Sunday, November 16, 2008

Helping Save the World, also Zapping it From the Sky With Lasers

Where do you have to go to find America's most energy efficient and environmentally sustainable hotel? Turns out, it's right here in Greensboro. It's a pretty nifty story of technology in action. Of course if that's not high tech enough for you, how about using ten thousand degree plasma to turn trash into electricity.

No sir, it doesn't get any better than high energy plasma. Well, unless the military decided to fund research into flying cars. Or maybe if in an announcement about the military putting solid state laser weapons into production, there was a quote from someone referred to as the "beam cannon chief."

Sorry, you're going to have to provide your own "that's what she said joke" for that last story. I'm not going to sink to such lows. Today. At least not without using some sort of rhetorical trick.


Lee said...

Hmmm. Any source on how efficient the trash burning (plasma-ing?) plants are?

Brian said...

Nope. The articles just say the price is projected to be on par with natural gas. Nor is there an efficiency comparison with capping the landfills and capturing the methane. Although, I suppose you could do both with an older landfill. And the plasma gasification method can presumably be used on younger landfills, but that's just a guess.

Hey, 1,500 tons of waste = 60 MW of energy. If you can find similar numbers for coal or natural gas conversion rates, you can go to town with the calculation. Naturally, this is left as an exercise for the reader. ;)