EcoModo - The Best of Treehugger

This week at TreeHugger: A nanotech breakthough could help increase the power output and storage capacity of ultracapacitors. Bike vs. Bear: A cyclist in Montana hits a bear while biking at 25 mph. The bear wasn't exactly happy about it. Fisker raises $65 million to help produce its Karma plug-in hybrid sports car. And finally, Intel launched its first Xeon CPUs that are 100% halogen-free, making them less toxic."Imagine a cell-phone battery that recharges in a few seconds and that you would never have to replace. That's the promise of energy-storage devices known as ultracapacitors, but at present, they can store only about 5 percent as much energy as lithium-ion batteries." This sentence encapsulates well both the enormous promises and the big problem of ultracapacitors. In urban areas, cyclists need to watch out for cars. But in more rural places, there are other dangers. 57-year-old Jim Litz, a science teacher in Missoula, Montana, learned this when he t-boned a black bear while riding his bike to work. Details here. The Fisker Karma is anticipated to sell for US$ 80,000. Top speed should be 125 mph (201 km/h) and 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) should be reached in 5.8 seconds. It has an all-electric range of 50 miles, so you only start burning gas if you drive more than that. The company has just raised $65 million. "Halogens are highly reactive, and as such can be harmful or lethal to biological organisms in sufficient quantities." Now, we're not saying that your CPU is dangerous to you (don't try too eat it, though), but over the manufacturing of millions of them, it adds up to a lot of halogens. Removing them will no doubt make electronics recycling safer. TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.

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