Rocket science, explained with soda bottles

Fuel and oxidizer. Together they make propellant, which can be used to launch a rocket – but for the best results, you need to find the right ratio. Too much of one or the other, and your exhaust velocity begins to drop. Less exhaust velocity means less thrust — and less thrust means you will not go to space today. » 4/11/13 4:20pm 4/11/13 4:20pm

Engineers create gasoline from air and water. Yes, really.

In what sounds more like alchemy than science, a small British company has figured out a way to create gasoline from air and water. To do so, engineers at Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS) produced five litres (1.3 gallons) of the fuel by extracting carbon dioxide from air, and hydrogen from water, which was then combined in… » 10/19/12 12:49pm 10/19/12 12:49pm

Will cars of the future run on liquid nitrogen?

With all the hype surrounding electric cars and hydrogen-powered fuel-cells, it's easy to think hydrogen is the future of automobiles. But as people start developing and popularizing these enviro-friendly cars, some problems are becoming apparent. And meanwhile, there's a new kid on the block that is threatening to… » 10/18/12 11:30am 10/18/12 11:30am

Why a simple bed of algae could save us from water pollution and fuel…

With water shortages looming in the future, we need new ways to clean water that's been fouled by human waste, agricultural runoff and industry. A new article published in BioScience (free PDF link) shows that we can use naturally-occurring algae as a filter. The plants would not only make the water suitable for… » 6/02/11 9:44am 6/02/11 9:44am

Laser-powered rockets could be our pipeline to outer space

It's an awesome solution to a simple problem: you need ridiculous amounts of fuel to get a rocket into orbit. However, if the rocket fuel was considerably hotter, it would be more energetic, and you'd need way less fuel to launch the rocket. So why don't we just shoot powerful lasers at rockets? It's so insane that it… » 2/15/11 12:45pm 2/15/11 12:45pm

Fuel-Hungry Pirates Steal Used Cooking Oil to Run Their Cars

Restaurants across the United States are reporting that thieves are stealing their used cooking oil, turning it into black-market biodiesel made in garage distilleries. In many cities where biodiesel fuel is popular, restaurants can earn up to $1.25 per gallon of the used stuff. Oil pirates, however, are rarely… » 5/23/08 7:00am 5/23/08 7:00am

A Zero-Emissions Car That Runs on Fossil Fuel

In the next year, students at Georgia Tech will be driving cars that run on fossil fuels but don't release tons of carbon into the environment. It's all part of the university's long-term plan to develop vehicles that produce recyclable carbon. Eventually they hope to eliminate fossil fuel from the equation, but in… » 2/12/08 7:40am 2/12/08 7:40am