Disadvantages of Aviation Biofuels

October 14, 2011 by  
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In the past couple of years, we’ve seen many, many tests being carried out by numerous different airlines and agencies to study the possibilities of using biofuel as an entire replacement for or as a blend with conventional jet fuel. But biofuels as a replacement for petroleum-based jet fuel may not be the ideal solution. Biofuels are better than straight petroleum-based products, but there are drawbacks to biofuels , as well. Dedicating cropland to grow fuel crops can cut down on the available land and farming resources for food production. There are arguments against algae-based fuels, as well. They don’t compete with food for farmland, but the industrial infrastructure needed to produce algae-based fuel at scale is a daunting prospect. Of course, conversion to any new material is a daunting prospect. The development of new technologies will eventually be necessary, one way or another. To continue to research alternatives and to find the best mix of feedstock for alternative fuels is importatnt not only for aviation, but for all energy technologies. Virgin Atlantic, which is one of the many airlines to have tested biofuels , is now exploring a jet fuel replacement that, rather than using bio materials as feedstock, is derrived from waste industrial gas from steel production.  But if that relies on petroleum fuels as the original feedstock, then the long term viability of that process is also questionable. via: Treehugger and Guardian

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Disadvantages of Aviation Biofuels

San Francisco Making Buildings Bird-Safe

October 13, 2011 by  
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As much as is made of wind turbines being a threat to birds , they don’t even come close to the biggest manmade killer of birds:  buildings.  Highly reflective window glass claims as many as one billion birds a year in North America, while city lights at night can cause migratory birds to become disoriented, often leading to their death. San Francisco officials are hoping to help protect the 400 different species of birds that inhabit their city by introducing a new law called Standards for Bird-Safe Buildings . The standards are mainly voluntary, but new buildings, additions and retrofits, buildings near urban bird refuges, as well as structures like freestanding clear glass walls, skywalks, rooftop greenhouses and enclosed balconies do have to comply with some mandatory rules. To make these buildings and structures bird-safe, owners can place netting in front of windows or place ceramic lines or dots on glass to cut down on their reflectivity, while preserving the ability to see out.  To keep from confusing migrating birds at night, buildings will also have to observe lights-out ordinances during the migratory season. via NY Times

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San Francisco Making Buildings Bird-Safe

Virgin Atlantic Announces Plans to Fuel Airplanes With Waste Gas

October 11, 2011 by  
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Airline mogul and billionaire Richard Branson just announced that in three years Virgin Atlantic airplanes will be fueled by waste gas from power plants, steel works, and aluminum plants. Within 24 months the company will be able to take waste gas from these industrial sites and turn it into aviation fuel for their commercial airplanes. The process will reduce the carbon footprint of Virgin’s airplanes by as much as 50 percent. Read the rest of Virgin Atlantic Announces Plans to Fuel Airplanes With Waste Gas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon offsets , green aviation , green jet fuel , jet fuel , low emissions jet fuel , Richard Branson , sustainable jet fuel , Virgin America , virgin atlantic , virgin atlantic sustainability

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Virgin Atlantic Announces Plans to Fuel Airplanes With Waste Gas

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