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Posted: April 23, 2014
Source: Fuel Fix.com

HOUSTON —  Navy researchers say they have turned seawater into fuel that could power military vehicles for less than $6 per gallon.

The researchers announced this month that the seawater-based fuel successfully powered a remote-controlled model jet with a standard two-stroke internal combustion engine. Carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas extracted from Gulf of Mexico water were converted  into liquid hydrocarbon fuel using gas-to-liquid technology. The renewable fuel mirrors its petroleum-based counterpart and could be used in standard military engines.

“The potential payoff is the ability to produce JP-5 fuel stock at sea, reducing the logistics tail on fuel delivery with no environmental burden and increasing the Navy’s energy security and independence,” said Naval Research Laboratory chemist Heather Willauer in a written statement. ”This is the first time technology of this nature has been demonstrated with the potential for transition from the laboratory to full-scale commercial implementation.”

The fuel would cost $3 to $6 per gallon and would be commercially viable within 10 years, with sufficient research funding, according to the Naval Research Laboratory.

The scientists now are working to scale up the technology to increase fuel output. The ability to power military ships and aircraft with seawater-based fuel would be revolutionary. In fiscal year 2011, the primary fuel supplier to the Navy delivered nearly 600 million gallons to power the vessels.

Posted: April 23, 2014
Source: Fuel Fix.com

HOUSTON — The U.S. exported an average 3.5 million barrels per day of petroleum products last year, the U.S. government reported Tuesday, a 10 percent increase from 2012.

The Energy Information Administration also noted that in December, the U.S. exported 4.3 million barrels per day of petroleum products, marking the first time those exports exceeded 4 million barrels per day in one month.

Refining: US exporting a ‘tidal wave’ of gasoline, other fuels

Distillate fuel exports – which include diesel fuels and fuel oils — reached more than 1.1 million barrels per day, an increase of 110,000 barrels per day over 2012.  Distillates destined for Central America and South America saw the biggest increase. That region was already the largest destination of U.S. distillate fuel.

Propane exports increased more than 75 percent to 300,000 barrels per day and half went to Central America and South America.

Gasoline exports increased 9 percent to 550,000 barrels per day, with exports to Africa, Mexico and Central and South America all on the rise. The U.S. also set a monthly gasoline export record in December, when it shipped 770,000 barrels abroad daily.

Crude exports: Houston fills with oil that can’t be shipped out

Still, despite the export boom, the nation imported  2.1 million barrels per day of petroleum products in 2013, though that figure is on the decline.

While the Gulf Coast is a net exporter of gasoline, the East Coast imports a substantial amount from Europe and Canada, according to the EIA. The East Coast also depends on imports of distillate and propane during cold winters when regional production and shipments from other parts of the U.S. still aren’t enough to meet demand.

Posted: April 23, 2014
Source: Reuters

With California facing its worst drought in a century, state officials have fast-tracked first-in-the-nation water efficiency standards for new toilets, urinals and faucets, an action expected to save about 8.2 billion gallons of water the first year while cutting energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The draft standards, released late last week, would prohibit the sale of appliances in California that do not meet proposed standards, which are expected to go into effect in 2016.

The standards would require that toilets use no more than 1.28 gallons per flush instead of the current limit of 1.6 gallons per flush.

They would limit urinals to a half a gallon of water per flush, half of what is currently allowed.

Lavatory faucets would have a maximum water use level of 1.5 gallons per minute under the proposed standards, down from the current limit of 2.2 gallons per minute.

California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller hopes that California’s standards will serve as a model for other parched states and even the federal government as policymakers grapple with how to conserve water as climate change puts a dent in supplies.
Read more

Posted: April 23, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

For about half of Americans, recycling starts and ends in the kitchen. A new survey shows that 72 percent of consumers consistently recycle in the home, but only about half do so in rooms beyond the kitchen.

The 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey shows there are several key barriers to expanding recycling in the home, including the lack of room-specific recycling bins and clear product labeling.

Americans are willing to recycle, but good intentions aren’t enough, according to the survey’s authors. They say that not having a recycling bin in each room prevents consumers from recycling more. Nearly one-in-five (17 percent) would recycle more if they had better or more convenient recycling bins throughout the house. The majority (56 percent) of recyclers keeps bins in the kitchen.

Bins aren’t the only roadblock to recycling. Consumers also fault not knowing what products or packaging are recyclable and the amount of space recycling requires as additional factors in favor of tossing recyclables in the trash, the survey revealed.

Of the consumers who do recycle, the majority does so because of a genuine concern for the environment (42 percent). Just 10 percent of Americans recycle solely because it is mandatory in their communities.

