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Photo of the Day
May 31 2011 10:53:51 am ESTTopics:
An 1888 lenticular truss iron bridge, built by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. that was donated by Washington County to the Town of Malta.
I just read an interesting article in Scientific American about the environmental impact of algae biofuel.
The article sites a recent study demonstrating that in the first life-cycle, algae production consumes more energy, has higher greenhouse gas emissions and uses more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn.
Researchers from the University of Virginia’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering published their findings in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
“From a life-cycle standpoint, algae are not nearly as desirable as you would think they are,” said Andres Clarens, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Virginia and lead author of the paper.. “And that was surprising to us.”
The culprit, the researchers say, is fertilizer. All of the nutrients — nitrogen and phosphorus — needed
Is pond scum the new Texas tea?
With the price of oil and gasoline on the rise, algae may be poised to enter the market soon as an alternative to fossil fuels. One company, Sapphire Energy, plans to begin commercial production in 2012, and was featured in PBS’s Nightly Business Report.
According to Mike Mendez, V.P., technology, Sapphire Energy, the key is to think of algae as a commodity: “You can’t think like an industry where you’re making a high- end product. This is not a high-end product. This is a commodity. You have to start thinking like a farmer and I think that that’s the way that we needed to approach the problem. Think like a farmer.”
However, an algae farmer has a unique advantage: Algae can be grown in the desert with salt water.
Mendez notes Sapphire’s choice of land: “New Mexico has two of the things we need most. The amount of sunlight we get here is probably the best in the world, definitely within the United States. Under
May 17 2011 5:00:00 pm ESTTopics:
I recently read an interesting article in The New York Times, analyzing the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2010 World Energy Outlook. According to the report, China’s economic development will be the single largest factor in pushing oil prices higher over the next quarter-century. At the same time, they may become the driving influence behind growth in renewable technology.
The IEA predicted that Chinese energy demand would soar 75 percent by 2035, accounting for more than a third of the growth in global consumption. While China today accounts for 17 percent of world demand for energy, it should account for 22 percent in 25 years.
Over the last decade, China’s energy demand has doubled. While China used only half as much energy as the United States in 2000, it surpassed the United States in 2009 as the world’s largest energy user. Despite their growth in consumption, the average Chinese consumer uses roughl
According to the International Energy Association (IEA) 2010 annual report, production of conventional crude oil topped out in 2006 at approximately 70 million barrels a day. By its estimation, currently producing oil fields are in sharp decline, however, in combination with oil fields yet to be developed and yet to be discovered, production will be at an “undulating plateau” of about 68 million barrels a day until, at least, 2035.
A combination of all these sources of oil in addition