High operating and capital costs could make carbon capture, utilization and storage “not financially attractive” at a large coal plant visited by Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette this month, according to a Department of Energy analysis recently made public.
According to the report, which was conducted by DOE and Leonardo Technologies Inc., capturing and compressing 63% of carbon dioxide from each of the Colstrip units to support advanced oil recovery would cost more than $1.3 billion. Annual operating costs at Colstrip could come in at about $108 million, the report said.
Many variables must be considered when selecting the right type of athletic turf or outdoor recreation space for your application. Even if health and the environment are at the forefront of the decision making process, it can be difficult to identify which options reduce the use of toxic chemicals. Is synthetic turf better than natural turf? If synthetic turf is used, what type of infill has the fewest hazards associated with it? Healthy Building Network has reviewed the existing body of data related to the most common types of athletic turf and infills. Based on this research, we have developed guidelines for selecting athletic turf in our simple Hazard Spectrum format. These guidelines take into account past research on athletic turf and also consider where more research is needed. Furthermore, they consider emerging environmental concerns raised by the use of synthetic turf such as the potential for microplastics to be released into the environment.
Silicon solar panels are reaching their technological limit, but researchers are experimenting by combining silicon with other materials to squeeze more energy out of sunlight. Electrical and computer engineering professor Larry Lee led a new study that could boost the efficiency of consumer solar panels by 50%.
Associated journal article: Fan, S. et al (2020). “Current-Matched III–V/Si Epitaxial Tandem Solar Cells with 25.0% Efficiency.” Cell Reports Physical Science 1(9), 100208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrp.2020.100208
As a Mexican, Dr. Molina was a point of pride for me. Though I am a social scientist, not a chemist, his career inspired me to follow my dreams and to trust science to show us all the right path.
Clean air now
Mario Molina thought climate change was the biggest problem in the world long before most people did.
His research was instrumental in spurring negotiation of the 1987 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that effectively banned fluorocarbons – harmful chemical compounds that damage the ozone layer. The agreement is credited with helping the ozone layer heal. He understood that the environmental problem is global, and that what happens in China or the United States affects Mexico, too.
The Molinas sounded the alarm in Latin America about air pollution and public health, which remains a challenge in the region. But they also understood the role of economics in environmental protection – and, importantly, the centrality of fossil fuels to the Mexican economy – so the Molinas worked with Mexican economists to address concerns that green energy would hurt prosperity.
Mario Molina graduated from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, and completed his graduate studies at the University of Fribourg and the University of California, Berkeley. Though he taught at M.I.T., he remained loyal to UNAM, working with faculty and students til the end.
The many Mexicans who, like me, were inspired by his life’s work mourn his passing.
Stefana, E.; Cocca, P.; Marciano, F.; Rossi, D.; Tomasoni, G. “A Review of Energy and Environmental Management Practices in Cast Iron Foundries to Increase Sustainability.” Sustainability 2019, 11, 7245. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247245 [open access]
Abstract: Environmental impact and use of energy and materials are relevant topics in companies. To achieve energy savings and enhance environmental performance, managers can invest in technologies (technical measures) and/or implement management practices (low-cost and non-technical measures). This paper focuses on energy and environmental management practices in foundry, which is a particularly energy-intensive industry producing significant carbon dioxide emissions. We conducted a scoping review of scientific publications and technical documents to identify practices that enable energy efficiency improvement and adverse environmental impact reduction in cast iron foundries using coreless induction furnaces. The review returned 399 practices, which we categorised according to the process step of application and theme. We developed a hierarchy to classify the practices according to their sustainability. The results show that the practices proposed in the literature focus mainly on avoiding or reducing resource consumption, rather than on recovering residual value. The intended contribution is to promote the adoption of management practices as an effective lever to increase energy efficiency and reduce environmental impacts, while also providing a summary of current knowledge to facilitate the identification of areas for further research. The review could also support foundry managers in the selection and prioritisation of the practices to adopt.
Human beings tend to create separate mental budget compartments where specific acts of consumption and payments are linked. This mechanism can be counter-productive when it comes to energy consumption and can have a negative impact on attempts to reduce carbon emissions. Psychologists have linked theories and research on mental accounting to energy and sustainability behavior, proposing concrete strategies to improve the impact of climate-control measures.
Associated journal article: Ulf J. J. Hahnel, Gilles Chatelain, Beatrice Conte, Valentino Piana, Tobias Brosch. Mental accounting mechanisms in energy decision-making and behaviour. Nature Energy, 2020; DOI: 10.1038/s41560-020-00704-6
Just like every other retailer, grocery stores are focusing on the customer experience to get people back in store. Grocery delivery was already a rising trend, and the pandemic kicked it into the next gear. In May, U.S. online grocery sales had grown to 40 percent. So grocers including Kroger and Publix are looking at onsite vertical farms as one way to attract consumers.
Millions of tons of coal ash have been excavated from unlined ponds at Duke Energy power plants, but an enormous amount has yet to be dug up, according to the inventory listed in the NC Department of Environmental Quality’s annual coal ash report to the General Assembly.
As of July 2020, there were more than 100 million tons of coal ash remaining in the unlined ponds at 11 of the utility’s 14 plants in North Carolina.
A combination of state law, a consent order and litigation by the Southern Environmental Law Center resulted in the ponds’ closure.