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The Green Show: Mercedes BluTec is greenOn the Green Show this week, we check out clean exhaust on the Mercedes BluTec engine. Also, a green approach to wireless Internet, and some helpful greening tips from CNET's Martin LaMonica.
[ Music ] >> Mark Licea: Hey, everyone. I'm Mark Licea, and this week we check out clean exhaust on the Mercedes BluTec engine, a green approach to wireless Internet, and some helpful greening tips from our green tech expert. "The Green Show" starts now. ^M00:00:14 [ Pause ] ^M00:00:22 >> Mark Licea: Mercedes has a special diesel engine. It converts emissions into nitrogen and water. It's a green technology called BluTec, and Brian Cooley has more. >> Brian Cooley: Mercedes calls their diesel-scrubbing technology BluTec. Here's how it works. You've got a diesel engine here putting out pretty nasty exhaust. First stage is they've got what's called an oxidizing catalytic converter very early after the exhaust manifold. The next thing that happens is a particulate filter grabs a lot of the actual physical soot we associate with diesels, traps it, and cooks it off at a very high temperature, but you've still got a lot of nitrous oxides coming down in the exhaust stream. That's where you do an injection of add blue liquid urea in a bankrupt [phonetic] form in the exhaust pipe. Now, after the particulate filter, you've got this flow of the exhaust and the urea vapor working its way down the exhaust pipe, and it gets to another catalyst toward the rear of the vehicle which creates a chemical reaction making it basically nitrogen and water vapor, and that's primarily what comes out of the exhaust tip. In fact, it even smells different. Kind of like a propane vehicle. Pretty clean stuff. Again, 50 state friendly. That's how the BluTec system works. I'm Brian Cooley for "The Green Show". >> Mark Licea: There's a new networking device from Hercules called the E-Plug. It provides an Internet connection between the two adapters over your home power line and then wirelessly to your computer. The E-Plug 200 has a bandwidth of 200 megabytes per second, and the E-Plug 85 will give you 85 megabytes per second. It uses the latest generation Intelon [assumed spelling] 6400 chip set that claims to reduce energy consumption by 50 percent in standby mode. Of course, if this isn't green enough for you, you could just use a 50-foot Ethernet cord. The E-Plug 200 duo and E-Plug 85 duo should be out this month for $150 and $100 dollars respectively. No word yet on the U.S. release date. If you obsess over your energy bill or just want to make a few simple changes to save power, our green tech expert, Martin LaMonica, has got you covered. >> Martin LaMonica: Hi, Mark, and welcome back to my house. Some people wonder about greening their home. First thing they should think about is your heating and cooling costs. What you should do is get an energy audit with someone who can tell you how to weatherize your home. That means better insulation and ways to seal up all the cracks that let the cold and hot air in. Another thing you can do is to address your vampire load. A good way to get a read on how much electricity different devices use is with a power meter. This is a kilowatt, and it's telling me that my computer here is using a 136 watts of electricity. Now, my laptop uses about 35. So I use that to save some power. The kilowatt also tells me that my printer uses 3 watts of electricity even when it's off. So what I've done is put my computers and my printer on the power strip. Click it on when I want to use it. Click it off when I'm done. So how much electricity is my whole house using? That's what this is for. It's a home energy monitor. It basically displays what's going on in your meter inside your house. It tells you how much electricity you've used over time and what it cost you. Utilities are start using these gadgets and web-based programs as part of smart grid trials. The big point with greening your home is to start with a plan, and then make little changes every day. I'm Martin LaMonica with CNET. Thanks for watching. >> Mark Licea: If you're looking for a gadget that combines the outdoors with a little bit of espionage, this is for you. It's the solar briefcase and power hub that claims to add an extra three to six hours of battery life onto your laptop. The briefcase looks very James Bond, but it weighs 12 pounds plus the power hub that houses the batteries and power socket adds an extra 9 pounds not to mention the additional weight of your laptop and any other electronics you're carrying, and while it's labeled as a briefcase, you can't actually carry your laptop and anything else inside. It's also $350. So both your wallet and your muscle should be comparable to that of a 00. And that's it for this week. Send your feedback in to greenshow at cnet.com. I'm Mark Licea. Thanks for watching. [ Music ] ^M00:04:14