The fate of global corporations in an anti-globalist world

June 13, 2017 by  
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Is the post-war ascendance of multinational corporations irreversible?The world’s roughly 80,000 multinational corporations (MNCs), long dominated by U.S., European and Japanese firms, have been joined by a growing number based in China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies. MNCs are the engine of a quarter of total world production and their global supply chains represent about half of world trade. MNCs have played a major role in driving a tenfold increase since 1979, now totaling $16 trillion, roughly the size of entire U.S. GDP.

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The fate of global corporations in an anti-globalist world

Electric Turbochargers to Improve Engine Efficiency

November 23, 2014 by  
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In the ongoing quest to improve, electrically powered turbochargers may be the next step in increasing engine efficiency for automobile engines.  The first such to be included in a production model is slated to come in 2016 from Audi on its SQ7 SUV. Turbo boost has been a popular way of increasing the power of an engine without increasing its size.   Ford’s EcoBoost is an example of this approach, using 3-, 4-, and 6-cylinder engines in vehicles which had previously used larger engines.  Turbocharging an engine increases the amount of air, and therefore fuel, being fed into the engine, providing better performance from a smaller-sized engine. Conventional turbos use exhaust gasses to spin the turbine that forces more air into the engine.  This is efficient, but it produces “turbo lag” as the engine needs to increase speed in order to develop the boost.  But an electric turbo can respond almost instantaneously, providing added power without any delay.  Furthermore, as Green Car Reports notes, “a more responsive turbo will help the engine produce more low-end power, meaning drivers won’t have to venture higher into the rev range–and increase fuel consumption–as much.” This becomes a more viable option with the increased computerization of engine control systems, which can read the driving conditions and trigger small amounts of boost as needed. Whichever kind of turbo is used, the benefits come from having a smaller engine, both in terms of the overall displacement of the cylinders, as well as the mass of the engine itself.  Smaller engines mean less weight the car has to move, which helps in efficiency.  And the smaller displacement means less fuel is routinely used, while the power that would have been available is still there, thanks to the boost of the turbo. via:  Gas 2.0 image credit: Wikipedia/NASA

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Electric Turbochargers to Improve Engine Efficiency

NASA Confirms “Impossible” Propellant-free Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Works!

August 30, 2014 by  
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Designs for a device called a microwave thruster, which could power spacecraft without the need for propellant, have been proposed since 2006 . While the engine follows the principles of relativity theory in converting electrical energy into force to produce thrust , it has been dismissed as impossible in practice since it defies the law of conservation of momentum. But a team from NASA has just successfully trialled their own version of the engine, which changes everything. Read the rest of NASA Confirms “Impossible” Propellant-free Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Works! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: alternative energy sources , EmDrive , Guido Fetta , microwave technology , microwave thruster , mission to mars , nasa , propulsion , relativity , Roger Shawyer , Solar Power , space race , spacecraft

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NASA Confirms “Impossible” Propellant-free Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Works!

Auto Show – Less Green in 2014

January 15, 2014 by  
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As we’ve done for the past several years, EcoGeek went to this year’s North American International Auto Show (the Detroit Auto Show) to see what is new in clean and green transportation. However, this year’s displays continue to move away from a focus on environmental awareness as a major selling point. This has seemed to be the trend over the past few years . In retrospect, it seems that the peak of the green focus was probably the 2009 Detroit Show . Green isn’t gone entirely. MPG is still a factor that is touted at some brands, but it seems to matter no more than other numbers like horsepower or cargo volume that manufacturers use to compete with one another. Electric drive continues to work its way into more and more cars (with mild hybridization becoming more common). But cars are not green-focused the way they were a few years ago. The fact that Ford has five different hybrid and electric drive vehicles would have been a big story just a couple years ago, but now it is just part of a major automaker having a complete line. Where once they seemed like an outsider, Tesla seems to have developed into a mainstream member of the club. For this year’s display, Tesla had two of their Model S coupes and display panels about interior finish choices; the Roadster was not in sight. The only non-traditional manufacturer on the display floor this year was VIA trucks, which had vehicles in three different places. Michelin (who has always been a major sponsor of the Detroit Show) and a couple other parts suppliers also had space on the main floor, but not to the extent as during the depths of the economic decline. The common theme across much of the show this year was the engine-on-a-stick. It’s not that it hasn’t been done before, but it seemed to be much more prevalent. Lots of “here’s what the engine looks like,” and usually nothing, or very little, in the way of explanatory text to accompany it. Overall, the show did seem to be moving back toward a more car-centric focus on the basic stuff that the core car-people really love. With that in mind, it’s not at all surprising that the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was named Car of the Year. The driving course on the lower level is gone this year, as well. When it was introduced a few years ago, there were literally dozens of different vehicles, primarily electrics and hybrids, that could be driven, to introduce the public to the experience of driving a vehicle with something other than a gasoline engine. Over the past few years, this became less and less of a feature, and is now completely omitted from the show. Although green cars have largely become a sideline, rather than the focus of the Auto Show, the fact that they have become a part of most manufacturers’ lines should be taken as a sign of progress. There certainly were some interesting new vehicles at this year’s show, and we will take a more detailed look at some of these.

