Thursday, February 14, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Feb. 11-15

Federal Lab Says It Can Harvest Fuel From Air

By Andrew Revkin

In the category of things that sound so good they have to be checked out more thoroughly (so stay tuned) is th
is news out of Los Alamos National Laboratory: Scientists there say they have developed a way to produce truly carbon-neutral fuel and useful organic chemicals at large scale using water and carbon dioxide removed from the air as raw materials. There are plenty of schemes brewing to capture carbon dioxide, both directly from the atmosphere and from the stacks of power plants. All of them, for the moment, are costly or hard to envision at the billion-tons-a-year scale that would be needed to blunt the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere coming mainly from fuel burning. See story here

Read the press release from Los Alamos National Laboratory

Storing carbon: the options (Environmental Research Web)

By Julianna Fessenden
Currently, large amounts of carbon dioxide and methane are being released to the atmosphere through power plants, cement plants, car emissions, and changes in vegetation cover - from deforestation and human-guided agricultural practices. As might be expected, researchers are observing increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane all over the world. These increases are being observed in both air collection stations and also in air trapped in the upper ice fields or packed snow, known as "firn". This observed increase is greater than anything previously captured in ice cores dating from between 450,000 years ago and 1850. See story here

Note: Fessenden is a technical staff member in the Geochemistry, Geology, and Hydrology Group in the Earth Environmental Sciences Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

LANL Daily NewsBulletin
Mars ChemCam model delivered to NASA

The Engineering Model of the ChemCam Mars Science Laboratory rover instrument arrived at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on February 6, where the team was met by JPL laser safety officials. Bob Dingler of Space Data Systems and Bruce Barraclough of Space Science and Applications went out to support and assist in the initial testing, which went well, reports principal investigator Roger Wiens. The engineering model is being integrated into the rover test bed for the development and testing of the rover software. The actual flight model components are concurrently being assembled at Los Alamos and in Toulouse, France, and will be delivered to JPL in July. See story here

Laboratory wins Technical Communication awards

Laboratory communicators recently won 29 regional awards in the 2007 Society for Technical Communication competition. A Distinguished Technical Communication award in the Technical Art Competition went to the LANL team that produced a “history wall” exhibit for the Lab’s Bradbury Science Museum. Other winners include a LANL energy programs display. See story here

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