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Capacitors to Replace Batteries? 499

An anonymous reader writes "MIT's Joel Schindall plans to use old technology in a new way with nanotubes. 'We made the connection that perhaps we could take an old product, a capacitor, and use a new technology, nanotechnology, to make that old product in a new way.' Capacitors contain energy as an electric field of charged particles created by two metal electrodes, and capacitors charge faster and last longer than normal batteries, but the problem is that storage capacity is proportional to the surface area of the battery's electrodes. MIT researchers solved this by covering the electrodes with millions of nanotubes. 'It's better for the environment, because it allows the user to not worry about replacing his battery,' he says. 'It can be discharged and charged hundreds of thousands of times, essentially lasting longer than the life of the equipment with which it is associated.'"

Tiny Biodiesel Reactors 369

Lee_in_KC writes "A professor of chemical engineering at Oregon State University developed a small reactor to directly convert vegetable oil to biodiesel. Goran Jovanovic reports his invention is approximately the size of a credit card. It pumps vegetable oil and alcohol through parallel channels to convert the oil into biodiesel almost instantly. Current mainstream methods to produce biodiesel take more than a day and also produces other byproducts which must be neutralized before disposal or use in other manufacturing processes."

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.