Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the U. S.

Via the RFF Library Blog.

Energy Information Admin., US Dept. of Energy

Total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 6,576 million metric tons carbon diioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2009, a decrease of 5.8 percent from the 2008 level. Since 1990, GHG emissions have grown at an average annual rate of 0.4 percent.his report provides an annual inventory of anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gases in the United States.

Lean, Mean and Clean: Energy Innovation and the Department of Defense

Via the RFF  Library Blog.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation / by Matt Hourihan and Matthew Stepp

[Abstract] There are many obvious sources of clean energy innovation. But lately the clean energy community has begun paying attention to one not-so-obvious source: the Department of Defense. With a massive energy footprint and a mission-driven need to reduce fossil energy consumption, DOD can play a prime role accelerating cleantech development and is already seeking to become a test bed for innovative technologies. At stake are not national security but also economic security. In a report unveiled at an event March 31 on Capitol with lawmakers, DOD officials and industry leaders, ITIF provides a comprehensive review of the important energy innovation activities at DOD and provides a snapshot of the indispensible role of public investment and public-private partnerships to spur transformational technologies. The event was sponsored by ITIF, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the Digital Energy Solutions Campaign. [H/T: Greenwire]

Climate Change and Food Security in the Context of the Cancun Agreements

Via the RFF Library Blog.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (submitted to the 14th session of the UNFCCC’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action Under the Convention)

[From Introduction] Recently food prices have once again shown an upward trend, kindling fears of another food price crisis along the lines of that experienced in 2007-2008. FAO recently signaled that its global food price index hit a new record high in February. Greater attention is now being given to climatic changes as one of the drivers of these price increases. FAO indicated that some food prices have more than doubled this year due in part to weather problems in key producing countries, which curbed global production of wheat, corn and sugar. “On a global level, increasingly unpredictable weather patterns will lead to falling agricultural production and higher food prices, leading to food insecurity,” the UNFCCC Secretary stated in an address delivered on 15 February 2011. [H/T: Climate Wire]

Dietary Yeast Extracts Tested as Alternative to Antibiotics in Poultry

Read the full story from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (via Science Daily).

A dietary yeast extract could be an effective alternative to antibiotics for poultry producers, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) study.

Iowa State University develops biorefinery simulation program

Read the full story in Biodiesel Magazine.

A new simulation program developed at Iowa State University allows students to gain hands-on experience running a biorefinery. The Interactive Biorefinery Operations Simulator (I-BOS), which is modeled after real biodiesel and ethanol plants in Iowa, operates like a flight simulator.

Best Practices Guide for Energy-Efficient Data Center Design

Download the full document from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

This guide provides an overview of best practices for energy-efficient data center design which spans the categories of Information Technology (IT) systems and their environmental conditions, data center air management, cooling and electrical systems, on-site generation, and heat recovery. IT system energy efficiency and environmental conditions are presented first because measures taken in these areas have a cascading effect of secondary energy savings for the mechanical and electrical systems. This guide concludes with a section on metrics and benchmarking values by which a data center and its systems energy efficiency can be evaluated. No design guide can offer ‘the most energy-efficient’ data center design but the guidelines that follow offer suggestions that provide efficiency benefits for a wide variety of data center scenarios.

LED Surgical Task Lighting Scoping Study: A Hospital Energy Alliance Project

Download the report from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Tungsten-halogen (halogen) lamps have traditionally been used to light surgical tasks in hospitals, even though they are in many respects ill-suited to the application due to the large percentage of radiant energy outside the visible spectrum and issues with color rendering/quality. Light-emitting diode (LED) technology offers potential for adjustable color and improved color rendition/quality, while simultaneously reducing side-effects from non-visible radiant energy. It also has the potential for significant energy savings, although this is a fairly narrow application in the larger commercial building energy use sector. Based on analysis of available products and Hospital Energy Alliance member interest, it is recommended that a product specification and field measurement procedure be developed for implementation in demonstration projects.

Engineering Students Design Award-Winning Water Treatment System

Read the full story from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.

Chemical engineering students at the University of Arkansas have designed a system that can provide 3,000 gallons of clean drinking water per day without the use of electricity. Their design, which could be used to treat water in remote or disaster-stricken areas, recently won the Intel Innovation Award at WERC’s Environmental Design Contest.

LED Efficiency Puzzle Solved by Theorists Using Quantum-Mechanical Calculations

Read the full story at Science Daily.

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, say they’ve figured out the cause of a problem that’s made light-emitting diodes (LEDs) impractical for general lighting purposes. Their work will help engineers develop a new generation of high-performance, energy-efficient lighting that could replace incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.

Researcher Use Trees to Detect Contaminants and Health Threats

Read the full story at Science Daily.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology have developed a method to detect the presence of soil and groundwater contamination without turning a shovel or touching the water. Instead, they’re using trees.