Month: March 2019

Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis

Pyrolysis

03/24/19

“How can we heat organic matter into a fuel without combustion?”

When heated to a high enough temperature, organic matter will burn. However, if there is no oxygen present, then combustion cannot occur. So what happens instead? Well, the organic material will decompose into combustible gasses and charcoal, the former of which can be turned into a combustible liquid. This Pyrolysis process can be used to create carbon emission neutral fuel sources such as biochar.

Image credit http://www.ars.usda.gov

The EPA Federal Test Procedure and Why It Is Important

The EPA Federal Test Procedure and Why It Is Important

The EPA Federal Test Procedure and Why It Is Important

03/23/19

“How are vehicles tested for emissions and fuel economy in the United States?”

In the United States, in order to sell a car the emissions and fuel economy must be known. But how can this be accomplished? Well, what if we were to make the vehicle undergo a series of standardized and controlled drive-cycles and measure fuel consumption? This way, not only can we measure its performance for that trip but compare it to every other vehicle that underwent a similar trip. Well, it turns out the EPA does exactly with The EPA Federal Test Procedure.

Image credit: Wikipedia

How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation

How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation

How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation

03/22/19

“How can solar panels be apart of bee conservation?”

As a result of climate change and human activity, bees are dying at astonishing rates. Since these creatures are vital for pollination, their survival is crucial for the success of human civilization. But how can we accomplish this? Well, part of this will involve growing plants that are vital for pollinator life. Although this will involve a large amount of land, around and inside utility scale solar panels there is a considerable number of unused green space. This can be converted into pollinator habitats and become a safe space for bees. Not only would this help grow their population, but it would also re-mediate the environmental consequences of solar energy and help convince farmers to install renewable energy. This is How Solar Panels Can Help With Bee Conservation.

Image credit: Argonne National Labs

Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

03/21/19

“What are the consequences on the environment for replacing agriculture with solar?”

With the advent of the ever-increasing business case for renewable energy, farms are starting to replace growing crops with generating solar. However, like every process there are potential environmental impacts that must be addressed. Primarily, soil that could be used for growing crops is being diverted to ground for panels. Second, shading from the solar panels could dampen productivity of agriculture. As a result it is best to place solar panels on farmland not reserved for crops. These are the Ecological Impacts of Solar Farms Replacing Agricultural Farms

Image credit scientificamerican.com

Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest

Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest

Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest

03/20/19

“Why are agricultural farms being turned into solar farms in the American Midwest?”

A crisis and a boom is running through the American Midwest right now. Crop prices have collapsed do much that in some areas farming yields $0/acre. But due to new renewable energy incentives being passed in Illinois and Minnesota and the fact that solar provides a fixed return, many farmers are installing solar panels over their cropland. As a result, Illinois and Minnesota re experiencing tremendous growth rates in their solar industries. This is Why Agricultural Farms are Being Converted into Solar Farms in the American Midwest.

Image credit https://www.washingtonpost.com

Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience

Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience

Cyclone Idai and Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience

03/19/19

“Why does Cyclone Idai in Mozambique show that cities need to build climate change resilience?”

The Mozambique city of Beira was recently hit by Cyclone Idai. Due to the intensity of the storm and the lack of resources, over 90% of the city was destroyed. The infrastructure was so damaged that metal roofs flew off of buildings. Since catastrophic climate events will rise in the future, cities will need to invest to change how to combat these problems. This is Why Communities Need to Prepare for Climate Change Resilience.

Image credit: https://qz.com/africa/1576018/cyclone-idai-mozambique-death-toll-could-rise-to-over-1000/