Browsing Category: Greener Living

    Greener Living

    Biobutanol Gains Traction

    June 25, 2018

    Although ethanol is the word that most readily comes to mind when many think of alternative fuels, “biobutanol” is increasingly being supplanted for the former by those at the cutting edge of the drive to reduce the world’s dependence upon fossil fuels; and for good reason.

    Biobutanol is a specialized form of butanol from fermenting biomass that is not dissimilar from typical corn-based ethanol but where ethanol offers only 70% of the potency of regular gasoline, biobutanol ranks as similarly efficient as its fossil fuel-based counterpart. . This suggests that motorists are likely to require less biobutanol to cover the same distance as those utilizing ethanol in their vehicles.

    Atlantic Energy Research analysts are known to be particularly excited about biobutanol and have focused on identifying several companies that are at the vanguard of the effort to bring the fuel into the mainstream. Despite ethanol’s credentials as an alternative fuel, critics say that its production places undue upward pressure on the price of the corn or sugar required to produce it and since both corn and sugar are important commodities, the price fluctuations could affect those who import them as well as driving up the prices of other commodities that become less widely available as farmers devote more land to corn and sugar production.

    Biobutanol can be produced from a variety of feedstocks, not just corn and sugar. This means that the aforementioned secondary effects on the price of key commodities can be reduced considerably.

    Atlantic Energy Research says that although biobutanol offers more power than ethanol, the higher cost of production has meant that it isn’t being produced on a large-scale commercial basis. While the process for manufacturing biobutanol is essentially the same as that for ethanol, the additional cost arises from the key ingredient in its production, an enzyme essential in the fermentation process.

    Since ethanol and biobutanol production are virtually identical, the same facilities may be used to produce biobutanol commercially.

    Unlike ethanol, biobutanol does not absorb water and, as such, issues like corrosion or water contamination during transportation are irrelevant.

    Although the price of gasoline has fallen considerably since the $147 a barrel high in the summer of 2008, Atlantic Energy Research says that the global economic recovery will push prices up again with renewed vigor. Motorists may be breathing a sigh of relief at the moment but $100+ a barrel oil will return and there is little doubt that the interest in alternative fuels will return with a vengeance. The firm suggests that although ethanol production has the backing of the US government, it is innovative fuels like biobutanol which will continue to gain traction as the strain on commodity prices becomes more acute.

    Greener Living

    The Uses of Barley Straw in Ponds

    June 25, 2018

    There are various things you can do to help fight the growth of too much algae in your pond. One agent you can use is the barley straw. This can be very effective in controlling algae bloom.

    Algae growth is a normal part of any water feature there is. However, excessive algal development can lead to algal bloom which is the worst case of algae growth. In a simple fish pond, algae can be deadly to the fish if not taken care of immediately. Luckily, there are many solutions available in the market. Barley straw is one of them.

    There are a lot of algae control solutions available in the market. These solutions are called algaecides since they help control the excessive growth of algae in the water. Algaecides come in two different types; chemical and non-chemical. You can use any of the types however; the chemical based ones have more side effects than the non-chemical ones.

    Barley straw is not just a component or various health foods like cereals and malt; it is also an effective agent to prevent the growth of algae. Although not approved by the EPA yet, it has been used in certain countries like England.
    Through extensive research, barley straw has been proven to prevent algae from excessive growth. Although it does not control all of the algae in a certain water feature, it still helps since it is not harmful tot he aquatic plants and animals in the pond. On the other hand, the results of barley straw use in ponds are still inconsistent. Some studies are still in the process in US and UK to prove how effective barley straws can be when it comes to controlling algae growth.

    In some cases wherein barley straw is used, the usual result is that the algae do not completely die off. Instead, the compounds that the barley straw releases prevent the growth of new algae in the water thus, avoiding algal bloom.
    There are actually other types of straws that are being used in some parts of England and are tested to be effective in some ways. There types are oil, seed, linseed and wheat. On the contrary, not all of these are as much effective as barley.

    Since barley straws are more effective in preventing the growth of new algae, and not really effective in killing existing algae in the water, it is recommended that they are placed in the pond right before algae start to develop. The best timing would be in the spring since the weather condition in this season is not hot and not suitable for algae reproduction. If the barley straws are put in summer for example, the growth rate of the algae can reach a very alarming rate and that will not be controlled by the straws.

    Barley straw decomposes within four to six months time. So it is not placed once every spring. One option is to put the straws in the water on a weather that is not too hot which will be a bad reproduction period for algae. It is very essential to check if the barley straws have completely decomposed especially in the months of July to August. The absence of this algaecide can make algae flourish faster in the water feature.

    Greener Living

    Alternative Forms of Energy

    June 25, 2018

    Alternative Energy Solutions

    Are you fed up with burning standard fuels?

    Have you thought about alternative forms of energy?

    With the number of alternative energy solutions on the market, why not look at wind power energy? By jumping on the alternative power phenomenon, you can do your bit by adding to the undertaking to decelerate climate change. You will be saving yourself cash simultaneously.

    Taking into consideration standard fuels do, as well as have produced, a great deal of the deterioration of the environment, the idea of sustainable options for electrical energy generation is getting more popular.

    Wind power energy generation is but one type of the available sustainable energy generation systems. The wisdom of wind energy has been around for millennia, but from the introduction of suburban electricity systems, wind power use declined from grace.

    Nonetheless, we may notice a resurgence in the application of wind electricity generation in the near future, bearing in mind the wind is not likely to stop blowing in our lifetimes.

    The concept of employing wind generated energy for the household owner, has always sounded a bit over the top. This is probably because for the majority of folks, the thought of wind energy is perhaps a windmill, or a huge big wind turbine tower a few hundred feet in height.

    Today of course, you will find it straightforward to set up wind turbines for the home, they are available over the counter and you can install them yourself.

    In the past windmills were put to use for delivering mechanized energy, like for grinding grains, or pumping water and the like. Nowadays, wind turbine farms are used to produce electrical power, for the grid.

    Despite the fact that these farms of wind turbines look like they’re everywhere across the country, there are not essentially enough to deliver the entire requirements of any one city or town.

    There may come a time, nevertheless, when we do have enough of them, that they will certainly grant us with all our needs. The wind, after all, is always prone to blow.

    Those gigantic pylons they use for wind farms, are built so large so as to be where the wind is greatest and so, they must be manufactured to a substantial design to endure what the climate can cast at them.

    When closer to the ground, wind is disturbed by houses, trees and such. Being so large, out of necessity, is an additional reason you won’t come across such farms set up in the middle of residential areas.