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Auto Show – Less Green in 2014

Auto Show – Less Green in 2014

January 15, 2014 by  
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As we’ve done for the past several years, EcoGeek went to this year’s North American International Auto Show (the Detroit Auto Show) to see what is new in clean and green transportation. However, this year’s displays continue to move away from a focus on environmental awareness as a major selling point. This has seemed to be the trend over the past few years . In retrospect, it seems that the peak of the green focus was probably the 2009 Detroit Show . Green isn’t gone entirely. MPG is still a factor that is touted at some brands, but it seems to matter no more than other numbers like horsepower or cargo volume that manufacturers use to compete with one another. Electric drive continues to work its way into more and more cars (with mild hybridization becoming more common). But cars are not green-focused the way they were a few years ago. The fact that Ford has five different hybrid and electric drive vehicles would have been a big story just a couple years ago, but now it is just part of a major automaker having a complete line. Where once they seemed like an outsider, Tesla seems to have developed into a mainstream member of the club. For this year’s display, Tesla had two of their Model S coupes and display panels about interior finish choices; the Roadster was not in sight. The only non-traditional manufacturer on the display floor this year was VIA trucks, which had vehicles in three different places. Michelin (who has always been a major sponsor of the Detroit Show) and a couple other parts suppliers also had space on the main floor, but not to the extent as during the depths of the economic decline. The common theme across much of the show this year was the engine-on-a-stick. It’s not that it hasn’t been done before, but it seemed to be much more prevalent. Lots of “here’s what the engine looks like,” and usually nothing, or very little, in the way of explanatory text to accompany it. Overall, the show did seem to be moving back toward a more car-centric focus on the basic stuff that the core car-people really love. With that in mind, it’s not at all surprising that the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was named Car of the Year. The driving course on the lower level is gone this year, as well. When it was introduced a few years ago, there were literally dozens of different vehicles, primarily electrics and hybrids, that could be driven, to introduce the public to the experience of driving a vehicle with something other than a gasoline engine. Over the past few years, this became less and less of a feature, and is now completely omitted from the show. Although green cars have largely become a sideline, rather than the focus of the Auto Show, the fact that they have become a part of most manufacturers’ lines should be taken as a sign of progress. There certainly were some interesting new vehicles at this year’s show, and we will take a more detailed look at some of these.

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Auto Show – Less Green in 2014

Destino: Bob Lutz Unveils Fisker Karma with Gas-Chugging 698 Horsepower ZR1 Engine in Detroit

January 14, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Destino: Bob Lutz Unveils Fisker Karma with Gas-Chugging 698 Horsepower ZR1 Engine in Detroit Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: chevrolet LS9 engine , Corvette ZR1 , Detroit Auto Show 2013 , eco design , electric car , fisker karma , green design , sustainable design , V8 engine , VL Automotive , VL Automotive Destino

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Destino: Bob Lutz Unveils Fisker Karma with Gas-Chugging 698 Horsepower ZR1 Engine in Detroit

Killer Whale Swims Up to Boat, Imitates Motor’s Sound

October 6, 2011 by  
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Images via YouTube Video It’s technically not a good thing to anthropomorphize animals, but it’s really hard not to when you see this killer whale doing its darndest to sound like a boat’s motor. An orca whale approached a motor boat and precisely imitated the noise of the engine — to communicate? To mock? To say, “Keep it down”? To play? We aren’t sure why, but it’s amazing to watch. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Killer Whale Swims Up to Boat, Imitates Motor’s Sound

