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Wednesday, Apr 23rd

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Scientists discover Patagonian diesel that grows on trees

A tree fungus could provide green fuel that can be pumped directly into vehicle tanks, US scientists say. The organism, found in the Patagonian rainforest, naturally produces a mixture of chemicals that is remarkably similar to diesel.

"This is the only organism that has ever been shown to produce such an important combination of fuel substances," said Gary Strobel, a plant scientist from Montana State University, who led the work. "We were totally surprised to learn that it was making a plethora of hydrocarbons."

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How Parked Cars Could Power the Future

Imagine running a parking meter backwards and actually being paid to park your car. Along those lines, electric vehicles might one day make money for their owners by providing electrical storage for the nation's power grid.

The concept, called vehicle to grid (V2G), is based on the fact that your car is typically not being used 90 percent of the time. "What if it could work for you while it sits there?" said Jeff Stein from the University of Michigan.

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Chrysler to Drop First Hybrids, After October Debut

Chrysler LLC, the automaker considering a combination with General Motors Corp. to survive, has been forced to kill its only gasoline-electric model because of poor sales of its largest sport-utility vehicle.

The hybrid versions of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen SUVs, which went on sale this month, are produced at the Newark, Delaware, factory that Chrysler said last week will shut by Dec. 31. The plant also makes gasoline-only versions of those models.

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Venezuela says expects OPEC to cut supply at meet

Venezuela's economy minister expects OPEC to agree to cut oil supply at an emergency meeting next week to stem crashing world prices by bringing supply and demand into better balance.

OPEC's president has said a cut is likely and Qatar's oil minister has said it could be about 1 million barrels a day from an organization that supplies the world with about a third of its oil supply.

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New Solar Energy Material Captures Every Color Of The Rainbow

Researchers have created a new material that overcomes two of the major obstacles to solar power: it absorbs all the energy contained in sunlight, and generates electrons in a way that makes them easier to capture.

At this point, the material is years from commercial development, but he added that this experiment provides a proof of concept -- that hybrid solar cell materials such as this one can offer unusual properties.

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New Jersey Grants Rights to Build a Wind Farm About 20 Miles Offshore

Regulators in New Jersey awarded the rights on Friday for construction of a $1 billion offshore wind farm in the southern part of the state to Garden State Offshore Energy.

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Oil prices sink below $93 on falling demand

Oil prices extended their steep losses Tuesday, tumbling below $92 a barrel as a worsening economy suggested U.S. energy demand will keep falling despite crude's return to year-ago levels.

Gas prices edged higher at the pump, topping $3.85 a gallon amid the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. However, given crude's continuing slide, retail gas was expected to turn lower within a few weeks.

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