NEW SOURCE OF BIO-
While the amount of plastic in landfills continues to
grow, researchers are making
gains with a new kind of
plastic that could not only
benefit the environment but
cut costs as well.
Scientists at ETH Zurich
have found a way to convert
the glycerol produced when
biofuels into lactic acid, a key to
creating more environmentally
friendly bioplastic materials.
Due to its growing abundance as waste, glycerol is
an ideal candidate to replace
sugar fermentation in the
bioplastic production process.
Research shows that not only
does the new process reduce
overall CO2 emissions by 20%,
but it could also increase production profitability up to 17
times over the current process.
the fact that
ice accumulation can quickly
compromise a turbine blade’s
performance has hampered
adoption in northern areas.
Working to address this
issue, a team of researchers
from the Fraunhofer Institute
for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA have
developed an ice detection
and mitigation system for
Previous turbine warmers
have been less than energy
efficient because they warm
the entire turbine regardless
of whether or not it’s covered
in ice. The researchers’ new
design breaks up rotor blades
into separate zones, finished
with an ice detector integrated in layers of the carbon
nanotube coating. Sensors
monitor the rotor blade and
engage their heating element
only on the affected area to
melt the ice and return the
blade to optimum efficiency.
The researchers expect
their new design to increase
wind turbine efficiency by
at least 18%, making cold-weather wind a more viable
renewable energy option.
SEATTLE MARINERS STADIUM RECOGNIZED FOR
The Seattle Mariners baseball team has been given the “Setting
an Example” award by the EPA for leading the way in sustainable
ballpark operations. The award comes shortly after the team became the first club in Major League Baseball to replace the metal
halide lighting at SafeCo Field with energy-saving LED lamps.
The lighting improvements are expected to cut energy usage by
60-70% and last 30 times longer than the metal halide fixtures.
Additionally, the facilities team boasts a strong reuse program
that captures 90% of waste generated at the ballpark for recycling or composting. In 2013, the stadium diverted over 3 million
pounds of waste from landfills and saved the team $114,000 in
waste removal costs.
NEW REPORTING CHOICES FOR GHG EMISSIONS
Looking to help companies better understand how electricity
purchasing decisions affect their emissions goals, the World Re-
sources Institute has issued a new tool that measures emissions
from different sources of purchased
electricity. While companies are inter-
ested in measuring and reducing their
GHG emissions, changes in the energy
market have made it more difficult.
The new standard will simplify the
GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance is designed to incorporate
the many choices companies have for purchasing electricity,
such as power purchase agreements or renewable energy certificates, and provide a standardized method to assess the impact
of various electricity choices on GHG emissions and company
goals. Learn more about the guide at www.ghgprotocol.org.
While building managers are constantly
looking for ways to motivate occupants
to use less energy over the course of the
day, new research suggests that knowing
the health and environmental benefits of
energy use reduction can be a stronger
motivator than the cost savings.
Nonprice Incentives and Energy
Conservation examined the difference
between showing participants messages
about the environmental and public
health benefits of electricity reduction
such as pounds of pollutants and health
issues associated with pollution vs. show-
ing a different group messages about
how much more they could save on elec-
tricity. Even with the cost savings directly
benefitting the participants, reminding
them of electricity’s social cost was more
effective – with those participants reduc-
ing their use by 8%.
The findings suggest that facility
managers should focus their conservation
efforts on communicating the ways that
energy best practices benefit the public
and the earth.
PUBLIC HEALTH BENEFITS INSPIRE ENERGY REDUCTION PRACTICES