Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category
Washington State University: For six years, Washington State University has hosted the Imagine Tomorrow competition. Kudos to WSU for not only hosting this fantastic event, but rolling out the red carpet to judges, teachers, and high school students to create a program that is truly inspirational and unique.
Imagine Tomorrow challenges high school students to seek new ways to support the transition to alternative energy sources. Students research energy and environmental problems, then propose solutions. They must form and work in teams to be successful. Read More…
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently dramatically lowered its estimates of how much of a potent greenhouse gas leaks during gas drilling operations, from 214 million metric tons for 2010 to 144 million metric tons, a change of more than 30 percent.
There’s a split between leading environmental groups over whether the boom in natural gas drilling, or fracking, will help or hurt efforts to fight climate change. That’s because while natural gas is a far cleaner burning fuel than coal, the methane in the gas is also a potent greenhouse gas. If too much methane leaks into the atmosphere, that negates the benefits over coal.
THE REACTION: Environmentalist Michael Shellenberger said the EPA revisions are “great news” and “kind of an earthquake.” But 350.org founder Bill McKibben said the news doesn’t change the fact that natural gas is still a fossil fuel that emits some greenhouse gas.
Source: New York Times/Associated Press, April 28, 2013.
The USDA has extended for five years its agreement to work with the FAA and commercial aviation partners including Boeing and industry trade group Airlines for America, to help develop a viable biofuel for the aviation industry. Read More…
Teams from universities and colleges around the Northwest congregated at Seattle Center to pitch their innovations that addressed energy, urban agriculture, recycling, built environment, and water-related problems as part of Environmental Innovation Challenge. $22,500 was awarded to five different teams.
The transportation industry is looking to move towards using light-weight carbon fiber materials to reduce fuel consumption and decrease carbon dioxide emissions. However, carbon fiber composites accumulate a static charge that will interfere with a vehicle’s sensitive electronics. PolyDrop solves this problem by providing a means to dissipate static electricity with a viable conductive technology.
Coming in second was Pure Blue Technologies, another UW group that developed a safer and more efficient way to disinfect water.
You can find out more about the rest of the teams here.
Read the full story at the source: Taylor Soper, Geekwire,
Seattle lost one of its most important citizens last month when angel investor and former banking executive Robert Arnold died at the age of 84 after a brief illness. Mr. Arnold is said to have actively invested in 189 startup companies.
“Bob believed in investing in people first, and that allowed him to stand out from other investors,” said Todd Humphrey of Kobo. “He believed in giving entrepreneurs a chance to prove themselves and that served him, and this community, so well. He was a pillar of a man, and I will miss him, as will Seattle.”
In addition to his investments in early stage companies, Mr. Arnold was a leader in philanthropy. He was an important contributor to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, The Seattle Art Museum, and Swedish Medical Center.
Read the full article at the source: John Cook, Geekwire, March 25, 2013.
The latest INRIX Gridlock Index (IGI), which began in December, shows traffic increased 9.8 percent in February compared to the same month in 2012, continuing an “upward trend” that began last summer. Traffic congestion across the U.S. increased in December, January, and February. It’s the strongest sustained increase in the last two years and another that the U.S. economy is in recovery. “People hit the road as they return to work, and businesses ship more freight as their orders increase,” INRIX CEO Bryan Mistele says in a statement. “IGI shows the pulse of the economy is starting to beat faster.”
Source: Benjamin Romano, Xconomy, March 29, 2013.
John, who has been Deputy Director of the Pacific Northwest Cleantech Open for three years, has been named Regional Director for 2013. John replaces Byron McCann. John has been part of the PNW CTO leadership committee for all four of the organization’s prior years.
“He’s an expert in the Cleantech Open,” says outgoing Regional Director Byron McCann, “and it’s fitting that in our fifth year, he takes the helm.”
The Cleantech Open is now the world’s largest cleantech accelerator. The Pacific NW Region will be tightly integrated into the West region organizationally but will continue to have its own competition and identity. John will work closely with Erik Steeb, the Regional Director for the West Region.
AAA in Washington is one of the first U.S. AAA agencies to offer emergency charging to electric vehicle drivers. The service is available in the Seattle/Bellevue region and gives a 15-minute charge that provides about 10 extra miles for the typical electric car.
Read the full article at the Source: Taylor Soper, Geekwire, March 20, 2013.
A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.
The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.
Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin – just one atom in thickness – it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said.
Read the full story at the source: David Alexander, Reuters, March 13, 2013.
By Chris Ajemian on March 18, 2013 at 10:19 am
In what had been a long time coming in Japan’s typically slow but strategic approach to technology development, the New York Times reported last week that a Japanese exploration vessel had extracted methane hydrate from undersea sources off Japan’s coast. If substantiated, the energy discovery and technology breakthrough could have enormous implications. A new energy source could significantly reduce Japan’s energy insecurity but also drastically worsen global warming. Read More…