Why own a hybrid car

October 3, 2011 by  
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Saifudheen MS: Hybrid Car Own a hybrid car What is it? Hybrid car is a kind of vehicle which uses more than one energy source in order to run the engine. The most commonly used energy sources in hybrid cars are an internal combustion engine coupled with a bank of batteries. The alternative fuels used include hydrogen, liquid nitrogen, compressed air and even coal. Why should I own it? Eco-factors: Hybrid cars are brilliant inventions in the field of automobiles. Hybrid cars were first introduced in 19th century. The concept of hybrid cars is really simple. It is working with a conventional gas engine and a combination of some batteries. These two energy sources provide the power to engine by working in coordination. Hybrid cars produce less smoke and thereby cause less pollution, making them environment friendly. Many states give incentives to the owners of hybrid cars, like tax breaks and permission to use the carpool lane. The dependence on gas engines and bank of batteries in hybrid cars will vary with time. Overall benefits : The utilization of both a gas engine and batteries lead the performance of the car to higher level and provide maximum mileage. Also, it helps improve the engine efficiency. Another great advantage is that there is no need to charge the batteries by an external source. Moreover, it helps to reduce the dependence over conventional fuels and as a result, the fuel consumption comes down. Hybrid cars can make a big difference to the economy. The Myths : In hybrids cars, the energy that is lost when the car slows down or stops is transferred to the rechargeable batteries. The task of transferring energy is automatic and the driver does not need to bother about the process. Hybrid batteries will be provided with a standard warranty to a maximum of 100,000 miles and you don’t need to fear that the batteries will die within this distance; they are efficient. Hybrid cars are fuel efficient systems and it will help you to save money on gas. These cars can solve problems of transportation, energy utilization and pollution. Options Available 1. Infiniti M35h Hybrid Manufacturer: Infiniti Infiniti M35h Hybrid The M35h sips fuel at an EPA estimated rate of 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Infiniti M35h has all the latest features of a hybrid system and the auto-makers named the design ‘Infiniti Direct Response Hybrid’. The output power of its V6 engine is 301 horsepower and has it a torque 258 pounds-feet. The company guarantees that the electric motor can run at 60 miles per hour. The gasoline engine will deactivate when the speed reaches 80 miles per hour. The car can accelerate upto 60 miles per hour in a maximum of 6 seconds. The steering system uses electro-hydraulic power and is efficient. Another advantage is that Infiniti M35h uses Electric Driven Intelligent Brake system. 2. 2011 Toyota Prius Manufacturer: Toyota 2011 Toyota Prius Superior fuel economy, space-efficient interior, quiet and comfortable ride, available high-tech luxury goodies The functioning of Toyota Prius is based on gas-electric hybrid system thereby providing an environment friendly car. The hybrid system is designed efficiently to provide the power of 134 horsepower. Prius has distinct models based on 5 trim levels. Each of them has different facilities and product features. One of the advantages is that every important hybrid components have a warranty of 8 years or of 100,000 miles. Toyota Prius has standard safety system including anti-lock brakes, front side impact airbags and driver’s knee airbag, tyre pressure monitor etcetera. 3. Chevrolet Volt Manufacturer: Toyota Chevrolet Volt Classy interior, decent handling, 379-mile range and up to 93 mpg The functioning of Chevrolet Volt is based on one gas engine and two electric motors. One is used to power the wheel rotation and the other to generate electricity from the gas engine. It has an LCD instrument control panel. The Volt is working to improve as per users’ feedback. Volt has a variety of features for extending mileage. It includes anticipated wind-swept shape beside the front apron in order to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Volt is neither a hybrid nor an electric car. The developers call it as an extended range electric car. It has an electric motor that is used to power the vehicle when ranging between 25 to 50 miles on driving. Most Americans will drive all day at 50 miles per hour; so the Volt will function like an electric car for most buyers. The charging of battery will take a maximum of 12 hours.

