Aug 28, 2013
Food Labs Use An Average of 2000 Chemicals To Create 500 'Natural Flavors' You Would Never Suspect Are Artificial
Aug 27, 2013
Aug 26, 2013
Aug 25, 2013
Fla. oyster industry declared federal disaster; governor says he'll sue Ga. for using too much water
"In the last year, the oyster industry has lost 44 percent of its revenues as the oyster population in the Gulf of Mexico has declined an estimated 60 percent," Mary Ellen Klas reports for the Tampa Bay Times. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson asked the federal government to declare the fisheries disaster a year ago, and Scott made the same request in September. (Read more)
"The collapse of the oyster industry last year came after a drought reduced freshwater flowing into Apalachicola Bay," The Associated Press reports. "But state officials have also blamed the lack of freshwater flow due to increased consumption in Georgia. Alabama, Georgia and Florida have fought for years over the amount of freshwater coming downstream from Georgia to the other states." Last year Florida "obtained a $2.7 million federal grant to pay 200 dislocated oystermen for a project to re-shell the bay in the Florida Panhandle to help it recover and re-open to harvesting." (Read more)
"Florida, Georgia and Alabama have been wrangling for more than 20 years over where Atlanta gets its water, a fight dubbed the Tri-State Water War," Craig Pittman reports for the Times. "To officials in Florida and Alabama, Atlanta is at fault for wasting water and failing to plan for its future. Atlanta officials insist they're now doing more water conservation than anywhere else in the nation, and Florida and Alabama's water demands are unreasonable."
The Apalachicola Bay "produces 90 percent of all of Florida's oysters, and 10 percent of all the oysters consumed in the U.S.," Pittman reports. "Amid court battles, congressional power plays, even a brief bid to move Tennessee's state line to give Georgia even more water, nobody has come up with a compromise that suits everyone. And Georgia's consumption is expected to nearly double by 2035 to 705 million gallons per day." (Read more)
Boaters can be fined $500 for refusing to have their boat washed, but it's a simple process that takes five minutes, Mertz reports. "Vehicles trailering a boat pull up to the station, a little wooden shack at theDepartment of Natural Resources public boat launch that services the two adjoining lakes. A boat-wash worker asks the driver if the boat has been in another lake in the past 10 days. If so, the worker sprays off the hull and trailer with heated water and flushes the engine to remove or kill hitchhiking species that might still cling to life there. The worker asks drivers if they are bringing in bait minnows. Store receipts are checked to verify that the minnows are virus-free and not a potential source of the deadly infectious fish disease called viral hemorrhagic septicemia."
The cost to run the operation at Little Glen is $29,000 a year, Mertz reports. The funds come from lake association dues. Sarah Litch, who is on the Glen Lake Association boat-wash committee, told Mertz, "Looking at milfoil alone, the $29,000 we spend is a pittance compared to the cost for fighting just that one species in your lake." (Read more)
"The Iowa farmers in the audience – including those who have chafed at the thought of regulation of farm dust and youth employment and heavy penalties for farm run-off problems – all applauded her warmly," Jacobs reports. Nancy Beyer, a co-owner of Koszta Farm Corp. corn and soybean farm in rural Belle Plaine, told Jacobs, "She's probably the most on-track EPA director we've ever talked to."
While farmers are happy with McCarthy, environmental activists are not, Jacobs reports. "They say proposed plans for more oversight of Iowa farm facilities are too weak and won't do enough to stop pollution in Iowa's waterways. Iowa is in the middle of a long fight over how state officials will comply with the federal Clean Water Act. Environmental groups say lax regulation of pollution by livestock operations has contributed to more manure spills, more manure reaching rivers and streams and higher drinking-water treatment costs."
"Some activists contend that the government officials, including the Republican-led Iowa DNR and [Republican Gov. Terry] Branstad, are too cozy with farm interests in conducting the negotiations for how to provide oversight to prevent pollution from manure," Jacobs writes. Barb Kalbach, a fourth-generation Iowa farmer, told Jacobs, "Iowa already has 628 impaired waterways and nothing is reversing in an industry that's voluntarily regulated. It won't work in this state." (Read more)
The Department expects a "nonlinear" surge in solar expansion once the key threshold is reached, "paving the way for rapid, large-scale adoption of solar electricity across the US", with solar providing 27pc of the country's power by the middle of the century. If so, solar may prove to be the bigger story than shale in the end.
"This could take off very fast and catch a lot of people by surprise. The oil and gas industry is starting to smell that renewables are really dangerous for them," said Mr Leggett.
Like all solar survivors, he has emotion invested in his dream, and the prospect of vindication is sweet. What is new is that big global banks are starting to agree. Earlier this year UBS published a report on the "unsubsidised solar revolution", arguing that every rooftop in Italy, Spain and even Germany should have a solar cover based purely on hard economics.
"We believe the solar sector is at an inflection point," says Vishal Shah from Deutsche Bank. "It has passed the tipping point for grid parity in 10 major markets worldwide."
