News : Green Design & Manufacturing
$33 Million in Funding for Biomass R&D

The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) jointly announced up to $33 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy, and high-value biobased products - subject to annual appropriations.

News : Energy
Purple Bacteria and Photovoltaics

Purple bacteria are single celled microscopic organisms that were among the first life forms on Earth. The tiny organisms live in aquatic environments and use sunlight as their source of energy. Neil Johnson, a physicist at the University of Miami, thinks its cellular arrangement could be adapted for use in...

Question of the Week
Should the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico affect the President’s energy plan?

This week’s question concerns the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. After a rig leased by BP Plc exploded and sank last week in the Gulf, many have indicated that the President may experience a setback in his plan to expand offshore drilling. The plan is...

News : Energy
Genetically Engineering Algae for Biodiesel

John Morgan, an associate professor of chemical engineering at Purdue University, is leading a portion of a federally funded effort based at Iowa State University aimed at creating genetically engineered algae for biodiesel production.

News : Energy
Bionic Coating for Fuel-Efficient Ships

The water fern salvinia molesta is extremely hydrophobic, surrounding itself by a flimsy skirt of air that prevents the plant from coming into contact with liquid. This inconspicuous plant could allow ships to have a 10 percent decrease in fuel consumption.

Question of the Week
Will digital actors ever replace humans in Hollywood?

This week's question concerns the concept of "digital actors." They've appeared in "Avatar," "The Matrix," and "The Lord of the Rings," to name a few. And with the recent surge of 3D technology in filmmaking, it appears that digital actors will be working a lot more in Hollywood.


Who's Who
Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., Director, Marshall Space Flight Center

Robert Lightfoot Jr. began his career with NASA in 1989 as a test engineer and program manager for the space shuttle engine technology testbed program and the Russian RD-180 engine testing program. In 2002 he was named director of the Propulsion Test Directorate at Stennis Space...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Generating Hydrogen from Water

Researchers with Berkeley Lab and the University of California, Berkeley have discovered an inexpensive metal catalyst that can effectively generate hydrogen gas from water.

News : Energy
Thin Film Absorbers for Solar Cells

Oregon State University researchers have made an important breakthrough in the use of continuous flow microreactors to produce thin film absorbers for solar cells - an innovative technology that could significantly reduce the cost of solar energy devices and reduce material waste.

Question of the Week
Should broadband providers be required to provide network neutrality?

This week's question concerns "net neutrality" -- providing equal treatment to all Internet traffic flowing over networks. Supporters of net neutrality argue that a policy is necessary to prevent providers from favoring or discriminating against certain Web sites and online...

News : Energy
Paving the Way for Electromobility

Fraunhofer researchers are engineering wheel hub motors, which are integrated into a car's wheels, and could become the accepted drive concept for electric vehicles. The scientists are testing these and several other components on the "Frecc0," their demonstration vehicle.

News : Energy
Electrical Current Stemming From Algae

Stanford scientists have harnessed a tiny electrical current from algae cells. They found it at the very source of energy production – photosynthesis - and it may be the first step toward generating high-efficiency bioelectricity that doesn't give off carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

Question of the Week
Should human genes be patentable?

This week's question concerns the issue of gene patents. While some in the scientific community believe that human genes should not be exploited for commercial gain, others argue that a patent is a reward for years of expensive research that moves science forward.

What do you think? Should human genes be...

News : Energy
Moving Toward a Carbon-based Solar Cell

To make large sheets of carbon available for light collection, Indiana University Bloomington chemists have attached what amounts to a 3D bramble patch to each side of the carbon sheet. The scientists say they were able to dissolve sheets containing as many as 168 carbon atoms, which is a first.

News : Energy
Princeton's Plastics Hold Potential for Lowering Cost of Solar Panels

Princeton University engineers have developed translucent, malleable, and electricity-conducting plastics, which could represent a low-cost alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO) - an expensive conducting material currently used in solar panels.

News : Energy
New Path to Solar Energy Via Solid-State Photovoltaics

Berkeley Lab researchers have found a new mechanism by which the photovoltaic effect can take place in semiconductor thin-films. This new route to energy production overcomes the bandgap voltage limitation that continues to plague conventional solid-state solar cells.

Who's Who
Mark Polansky, Astronaut, Johnson Space Center

Mark Polansky enjoyed a successful 14-year career as an Air Force fighter pilot before joining NASA as an aerospace engineer and research pilot in 1992. Selected as an astronaut candidate in April 1996, he has since flown three space shuttle missions to the International Space Station, piloting the...

