Short items

Batteries store wind power 

American Electric Power is planning to install banks of large, one megawatt batteries, to store the electricity from wind turbines. The sodium sulfur batteries can charge at night, when the wind is strong, and then release their power the following afternoon when electricity use, and prices, peak.
The New York Times, 11 September 2007 

Non-stick chewing gum

A non-stick, biodegradable gum that is washed away by rain could save UK councils ?150 million in street-cleaning fees. The gum, developed by University of Bristol spin-out Revolymer, retains a permanent layer of water on its surface, which stops it becoming sticky. 
The Guardian, 14 September 2007 

Harmful US goods in China 

Chinese officials say that wooden packaging from the US contained harmful nematode worms, and that frozen US potato slices failed to meet safety standards. The finding are an apparent response to recent complaints from Washington over the safety of Chinese exports, from toys to toothpaste.
Reuters, 31 August 2007 

Uranium prices cool 

Uranium prices cooled rapidly in the last two months, after four years of non-stop rises. Prices had peaked at $135 a pound in June, on the back of speculation that many new nuclear power stations would be built in a bid to cut carbon emissions. Recent questions over the likelihood of a ’nuclear renaissance’ saw prices drop as low as $90.
The Daily Telegraph, 30 August 2007 

Carbon footprint labelling 

US clothing company Timberland is among a growing list of firms adding ’carbon labels’ to indicate the environmental cost of their products. The company says it hopes to use the labelling to show it is actively reducing its carbon footprint.
The Age, 17 September 2007