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August 15, 2010

Hawaii Innovation in Green Technology

Filed under: Energy/Green Technology — sketchcorner @ 10:16 pm

In an interesting turn of events, the state of Hawaii is rapidly becoming a leader for green technology and becoming a model for other states to follow as we attempt to rid ourselves of foreign oil as a nation. While kauai gets some of it’s power from hydroelectric and wind farms are taking advantage of the open real estate of Molokai and Lanai in order to power the island of Oahu, the big island is looking like a major player in this whole process overall. Here are some of the details regarding that: In a fascinating process, algae is put in ocean water with carbon dioxide and some special nutrients, and the sun goes to work. As it outgrows its container it’s moved to bigger containers and finally in huge ponds. The algae falls to the floor of the pond. At that point the water is removed and the oil is extracted. Some of the islands simply have too liitle open real estate (too many vacation rentals)
The project is also being funded by the U.S. Department of Energ, which has given Cellana $9 million to help with the costs of conducting testing to increase their yields and grow the crops more efficiently in as compact an operation as possible.
Protein and carbohydrates that remain after oil is extracted may be processed into fish meal and other animal feed to help defray the high costs of the farms. The Cellana consortium, which is essentially a pooling of resources between the powerful Royal Dutch Shell corporation plus the green leader known as HR BioPetroleum, basically plans to take full advantage of the vast expanses of real estate on the big island. Incidentially if you are looking for a kauai vacation rentals then let me suggest Bali Hai as they specialize on vacation rentals over on the island of Kauai overall. Needless to say, the big island with these and other attributes really has the possibility of cutting edge levels of research and development with regard to certain strains of algae plus the most effective means for growing and harvesting it for the rapidly growing biofuel industry overall.

February 10, 2010

Winner of the Japan Prize for Scientific Research a Nature Lover

Filed under: Energy/Green Technology — sketchcorner @ 10:24 pm

I just returned from the big island of Hawaii (wow some great real estate over there) and time to get blogging. Peter Vitousek, who was just awared the Japan prize, was a hiker and nature lover when he was young, but he did not enter into his career in biological or environmental sciences. He first earned a degree in political science at Amherst College (Mass.). It was at there that he read the work of ground-breaking ecologist Charles Elton. Elton’s book “The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants” was the inspiration for Vitousek to study the ecological impact of human activity on the natural world.
After earning a doctorate in biological sciences at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, Vitousek joined the faculty at Stanford University. Previously he had been at Indiana University and the University of North Carolina.
Vitousek lives a few months a year in Hawai’i. He does research in ecosystems at Volcanoes National Park and other sites. The research he has done on biogeochemical cycles included the wide-ranging study of Hawaiian ecosystems. He has gained revolutionary knowledge of how human activity can negatively impact delicate ecosystems. His study of how increased levels of reactive nitrogen due to the use of fertilizers have disrupted forest and ocean ecosystems is well known in the scientific community.
Time Magazine named Vitousek in its 2001 list of “America’s Best Scientists.” His work has been shown to be significant to efforts to help sustainability.
Vitousek has been quoted as saying, “It’s a matter of understanding how the world is changed by our activities and perhaps getting the impetus to reduce our footprint. The things I work on are clearly linked to agriculture, but it’s not a matter of not doing it (but being) more efficient so we can use less to get the same food production.”
Vitousek said his work shoes the wisdom of the sustainable agricultural systems used by ancient Hawaiians who produced food in an efficient, sustainable way.
Traditional Hawaiian practices of land distribution and agricultural organization employed large crescent tracts, ahupua’a, that extended from the ocean to mountains and supplied water for each sub-community’s farmland. It has been well-regarded by believers in the modern sustainability movement as an example of efficient and gentle human interaction with the land. Speaking of land, if you are in search of Big Island Real Estate then I can certainly suggest this fine resource as they are among the best firms handling real estate on Hawaii’s beautiful big island, so check them out. This regard for the manner in which Native Hawaiians conducted agricultural activity is a relatively recent development, one that has become more significant as estimates of ancient Hawaiian populations have been shown to be larger than previously imagined.
Vitousek has been quoted as saying

November 8, 2009

Los Angeles Steps Into the Future With Fuel Made From Algae

Filed under: Energy/Green Technology — Tags: — sketchcorner @ 11:32 pm

I just returned from Los Angeles and Kansas City (talking to a friend who is a irs tax plus probate attorney out there) and what a green zone it is. In the November of 2009 issue, Time Magazine says that Southern California’s La Jolla-based Synthetic Genomics is a company to watch. A private company founded in 2005, the company gave a press release last July, stating that Synthetic Genomics Inc and ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company had signed an exclusive, multi-year contract to develop the “next generation biofuels using photosynthetic algae.” As a side note if you need a first rate Kansas City irs lawyer then the offices of this firm are a good place to start if you need the said irs tax help over in Kansas City. They are, simply put a firm of top drawer irs tax attorney in southern the region overall and the city of Kansas City specifically. Now back to the story:
The algae commonly known as blue-green algae uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into cellular oils or lipids. SGI will develop the best strains of algae for mass producing and cultivating algae for processing into biofuels. The photosynthetic-algae technology can—experts say—produce far more fuel than corn or other crops in the same amount of space.
ExxonMobil will use its scientists and engineers to aid in the development of processes to increase the scale of the production of algae from start to finished fuels. In the past the algae has been grown and harvested in a way that was high in cost and time. Sunthetic Genomics has been working on algae strains that produce lipids in what they say is a “continuous process that is currently more efficient and cost-effective.” All in all, Los Angeles and really all of California are leading the way in this type of technology, and I do hope that Kansas City follows. Perhaps there could be some tax incentives?

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