For those looking for
cutting edge Tesla technology with live demonstrations, IRI endorses
the upcoming ExtraOrdinary Technology Conference, July
30-August 3, 2014 in Albuquerque NM since several former COFE
speakers will be there this year. The 16-page Conference Program is now
online. See a real working single-cylinder Papp engine powered by a
noble gas mixture, for example. IRI also now has a new Papp Noble Gas Engine Report available
for those who want to learn more about this 100% clean engine with
recycled noble gases (also shelved by TRW after their successful
R&D replication) which was also presented at COFE6.
According to data from the NASA/French Space Agency Jason-2
satellite, something is brewing in the Pacific. Researchers say it
will be a significant El Niño with implications for global weather
and climate. Full story is on NASA's website: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa 2014/19may_elnino/
With the experts' anticipation of serious weather
problems this summer from a Pacific Ocean warming El Nino, let's look
at a real solution for such increasing consequences of global warming
with this month's Story #1 that
reports a real life scandal and story of
suppression which follows in the heels of our celebratory
January 2014 FE eNews reprint of Popular Science
article on the Most Efficient Car
Ever. However, just as I predicted, the anticipated backlash from
the profiteers and polluters who love big oil are apparently putting
the brakes on Volkswagen's 300
mpg XL1. Instead, a
watered-down version called theJetta TDI with only 70
mpg is still having trouble being introduced to the American
market! It is time to write to your Congressman and
Senator to demand access to both of these environmental
solutions we all knew were possible and now are available from
Volkswagen in Europe. I hope Rocky Mountain Institute and the Union
of Concerned Scientists also take up this cause for freedom of
American automobile purchasing. It seems reminiscent of only eight
(8) years ago when IRI showed the movie, "Who Killed the
Electric Car?" at COFE2 in 2006...an blind action by GM that
almost caused them to go bankrupt. The future is energy efficiency
and America needs revolutionary miles per gallon (mpg) as soon as
Story #2 is another great
breakthrough for splitting water and photosynthetic proteins since
the crystalline structure has now been determined and single crystals of the
PSII protein have been produced after 20 years of research,
which constitutes the heart of plant life, according to Science
magazine. It is hoped that such a breakthrough will make artificial
photosynthesis a reality.
Story #3 summarizes a breakthrough with low
grade waste heat that traditionally is resistant to any useful
conversion to energy, like smokestacks and tailpipes. MIT and the
Harbin Institute of Tech in China have collaborated to discover a 20%
increase in the figure of merit (like efficiency) for a new bismuth telluride compound.
Story #4 gives the world a new view on
" clean coal,"
which most environmentalists thought was an oxymoron. Two coal
burning power plants are set to demonstrate a release
of just 150 to 420 tons of carbon dioxide per day thanks to its new
carbon dioxide scrubber, which will absorb and capture 90
percent of the carbon (thousands of tons of CO2) in the plant's
exhaust. There may be hope for clean coal after all.
Story #5 may be exciting to a
few Mars colonists who hope to visit the red planet and maybe set up
home there. SpaceX is
announcing new rocket technology that will help propel a crew to Mars
to establish a colony there.
invite our readers to grab the voluminous Natural Philosophy Alliance (NPA) books still
on sale while they last and also review the amazing "EM Pulser" based on Dr. Glen
Gordon's discoveries -- see sidebar.
Thomas Valone, PhD, PE.
Proceedings from NPA. Click on picture to order
465-page ZPE Monograph from NPA
on picture to order
1) Volkswagen 300 MPG Car Produced But Not
Available in America
Stage2Omega, Jim Stone, May 2014
Ed. Note: Regarding the VW TDI, Car
and Driver states: "The Golf Variant BlueMotion
and its 110-hp engine and a manual transmission are said to achieve a
remarkable 71 mpg combined, albeit on the European cycle...Of course,
we should probably just be happy that we get a wagon at all. Look for
the U.S. version of this car to launch sometime in 2014."
You won't find the 300 MPG Volkswagen XL1
in an American showroom, in fact it has even been denied a tour of
America because it is too efficient for the American public to be
made widely aware of, and oil profits are too high in America with
the status quo in place.
