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3 posts from December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011

The Sustainable Future of Aviation – Biofuel at 38,000 Feet

The ambition to be able to go from anywhere to everywhere probably is as old as mankind. Thanks to technological advances it has turned into more than just a fantasy. Victorian traveller Phileas Fogg still used ships for long passages, but the transformation from journeys for those blessed with infinite patience into global accessibility was down to the aeroplane. Mind you, if you ask people stuck in a queue for security checks at an airport now, they will tell you that everything has gone into reverse and endurance is a desirable trait once more if you want to get farther than the end of your street.

Not that this seems to discourage too many people. Even in these commercially difficult times for airlines some might fail but many survive and the next growth phase for air travel is said to be on the horizon. At the moment the five percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that aviation is responsible for looks small in comparison to heating and electricity generation. Once the financial problems in Europe and America will be over, buoyed additionally by demand in growing economies, this will increase, though. So what is someone supposed to do who wants or needs to travel and is concerned about the environment?

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Pros and Cons of Sheep Wool Insulation

I really don’t envy the Babylonians. Apparently, about 6000 years ago they wore one of the earliest examples of cloth woven from sheep wool. Going by some of my sweaters it is no wonder they became the byword for everything nasty. All that itching and scratching must have driven them mad.

Even so, since this isn’t a blog about apparel, why should wool be a topic at all? The reason is we cannot talk about renewables and forget conserving energy. For someone with a heart for ecology both go hand in hand.

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Sunday, 11 December 2011

The Rise and Fall of Biodiesel

Do you think defining biodiesel is easy? After all, it seems logical to see it simply as a fuel that is derived from renewable oils in contrast to fossil sources and be done with it. Of course, things are not quite that simple. The substances that a diesel engine can use vary in terms of their natural base material and the processes to manufacture them. This is not to make it more complicated. On the contrary, it gives me the opportunity to lay down a couple of ground rules so we all have the same starting point from which to tackle this subject. Especially, since the terms biodiesel and biofuel are sometimes used interchangeably. Therefore

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