The key to the scientists’ discovery is a new version of a zeolite catalyst – HPW/Meso-HZ-5 - which can be used to make the process of converting industrial biomass into an organic biofuel compound called furfural far more efficient. The current standard process of making furfural starts with biomass sourced from agricultural waste such as bagasse, cotton seed hulls, sawdust, oat hulls, rice hulls, wheat husk and bran, among others. After making the furfural, the current conventional first step toward making it into a viable biofuel is to chemically change it into furfuryl alcohol, which is then further processed to create alkyl levulinates. This process however, is a lengthy and complicated one with many steps. This is where the NCL team’s catalyst comes into play by considerably speeding up the process of conversion. The zeolite catalyst has shown good results in tests with 100 percent furfuryl alcohol conversion along with 97 percent ethyl levulinate biodiesel yield (a type of alkyl levulinate) and 3 percent ethoxy methyl (a food additive) furan yield. Importantly, the new HPW/Meso-HZ-5 catalyst produced better results than its parent catalysts H-ZSM-5 and Meso-HZ-5 when used separately. As explained by the research team, “due to higher number of active sites and larger pore size the travel distance is reduced, thereby improving accessibility of active sites. Low molar ratio of reactants would do away with the separation cost associated with unreacted ethanol, operational cost and reactor size, making the process economically viable and industrially safe.”
We prepared poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/bamboo cellulose nanowhiskers (BCNW) bionanocomposite with a high toughness but a low modulus in the previous work. In this paper, a new reinforcement, silane surface-modified ultrafine bamboo-char (UFBC), was employed to strengthen the binary PLA/BCNW bionanocomposite. The ternary bionanocomposite films were fabricated by a solution casting with different contents of surface-treated UFBC in the range of 0.25 wt% to 4.0 wt%. The functionalization of UFBC with (3-mercaptopropyl)trimethoxysilane (A-189) favored its dispersion in the PLA matrix; sea-island and nuclear-shell characteristics were observed by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). When the UFBC content was 0.25 wt%, the tensile strength and elongation at break increased by 99.26% and 104.93%, respectively, comparing to the neat PLA. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results showed that glass transition temperature, crystallization temperature, crystallization enthalpy and crystallinity increased with the increase of UFBC contents. Thermogravimetric analysis demonstrated that the thermal degradation stability decreased with the UFBC addition. BCNW and UFBC produced a synergistic effect on composites’ toughening and strengthening. These results provided a basic understanding of PLA enhancement mechanism and a simple approach for PLA composite manufacture with sound mechanical properties.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is seeking a threeyear extension with changes to its Petroleum Supply Reporting System. The proposed changes include those related to biofuels reporting.The PSRS consists of six weekly surveys that make up the Weekly Petroleum Supply Reporting System, eight monthly surveys and one annual survey. According to the EIA, the weekly petroleum and biofuels supply surveys collect data on petroleum refinery operations, blending, biofuels production, inventory levels, imports of crude oil, petroleum production, and biofuels from samples of operating companies. The monthly and annual petroleum and biofuels supply surveys collect data on petroleum refinery operations, blending, biofuels production, natural gas plant liquids production, inventory levels, imports, interregional movements, and storage capacity for crude oil, petroleum products and biofuels.One of the agency’s proposed changes would be made to Form EIA819. The EIA said it discontinued Form EIA22M and combined the data elements collected on that form with EIA819 to create a single survey instrument under Form EIA819 to cover all biofuels (including renewable fuels not currently tracked on any EIA survey), fuel oxygenates (ETBE, MTBE), and nonrefinery producers of isooctane. The EIA said the new Form EIA819 collects consistent volumetric balance data on petroleum and biofuel blending at biofuel production plants and feedstock inputs for all biofuels. Under the proposed changes, the form will also expand the scope of EIA biofuel data collection to include producers of renewable diesel fuel and other renewable fuels that are currently not collected. The agency said all facilities will report production capacity as well as receipts, production, input, shipments, beginning and ending stocks, as well as stocks in transit to the facility at the end of the report month. Part 9 of the form collects consumption on feedstock for production of biofuel and renewable fuels and annual fuels consumed at the facility. According to the EIA, form EIA819 also improves accuracy and consistency of biofuel and oxygenate production and blending, including blending with petroleum fuels.For Forms EIA810, EIA812, EIA814, EIA815 and EIA817, the agency is proposing to replace the current biofuel reporting categories of biomassbased diesel fuel, other renewable diesel fuel, and other renewable fuels with the new categories of biodiesel, renewable diesel fuel, and other renewable fuels and intermediate products. The EIA said the changes will clarify the products and improve utility of U.S. and regional data.