News : Energy
The Smallest Superconductor in the World

Scientists have discovered the world’s smallest superconductor - a sheet of four pairs of molecules less than one nanometer wide. The Ohio University-led study provides the first evidence that nanoscale molecular superconducting wires can be fabricated, which could be used for nanoscale electronic...

Question of the Week
Is cold fusion possible?

This week's question concerns the concept of cold fusion. Cold fusion refers to the nuclear fusion of atoms at conditions close to room temperature, which (theoretically) has the potential to produce an abundant source of energy at low cost. Once thought of as "junk science," cold fusion is slowly gaining acceptance in...

News : Energy
New Alloys Key to Efficient Solar Energy and Lighting

A recent advance by Arizona State University researchers in developing nanowires could lead to more efficient photovoltaic cells as well as better LEDs. ASU electrical engineers are working to improve quaternary alloy semiconductor nanowire materials.

Question of the Week
Would you have a microchip implanted under your skin if concrete benefits were derived from it?

This week's question concerns a recent poll that was taken prior to the opening of the CeBIT Trade show that was held in Germany last week. The poll, conducted by the German IT industry lobby group BITKOM, asked participants whether or not they would...

News : Lighting
Check out the March Lighting Technology Ezine

The first issue of Lighting Technology has arrived! This digital magazine is the latest offering from Green Design & Manufacturing, and features articles, tech briefs, applications and more regarding advances in energy-efficient LEDs and solid-state lighting.

Taxi...Take Me to The Moon

In the words of the late, great gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” That’s comforting to know because the future of America’s space exploration program has suddenly gotten weird, and the last thing you need when that happens is amateurs calling the...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Intelligent Energy Management

Smart meters – intelligent devices to measure consumption – make it possible to read and control power consumption, even of private households, while away from the property. New software shadows the electricity meter and that ensures energy consumption is adjusted accordingly.

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Process Yields High-Energy-Density Plant-Based Transportation Fuel

A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has developed a highly efficient, environmentally friendly process that selectively converts gamma-valerolactone - a biomass derivative - into the chemical equivalent of jet fuel. The process preserves about 95 percent of the...

Who's Who
Dr. Gary Hunter, Intelligence Systems Hardware Lead and Technical Lead of Chemical Sensors, Sensors and Electronics Branch

Dr. Gary Hunter, who joined NASA in 1990, is an expert in the design, fabrication, and testing of sensors, especially chemical species gas sensors. In 1995 and 2005, he led the development of sensor systems that won R&D 100...

Question of the Week
Could a sin tax make people eat healthier?

This week's question concerns the U.S.'s ongoing efforts to encourage healthier eating. States across the nation are beginning to impose "sin taxes" on fat and sugar to dissuade people from eating junk food. The thought is that if you make it cheaper, people will eat more of it, more expensive and...

News : Energy
Highly Absorbing, Flexible Solar Cells Created With Silicon Wire Arrays

Using arrays of long, thin silicon wires embedded in a polymer substrate, California Institute of Technology scientists have created a new type of flexible solar cell that enhances the absorption of sunlight and efficiently converts its photons into electrons. The solar cell...

Question of the Week
Is hands-free texting while driving a safe alternative?

This week's question concerns the ongoing debate over texting while driving. A research team at Clemson University recently developed an application called VoiceTEXT that allows drivers to speak text messages and keep their eyes on the road at the same time. Drivers using VoiceTEXT can put...

News : Green Design & Manufacturing
Eco-friendly Nanocatalyst

A new nanotech catalyst developed by McGill University chemists Chao-Jun Li, Audrey Moores, and their colleagues offers industry an opportunity to reduce the use of expensive and toxic heavy metals. Li describes the new catalyst as, “use a magnet and pull them out!”


Articles: Motion Control

The Modern Industrial Workhorse: PID Controllers

Briefs: Information Technology

Software for Analyzing Root Causes of Process Anomalies

Podcasts: Mechanical & Fluid Systems

Here's an Idea: Apollo 11

Briefs: Electronics & Computers

Induced-Eddy-Current-Sensor Measurement of Semiconductor Performance

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Nd:YAG or Fiber Laser for Micro Welding?

Articles: Photonics/Optics

Custom Optomechanics in Industrial UV Lasers