REVOLUTIONARY TECHNOLOGY has the potential to reduce greenhouse gases. The hybrid coal and gas turbine system will generate electricity from waste coal and gas that would otherwise pollute the atmosphere. The method harnesses existing technologies in a 1.2 MW hybrid coal and gas turbine system that burns waste coal and methane to generate electricity, which can either be used to power the mine's operations or be returned to the grid for general consumption. The technology works by burning methane and coal in a kiln to produce hot air, which is then passed through a specially adapted heat exchange unit to drive a gas turbine, which generates the electricity. "Using a kiln coupled with an externally fired gas turbine allows for a simple but highly efficient system," say Australian researchers. "It is significantly cheaper and more efficient than steam-powered systems because it does not require water treatment systems, condensers, cooling towers, or high-pressure fluid handling systems".
The new turbine has the potential not only to reduce fugitive emissions from coal mines, but also to significantly reduce existing greenhouse effects by displacing hundreds of megawatts of electricity already in the power grid with electricity fuelled by burnt methane, which has seven times less greenhouse potential, add the researchers.
WHEN YOU gaze at a bowl of fruit, why don't some of the bananas look red, some of the apples look purple, and some of the grapes look yellow? When your brain processes the information coming from your eyes, it stores information about an object's shape in one place and information about its colour in another. Exactly how the brain recombines these different types of visual information after it has broken them apart is called the "binding problem". Results of a brain-mapping experiment provide significant new support for the theory that attention is the glue that cements visual information together as people scan complex visual scenes. There are more than a dozen places in the brain involved with processing and visual information, each specialising in information with slightly different attributes, add the researchers. Some specialise in processing colour, some specialise in shape and some in movement. These areas are not clustered together, but distributed widely around the back of the brain. n
Compiled from The Science Teacher
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