Researchers accidentally turn carbon dioxide into ethanol

Researchers accidentally turn carbon dioxide into ethanol

Science has a long and storied history of looking for one thing but finding something better instead. Penicillin, radioactivity, science boxes…I mean microwave ovens — all of these discoveries came in the the search for something else. Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee announced that they too had unintentionally discovered something incredible: a means of transforming carbon dioxide directly into ethanol using a single catalyst…

Read the rest of the article by Andrew Tarantola in Engadget.


BIEN – Basic Income Earth Network

BIEN – Basic Income Earth Network

A basic income is a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement.

That is, a basic income has the five following characteristics:

  1. Periodic: it is paid at regular intervals (for example every month), not as a one-off grant.
  2. Cash payment: it is paid in an appropriate medium of exchange, allowing those who receive it to decide what they spend it on. It is not, therefore, paid either in kind (such as food or services) or in vouchers dedicated to a specific use.
  3. Individual: it is paid on an individual basis—and not, for instance, to households.
  4. Universal: it is paid to all, without means test.
  5. Unconditional: it is paid without a requirement to work or to demonstrate willingness-to-work.
    A wide variety of Basic Income proposals are circulating today. They differ along many other dimensions, including in the amounts of the Basic Income, the source of funding, the nature and size of reductions in other transfers that might accompany it, and so on.

Although BIEN has not endorsed any particular proposal, and it is open to people who favor very different proposals, BIEN’s 2016 General Assembly endorsed a very broad description of a proposal in the following resolution:

A majority of members attending BIEN’s General Assembly meeting in Seoul on July 9, 2016, agreed to support Basic Income that is stable in size and frequency and high enough to be, in combination with other social services, part of a policy strategy to eliminate material poverty and enable the social and cultural participation of every individual. We oppose the replacement of social services or entitlements, if that replacement worsens the situation of relatively disadvantaged, vulnerable, or lower-income people…

Frequently Asked Questions about basic income.

This information comes from the website of BIEN.


Cleaning Oil Spills with Magnet

Cleaning Oil Spills with Magnet

A physicist in Fermilab, Arden Warner, has somehow managed to come up with a brilliant solution, one that does not involve chemical agents. The method is so simple and non-destructive way of collecting oil spills and uses abundant and naturally occurring earth minerals – Magnetite.

Though oil is non-magnetic, adding powdered magnets, they were able to get them attracted in clumps as magnets adhered to the sticky mess. In turn, the magnetites carried the oil, cleaning the spill in a way that was so simple and yet so effective.

Read the whole article by Ronie Bayron in The Green Optimistic.

Thorium energy

Thorium energy

Laser Power Systems from Connecticut has created its own thorium engine, which weighs around 500 pounds and could power a car for 100 years on only eight grams of thorium. The key energy source is a mildly radioactive metal, and one of the most dense materials known in nature, thorium. The thorium would be used to power a laser, which would then heat water, creating steam that turned a small turbine and propelled the car.


Laser Power Systems has spent more than 20 years in the quiet research and development of Uranium and thorium-fueled High-energy and Ultra-High energy lasers. LPS is now ready to make its research public and offer-for the first time in history – safe, clean, affordable, abundant, carbon-free energy on a global scale.

In the past ten years, computer technology was developed that allowed us to move thorium forward as a viable fuel source. The key factor in the computer analysis is discerning the difference in the reactions of thorium and U235.

– Eliminates production of greenhouse gases
– Dramatically lowers the volume and toxicity of waste
– Significantly improves safety
– Removes the hazards associated with current fuel production
– Operates in an environmentally safe manner
– Prevents nuclear weapons proliferation
– Significantly reduces MaxFelaser size and complexity
– Drastically reduces fuel costs

The LPS MaxFelaser fueled Thorium laser can produce electricity for less than $0.01 per kilowatt-hour.

The natural abundance of thorium, its low cost of mining and milling, the low volume of waste produced, and its lower long-term radiotoxicity mean that the LPS MaxFelaser systems.

Uses fuel that—mass for mass—is 500 times cheaper and produces about 18 million time more energy than Coal.

Has less than 50% of the capital costs, based on a design philosophy of robust mechanical simplicity.

This information comes from the website of Laser Power Systems.

SeaOrbiter – a oceanic station

SeaOrbiter – a oceanic station

SeaOrbiter is the only vessel in the world allowing a 24/7 exploration on long-term missions of the open sea and the abyss.

An exploration vessel and a universal scientific laboratory dedicated to the discovery of the underwater world and the education around sustainable development applied to the ocean.

Multiple scientific missions and a large education plan. SeaOrbiter is the only one- of- its- kind scientific and educative platform, complementary to existing observation and analytical tools of the oceanic world.

The missions conducted from the vessel will enable to better understand the links between ocean and atmosphere, the planktonic balance, the decrease of marine biodiversity or the impact of climate change upon the marine world and its wealth of life.

SeaOrbiter will allow discovering and valorizing new marine richness which will, tomorrow, enable the development of major innovations in various fields such as nutrition, health, biotechnologies or renewable marine energies. SeaOrbiter is also a powerful education tool dedicated to the marine world and engaging all generations.

This information comes from the website of SeaOrbiter.