Monday, June 28, 2010

DIY Solar Panel Kits By Alice V. Deloney

The economic depression that the economy is experiencing globally nowadays makes it very important to obtain DIY solar panel kits to save more money.
There are countless sources of directions on building your own solar powered generator at home that can be accessed online, but we still need to be careful in choosing which is more efficient and if it really understands the concept behind how the machine really works.
If what we really want is to have our own solar panel at home so that we could produce our own energy, we should first learn and understand the basics and theories on how solar panels are set up and used and how it really works.
When an energy or electricity is made by heat or motion, it runs through the wires into our homes, the energy created runs units that are currently operated when the circuits are open.
For appliances entailing the use of electricity to work properly, the flow of energy should be kept constant because electricity degrades with respect to time.
The prerequisite that I mentioned above is easier done by using a solar powered generator because it runs with use of solar panels and stores unused energy by the use of a battery but you also need to be careful in choosing the right battery size for all your electrical appliances to be accommodated with the source of electricity.
Studying and having the specialization in the field of electricity is not really a requirement when you desire to build your own generator at home because the parts that are required in building the machine can be found in and even around the house and can be very inexpensive to purchase on hardware stores.
Solar power is another source of energy which can be gathered from the sun and it can be built at home but it works entirely different from usual electrical generators because the energy generated through motion makes the amount of power generated directly related to the number of loops which encircle the central wheel of the axle and also depends on the speed of the turning of the wheel.
To always make sure that you are doing everything right in trying to correctly follow instructions on DIY solar panel kits and for ensuring that you are making an output that is maximum and at the same time very efficient, you need to follow instructions perfectly to also avoid short circuits from happening and destroying your generator.
There are many things to do in order to save energy.I am glad to read the post on DIY solar panel kits.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alice_V._Deloney

Save Money With Renewable Energy Biogas By Dane Bergen

Renewable energy biogas is a fuel mixture that can be made from biomass and contains methane and carbon dioxide; it has sixty five percent of the former and thirty five percent of the latter. Biogas is usually prepared by anaerobic fermentation using bacteria which can degrade organic substances to form this fuel gas.
Many people have now turned to using renewable energy biogas as it is highly economical and also safe for the environment. In addition, it also helps to decrease organic waste load that is otherwise dumped and left to degrade on its own. By preparing this fuel gas, we help to reduce this load efficiently without polluting the environment.
Another advantage of renewable energy biogas is that it can be created using minimal investment even in the backyard of your home. The digested sludge that is given out as a waste product is very useful as manure for agronomic purposes and thus helps to grow produce in an organic manner. Since biogas can be used for all home needs, it cuts down on the use of LPG and thus on the consumption of fossil fuels.
The manure that is formed this way has fewer odors and can be easily assimilated by plants; there is also the added advantage that using this fertilizer can reduce the risk of disease causing organisms affecting the plants which is good both for the economy as well as health of the society. This also helps to keep out other insects near the storage pit thus maintaining the area neat and tidy.
There is very little money involved in building an apparatus for making renewable energy biogas. Invest in this today itself and create free fuel for all your household needs from the organic wastes that gets accumulated at home.
If you're considering adding a solar panel to your home, to dramatically lower your electricity bill, then check out my video's on how I made my own solar panel for only few hundred dollars!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dane_Bergen

Friday, June 25, 2010

How to Go Green With Your Coffee By Mike Crimmins

Earlier this year, the day marked Earth Day on the calendars turned forty. You'd think that after that many years, things would be starting to look a lot greener. However, it's no secret that the earth is taking some pretty hard hits right now. And coffee drinkers, we're part of the problem. Our precious coffee is causing forests to be knocked down at an alarming rate to make room for coffee trees and closer to home our land and water if littered with coffee cups.
There's no easy answer, but there's ways for us to go from causing more problems to being part of the solution.
Next time you go shopping, take a look at the labels on the coffee there. Organic and shade grown are just two of the many earth friendly labels out there. Organic coffees are grown and processed without harsh chemicals and shade grown coffee preserves the habitats for migratory birds. And don't forget to buy local so your morning coffee has less of a carbon foot print.
Billions of paper and Styrofoam cups are used once then thrown out. They're filling up our landfills, polluting our lakes and covering land. The answer is simple, start using a travel mug.
Unplug your coffee maker and cut your electric bill with a French Press or Aerobie Aeropress. The only power needed is to the heat the water. The French Press doesn't even require a single use paper filter that you would have to throw out after your done. The Aeropress only needs a filter that's less than the size of a silver dollar. Either way, you're getting great tasting coffee.
If you are set on using your traditional drip coffee maker, use coffee filters made out of recycled paper or better yet get a permanent reusable filter. Do you have a Keurig or other single serve machine? Have you checked out the reusable K-Cup? It allows you to use your own coffee and not throw out a plastic k-cup every time. Win/win.
After you're all done, don't throw the coffee grounds in the trash. Instead put them in your compost pile. If you don't have one, what are you waiting for? Start one today or give them to a neighbor that does have one in their backyard.
That's just a few easy ways to go green with your coffee, but that's just the beginning. There's so many ways that you can help nurture our earth.
Mike Crimmins is a coffee fanatic. He's not your traditional coffee expert or barista. He's just your average joe, looking for that perfect cup of coffee. You can learn more about coffee at his blog http://dailyshotofcoffee.com/ and visit http://shop.dailyshotofcoffee.com/.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mike_Crimmins

Biotechnology Investment Opportunities in New Zealand By Alex Wyne

New-Zealand's bio-tech industry is flourishing and the government is dedicated to speeding up the development of this knowledge based industry. The opportunities for investors will continue to grow as a result of the government taking a series of positive steps to promote the growth. It has established a US$40 m venture investment fund specifically for the development of bio-tech sectors.
Biotechnology has been recognized by the NZ Government as a sector with the potential to make substantial contributions to social well being and economic growth of the country. Hence, it has been included in the Growth and Innovation Framework. The NZ government's Biotechnology Strategy was released in 2003. The primary objectives of the strategy involve promoting growth of the sector to raise economic and community welfare. It also focuses on the regulations that offer robust safeguards without obstructing innovation.
In current times, most of the biotechnology research and related business is concentrated on health and well being related applications and knowledge. The NZ government has applied no restrictions on the percentage of equity a foreign investor can have in biotechnology ventures. This sector is poised for high growth due to many reasons. Biology based industries account for 60% of gross national product. Biotechnology industries in NZ have become world leaders due to investments in genetic management, process development and land management. This past foundation of scientific achievement gives the current investor a competitive edge in biotechnology projects.
Biotechnology Industry has a legacy in NZ as the country mainly depended on commercial exports of bio tech products. NZ has a unparalleled environment which is supported by rich natural resources. This has invariably supplied the building blocks of world-class biological science. The development has been cemented by the fact that successive governments have supported the increased investment and development of biological research. Currently the primary focus is concentrated on research areas to develop medium term commercial applications in biological sciences. The government has many ranges of grants that can be availed by local and international organizations.
The royal commission of inquiry has mentioned in its report that genetic modification and its application need to be supported and NZ stands to miss huge opportunities if it fails to do so. This provides enough evidence that potential investment in biotech industries will be welcomed and supported in NZ.
Setting up a biotech industry in NZ has many advantages.
• It has a good supply of animal obtained biological materials
• Good supply of marine derived natural products
• A prominent source of raw materials for human and animal pharmaceutical products.
• Manufacture of wide range of blood based products such as antibodies and proteins.
The cost of biotechnology research and development facilities in NZ is 40% to 50% less than Europe and USA. Thus, this serves to be a great advantage for foreign investors who are looking for cost efficient research and development. The cost structure of clinical studies in New Zealand is also quite attractive. Companies can collaborate with New Zealand research groups that have strong foundations and brief history in the biological science field. Affordable access to bio-prospecting facilities, pure raw materials and NZ unique flora are some of the distinct advantages offered by NZ to foreign investors looking to invest in biotechnology projects.
Biotechnology investment in New Zealand
Investinnz.co.nz is provide details information of Investment opportunities, Events, Expos, Conferences and Magazine on investment in NZ for those who have interest to invest in New Zealand.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Alex_Wyne

