February 24th, 2011 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
Scientists at the Rochester Institute of Technology are working to use microalgae to clean wastewater and produce biodiesel simultaneously; the school announced in a press release last week.
Purifying wastewater before sending it back into the ecosystem would reduce or eliminate pollutants, such as nitrates, phosphates, bacteria, and toxins. Microalgae consume these materials and then the algae – which are less expensive and grow quicker than corn and soybeans – can be converted into biofuel.
Read More:Algae Turns Wastewater into Biodiesel
July 8th, 2010 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
In the United States, Asian carp is an invasive species, i.e. not native. And when you abruptly introduce a foreign species – either plant or animal – into a existing ecosystem it usually wreaks havoc.
And the Asian carp is doing just that.
The fish is thriving in places like Kentucky and Illinois, so fishermen looking to catch catfish end up snagging more carp than catfish, which wouldn’t be a problem if it was easy to sell.
Asian carp’s reputation as a foreign invader is a turnoff to consumers.
So Kentucky State University has a brilliant – or totally idiotic – idea. Last night, Stephen Colbert reported that researchers from the university want to rename Asian carp, changing it to “Kentucky Tuna.” They hope the name change will be the public relations bump Asian carp needs.
I’m still cracking up over “Street Veal” and “Sink Lobster” – freaking hilarious!
If you’re wondering why a potentially destructive species was brought to the U.S. in the first place, it was done with good intentions…I guess. Carp were introduced in order to clean up algae in catfish ponds. Carp are bottom feeders.
And actually it’s because carp eat the junk at the bottom of ponds that might be their saving grace, not the silly name change; consuming algae means “Kentucky Tuna” is low in mercury and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Image credit: Colbert Nation
Read More:Asian Carp Gets a New Name, “Kentucky Tuna”
January 6th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
During a 2-hour test flight, Air New Zealand flew a 747 aircraft on a 50-50 blend of conventional fuel and biofuel made from the jatropha plant.
Jatropha, a flowering plant native to Central America, is more durable than traditional biofuel crops, like soybeans and corn, requiring less water and fertilizer and can be grown in sandy, saline or infertile soil.
It also has a higher yield per seed, producing 30-40% of its mass in oil. A barrel of jatropha oil costs roughly $43, while crude oil can surge over $120 per barrel.
Results of the test flight will be reviewed in hopes of finding a viable, cheaper source of fuel for the struggling airlines.
Another experimental jet fuel is being derived from algae. Even animal lard, including liposuctioned human fat, can be converted to fuel.
Via The New York Times.
Read More:747 Soars on Plant Fuel