"People keep saying the biofuel market isn’t going anywhere, but the folks at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have a new trick up their sleeves. They have developed a new super-hardy strain of the bacteria E. coli, and they have demonstrated that it can make a critical biofuel precursor from switchgrass using a simple, low cost “one-pot” process."
The trucks roll in and out of the plant at a business park nestled near papaya farms and a forest preserve on the Big Island here, an operation that transforms waste cooking oils, animal fats, fruit and seeds into biodiesel fuel, nearly 13,000 gallons a day.
"Teams of undergraduate students huddled quietly around the gray metal desks in the teaching labs at Harvard’s Science Center. Each group was creating a calorimeter out of a used soda can and scavenged Styrofoam cups to determine the energy density and efficiency of the biodiesel they had extracted the week before from waste fryer oil provided by Annenberg Dining Hall."
"Five of the Solomon Islands have submerged underwater and six more have experienced a dramatic reduction in shoreline due to man-made climate change, according to a paper published in the journal Environmental Research Letters."
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday barred President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) from taking effect until legal challenges against the legislation are solved.
"Now in its fourth year, the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook series documents the revolution transforming how the US produces, delivers, and consumes energy. The 2016 Factbook provides an update through the end of 2015, highlighting a number of key developments that occurred as the long-term transformation of US energy continues to unfold."
"Argonne National Laboratory released a study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) that examines the potential effects of future biofuel production on freshwater resources in the Missouri River Basin—a region that could play a central role in the production of cellulosic biomass like switchgrass, a perennial energy crop. The study identified four areas that could be associated with increased feedstock production, and demonstrated that increasing the amount of switchgrass acreage in these hot spots could significantly improve water quality."
“U.S. consumers used nearly 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2015, but domestic production remained flat at about 1.42 billion gallons, compared with about 1.47 billion gallons in 2014 and 1.5 billion gallons in 2013. Imports rose from 510 million gallons in 2014 to an estimated 670 million gallons in 2015, a 25 percent increase.”
The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. During the final month, the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the highest on record for any month in the 136-year record.