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Archive for the ‘United States’ Category

It’s not out there in your daily newspapers but within scientific journals and research centres across the globe there’s a lot of work & discussion on microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology.

Researchers at the Biodesign Institute are using the tiniest organisms on the planet — bacteria — as a viable option to make electricity. In a new study featured in the journal Biotechnology and Bioengineering, lead author Andrew Kato Marcus and colleagues Cesar Torres and Bruce Rittmann have gained critical insights that may lead to commercialization of a promising microbial fuel cell (MFC) technology. The project has been funded by NASA and industrial partners OpenCEL and NZLegacy.

”We can use any kind of waste, such as sewage or pig manure, and the microbial fuel cell will generate electrical energy,” said Marcus, a Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate student and a member of the institute’s Center for Environmental Biotechnology. Unlike conventional fuel cells that rely on hydrogen gas as a fuel source, the microbial fuel cell can handle a variety of water-based organic fuels.

“There is a lot of biomass out there that we look at simply as energy stored in the wrong place,” said Bruce Rittmann, director of the center. “We can take this waste, keeping it in its normal liquid form, but allowing the bacteria to convert the energy value to our society’s most useful form, electricity. They get food while we get electricity.”

If you’re interested in the science behind MFC technology read more here.

For some history and discussion of the possibilities of commercial application  see  here.

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This blog is now moving over to the Environment Solutions website where we hope to build a more comprehensive information portal for solutions on the environment.

Please visit the new site and update your blogroll link.

Thank you for your continuing support and interest.

🙂

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Hell, ya can even recycle your oyster shells state side.

RecyclingMarkets.net gives you access to North America’s Most Comprehensive searchable database of more than 17,000 companies involved in the Recycling Process throughout the USA and Canada.

This database is divided into the following two sections; those that will do the recycling for you and the comapnies turning recycled material back into useful products:

RECYCLING MARKETS
* Over 16,000 brokers, dealer/processors, collectors and consumers of recyclable materials
* All major recycling commodities and special materials
* Membership / Subscription options

RECYCLED PRODUCTS
* Over 5,000 cross-referenced, certified listings of manufacturers and distributors of recycled, re-manufactured, reused and reprocessed products.
* Over 1,000 recycled product classifications.
* Product listings conform with RPG Certification Criteria.

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A gold rush of new investment into renewable power over the past 18 months has led the United Nations to conclude that clean energy could provide almost a quarter of the world’s electricity by 2030.

More than £35bn was injected into wind and solar power and biofuels in 2006, 43% more than the preceding year. Sustainable energy accounts for only 2% of the world’s total but the UN says 18% of all power plants under construction are in this sector.

The findings, outlined in the Global Trends in Sustainable Development annual review, represent a challenge to the received wisdom among energy experts that green power is likely to play only a marginal part in the energy mix until at least the second half of the century.

Says UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner: “One of the new and fundamental messages of this report is that renewable energies are no longer subject to the vagaries of rising and falling oil prices-they are becoming generating systems of choice for increasing numbers of power companies, communities and countries irrespective of the costs of fossil fuels.

“The other key message is that this is no longer an industry solely dominated by developed country industries. Close to 10 per cent of investments are in China with around a fifth in total in the developing world. We will need many sustained steps towards the de-carbonizing of the global economy. It is clear that in respect to renewables those steps are getting underway.”

More on the UNEP report here.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), based in the United States have come up with the Renewable Electricity Standards Toolkit. It provides a central point for anyone interested in finding out what registered states are doing and planning to do with investment for renewable energy.

This gives us an clearer picture about what is happening on the ground, which is not often reported within the mainstream media. We can search state standards here for example and on that page I chose to look at ‘Targets and timetables’. Here there is a good summary of what each registered state has achieved and is aiming to do by a certain target date.

This site is packed with useful information and presents it in a readable format. Overall, it presents a picture that the US is driving forward its renewable energy remit.

To add to this you can also go to the US Department of Energy website and take a look at the current news on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy , state by state. There’s a lot going on.

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