Can a bankruptcy court cut coal pollution in Texas? Green groups say yes

Wed, Oct 21, 2015 - 10:00am

by Mike Lee and Edward Klump

DALLAS -- Environmentalists started a long-shot campaign yesterday to steer a Texas power company's massive bankruptcy away from coal-fired generation.

The Dallas County Commissioners voted 5-0 on a resolution, backed by the Texas chapter of Public Citizen and the Dallas County Medical Society, calling on the bankruptcy judge handling Energy Future Holdings Corp.'s (EFH) case to clean up three outdated coal plants as part of the company's reorganization.

Neither the county commissioners nor the environmentalists has standing in the bankruptcy case, which is being...

Dallas County commissioners jumping into debate over coal-fired power plants

Mon, Oct 19, 2015 - 9:27am

by Jeffrey Weiss

Cleaning up pollution from coal-burning power plants a hundred miles from the Dallas area could save dozens of lives and million of dollars every year. Or not.

The debate is over a new study, commissioned by the environmental group Downwinders at Risk, that  says that ozone — a dangerous component of smog — can be reduced significantly in the Dallas area.

Texas officials and the owners of the power plants dismiss the study’s results as overblown or agenda-driven, although researchers say their study is based on state data and uses an EPA-designed computer model.

The power plant...

UNT research efforts continue

Wed, Oct 14, 2015 - 11:47pm

by Jenna Duncan

University of North Texas officials will announce today four new research institutes at the campus, where faculty from different disciplines will work together to bring in bigger grants and work on larger projects.

Work is already underway at the four institutes: the Biodiscovery Institute, the Logistics Systems Institute, the Advanced Environmental Research Institute and the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Processes Institute.

Tom McCoy, vice president for research and economic development, said the institutes were formed to help faculty work together and to increase research funding, as...

Tags: Research, UNT

Iron-gallium alloy shows promise as a power-generation device

Tue, Sep 29, 2015 - 5:00am

An alloy first made nearly two decades ago by the U. S. Navy could provide an efficient new way to produce electricity. The material, dubbed Galfenol, consists of iron doped with the metal gallium. In new experiments, researchers from UCLA, the University of North Texas (UNT), and the Air Force Research Laboratories have shown that Galfenol can generate as much as 80 megawatts of instantaneous power per square meter under strong impacts. The team describes the findings, which could lead to the development of wireless impact detectors and other applications, in a paper in the Journal of Applied Physics.


What Is Your Most Significant "What If...?" Moment?

Wed, Jul 29, 2015 - 12:09pm

Do you ever wonder whether things would be different if a specific event or decision happened differently or not at all? Perhaps you’ve thought of alternative versions of your life where you never met your significant other, ended up in a different job or lived on the other side of the world.

We’ve all looked back on our lives and reimagined important moments unfolding in different ways. This tendency to mentally simulate past events while tweaking some critical details is known as counterfactual (“contrary to fact”) thinking.

Counterfactual thinking has its benefits. A 2008 paper published in the Journal of...

Tags: Research