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Seven ways methane can be used to reduce global warming

October 3, 2011 by  
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Shallu Sharma: Methane to reduce global warming Five ways methane can be used to reduce global warming Methane is a blessing as well as a curse. It is one of the main reasons for global warming and at the same time, it promises plentiful alternative energy. The gas could be found all around the planet in atmosphere as well as deep below the ocean floor. Methane plays a significant role in the fitness of the environment. The mysterious gas is an important fuel and a hazardous digestive waste product. Chemically known as CH4, methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas. Its main source of generation is digestive fermentation in cattle. Besides this, we will be discussing many other sources and ways to use this gas in a productive manner. Given below are seven ways methane can be used to reduce global warming. 1. Using kangaroo bacteria to cure cow’s methane problem Methane produced by cows Using Kangaroo Bacteria to cure Cow’s Methane problem Methane is 20 times stronger as a greenhouse gas as compared to carbon dioxide. It is the most powerful heat-trapping product of human beings. About 18 percent of the methane is produced by farm animals. However, kangaroos do not produce this gas and researchers in Australia are trying hard to make livestock act in the same manner. They are trying to reduce methane release in cattle and sheep by introducing digestive bacteria from kangaroo’s guts into these farm animals. Another simple way to reduce methane release is by introducing garlic supplements in animal’s feed that improves digestion. The garlic supplements can reduce this type of methane production by almost 50 percent and this happens because the organisms that produce methane in the digestive system are attracted by the garlic. Among the livestock, cow is considered as the greatest producer of methane gas and adding garlic in cow’s feed could help in reducing greenhouse gas impact. 2. Making methane energy Making Methane Energy Methane to reduce global warming Almost a trillion tons of methane is trapped in frozen state under Arctic lakes. With gradual melting of this massive ice source, methane gas is bubbling out. The U.S Geological Survey has predicted that this methane under ice might contain organic carbon contents more than that of world’s coal, oil, and natural gas reserves. This methane release in Arctic has accelerated due to global warming and if it continues to release at this pace, it will definitely cross the levels found 10,000 years back. Many companies like BMW have shown their interest in methane-to-energy projects for massive operations. Such projects will not only generate energy and reduce the demand for other fossil fuels, but will also transform a strong greenhouse gas into a weak one. 3. The global greenhouse impact by plants Greenhouse impact by plants Ordinary plants emitting methane into atmosphere German researchers have found out that the ordinary plants also emit methane into atmosphere. This was proved when scientists noticed huge clouds of methane above forest areas. To prove this, scientists placed various plants in the test chambers in methane free rooms. The results were shocking. Scientists were amazed to see that soon after pacing plants in the room, the room began detecting methane. However, the findings do not prove that we should stop planting trees but instead foresee the projection and use this methane to produce energy as is being used in the Arctic regions in some way or the other. 4. The cow train The Cow Train Methane to reduce global warming One company of Sweden has built a locomotive that runs on cow dung. This train is one of the most environmentally friendly locomotives of the world. The methane fuel for the train is produced in the same way as swamps produce gas through fermentation. Workers make slurry mixing organic wastes and cow dung and steam it to kill unwanted bacteria. Sludge is digested by introducing specific bacteria, which releases methane as a by-product of digestion. This methane is purified and is used to power eco friendly train. Now the same process is being used to run taxis, trucks, and personal cars in Linkoping. 5. Deep ocean methane reserves Methane under water Deep ocean Methane Reserves Substantial amount of oil and methane are believed to be stored on the ocean floor thousands of feet below water surface. This is one of the unexplored forms of energy reserves and ice free trade routes are attracting the exploration of these hidden reserves. The clear routes have been formed by ice melting in Arctic regions at accelerated pace. The Northwest Passage is luring Russia to be the first one to explore this untapped wealth. Russia, United States, and other such countries have started thorough mapping and spotting of the Arctic Floor to tap this excellent opportunity in the Arctic base. 6. Methane for electricity generation Electricity generation Methane for electricity generation Methane can be used as a fuel in gas turbines or boilers. Burning methane produces less carbon footprints as compared to other hydrocarbons. In various cities, methane is supplied directly to homes and is used for domestic heating and cooking purposes. 7. Methane as rocket fuel Rocket Fuel Methane as rocket fuel Researchers are working on using methane as a rocket fuel. The best suitability factor is that methane could be found in abundance in various parts of the solar system. The present methane engines can produces thrust of only 7,500 pounds, which is quite less, and researches are being carried out to make it appropriate for space shuttle. Via: Discovermagazine

