Day: September 1, 2006

Boutique biofuels

Read the full story in Sustainable Industries Journal.

Markets for corn- and soy-based biofuels are taking off, but a new crop of entrepreneurs are seeing the potential in everything from sea plankton to rejected Little Debbie snack cakes.

Three States Award Nearly $33 Million for Biomass Projects

Read the full story in EERE News.

Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin have awarded nearly $33 million in grants and loans for biofuels and other forms of biomass energy in the past several weeks. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced in mid-August five grants of more than $25 million to support biofuels production. The grants will support the construction of three ethanol facilities with the combined capacity to produce 141 million gallons of ethanol per year, and two biodiesel facilities (one new and one expansion) that will increase biodiesel production by 84 million gallons per year. Back in mid-July, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire announced $6.75 million in low-interest loans for seven bioenergy projects, including five biodiesel plants and two anaerobic digesters, which convert livestock waste into methane fuel. And on August 18th, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle announced $1 million in grants for a variety of projects related to biofuels, biomass energy, and biobased products. See the press releases from Governor Blagojevich, Governor Gregoire, and Governor Doyle.

Earth-Friendly Design

Read the full article in Christianity Today.

Although most people are aware of the concept of environmentally friendly design, which has been around since the 1970s, Spuler says many aren’t aware of recent advances. The implementation of new technology is especially important today given the huge spike in energy costs over the past few years.

Tests Show Promise for New Environment Friendly Technologies

Emissions of the most potent greenhouse gas, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), could be history in less than four years, according to results of pilot tests conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the magnesium industry. Preliminary results show that alternative technologies have the potential to replace SF6, which is used to prevent oxidation and burning of molten metal.

“By investing in innovative technologies our country’s environmental well being will improve,” said Bill Wehrum, EPA acting assistant administrator for Air and Radiation. “The Bush Administration understands that international collaboration will lead the way in identifying technologies that protect our global environment.”

Led by EPA’s SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Magnesium Industry, a group of companies and researchers from Australia, Canada, Japan, and the U.S. conducted the tests and emission measurements for cutting-edge, climate friendly melt protection technologies that promise significant environmental benefits.

EPA’s Magnesium Partnership is a cooperative effort between EPA and industry to reduce and eliminate emissions of sulfur hexafluoride from magnesium production and casting processes through cost-effective technologies and practices. Eliminating emissions from SF6 B about three million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually B is roughly equal to emissions from 500,000 vehicles per year.

The Bush Administration has committed financial, international and domestic resources to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The president’s policy achieves near-term reductions, while investing in long-term solutions. In 2004, EPA’s voluntary partnerships prevented over 60 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the annual emissions from over 40 million vehicles.  EPA’s climate programs continue to exceed the agency’s greenhouse gas emissions goals and are on target to meet the president’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas intensity 18 percent by 2012.

More information about EPA’s SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Magnesium Industry:

Biofuel Industry Scrutinized in Two Separate Studies

Read the full story at

A study called Biodiesel 2020: A Market Survey, from Emerging Markets Online, found that from 2004 to 2005, the market for biodiesel in the U.S. grew from 25 million gallons per year to 75 million gallons.

The Atomic Automobile

Read the full story at

During the 1950s, much of the world was quivering with anticipation over the exciting prospects of nuclear power. Atomic energy promised to churn out clean, safe electricity that would be “too cheap to meter.” It seemed that there was no energy problem too large or too small for the mighty atom to tackle during the glorious and modern Atomic Age.

It was during this honeymoon with nuclear energy– in 1957– that the Ford Motor Company unveiled the most ambitious project in their history: a concept vehicle which had a sleek futuristic look, emitted no harmful vapors, and offered incredible fuel mileage far beyond that of the most efficient cars ever built. This automobile-of-the-future was called the Ford Nucleon, named for its highly unique design feature… a pint-size atomic fission reactor in the trunk.

Thanks to Hannah King, Librarian at DOE’s Virtual Energy Library, for the pointer

Ozone Layer Recovering, According To NASA

Read the full article in Environmental Protection.

Analysis of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data has found consistent evidence that Earth’s ozone layer is on the mend, officials announced on Aug. 30.

A team led by Eun-Su Yang of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, studied 25 years of independent ozone observations at different altitudes in Earth’s stratosphere, which lies between six and 31 miles above the surface. The observations were gathered from balloons, ground-based instruments, NASA and NOAA satellites.

Climate change drives genetic changes

Read the full article in the Scientist.

Global warming is driving worldwide genetic changes in a fly species, scientists reported online August 31 in Science.

EU summarizes public consultation on biofuels

Read the full article in Refocus.

More than 140 governments, groups and individuals responded to the European Union’s consultation on biofuels, which will be considered in the EC’s progress report to be finalized before the end of this year.

Read the full report, Review of EU Biofuels Directive Public consultation exercise: Summary of the responses (PDF, 34 p.)

U.S. report outlines six steps to reduce global warming

Read the full article in Refocus.

Renewables and efficiency could reduce GHG emissions by 20% within 15 years, according to a report released by PennEnvironment.

Read the full report, Rising Challenge: Six Steps to Cut Global Warming Pollution in the United States (PDF, 51 p.).

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