Valero Invests in Producing Car Fuel From Wood Waste

The cellulosic ethanol movement got a much needed boost yesterday with the announcement that Valero, the nation’s largest independent oil refiner, is investing $50 million into the Mascoma Corporation’s plans to build a commercial sized wood-based biofuel refinery in Kinross, Michigan. Together with subsidiary Frontier Renewable Resources, Mascoma, based in Lebanon N.H., intends to break ground on the facility by …

Minimalist Functional Design


Kenya Hara wrote the book “Designing Design“, which is 472 page tribute to “white” not just as color but as a design concept. It contains chapters by like-minded designers such as Jasper Morrison and Naota Fukasawa. The works of German industrial designer Dieter Rams (Braun), and Apple’s “Snow White” design language are other examples of the “less is more” approach …

Intelligent Electrical Outlets: Efficient and Safe

Here’s a short presentation at TED 2010 by inventor John La Grou, where he unveils an invention that would make electrical outlets much smarter. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires — and to conserve energy.

Southface Energy Institute: A Resource For Sustainable Design

Energy efficient building designs and technologies are everywhere these days. In fact, the sheer number of options can seem a little overwhelming for those interested in sustainable construction techniques. But Southface Energy Institute, headquartered in Atlanta, can be a valuable resource for homeowners, commercial or residential builders, or individuals who simply want to learn more about environmentally friendly design.