Top 10 green tech stories of 2009

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 13, 2010 05:32 hrs

A recent article in Discovery News has outlined the top ten green technology stories of the year 2009.

At number one is automotive researchers looking towards nature for inspiration to build car parts, like coconuts, wheat waste and even root vegetables.

At number two is the report of solar cells becoming cheaper than before, with Australians breaking record with their solar cell production, DIY panels hitting store shelves and the massive Desertec project moving forward.

Desertec is a concept for making use of solar energy and wind energy in the deserts in North Africa and Middle East proposed by the Desertec Foundation.

At number three is the launch of the first legal "flying car", developed by Terrafugia.

Known as the transition plane, it is a street-legal plane that gets great fuel efficiency, requires a pilot's license, and could mean less congestion in the skies.

At number four is the official launch of the DustCart robot, which has potential to make recycling collection quieter and smarter.

At number five is the story of scientists discovering a special mineral in shark teeth called apatite, which could help us determine what ocean temperatures used to be like long ago.

At number six is researchers focusing on developing the bike as an eco-friendly tool.

For example, a group at MIT made a laundry bike and a group of students from New Jersey fashioned an agribike thresher for sorghum and millet.

At number seven is the story of nanotechnology demonstrating its "green" potential.

A superhydrophobic surface crafted by Duke University scientists with carbon nanotubes could shrink power plants, AggraLight nanoparticles promise to lighten up solar cells while improving efficiency, and a nanostructure in algae led to lightweight, flexible batteries.

At number eight is the story of geoengineering becoming real with the University of East Anglia doing a scientific evaluation of the most massive Earth-scale engineering plans out there and the Oxford Geoengineering Institute launching in the fall.

At number nine is scientists using manure to generate electricity in a big way.

The city of Oslo in Norway made plans to turn municipal sewage into methane for a new city bus fleet, an aid group in Haiti called SOIL set up dry composting toilets to make humanure, and a sterling engine powered by cow dung was tested.

At number ten is the development of smart grid devices in 2009.

GE (General Electric) announced that it will start making smart appliances, Google made a smart meter application, and a bunch of competitors collaborated to secure smart grid devices. (ANI)

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