Clean Enough to Wash Your Hands

Global warming moved another notch up the worry scale last week when the National Academy of Sciences reported that human pollution might not just be causing a gradual rise in the earth's temperature but could also lead to "large, abrupt, and unwelcome" climate change. So it was a particularly good week for DaimlerChrysler to introduce a new fuel-efficient minivan called the Natrium. It runs on a common compound called sodium borohydride. A chemical reaction inside the engine produces hydrogen to power the car's fuel cell, leaving behind not carbon dioxide (the primary culprit in global warming) but borax, a standard ingredient...

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