Traditional and Modern Food Biotechnology By George Royal

With the increase in the global demand for food and food products, scientists all over the world have been probing the possibility of finding a way to increase crop yields, enhance and improve the nutritional value and taste, while protecting the environment by reducing the use of chemicals such as pesticides. This is where biotechnology comes into the picture by providing the required technology to achieve those.
Traditional and Modern Food Biotechnology:
Food biotechnology is not a new concept. It had already been used long before the term itself was coined. For centuries, man has been exploiting biology to make food products such as bread, beer, wine, and cheese. For example, man had already learnt the method of fermenting fruit juices to concoct alcoholic beverages during the period around 6000 BC. Traditionally, the most common form of food biotechnology is the process in which seeds from the highest yielding and best tasting corn are grown each year, resulting in the better yield year after year.
The process of obtaining the best traits in food products became much easier with the introduction of "genetic engineering" and "gene cloning" in modern food biotechnology about two decades ago. Now, by transferring and altering genes, scientists can remove certain genetic characteristics from units and move it into the genetic code of another, to make them more resistant to diseases, richer in vitamins and minerals, etc. Food biotechnology has also made plant breeding safer since single genes can now be transferred without moving thousands, making it possible to identify those defective genes or their proteins which may be harmful or toxic.
In the United States and many parts of the world, crops and food products such as soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, papaya, and squash produced through biotechnology have become significant components of the people's diet.
What are the Benefits?
Nutrition: Foods that are genetically engineered or produced through food biotechnology are more nutritious because they tend to contain more vitamin and minerals since they are made from a combination of select traits that are considered to be the best.
Safety: Foods from biotechnology are much safer because the possibility of toxin content is almost minimal in comparison to those grown traditionally. This is because any gene containing toxin or suspected to be toxic is removed during transferring and altering of genes.
Better Yield: Food biotechnology seems to increase crop yields by introducing food crops that are more resistant to harsh climates, decreasing the amount of diseased units, and improving the productivity of a particular crop etc. This becomes very practical considering the amount of food in demand, and consumed globally.
Reducing the need for chemical insecticides: Food biotechnology also opens the possibility of producing crops that are naturally or self-resistant to diseases and pests. For example, the gene for a bacterial protein which kills insect pests has successfully been introduced into a range of crops, reducing the need for chemical insecticides. Pest-protected crops also allow for less potential exposure of farmers and groundwater to chemical residues.
Biotechnology HQ http://biotechnology-hq.com/ articles and information about the science of biotechnology.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=George_Royal

Monday, June 21, 2010

Offshore Oil Drilling Rigs Actually Safe? Get the Facts Now By Oneil Wilson Platinum Quality Author

The question of the day seems to be, are the offshore oil drilling rigs actually safe. The answer would be a resounding... no.. well.. maybe. This week a spill that is expected to reach proportions that out-spill the Exxon Valdez is affecting an area already sensitive. Marine mammals, fish, wildlife and even some shore areas are being affected, along with industry and tourism.
Is Offshore drilling really safe? At the moment if you ask any of the people who may be affected by it, they'd have to admit that they don't believe that it is. If you were to ask our President today, I wonder if his answer has changed from the affirmative one he gave in the early part of April.
Whatever the reason for the explosion that caused the massive and still uncontrolled spill, that particular episode of offshore drilling wasn't safe. In retrospect, while everyone was asking the question, "is offshore drilling safe?", they were not addressing the real issue. The question of whether or not off shore oil drilling is safe is a moot point. It wasn't safe this time.
The question at hand should not have been, "Is this technology safe?", but instead, "Do we have the technology to fix what we damage if it is not?" That answer is obviously a resounding no.
It may be the safest and most wholesome technology available, but regardless of that fact, sometimes, even the most safe technology goes awry.
In light of the current efforts to clean up what is clearly an ecological disaster of devastating proportions, what difference does the question of whether or not the offshore drilling is safe really make? This time, it wasn't safe, and now we deal with the aftermath.
O'Neil is a eager internet newbie in the art of writing articles. His newest interest is in girl games. So come visit his recommended where you can play girl games. You can venture it his most popular section of games, Y8 Dress Up.
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Inspired by Dave Courchene By Neal Ryder

I just came across something we all can do that resonates so strongly with me.
"Get a bottle of clean water, hold it close to your hearts and offer a prayer. Through the Water, send a message of love and gratitude to the Earth, and to all water of the Earth that has been affected and contaminated. Send your love to the Water and to Mother Earth.
This strong love of Spirit that you will put into the Water will give strength to Mother Earth.
Go to your nearest body of Water - a creek, a stream, a river, a waterfall, lake or ocean, and pour your Water that you have blessed with your prayer of gratitude. It will be your spirit of love to the Earth that offers our best chance of survival."
From Dave Courchene of the Turtle Lodge
What if we include a vision that folds in nicely with this inspired call to action. Perhaps it will resonate with you as it does with me.
What if we blessed water monthly? Weekly? Daily? Quarterly? With the cycles of the moon? Whatever type of commitment makes sense to the individual. Across the planet those participating would be contributing individually but as a whole there would be a consistency of intention.
While not everyone lives near water, the intention of gratitude transcend physical limitations. This could be done wherever you live; city, plains, mountains, desert. The planet is a whole - water, oxygen, atmosphere, ice, land, plants, animals and human all are part of Planet Earth.
We can bless and pour the water on the land or in water. Be where you are, be with the intention of blessing. That blessing would be carried to the atmosphere as the water evaporates or would blend with water. That blessing could then be part of the rain as it falls to bless the planet, people, plants and animals. We might then absorb that blessing as we drink the water - same with the animals and plants. A cycle of blessing might be created. Our blessings would travel to all ecosystems carried by the winds that promote the general circulation of air on the planet.
Singular group actions carry weight. Consistency of action produces change. Consider it. Don't get caught by a belief in victimhood - which suggests we have no choice. We do. We can make a difference - link choice, intention and action. Our blessings can affect all of life in ways we can't imagine.
If you don't remember to do it every day, do it a few times a week, or weekly. It's about people sharing a common intention. If this resonates, simply make an effort and do the best you can. Collectively it makes a difference.
Neal is a gifted intuitive healer, inspirational author and global teacher who has dedicated his life and training to bringing forth the Divine Radiance in people - not in concept but as a state of being - which infuses his clients with healing, wholeness and celebration.
Neal offers a wealth of information through his blog, newsletter, articles, workshops, intensives, expansive programs and internet radio shows all drawn from the core content in his book, Living a Radiant Life: A Compassionate Compass To Unity and Wholeness.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Neal_Ryder

Biogas Upgrading Technology - Cleaning Raw Biogas Into Usable Natural Gas By Richard Belcher

Digester systems that convert waste material into biogas are becoming more prevalent throughout the world. Rural farmers now have a means to produce good quality fertilizer and biogas from waste materials like manure in a cheap renewable way.
The problem is that this biogas produced is roughly 60% methane and 29% Co2 with trace elements of H2S, and is not up to the quality of 99% pure methane natural gas if the owner was planning on selling this gas or using it as fuel gas for machinery. The corrosive nature of H2S alone is enough to destroy the internals of expensive plant.
The solution is the implementation of a biogas upgrading or purification system. Biogas upgrading is a series of processes where the gas is first cleaned from contaminants and then dried, so that what is left at the end of the process is 98%+ methane fuel gas. Manufacturers that produce biogas purification systems each have their own different processes and technology that they employ to produce the sales quality gas. A few of them are detailed below.
Water Washing
This is the most common method of purifying biogas. Here raw biogas from the digester is compressed and fed into the scrubber vessel where passing water streams adsorb the gas contaminants leaving near pure methane. The gas is then dried by dessicant in the drier columns and exit the system as 98%+ pure natural gas.
Pressure Swing Adsorption
Otherwise known as PSA, this purification method separates the Co2, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Water from the raw biogas stream by adsorbing gases at high pressure and desorbing them at low pressure as waste. The PSA system usually consists of 4 different adsorption columns working in sequence; Adsorption, depressurizing, desorption and repressurizing.
The raw biogas is compressed and fed into the bottom of the adsorption column where it is purified. during this time the remaining columns regenerate, such that there is always 1 absorber column actively cleaning gas. PSA does not scrub hydrogen sulphide so this most be removed before it enters the compressor.
Polyglycol
Using polyglycol (Tradename Selexol)to purify biogas is similar to the water washing method with regeneration. Selexol can adsorb hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide and water. However the energy required to regenerate the solution after adsorbing H2S is high, so hydrogen sulphide is removed before the process.
Chemical Reaction
Raw biogas can be upgraded by various chemical reactions that remove the C02 and other contaminants from the gas stream. The chemicals such as Alkanolamines react at atmospheric pressure in an adsorption column with the Co2 and are regenerated afterwards with steam. The hydrogen sulphide must first be removed to avoid toxifying the chemicals.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Each plant type fulfills its purpose of supplying high quality natural gas for grid injection. However depending on the site location, various environmental and economic factors might make selecting a certain type of system a more sensible choice. For areas where water is an expensive resource a more appropriate choice would be a PSA or Selexol system which regenerate the adsorbent, however this has to be offset against the heat input required in regeneration.
Another important factor to consider is the methane loss associated with each design. The methane loss is measured using gas analyzers and flowmeters at the suction and discharge sides of the plant. Most plants are guaranteed by manufacturers to achieve a maximum 2% methane loss. Some recent studies however have measured between 8-10% methane loss at PSA and Selexol plant sites, possibly due to leaks and poor maintenance. Chemical systems have even lower guaranteed losses since the chemicals selectively react with the Co2 in the gas stream instead of adsorbing.
Energy Demands
For a biogas upgrading plant the auxiliary power required to drive the compressors, pumps etc is anywhere between 3-6% of the total energy output in the form of natural gas. The cost associated with upgrading biogas also decreases with larger plant size, a smallish plant of 100 metres cubed per hour will upgrade gas at more than twice the cost of a plant outputting 200 - 300 metres cubed per hour.
Conclusions
A Digestor is only the beginning of the process to convert biomass into useful high quality natural gas. A biogas purification system takes the raw biogas at around 60% methane from the digester and through a special process outputs 98% methane for ether use as fuel gas or supplied to the grid. The four main upgrading processes are water washing, pressure swing adsorption, polyglycol adsorption and chemical treatment. Water washing and PSA are the most predominantly used systems in the world today. Typical energy requirements for a biogas purification system are between 3-6% of the total methane output, with smaller plants cost more to run than larger ones. As digester systems become more common around the world and people begin to catch on to biogas as a renewable source of energy, no doubt we will see more of these systems become available and more innovative designs.
methane-digester.net/biogas-upgrading-systems/
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Richard_Belcher

