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Harvard University Researchers introduce “Bionic Leaf” that will turn Sunlight into Liquid Fuel

Tapping sunlight to convert it into liquid fuels would reduce the vast areas of land usually used for producing plants that generate biofuels

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An Agricultural field in Argentina. Image source: Wikipedia
  • “Bionic leaf 2.0” is a cost-effective alternative energy source
  • The process includes tapping sunlight to convert it into liquid fuels 
  • This will reduce the need to grow crops like sugarcane and corn that are normally cultivated for biofuels

To combat climate change, a new clean technology “Bionic leaf 2.0”, has been introduced by the researchers at Harvard University in the academic journal Science, on Thursday, June 2.

The study in the recent publication of the journal discusses how “Bionic leaf 2.0” aims to make use of solar panels for splitting molecules of water into oxygen and hydrogen. On separation of the water compounds, hydrogen is moved into a chamber for consumption by bacteria. A specialised metal catalyst and carbon dioxide in the chamber then helps generate a liquid fuel. “The method is an artificial version of photosynthesis in plants,” say scientists.

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Another efficient way of farming. Aquaponics- A Deep Water Culture hydroponics system where plant grow directly into the effluent rich water without a soil medium. Image source: Wikipedia
Another efficient way of farming. Aquaponics- A Deep Water Culture hydroponics system where plant grow directly into the effluent rich water without a soil medium. Image source: Wikipedia

Tapping sunlight to convert it into liquid fuels would reduce the vast areas of land usually used for producing plants that generate biofuels. According to a study by the University of Virginia, about 4 per cent of the world’s farmland is currently under crops for fuel rather than crops for food.

Crops like sugarcane and corn are normally cultivated for biofuels. “Tens of thousands of small-scale farmers across Africa, Asia, and Latin America have been displaced by plantations growing crops to make biofuels,” a Barcelona-based land rights group GRAIN was quoted saying.

“This [new energy source] is not competing with food for agricultural land,” said Harvard University Professor of Energy Daniel Nocera to Thomson Reuters. The land-area requirement to install such solar panels is about one-tenth the size of what would be needed for sugar cane. It would further help reduce emission of greenhouse gases and eventually reduce global warming levels.

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“Bionic leaf 2.0” converts solar energy into liquid fuel with 10 percent efficiency, far higher than the 1 percent efficiency seen in the fastest-growing plants that use a similar process, Nocera added.

Despite the fact that growing biofuels or extracting fossil fuels are cheaper than producing renewable energy, it is believed that the technology has potentials of replacing oil wells or plantations for fuel.

Nocera is also optimistic that “Bionic leaf 2.0” would appeal to investors as a cost-effective alternative energy source if the government decides on pricing carbon dioxide emissions. He adds that a carbon tax to boost US gas prices equalling that of European levels might impel investments in the new technology. However, that is yet to be on the cards.

-by Maariyah (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid

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Life Hacks : 5 Great Ways To Increase Your Car’s Fuel Mileage

In the present scenario, only three things are sure to only spiral upwards - taxes, demise and the cost of oil!

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Find out how you can improve your car's gas mileage with a few simple tips. Pixabay

New Delhi, September 16, 2017 : It can be rightly believed that one could just depend on two things in life – taxes and death. But times have changed and circumstances are different today. In the present situation, there are three things; taxes, demise and the cost of oil spiraling everlastingly upwards.

With the gas costs proceeding to move high and higher, expanding your car’s fuel mileage is the most ideal approach to ensure your wallet. Read on to know how!

  1. Driving Habits

  • Back off. The speedier you move, the harder your motor needs to work to push through the air. Speeding can decrease fuel proficiency by up to 33%. (Factors other than air resistance diminish mileage below around 60 mph (97 km/h), so efficiency is not motivation to go slower, but rather mileage diminishes quickly over that speed).
  • Accelerate smoothly with direct throttle. Motors are most proficient with decently high wind current (throttle) and at revolutions per moment (RPM)s up to their energy crest. You should hone ‘short shifting’, or changing to higher gears when you achieve your coveted speed by skipping middle riggings.
  • Abstain from braking wherever possible. Braking wastes vitality from fuel that you have effectively consumed, and accelerating in the wake of braking expends more fuel than driving at a consistent speed.
  1. Tyre Essentials

    mileage
    Tyre examination should be a part of your Sunday schedule. Pixabay
  • Check your tyre weights consistently – you can make it a part of your Sunday schedule. All motoring magazines reveal to you a similar thing and that is on purpose – In the event that your tyre weights are low, you will be expanding the moving resistance of the tyre and that will be ransacking your fuel effectiveness – your gas mileage will be down. Appropriately inflated tyres can diminish fuel utilization by up to 3. Having appropriately swelled tires will additionally enable you to maintain safety against uneven wear on the tread.
  • Select the narrowest tyres for your vehicle that will fulfill your driving style and requests. Slender tyres have less frontal range, consequently lessening streamlined drag. Use the size of tyres that came stock on the vehicle- special emphasis should be paid to not use a tyre that is contradictory with your wheels. You may use smaller wheels only if your car producer supports.
  1. An In-order Engine

An appropriately tuned engine augments control and can incredibly upgrade fuel effectiveness. You must make sure of all the functions of your car; from keeping great spark plugs, changing the oil on time, ensuring the air filter clean, and so on.

