2010年2月5日金曜日

CO2 Helps Make Biofuel

【出展引用リンク1】: http://www.ecoworld.com/energy-fuels/co2-helps-make-biofuel.html

【引用以下の通り】

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EcoWorld



CO2 Helps Make Biofuel

Most Recent Coal
Photos in the News…
If you believe too much CO2 is going to cause catastrophic climate change, then you’ll love this – we can use CO2 to increase the rate of plant growth; biofuel plants in particular.
How this will work in practice isn’t exactly clear. As we have noted, it will be a tragedy if we scrub CO2 out of our industrial emissions to stop possible global warming, while leaving unacceptable amounts of other airborne pollutants lower on the priority list. If you’re going to regulate CO2, while you’re at it, at least make sure you eliminate the carbon monoxide, lead, ozone, particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and sulpher dioxide, because we know they’re bad. Where I live in California, the summertime air is filthy, and it isn’t CO2.
In any case, one company that seems to have some good ideas as to how to use CO2 to grow biofuel is GS-CleanTech (the GS stands for “Green Shift”). On the page with their products and services overview, they make several interesting claims. Here’s one:
“GS CleanTech’s patented C02 Bioreactor reduces greenhouse gas emissions while creating an additional feedstock for renewable fuel production. If applied at ethanol facilities, it would boost fuel production by more than 15%, and if applied to coal fired power generation, it could produce more than 200 million gallons of renewable fuel annually for every 1,000 MW of electricityproduced.”
The devil is always in the details. First of all, they probably mean “for every 1,000 megawatt-years of electricity produced.” So how much energy is in a megawatt-year, and how much energy is in 200 million gallons of renewable fuel?
Energy in 1,000 megawatt-years: Take 3,416 BTU’s (British Thermal Unit, our favorite way to do energy conversions) per kilowatt hour. Multiply by 24 hours per day, and 365 days per year. Now you have kilowatt-years. Multiply again to get megawatt-years, and then multiply again by 1,000 to get 1,000 megawatt years. Result: 29.9 billion.
Energy in 200 million gallons: A generous estimate of BTU’s per gallon of ethanol would be about 150,000. Multiply by 200 million. Result: 30 trillion.
This means GS-CleanTech is claiming they can get 1,000 times as much energy out of the CO2 produced by burning coal as they can get from the primary burning process – heat which drives a turbine which turns a generator and creates electricity. What CleanTech probably means is this quantity of CO2, as an appropriate portion of the many other inputs into a biofuel growing operation – solar energy, water, fertilizer – would be sufficient to produce 200 million gallons of energy. But that isn’t what they say. In any case, what about their growing operation? How much biofuel can they produce, and how?
GS-CleanTech’s product overview page goes on to say “CleanTech’s C02 Bioreactor can produce more than 200,000 gallons of fuel per acre (per year).” Right away they can’t possibly mean traditional farming – the best you can hope for from the best ethanol crops we’ve got on earth, sugar cane in Brazil, for example, is about 600 gallons per acre per year. So what are they thinking?
Check this out (paraphrasing): “C02 is piped to the bioreactor. Sunlight is collected with parabolic mirrors that transfer the light to light pipes which channel the light into the bioreactor structure where it is distributed and radiated using light panels. A growth media, such as polyester, is inserted between each lighting surface. Water, containing nutrients, continuously cascades down the growth media to facilitate the final required step for optimal growth.” You are encouraged to read their product overview page in its entirety.
Can such a “bioreactor structure,” using concentrated CO2, nutrient rich water, and distributed light, induce algae to grow at a rate literally 300 times greater than if the same area were only simple farmland? Maybe it can. We will see.
It’s interesting that in our earlier post “Biofuel vs. Photovoltaics” we reference claims of similar yields arising from researchers who intend to genetically engineer algae to produce extremely high yields of biofuel. GS-CleanTech is coming at this from a completely different direction. There is no way biofuel grown in traditional methods, jatropha in Africa, sugar cane in Brazil, etc., can replace crude oil (there isn’t enough land) even though in those places and elsewhere it can be produced cost competitively to crude oil. But if the productivity of algae to produce extremely high yields of biofuel is ever realized, it will be a game shifting development, kind of like cheap photovoltaics.