Deutsche Bank said the dramatic fall in the price of solar panels to between $0.60 and $0.70 per watt - lower than thought possible five years ago - has already rendered solar power competitive "without subsidies" in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Greece, Spain, Israel, South Africa, Chile, Southern California, Hawai and Chile - in some cases because electricity prices are ruinous. (Italy's solar is not efficient but electricity retails at $0.38 per kilowatt hour, compared with $0.15 in Germany and the UK).
These regions could be joined within three years by Thailand, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey and India, among others. Mr Shah said emerging markets are likely to embrace solar over the next decade for hard-headed commercial reasons, without the need for government subsidies. "Solar is now cheaper compared with diesel-based electricity generation in many markets such as India and Africa," he said.
The rapidly changing nature of Australia's coal-fired electricity grid has been highlighted by a new report from the Australian Energy Market Operator, which reports that all new electricity generation proposals received in the last 12 months have been either for large scale wind farms or solar facilities.Over the same time, some 770MW of capacity at the Tarong black coal power plant in Queensland has been mothballed, as well as the 170MW Collinsville power station, which is trying to reinvent itself as a solar/gas hybrid plant. This adds to other retirements including the Playford B power station in Port Augusta and the seasonal retirement of the neighbouring Northern power station....published on Peak Energy // visit site
In its annual assessment of Energy market opportunities (known in the industry as ESOO, or Electricity Statement of Opportunities), AEMO notes the pivotal of renewable energy sources in the National Electricity Market, and in particular the influence of rooftop solar.
In the past year, the building out of residential rooftop solar totaled 774MW across the NEM (which includes the eastern states and South Australia, but excludes WA, the Northern Territory,Mt Isa and other isolated networks). Solar analysts expect a similar amount of rooftop solar to be installed in 2013/14, despite the removal of most subsidies.
This compares with 522.7MW of new large-scale generation that came online in 2012/13, most of which (439.5MW) came new wind energy facilities – including the 420MW Macarthur wind farm in Victoria), along with 60MW from a coal plant expansion and 39MW from two co-generation and landfill gas facilities.
Of the 1,000MW of new generation committed – but not yet completed - in the past 12 months, AEMO says that 945.5MW came from six new wind farm projects, and a further 45.5 MW from new solar generation (including the Kogan Creek solar booster in Queensland) and the Mildura concentrated solar PV demonstration plant in Victoria.
New Heavy oil recovery process can get over 80% of oil in place and is 11% better than previous method
In this process, a vapourized solvent near its dew point is continuously injected into the reservoir to maintain reservoir pressure and also supply extra gas drive to flush the diluted oil out through an injector that is located on the top of the reservoir; while a producer, which is located at the bottom of the reservoir, is operated in a shut-in/open cyclic way. A series of experiments have been conducted to evaluate the CPCSI performance. The recovery factors (RFs) are up to 85% of original oil in place (OOIP) in 1-D tests, and the RF is improved by 11% by using the 2-D lateral CPCSI, compared with the traditional 2-D lateral VAPEX. Well configurations and the producer shut-in/open scenarios are key optimization factors that affect the CPCSI performance. Experimental results show that the foamy oil flow and solvent trap are the two major EHOR mechanisms for enhancing the oil production rate during the production period. In comparison with continuous injection process, such as vapour extraction (VAPEX), and cyclic injection process, such as cyclic solvent injection (CSI), CPCSI offers free gas driving, and the reservoir pressure is maintained during the producer opening period so that the diluted oil viscosity is kept low. This work shows that CPCSI could be an alternative optimization production scenario for applying solvent based in situ EHOR techniques for heavy oil reservoirs in Western Canada.
• We tested a new enhanced heavy oil recovery technique, named cyclic production with continuous solvent injection (CPCSI).
• 1-D and 2-D experimental tests were conducted to test the performance of this process.
• The oil recovery factor for this process can reach 80%.
• Compared with the classical VAPEX process, the oil recovery factor is increased by 11%.
This solvent based approach would work far better than SAGD for thin heavy oil formations.
Read more »
LWR (Light Water Reactor) Fuel Cycle Costs
All assume 100$/kg Uranium and 150$/kg SWU (enrichment)
• Light Water Reactor(per Gwe)
• 20M$ Uranium(200 Tonnes, 100$/kg)
• 20M$ Enrichment
• 10M$ Fuel Fabrication
• Annual Fuel Cost 0.6 cents/kwh
• But must pay off initial fuel load
– 3 to 5 Tonnes U235 + Fabrication
– ~200M$ = 0.26 c/kwh (10% Discount Rate)
• Total Fuel Cycle ~ 0.86 cents/kwh
Size of Heat Exchangers for different types of nuclear reactors
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The Little Green Data Book pocket-sized ready reference on key environmental data for over 200 countries.
Technology has come a long way since Edison patented the light bulb back in 1880. A group of undergraduates at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are launching a project to crowdfund the production of the Biobulb—a light bulb that uses bacteria to glow in the dark. Essentially creating an "ecosystem in a jar", the bulb takes advantage of ahost of microorganisms and natural light to feed the shining bacteria.