No tour has been allowed for this car because the
myth that 50 mpg is virtually impossible to obtain from even a stripped down econobox is too profitable to
let go of, and when it comes to corporate oil profits, ignorance is
Years ago I had calculated that it should be
possible to get a small car to exceed 100 mpg by putting parallel
direct to cylinder water injectors side by side with the fuel
injectors, and using the exhaust manifold to preheat the water so it
would enter the cylinders as dry steam, thus providing added
expansion (which drives the engine) while allowing the combustion
process toproceed without reducing it's
But I was obviously wrong with my calculations,
because they were in fact over 2x conservative. The 100 mpg carburetor was indeed a
reality, and the Volkswagen XL1 proves it with only straightforward
nothing special technology we have had since the 1970s
Though the XL1 can be plugged in to deliver a 40
mile all electric drive, it does not need to be plugged in EVER to
achieve 300 mpg. And it does not cheat in any way to achieve the
rating, it weighs over 1,700 pounds, has normal tires,
and delivers a very good driving experience with a governed top speed
of 99 mph.
The XL1 could reach a top speed in excess of 110
mph absent governor and turns in a 0-60 time of 11.5 seconds which is
by no means leisurly for a car designed for efficiency. The XL1 in no way cheats on performance to hit it's
rating. It is simply the car we should have always had, and have had
taken from us in the name of oil profits.
Though the XL1 can hit 300 mpg under ideal driving
conditions, it's combined mileage is usually a little over 200 mpg,
and if you do city driving only that will drop to a minimum of 180
mpg under the worst driving conditions. But I'd be happy with that no
What does that kind of fuel
economy really mean?
If the XL1 was equipped with an 18 gallon fuel
tank, and you did all highway driving, you could fill it up with an
oil change and when the next change was due you could change the oil
and keep driving without filling up for and additional 2,400 miles.
But it comes with a much smaller fuel tank, because if it could go
that long on a single tank chances
are the fuel would foul before it got used. The tank is only 2.6
gallons to prevent fuel age related problems from happening. So fill
ups are cheap.
Many of the publications which speak about the
XL1 did so when it was a concept car predicted to get right around
250 MPG. But in 2014, after extensive testing of cars now produced,
test drivers report economy above 300 mpg under the correct driving conditions,
which would be close to sea level, a flat straight road with no
stops, and reasonable speeds.
To get rid of miles/imperial/U.S. gallon
confusion, in the metric system the XL1 is rated to deliver 100
kilometers per litre. Translated for the U.S., that means
approximately 65 miles per quart.
I rememer how I laughed at the Smart Fortwo,
because even a full size 4 door Chevy Impala significantly beat the
"Smart's" fuel economy, and with the Impala you would get a
whole car. The Volkswagen XL1 is clearly the two seater the Smart
should have been if it really was what the name implies, and the XL1
is in contrast, a car I'd be proud to be seen in.
will NOT see the XL1 in America, even its far less efficient 85 mpg
non hyrid full size station wagon counterpart - the Jetta TDI blue
motion wagon ( Carscoops.com), which is
made in America is banned from American roads. And I would like
to ask why? What excuse is there for banning highly efficient cars
from American roads?
One excuse is that "they don't meet American
crash test standards", but the real truth is that the Fed simply
refused to ever crash test them because of what they are, in Europe
even the XL1 is considered to be a very safe car in crashes, and the
Jetta station wagon is obviously even safer and you CAN buy the non
TDI versions of the exact same car in America. The only thing
different is the engine, WHAT GIVES?
The answer is
obvious. Simply for the sake of raking in huge profits from $4 a
gallon gas, getting guzzled at 10X the rate it should be, the
corporations have via campaign contributions and other types of pay
outs succeeded in getting the FED to legislate the best cars off the
road for irrelevant trumped up reasons. The XL1 will not meet
American emission standards NOT because it is not clean enough, it
will not meet them simply because inefficient parts that are mandated
by the EPA are not part of the XL1 power train.
We will never see truly clean running and
efficient cars in America, because the FED has mandated that American
cars be intentionally stifled by horribly fuel wasting parts that add
to the cost of the vehicle and do absolutely NO GOOD, how much more
efficient and clean can you get than 300 mpg? The exhaust from the
XL1 has to, by simple math and the laws of physics, run at the
theoretical threshold of emissions perfection.
All is not rosy for
The XL1 is SO MUCH the car that the oil companies do not want that there will only
be 2,000 made. And no production line was set up for them, they are
all hand made. And irrelevant "lightweight" parts are added
to the frame, consisting of carbon fiber and other exotic materials
to add to the mystique.