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【引用以上の通り】


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【出展引用リンク2】:

http://www.ecoworld.com/energy-fuels/biofuels-biomass/obama-outlines-biofuel-clean-coal-steps.html

【引用以下の通り】

Obama Outlines Biofuel and Clean Coal Steps

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 (UPI) — U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday announced a series of new measures designed to boost biofuels and clean coal development efforts.
Speaking during a meeting with a bipartisan group of state governors at the White House, Obama said he’s taking three steps to develop and commercialize a sustainable U.S. biofuels industry, including a new Environmental Protection Agency rule to implement the long-term renewable fuels production goal of 36 billion gallons by 2022, up from the current 11 billion gallons.
Also, he said, the President’s Biofuels Interagency Working Group has released its first report in which U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson lay out a strategy to meet or exceed U.S. biofuels targets.
Obama also announced the creation of an Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage to put in place a federal strategy to speed the development of clean coal technologies.
“Now, I happen to believe that we should pass a comprehensive energy and climate bill,” Obama said. “But even if you disagree on the threat posed by climate change, investing in clean energyjobs and businesses is still the right thing to do for our economy.”
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.



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【核融合発電の実現へ、一歩前進】 : ナショナルジオグラフィック ニュース

【出展引用リンク】: 

http://www.nationalgeographic.co.jp/news/news_article.php?file_id=20100129001&expand

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

ナショナルジオグラフィック ニュース



核融合発電の実現へ、一歩前進

January 29, 2010

 核融合発電の実現が一歩近づいたと科学者が発表した。研究を支えたのは史上最強のレーザーシステムである。核融合反応は太陽などの恒星でも起こっており、地球上でも効率的かつカーボンフリーなエネルギー源として期待されている。しかも、現在の原子炉のように核分裂がもたらす超長期かつ高レベルの放射性廃棄物が生じることもない。

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【What is AAAS? 】:【About AAAS】 : Copyright © 2010. American Association for the Advancement of Science.  

【出展引用リンク1】: http://www.aaas.org/

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What is AAAS?


The American Association for the Advancement of Science,
"Triple A-S" (AAAS), is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide.
AAAS History
Founded in 1848, AAAS serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.
AAAS is a global organization, with offices in Washington, D.C. and Cambridge, U.K., and award-winning news correspondents reporting from an array of countries. The U.S. headquarters facility, designed by renowned architect Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, was dedicated in September 1997 as the William T. Golden Center for Science and Engineering, in honor of the Association's long-time treasurer. In 2009, the AAAS headquarters facility became the first existing, not newly constructed facility in the District of Columbia to earn a gold-level certificationthrough the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership Environmental & Energy Design program.
Membership and Programs
Open to all, AAAS membership includes a subscription to Science. Four primary program areas fulfill the AAAS mission:
AAAS Mission
AAAS seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people." To fulfill this mission, the AAAS Board has set these broad goals:
  • Enhance communication among scientists, engineers, and the public;
  • Promote and defend the integrity of science and its use;
  • Strengthen support for the science and technology enterprise;
  • Provide a voice for science on societal issues;
  • Promote the responsible use of science in public policy;
  • Strengthen and diversify the science and technology workforce;
  • Foster education in science and technology for everyone;
  • Increase public engagement with science and technology; and
  • Advance international cooperation in science.

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【出展引用リンク2】: http://www.aaas.org/news/rss/

NEWS

AAAS RSS Feeds


XML RSSRSS is a format for syndicating news and other content on Web sites. With an RSS aggregator, you may subscribe to and view RSS feeds from various sources. Many RSS aggregators may be downloaded for free or for a small charge from the Web.
For more information, see our RSS Help page.
AAAS RSS FeedAAAS RSS Feeds
2008 Abelson Seminar Podcasts on "Science, Stress, and Human Health"
EurekAlert! RSS Feeds
Science Online RSS Feeds
Science Magazine
Table of contents, current issue
News Summaries — The week's news highlights, from Science Magazine
This Week in Science — Brief summaries of new research papers published in Science
Editors' Choice — Highlights of the recent literature
NetWatch — Best of the Web in science
Science's Signal Transduction Knowledge Environment
Science Signaling weekly highlights
Podcasts
Science Podcast — Built around interesting stories in the journal and on its sister sites
Science Update — Award-winning AAAS radio program
Questions?
If you have questions about the RSS feeds AAAS offers, please e-mail webmaster@aaas.org.


