Many companies have been feeling the effects of the energy and oil crisis. As mentioned in a previous post on this blog, Dow Chemical is planning on making plastics in Brazil using products like sugarcane to help combat rising oil prices. In addition as this article from mlive.com reveals, Dow announced that they were increasing the price of their products by 20% as of June 1st 2008. They said that this was in reaction to their projected energy costs being estimated at $32 billion this year, up from $8 billion in 2002.
Discovery Channel News reports in this article, that students from MIT may have the solution to these problems. Their new innovation is a parabolic shaped solar mirror that can be cheaply reproduced since it does not require silicon or robotics. It is 12 feet by 12 feet, and made of metal framing that holds bent mirrors. These mirrors concentrate sunlight into a single point which creates the ability to vaporize wood, and is hypothesized to be able to melt steel.
The students have formed a new company called Raw Solar, in order to market their patented product. Matt Ridder, Press Officer for Raw Solar and one of the students involved in the creation of the solar product, has stated:
"The first goal is to create a heat source that is cheaper than natural gas or oil. An eventual application is electricity generation."
Below is a picture of the new invention.