Saturday, March 01, 2008

Green oil

Yep, you can replace some petroleum with products made from beef tallow. See one here.

Capacitor powered cars at last?

Some years ago I was a regular on CompuServe forums, and there was a guy who was an utter PITA. Any given thread regardless of topic had to mention his allegedly brilliant idea of an "electronic energy repository", or "EER" as he called it. I think his name was Frank.

It wouldn't do to point out that there were technical complications involved. He seemed to think that he had an idea that had never occurred to anyone else on earth before, and Progress would occur if only he bothered enough people with enough off-topic messages on enough threads back in the days when connect time was expensive.

I suppose he'll be happy to see this, an attempted application of capacitor energy storage to cars. Not that I think it would shut him up - he'd probably just start posting everywhere telling us how he was right all along.

Not so fast - even this application has its shortcomings. Energy density still isn't anywhere near what can be achieved by other means. That's not to say that the technology won't be incredibly useful, just that Frank needn't declare victory yet.