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【出展引用リンク3】: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2010/0202rd_budget.shtml


NEWS
News Archives
Obama 2011 R&D Budget Contains Bright Spots Despite Fiscal Challenges, Holdren Says at AAAS

While the Obama administration’s overall R&D budget proposal for the 2011 fiscal year is essentially flat compared to the previous year, it does contain bright spots for the nation’s science and technology enterprise, science adviser John P. Holdren said in a briefing at AAAS.
Overall, the budget proposal includes $147.7 billion for research and development, an increase of $343 million or just 0.2% above the 2010 level enacted by Congress. That is essentially the same amount Obama sought in 2010, when he proposed a total R&D budget of $147.6 billion.
However, basic science research, along with energy, health, and climate, are among the sectors that would receive expanded funding in the coming budget year. At the same time, the Obama administration would step away from a controversial moon-landing program and it would cut the Department of Homeland Security R&D program by 9% or $104 million.
[PHOTOGRAPH] John P. Holdren
John P. Holdren
While acknowledging that the plan required many tough decisions on R&D priorities, Holdren said Obama had “managed to preserve and expand” science and technology programs that the administration considers essential to promoting economic growth, protecting the environment, and setting the stage for a clean energy future.
“Embedded in a relatively flat overall R&D budget are some very healthy increases in areas that are most important for the nation’s future,” Holdren said in his 1 February briefing for journalists and stakeholders.
“The increases proposed for R&D are extremely gratifying, particularly given the freeze for overall domestic spending,” said Alan I. Leshner, AAAS chief executive officer and executive publisher of Science. “They deliver on the president’s commitments to advance science and apply it more vigorously to national and global goals. Having said that, given the overall commitment to keeping the budget constant, it will be very important for the nation to recognize the importance of science and to sustain these increases through the political process.”
Leshner added: “The 2011 R&D budget request continues a welcomed trend by returning the United States to a real-dollar funding increase for research: There was a real-dollar increase for research in 2009 versus 2008, but that was the only increase until this year, since a peak in 2004, and we are still down 4.4% from that peak in constant fiscal year 2010 dollars.”
The proposed 2011 budget includes a 5.6% increase overall for basic and applied research (to $61.6 billion in all) while it cuts the total development budget by 3.5% (to $81.5 billion). It proposes a substantial increase for non-defense R&D, which would rise by $3.7 billion, or 5.9% above the enacted level for 2010. Defense Department R&D, meanwhile, would be reduced 4.4% (to $77.5 billion), primarily through cuts in low-priority weapons development programs and congressional projects.
Holdren, a former president of AAAS, and other members of the administration's science team unveiled the 2011 R&D budget in an 80-minute briefing for reporters and stakeholders in a packed AAAS auditorium. It comes on the heels of a State of Union address on 27 January in which Obama acknowledged the need to control federal deficits and called for a spending freeze on non-defense discretionary spending beginning in 2011. Given concerns about the continuing economic malaise and about the risks of unprecedented deficit spending, the proposed budget will face close review in Congress.
Among the highlights of the Obama budget plan:
  • The spending plan maintains the path to a doubling by 2017 of budgets for three key science agencies: the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology laboratories.
  • The proposed increase in NSF funding to $7.4 billion – an 8% increase – will expand efforts in climate and energy research and education, networking and information technology research, and research on environmental and economic sustainability. The 2011 budget also would sustain the administration’s effort to triple the number of new NSF Graduate Research Fellowships to 3000 by 2013.
  • The budget stops NASA’s Constellation program, which was begun under President George W. Bush as an effort to send American astronauts back to the moon by 2020. The administration proposes to spend $6 billion over the next five years to encourage private companies to build and operate their own spacecraft to carry NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.
  • The budget for the National Institutes for Health would rise to $32.1 billion, up 3.2% from the 2010 budget approved by Congress and signed by Obama. The budget would focus on five strategic priorities: applying genomics and other high-throughput technologies; translating basic science discoveries into new and better treatments and diagnostics; using science to enable health care reform; global health; and reinvigorating and empowering the biomedical research community. (NIH also will continue to award and oversee $10.4 billion provided in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.)
  • The R&D budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would rise by 10%, or almost $1 billion. The budget for the multi-agency U.S. Global Change Research Program would rise 21%, to $2.6 billion overall. The funding reflects the administration’s concerns about climate change and the declining health of the world oceans. “This is the largest increase in NOAA’s science budget in over a decade,” NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco (another former AAAS president) told the briefing.
  • The budget for the new National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s key competitive research program, the Agriculture Food and Research Initiative, would rise 63% to $429 million.
  • The budget proposes to spend $3.7 billion overall on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. About $1 billion—an increase of nearly 40%, according to Holdren—would go to K-12 programs to encourage interest in those fields.
[PHOTOGRAPH] Jane Lubchenco
Jane Lubchenco
The budget also proposes making the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit permanent; provides $300 million for the Department of Energy’s new Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E); gives $3.1 billion to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a 3.7% increase; and $679 million for R&D at the United States Geological Survey, a 2.9% increase.
In its budget documents, the Obama administration says that NASA’s Constellation program—on which more than $9 billion already has been spent to develop a crew capsule called Orion and rocket called Ares I —threatened other parts of NASA’s endeavors while “failing to achieve the trajectory of a program that was sustainable, executable and ultimately successful.”
The 2011 NASA R&D budget would increase by $1.7 billion—or 18.3%—above the 2010 funding level. The emphasis would be on technology development and testing to “reverse decades of under-investment in new aerospace ideas and re-engage our greatest minds,” the budget document says. A new heavy-lift and propulsion R&D program will be part of the administration’s effort to “re-baseline” the nation’s space exploration efforts.
“Simply put, we’re putting the ‘science’ back into rocket science,” Holdren said. The NASA budget also calls for a steady stream of new robotic missions to scout locations for future human missions.
The proposed changes at NASA are expected to draw intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill.
“The space agency’s budget request represents a radical departure from the bipartisan consensus achieved by Congress in successive authorizations over the past five years,” said U.S. Representative Bart Gordon (D-Tennessee), the chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology. “This requires deliberate scrutiny.  We will need to hear the administration’s rationale for such a change and assess its impact on U.S. leadership in space before Congress renders its judgment on the proposals.”
Earl Lane
2 February 2010


