38 Articles
A Mechanic's Guide to Automotive Education

Auto mechanics maintain, inspect, and repair cars.

Study
Alternative fuels use more water than fossil fuels

Still, there are worse things for the environment.

A new study compares the water usage of various fuels, and shows room for improvement for alternative fuels.

What Is E85 Ethanol?

E85 ethanol is a fuel that can be used to power internal-combustion engines.

Report
Swedish researchers burn garbage into hydrogen

As the ancient idiom says, "Waste not, want not." Researchers at Lund University in Sweden are making it happen by turning ash from burned garbage into hydrogen.

Report
Researchers pressure cook algae into crude oil in one minute

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered a fast way to turn algae into biocrude oil, a clean substitute for conventional crude oil. Chemical engineering professor Phil Savage and doctoral student Julia Faeth were able to pressure cook microalgae in 1,100-degree-Fahrenheit sand for about one minute, converting 65 percent of it into biocrude.

More arrests in biodiesel RIN fraud cases

Alternative energy and cleantech have been a platform for political jabs and Congressional hearings in Washington over the past year – the Solyndra scandal, Chevrolet Volt post-crash-test battery fires, and Fisker Automotive's Department of Energy grant loan quickly come to mind. The latest one deals with companies committing fraud tied into the federal renewable fuel standard, and it's not pretty.

In Detail: ALTe Plug-In Powertrain Conversion

Green transportation can come in all shapes and sizes. Most of what we've seen from automakers are generally small, svelte, and aerodynamic cars--the largest consumer plug-in to go on sale this year will be the Ford C-Max Energi--but other segments could stand to benefit from a little green power themselves. We're talking heavy-duty, purpose-built work trucks. Enter Auburn Hills-based plug-in hybrid conversion outfitter, ALTe.

Video
Denver Zoo shows off tuk tuk powered by animal poo

When you run a zoo, we imagine there's a large quantity of animal excrement to dispose of. Fertilizer is the first thing that comes to mind. But there are only so many zoo gardens in need of nutrients. Sooner or later, you're faced with surplus of tiger turds, camel crap and snake, um, shizzle.

Video
Denver Zoo shows off tuk tuk powered by animal poo

When you run a zoo, we imagine there's a large quantity of animal excrement to dispose of. Fertilizer is the first thing that comes to mind. But there are only so many zoo gardens in need of nutrients. Sooner or later, you're faced with surplus of tiger turds, camel crap and snake, um, shizzle.

Why alternative energy has a hard time: fossil fuels get 250 subsidies

If you think ending the ethanol subsidy puts all fuel sources on an equal footing, think again. While there has been a great deal of vitriol directed toward subsidies for alternative energy and plug-in vehicles, very little has been heard about the ways in which fossil fuels are given a huge advantage – and there are many. In fact, compared to the help fossil fuels are given, tax breaks for alternative energy are decidedly modest.

International racing organizations meet to discuss environmental responsibility

2009 24 Hours of LeMans Start – Click above for high-res image gallery

Grounds for Celebration: TV scientists convert VW Scirocco to run on coffee

This is what we mean when we say that the future of alternative fuels isn't anywhere close to being decided. A team from the BBC program Bang Goes the Theory has rigged an older Volkswagen Scirocco to run on coffee pellets. It's a bit complex, with the coffee grounds needing to be heated to 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit, and the resulting concoction cooled, separated and filtered before it's run to the engine. Because coffee contains carbon, however, it works.

REPORT: Ex-execs from Chrysler join startup green company

Ex-Chrysler CEO and co-president Tom LaSorda (above) and ex-VP of North American sales Steven Landry have joined a small Detroit startup called ALTe. Focused on the fleet industry, ALTe aims to retrofit light trucks and vans, limos and taxis, and police cars with its flexible and proprietary plug-in hybrid drivetrains.

Tokyo 2009: Suzuki Alto Concept tries to be a cooler kei

Suzuki Alto Concept -- Click above for high-res image gallery

Tokyo 2009: Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cargo is bigger, o-kei!

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cargo concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Tokyo 2009: Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cargo is bigger, o-kei!

Mitsubishi i-MiEV Cargo concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

REPORT: Chrysler, Fiat partnering on electric car

Dodge Circuit EV – Click above for high-res image gallery

Circuit Logic: Pocono Raceway going solar powered?

The greening of motorsport continues with NASCAR, which has a program to plant 20 acres of trees at race tracks every year. Individual tracks are doing their own things as well, with Pocono Raceway the latest to go a step further: The New York Times reports that it is planting 25 acres of solar cells, equaling about 40,000 panels, to create three megawatts of its own power.

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