But the materials and production limits are a
load of BUNK, the car STILL weighs over 1,700 pounds, if it weighed
just 100 pounds more everything exotic could be removed, because
"exotic materials" are not doing much anyway, they are just
Cost is not the issue either Even after
being hand made with "exotic" materials in an intentionally
limited edition, the XL1 still only costs $60,000. There is a lot
more of a market for this car than 2,000 units at that price, have no
doubt, this car is being held back on purpose.
If it can be hand made for that little, automated
assembly lines could do it for half. And if a 1,700 plus pound
XL1 can get 300 mpg, a 3,400 pound Chevy Truck should be able to
deliver at least 150 MPG, the XL1 lays the mileage scam bare, with
every hybrid that gets 40 mpg and
every truck off the line that gets 20, Americans are getting the
shaft and they do not even realize it.
I was first infatuated and impressed with the
85mpg Vokswagen TDI Blue Motion wagon and wished I could get one in
America (when I was still there), and then the 300 mpg XL1 came
along, what a rude awakening and slap in the
face for the American car buyer.
New VW Golf Variant is the 2014 Jetta SportWagen, TDI
BlueMotion Rated at 71.3MPG!
Catalysts for Clean Energy Production
Phys.org May, 2013
Jian-Ren Shen is recognized for his pioneering research on clarifying
the fundamental reaction mechanism that governs photosynthetic water
splitting, a process with fundamental importance in understanding how
oxygenic photosynthetic organisms, such as
plants, use energy from sunlight, water, and CO2 to survive.
first started research on photosynthetic proteins in the beginning of
my doctorate project," says Shen. "Our findings published
in 2011 were based on x-ray diffraction experiments of
large, high quality single crystal of so-called 'photosystem II' (PS
II) at Japan's SPring-8 synchrotron radiation facility at Harima. The
ability to produce large sized, single crystals of PS II, an
extremely large membrane-protein complex, was critical for
determining the crystalline structure of this
protein complex to a resolution of 1.9 Angstroms. These results are
the culmination of 20 years of my life spent on the development and
improvement of the process to produce such large crystals."
Shen's initial research on photosynthesis was focused on clarifying
the effects of air pollution on plants. The objectives of this
research necessitated clarification of the fundamental mechanism
underlying photosynthesis, which in turn required the production of a
high quality crystal of PS II. "After many years of exhaustive
experiments and uncountable failures, we eventually succeeded in
producing large, 'tofu-like' single crystals of PS II with dimensions
of 0.7 x 0.4 x 0.1 mm,"explains Shen. "This was a major
breakthrough that led to the ultra-high resolution analysis of PS
reports on the crystallographic analysis of PS II can be traced back
to the early 2000s but the results yielded only 'fuzzy' images
because of imperfections in the samples. In contrast the 2011
findings by Shen and colleagues yielded unprecedented images of the
core of the PS II protein, showing the existence of cubic-core of
four manganese atoms, five oxygen atoms, and a calcium atom, which
constitutes the heart of plant life (Science 2011, 334,
back to table of contents
Material Highly Efficient for Converting Waste Heat into Electricity
"This new material is better than the
traditional material, Bismuth telluride, and can be used
for waste heat conversion into electricity much more
efficiently," said Zhifeng Ren, M.D. Anderson Chair professor of
physics at UH and the lead author of a paper describing the
discovery, published online by Nano Energy.
University of Houston physicists have discovered
a new thermoelectric material offering high performance at
temperatures ranging from room temperature up to 300 degrees Celsius,
or about 573 degrees Fahrenheit.
new material is better than the traditional material, Bismuth
telluride, and can be used for waste heat conversion into electricity
much more efficiently," said Zhifeng Ren, M.D. Anderson Chair
professor of physics at UH and the lead author of a paper describing
the discovery, published online by Nano Energy.
who is also principal investigator at the Texas Center for
Superconductivity at UH, said the work could be important for clean
energy research and commercialization at temperatures of about 300
telluride has been the standard thermoelectric material since the
1950s and is used primarily for cooling, although it can also be used
at temperatures up to 250 C, or 482 F, for power generation, with
this discovery, Ren and other members of his lab used a combination
of magnesium, silver and antimony to generate electricity from heat
using the thermoelectric principle. They added a small amount of
nickel, after which Ren said the compound worked even better.
work was done in collaboration with researchers from the UH
Department of Chemistry and the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Huaizhou Zhao and Jiehe Sui, a member of Ren's lab whose
home institute is the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, were
primary contributors; Zhao is now a research scientist at the
Institute of Physics with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
material works well up to 300 C, Ren said; work to improve its
efficiency is ongoing.
potential for capturing heat - from power plants, industrial smokestacks
and even vehicle tailpipes - and converting it into electricity is
huge, allowing heat that is currently wasted to be used to generate
power. Ren said temperatures there can range from 200 C to 1,000 C,
and until now, there hasn't been a thermoelectric material capable of
working once conditions get beyond the lower levels of heat. Much of
the demand ranges from 250 C to 300 C, he said.
long has worked in thermoelectrics, among other scientific fields.
