Archive for Hydrogen

Water Wheels: A Transition to Hydrogen Cargo Ships

large-cargo-ship-pollution-smoke-photo4The United States makes up 40% of China’s imports and unfortunately, these two major industrialized countries lack new alternatives to even simple problems such as the transportation of goods. Large cargo ships emit fossil fuels just as any other form of transportation such as a car or a heavy metal locomotive, however the newest innovations prove how hydrogen based cargo ships can make drastic changes in society. Some consider the global shipping industry as an emission juggernaut, but hydrogen-hybrid boats can easily switch over to a zero-emissions glide into the oceans. The first design was actually created and based off of a British Waterways vessel and is powered by stored hydrogen. Unlike normal hydrogen based vehicles, the cargo ships actually store the hydrogen-lithium-hydride power safely to avoid dangerous accidents because there is no need to carry high pressured gasses on board. Another positive benefit is that the weight of the heavy hydrogen is no longer a problem on smooth sailing waterways. With all of this taken into consideration, the ships that carry our precious goods can easily be powered by the water that they’re gliding across on the ocean.

-Nicholas Chan

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Battling Fossil Fuels; Part III- Aqueous Alternatives

Our adventure to wrestle fossil fuels is almost at an end. Our final weapon in our arsenal is here. Hydroelectric power can be used without the sun or without the wind. Hydroelectric power is just as its name suggests- getting electricity from hydro- from water. How Hydroelectric Power works is that there are dams that take water and convert it into energy.

Hydroelectric Power is extremely advantageous to us and our environment because they it does not emit anything harmful into the air to damage the environment and uses an inexhaustible source (water) as fuel for energy. Most Hydroelectric Dams receive the energy from flowing water- the flowing water turns a turbine which gets energy. The passing water goes into a dam reservoir for both future use and future storage.

Although Hydroelectric Power is extremely beneficial and has many positives, it has disadvantages as well. Basically, Hydroelectric Dams cost a hefty amount of money to build. Furthermore, Hydroelectric Dams will not always work. A relatively large body of water is needed for Hydroelectric Conversion. If there is no water near, there is no energy. This makes Hydroelectric Power very nearsighted- obviously you cannot build a dam in central Nevada. Therefore, our “Aqueous Alternative”, though extremely advantageous does have his flaws and should not be relied upon as the world’s only source of getting energy. Stay tuned for Part IV where we will explore why Fossil Fuels are still used, despite all of our alternatives.

-Flaviu Delczeg

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Finally Some Clarity

The hopes of new automotive technology that will not only reduce fuel emissions but also drastically sever our dependence on foreign oil, has become a reality. But fuel cell vehicles will also have other benefits as well. Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are propelled by electric motors. But unlike a battery-electric car, which uses electricity from an external source and stores it in the battery, FCVs will create their own electricity through a chemical process using hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air.

In 2008, Honda introduced a hydrogen fuel call automobile in Japan, known as the Honda Clarity. In 2009 the mid-sized 4-door sedan was released in the United States, but only in the greater Los Angeles area. Honda engineers are hoping to mass-produce the car by the year 2020.

Not only is this car stylish, but it is also 20% more fuel efficient (something everyone loves nowadays), over 397 pounds lighter than the average mid-sized sedan, has 120% better power-to-weight ratio, and is 45% more compact and 10% more energy-efficient.

If it’s safety you’re worried about, then worry no more. The FCX Clarity comes with six airbags, a reinforced unit-body structure, and a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS). The CMBS helps alert the driver to certain potential collisions and, through the use of visual and audio alerts plus an automatic tug of the seat belt, prompt the driver to take action. If a collision cannot be avoided, the system automatically retracts slack in the front seat belts and applies braking force to reduce the vehicle’s speed and help lessen the force of the collision.

The bonuses with this ride just keep rolling.

