Finding Green In The City

Nanhu

Chongqing in China is growing fast – so is the pollution

Apart from a few lower members of the animal kingdom, no-one other than human beings build cities.  They are totally artificial constructs and in them we live artificial lives. We travel differently, eat different food, receive water and energy through pipes and wires, live in different kinds of buildings, do different jobs.

 

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Terrabon Develops Process To Convert Vinegar Into Gasoline

terrabon

Inside this white building, piles of sorghum are broken down into acids. The acids they produce can be used to make gasoline.

A company that has developed a process for converting organic waste and other biomass into gasoline–Terrabon, based in Houston–recently announced a partnership with Waste Management, the giant garbage-collection and -disposal company based in Houston. The partnership could help Terrabon bring its technology to market.

 

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Rare Microbe To Help Make A Better Biofuel

Rare Bug To Help Make A Better Biofuel

Zymetis is testing genetically modified bacteria that efficiently convert biomass into sugar.  

A tiny microbe found in the Chesapeake Bay is the focus of intense study for a biotech startup in College Park, MD. Zymetis has genetically modified a rare, cellulose-eating bacterium to break down and convert cellulose into sugars necessary to make ethanol, and it recently completed its first commercial-scale trial. Earlier this year, the company ran the modified microbe through a series of tests in large fermenters and found that it was able to convert one ton of cellulosic plant fiber into sugar in 72 hours. The trial, researchers say, illustrates the organism’s potential in helping to produce ethanol cheaply and efficiently at industrial scales. Zymetis is now raising the first round of venture capital to bring the technology to commercial applications.

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Cow Belches

cowbelch.jpg

Oh That Smell Can You Smell That Smell

The Process for the Utilization of Ruminant Animal Methane Emissions sometimes referred to as Patent# US 6982161, involves a device patented in 2006 that traps the belches of cows. Why, you may ask, would anyone in their right mind (or even in their wrong one) want to do that? The answer sort of relates to global warming. Will using this process save the planet? Probably not, but here’s how it works anyway.

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China Closes The Clean-Coal Gap With The U.S.

China Closes The Clean-Coal Gap With The U.S. 

 An artist’s concept of China’s first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant

China looks set to overtake the United States in the application of technologies to clean up coal-fired power generation, if several proposed projects come to fruition. GreenGen–a joint venture established by Chinese utilities–has broken ground on China’s first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) plant and signed agreements to build two more.

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Study Implicates Climate As A Major Driver Of Wildfires

Study Implicates Climate As A Major Driver Of Wildfires 

Climate has been implicated by a new study as a major driver of wildfires in the last 2,000 years. But human activities, such as land clearance and fire suppression during the industrial era (since 1750) have created large swings in burning, first increasing fires until the late 1800s, and then dramatically reducing burning in the 20th century.

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Mini-Windmills Could Soon Be On Roofs Across Europe And US

Mini-Windmills Could Soon Be On Roofs Across Europe And US 
 Mini-Windmills

They are small and look more like art than innovation. But the mini-windmills built by a British company could soon be on roofs across Europe and the US — if German energy giant RWE has its way.

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Wood Burning Truck Travels Across The Country

Wood Burning Truck Travels Across The Country 

Almost everyone is looking for ways to provide cleaner means of transportation without breaking the bank in the process. Renewable Energy Systems (RES) LLC has teamed up with Auburn University in an endeavor to show that such system are out there and often times are well with reach of many people.

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New Audubon Insectarium Opens In New Orleans

New Audubon Insectarium Opens In New Orleans 

 Audubon Insectarium In New Orleans

What is it about these creatures? In the new $25 million Audubon Insectarium, which opened here in June, you can watch Formosan termites eat through a wooden skyline of New Orleans (as if this city didn’t have enough problems), stick your head into a transparent dome in a kitchen closet swarming with giant cockroaches and watch dung beetles plow their way through a mound of waste. And then you can engage in the museum’s most brilliant interactivity by joining in the line of eager visitors prepared to munch on a handful of crunchy Cajun-fried crickets or scoop up some wax-worm stir fry.

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