Eco Factor: Sustainable architecture designed to conserve energy and generate renewable energy.
H Associates has proposed a stunning building for Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO) new headquarters to be built in a city near Naju in South Korea. Providing a space of nearly 120,000sqm, the new complex will host several technologies that enable electricity generation and conservation. Dubbed the Green Energy Theme Park, the development creates an experiential awareness of the green energy life cycle.
Please visit the original article to see a photo gallery of this concept, makes me think one could grow biodiesel fuel on many of the surfaces, reminds me of the “vertical farming” story.
Eco Factor: Process developed to harvest raw electricity from algae.
Harvesting biofuel from algae isn’t a new concept and that biofuel can also be used to generate electricity via a variety of systems. However, a team of researchers from Korea and California have for the first time developed a process that allows them to harvest raw electricity directly from algae.
Using the most studied form of algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, as a test subject, these researchers applied a tiny current known as overvoltage. This tiny current shocks the cells into motion. If algae are shocked while being exposed to sunlight, they produce current that can be extracted from the colony and put to use.
So who knew? The manufacture of cooking oil involves hexane, a solvent that separates the oil from crushed seeds. Hexane is a volatile organic compound found in gasoline. Hexane is also a degreaser used in the printing industry. It dissolves glues, varnishes, and inks. Aside from the ick factor of having the same compound used to dissolve glues and inks pop up in the production of your bake sale items, hexane is a pollutant that contributes to smog and greenhouse gas emissions.
This is where Queens University of Ontario, Canada comes in. Researchers there have discovered a new energy efficient way to use the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to help separate oils from seed and vegetable crops including corn, canola, peanut safflower, sunflower, and soybean. That’s the sustainable twofer we’re so fond of: a new twist on a conventional process that reduces negative impacts while providing a remedy for additional problems as well.
Perhaps we will see this filter down to the biodiesel manufacturers by giving them a cleaner product to start with, I did not know that hexane is used to make food-grade cooking oil.
Can we get 500 emails into the House Ways & Means Committee to aid the biodiesel industry? Tell our legislators to reinstate and make retroactive the biodiesel tax credit TODAY!
Iowa-based Renewable Energy Group has had to lay off 45 percent of its workforce in the company’s home state, due to the failure of Congress to renew the $1-a-gallon federal biodiesel tax credit.
REG is expected to meet with two key members of Congress, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), at REG facilities in each of the congressmen’s home states.
In addition, REG Chairman and CEO, Jeff Stroburg, sent U.S. House Ways & Mean Committee chairman Sander Levin a letter pleading his case for reinstatement of the incentive:
The reinstatement and retroactivity of the biodiesel tax credit is critical to putting these employees back to work.
The biodiesel tax credit is currently within the Extenders Package (H.R. 4213) which is part of the second jobs bill, the American Workers, State, and Business Relief Act. This bill was sent passed by the Senate March 10th and is currently awaiting action by the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means committee.
We know the countless issues you face each day each deserve your attention and I know you work tirelessly to address each one; however, ours is becoming increasingly critical for our survival.
The earliest Congress can take up the issue would be the week of April 12th, when it returns from spring break. Meanwhile, those REG biodiesel workers … and approximately 23,000 others across the country … are on a break from drawing a paycheck.
Meanwhile, REG has started a Facebook fan page to urge Congress to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit:
Somehow I thought this matter was settle, but I guess not. We’ll keep on the story, looks like a vote will come up the 12th of this month.