~Almayra Porrata-Doria

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Jeans Consuming Gallons of Water!

jeansWe all love jeans. We have plain jeans, designer jeans, jean purses, jean jackets, jean hats and etc. I am pretty sure you get the point. According to a Cotton Inc. survey, the average American owns 8.3 pairs of jeans and the average American teenager owns 11 pairs of jeans. Owning that many jeans is a little excessive but hey, when you love jeans, you love jeans. Now this may seem irrelevant to know how many jeans and average person owns but I bet you didn’t know that it takes 1,800 gallons of water just to grow enough cotton for one pair of jeans. Now I am not say stop buying jeans because it would save water, after all, jeans are much apart of America, like apple pie and McDonalds. But instead, we should put our old jeans to use. By donating your unused jeans to your local Goodwill it will reduce our water consumption. Not only will our environment thank you but so will the person you helped get a new pair of jeans. Also, if many people donate their jeans then Goodwill will have a good variety of jeans, so you could shop there and get so nice pair of jeans cheaper then you would if you went to West Oaks mall, Aeropostale, or any other place that sells jeans. Imagine how much water it takes to make a shirt, shoes, or even our food–check out how much water it takes to grow all of our food. We all need to make a conscious effort to watch what we buy for its water footprint. And it’s not just the US, though–many countries around the world have alarmingly high water footprints, too. So keep your eyes open when you’re shopping around–we’re wasting way too much water.

-Christina Williamson

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Thanks to all

Thanks to all the people who contributed to the blog in order to make it a success. All these posts help keep us high up inside of the competition this was made for, and so now we have made it to the top 10 because of it. The team is now able to send some students to New York to the United Nations Headquarters in order to learn more about helping out the environment.

As such, this is most likely the last update until late into the next school year, when we continue to all work together on these green activities. Until then, thanks once more to all the people that have contributed. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without you guys.

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Powering Water

So, it’s time for my third post here. My first one talked about fluorescent lightbulbs and introduced the theme of my posts and gave an idea on managing to achieve it. The second one concluded the two points by proposing a policy on recycling. Now, we shall go take a trip down memory lane and once again focus on saving electricity, except by different means this time.

This one, just like fluorescent bulbs, is extremely simple. That should grant it some appeal, and so I’m hoping some of you readers will be willing to give a couple a try in your own homes. Today’s post will focus on water conservation. In order for water to be used properly, it must be filtered, heated, and transported from water facilities. Though water is of an abundant supply here in the developed nation, fossil fuels are not. Performing these changes on the water requires an extremely large amount of electricity. As of now, a little more then 50% of power plants are coal-based. By reducing strain on them, fewer pollutants are thrown into the air. Almost 10% of electricity consumption in a household is used by water heating alone, and so saving water is a very simple way to not just reduce pollutants, but also save money.

There are numerous things that can be done to actually save water. Most of these involve getting new tools to replace old ones. More efficient showerheads are available and are able to use less water more effectively. Dishwaters filled with the toughest tech on the market rampage their water-saving fury on the plates that it consumes. Washing machines with top-of-the-line inner workings are able to blast the stains off of clothes while saving more than 25% of water used. There are all sorts of different tools that can be replaced, and it is only a short drive away from your nearest appliance store.

Of course, I’m pretty sure that a number of you people reading this thing right now are rather lazy and either you can’t get these things, can’t afford them, or just don’t want to bother your parents (if you’re an adult, you just don’t want to get into the car). That’s why people who are really dedicated to protecting the environment have an even greater number of easier alternatives. Fixing a leak inside of a bathroom doesn’t require much more than a wrench and actually has the capability of saving over 2700 gallons a year. It is estimated that an average American household unknowingly loses about 10% of their water to leaks from the toilet and faucets. Do not underestimate their capability. Another simple thing is to just reduce the time in the shower, and yet another is dispose of trash in a bin next to the toilet instead of flushing it. One of the simplest, but overlooked things is to just turn off the blasted faucet when you’re brushing your teeth but not using it. A faucet uses about 4 gallons a minute, and when that accumulates high enough from the 3-times-a-day-for-2-or-something-minutes brushing, the math reveals a figure that exceeds over 8000 gallons a year.

There are several more things that could be done, but this blog post is long enough as it is and most of those the new ideas revolve around replacing old appliances with better ones and making small changes to your lifestyle. And really, there’s no reason not to give these a shot. Many of them are extremely simple, and others can be done when a regular trip to the Home Depot is made. Protect the environment, one drip at a time.

Written by Jay Meza

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