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Exhausting the Options

Sunday, May 21, 2006 by Blogpur



A study into hydrogen fuel-cell buses being conducted by UNSW's Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets could pave the way to cleaner, safer future by reducing emissions of the fumes that damage our health.

Diesel fuel is powering our buses but it’s also clogging our lungs and
costing billions of dollars in health expenses related to respiratory
problems, lung inflammations and cancer.

As a result, 10 European cities and Perth in Australia are each trialling
three identical fuel-cell buses powered by compressed hydrogen, which
do not release carbon dioxide or the carcinogenic particles that damage
our lungs.

Associate Professor Tony Owen, co-director of the Centre for Energy
and Environmental Markets (CEEM) at UNSW, has been studying the
viability of hydrogen fuel-cell technology based on the buses operating
in Perth. The study is funded by the Department for Planning and
Infrastructure in Western Australia as part of its Sustainable Transport
Energy for Perth (STEP) program.

“Hydrogen is an energy carrier, it’s not a fuel,” explains Professor
Owen. “Electricity is also an energy carrier, but the major problem with
electric cars and buses is they must carry batteries on board that need
recharging at regular intervals. This problem doesn’t exist for fuel-cell
buses, since the power is produced on board.

“Provided the hydrogen comes from a renewable source, fuel-cell
vehicles produce near-zero air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions,
and reduce reliance on oil, an increasing proportion of which must be
imported from the Middle East,” he says.

But with a price tag of $2 million per bus, the costs of using fuel-cell
buses must be offset by the benefits of the cleaner urban environment
they deliver. This is not the case in Perth, but in Europe, where pollution
levels are higher, the benefits of the buses are more likely to exceed their
additional costs, according to Professor Owen.

“I suspect more cities will join in the trials. Beijing is getting a large
number of the buses for the Olympic Games, and the Japanese are
doing a lot of research into fuel-cell buses and cars because they import
100 percent of their oil, mainly from the Middle East.

CEEM is a collaboration between the faculties of Commerce and
Economics, and Engineering. Professor Hugh Outhred, of the School of
Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, is the other director of
the Centre, which opened in mid-2004 as a UNSW initiative in response
to a government review of local infrastructure industries such as the
electricity, gas and water markets.

In fact, Owen says research into energy and environmental markets
is a massive area of interest to governments looking to reduce the
damage pollution causes to public health, the environment and the
economy.

“A number of studies have actually quantified the damage to health
and mortality caused by air pollution. The combustion of diesel fuel
causes greenhouse gas emissions, but far more costly are the emissions
of particulate matter or black smoke and soot, which are very dangerous
to health,” he says.

CEEM is working with a range of institutions to assess alternative
energies, such as the Australian Greenhouse Office, which has invested
$660,000 in a three-year study into using wind energy in the Australian
national electricity market.

Another interesting study is being funded by the Australian Stock
Exchange, and conducted in conjunction with CSIRO Sustainable
Ecosystems, to develop experimental economic tools that demonstrate
how markets for environmental products work.
CEEM is sharing its research findings with universities and power
companies in Australia, Thailand, China, Ireland, Korea, Spain and
Taiwan, where it has hosted a series of workshops.

This article has been edited from the May 2006 Edition of Uniken, UNSW's monthly magazine.

Celebrations!

Sunday, May 07, 2006 by Blogpur


54 posts and approximately 365 days later, this town is still alive and well. However the rest of the world is not so well off, so please give generously. MSF or BMG Foundation.

007 Royale

Tuesday, May 02, 2006 by Blogpur

Well, it seems Bond is back and from what this shows, he sure is looking superb. No-crap, no-unwanted stunts and a Bond who looks terrific. It may be too early to say anything, but it looks like Bond is back to his glory days! Oh and what a remix of the Bond tune!!