Water and Car: Clean and Environmentally Safe

It does not matter it is luxury or just a means of transportation, the main thing is that due to the increasing number of cars ecological situation is only getting worse. How to reduce the consumption of water during car washing? Will there appear any type of harmless fuel? Weare «Top Gear», of course, but we can give some useful car eco-tips.

Car wash: with or without water

Cleanness is the guarantee not only for your health but also for the health of your car. Of course, you can save money by using bucket-and-rag or hose-in-the-country technology, and even by vandalize when rising a car at the nearest body of water, as well as draining detergent residues there. But for us, environmentally conscious citizens, such methods are not suitable.


Stationary car wash. Remember that modern car wash consumes much less water than the one with a simple hose on the grass. As a rule, the owners comply with environmental requirements prescribed by the legislation, and the waste water is not poured anywhere, it is purified and then goes into action. This saves up to 70 percent of the precious resource. Read more

Water seems to flow freely on Mars

Dark streaks that hint at seasonally flowing water have been spotted near the equator of Mars1. The potentially habitable oases are enticing targets for research. But spacecraft will probably have to steer clear of them unless the craft are carefully sterilized — a costly safeguard against interplanetary contamination that may rule out the sites for exploration.

mars1River-like valleys attest to the flow of water on ancient Mars, but today the planet is dry and has an atmosphere that is too thin to support liquid water on the surface for long. However, intriguing clues suggest that water may still run across the surface from time to time.

In 2011, for example, researchers who analysed images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft observed dark streaks a few metres wide that appeared and lengthened at the warmest time of the year, then faded in cooler seasons, reappearing in subsequent years2. “This behaviour is easy to understand if these are seeps of water,” says planetary scientist Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona in Tucson, who led that study. “Water will darken most soils.” Read more

Hubble spots water spurting from Europa


The plumes detected on Europa by the Hubble Space Telescope may be 200 kilometres tall, as depicted in this artist’s impression.

Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, home to a probable buried ocean, just added another twist to its exotic cool. The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted possible plumes of water spraying from Europa’s south pole.

The jets resemble the giant icy geyser seen on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Plumes on Europa could be even more exciting because they hint at the ability to tap a subsurface habitat that might even harbour extraterrestrial life.

“If this pans out, it’s potentially the biggest news in the outer Solar System since the discovery of the Enceladus plume,” says Robert Pappalardo, a planetary scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who was not involved in the research.

The work, reported today in Science1, comes with plenty of caveats. Although previous theoretical work suggested that plumes could exist on Europa, earlier tantalizing hints of them have come to nothing. This time, Hubble spotted the potential plumes in just one observation. And if they do turn out to be real, the plumes might not even be connected to the moon’s deep subsurface ocean. Read more

Water’s role in mantle movement thrown into doubt

Water may not control the flow of rocks in Earth’s interior as much as researchers had thought.


Convection in the Earth’s mantle (orange ring around the yellow outer core) may not depend on water’s presence for a lubricating effect, contrary to what geophysicists have assumed.

For decades, scientists have believed that the presence of water in deep-Earth rock makes it less viscous and allows it to flow. That movement underpins all sorts of geophysical phenomena, from the jostling of tectonic plates to giant convection patterns that transfer heat within Earth’s mantle. It also helps control the planet’s cycling of carbon and other life-critical elements from the deep interior toward the surface and back.

But high-pressure experiments on crystals of olivine, a common mineral in the mantle, hint that the textbook explanation may be at least partly wrong. Hongzhan Fei, a geochemist at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, and his colleagues describe the findings today in Nature.

Many laboratory experiments have demonstrated water’s weakening effect on minerals. But most of those studies looked at multiple crystals that were oversaturated with water, says Fei. When the crystals were squeezed, water between the grains could have allowed them to slide along their boundaries rather than causing deformation inside the crystals, as would be expected with true rock flow. Read more

How to boil water without bubbles

One trick to test whether a frying pan is hot enough is to sprinkle water on it. If the surface is sufficiently above the boiling point of water, droplets will skip across the pan. Those jittery beads of water are held up from the hot pan by a cushion of steam. The vapour cushion collapses as the surface falls below the ‘Leidenfrost temperature’, causing furious bubbling and spitting when the water droplet hits the surface and boils explosively.

001The Leidenfrost effect lies behind the discovery, published today in Nature1, that water can be made to boil without any bubbling if a surface is specially treated so that the vapour cushion does not break down. The key is to make the surface very water-repellent, according to Ivan Vakarelski, an engineer at the Clean Combustion Research Center at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, and his colleagues. The effect might be used to carefully control how metals are cooled and heated, or to reduce drag on ships. Read more