Crude oil in 60 minutes

Chemical reactor developed that turns algae into crude oil in 60 minutes:

 

Chemical reactor developed that turns algae into crude oil in 60 minutes

Chemical reactor developed that turns algae into crude oil in 60 minutes

Although efforts are being made to cut down on our reliance on oil, such as more efficient cars and green energy production solutions, it seems very unlikely we’ll ever stop using it completely. At least, not before it runs out, anyway. So it’s reassuring to know that there may be an alternative in the works that allows us to produce our very own crude oil.

Engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a chemical reactor that takes in wet algae and outputs crude oil 60 minutes later. The only byproducts are clean water and a phosphorous-containing waste material that can be reused to grow more algae or converted into a burnable gas among other things.

The crude oil does require further refining as all oil does, but the researchers claim the end result is a usable fuel that replaces conventional aviation fuel, gasoline, or diesel.

One of the major roadblocks of fuel creation from algae is cost. Typically the algae needs to be dry, requires the use of solvents, and is only produced in batches, which is slow. This new method solves a lot of those problems. It works with wet algae, relies on heat and pressure inside the reactor, and is a continuous process so it can just keep producing 24/7.

The chemical reactor setup in their lab can process 1.5 liters of algae an hour, but it is very small and can easily be scaled. It operates at 350 degrees Celsius and uses water at a pressure of 3,000 PSI to create processes known as hydrothermal liquefaction and hydrothermal gasification. The reactor is expensive, but the costs are up front and therefore can be recouped long term from the oil and subsequent fuels it produces.

The researchers describe what they have created as a very high temperature pressure cooker that duplicates what the Earth does to produce oil, only much faster. Whether you believe the claims are true or not, it’s a solution that has already been licensed by Utah company Genifuel Corp. who is now working to roll it out on an industrial scale.

Palm Oil Companies Start Forest Fire killing hundreds

 

 

Hundreds of orangutans killed in north Indonesian forest fires deliberately started by palm oil firms:

 

Hundreds of orangutans killed in north Indonesian forest fires deliberately started by palm oil firms

Hundreds of orangutans killed in north Indonesian forest fires deliberately started by palm oil firms

 

Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies.

Conservationists say the rare Sumatran orangutan could be wiped out within weeks.

‘It is no longer several years away, but just a few months or even weeks before this iconic creature disappears,’ said Briton Ian Singleton, of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

Shocking: Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies Tripa forest on the coast of Aceh province in northern IndonesiaShocking: Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies inTripa forest on the coast of Aceh province in northern Indonesia

The apes, which live in the Tripa forest on the coast of Aceh province in northern Indonesia, have had to flee the flames as fires wipe out their habitat – and palm oil companies have been blamed for starting the blazes.

The companies have already been accused of offering a bounty for the heads of orang-utans in Borneo after blaming the animals for destroying their young palm trees – but conservationists say the animals have had to encroach on the plantations because their own habitats have been destroyed.

The Daily Mail revealed the bounty hunt earlier this year with a sad photo of a mother trying to protect her baby as Indonesian palm oil workers moved in for the kill.

Fortunately on that occasion wildlife officials were on hand to rescue the pair and move them to a safe area.

Sad: The apes have had to flee the flames as fires wipe out their habitat ¿ and palm oil companies have been blamed for starting the blazesSad: The apes have had to flee the flames as fires wipe out their habitat and palm oil companies have been blamed for starting the blazes

Now the new threat to the Sumatran orangutan has erupted in the officially protected Tripa forest, which is hemmed in by palm oil plantations.

Land clearing fires have been started inside the forest, resulting in the animals fleeing – but hundreds are feared to have died in the flames because Indonesians in the employ of the palm oil companies have been accused of driving them back into the flames.

Dr Singleton, originally from Hull, said the remaining orangutans will die either in the fires or of gradual starvation and malnutrition as their food resources disappear.

He added: ‘We are currently watching a global tragedy.’

Trans fat causes aggression

More trans fat consumption linked to greater aggression:

Trans fat cooker

Trans fat cooker

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown – by each of a range of measures, in men and women of all ages, in Caucasians and minorities – that consumption of dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) is associated with irritability and aggression.  The study of nearly 1,000 men and women provides the first evidence linking dTFAs with adverse behaviors that impacted others, ranging from impatience to overt aggression. The research, led by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor in the UC San Diego Department of Medicine, has been published online by PLoS ONE.  Dietary trans fatty acids are primarily products of hydrogenation, which makes unsaturated oils solid at room temperature. They are present at high levels in margarines, shortenings and prepared foods. Adverse health effects of dTFAs have been identified in lipid levels, metabolic function, insulin resistance, oxidation, inflammation, and cardiac health.  The UC San Diego team used baseline dietary information and behavioral assessments of 945 adult men and women to analyze the relationship between dTFAs and aggression or irritability. The survey measured such factors as a life history of aggression, conflict tactics and self-rated impatience and irritability, as well as an “overt aggression” scale that tallies recent aggressive behaviors. Analyses were adjusted for sex, age, education, and use of alcohol or tobacco products.  “We found that greater trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression, and were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed,” said Golomb. “If the association between trans fats and aggressive behavior proves to be causal, this adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats, or including them in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others.”