News provided by YAHOO.com
Experts see cheaper, easier way to turn natural gas into fuels
By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. scientists said on Thursday they have devised a potentially easier, cheaper and cleaner way to turn natural gas into usable fuels and chemicals - a discovery which could lead to natural gas products displacing oil products in the future. The process would be less complex than conventional methods to turn natural gas into liquid products and it uses much lower heat and inexpensive materials to get the job done, they said. Almost anything - fuel or chemical - that can be made from petroleum also can be made from natural gas, but it is not done today because the cost of converting natural gas into those materials is much higher, the researchers said. "Current technologies to convert natural gas into fuels or commodity chemicals are too expensive to compete with products generated from petroleum," said Roy Periana, director of the Scripps Energy and Materials Center at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida who led the study published in the journal Science.
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 14:11:43 -0400
Auto industry files 18 percent more international patents in 2013
By Edward Taylor and Ben Klayman FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The car industry's international patent filings jumped 18 percent in 2013, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said on Thursday, in part reflecting a push for new technologies to lower exhaust emissions. "In line with growing investments in research and development, the automobile industry has seen a sharp increase in international patent filings over the last three years," WIPO said in a statement. In 2013, 4,275 patents were filed by auto manufacturers, compared with 3,606 in 2012. ...
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:58:40 -0400
Brazilian diamond hints at vast water reserve deep inside Earth
A dirty-looking, commercially worthless brown diamond found in Brazil is yielding priceless information about the composition of a layer deep inside our planet. The discovery of the water-rich mineral indicates that mammoth amounts of water are trapped in a zone 410 to 660 kilometers (255 to 410 miles) beneath the surface between Earth's upper and lower mantle, the researchers said. Ringwoodite is a form of the mineral peridot, thought to exist in large quantities under high pressures deep underground. "This sample really provides extremely strong confirmation that there are local wet spots deep in the Earth in this area," said University of Alberta diamond scientist Graham Pearson, who led the research published in the journal Nature.
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:10:46 -0400
U.S.-Russian space trio lands safely despite bad weather
An American astronaut and two Russians who carried a Sochi Olympic torch into open space landed safely and on time on Tuesday in Kazakhstan, defying bad weather and ending their 166-day mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). "Safe arrival back on Earth," said a NASA TV announcer while all-terrain rescue and recovery vehicles were shown trundling across a snowy steppe to the Soyuz TMA-10M capsule. "The crew are reported to be in good health," NASA said. Inside the capsule were former ISS commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineers Sergei Ryazansky and Michael Hopkins from NASA.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 01:39:30 -0400
A whale of a find: Fossil sheds light on cetacean sonar's origin
These marine mammals have been using echolocation - bouncing high-frequency sounds off underwater objects - to find prey for tens of millions of years. U.S. scientists on Wednesday announced the discovery of the most ancient whale known to have used echolocation - a creature called Cotylocara macei, a bit larger than a bottlenose dolphin, that lived about 28 million years ago. The discovery suggests that echolocation evolved in toothed whales - the group that includes modern day varieties like sperm whales, killer whales, dolphins and porpoises - perhaps 32 million to 34 million years ago, the scientists said. That was relatively soon after whales, around 35 million years ago, split into two major cetacean groups - toothed whales that were active hunters and toothless baleen whales that were filter feeders, straining food like krill from the ocean.
Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:06:41 -0400
Copyright (c) 2014 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved