Carbon

Cutting soot, methane, not much of a fix for climate change, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: August 12, 2013   View Article

Cutting short-lived emissions such as soot spewed from trucks and methane belched from cattle will do little as a short-term fix for global warming, a new study says.

Previous modeling work indicated that such cuts could shave about 1 degree Fahrenheit from human-caused warming by 2050, enough to buy the world time to wrench the energy economy away from oil, coal and natural gas — major sources of the long-term heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide.

Experts call Obama climate plan an ‘important first step’

Publication: NBC News   Date: June 25, 2013   View Article

With his jacket off on a sweltering afternoon, President Barack Obama Tuesday unveiled a strategy to slow the effects of climate change so that future generations will have a cleaner and more stable environment, including curbs on pollution from new and existing power plants.

“As a President, as a father and as an American, I’m here to say, we need to act,” he said to applause at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he unveiled the climate action plan. “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that is beyond fixing.”

Surprising strategy to fight global warming: Cut down on soot

Publication: NBC News   Date: January 17, 2013   View Article

A quick hit way to slow the pace of global warming may be to tackle soot emissions from things such as diesel cars and coal-burning cookstoves, according to a new study that finds the black carbon these devices emit is the second-biggest contributor to global climate change.

All told, soot has about two-thirds the effect on warming as the best-known greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The findings push methane, which is emitted by everything from belching cattle to fracking operations, from the No. 2 spot.

Can 500-mile lithium-air car battery make gas obsolete?

Publication: NBC News   Date: July 3, 2012   View Article

The days of gas-guzzling cars may come to an end before we run out of oil if technologies such as 500-mile-per-charge lithium-air batteries become a real and affordable option. A company that customizes carbons at the molecular level believes it can help us get there.

Along the way, the same process the company employs to manufacture carbons for prototype lithium-air batteries is being used to improve the efficiency of batteries in gasoline and hybrid-electric vehicles, making a dent in carbon emissions.

Classic 1937 steam engine soon to run carbon-free

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: May 25, 2012   View Article

A steam train built in 1937 is getting a makeover that will turn it into a “higher-speed” locomotive that runs on biocoal, a coal-like fuel made with woody plant material.

When finished, the train will be able chug along existing tracks at speeds up to 130 miles per hour without contributing to the greenhouse gas pollution blamed for global warming.

Disk drive tech may aid farming

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 26, 2011   View Article

Plowshares coated with the same diamond-like carbon material used to protect computer hard disks could allow farmers to save on fuel costs and improve the quality of their soils, according to German researchers.

The slippery material “reduces the friction between soil and the plow,” Martin Hoerner, a physicist at the Fraunhofer Institute of the Mechanics of Materials in Freiberg who is working on the project, told me Tuesday via email.

Carbon nanotubes to clean water?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 22, 2011   View Article

Scientists are eyeing carbon nanotubes to clean up municipal water supplies contaminated with wate soluble drugs and other compounds that sneak past common charcoal filters.

The teeny tiny tubes of carbon are a factor of 1,000 more effective at filtering out the aromatic molecules in water soluble drugs, Thilo Hofmann, who heads up the department of environmental geosciences at the University of Vienna, explained to me in an email on Friday.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach