Mixing Processes Could Increase the Impact of Biofuel Spills on Aquatic Environments

Read the full story from American Physical Society’s Division of Fluid Dynamics.

Ethanol, a component of biofuel made from plants such as corn, is blended with gas in many parts of the country, but has significantly different fluid properties than pure gasoline. A group of researchers from the University of Michigan wondered how ethanol-based fuels would spread in the event of a large aquatic spill. They found that ethanol-based liquids mix actively with water, very different from how pure gasoline interacts with water and potentially more dangerous to aquatic life. The scientists will present their results, which could impact the response guidelines for ethanol fuel-based spills, at the American Physical Society’s (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting, held Nov. 18 – 20, in San Diego, Calif.

Supply Chain Management for a Better World

The National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education provides this 3:31 minute video to introduce viewers to supply chain management. The video highlights what happens when supply chains are not properly managed such as food products going bad, workers wasting time waiting for shipments or working excessive overtime, and trucks wasting fuel by traveling at less than full capacity. All of this can be avoided with effective supply chain managers. [Copyright © 2012 Internet Scout Research Group – http://scout.wisc.edu]

How do you get to sustainability? By degrees.

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Where should sustainability factor into the college education experience? And how much education about sustainability should an engineer or a marketing executive need to perform well at a company that is striving to embed sustainability into the core of their business?

Globus Online and ESnet Partner for Scientific Data Management

Read the full story from the Computation Institute.

Globus Online and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) today announced a new collaboration to help scientists better manage the growing amounts of data they need to move, share, and analyze worldwide.

As partners, the organizations plan to develop joint outreach and educational programs designed for small and medium science collaborations that have not traditionally used data transfer tools and advanced networking as part of their workflow, but who will soon require these capabilities as their data volumes increase. ESnet and Globus Online will also pursue coordinated research efforts aimed at better integrating their services to make it easier for scientists to set up efficient end-to-end data transfers.

Clash Over Future of Wood From the Storm-Torn Rockaway Boardwalk

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Various groups are vying for the wood that once made up the Rockaway Boardwalk so they can recycle or transform it into other products as a way to generate local revenue.

Persistent Environmental Pollutants and Couple Fecundity: The LIFE Study

Environmental Health Perspectives (November 14, 2012) / by Germaine M. Buck Louis et al.

Background: Evidence suggesting that persistent environmental pollutants may be reproductive toxicants underscores the need for prospective studies of couples for whom exposures are measured…

Conclusions: In a couple-based prospective cohort study with preconception enrollment and quantification of exposures in both female and male partners, a subset of persistent environmental chemicals were associated with reduced fecundity.

SkyTruth Database Provides Downdoadable Data of Chemicals Used in Fracking

Via the RFF Library Blog.


The folks at SkyTruth have “scrapped” the PDF-only data in the FracFocus database — notoriously unsearchable and useless for data aggregation but the only game in town for chemical disclosure of hydrofracking operations — and put it into a rival database where data can be downloaded. Users can then aggregate the downloaded data on their own. The scope covers January 2011 (inception of FracFocus) to August 2012. Sign up for email alerts (for individual states)  to be notified of updates.

The database providers of FracFocus have been planning an upgrade that would make it a proper tool  for compliance with recent state fracking chemical disclosure rules, but SkyTruth has gotten there first. The D-Frac data also provides this service; however, SkyTruth is free while D-Frac is fee-based.  SkyTruth requires that you acknowledge their data when if source it.