Tech

Can we use big batteries to power our trains?

Enlarge / An eastbound manifest freight swoops through an S curve in Lombard Canyon, just east of Toston, Montana, on September 11, 2011. The tracks here snake along the Missouri River between Toston and Lombard. (credit: Mike Danneman / Getty Images ) With the rapid pace of development in electric vehicles, we will likely get […]

Tech

How to reduce our carbon footprint

Enlarge / Man’s hand holding a cardboard sign that says SAVE THE PLANET (credit: Getty Images) After the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last month, it’s easy to feel demoralized. With everything else in the news, it’s also easy to focus on threats that are arguably more imminent, like […]

Tech

Researchers demonstrate complete solar-powered hydrocarbon production

Enlarge / Either of two reaction chambers (bottom) can be targeted by concentrated sunlight. (credit: ETH Zurich) Carbon capture. Hydrogen production. Synthetic fuels. All of these technologies have been proposed as potential resources for dealing with the crises created by our carbon dioxide emissions. While they have worked in small pilot demonstrations, most of them […]

Tech

The hydrogen economy is about to get weird

Enlarge / A Coradia iLint hydrogen fuel-cell powered prototype railway train, manufactured by Alstom SA, travels in Salzgitter, Germany. (credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images ) If you were paying attention at the start of this century, you might remember the phrase “hydrogen economy, ” which was shorthand for George W. Bush’s single, abortive attempt to take climate […]