Traditional and Modern Food Biotechnology By George Royal

With the increase in the global demand for food and food products, scientists all over the world have been probing the possibility of finding a way to increase crop yields, enhance and improve the nutritional value and taste, while protecting the environment by reducing the use of chemicals such as pesticides. This is where biotechnology comes into the picture by providing the required technology to achieve those.
Traditional and Modern Food Biotechnology:
Food biotechnology is not a new concept. It had already been used long before the term itself was coined. For centuries, man has been exploiting biology to make food products such as bread, beer, wine, and cheese. For example, man had already learnt the method of fermenting fruit juices to concoct alcoholic beverages during the period around 6000 BC. Traditionally, the most common form of food biotechnology is the process in which seeds from the highest yielding and best tasting corn are grown each year, resulting in the better yield year after year.
The process of obtaining the best traits in food products became much easier with the introduction of "genetic engineering" and "gene cloning" in modern food biotechnology about two decades ago. Now, by transferring and altering genes, scientists can remove certain genetic characteristics from units and move it into the genetic code of another, to make them more resistant to diseases, richer in vitamins and minerals, etc. Food biotechnology has also made plant breeding safer since single genes can now be transferred without moving thousands, making it possible to identify those defective genes or their proteins which may be harmful or toxic.
In the United States and many parts of the world, crops and food products such as soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, papaya, and squash produced through biotechnology have become significant components of the people's diet.
What are the Benefits?
Nutrition: Foods that are genetically engineered or produced through food biotechnology are more nutritious because they tend to contain more vitamin and minerals since they are made from a combination of select traits that are considered to be the best.
Safety: Foods from biotechnology are much safer because the possibility of toxin content is almost minimal in comparison to those grown traditionally. This is because any gene containing toxin or suspected to be toxic is removed during transferring and altering of genes.
Better Yield: Food biotechnology seems to increase crop yields by introducing food crops that are more resistant to harsh climates, decreasing the amount of diseased units, and improving the productivity of a particular crop etc. This becomes very practical considering the amount of food in demand, and consumed globally.
Reducing the need for chemical insecticides: Food biotechnology also opens the possibility of producing crops that are naturally or self-resistant to diseases and pests. For example, the gene for a bacterial protein which kills insect pests has successfully been introduced into a range of crops, reducing the need for chemical insecticides. Pest-protected crops also allow for less potential exposure of farmers and groundwater to chemical residues.
Biotechnology HQ http://biotechnology-hq.com/ articles and information about the science of biotechnology.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=George_Royal

Triplet Genetic Code - A Book Review Which Allows the Reader to Better Understand DNA Nutrition By Chris Bielke

This book presents the basics of what the genetic code is, so that the reader can have a basis of understanding of molecular biology. The backbone of the book is the central dogma of molecular biology, which is the idea that information flows from DNA to RNA to protein. It not only defines and discusses what the genetic code is, but discusses the rules of the genetic code and the type of mutations that can occur in the system.
The basic building blocks of both DNA and mRNA are adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. These are defined as nitrogen bases and are usually labeled A, T, G, and C. These bases code for twenty specific amino acids. The twenty amino acids that can be created are as follows: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartate, cysteine, glutamine, glutamate, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, praline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine. A nucleotide is defined as a linked bunch of molecules, composed of a phosphate group, nitrogenous bases, and a pentose sugar. The nucleotides code for these amino acids in groups of three, giving 64 possible combinations. The groups of threes are called codons. There are actually three codons that don't code for amino acids. These codons are called stop codons and they signal signal translation termination. These codons are UAA, UAG, and UGA.
The genetic code is said to be degenerate. This means that the code doesn't code to its capacity. Basically, the twenty known amino acids that can be created by the genetic code can be made by more than one type of nucleotide sequence. For instance, CUU, CUC, CUA, and CUG all code for the amino acid leucine. Another example is that CGU, CGC, CGA, and CGG all code for arginine.
According to the book, there are three main rules for the genetic code. The first rule is that the sequence of nitrogenous bases must follow the direction of translation. mRNA is translated in the 5' to 3' direction, so the codon sequences have to occur in the same orientation. This ensures that they will be properly translated. The first base of a codon must be located at the 5'-most end of the codon. For instance, the following three bases code for the amino acid cysteine: CGU. Two codons code for this amino acid, 5'-UGU-3' and 5'-UGC-3'. 5'-UGC-3' matches the codon CGU if you read it backwards.
The second rule is that one nucleotide can be used per reading frame. In other words, one nucleotide can only be part of one codon. For example, the code AATT could be read only as AAT or ATT, but not at the same time.
The last rule deals with start and stop codons. Basically, once you begin reading a codon from a specific nucleotide, one must continue reading it by threes until the end. The most common start codon is AUG. UAA, UAG, or UGA are the stop codons. So, the implication of this rule is that any sequence can be read in three different ways, depending on which nucleotide is put first. The three different ways of reading can yield three different amino acids.
Mutations are errors in codons caused by changes in nucleotide bases. Depending on the type of mutation, the error can cause no change or devastating change in protein created. These changes can result in positive phenotypic changes in the living organism, but usually are deleterious. The first type of mutation discussed is the base substitution. This is when one base is substituted for another. There are three main base substitutions: silent mutations, missense mutations, and nonsense mutations. Silent mutations do not change the amino acid created, due to the degeneracy of the genetic code. For example, if UGU is changed to UGC, the corresponding amino acid will still be cysteine. A missense mutation results in a substitution that changes the actual amino acid that is created by the codon. A nonsense mutation is a substitution that actually transforms the codon into a stop codon. This is generally considered to be the worst sort of base substitution mutation because it can really mess up the formation of a protein.
The next category of mutations is the insertion and deletion mutations. The main mutation that correlates to the insertion or deletion of a nucleotide in a codon is the frameshift mutation. This mutation is very profound in its effects, due to it changing every codon in a genetic sequence. It messes up the three codon structure which constitutes code, thus altering the protein that is created by the code.
The last category of mutations are the suppressor mutations. Supressor mutations change the result of an entirely different mutation. There are two types of these: extragenic and intragenic mutations. Extragenic mutations occur outside the genetic code, but has an effect on the amino acid sequence that is translated from the genetic code. Basically, one mutation can negate another mutation, due to the affects of a tRNA mutation. An intragenic mutation comes from within the genetic code. An example of this would be if an insertion of a particular nucleotide was negated by a frameshift deletion of this nucleotide. This book does a thorough job of educating the reader in the basic of the genetic code. It not only defines what the genetic code is, what rules govern it, and what mutations can occur in it, but it discusses how the genetic code is an indicator of evolution. Since all life shares the same four nitrogenous bases, which make up the codons that code for the proteins that make all living bodies, evolution from common descent seems plausible.
Written by Chris Bielke
Independent Affiliate GeneWize LifeSciences
Direct: 928-261-8247
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Top 10 Popular Science Books By Casey Rentz

