Last weekend I spoke at the first University of Texas at Austin Sustainable Business Summit. It was an interesting and stimulating event that brought together a diverse group of speakers and audience members to think about different aspects of environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and business. It was put on by the McCombs School of Business and largely organized by students, who did a great job.
You can't buy cellulosic ethanol at the pump just yet, but Corvette Racing will use it on the track this year in the American LeMans circuit.
The Corvette team will put a version of E85 ethanol (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline) made from cellulosic ethanol into its cars for the 2008 season. Unlike conventional ethanol, an alcohol made out of corn or sugar cane, cellulosic ethanol is made from sawdust, wood chips, and agricultural waste. Processing cellulosic ethanol is trickier, but advocates say it could result in a cheap form of transportation fuel someday because the feedstock (i.… Read more
Hewlett-Packard says it has begun to manufacture ink cartridges with some of the stuff in your home recycling bin.
The multi-resin process, devised by HP and chemistry specialists Lavergne Group and Butler-McDonald, essentially allows HP to mix in plastic from discarded printer cartridges with lower-grade plastics used in objects like Mountain Dew bottles or Night Ranger CD cases. Broadening the type of plastics that can be used increases the amount of recycled materials HP ultimately puts into new products. (The metals inside printer cartridges, meanwhile, get recycled too.)
So far, HP has manufactured more than 200 million cartridges with plastic … Read more
The Department of Energy announced on Wednesday that it has pulled out of a carbon-capture technology project in favor of a restructured funding mechanism.
The DOE last year signed an agreement with the FutureGen Alliance, a coalition of coal and oil companies, to spend about $950 million on a demonstration coal-fired power plant that injects carbon dioxide emissions underground. Last December, a site for the FutureGen project in Matoon, Ill., was announced by the Alliance.
On Wednesday, the DOE said that it has scrapped that agreement and issued a new request for information, which will solicit proposals for demonstration plants … Read more
If you'd like to get a feel for cutting-edge water technologies, go to Israel, a densely populated country that gets only four to six inches of rain a year.
Stanford Venture Capital Holdings on Monday said it has committed $10 million to Israel-based AquAgro Fund, a division of Gaon Agro Industries.
Israeli newspaper Globes reported Tuesday that the AquAgro Fund made its first move, a $4 million investment in Advanced Desalination Technologies.
The AquAgro fund plans to invest in different technologies, including filtering and water recycling, as well as computerized irrigation systems.
Water scarcity is often cited as a … Read more
A free flavor of GreenPrint software that enables people to waste less paper when printing became available Monday.
The new application, GreenPrint World, detects and highlights unwanted content, such as banner ads on a Web page, that tends to spill over onto extra pages. It also lets users delete images from the printed page and quickly create print-friendly PDF documents. The GreenPrint interface appears when users print from any program.
The software displays the amount of paper, money, and greenhouse gases users could be saving. GreenPrint estimates that regular usage may save up to $90 each year, the equivalent of … Read more
Luxim, which makes a long-lasting lightbulb that creates light with radio waves--has raised an additional $21 million, according to VentureBeat.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based start-up has come up with a way to get rid of the parts inside of high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps that are often the first to fail. (Read our story from last year here.)
In traditional HID lamps, high voltage pulses pass between two electrodes. The energy creates plasma from the ambient gases trapped inside the bulb and you get light. The electrodes, however, degrade over time. Tungsten splatters off of them and blackens the surface of … Read more
Austin, Texas, wants to replace the cobra with solid state lighting.
The city, which has been experimenting with several green technologies and trying to encourage green companies to locate there, will evaluate the cost-effectiveness of replacing 250-watt high pressure sodium "Cobra-head" street lights with LED street lights, which consume far less energy. The city estimates it could save up to $500,000 a year in utility bills by inserting LEDs in 5,000 street lights alone.
Maintenance costs would also likely decline because LEDs last longer. Although LEDs cost more, advocates say that the total cost of ownership, … Read more
There is real money behind the claims of corporations "going green," but consumers still need convincing that it's more than just feel-good PR, a couple of recently released studies show.
Nearly every day seems to bring fresh news of corporations boosting their commitment to the environment, either through internal energy-efficiency measures or plans to introduce green tech products.
In a report released on Wednesday called the State of Green Business, consultant and writer Joel Makower and his colleagues from Greener World Media say that businesses are making progress in addressing environmental problems, such as climate change or … Read more
The U.S. Department of Energy plans to pull its support of a $1.8 billion project to build a power plant that captures pollution underground, according to published reports.
The FutureGen project is meant to test cutting-edge carbon capture and storage technology, which is supposed to dramatically reduce emissions from fossil fuel-burning power plants.
Carbon capture and storage is considered an important technology to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, but the technology is unproven at a large scale. A study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last year called for government funding of carbon capture projects in the United … Read more