Design News, April 2013

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GreenScene Environmental news engineers can use \\\ By Design News Staff Start-Up Devises Liquid Metal Batteries for the Grid A Boston-area startup has invented new liquid-based heavy-duty battery technology that its founders hope will be the foundation of the next-generation electricity grid in which alternative energy will play a key role. Ambri, formed out of Massachusetts Institute of TechDavid Bradwell (left) and Donald nology (MIT), is developing giant cells that are composed Sadoway are coof liquid electrodes and an electrolyte capable of storing founders of Ambri, large amounts of solar and wind power at a low cost. a Cambridge, "With a giant battery, we could address the problem Mass.-based of intermittency that prevents wind and solar from startup that is developing a liqcontributing to the grid in the same way that coal and uid-based battery gas and nuclear do today," said Donald Sadoway, MITthey hope will be based inventor of the technology. "The battery is the the foundation for key enabling device here. With it we could draw electhe next-generation tricity from the sun when the sun doesn't shine." electricity grid. Plastic Associations Make Progress on Ocean Cleanup Saving Energy: Best Practices & System View The American Chemistry Council and 57 other plastics associations around the world recently reported on the progress they've made on the Global Declaration of the Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter. The progress report lists more than 140 education, research, policy, best-practices, recycling/recovery, and pellet containment projects to prevent marine litter, and their current status. The projects include efforts in education, global research, eco-efficient waste management, and litter prevention. By far the majority consists of education, so many of these are still ongoing. Several policy and research projects have been completed, such as an Australian study on the environmental impact of various degradable plastics, and a Canadian study on agricultural plastics recovery. As much as 80 percent of marine litter comes from land-based sources. About 70 percent of overall litter ends up on the ocean floor, and about 30 percent remains in suspension or floats. GREEN GREEN UPDATES UPDATES During the recent State of the Union Address, President Obama issued a new goal for America: "Let's cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years." To make it happen in US factories, industry experts said it's important not only to look at a number of different technologies but also to adopt a new mindset. Premium efficiency electric motors, adjustable speed drives, permanent magnet motors, and synchronous reluctance motors are all areas where energy-efficient motor technology is moving ahead. But the real focus should be to emphasize not only best practices but also a "system versus component view" in targeting how to reduce energy consumption. Using best practices, the DOE says industrial plants can save 11 percent to 18 percent on a plant's electric bill (two-thirds of which is electric motor-driven systems, and in some industries it climbs as high as 90 percent). Share your sustainable engineering news with Senior Technical Editor Chuck Murray at Design News | APRIL 2013 | www.d esign n –28–

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