Short items, June 2009

Bioelectricity beats bioethanol 

According to US scientists, vehicles powered by bioelectricity would travel more miles, with respect to the area of land needed to grow the crop, than those fuelled by bioethanol. These findings are published in Science  (DOI: 10.1126/science.1168885).  

UK’s advanced science diploma delayed 

The advanced level science diploma, which is equivalent to three A-levels, has been delayed by one year, and will now be taught from September 2012. The GCSE equivalent science diplomas will be introduced in September 2011 as planned. UK schools minister, Jim Knight, said that ’the new [advanced] science diploma needs to be the very best it can be, so we can’t afford to rush it.’ 

US chemical weapons destruction speeds up 

The US is planning to up the budget for destroying its stockpiles of chemical weapons by 60 per cent. Despite this extra cash, the US does not expect to eliminate these chemicals until 2021, well past the 2012 deadline set by the International Chemical Weapons Convention. 

Say What?

’’We asked ourselves, ’Is it likely in the next 10 or 15, 20 years that we will convert to a hydrogen car economy?’ The answer, we felt, was ’no’.
The US energy secretary Steven Chu explaining why the US department of energy has cut $100 million from its 2010 hydrogen fuel cell programme.