Toledo's Troubles: Vivid Example of Why We Need to Act on Climate and Clean Water

August 7, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Toledo and Environmental Risk

The recent troubles in Toledo might seem the stuff of scary science fiction stories, but the truth is that a major American city, perched along the Great Lakes, just went three days without any drinking water after pollution poisoned their supply.[read more]

Toledo's Drinking Water Crisis

August 6, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

Toledo Water Crisis

Toledo residents could breathe a sigh a relief after a two-day drinking water ban was lifted. Early Saturday morning, Toledo’s 500,000 residents (and 30,000 residents of southwestern Michigan) were told to stop using tap water after unsafe levels of toxins, likely caused by Lake Erie algal blooms.[read more]

EPA's Cooperative Approach to Regulating Algae Pollution Falls Flat

February 16, 2014 by NRDC Switchboard

EPA Algae Pollution Regulation

As those of you who follow the green slime crisis in our nation’s waters may know, in the summer of 2008, NRDC and others in the Mississippi River basin states petitioned USEPA to issue regulations to control the pollution that is fueling the rampant growth of algae in our nation’s waters.[read more]

Direct air capture of CO2 is becoming a business, for better or worse

March 12, 2012 by Marc Gunther

  Klaus Lackner Since 1999, when Columbia University physicist Klaus Lackner wrote the first scientific paper [PDF, download] about capturing carbon dioxide from the air, his unlikely idea has grown into a nascent industry. Four start-up companies, including his own, Kilimanjaro Energy, are working on technologies to extract CO2...[read more]

Biofuels: Value vs. Volume

February 14, 2012 by Geoffrey Styles

I was only partially surprised to read in MIT's Technology Review that Amyris, a biotechnology company developing renewable diesel and jet fuel from sugar cane, was backing away from the biofuel market to pursue more lucrative products. Fuels are a highly competitive, low-margin business, and it's hard enough to make money refining them...[read more]

A Solution for Biofuels? Researchers Quadruple Algae Growth Using Low-Level Magnetic Fields

July 5, 2011 by Tyler Hamilton

My Clean Break column revisits the importance of producing biofuels from algae, especially in the case of producing renewable fuels for the airline industry, which can’t electrify its fleet like we can with cars and trucks. But I also zoom in on some research conducted at the University of Western Ontario, led by biochemistry professor...[read more]

energyNOW! Video: The Future of Flight

April 25, 2011 by Silvio Marcacci

Engineers are constantly trying to make airplanes more efficient, and there's finally a big push to do so. In “The Future of Flight,” Special Correspondent Josh Zepps takes a look at how the aviation industry is evolving to meet new needs and pressures, with new aircraft designs and advanced fuels.[read more]

Bioplastics: What Will 2011 Bring?

January 6, 2011 by Doris de Guzman

Here is an industry insight on bioplastics from Jim Lunt of Jim Lunt and Associates, LLC. We asked his opinions on the industry's performance in 2010 and his perspectives on the trends for 2011. 2010 was a pivotal growth year for bioplastics after the economy-induced flat period of 2009. Several prominent studies projected almost 40%...[read more]

At least 10 more years of R&D needed, but algae biofuels could be major contributor (particularly for jet fuel): study

November 9, 2010 by Tyler Hamilton

If you want a comprehensive snapshot of the state of algae biofuel development you may want to read a 178-report put out by the Energy Biosciences Institute in California. hits the key findings in this article, but the general observation is that the market is in “early gestation” and there’s at least a decade to...[read more]

Study Finds Algae Biodiesel Life Cycle Analysis Better Than Petroleum Diesel, Soy Biodiesel

September 27, 2010 by Mike Gregory

The transformation of algae into a biofuel – from the photobioreactor where it’s grown to the factories where it’s processed – is more environmentally friendly than the process for petroleum diesel or soy biodiesel, according to a groundbreaking Colorado State University study. The research, by Professors Thomas Bradley and Bryan...[read more]

Gee whiz, algae!

September 12, 2010 by Marc Gunther

Big institutions can make mistakes, as we’ve learned, painfully, lately. (See BP, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, etc.) But when big corporations like Unilever, Chevron and Bunge  invest in a algae company that is also in business with the U.S. Navy, well, that’s a good reason to take notice. The algae company is called Solazyme and...[read more]

Cement maker first in world to capture CO2 with alga

March 18, 2010 by Tyler Hamilton

We all know that making cement is an energy-intensive process, so when carbon prices are introduced in North America it’s going to have a major impact on an industry that quite literally lays at the foundation of our economy. In Ontario, cement maker St. Marys Cement — now part of Brazilian conglomerate Groupo Votorantim – has...[read more]

Solazyme’s amazing algae

March 18, 2010 by Marc Gunther

Algae are so good at producing oil from sunlight and carbon dioxide that there are, by some accounts, as many as 200 companies trying to make biofuels from algae. Some are obscure, little more than a couple of guys playing around with pond scum. Others are attention-grabbing, like Synthetic Genomics, the company led by pioneering...[read more]

Strong algae momentum

March 4, 2010 by Doris de Guzman

Two recent big news on the algae front are developments from Honeywell's UOP business and from DuPont. Both companies were able to get funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) - $1.5 million for UOP and $8.8 million for DuPont. In UOP's case, The funding will be used for the design of a demonstration system that will capture carbon...[read more]

Another Response to the DARPA Claim

February 19, 2010 by Robert Rapier

Many of my essays here are reprinted at The Energy Collective. Following a reprint of my recent essay examining DARPA's extraordinary claim on the cost of algal fuel, a reader named Durwood Dugger (this gentleman, I presume) posted some very interesting comments that are worth reproducing here. His original comment can be found here...[read more]