on crater walls could be flows of salty water.

We have known for a while now that ice exists on Mars.  We have seen a lot of suggestions that liquid water may have once existed on the surface in huge rivers and oceans. But  NASA has announced for the first time, they may have actually spotted some flowing, liquid water.



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Amazing Video of the Sun Melting Steel


Melting steel in a solar oven.

Melting steel in a solar oven (aka solar concentrator) isn’t new or unique, but it’s always cool to see and a good reminder of just how much energy is hitting the sunny side of the planet at any moment. The video below shows a short exerpt of James May’s “ Big Ideas” series (James is better known for the Top Gear show), and they start by cooking, er, burning a sausage, and then they melt a steel plate. Impressive to see how quickly it turns to a liquid. (video)

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‘Bullet Proof Custard’ – A New Type of Liquid Armor

kevlar armor

 The new light-weight material could eventually replace the “thick, heavy-layered plates” of Kevlar used in existing bullet-proof vests.

Researchers at BAE systems in Bristol combined a “shear-thickening” liquid with the existing material used in bullet-proof vests – called Kevlar – to create the new armor. The chemical formula of the new liquid is being kept secret but scientists say it works by thickening and becoming sticky on impact with a bullet.


Spray-On Liquid Glass Can Protect Almost Any Surface From Damage


The SiO2 coating on a filament of a microfiber. (The fissure was induced in order present an image which shows the characteristics of the coating.)

Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products.


Why Water Expands When It Cools


Water droplet

Most of us, when we take our first science classes, learn that when things cool down, they shrink. (When they heat up, we learn, they usually expand.) However, water seems to be the exception to the rule. Instead of shrinking as it cools, this common liquid actually expands. In order to explain this phenomenon, some scientists have adopted the “mixture” model, which purports that low-density, ice-like components dominate due to cooling. Masakazu Matsumoto, at the Nagoya University Research Center for Materials Science in Japan, has a different idea. He describes his findings in Physical Review Letters: “Why Does Water Expand When It Cools?”


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Scientists Find Way To Obtain Drinking Water From Air Humidity

Scientists Find Way To Obtain Drinking Water From Air Humidity

Drinking water from air humidity 

Not a plant to be seen, the desert ground is too dry. But the air contains water, and research scientists have found a way of obtaining drinking water from air humidity. The system is based completely on renewable energy and is therefore autonomous.

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Study Finds Plastic Bottles Release Harmful Chemical Into Liquids

Study Finds Plastic Bottles Release Harmful Chemical Into Liquids

drinking containers made with BPA release the chemical into the liquid that people drink in sufficient amounts


Hard plastic drinking bottles and baby bottles are not devoid of health risks because a study has found that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) – which is used to make plastics and has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes–often releases into the liquid contained in such containers.

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Cheaper And More Reliable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Cheaper And More Reliable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-ion cells that use polymer electrolytes can be affordably packaged in compact, flexible pouches  

A new incarnation of lithium-ion batteries based on solid polymers is in the works. Berkeley, CA-based startup Seeo, Inc. says its lithium-ion cells will be safer, longer-lasting, lighter, and cheaper than current batteries. Seeo’s batteries use thin films of polymer as the electrolyte and high-energy-density, light-weight electrodes. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is now making and testing cells designed by the University of California, Berkeley spinoff.

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Miracle Liquid


What doesn’t it do


It’s a kitchen degreaser. It’s a window cleaner. It kills athlete’s foot. Oh, and you can drink it.

Sounds like the old “Saturday Night Live” gag for Shimmer, the faux floor polish plugged by Gilda Radner. But the elixir is real. It has been approved by U.S. regulators. And it’s starting to replace the toxic chemicals Americans use at home and on the job. Continue reading… “Miracle Liquid”