Getting cash for your eWaste
In today’s tech loving world there seems to be a gizmo for every conceivable need. But what do you do with the phones, PCs and gadgets that are too dated to pass on to family? One solution showcased during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES, p6
), dubbed the ecoATM kiosk, might just provide an answer. It employs patented machine vision, electronic diagnostics and artificial intelligence to evaluate and buy-back used smartphones and MP3 players directly from consumers for cash or store credit. These devices are then recycled at a later stage. A nationwide roll-out of the ecoATMs for the US is planned for 2012, but no local release info is available yet.
Going the extra green mile
A big hindrance for electric vehicles (EVs) is these cars’ limited range compared to petrol-powered vehicles, with Nissan’s Leaf for instance only able to do around 160 km before needing a recharge. Luckily IBM is researching lithium-air cell electric batteries which will enable a whopping 800 km range. According to New Scientist, lithium-air cell batteries have a theoretical energy density of over 1000 times that of the standard li-ion batteries. One challenge facing IBM though, is the chemical instabilities which limit the lifespan of this battery when recharging, making it impractical for use in cars today. Researchers are looking to solve that issue in order to have a full-scale prototype by 2013 and commercial batteries ready by 2020.
Vampire chargers illegal
According to Associated Press, California will become the first state in the US to target energy wasting chargers dubbed “vampire battery chargers”. These waste up to 60% of the electricity that is drawn from power sockets, since they keep pulling power even after a device’s battery is full. Despite opposition from within the consumer electronics business community, the California Energy Commission voted in favour of regulating these power-wasting devices. This move may deliver massive energy savings for the state, as it is reported that each individual household boasts 40 power-dependent devices with standby power consumption accounting to around 13% of residential electricity use.
Other interesting green news
New eco-friendly Panasonic Blu-ray player switches on when you approach it: prn.to/ecoBlu-ray
Bubble power (Air lubrication technology) could make ships more fuel efficient: bit.ly/bubblepower