Food for Thought: Speedway – A New Electromobility Concept

To reduce the dependance of today’s mobility needs on fossil fuels, it is not enough to just change the energy source. As an example, the cruising range of today’s e-cars is sufficient for commuting, but still too small for traveling longer distances.

Enter Christian Foerg , a young designer from Munich who just finished his diploma thesis at FH Munich with his “Speedway” electromobility concept. It is based on an electric vehicle which is supported by an external linear motor embedded beneath the pavement of conventional highways.
While the electric vehicle runs on battery power in towns and in the countryside, on the autobahn it is driven by a drifting magnetic field. The concept already is used in passenger carriers on airports (JFK’s Airtrain), in subways (Tokyo’s Toei Oedo line), and in Shanghai’s Transrapid train.

Foerg’s feasibility study calculates costs of 8.5 million Euros per highway kilometer to convert existing highways. This is in line with the costs of building or rebuilding conventional highways, ranging from 6 to 12 million Euros per kilometer. In Foerg’s concept, the highway still can be used by conventional cars and the system can be implemented step by step.

Food for Thought: How Bad is Big Pharma? An Analysis of Public Perception in the U.S.

Despite growing complaints about the negative reputation of the pharmaceutical industry, little fundamental research data has been available on the topic so far.

A detailed analysis by George P.  Sillup and Stephen J. Porth published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing supports the evidence. Following an audit of the top five U.S. newspapers over two years (2004-2005), Sillup and Porth concluded that the overall coverage of the pharmaceutical industry was primarily negative (69.5% and 60.1% in 2004 and 2005, respectively) and that “pharmaceutical companies need to take action to address the negative impression about them.”

In our view, the findings underline the importance of a sustainable, long-term communication strategy targeting all relevant stakeholders, including patients and the general public.

Further details and the full article (pdf) can be found at the Emerald Insight website:

Source: George P.  Sillup and Stephen J. Porth in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2008, pp. 163-180

Food for Thought: An Artificial Tree to Remove CO2 from the Atmosphere

Reducing carbon dioxide emission is an enormous task, removing it from the atmosphere at low cost anywhere in the world maybe much more efficient and easier to accomplish (and faster!).

Imagine a bottle brush where all the bristles are artificial leaves – that‘s exactly the device Klaus S. Lackner, Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at Columbia University has developed.

The idea goes back to his daughter Claire who at school in an eighth grade science fair project demonstrated that carbon dioxide can be captured from the air in an acid/base reaction, simply by using a fish tank pump and sodium hydroxide. Actually, the simple device removed half of the carbon dioxide that ran through the apparatus.

The success struck her father who founded Global Research Technologies LLC (GRT) and within a year developed the bottle brush resembling device.

GRT‘s ACCESS™ air-capture system simply collects CO2 on a proprietary sorbent and later releases it again, while cleaning and pressurizing the gas to meet the specifications of CO2 storage or end-use. The GRT air-capture system is about one thousand times more efficient than a tree of equal size, in large part because the GRT collector does not need to capture sunlight. Its “leaves” can be packed tightly without concern over shading, and the system will function 24 hours a day. The CO2 harvested is removed from the sorbent and stored or used for a range of already existing commercial applications.

The CO2 balance is quite favorable, Lackner claims, with production and processing using only 1/5th of the CO2 amount that is being absorbed. He estimates the costs at the beginning to be $300 per ton of CO2 which might be reduced to $30 per ton with mass production.

Company News: SuppreMol Appoints Dr. Robert Phelps as Head of Business Development & Licensing

SuppreMol GmbH, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, today announced that Dr. Robert Phelps has joined the Company as Head of Business Development & Licensing.

See the full release at SupperMol´s website.

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