Backtalk - 6/19/2008

June 19, 2008
50 Years of Innovation

W.L. Gore & Associates is celebrating its rise from the family basement as a wire and cable manufacturer to what’s become a multibillion dollar leader in fabrics, medical, industrial and electronics products.

On January 1, 1958, Wilbert L. “Bill” and Genevieve Gore celebrated both the new year and their 23rd wedding anniversary by launching a business in their basement. Bill surprised many by leaving his successful 12-year career as a chemist with the DuPont Co. to explore new uses for the synthetic material polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

Gore discovered how to apply PTFE tape to insulate wire and cables. In 1969, the Gore’s oldest son, Bob, found a way to expand PTFE. With its unique chemical properties, expanded PTFE (ePTFE) opened up a new world of possibilities, including windproof, waterproof and breathable fabrics; life-enhancing cardiovascular devices; energy- efficient fuel-cell assemblies; and pollutionreducing filtration systems, to name a few.

W. L. Gore & Associates has made the “100 Best Companies to Work For in America” since the list began in 1984.

Green guides

If you’re looking to “go green” and need some help doing it, check out There’s a host of handy guides to help you make the transition and explain why it needs to be done. Here are some examples, so pick one and get started.
* How to Green Your Home Buying
* How to Green Your Rental
* How to Green Your Kitchen
* How to Green Your Summer
* How to Green Your Carbon Offsets
* How to Green Your Gardening
* How to Go Green: Back To Basics
* How to Green Your Outdoor Sports
* How to Green Your Kids’ Toys
* How to Green Your Community
* How to Green Your Accessories
* How to Green Your Baby
* How to Green Your Electronics
* How to Green Your Pet
* How to Green Your Dishwasher
* How to Green Your Recycling
* How to Green Your Cleaning
* How to Green Your Furniture
* How to Green Your Work
* How to Green Your Water
* How to Green Your Lighting
* How to Green Your Electricity
* How to Green Your Car
* How to Green Your Wardrobe
* TreeHugger’s 2007 Gift Guide.

Eco supercar

What do you get when you blend an exotic high-performance car with eco-friendly fuel solutions? The Scorpion.

Texas-based Ronn Motor Co. unveiled its hybrid-powered sports car that runs on a mix of hydrogen and gasoline for reduced emissions and efficiency figures of 40 mpg. Boasting a high-performance V6 engine, the Scorpion delivers 289 hp with an additional option for a 450-hp model.

Unlike other hydrogen-powered cars, the Scorpion does not contain fuel cells — it uses a reconfigured standard internalcombustion engine that runs on a combination of gasoline and hydrogen. According to Ronn, this technology gives a 30 to 50% boost in fuel efficiency over comparable gas-only powertrains.

An in-built hydrogen on-demand system, developed by Hydrorunner, uses dual-computer processor controls to produce hydrogen and induct it through the air-intake manifold. This eliminates the need for an integrated high-pressure hydrogen storage tank or fueling stations. Instead, the Scorpion uses a small onboard water tank.

Currently in preproduction, the car is due for release by the end of this year.

Green humor
Q. Why are eco warriors bad at playing poker?
A. They like to avoid the flush.

Q. How do you confuse an eco warrior?
A. Give them a blue bottle to recycle. An aquarium center in Japan has come up with an energy-efficient method of illuminating the lights on their tree. They are powered by an electric eel.

The tree has to be switched off on Christmas, though, as the power supply then becomes the food supply.

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