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Green Innovations And Advances Of 2011

First Posted: 12/28/11 06:17 PM ET   Updated: 12/28/11 06:17 PM ET

2011 was an important year for green innovations and technological advances.

In the world of fuels, a number of strides were made. President Obama announced increased fuel standards for both big and small vehicles in the coming years.

Alternative fuels also made headlines. The use of biofuel for aviation is becoming a reality, after the U.S. military announced it would begin using it, and a joint U.S.-Chinese venture tested biofuel in civilian aircraft.

Solar technology also grew in 2011. Researchers at Notre Dame have invented a house paint that could one day be used to collect solar energy. Elsewhere in the midwest, scientists at the University of Michigan invented an "optical battery" that might eventually eliminate the need for semi-conductors in solar cells.

For more of 2011's best green technology innovations, vist EarthTechling for their "2011 Green Technology Year In Review."

Check out some of the coolest and most important green advances of 2011, and vote for your favorites!

Oil Spill Cleanup X Challenge Winners
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Elastec/American Marine made impressive strides for oil spill cleanup this year. They won the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge for who could develop a system to clean crude oil from the ocean's surface at a rate faster than 2,500 gallons per minute.

The team was awarded $1 million for their system that could clean up oil at a rate of 4,670 gallons per minute.
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For more on the best of 2011, visit bestof2011.aol.com.

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Filed by James Gerken  |