Posted: April 23, 2013
Source: Body Shop Business.com by By Jason Stahl

A representative of GMG Envirosafe warned attendees of the Collision Industry Conference held April 9-10 that OSHA is cracking down on body shops to ensure workers are protected from isocyanate exposure.Brandon Thomas, chief operations officer of GMG, a company that offers OSHA, EPA and DOT compliance solutions, said a study done by OSHA’s counterpart in Britain found that painters in a body shop environment have 80 times the risk of occupational asthma from isocyanates than industrial workers. It’s precisely for that reason, Thomas said, that OSHA is targeting the collision industry more aggressively than others.

According to Thomas, OSHA has fined body shops $1.6 million over the last three years. OSHA’s enforcement division has increased inspections 25 percent over the last four years because they have a bigger budget, and there is an average of 4.33 citations per inspection.

OSHA’s goal, Thomas said, is to eliminate isocyanate exposure altogether in two ways: engineering controls (spraybooth, mixing rooms, ventilation, gun washers, etc.) and administrative controls (PPE training and processes).

What Are Isocyanates? Read more

Posted: April 10, 2014

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced research grants to Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara to better understand the impacts of chemicals and nanomaterials throughout their life cycle—from design, manufacture, use and disposal.

“EPA is committed to understanding how chemicals and materials can affect human health and the environment,” said Lek Kadeli, acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “This research will advance the science of chemical life cycle assessments and provide tools to design safer chemicals, while enabling a healthy economy and safer society.”

Arizona State University’s research will evaluate the trade-offs between using nanomaterials to improve the functionality of consumer products and the potential risks to humans and the environment. The University of California, Santa Barbara’s research will develop an online tool to evaluate life cycle impacts of chemicals which industry, academia and other decision makers can use to make more informed decisions about chemical and product design.
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Posted: April 10, 2014

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its fiscal year (FY) 2014 to 2018 Strategic Plan today, which provides a blueprint for advancing EPA’s mission to protect public health and the environment across the country.

The plan envisions a new era of partnerships with state and local governments, tribes, federal agencies, businesses, and industry leaders to achieve environmental benefits in a pragmatic, collaborative way.

“EPA will address the increasingly complex array of environmental challenges we face by advancing a rigorous research and development agenda that informs and supports our policy and decision making with timely and innovative technology and sustainable solutions,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We are heeding President Obama’s call for action on climate change, the biggest challenge for our generation and those to come by building strong partnerships at home and around the world. We are working to mitigate this threat by reducing carbon pollution and other greenhouse-gas emissions and by focusing on efficiency improvements in homes, buildings and appliances.”

The five strategic goals in EPA’s plan include:

• Addressing climate change and improving air quality;
• Protecting America’s waters;
• Cleaning up communities and advancing sustainable development;
• Ensuring the safety of chemicals and preventing pollution; and
• Protecting human health and the environment by enforcing laws and assuring compliance.
Read more

Posted: April 8, 2014
Source: Environmental Leader.com

DriveLogik says its new product can provide fleets with up to a 10 percent fuel savings per vehicle and reduced maintenance costs.  A hardware package and monthly subscription-based software reporting includes driver performance reports to help identify driver performance. Customized instant alerts via mobile devices also identify major driving events.

DriveLogik says a long-haul truck driving 112,000 miles per year can save an average of $5,500 in fuel costs. DriveLogik’s fleet management, tracking and reporting is powered by RiskLogik’s TrackLogik software.
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Posted: April 7, 2014
Source: Yale Environment 360

Researchers from the U.S. military are developing technology that would harvest solar energy in space and beam it down to Earth, according to the Naval Research Laboratory. Although the concept seems futuristic, the Navy is currently testing two prototype designs, both of which combine solar panels with electronic components that convert the energy to radio waves and transmit it to Earth. Eventually, engineers plan to use robotic vehicles to transport the panels to space and assemble them into a 1-kilometer wide satellite orbiting the planet. Theoretically, harvesting solar energy in space is more efficient than on Earth, because panels can collect sunlight around the clock and regardless of weather conditions. The U.S. military, currently the world’s largest oil consumer, is eager to develop the technology to save money on fuel and simplify military deployments. But the private sector also has plans for the technology: California utility company Pacific Gas & Electric plans to buy space solar power from Solaren within the next two years, and a Japanese company recently announced plans to build a 11,000-mile solar strip around the moon to capture solar energy.

Posted: April 7, 2014
Source: Body Shop Business.com

The first bulletin covers the 2015 Honda Fit model including new model body technology, body repair information, welding information and airbag systems. The second bulletin covers welding and sectioning guideline revisions that apply to all models.The bulletins have been issued in response to industry requests for more information about the proper repair of Honda and Acura vehicles as the amount of high-strength steel used in vehicles continues to increase.

Body Repair News summarizes new body and vehicle technology that may affect collision and other body repairs. It is not intended to replace the detailed information contained in the body repair and service manuals. Rather, it aims to help collision repair industry personnel understand why using the factory service information is so important to making safe and complete repairs.


More information:Visit techinfo.honda.com and techinfo.acura.com, then click the “Collision Repair Information and Industry Position Statements” link.