  1. Lighten Your Car Weight

  • Weight is one of the greatest foundations for loss of motor vitality in non-mixture autos. Generally, additional 50 kg builds fuel utilization by 1– 2%.
  • Get the lightest car that will serve your necessities. On the off chance, the seats that you don’t utilize can be evacuated. If you utilize your trunk as a storage room for substantial things, discover somewhere else for them.
  1. Fuel

    mileage
    Good fuel is necessary to provide power to the vehicle. Pixabay
  • When you top off with gas, fill up midway and attempt to keep your tank over one quarter full. You could put influence on the fuel pump on the off chance that your fuel runs short. However, 10 gallons (which is an equivalent of 37.9 L) of fuel includes additional approximately 17.5 kg of weight. A tank that has been filled till half the capacity may build your mileage.
  • Purchase quality fuel. Remember that while “discounted” fuel may spare you a couple of rupees for every L or Gal, it can contain a higher level of ethanol, which consumes at a quicker rate. For better yield out of your cash, look at the mileage between fuel organizations and see what is best for your car.

Practically speaking, in case you religiously adhere to the above focuses (from an administration of previously undertaking nothing specific or common), you should hope to see a mpg change of around 15% which is completely conceivable. If you at present drive quite forcefully, or at high speeds, much more noteworthy increases may be conceivable. That would be uplifting news for both your carbon impression and your wallet.

You can thank me later!


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A Machine Built By a Group of Egyptian Students can Produce Fuel from Worn-Out Vehicle Tires

Egypt raised fuel prices by up to 50 percent in June as a condition of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund program the country signed last year

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Engineering student Mohamed Amr carries car tires to be used in extracting fuel in Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 23, 2017.
  • A group of 12 students worked on this machine as a graduation project
  • The machine first heats the tires until they reach evaporation point after which the vapor enters a condenser
  • The product created has similar properties to pure diesel

A group of Egyptian students has built a machine they say can produce fuel from worn-out vehicle tires.

The device heats the tires until they reach evaporation point. The vapor then enters a condenser. The result is a product “very similar in properties to pure diesel, and the carbon or black coal is just left inside the container,” said Mohamed Saeed Ali, one of 12 students who worked on the machine as a graduation project.

ALSO READIIT – Kharagpur Researchers develop Technology to make Biofuel manufacturing cheaper, quicker and free of Pollution

The students are searching for investors for their project.

“Instead of polluting the environment, we recycle them [the tires] properly in an eco-friendly manner,” Saeed said.

Egypt raised fuel prices by up to 50 percent in June as a condition of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund program the country signed last year. (VOA)

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Excess Optimism Impedes People from Taking Actions: Study

According to the study, people who believe that everything will workout for the best are less likely to take a command on their future

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Excess optimism can often become a problem. Pixabay
  • Excess optimism often poses a problem for many people as they become less likely to take a command on their future
  • Lead author of the study said the belief in a favourable future may lessen the likelihood that people will take a step to turn it into reality
  • The findings of the study have been published in the journal Psychological Science

August 20, 2017: A new study states that people who are too optimistic and believe in the fact that everything will workout for the best are less likely to take a command on their future. Excess optimism often poses a problem for many people.

Talking to Daily Mail, lead author from Harvard University of the study, Todd Rogers said: there exist people who think that they are so correct that gradually others will come to see the “obviousness of their correctness.” However, the findings of their study showed that the belief in a favorable and bright future may lessen the likelihood that people will take a step to turn it into reality.

Also read: Being optimistic likely to Lengthen your Life: Study

Researchers from the universities of Berkeley, California, and Harvard carried out the study by examining six studies investigating people’s scientific beliefs, political views, and entertainment and product preferences. The results of the study showed that being optimistic and believing others would come around or things will improve made it less probable for people to take a step.

The findings have been published in the journal Psychological Science.

Prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter @Hkaur1025


NewsGram is a Chicago-based non-profit media organization. We depend upon support from our readers to maintain our objective reporting. Show your support by Donating to NewsGram. Donations to NewsGram are tax-exempt.