Fracking, Energy from Cold Water, and more

July 6, 2012 at 12:46 am Leave a comment

I’ve been paging through a number of magazines and newspapers recently and it seems that there might be something to interest any green scientist.

The July/August 2012 issue of Sierra contains these stories:

  • Innovate: It Came From the Deep. Tropical oceans get balmy warm on the surface, as any sunburned vacationer can attest. But sink a half mile below and the water is a frigid 39 degrees Fahrenheit. The gap between these temperatures can be used to produce a form of renewable power known as ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC.
  • Fractured Lives: Detritus of Pennsylvania’s Shale Gas Boom. This article describes the “new face” of Washington County, PA, the leading edge of the nation’s breakneck shale gas boom. Is natural gas a must-have, 100-year supply of clean, cheap energy that we cannot afford to pass up, or will shale gas supplies peter out in a decade or two, and does coal look clean in comparison?

Over in the New York Times, we find a scientific study that links tomato color and taste, and a MUSICAL explanation of our use of fossil fuels (you have to watch the video to believe it):

Finally, hidden behind a paywall is a C&ENews article (25 June 2012) describing the most recent winners of the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards. You can find the article here if you are an ACS member or through the Reed library. If these options fail to satisfy, go to the EPA’s description of the award winners here (it’s free). Achievements are recognized in several categories: small businesses, large businesses, academic research, and so on. Some of the 2012 winners have developed new greener catalysts for performing chemical reactions. A winning team at UCLA developed a new synthesis of simvastatin, the most widely prescribed statin drug in 2010 (marketed under the tradename Zocor). The new synthesis completely avoids the use of several hazardous chemicals, including methyl iodide and n-butyllithium.


Entry filed under: In the News.

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