Tag Archives: oil
Dr. Paul Edmiston and students at the College of Wooster in Ohio have discovered a material which absorbs small organic molecules while repelling water. The material, which they call "Osorb", is a nano-engineered glass that can absorb hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and solvents which are either dispersed or disolved in water. The absorbed compounds can be separated from the glass with a heat or water treatment and the glass material itself can be regenerated over 100 times. As well as its potential use in oil spills, the material could be used to reclaim waste water from oil and … Continue Reading
Using oil and gas as an energy source is a remnant of old Industial Age technology and not normally part of our discussion of the developing Global Age. However, the increased price of fossil fuels, resulting from the world’s diminishing oil supply, has led to some extraordinary techniques being used to extract oil and gas from ‘unconventional’ sources. These techniques seem to have been shrouded in confusing jargon and emotional claims. In this post, I have attempted to set out my understanding of techniques such as fracking and coal seam gas extraction in plain language. Researching these techniques has led … Continue Reading
Greenpeace International and the European Renewable Energy Council have produced a report titled: "Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook" which provides a detailed blueprint for cutting carbon emissions while achieving economic growth by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy and energy efficiency. Acopy of the full 212-page report is here; a 16-page summary is here. Under the Energy [R]evolution scenario, global CO2 emissions would peak in 2015 and drop afterwards. Compared with 1990 CO2 emissions would be more than 80% lower by 2050. The report says that by 2050 around 95% of electricity could be produced by renewable energy. … Continue Reading
As disastrous as the Gulf oil spill is, it is dwarfed others aound the world. The Guardian, for example, has an article about Nigeria where, they say, more oil is spilled every year than has been lost in the Gulf spill – and it’s been happening for 50 years! Just last month, a ruptured ExxonMobil pipeline in the state of Akwa Ibom spilled more than a million gallons into the delta. Local people demonstrated against the company but say they were attacked by security guards. Within days of the Ibeno spill, thousands of barrels of oil were spilled when the … Continue Reading
Our latest YouTube video clip is a look at what our dependence on oil is doing to the Earth.
British Airways has unveiled plans to establish what it believes will be Europe’s first ‘sustainable’ jet fuel plant The plant will produce aviation fuel from plasma gasification of biomass into BioSynGas which is then converted into jet fuel. The facility will process all types of biomass and residue feedstock which will mainly be sourced from local waste management facilities. The process produces no waste products other than an environmentally-benign slag that can be used as construction aggregate. It is planned that the plant will be fully operational by 2014 and, if successful, it will convert 500,000 tonnes of carbon-based material … Continue Reading
The American delivery company, UPS, has some 95,000 trucks. For 100 years, UPS employees have worked to find the most efficient routes for delivering packages in a safe and timely manner by physically driving each one and plotting them on maps. Over the last few years, UPS has been rolling out computer programs to automate the process that was performed manually in the past. One thing that the computer models showed was that drivers should make as few left turns across oncoming traffic as possible. Waiting for the oncoming traffic to pass was costing more time and fuel than making … Continue Reading
The Americans make war to get more oil The Germans make biodiesel factories The British make regulations to limit vehicle use The French make cycling fashionable The Italians make trendy motor scooters The Japanese make more fuel-efficient cars The Chinese make more stuff to sell so they can buy more oil The Indians make really cheap cars that don’t really work The Brazilians make alcohol The Australians make finding the cheapest fuel into a sport The Arabs make money
For over 100 years up to 1970, the price of a barrel of oil was remarkably stable at between about $us21 and $us25 (adjusted for inflation). Contrary to general belief, the formation of OPEC in 1960 did not lead to an immediate increase in oil prices – in fact, prices declined throughout the sixties. What actually changed things was peak oil in Texas which occurred in about 1970. Up to that time, the Railroad Commission of Texas, which (despite its name) regulates the Texas oil and gas industry, had limited the amount of oil that was produced in order to … Continue Reading
The main reason that hybrid cars use less petrol is because they switch off the petrol engine when they stop in traffic. Non-hybrid cars can be made to do the same thing. In essence, all they need is a beefed-up starter motor and some electronics. It is estimated that, if all cars worked in this way, we would reduce fuel consumption by 8%. So why don’t they?