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May 28, 2009
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PowerFlare: Lighting Up the Streets, Saving the Environment, Blowing Stuff Up

By: Eric Wesoff
Greentech Media

Greentech Media covers seismic shifts in renewable energy policy and technology but the greening of industry comes in smaller, incremental steps as well.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are challenging incandescents and halogens in a variety of lighting applications – in the home and on the street. LEDs last longer, burn less electricity and produce less heat.

Now, LEDs are set to replace those emergency flares that burn at traffic accidents and that’s good for the environment and for emergency worker safety.

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Ken Dueker is the founder and CEO of PowerFlare, a maker of innovative safety beacons. As a cop, he was, “annoyed at the traditional ‘dynamite stick’ roadflare and its safety to police officers and the public.

The current low-tech emergency flare burns for about 20 minutes and uses perchlorate as a propellant. (Perchlorate is also used in munitions, rocketry and fireworks.) Perchlorate is water soluble, really toxic and when it rains, perchlorate is washed right into ground water and drinking wells. Some states have set a drinking water safety limit of two parts per billion of the stuff.

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