• Cost of Coal

    AYFORD MOUNTAIN, W. Va - Larry Gibson's tiny house sits in a green oasis on top of the Appalachian peak his family has called home for 230 years. The setting would be peaceful if not for the roar of machinery scraping away the surrounding mountain in search of coal  "It's a noisy, dusty place. They dynamite constantly," said Gibson, 61. "It's the genocide of Appalachia, the destruction of a people who have lived in these mountains forever.  Gibson has emblazoned the wooden cabin he calls home with a banner calling for an end to mountaintop mining, along with the words "We are the keepers of the mountains... don't destroy them" -- his defiant stand against coal companies who have offered to buy his land. >> Read the Full Article
  • $500M Fund Launched to Support Next-Generation Renewable Fuels

    The future of renewable fuels in Canada took a big step forward today with the launch of the NextGen Biofuels Fund. The new fund, with $500 million in funding provided by the Government of Canada, will be managed by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).  "The NextGen Biofuels Fund will jumpstart the development and production of the next generation of renewable fuels in Canada," said SDTC Chairman James M. Stanford. "This Fund will aim to take advantage of the abundance of suitable biomass materials available in Canada by funding large-scale demonstration facilities and encouraging the growth and retention of home-grown technologies and expertise in Canada." >> Read the Full Article
  • SCA and Statkraft - Major Wind Power Venture and to Study Eco-Friendly Extension of Hydropower

    CA and Statkraft are to form a jointly owned company for a major investment in wind power in northern Sweden. The plans involve production of 2,800 GWh of wind power electricity per year in seven wind farms on forest land in Västernorrland and Jämtland, an investment of SEK 16 billion. Statkraft will provide financing while SCA grants land for the wind power farms. Plans also include studying the feasibility of expanding hydropower in the northern regions Jämtland, Västernorrland and Västerbotten. >> Read the Full Article
  • Uruguay Pulp Mill Delayed on Environmental Concerns

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  • Green Campaign Dents Palm Oil Demand

    KUALA LUMPUR - A campaign by environment groups against palm oil is costing the product market share in Europe, a top Malaysian palm oil industry official said on Monday.  Palm oil, used as food and in products ranging from cosmetics to biofuel, has come under fire from environmentalists in Europe and America who say the rapid expansion in palm cultivation is responsible for vanishing tropical forests and wildlife.

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  • RWE to develop new process to cut pollution

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German utility RWE, Europe's largest polluter, said on Friday it plans to develop a new process to remove carbon-dioxide from the emissions of coal-fired power plants as countries throughout Europe make it more expensive to emit the greenhouse gas.

    Germany's largest power producer will spend 80 million euros ($113.5 million) on the process, which it is devising with Industrial-gases producer Linde and chemicals firm BASF, and plans to use it commercially by 2020.

    BASF will test technologies and solvents for the process to remove CO2, known as scrubbing, while Linde will supply the engineering and construction for the test site at an RWE, lignite-fired power plant in Niederaussen, the parties said.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Towers blown up at world's oldest nuclear plant

    Fifty years of British industrial history were reduced to rubble within a couple of minutes on Saturday.

    Four 88-metre (288 feet) high cooling towers at Calder Hall, the world's oldest industrial scale nuclear power station, were blown up with 192 kgs (420 pounds) of explosive as part of the plant's decommissioning.

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  • Gutsy Ecuador proposes to put a lid on oil.

    Little countries can find the strength to do big things that big countries fear to do.

    For the good of itself, for the good of the planet, the South American country of Ecuador has proposed to keep the lid on nearly one billion barrels of oil under its Yasuni National Park.

    >> Read the Full Article
  • Nanowire generates power by harvesting energy from the environment

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — As the sizes of sensor networks and mobile devices shrink toward the microscale, and even nanoscale, there is a growing need for suitable power sources. Because even the tiniest battery is too big to be used in nanoscale devices, scientists are exploring nanosize systems that can salvage energy from the environment.

    Now, researchers at the University of Illinois have shown that a single nanowire can produce power by harvesting mechanical energy. Made of piezoelectric material, the nanowire generates a voltage when mechanically deformed. To measure the voltage produced by such a tiny wire, however, the researchers first had to build an extremely sensitive and precise mechanical testing stage.

    “With the development of this precision testing apparatus, we successfully demonstrated the first controlled measurement of voltage generation from an individual nanowire,” said Min-Feng Yu, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, and a researcher at the university’s Beckman Institute. “The new testing apparatus makes possible other difficult, but important, measurements, as well.”
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  • Eggshells Help Make Hydrogen Fuel.

    COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Engineers at Ohio State University have found a way to turn discarded chicken eggshells into an alternative energy resource.

    The patented process uses eggshells to soak up carbon dioxide from a reaction that produces hydrogen fuel. It also includes a unique method for peeling the collagen-containing membrane from the inside of the shells, so that the collagen can be used commercially.
    L.S. Fan

    L.S. Fan, Distinguished University Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State, said that he and former Ohio State doctoral student, Mahesh Iyer, hit upon the idea when they were trying to improve a method of hydrogen production called the water-gas-shift reaction. With this method, fossil fuels such as coal are gasified to produce carbon monoxide gas, which then combines with water to produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

    The eggshell plays a critical role.
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