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CO2 To Ethanol In One Step With Cheap Catalyst ( 227

Reader networkBoy writes: Boffins at ORNL (Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory) have discovered a simple and cheap catalyst that can take CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) dissolved in solution with water and at room temperature convert it to ethanol with 60%+ yields. They envision it as a way to store surplus power from green energy plants and then burning it to fill in lulls in supply.From the report:The team used a catalyst made of carbon, copper and nitrogen and applied voltage to trigger a complicated chemical reaction that essentially reverses the combustion process. With the help of the nanotechnology-based catalyst which contains multiple reaction sites, the solution of carbon dioxide dissolved in water turned into ethanol with a yield of 63 percent. Typically, this type of electrochemical reaction results in a mix of several different products in small amounts. "We're taking carbon dioxide, a waste product of combustion, and we're pushing that combustion reaction backwards with very high selectivity to a useful fuel," Rondinone said. "Ethanol was a surprise -- it's extremely difficult to go straight from carbon dioxide to ethanol with a single catalyst."

Submission + - IBM Layoff Epidemic Spreads Worldwide (

Tekla Perry writes: Catching up on the ongoing IBM layoffs as they percolate around the world, or, at least in the higher-wage countries around the world: Watson, once thought to be immune, is seeing some disruption. IBM's Silicon Valley Lab has joined the "party". Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada--the reports have continued to come in to the Watching IBM Facebook group, as IBM remains silent.

Comment Re:Pretty cool (Score 4, Interesting) 197

When expanding highway 75, the main North/South artery that passes the downtown Dallas area around 1990, ground from an old forgotten cemetery was disturbed, and some of the construction workers were getting sick. Here is a few details of what they found.

That this "idea" comes from Seattle should be one of your first clues that this is a bad idea.

Comment Re:fast winds (Score 1) 103

I was away from the computer when I heard about this. It is such a laughable event and yet I saw no American media coverage after minimal searching a week later. $2.8 Billion doesn't buy much anymore. I guess this seems like a good idea when you're spending someone else's money.

Comment We used cassettes for more than audio (Score 2) 169

We used cassette tapes for other purposes too... We'd save off a program to cassette for storage, and it usually worked the next time you tried to load the program. Follow the link and check out the three people in the picture, ready to get to work!

The first time I found ample access to a computer (HP 9830A desktop calculator) was at Texas A&M in '76-'77. Its hard to believe that I spent entire nights from dusk to dawn in the math building on campus, learning BASIC, including a Star Trek game. There's no telling how much thermal paper I ran through the printer.

Comment Re:FOSS and ham radio need fully open FPGAs (Score 1) 51

Dude, You need to get out more often. I want to post a stinging response, but I don't even know where to start. I work on FPGAs on a daily basis; they are powerful devices, but I have no desire to know the most subtle details. The work of 100's of engineers goes into the development of this year's best devices. Do you propose to gather and employ their combined knowledge somehow? You'd never finish a project.

Your template comparing FPGAs to the GCC compiler is flawed. There is a great economy of scale for FOSS compilers. There isn't one for FPGAs.

Nice rant, wrong topic, IMHO.

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