His research group published an article in the journal Science in
2008 establishing that the efficiency - the technical term is the
"figure of merit" - of Bismuth telluride could be increased
as much as 20 percent by changing how it is processed. At the time,
Ren was at Boston College.
his lab last summer published a paper in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences establishing tin telluride with the
addition of the chemical element indium as a material capable of
converting waste heat to electricity. But tin telluride works best at
temperatures higher than about 300 C, or about 573 F, making it
important to continue looking for another material that works at
group isn't the first to study the new material, which has not been
named but is referred to in the Nano Energy paper as simply
MgAgSb-based materials, using the chemical names for the elements
used to create it. The paper cites work done in 2012 by M.J. Kirkham,
et al; that work used magnesium, silver and antimony in equal parts,
Ren said, but resulted in impurities and poor conducting properties.
said his lab found that using slightly less silver and antimony, and
mixing the elements separately - putting magnesium and silver first
in the ball milling process, adding the antimony after several hours
- eliminated the impurities and significantly improved the
had much different qualities," he said. "Better, with no
impurities, and smaller grain size, along with much better
back to table of contents
4) Two Carbon
Capturing Plants Offer Hope of Clean Coal
Technology Review , Peter Fairley on May 5, 2014
of the world's first coal-fired power plants with integrated carbon
capture are nearing completion in Saskatchewan and Mississippi,
providing a rare lift for a technology that has languished in recent
capture and sequestration (CCS) remains expensive, but the cost of
stabilizing the climate could be much higher without it, according to
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see "The Cost of Limiting
Climate Change Could Double without Carbon Capture Technology").
In a report last month, the IPCC noted that CCS is the only way to
cut the carbon emissions of existing power plants, and that
CCS-equipped power plants burning biomass could help remove carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere. The IPCC says both strategies may be
essential to limit global warming.
110-megawatt plant in Saskatchewan, a refurbished coal-fired
generator, is set to restart in a matter of weeks with carbon capture
added, according to Robert Watson, CEO for provincial power utility SaskPower.
Canadian regulations, the Boundary Dam power station can release no
more than 420 tons of carbon dioxide per gigawatt-hour of power
generation-the same as a state-of-the-art plant fired with natural
gas. This is a tall order since the power station will burn
lignite-the dirtiest form of coal. Yet SaskPower expects to release
just 150 tons of carbon dioxide per day thanks to its new carbon
dioxide scrubber, which will absorb and capture 90 percent of the
carbon in the plant's exhaust.
could afford to build the $1.2 billion plant partly because lignite
is so cheap, but also because Boundary Dam is adjacent to a lignite
strip mine. Extra revenue will come from piping most of the 3,000
tons of carbon dioxide that the plant captures per day to Cenovus, a
Calgary-based oil and gas firm. Leftover carbon dioxide will be
stored in an aquifer 3.5 kilometers below the plant.
they couldn't sell the CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, the
project wouldn't have been economic," says Howard Herzog, an
expert on carbon sequestration, and a senior research engineer with
the MIT Energy Initiative.
CEO Watson says that the cost of the power from Boundary Dam will be
"comparable" to natural gas-fired generation providing the
recent price increase in natural gas holds. He expects that natural
gas prices will tend to rise over the next 30 years-plus that the
Boundary Dam plant will operate.
other coal plant with carbon capture, in Kemper, Mississippi, should
start up later this year. Its owner, Mississippi Power, is counting
on similar strategies to minimize operating costs. The plant is also
adjacent to a lignite strip mine, and will boost revenues by selling
its carbon dioxide to oilfield operators. The project also received
$270 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.
at 565 megawatts, the Mississippi plant is five times bigger than the
Saskatchewan plant, and it uses less conventional technology. It has
also been far more controversial than the Boundary Dam project
because it gasifies its coal, and because its price tag is now
expected to be more than double Mississippi Power's original
projection of $2.4 billion.