1. Annals of a Former World, by John McPhee
In patient, lyrical prose, McPhee takes the reader on a geologic journey through the United States. This volume was originally published as 4 books; each is centered on a road trip the author took with a geologist, observing the earth next to Eisenhower's great US highways for clues into its geologic past. Annals has this--no borders, idealistic, On the Road for geologists kind of feel (though a bit more grown-up.) I pick up Annals every once in a while when im in a relaxed mood, when im looking for a good example of literary science writing. Highly recommended as a companion for camping trips, if you can fit it into your pack.
2. Surely You're Joking, Mr, Feynman, by Richard Feynman
A string of excerpts from Feynman's life/career, Surely You're Joking is probably the popular science book I have read through the most times, not because it is short, but because it is at once compelling, understated, and full of indispensible scientific concepts. Richard Feynman has an uncanny ability to make physics easily digestible, his lectures are a testament to that and Surely You're Joking is no exception. Feynman's easy prose makes the reader feel like physics is understandable, as if he has laid out a diagram of the universe on his living room floor--no one is an outsider. It's delightful. Feynman's in my 'top 5 people I would give my right pinky finger to meet' category.
3. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson
The second heavy volume on the list, A Short History is packed with nearly everything. It takes a look at the science behind a lot of things--beauty, cells, evolution, the universe. Bryson rejects the traditional notion of a 'textbook' with this book, making science seem relevant in our daily lives AND putting this knowledge in the context of the universe--in space and time. Capturing the detailed nooks where science is often concentrated AND eliciting the wonder of the wider perspective is an accomplishment--savor it wherever you can find it. Great in audio book format.
4. The Richness of Life, collection of essays by Stephen Jay Gould
The idiosyncratic Gould has written articles in Natural History and many other science magazines for decades and is one of the most widely read modern science writers. In this collection of articles, Gould's highly intellectual, witty, and pin-accurate prose explains evolutionary theory, racism or baseball with a scientist's eye, but in a way that engages the layman. Gould's dedication to science shows in every piece. Delightful.
5. In the Shadow of Man, by Jane Goodall
A classic book--easy read, no jargon. Goodall's observations of chimpanzee's in the wild first brought to light one of man's most recent ancestors--the chimpanzee. This book chronicles some of Goodall's groundbreaking research through her own observations about chimp behavior. Once immersed in the book, I couldn't help but think--we are all just apes, evolved from or related to one another. Puts things in perspective.
6. The Canon, by Natalie Angier
Someone at the New York Times science desk once told me--"Natalie Angier is the queen of metaphor." I have to agree. The Canon is the best example of her witty prose winding the reader through simple scientific questions with difficult answers. In this book, Angier tackles what she has deemed the basic scientific concepts everyone should know: thinking scientifically, probabilities, calibration, physics, evolutionary biology, chemistry, molecular biology, astronomy and geology. Phew. I have to say--this could have been very text-book, but because of her writing style, is masterful. I actually have had many non-scientist friend recommend this to me, which is always a good sign.
7. Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher, by Lewis Thomas
Another collection of essays worth picking up, Thomas' book is a joy. Each essay packs a good amount of philosophy into it's literary package as Thomas meanders through simple topics and concepts in biology and makes larger connections (cells are like mini organisms, social animals work together like parts of a cell, etc.) Thomas often uses themes repetitively in his essays, so this collection is good for sporadic reading.
8. Universe in a Teacup, by K.C. Cole
Where can you find a book that successfully intertwines the discipline of mathematics, with the concepts of truth and beauty? Universe is just such a book; K.C.'s most popular and in some ways seminal volume. Metaphors she uses pack a punch. Her prose style is somewhat poetic, and in Universe, she proves adept at explain things like chaos or phase transitions are illuminating--not just because you finally understand some science concept that always seem so obscure, but because Cole has also given the you a new way to think about mathematics and the world alongside your new understanding. (Full disclosure--Cole was my academic mentor)
9. Enduring Love, by Ian McEwin
Ok, so not everyone would categorize this as a popular science book, but Ill include it anyway. Enduring Love is a fiction book, partially written from the perspective of a former scientist, but more importantly, it is a suspenseful story that lets the author's attitudes towards life bleed through each and every page. Ian McEwan is a well-know rationalist who believes that science is just as much a part of culture as anything else--a position with which I very much empathize. This is a literary tale, sure, but McEwin manages to mention scientific ideas all over the place, integrating science and its ways of thinking into the lives of his complex characters and slowly revealing situations. It's a page-turner.
10. Six Easy Pieces, Six Not-So-Easy Pieces, by Richard Feynman
I tried not to include any author twice, but I couldn't resist. Feynman is fantastic. Check out these books for fundamental lessons of physics.
*Suggested missing authors--Simon Singh, Richard Dawkins
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Casey_Rentz

Biology, Science and Nature Books By Suleman Thadha

Astronomy and Cosmology
Cosmology is the name given to a range of natural sciences, including both physics and astronomy that intends to provide an explanation for how the universe works as an integrated entity. Over the centuries, since the Pythagoreans in Greece during the 6th century BC considered the possibility that Earth was spherical, cosmology has come a long way and has integrated a variety of different fields of science.
Cosmology evolved from the observation of these Greeks who interpreted the natural laws of the heavenly bodies from which, eventually, the Ptolemaic model developed during the second century AD. Centuries later, during the 16th century, the Copernican system further developed the theories surrounding astronomy and cosmology - followed, in the 20th century, by the theories of special relativity and Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. Overall, however, the case for cosmology states that the laws of physics work the same everywhere and that there is homogeneity throughout the universe.
'The Holographic Universe', written by Michael Talbot, tells its story in two parts: the first part devotes 55 pages to discussing David Bohm's holographic model of the universe - simplified into everyday language by Talbot. The second part of the book delves into events of the paranormal while, at the same time, attempting to rationalise the holographic model. Talbot introduces the reader to Karl Pribram as well as the philosophies of David Bohm.
Chemistry
Chemistry and biochemistry often go hand-in-hand, existing in parallel with other scientific disciplines such as dietetics [the science of food]. McCance and Widdowson, who produce 'The Composition of Foods' summarises food composition tables and updates much in the way of nutrition as a science. The foreword to the 6th edition has been written by Sir John Krebs while the actual volume itself provides an invaluable source of reference to dieticians and nutritionists the world over.
Meanwhile,'Principles of Biochemistry' by Nelson D has been described as a 'modern approach to biochemistry'. Personally, one of the best biochemistry books I have ever encountered was that written by Patterson - now, sadly, long since out of print. I attribute my successful pass in the biochemistry exams to the presence of Patterson which, by the time I had finished with it, was particularly dog-eared! Nelson D's 'Principles of Biochemistry' really is the next best thing to Patterson and a worthy successor.
Earth Sciences and Geography
Earth sciences are a catch-all term covering a different range of natural sciences from those mentioned above. These relate to the study of the earth and how different parts of it are interlinked to produce that homogenous whole that is the classic feature of the scientific world. If you are interested in the world around you then you may be interested in a lovely book by Gavin Pretor-Pinney. This book 'The Cloud Collector's Handbook' is full of charming pictures, below which you will find a short description of each cloud and space for you to record your own sightings. It certainly gives a new connotation to having your head in the clouds!
Education
If you think about it, there is all the difference in the world between someone who loves school and somebody who loves to learn: it doesn't necessarily follow that, if you love to learn, then you must enjoy school. Education, however, is all about learning for the sheer pleasure of gaining new information. This learning may or may not be associated with school: it can even cover any subject. Evidence of this can be seen in Richard Dawkins' book 'The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution'.
Dawkins goes about educating his readers, explaining to them how fossils can be dated accurately, all about plate tectonics etc, before going into the details of how these may be linked with the global distribution of plants and animals and the effects changes in these physical elements can have on them. Dawkins, whilst making it clear that he is aware [and who could not be?] of the great debate on creation v evolution, doesn't get drawn into the minutiae surrounding this eternal dispute.
Engineering and Technology
One book that I simply have to recommend is a fantastic book written by Jo Marchant. You will find it in our Science and Nature section under the heading of Engineering and Technology. The first thing to say is that this is not some dry and boring technical tome. This book relates the story behind a particularly ancient Greek artefact and what it took to decode its hidden mysteries. The book is called 'Decoding the Heavens: Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer'. I wish Jo Marchant had found a more intriguing title for her book because this title really doesn't do this book justice.
The book relates the story of the Antikythera Mechanism which has been shown to have amazing capabilities as an astronomical calculator: scientists believe its complexity was at least 1500 years before its time. The Antikythera Mechanism artifact is a good 2,000 years old and was found during a dive in 1901. Scientists have been attempting to unravel its secrets ever since. So, if it's a true-life mystery you are interested, or a book that's a bit different I would strongly recommend this well-written and interesting book of Jo Marchant's.
There are innumerable other sub-genres to be found within our Science and Nature section, covering quite an array of subjects. If you are a fan of the border collie, Barbara Sykes writes a delightful treatise on 'Understanding Border Collies'. This is an excellent book written by somebody who really does understand the intricacies that go to make up this breed of dog and is an absolute 'must have' for all the lovers of border collies out there. Changing from dogs to elephants, I would certainly recommend 'The Elephant Whisperer: Learning about Life, Loyalty and Freedom from a Remarkable Herd of Elephants' - it will really pull on your heartstrings then have you howling with laughter! Check out all the other options within this section - you will probably amaze yourself at the treasure trove of titles hidden within our web pages!
Books on science and nature.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Suleman_Thadha

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Global Warming

The Global Warming

Biogas Upgrading Technology - Cleaning Raw Biogas Into Usable Natural Gas By Richard Belcher