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Oceans reveal further impacts of climate change, says UAB expert

【出展引用リンク】: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-02/uoaa-orf020410.php

【引用以下の通り】

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Public release date: 4-Feb-2010
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Contact: Andrew Hayenga
ahayenga@uab.edu
205-934-1676
University of Alabama at Birmingham 

Oceans reveal further impacts of climate change, says UAB expert





 VIDEO: UAB biologist Jim McClintock, Ph.D., discusses the impact of ocean acidification.



Click here for more information.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The increasing acidity of the world's oceans – and that acidity's growing threat to marine species – are definitive proof that the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is causing climate change is also negatively affecting the marine environment, says world-renowned Antarctic marine biologist Jim McClintock, Ph.D., professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Biology.
"The oceans are a sink for the carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere," says McClintock, who has spent more than two decades researching the marine species off the coast of Antarctica. Carbon dioxide is absorbed by oceans, and through a chemical process hydrogen ions are released to make seawater more acidic.
"Existing data points to consistently increasing oceanic acidity, and that is a direct result of increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere; it is incontrovertible," McClintock says. "The ramifications for many of the organisms that call the water home are profound."




 IMAGE: Jim McClintock, Ph.D., is a leading polar marine biologist who is researching the impacts of ocean acidification.



Click here for more information.

A substance's level of acidity is measured by its pH value; the lower the pH value, the more acidic is the substance. McClintock says data collected since the pre-industrial age indicates the mean surface pH of the oceans has declined from 8.2 to 8.1 units with another 0.4 unit decline possible by century's end. A single whole pH unit drop would make ocean waters 10 times more acidic, which could rob many marine organisms of their ability to produce protective shells – and tip the balance of marine food chains.
"There is no existing data that I am aware of that can be used to debate the trend of increasing ocean acidification," he says.
McClintock and three co-authors collected and reviewed the most recent data on ocean acidification at high latitudes for an article in the December 2009 issue of Oceanography magazine, a special issue that focuses on ocean acidification worldwide. McClintock also recently published research that revealed barnacles grown under acidified seawater conditions produce weaker adult shells.