The Biobulb uses a strain of E.coli that has been engineered to incorporate a plasmid that encodes genes for bioluminescence. Their project plans to experiment with different proteins in order to maximize the amount of light given off by the bacteria. They also hope to find a way to avoid mutations, code for different color emissions, and to begin experimenting with different triggers to coax the bacteria to give of light on cue.
The bacteria are fed by a host of other microorganisms selected by the team to play unique roles in the cycling of nutrients. By creating a living light bulb, the group hopes to promote the field of synthetic biology. The Biobulb is currently a finalist in the Popular Science #CrowdGrant Challenge and the subject of a RocketHub campaign. For a pledge of $100, the team will send a starter kit that lets biology buffs create a bacteria bulb of their own. + Biobulb
Aug 24, 2013
Aug 23, 2013
Public comment & peer review of Dichloromethane and N-Methylpyrrolidone TSCA Chemical Risk Assessment;
EPA's contractor, The Scientific Consulting Group (SCG), Inc., has
identified a panel of scientific experts to conduct a peer review of
EPA's draft Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical risk
assessment, "TSCA Workplan Chemical Risk Assessment for
Dichloromethane and N-Methylpyrrolidone." EPA will hold three peer
review meetings by web connect and teleconference. EPA invites the
public to register to attend the meetings as observers and/or speakers
providing oral comments during any or all of the peer review meetings
as discussed in this notice. The public may also provide comment on
whether they believe the appearance of conflict of interest exists for
any proposed peer review panel expert.
Read full at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/23/2013-20748/dichloromethane-and-n-methylpyrrolidone-tsca-chemical-risk-assessment-notice-of-public-meetings-and
Aug 22, 2013
Excerpt: Perhaps one of the more eyebrow-raising presentations at London's 2011 Shale Gas Environmental Summit was that of Germany's Klaus Sontgerath, head of department, Lower Saxony State Authority for Mining, Energy and Geology. In his presentation, he illustrated that Germany – one of Europe's greenest countries - produces more onshore natural gas than any country in Europe apart from the Netherlands.
Please continue reading at: http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/germanys-advancing-shale-plays-3581
For folks with a large stream on their property, a Pelton Wheel system like this is fantastic: Algonquin Eco-Lodge - 12 kW Micro-Hydro Turbines
Aug 21, 2013
Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: Wisconsin; Disapproval of PM2.5 Permitting Requirements; Correction
Average NY Mother on Welfare gets benefits greater than the annual salary of a first-year school teacher.
Not video games or TV But, Soda may make children more violent, destroy things, and attack others - CBS News
Studies of young soda drinkers often focus on added risk for childhood obesity. But now, a new study suggests the sweet stuff could actually be making kids more violent.
Public health researchers looked at thousands of 5-year-olds, and found the more sugary soft drinks they consumed, the more likely they were to inflict damage and hurt others.
"We found a significant relation with soda consumption with the overall measure of aggression and with the three specific behaviors we felt were most indicative of aggression: destroying things belonging to others, getting into fights and physically attacking people," wrote the authors, led by researcher Dr. Shakira Suglia, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, said in a written statement.
For the study, researchers at Columbia University, Harvard and the University of Vermont analyzed about 3,000 kids — mostly black and Hispanic children — from 20 large U.S. cities. They had been enrolled in a study that followed them since birth, in which moms were given surveys about their child's behavior.
More than 40 percent of the children had at least one soft drink per day, while only 4 percent consumed four or more.
But, the more soda kids drank, the more problems with attention, aggression and withdrawn behaviors were reported.
Please continue reading at: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-204_162-57598832/soda-may-make-children-more-likely-to-destroy-things-attack-others/
Aug 20, 2013
Excerpt: Many today believe that renewable energy will let us get off fossil fuels soon. Unfortunately, the facts say otherwise. According to International Energy Agency data, 13.12% of the world's energy came from renewables in 1971, the first year that the IEA reported global statistics. In 2011, renewables' share was actually lower, at 12.99%. … Burning wood in pre-industrial Western Europe caused massive deforestation, as is occurring in much of the developing world today. The indoor air pollution that biomass produces kills more than three million people annually.
Aug 18, 2013
Indoor farming can produce crops year-round. All-season farming multiplies the productivity of the farmed surface by a factor of 4 to 6 depending on the crop. With some crops, such as strawberries, the factor may be as high as 30.
The crops would be sold in the same infrastructures in which they are grown, they will not need to be transported between production and sale, resulting in less spoilage, infestation, and energy required than conventional farming encounters. Research has shown that 30% of harvested crops are wasted due to spoilage and infestation, though this number is much lower in developed nations.
The controlled growing environment reduces the need for pesticides, namely herbicides and fungicides. Advocates claim that producing organic crops in vertical farms is practical and the most likely production
The Eden project in the UK cost 140 million pounds ($210 million), which included about 40 acres beyond the 2.4 hectares of domed greenhouse. The Eden project is a greenhouse and not a vertical farm.
Read more published on Next Big Future // visit site