All that Glitters… Is AlgaeThe future is bright - bioluminescent in fact! In the popular movie Moana, the heroine tricks a villainous crab with bioluminescent algae. But what if algae is more than just pretty plankton? What if it is the future?Scientists Turn Algae into FuelResearchers have converted algae into fuel in less than an hour.A team out of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington discovered a quick and efficient way to turn algae into fuel, according to a 2013 article in Smithsonian Magazine. The makeup of petroleum is very similar to algae, but the process of converting algae into fuel is much better for the environment. Part of the incentive for using algae is that algae consume carbon dioxide and can be grown in just about any body of water. Because algae is similar to petroleum, it can be refined at the same facilities.I...
Strong Oaks Woodshop – Front Royal, VirginiaMike Schmiedicke was a normal guy with a white-collar job for many years. Doing web programming and database development meant he sat at a desk and stared at a computer day in and day out. But when he came home, he went into his garage and he built things. “It was my therapy,” Mike said. “My wife and I had a deal. She would bring me a kids’ catalog with a learning tower or rocking horse in it and ask me to make it. Once I did, I could spend that money we saved on my collection of carpentry tools instead.”Back in 2001, starting a wood shop out of a hobby was nothing more than a hope and a dream – but the seeds of an idea had already begun. Mike came up with a plan to gradually transition from web development into woodworking full-time. In 2008, he started selling things on Etsy – he was actually one of the first furniture makers to ut...
Solar Power is Increasing in PopularitySolar power in the United States is continuing to grow and homeowners, businesses, and farmers are cashing in on the cost-effective benefits. The government provides numerous funding opportunities to help those who install solar panels in their homes, businesses, or farms - which equates to more money in your pocket. According to the U.S. Department of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy:“Solar power is more affordable, accessible, and prevalent in the United States than ever before. Since 2008, U.S. installations have grown seventeen-fold from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) to an estimated 30 GW today. This is enough capacity to power the equivalent of 5.7 million average American homes. Since 2010, the average cost of solar PV panels has dropped more than 60% and the cost of a solar electric system has dropped by about 50%. Markets for solar energy are maturing ra...
Agricultural Aid from… Robots?Robotics offer promising new innovations that are making waves in agriculture and landscaping industries. Farmers and greenhouse owners are using robotic innovations to help with labor shortages, maximize production, and save money. Take a look at popular crowd founding websites for a glimpse at what the future holds.Picking and Harvesting ProduceThese robots use vacuums to pick apples, and are able to gently remove them from trees in large quantities.A firm called Abundant Robotics is building a robotic apple picker with the help of a $10 million investment from GV (formerly Google Ventures). Here is a YouTube video showing their robot vacuuming apples off trees.In an article for Tech Crunch, CEO Dan Steere explained: “It’s very difficult to locate fruit that’s ready to be picked within a canopy and then retrieve it without turning it into apple sauce.” Yet, tha...
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