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What’s next: Electric cars powered by energy stored in body panels

October 3, 2011 by  
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Mala Raman: Jaguar Mark XXI self powering car Jaguar Mark XXI self powering car A hybrid is any vehicle which runs by utilizing two or more technologies that provide power to the engine. Hybrids can be diesel-electric such as trains; nuclear-electric such as submarines; and gas-electric such as electric cars. Many big players in the field of manufacturing cars are commissioning projects on developing efficient electric cars pairing technologies that are readily available, and are light on pocket besides being user friendly. Electric cars which are both eco friendly and chic are thus a fast catching trend. Cosmopolitan European cities like London encourage electric cars by adopting policies that support eco aware consumers to invest in such cars. Facilities such as zero excise duty, no parking fee and increased charging stations at multiple locations further add to “customer delight”. Besides, studies reveal the need of switching over to better power sources to run hybrids since hydrogen being extremely combustible has in past caused many fatalities. Thus electric cars have seen an upspring from a mere 90 numbers in 2003 to 1600 in 2008. A striking cost effective innovation, yet in its early developmental stage, is the concept of “self-powering cars”. 1. Batteries shaped into body panels: Batteries shaped into body panels Batteries shaped into body panels The Next step for Future A futuristic car that is powered by its own body panel, a dream of yester years is soon emerging from the recesses of human imagination into the realms reality. A joint venture between the car manufacturer Volvo, Imperial College of London and seven other European institutes, this concept helps in phasing out the heavy batteries that add enormous weight to hybrid and electric vehicles. The car that will receive expertise from Volvo and an investment of 3.5 million Euro and is being touted as one of the most ambitious projects of the current time. 2. Car Bodies Could Store Energy by London’s Imperial College: Volvo Self Powering Car Volvo Self Powering Car The idea behind the innovation lies in using a composite material, which can be fitted on the car’s body, that stores energy and powers the car. Developers from Imperial college are working on an amalgamation of carbon fibers and resin polymer which is highly malleable and strong. Further the work is in progress on growing carbon nanotubes on the surface of the carbon fibers which will increase the total surface area and thus help in storing more energy together with providing additional mechanical strength to the material. This particular composite is then easily moulded and fitted into the car’s body panel replacing steel, thereby effectively reducing the weight of the car by about 15%. Scientist are working on the modalities of developing this material on an industrial scale. Once the material is readily available other factors such as user friendliness in terms of ease of use and the cost need addressing. The electric car developed thus will have panels fitted on doors, floor, ceiling and bonnet. The material would be recharged by two methods, one by plugging it to the electric mains during night and second, by the energy generated by the tires on braking. This energy from these two sources is stored in the body panels and utilized by the car’s electric motor to power the car. The body of the car now becomes the battery to power the car and thus the heavy batteries, that are conventionally used in electric cars can entirely become redundant. Thus, not only would these car be energy efficient using green technology that is lighter on environment but also lighter on roads due to reduced body weight by elimination of steel panels used to make the body of the car. 3. Jaguar Mark XXI: Jaguar Mark XXI self powering car Jaguar Mark XXI self powering car Another coveted car bound to make the owner’s heart to skip a beat is the aerodynamically sculptured chic Jaguar Mark XXI. This car being autonomous does not require a driver to run the vehicle. A technological marvel the zero emission car has “phtovoltaic panels” fitted all over the body. The photovoltaics direct themselves towards the sun and absorb solar energy which is subsequently stored in the vehicle’s onboard battery pack when the car is not working. This solar energy then powers the electric motor in the car to run the vehicle when its cloudy or in the absence of the sun. These innovations once out in the market, would be a big boost for electric and hybrid car segment when clubbed with lithium ion batteries as an alternate source of power. These charged body panels would not only power the vehicle but technologies like the GPS and other devices installed inside the car. An eco friendly alternative, once functional, will also lead to weeding out of gasses as fuels which are exhaustible.

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What’s next: Electric cars powered by energy stored in body panels

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