Webinar: Sustainable Pyrotechnics: Flares and Projectiles

Thursday, July 16, 2015, 12:00 PM ET (9:00 AM PT)
Register here

Webinar Topics 

Removal of Perchlorate Oxidizers from Red- and Green-Emitting Pyrotechnic Flares by Dr. Eric Miklaszewski

Potassium perchlorate (KClO4) and ammonium perchlorate (NH4ClO4) have been widely used as oxidizers in military and civilian pyrotechnics due to their high reactivity, low cost, low-moisture sensitivity, and high stability. However, these constituents have been identified to be highly toxic and damaging to the environment and have motivated multiple efforts to reformulate pyrotechnic formulations which contain these chemicals. Since 2002, SERDP and ESTCP have funded the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division, to reformulate several visible signal flares used within the Department of Defense (DoD) to achieve performance requirements while removing the environmentally-hazardous perchlorate oxidizers. The reformulation efforts were directed to engineer new formulations that meet the dominant wavelength, color purity, photometric intensity, and burn time requirements for specific red- and green-emitting signal flares. This presentation will review the current regulatory requirements that are driving these projects with a summary of each project’s scope, obstacles encountered, and successes during the development of new pyrotechnic formulations.

Sustainable Incendiary Projectiles by Dr. Jared Moretti

This presentation will describe recent efforts to identify one perchlorate-free incendiary formulation for the Army’s M8 and Navy’s Mk257 .50-caliber incendiary projectiles. As part of ESTCP project number WP-201110, the performance data of two perchlorate-free candidate formulations were compared to the current in-service incendiary mixture (IM-28) through system demonstration in the actual bullet hardware. The technical approach for this perchlorate elimination program has been comprised of a three-way teaming effort led by the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) and includes the NSWC, Crane Division, along with an industrial manufacturing partner, Alliant Techsystems’ (ATK) Small Caliber Division. The government laboratories (ARDEC and NSWC) collaborated on formulation development, while ATK fabricated, demonstrated and validated candidate formulations in the full-up M8 and Mk257 hardware. The initial two candidates were each composed of strontium nitrate and sodium meta-periodate, but the latter composition was down-selected on the basis of performance. Recent iterations of bullet manufacture at Lake City Army Ammunition Plant (LCAAP) provide insight into what factors most significantly affect .50-caliber bullet performance.

Can Silicon Valley sell big business on climate action?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In February, Apple announced a massive $848 million solar deal as part of pursuit to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy. Google, Facebook and Salesforce have all made their own 100 percent renewable energy commitments.

Even notorious sustainability laggard Amazon is taking action on its goal of powering its hulking cloud computing division with clean energy.

The question now: if and how the tech industry’s highly visible — and once seemingly far-fetched — clean energy goals might make a bigger imprint on other industries during a crucial year for climate politics.

Residential energy efficiency works. Don’t make a mountain out of the E2e molehill

Read the full post from ACEEE.

The Internet has been burning up these last two days with reactions to a new academic working paper (Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program) by researchers at the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and the University of California, Berkeley, associated with the E2e Project.

Let me be blunt and to the point. The “results” of this very narrowly focused and arguably conceptually flawed study are being blown out of proportion, with many news article headlines taking this one example as representative of all residential energy efficiency programs. Unfortunately, this flawed conclusion has been promoted by the Energy Policy Institute themselves in their press release and accompanying policy brief.

For those not yet familiar with this story, the authors conducted a study of one particular low-income program (the federal Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP), as implemented in portions of one state (Michigan), and somehow ended up with the sweeping headline “Study Finds Costs of Residential Energy Efficiency Investments are Double the Benefits.”

Some of the popular press is already picking up on this theme, and the concern is that a misunderstanding (or misuse) of this study will lead to low-income families having less access to important programs that drive down their utility bills. Or worse yet, as a broad-brush attack on all types of energy efficiency programs.

Evaluation wonks will be able to point to several minor to moderate problems with the study’s assumptions and calculations. But in the interest of time, let me focus on two fundamental flaws in the study and how the results are being “spun.”

DOE initiatives launch as part of Clean Energy Investment Summit

Read the full story in Biomass Magazine.

The Department of Energy has announced several new and expanding initiatives as part of the administration’s Clean Energy Investment Summit, including the launch of a Clean Energy Impact Investment Center, which will work to make the department’s resources more readily available to the public, including to mission-driven investors.

Funding opp: Using Educational Networks to Increase Schools’ Adoption of Integrated Pest Management

Proposals due August 10, 2015
Download the full RFP.

The Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is soliciting proposals from eligible parties for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cooperative agreement to provide financial assistance to an eligible organization to provide education, training, resources, and technical assistance to increase Integrated Pest Management (IPM) implementation in kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) public and tribal schools nationwide.

Unlocking fermentation secrets open the door to new biofuels

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have, for the first time, uncovered the complex interdependence and orchestration of metabolic reactions, gene regulation, and environmental cues of clostridial metabolism, providing new insights for advanced biofuel development…

“In this study, we developed an integrated computational framework for the analysis and exploitation of the solvent metabolism by C. acetobutylicum,” said Chen Liao, a bioengineering graduate student and first author of the paper, “Integrated, Systems Metabolic Picture of Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol Fermentation by Clostridium acetobutylicum,” appearing in this week’s Early Edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.


When convenience is the enemy of energy conservation

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Exciting new gadgets such as the Amazon Dash button highlights the role convenience plays in clinching customer loyalty. But there’s an unintended consequence related to convenience: overconsumption.

We know from Eco Pulse that convenience trumps the environment for many Americans, and although about 70 percent of Americans claim they’re searching for greener products, the story in our numbers is that most of them actually just want sustainability to be automatic. They’re essentially saying, “Just bake it into your products and services so I don’t have to think about it, and let me keep buying the stuff I want to buy anyway and just feel less guilty about it.”

Our counsel to many companies would be exactly that: give them what they want, bake it in and build your marketing messages around the fact that you’ve taken care of the environment on their behalf.

But that doesn’t work if we’re actually trying to get people to change their behaviors. In many cases, when we make sustainability automatic, we make conservation harder.