Earthrace is designed to highlight the benefits of renewable fuels, particularly biodiesel, during a 24,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation of the earth. The ship uses Xilinx FPGAs in its radar and night vision systems, employing the company's MicroBlaze processor to help the ship travel in any weather. Its unusual trimaran hull also helps meet that goal, letting Earthrace pierce through waves, even submerging at times. New Zealander Pete Bethune heads the international effort and skippers the craft, which is powered by two fuel-efficient Cummins Mercruiser QSC-540 engines.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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