Mississippi plant uses a proprietary gasifier designed by Southern
Company and Houston-based engineering firm KBR to turn lignite into a
mix of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The firms have also licensed the
design for use in China (see "Cleaning Up on Dirty Coal").
Another novel component is the plant's carbon dioxide capture system,
which will remove 65 percent of the carbon dioxide from its gas mix
before firing the turbines. The carbon dioxide will be captured at
the same time that the plant captures its sulfur dioxide, using the
same solvent scrubber that conventional coal plants use to remove
the controversy, experts are not greatly concerned by the cost
overruns. "The costs of a first-of-a-kind plant are always going
to be higher than the cost of your nth plant," says Sarah
Forbes, a senior associate at the World Resources Institute in
agrees: "Kemper was a real first of a kind. You've got a lot of
first-mover costs in there, and people tend to underestimate first
mover costs drastically. By the time you do it half a dozen times,
you're knocking out a lot of cost."
says a second project of the same type as Boundary Dam would cost 20
to 30 percent less. But whether SaskPower and other utilities get a
chance to build more plants with carbon capture may be a matter of
policy, according to Herzog. CCS is going to lose out in most cases,
he says, if fossil fuels can be burned with impunity. "If you're
allowed to put the CO2 in the atmosphere, as we are today, it's
not going to be applied," he says.
original version of this article stated that regulations limit carbon
dioxide emissions to 420 tons per megawatt-hour of power
generation. It was corrected to say gigawatt-hour.
5) Elon Musk
Making Progress Towards Mars
Tarik Malik, Space.com May 16, 2014
ANGELES - Billionaire Elon Musk said his private spaceflightcompany SpaceX
has made some progress toward establishing a permanent colony on Mars
- a longtime goal in the entrepreneur's push to help make
humanity a multiplanet species.
"The reason SpaceX was created was to
accelerate development of rocket technology,
all for the goal of establishing a self-sustaining,permanent base on Mars,"
Musk told an audience here after receiving the Robert A. Heinlein
Memorial Award during the 33rd annual International Space Development
Conference on Friday (May 16). "And I think we're making some
progress in that direction -
not as fast as I'd like."
cited the success of
SpaceX's recent reusable rocket test on
April 18as a critical achievement on the road to Mars. During
that test flight, SpaceX launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket from
its Florida pad and then returned the rocket's first stage back to
Earth to make a vertical "soft landing" at a target in the
Atlantic Ocean, before splashing down. The mission also delivered
supplies to the International Space Station using a SpaceX Dragon
capsule. [Mars Sample-Return Idea
with SpaceX Dragon (Images)]
the returned Falcon 9 rocket stage ultimately broke apart in the
water due to rough seas, Musk has said SpaceX aims to recover a
returned Falcon 9 booster from the ocean later this year, attempt a
landing on land by the end of 2014 and potentially reuse a Falcon 9
first stage in 2015."We're close to at least recovering and
reusing the first stage," Musk said. "I think that if we
can demonstrate recovery and reuse of the first stage, that will be
SpaceX is also developing the Falcon Heavy rocket, a
heavy-lift variant that aims to be the world's most powerful rocket
since NASA's Saturn V moon rocket. That mega-rocket could make its
first launch by the end of this year.
Hawthorne, California-based company has also set its sights on a
manned Mars mission concept that would send human explorers to the
Red Planet. Musk said SpaceX's vision for a Mars explorationcalls for
a next-generation rocket "much bigger than Falcon Heavy"
that would use a methane-based propulsion system.
think that's the system that, at least according to my calculations,
will enable someone to move to Mars for about half a million
dollars," Musk said.
admitted that not everyone would jump at the chance to pay $500,000
for a trip to Mars. But some adventurous people might.
will be those who can afford to go, and those who want to go,"
Musk said. "I think if we can achieve that intersection, then it
will happen ... and, hopefully, it will happen before I'm dead."
SpaceX in 2002 with the goal of advancing manned spaceflight and
lowering the cost of rocket launches. The company has a $1.6 billion
contract with NASA to provide 12 cargo delivery missions to the
International Space Station using its Falcon 9 rockets and Dragon
April 18 Falcon 9 rocket launch marked SpaceX's third Dragon delivery
flight for NASA.
TheDragon spacecraft returned
to Earth on Sunday (May 18) in order to return science experiments
and other gear to Earth.
has launchpads at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida and
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and recently leased the
history Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape
Canaveral for future flights.
Tariq Malik at email@example.com or follow him @tariqjmalik and Google+.
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