Digester systems that convert waste material into biogas are becoming more prevalent throughout the world. Rural farmers now have a means to produce good quality fertilizer and biogas from waste materials like manure in a cheap renewable way.
The problem is that this biogas produced is roughly 60% methane and 29% Co2 with trace elements of H2S, and is not up to the quality of 99% pure methane natural gas if the owner was planning on selling this gas or using it as fuel gas for machinery. The corrosive nature of H2S alone is enough to destroy the internals of expensive plant.
The solution is the implementation of a biogas upgrading or purification system. Biogas upgrading is a series of processes where the gas is first cleaned from contaminants and then dried, so that what is left at the end of the process is 98%+ methane fuel gas. Manufacturers that produce biogas purification systems each have their own different processes and technology that they employ to produce the sales quality gas. A few of them are detailed below.
Water Washing
This is the most common method of purifying biogas. Here raw biogas from the digester is compressed and fed into the scrubber vessel where passing water streams adsorb the gas contaminants leaving near pure methane. The gas is then dried by dessicant in the drier columns and exit the system as 98%+ pure natural gas.
Pressure Swing Adsorption
Otherwise known as PSA, this purification method separates the Co2, Nitrogen, Oxygen and Water from the raw biogas stream by adsorbing gases at high pressure and desorbing them at low pressure as waste. The PSA system usually consists of 4 different adsorption columns working in sequence; Adsorption, depressurizing, desorption and repressurizing.
The raw biogas is compressed and fed into the bottom of the adsorption column where it is purified. during this time the remaining columns regenerate, such that there is always 1 absorber column actively cleaning gas. PSA does not scrub hydrogen sulphide so this most be removed before it enters the compressor.
Polyglycol
Using polyglycol (Tradename Selexol)to purify biogas is similar to the water washing method with regeneration. Selexol can adsorb hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide and water. However the energy required to regenerate the solution after adsorbing H2S is high, so hydrogen sulphide is removed before the process.
Chemical Reaction
Raw biogas can be upgraded by various chemical reactions that remove the C02 and other contaminants from the gas stream. The chemicals such as Alkanolamines react at atmospheric pressure in an adsorption column with the Co2 and are regenerated afterwards with steam. The hydrogen sulphide must first be removed to avoid toxifying the chemicals.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Each plant type fulfills its purpose of supplying high quality natural gas for grid injection. However depending on the site location, various environmental and economic factors might make selecting a certain type of system a more sensible choice. For areas where water is an expensive resource a more appropriate choice would be a PSA or Selexol system which regenerate the adsorbent, however this has to be offset against the heat input required in regeneration.
Another important factor to consider is the methane loss associated with each design. The methane loss is measured using gas analyzers and flowmeters at the suction and discharge sides of the plant. Most plants are guaranteed by manufacturers to achieve a maximum 2% methane loss. Some recent studies however have measured between 8-10% methane loss at PSA and Selexol plant sites, possibly due to leaks and poor maintenance. Chemical systems have even lower guaranteed losses since the chemicals selectively react with the Co2 in the gas stream instead of adsorbing.
Energy Demands
For a biogas upgrading plant the auxiliary power required to drive the compressors, pumps etc is anywhere between 3-6% of the total energy output in the form of natural gas. The cost associated with upgrading biogas also decreases with larger plant size, a smallish plant of 100 metres cubed per hour will upgrade gas at more than twice the cost of a plant outputting 200 - 300 metres cubed per hour.
Conclusions
A Digestor is only the beginning of the process to convert biomass into useful high quality natural gas. A biogas purification system takes the raw biogas at around 60% methane from the digester and through a special process outputs 98% methane for ether use as fuel gas or supplied to the grid. The four main upgrading processes are water washing, pressure swing adsorption, polyglycol adsorption and chemical treatment. Water washing and PSA are the most predominantly used systems in the world today. Typical energy requirements for a biogas purification system are between 3-6% of the total methane output, with smaller plants cost more to run than larger ones. As digester systems become more common around the world and people begin to catch on to biogas as a renewable source of energy, no doubt we will see more of these systems become available and more innovative designs.
ezinearticle.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Biotechnology and Colours By Yaamini Lakshmi

Biotechnology and the world of colours have always been intertwined. Nature's hues and tints are captured in their natural or synthetic state in a variety of market products. The flower markets of natural blood-red roses and gene-designed blue roses recently released in Japan are apt examples.
To-date notwithstanding the awe-inspiring snip and tuck techniques of genetic engineering, the legendary 'Black Tulip' of French author Alexander Dumas still remains the 'Holy Grail of the Tulip world'. Several types from 'Tulip Queen of Night' (1944) to T.'Black Hero' (1984) constitute 'the category of the 'blackest of the officially 'purple' tulips'.
Nature's wealth of colours have inspired celebrity painters and poets ---French-born Hillarie Belloc describes in verse the morphology of The Microbe with its 'seven tufted tails with lots of pink and purple spots.'; and schoolchildren to explore the microbial world through the 'looking-glass' of Winogradsky's column with its purple and green bands ---consortia of the green and purple photosynthetic bacteria. Blue-green cyanobacteria contribute to the economy of Nature's important biogeochemical Cycles-the nitrogen cycle.
The Red Sea may derive its colour and name from the red-cyanobacterium -- Trichodesmium erythraeum, but the destruction of numerous fish is due to the Red Tide population of the plant-like red-brown dinoflagellates. Pigments help classify the brown, yellow, red and green algae; and protozoa and yeasts such as Euglena and Pichia. Nature's colour artistry occurs throughout the biospectrum incorporating interalia green and purple bacteria, antibiotic-producing species of Streptomyces and Nocardia, fungi that color cheeses, blue-green anoles, rainbow papaya and trout, and green fluorescent proteins responsible for the coloration of diverse corals and anemones. Green, yellow, orange-red and purple-blue chromoproteins are the raison d'etre of fabled reef colours varying in the spectrum of daylight conditions.
Verily, Nature's palette of pigments and paints underscores the need of bioresources centres to capture, classify and conserve the planet's biotreasury lest extinction result from benign neglect and commercial exploitation.
'Biomimicry...... is a new science that studies nature's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems. ......Organisms use two methods to create colour without paint: internal pigments and the structural colour that makes tropical butterflies, peacocks, and hummingbirds so gorgeous. A peacock is a completely brown bird. Its "colours" result from light scattering off regularly spaced melanin rods, and interference effects through thin layers of keratin (the same stuff as your fingernails).'
New military clothing uses fluorescent colours, biosensors and bioinformatics at the nano-level to mimic natural phenomena of biomimicry and chameleonic colours. Geofabrics coloured for appropriate use contribute to landscape and urban management --- conservation of golf courses and park-lawns, and safeguarding creative and aesthetic instinct of humankind is embedded in of soil embankments and floral gardens.
The clean and green technologies. The first biodegradable green credit card was issued in 1997. 'Coral proteins put on the red light' in marine waters, and coloured glow fish function as indicators of pollution in aquatic reservoirs. Colours used in biotextile grafts make attractive and acceptable use of bioceramic materials in dentistry, medicine orthopaedics, tissue engineering and veterinary science.
Genetic research has contributed to understanding human eye and skin colour. The genesis of coat colours of cats, dogs, rabbits, ponies, etc. has been deciphered. The head colour of birds too. Coat colour alleles are used to produce sublines of mice for studies concerning ageing, cancer, cardiovascular, neurobiological and reproductive biology. The Big Blue mouse is used to research cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Yellow mice help localize gene mutations on specific chromosomes.Custom-made mice --- the albino, cream, brown and black models are research keys studying tumour biology. Indeed, 'the ability to follow coat colours' requires 'no complicated tools such as molecular genotyping' in 'the breeding and maintenance of mutant strains.'
Colours inspire, motivate and uplift humankind. Clinics and psychological facilities use soothing colours to aid convalescents. Colours exist in sports too. Winners express a sense of national achievement and pride in draping themselves in their national flags. In EURO 2004 - soccer and biopsychology met. To enhance local psychobiological advantage and patriotism the coach of the home team requested fans 'to wear something red or green' their national colours 'toface the orange shirts' of their opponents' in a qualifying match.
Corporate biotech is engaged in 'chasing the rainbow.' Former Vice-President Al Gore envisioned the 'pot of gold at the end of the biotechnology rainbow.' Entrepreneurs, however, focus their quest 'somewhere over the genetic rainbow'. UN policy-makers use colour-codes in combating, and designing solutions to problems of hunger and poverty. The UN Economic Commission for Africa in 2002 described 'Realizing the Promise of Green Biotechnology for the Poor' and 'Tackling the Diseases of Poverty through Red Biotechnology' ---technologies that involve using genetically-engineered mosquitoes with the potential to eradicate malaria; and gene modified foods ---golden rice and orange bananas, enriched with vitamin A to counteract the onset of blindness.
'Ethical challenges of green biotechnology for developing countries' arise, and, 'whether transgenic plants should carry distinguishing markers, such as distinguishing colours, so that they can be identified and not intermixed with other plants of the same species' is under review for use in regulatory work. In space biology research, transgenic plants using blue and green colours are being developed as biosensors to indicate presence of certain kinds of stress.
Nutritionists talk of a rainbow diet rich in micronutrients and vitamins that make food naturally attractive and appetizing for a 'good feel'status. Traditional medicine recommends eating naturally coloured foods possessing natural phytonutrients in their skin ingredients. A judicious choice of red (meat), green (salads), yellow (cereals and fruits) and violet (vegetables) foods contributes to the sustenance of long-term good health in combating artificial diabetes and obesity. Blue cheese and black truffles are delicacies without added food colorants; and supermarkets may soon offer carrots in red and purple with the orange variety. 'Research into different coloured carrots is not about making a fashion statement but about potential health improvements'.
In agro-trade, traffic-colours of amber and green define policies that distort trade of certain commodities. Amber box policies signify 'caution' relating to 'price supports, marketing loans and subsidies, and livestock quantities'. Green box policies cover 'research, pest and disease control, and crop insurance and conservation programs'. Blue box policies --a temporary WTO category that accommodates transatlantic negotiations, are 'redefined amber box policies concerning production limiting programs'.
Biotechnologies described in colours spotlight salient aspects of research for economic development. The Cordia-EuropaBio Convention 2003 in Vienna in 'Blue Biotechnology - Exploitation of Marine Resources' focused on the 'Ocean of Opportunities' for sustaining development through rational use of marine bioresources. Europe's catalytic role in 'Green Biotechnology in Africa' resides in collaborative biotech education, research, development, and market ventures.
In January 2004, a European Commission meeting at the Biosciences 'Technology Facility', University of York, UK, recognized that any 'biotechnology platform, developing bio-based products would have to be a concerted marriage of the 'White' together with the 'Green' and 'Blue' biotechnology sectors'. Unlocking of bottlenecks could be achieved through programmes utilizing 'the synergies between green, white and blue biotechnologies.'
In 2005, the 12th European Biotechnology Congress will use 4 biotech motors: white (industrial); red (pharmaceutical), green (food and feed) and blue (environment) in 'Bringing Genomes to Life' in Denmark.
The use of colour codes is seemingly the lingua franca of science policy in Germany. Sixty percent of the 253 biotechnological firms with some 43,000 employees in a survey by Hessen's Ministry of Economy were specializing in red biotechnology (diagnosis and treatment of diseases); 4% were specializing in green biotechnology (agriculture, food production); and, 1% was in grey biotechnology (pure industrial processes with an environmental nuance). In Baden-W├╝rttemberg, over half of the biotech companies excel in red biotechnology with smaller numbers in the grey and green sectors. German market studies emphasize the white and red biotechnologies. Red biotechnology accounts for some 86% of all biotech companies. Green biotechnology with 27% is followed by grey biotechnology with 10%.
In the USA, a 5 colour-coded security system from green (low) through blue (guarded), yellow (elevated), and orange (high) to red (severe) has been decreed. Adoption of protective and self-defense responses involves all levels of vigilance and preparedness to combat and neutralize the threats of terrorism and those of bioterrorism that aim at destruction of that country's security and its peoples. Colour alert systems for air pollution (USA) and inclement weather (Mozambique) are indicators of time available for precautionary action by people susceptible to asthmatic and respiratory diseases as well as in offsetting loss of life and bioeconomic resources.
In satire, a 'five (colour) level Mad Cow alert' exists. The alert levels range from eating cow parts (green) through limited beef consumption (blue) and exercise of planned protective measures (yellow) to symptomatic mooing and chewing of the cud (orange) to a switch to fermented food - tofu (red).
Using colours to describe biotechnology constitutes a new mechanism in:
- attracting school children to the microbial world in different environments;
- teaching biotechnology in graduate and medical schools; and
- providing sound bytes for use by non-technical policy-makers promoting the biotech powerhouse for sustainable development.
Dr. R. Colwell, Director, US National Foundation at a US-EC Biotech meeting in 2003 said: "If we could weave a Flag of Biotechnology, some say, it would feature three colours: red for medical applications, green for agricultural and white for industrial. In fact this flag may accrue even more colours over time as environmental and marine biotech and other applications add their stripes'.
In that context, the colour index below may be a useful guide with further additions as biotechnology and colours intertwine over time in promoting public perception and understanding of biotech applications for the cause of science, development, and the current and post human future of humankind.
Color Type Area of Biotech Activities
Red - Health, Medical, Diagnostics
Yellow - Food Biotechnology, Nutrition Science
Blue - Aquaculture, Coastal and Marine Biotech
Green - Agricultural, Environmental Biotechnology - Biofuels, Biofertilizers, Bioremediation, Geomicrobiology
Brown - Arid Zone and Desert Biotechnology
Dark - Bioterrorism, Biowarfare, Biocrimes, Anticrop warfare
Purple - Patents, Publications, Inventions, IPRs
White - Gene-based Bioindustries
Gold - Bioinformatics, Nanobiotechnology
Grey - Classical Fermentation and Bioprocess Technology
Dr.Yaamini Sudha Lakshmi.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Yaamini_Lakshmi