A series of tests studies have been carried out to evaluate the potential impact of basalt fibers on mechanical performance (compressive strength, flexural strength), fracture energy and anti-shrinkage properties of cement-stabilized macadam, which is a kind of popular semi-rigid base and subbase composite material. Four series of cement-stabilized macadam mixtures (the cement contents are 85 kg/m3, 110 kg/m3, 130 kg/m3 and 160 kg/m3) were prepared by incorporating four various dosages (1 kg/m3, 3 kg/m3, 6 kg/m3, 10 kg/m3) of basalt fiber. The optimum basalt fibers length was determined based on the mechanical properties of cement-stabilized macadam mixtures. Then compressive strength test, flexural strength test, fracture energy test, cracking resistance test and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) test were carried out in this study. The results show that addition of basalt fibers can improve the flexural strength, while its effect on compressive strength of cement-stabilized macadam was not remarkable. The maximum deflection in midspan of the specimen was also improved due to the reinforcement effect of basalt fibers. The fracture energy and gain ratio of basalt fibers reinforced cement-stabilized macadam vary nonlinearly with increasing basalt fibers dosage, especially when the basalt fibers dosage was more than 6 kg/m3 where the effect of added fibers on the fracture energy was significant. When the basalt fibers dosage was more than 6 kg/m3, the anti-dry shrinkage properties and cracking ability under temperature cycle of cement-stabilized macadam were both improved effectively. Moreover, the scanning electron microscopy images revealed that the tight bond between basalt fibers and mortar matrix could help the matrix to transfer and share the tensile stress, and consequently, the flexural strength, fracture energy and cracking resistance capacity of cement-stabilized macadam could be improved by the addition of basalt fibers.
Global Advanced Polymer Composites Market by Product (Resin, Fibers, Others), Application, Regions, Global Industry Analysis, Market Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2018 to 2025As per the report published by Fior Markets, The global advanced polymer composites market is anticipated to expand from USD 9.34 Billion in 2017 to USD 16.83 Billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 7.64% during the projection period from 20182025. North America region emerged as the biggest market for advanced polymer composites with a 36.71% share of profits in 2017. Whereas Asia Pacific area is predicted to expand at a sped up CAGR of 8.97% over the forecasted duration.Significant gamers in the global advanced polymer composites market are Arkema S.A., BASF SE, Owens, Corning Corporation, Cristex Ltd, 3BFibreglass sprl, SGL Carbon SE, Solvay S.A., Kemrock Industries, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd., TPI Composites Inc., Toray Industries Inc., Koninklijke Ten Cate N.V., Hexcel Corporation, Cytec Industries Inc. among others. In order to increase their market foot print and also to get involved efficiently in the highly open market companies are significantly taking the merging and procurements path. Toray industries, in 2018, announced the purchase of TenCate Advanced Composites Holding B.V., a leading carbonfiber composite material maker.Product segment is split into resin, others as well as fibers. Owing to their significant possible value in the metal bonding, construction, marine, wind energy, automotive and aerospace industry, resin segment became the dominating sector in the global advanced polymer composites market with a 41.49% share of profits in 2017. Epoxy, phenolic and also polyester are the significant sorts of materials. Fibers segment is prepared for to expand at an increased CAGR of 9.61% over the projection period. This raised growth price can be associated climbing utilization of composite fibers in the aircraft and automotive industry.
