NOVA “Making Stuff Cleaner”
Feb. 2, 2011
Most modern materials are dangerous to the environment, but what about cleaning up our world? Batteries grown from viruses, tires made from orange peel oil, plastics made of sugar, and solar cells that cook up hydrogen–these are just a few glimpses of a new generation of clean materials that could power devices of the future. In Making Stuff Cleaner , David Pogue explores the rapidly developing science and business of clean energy and examines alternative ways to generate it, store it, and distribute it. Is hydrogen the way to go? One scientist is even using America's abundance of chicken feathers to create a cheap way to make hydrogen cars safer. What about lithium batteries? Does this solve an energy problem or create a new dependency–in this case, on South America for a different kind of limited resource than oil? Can scientists instead develop a process in which batteries run on molten salts found in cheap abundance in the U.S. or on genetically engineered viruses? Pogue investigates the latest developments in bio-based fuels and in harnessing solar energy for our cars, homes, and industry in a fascinating hour full of the “stuff” of a sustainable future. “Making Stuff Cleaner” airs Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011 at 9 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.
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