Friday, June 11, 2010

Biofuel, bio technology

Biofuel
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Information on pump regarding ethanol fuel blend up to 10%, California.
Bus run by biodiesel.
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Biofuel
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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass. The term covers solid biomass, liquid fuels and various biogases.[1] Biofuels are gaining increased public and scientific attention, driven by factors such as oil price spikes and the need for increased energy security.

Bioethanol is an alcohol made by fermenting the sugar components of plant materials and it is made mostly from sugar and starch crops. With advanced technology being developed, cellulosic biomass, such as trees and grasses, are also used as feedstocks for ethanol production. Ethanol can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a gasoline additive to increase octane and improve vehicle emissions. Bioethanol is widely used in the USA and in Brazil.

Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled greases. Biodiesel can be used as a fuel for vehicles in its pure form, but it is usually used as a diesel additive to reduce levels of particulates, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from diesel-powered vehicles. Biodiesel is produced from oils or fats using transesterification and is the most common biofuel in Europe.

Biofuels provided 1.8% of the world's transport fuel in 2008. Investment into biofuels production capacity exceeded $4 billion worldwide in 2007 and is growing.[2]
Contents
[hide]

    * 1 Liquid fuels for transportation
          o 1.1 First generation biofuels
                + 1.1.1 Bioalcohols
                + 1.1.2 Green diesel
                + 1.1.3 Biodiesel
                + 1.1.4 Vegetable oil
                + 1.1.5 Bioethers
                + 1.1.6 Biogas
                + 1.1.7 Syngas
                + 1.1.8 Solid biofuels
          o 1.2 First generation biofuel controversies
          o 1.3 Second generation biofuels
          o 1.4 Third generation biofuels
          o 1.5 Green fuels
          o 1.6 Ethanol from living algae
    * 2 Biofuels by region
    * 3 Issues with biofuel production and use
    * 4 See also
    * 5 References
    * 6 Further reading
    * 7 External links

[edit] Liquid fuels for transportation

Most transportation fuels are liquids, because vehicles usually require high energy density, as occurs in liquids and solids. High power density can be provided most inexpensively by an internal combustion engine; these engines require clean burning fuels, to keep the engine clean and minimize air pollution.

The fuels that are easiest to burn cleanly are typically liquids and gases. Thus liquids (and gases that can be stored in liquid form) meet the requirements of being both portable and clean burning. Also, liquids and gases can be pumped, which means handling is easily mechanized, and thus less laborious.
[edit] First generation biofuels

'First-generation biofuels' are biofuels made from sugar, starch, vegetable oil, or animal fats using conventional technology.[3] The basic feedstocks for the production of first generation biofuels are often seeds or grains such as sunflower seeds, which are pressed to yield vegetable oil that can be used in biodiesel, or wheat, which yields starch that is fermented into bioethanol. These feedstocks could instead enter the animal or human food chain, and as the global population has risen their use in producing biofuels has been criticised for diverting food away from the human food chain, leading to food shortages and price rises.

The most common biofuels are listed below.
[edit] Bioalcohols
Main article: Alcohol fuel
Neat ethanol on the left (A), gasoline on the right (G) at a filling station in Brazil.

Biologically produced alcohols, most commonly ethanol, and less commonly propanol and butanol, are produced by the action of microorganisms and enzymes through the fermentation of sugars or starches (easiest), or cellulose (which is more difficult). Biobutanol (also called biogasoline) is often claimed to provide a direct replacement for gasoline, because it can be used directly in a gasoline engine (in a similar way to biodiesel in diesel engines).

Ethanol fuel is the most common biofuel worldwide, particularly in Brazil. Alcohol fuels are produced by fermentation of sugars derived from wheat, corn, sugar beets, sugar cane, molasses and any sugar or starch that alcoholic beverages can be made from (like potato and fruit waste, etc.). The ethanol production methods used are enzyme digestion (to release sugars from stored starches), fermentation of the sugars, distillation and drying. The distillation process requires significant energy input for heat (often unsustainable natural gas fossil fuel, but cellulosic biomass such as bagasse, the waste left after sugar cane is pressed to extract its juice, can also be used more sustainably).
The Koenigsegg CCXR Edition at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. This is an "environmentally-friendly" version of the CCX, which can use E85 and E100.

Ethanol can be used in petrol engines as a replacement for gasoline; it can be mixed with gasoline to any percentage. Most existing car petrol engines can run on blends of up to 15% bioethanol with petroleum/gasoline. Ethanol has a smaller energy density than gasoline, which means it takes more fuel (volume and mass) to produce the same amount of work. An advantage of ethanol (CH3CH2OH) is that is has a higher octane rating than ethanol-free gasoline available at roadside gas stations which allows an increase of an engine's compression ratio for increased thermal efficiency. In high altitude (thin air) locations, some states mandate a mix of gasoline and ethanol as a winter oxidizer to reduce atmospheric pollution emissions.

Ethanol is also used to fuel bioethanol fireplaces. As they do not require a chimney and are "flueless", bio ethanol fires [4] are extremely useful for new build homes and apartments without a flue. The downside to these fireplaces, is that the heat output is slightly less than electric and gas fires.

