Posts Tagged ‘Future’

Synthetic Trees

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

A report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) suggests that a forest of 100,000 artificial ‘trees’ could be ‘planted’ near depleted oil and gas reserves to trap carbon in a filter and bury it underground. The carbon suckers look like fly swatters, but researchers say that once fully developed, the ‘trees’ could remove thousands of times more carbon than a real tree.


In addition to artificial trees, the IME report suggests growing algae in tubes on the sides of buildings. The algae, which traps carbon during photosynthesis, could be collected and transformed into charcoal, which could then be buried underground. The report also points out the benefits of painting roofs white, which reflects sunlight and helps mitigate heat island effect in urban areas.

While the ideas sound good in theory no one has quite mastered carbon capture and storage. And even the engineers themselves warn that these geo-engineering projects won’t provide a solution to global warming–they’re meant to be used in conjunction with larger, more long-term efforts to reduce global carbon emissions.


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BMW Vision EfficientDynamics supercar concept

September 4, 2009 Leave a comment


BMW’s vehicle of the future is the Vision EfficientDynamics concept, a low carbon plug-in hybrid supercar aimed at the premium end of the market.

The vehicle is powered by a three-cylinder turbo diesel engine supported by two electric motors and can do 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds.

The vehicle really excels in its emissions output. While running on diesel, the vehicle has a consumption of 3.76 litres per 100 kilometres or around 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

What matters to most people is the day to day use. The vehicle can be used in an electric mode only, which can be recharged through its plug-in module. In its electric mode, the vehicle stores the energy on its lithium polymer cells, which allow it to drive for 50km (31 miles) on a single charge. This can be extended a bit thanks to its regenerative braking system.

I must admit that it is a fantastic looking vehicle with an interior designed to use as many natural materials as it can. The vehicle has been optimized in both its drag coefficient and its weight, which has been reduced and redistributed to maximize energy efficiency and improve driveability.

As a final touch, both the roof and door inserts become opaque to reduce the amount of glare coming into the vehicle – quite a nice perk.

A fantastic glimpse into the future for the environmentally conscious supercar owner!!!