Antarctica as the Ground Zero for Climate Change

McClintock says the delicate balance of life in the waters that surround the frozen continent of Antarctica is especially susceptible to the effects of acidification. The impact on the marine life in that region will serve as a bellwether for global climate-change effects, he says.
"The Southern Ocean is a major global sink for carbon dioxide. Moreover, there are a number of unique factors that threaten to reduce the availability of abundant minerals dissolved in polar seawater that are used by marine invertebrates to make their protective shells," McClintock says.
"In addition, the increased acidity of the seawater itself can literally begin to eat away at the outer surfaces of shells of existing clams, snails and other calcified organisms, which could cause species to die outright or become vulnerable to new predators."
One study McClintock recently conducted with a team of UAB researchers revealed that the shells of post-mortem Antarctic marine invertebrates evidenced erosion and significant loss of mass within only five weeks under simulated acidic conditions.
McClintock says acidification also could exert a toll on the world's fisheries, including mollusks and crustaceans. He adds that the potential loss of such marine populations could greatly alter the oceans' long-standing food chains and produce negative ripple effects on human industries or food supplies over time.
"So many fundamental biological processes can be influenced by ocean acidification, and the change in the oceans' makeup in regions such as Antarctica are projected to occur over a time period measured in decades," McClintock says.
"Evolution simply may be unable to keep up, because it typically takes marine organisms longer periods, hundreds or even thousands of years to naturally adapt," he says. "But ocean acidification is simply happening too quickly for many species to survive unless we reverse the trend of increasing anthropogenically generated carbon dioxide that is in large part driving climate change."
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About UAB's Jim McClintock, Ph.D.

An expert on Antarctica who has logged more than two dozen trips to the continent, McClintock's ongoing research explores the chemical defenses of polar marine organisms and impacts of ocean acidification on marine invertebrates. McClintock Point, located at the entrance of a three-mile stretch of land known as Explorers Cove in Antarctica, was named for the biologist in 1998.
Follow McClintock, fellow UAB research biologist Charles Amsler, Ph.D., and their research team's upcoming visit to Antarctica from February through May at www.antarctica.uab.edu. Later in 2010 McClintock will lead his third Climate Challenge Education Mission cruise to Antarctica.



About the UAB Department of Biology

The UAB Department of Biology is a dynamic academic partnership that provides a broad-based graduate and undergraduate curriculum. Most members of the graduate faculty have research specialties in comparative biochemistry, physiology and eco-physiology of aquatic organisms. A second, important department research focus is environmental microbiology.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a separate, independent institution from the University of Alabama, which is located in Tuscaloosa. Please use University of Alabama at Birmingham on first reference and UAB on all consecutive references.


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【私のコメント】:


海洋の酸性化が、世界的に進展している。


その原因はと考えられることは、近代の経済活動における、工業活動の煤煙による降雨の雨水の酸性化や未処理の酸性の排水の増大や陸上の農業用肥料による窒素肥料の河川への流出によるものが考えられる。


 人類の活動の最終的な影響の行きつく果てや行きつく場所が、海洋の空間なのである。


人類の活動に伴う影響・結果により、酸性化が進展され、海洋沿岸周辺に大きく拡散・拡大されて集積されてきている。


 海洋は、この酸性化だけでなく、他の農薬や科学汚染物質等の人類の活動の影響を受けている。


海洋は、国境を越えて、種種の人間社会の陸上活動の影響を受けている。


その影響は、人口の世界的な増大とともに、年々大きなものになってきている。


それとともに、海洋生物等の生息環境が影響されてきている。


このようなことが、進展されていることを人々は、十分に認識していくことが重要である。


 海洋の汚染や酸性化を防ぐとともに、海洋観測研究をもっと充実・拡大。発展させていくことが時代的な要請がやって来ている。


環境に対する時代的な認識が重要で、必須条件であり、必要なことなのである。


人類社会の安寧な未来を築くために、環境負荷の多い産業や生活の仕様から、速やかに環境負荷に少ないものに、変えていかなければならない。


 世界的な持続可能な人間活動に関わる環境の創生が、政治的、行政・政策的に急がれるのである。

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