Drax Group has announced plans to explore the feasibility of using molten carbonate fuel cells to capture carbon dioxide (CO2), having secured 500,000 in funding from the UK Government.The project will explore using FuelCell Energy’s molten carbon fuel cell to generate electricity while capturing CO2 from flue gases produced during biomass combustion at Drax’s renewable power plant in Yorkshire, UK.The CO2 will then be transported to a horticultural site located near the power station, to help improve greenhouse yields.“We believe fuel cell technology could help us to meet the rise in global demand for electricity, whilst capturing the carbon dioxide produced during its generation,” said Drax CEO Will Gardiner.“Our FEED study will help us to understand the technical and economic feasibility of fuel cells, with a view to scaling the technology up, whilst showing that clusters of businesses working together to deliver climate change solutions, can also deliver benefits for their business.”Chris Skidmore, Energy & Clean Growth Minister, added: “Cutting edge technology to capture carbon will cut emissions as we work towards a net zero economy while creating new jobs a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy. This innovative project from Drax represents a major milestone in efforts to rollout carbon capture at scale by the 2030s.”USbased FuelCell Energy’s technology captures CO2 from an external flue gas stream while generating electricity.“Carbon capture using FuelCell Energy’s solution is a potential gamechanger for affordability and efficiency of concentrating and capturing carbon dioxide from emitters,” explained Tony Leo, executive vicepresident, chief technology officer, FuelCell Energy. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Drax and BEIS for such an innovative and critically important subject as cleaner energy.”Drax intends to carry out a front end engineering design study later this year, which will explore the potential for using the captured CO2 from the pilot project to improve crop yields.“We are really excited to be working with Drax on their Fuel Cell carbon capture project,” commented Philip Elborne, business development manager at P3P Partners, which owns the greenhouses located next to the Drax power station.“We pride ourselves on building and operating high quality, efficient combined heat and power systems and are committed to delivering the most value to our customers. Being able to utilise CO2 captured from this system into our glasshouses will help us to achieve this while supporting the goal to reduce emissions.”According to estimates from the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, bioenergy carbon capture and storage could help the UK capture 50 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2050, equivalent to around half of Britain’s emissions target.
Feb. 12--With the next planning and zoning commission meeting set for Wednesday, neighbors of the United Trinity Methodist Church are pointing to a recent gas explosion in San Francisco as evidence for why a proposed cell tower on the site should not be approved. The tower, proposed on the church's land by Pinnacle Consulting, who works on behalf of Verizon Wireless, would sit near three Kinder Morgan interstate gas pipelines that also pass under the church's property. Residents worry that the construction of such a tower, which would also require the installation of an electric utility line under the three gas pipelines, could make the likelihood of an accident much higher. Just last week in San Francisco, a 4-inch distribution gas line exploded when a construction company working on behalf of Verizon was installing fiber optic cables. Although the investigation into what caused the explosion is ongoing, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the gas line had been properly marked by the company that owned the line. No one was killed, but Carrie Warman, who lives near the proposed cell tower site and works on California gas pipeline projects as an environmental biologist, said she believes the incident highlights the danger of building near a gas line. "These are very real and very serious risks," Warman said. Brooks Hart, who also lives near the proposed site, agreed, adding it is a risk that is left undressed in Pinnacle Consulting's application. "As a condition of the conditional use permit, they must make the finding that the proposed use will not be detrimental to health, safety or welfare -- how can you make that finding [with the gas pipeline there]?" Hart said. In the section on whether the tower's development may be detrimental to public health or safety, the application Pinnacle submitted to the city does not mention the pipeline only saying: "there are no foreseen possible hazards to people due to explosion or contamination and flooding." "Their application shows that [Pinnacle, Verizon] and the city do not understand the dangers of the pipeline," Hart said. According to Jeannine Brew, a spokesperson for Verizon, it is not Verizon's responsibility to make sure the towers they build are in an area that may be unsafe. Instead, Brew said, while they would follow Kinder Morgan's rules for crossing the easement, they will rely on a local regulatory body such as the planning and zoning commission to make the determination as to whether a tower may threaten public safety. At the same time, while the city takes the utility easements themselves into consideration when reviewing an application, city planning development manager Neil Gullickson said staff doesn't discriminate between what kind of utility it is.