In the current alcohol-from-corn production model in the United States, considering the total energy consumed by farm equipment, cultivation, planting, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides made from petroleum, irrigation systems, harvesting, transport of feedstock to processing plants, fermentation, distillation, drying, transport to fuel terminals and retail pumps, and lower ethanol fuel energy content, the net energy content value added and delivered to consumers is very small. And, the net benefit (all things considered) does little to reduce un-sustainable imported oil and fossil fuels required to produce the ethanol.[5]

Although ethanol-from-corn and other food stocks has implications both in terms of world food prices and limited, yet positive energy yield (in terms of energy delivered to customer/fossil fuels used), the technology has led to the development of cellulosic ethanol. According to a joint research agenda conducted through the U.S. Department of Energy,[6] the fossil energy ratios (FER) for cellulosic ethanol, corn ethanol, and gasoline are 10.3, 1.36, and 0.81, respectively.[7][8][9]

Many car manufacturers are now producing flexible-fuel vehicles (FFV's), which can safely run on any combination of bioethanol and petrol, up to 100% bioethanol. They dynamically sense exhaust oxygen content, and adjust the engine's computer systems, spark, and fuel injection accordingly. This adds initial cost and ongoing increased vehicle maintenance.[citation needed] As with all vehicles, efficiency falls and pollution emissions increase when FFV system maintenance is needed (regardless of the fuel mix being used), but is not performed. FFV internal combustion engines are becoming increasingly complex, as are multiple-propulsion-system FFV hybrid vehicles, which impacts cost, maintenance, reliability, and useful lifetime longevity.[citation needed]

Even dry ethanol has roughly one-third lower energy content per unit of volume compared to gasoline, so larger / heavier fuel tanks are required to travel the same distance, or more fuel stops are required. With large current un-sustainable, non-scalable subsidies, ethanol fuel still costs much more per distance traveled than current high gasoline prices in the United States.[10]

Methanol is currently produced from natural gas, a non-renewable fossil fuel. It can also be produced from biomass as biomethanol. The methanol economy is an interesting alternative to the hydrogen economy, compared to today's hydrogen produced from natural gas, but not hydrogen production directly from water and state-of-the-art clean solar thermal energy processes.[11]

Butanol is formed by ABE fermentation (acetone, butanol, ethanol) and experimental modifications of the process show potentially high net energy gains with butanol as the only liquid product. Butanol will produce more energy and allegedly can be burned "straight" in existing gasoline engines (without modification to the engine or car),[12] and is less corrosive and less water soluble than ethanol, and could be distributed via existing infrastructures. DuPont and BP are working together to help develop Butanol. E. coli have also been successfully engineered to produce Butanol by hijacking their amino acid metabolism.[13]
[edit] Green diesel
Main article: Green diesel

Green diesel, also known as renewable diesel, is a form of diesel fuel which is derived from renewable feedstock rather than the fossil feedstock used in most diesel fuels. Green diesel is not to be confused with biodiesel which is chemically quite different and processed using transesterification rather than the traditional fractional distillation used to process green diesel.

“Green Diesel” as commonly known in Ireland should not be confused with dyed green diesel sold at a lower tax rate for agriculture purposes, using the dye allows custom officers to determine if a person is using the cheaper diesel in higher taxed applications such as commercial haulage or cars.

Green diesel feedstock can be sourced from a variety oils including canola, algae, jatropha and salicornia in addition to tallow.
[edit] Biodiesel
Main articles: Biodiesel and Biodiesel around the world
In some countries biodiesel is less expensive than conventional diesel.

Biodiesel is the most common biofuel in Europe. It is produced from oils or fats using transesterification and is a liquid similar in composition to fossil/mineral diesel. Chemically it consists mostly of fatty acid methyl (or ethyl) esters (FAMEs). Oils are mixed with sodium hydroxide and methanol (or ethanol) and the chemical reaction produces biodiesel (FAME) and glycerol. One part glycerol is produced for every 10 parts biodiesel. Feedstocks for biodiesel include animal fats, vegetable oils, soy, rapeseed, jatropha, mahua, mustard, flax, sunflower, palm oil, hemp, field pennycress, pongamia pinnata and algae. Pure biodiesel (B100) is by far the lowest emission diesel fuel. Although liquefied petroleum gas and hydrogen have cleaner combustion, they are used to fuel much less efficient petrol engines and are not as widely available.

Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine when mixed with mineral diesel. The majority of vehicle manufacturers limit their recommendations to 15% biodiesel blended with mineral diesel. In some countries manufacturers cover their diesel engines under warranty for B100 use, although Volkswagen of Germany, for example, asks drivers to check by telephone with the VW environmental services department before switching to B100. B100 may become more viscous at lower temperatures, depending on the feedstock used, requiring vehicles to have fuel line heaters. In most cases, biodiesel is compatible with diesel engines from 1994 onwards, which use 'Viton' (by DuPont) synthetic rubber in their mechanical injection systems. Electronically controlled 'common rail' and 'pump duse' type systems from the late 1990s onwards may only use biodiesel blended with conventional diesel fuel. These engines have finely metered and atomized multi-stage injection systems are very sensitive to the viscosity of the fuel. Many current generation diesel engines are made so that they can run on B100 without altering the engine itself, although this depends on the fuel rail design. NExBTL is suitable for all diesel engines in the world since it overperforms DIN EN 590 standards.

Since biodiesel is an effective solvent and cleans residues deposited by mineral diesel, engine filters may need to be replaced more often, as the biofuel dissolves old deposits in the fuel tank and pipes. It also effectively cleans the engine combustion chamber of carbon deposits, helping to maintain efficiency. In many European countries, a 5% biodiesel blend is widely used and is available at thousands of gas stations.[14][15] Biodiesel is also an oxygenated fuel, meaning that it contains a reduced amount of carbon and higher hydrogen and oxygen content than fossil diesel. This improves the combustion of fossil diesel and reduces the particulate emissions from un-burnt carbon.

Biodiesel is safe to handle and transport because it is as biodegradable as sugar, 10 times less toxic than table salt, and has a high flashpoint of about 300 F (148 C) compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which has a flash point of 125 F (52 C).[16]

In the USA, more than 80% of commercial trucks and city buses run on diesel. The emerging US biodiesel market is estimated to have grown 200% from 2004 to 2005. "By the end of 2006 biodiesel production was estimated to increase fourfold [from 2004] to more than 1 billion gallons".[17]
[edit] Vegetable oil
Filtered waste vegetable oil.
Main article: Vegetable oil used as fuel

Edible vegetable oil is generally not used as fuel, but lower quality oil can be used for this purpose. Used vegetable oil is increasingly being processed into biodiesel, or (more rarely) cleaned of water and particulates and used as a fuel. To ensure that the fuel injectors atomize the fuel in the correct pattern for efficient combustion, vegetable oil fuel must be heated to reduce its viscosity to that of diesel, either by electric coils or heat exchangers. This is easier in warm or temperate climates. Big corporations like MAN B&W Diesel, Wartsila and Deutz AG as well as a number of smaller companies such as Elsbett offer engines that are compatible with straight vegetable oil, without the need for after-market modifications. Vegetable oil can also be used in many older diesel engines that do not use common rail or unit injection electronic diesel injection systems. Due to the design of the combustion chambers in indirect injection engines, these are the best engines for use with vegetable oil. This system allows the relatively larger oil molecules more time to burn. Some older engines, especially Mercedes are driven experimentally by enthusiasts without any conversion, a handful of drivers have experienced limited success with earlier pre-"Pumpe Duse" VW TDI engines and other similar engines with direct injection. Several companies like Elsbett or Wolf have developed professional conversion kits and successfully installed hundreds of them over the last decades.

Oils and fats can be hydrogenated to give a diesel substitute. The resulting product is a straight chain hydrocarbon, high in cetane, low in aromatics and sulphur and does not contain oxygen. Hydrogenated oils can be blended with diesel in all proportions Hydrogenated oils have several advantages over biodiesel, including good performance at low temperatures, no storage stability problems and no susceptibility to microbial attack.[18]
[edit] Bioethers

Bio ethers (also referred to as fuel ethers or fuel oxygenates) are cost-effective compounds that act as octane rating enhancers. They also enhance engine performance, whilst significantly reducing engine wear and toxic exhaust emissions. Greatly reducing the amount of ground-level ozone, they contribute to the quality of the air we breathe.[19][20][21]
[edit] Biogas
Pipes carrying biogas
Main article: Biogas

Biogas is produced by the process of anaerobic digestion of organic material by anaerobes.[22] It can be produced either from biodegradable waste materials or by the use of energy crops fed into anaerobic digesters to supplement gas yields. The solid byproduct, digestate, can be used as a biofuel or a fertilizer. In the UK, the National Coal Board experimented with microorganisms that digested coal in situ converting it directly to gases such as methane.

Biogas contains methane and can be recovered from industrial anaerobic digesters and mechanical biological treatment systems. Landfill gas is a less clean form of biogas which is produced in landfills through naturally occurring anaerobic digestion. If it escapes into the atmosphere it is a potential greenhouse gas.

Oils and gases can be produced from various biological wastes:

    * Thermal depolymerization of waste can extract methane and other oils similar to petroleum.
    * GreenFuel Technologies Corporation developed a patented bioreactor system that uses nontoxic photosynthetic algae to take in smokestacks flue gases and produce biofuels such as biodiesel, biogas and a dry fuel comparable to coal.[23]

Farmers can produce biogas from manure from their cows by getting a anaerobic digester (AD).[24]
[edit] Syngas
Main article: Gasification

Syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is produced by partial combustion of biomass, that is, combustion with an amount of oxygen that is not sufficient to convert the biomass completely to carbon dioxide and water.[18] Before partial combustion the biomass is dried, and sometimes pyrolysed.

