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Diesel Fungus and Laser Turbines

In the quest for alternative fuels, two key factors are of the utmost importance to gaining acceptance 1) it must be renewable and 2) if existing infrastructure can use it all the better. This is one reason solutions for making renewable diesel fuel are such an important endeavor. Enter the lowly fungus. A variant found in the Patagonian Rainforest is capable of consuming regular cellulose food sources and then literally poops out diesel fuel.

On another front, wind turbines are becoming increasingly popular despite arguments about them as an eye sore. Using a LIDAR (essentially laser radar), researchers believe they can improve upon the turbine efficiency by up to 10%. A series of colored lasers measure minute changes in wind direction and speed whereupon a computer is able to adjust the turbine’s blades and direction for optimal energy generation. By detecting the wind deltas before they arrive at the turbine, it will already be positioned optimally to avoid making adjustments too late to benefit.

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