The resulting gas mixture, syngas, is itself a fuel. Using the syngas is more efficient than direct combustion of the original biofuel; more of the energy contained in the fuel is extracted.

Syngas may be burned directly in internal combustion engines or turbines. The wood gas generator is a wood-fueled gasification reactor mounted on an internal combustion engine. Syngas can be used to produce methanol and hydrogen, or converted via the Fischer-Tropsch process to produce a synthetic diesel substitute, or a mixture of alcohols that can be blended into gasoline. Gasification normally relies on temperatures >700°C. Lower temperature gasification is desirable when co-producing biochar but results in a Syngas polluted with tar.
[edit] Solid biofuels

Examples include wood, sawdust, grass cuttings, domestic refuse, charcoal, agricultural waste, non-food energy crops (see picture), and dried manure.

When raw biomass is already in a suitable form (such as firewood), it can burn directly in a stove or furnace to provide heat or raise steam. When raw biomass is in an inconvenient form (such as sawdust, wood chips, grass, urban waste wood, agricultural residues), the typical process is to densify the biomass. This process includes grinding the raw biomass to an appropriate particulate size (known as hogfuel), which depending on the densification type can be from 1 to 3 cm (1 in), which is then concentrated into a fuel product. The current types of processes are pellet, cube, or puck. The pellet process is most common in Europe and is typically a pure wood product. The other types of densification are larger in size compared to a pellet and are compatible with a broadrange of input feedstocks. The resulting densified fuel is easier transport and feed into thermal generation systems such as boilers.

A problem with the combustion of raw biomass is that it emits considerable amounts of pollutants such as particulates and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Even modern pellet boilers generate much more pollutants than oil or natural gas boilers. Pellets made from agricultural residues are usually worse than wood pellets, producing much larger emissions of dioxins and chlorophenols.[25]

Notwithstanding the above noted study, numerous studies have shown that biomass fuels have significantly less impact on the environment than fossil based fuels. Of note is the U.S. Department of Energy Laboratory, Operated by Midwest Research Institute Biomass Power and Conventional Fossil Systems with and without CO2 Sequestration – Comparing the Energy Balance, Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Economics Study. Power generation emits significant amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), mainly carbon dioxide (CO2). Sequestering CO2 from the power plant flue gas can significantly reduce the GHGs from the power plant itself, but this is not the total picture. CO2 capture and sequestration consumes additional energy, thus lowering the plant's fuel-to-electricity efficiency. To compensate for this, more fossil fuel must be procured and consumed to make up for lost capacity. Taking this into consideration, the global warming potential (GWP), which is a combination of CO2, methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, and energy balance of the system need to be examined using a life cycle approach. This takes into account the upstream processes which remain constant after CO2 sequestration as well as the steps required for additional power generation. firing biomass instead of coal led to a 148% reduction in GWP.

A derivative of solid biofuel is biochar, which is produced by biomass pyrolysis. Bio-char made from agricultural waste can substitute for wood charcoal. As wood stock becomes scarce this alternative is gaining ground. In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, biomass briquettes are being marketed as an alternative to charcoal in order to protect Virunga National Park from deforestation associated with charcoal production.[26]
[edit] First generation biofuel controversies

There is controversy and political speculation surrounding first-generation biofuels due to the agricultural, economic, and social implications associated with the potential expansion of biofuel production.

Research has been done in China that indicates that the demand for bio-fuel feedstock such as maize, sugarcane, and cassava will significantly increase due to the expansion of biofuel production; the increased demand for feedstock will lead prices for such grain to significantly increase [27]. A similar study done examining a potential increase in ethanol production capacity in the United States also predicts an upward trend in agricultural prices as a direct effect of expanding domestic biofuel production [28]. Expanding biofuel production is also projected to have an effect on livestock prices. A study done in China predicted that increased maize prices, due to biofuel expansion, will indirectly cause the prices of livestock production to increase due to the heavy reliance on maize for animal feed [29]. The increase in input prices would also lead to a decrease in livestock production and ultimately decrease in the income of livestock producers, affecting families globally.

Increased agricultural prices will also provide incentives for farmers to stray away from producing other less profitable grains, causing a shift in the crop production structure, leading to a decrease in agricultural diversity subsequently diverting food away from the human food chain. In order for the United States to meet the biofuel target introduced in the Energy Independence and Security Act 40% of the land that is currently devoted to corn production would have to be converted to biofuel feedstock production [30]. Shifts in crop production and the changes in world price of agricultural commodities due to the expansion of the biofuel market are expected to have global impacts on consumers. Individuals who are food insecure will be more heavily impacted by the increase in world prices; food price volatility has the largest impact on the extremely poor, those who spend 55-75% of their income on food [31].
[edit] Second generation biofuels
Main article: Second generation biofuels

Supporters of biofuels claim that a more viable solution is to increase political and industrial support for, and rapidity of, second-generation biofuel implementation from non-food crops. These include waste biomass, the stalks of wheat, corn, wood, and special-energy-or-biomass crops (e.g. Miscanthus). Second generation (2G) biofuels use biomass to liquid technology,[32] including cellulosic biofuels.[33] Many second generation biofuels are under development such as biohydrogen, biomethanol, DMF, Bio-DME, Fischer-Tropsch diesel, biohydrogen diesel, mixed alcohols and wood diesel.

Cellulosic ethanol production uses non-food crops or inedible waste products and does not divert food away from the animal or human food chain. Lignocellulose is the "woody" structural material of plants. This feedstock is abundant and diverse, and in some cases (like citrus peels or sawdust) it is in itself a significant disposal problem.

Producing ethanol from cellulose is a difficult technical problem to solve. In nature, ruminant livestock (like cattle) eat grass and then use slow enzymatic digestive processes to break it into glucose (sugar). In cellulosic ethanol laboratories, various experimental processes are being developed to do the same thing, and then the sugars released can be fermented to make ethanol fuel. In 2009 scientists reported developing, using "synthetic biology", "15 new highly stable fungal enzyme catalysts that efficiently break down cellulose into sugars at high temperatures", adding to the 10 previously known.[34] In addition, research conducted at TU Delft by Jack Pronk has shown that elephant yeast, when slightly modified can also create ethanol from non-edible ground sources (e.g. straw).[35][36]

The recent discovery of the fungus Gliocladium roseum points toward the production of so-called myco-diesel from cellulose. This organism was recently discovered in the rainforests of northern Patagonia and has the unique capability of converting cellulose into medium length hydrocarbons typically found in diesel fuel.[37]

Scientists also work on experimental recombinant DNA genetic engineering organisms that could increase biofuel potential.

Scientists working in New Zealand have developed a technology to use industrial waste gases from steel mills as a feedstock for a microbial fermentation process to produce ethanol.[38][39]
[edit] Third generation biofuels
Main article: Algae fuel

Algae fuel, also called oilgae or third generation biofuel, is a biofuel from algae. Algae are low-input, high-yield feedstocks to produce biofuels. Based on laboratory experiments, it is claimed that algae can produces up to 30 times more energy per acre than land crops such as soybeans,[40] but these yields have yet to be produced commercially. With the higher prices of fossil fuels (petroleum), there is much interest in algaculture (farming algae). One advantage of many biofuels over most other fuel types is that they are biodegradable, and so relatively harmless to the environment if spilled.[41][42][43] Algae fuel still has its difficulties though, for instance to produce algae fuels it must be mixed uniformly, which, if done by agitation, could affect biomass growth.[44]

The United States Department of Energy estimates that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles (38,849 square kilometers), which is roughly the size of Maryland,[40] or less than one seventh the amount of land devoted to corn in 2000.[45]

Second and third generation biofuels are also called advanced biofuels.

Algae, such as Botryococcus braunii and Chlorella vulgaris, are relatively easy to grow,[46] but the algal oil is hard to extract. There are several approaches, some of which work better than others.[47] Macroalgae (seaweed) also have a great potential for bioethanol and biogas production.[48]
[edit] Green fuels

However, if biocatalytic cracking and traditional fractional distillation used to process properly prepared algal biomass i.e. biocrude[49], then as a result we receive the following distillates: jet fuel, gasoline, diesel, etc.. Hence, we may call them third generation or green fuels.
[edit] Ethanol from living algae

Most biofuel production comes from harvesting organic matter and then converting it to fuel but an alternative approach relies on the fact that some algae naturally produce ethanol and this can be collected without killing the algae. The ethanol evaporates and then can be condensed and collected. The company Algenol is trying to commercialize this process.
[edit] Biofuels by region
Main article: Biofuels by region

Recognizing the importance of implementing bioenergy, there are international organizations such as IEA Bioenergy,[50] established in 1978 by the OECD International Energy Agency (IEA), with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programs in bioenergy research, development and deployment. The U.N. International Biofuels Forum is formed by Brazil, China, India, South Africa, the United States and the European Commission.[51] The world leaders in biofuel development and use are Brazil, United States, France, Sweden and Germany.
See also: Biodiesel around the world

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