cruise patrol by Augustalbum

VIEWS: 226 PAGES: 1

									                                                                                                        Iran Daily                    July 18, 2007             8


                                                                                                                                                                                                          Idea of Veggie Oil
               Soaring Demand in Oilsands                                                                                                                                                                   Burns Bright
                Cuts Natural Gas Exports                                                                                                                                                             E
                                                                                                                                                                                                            ven in the fringe world of alternative fuels, veg-
                                                                                                                                                                                                            etable oil has mostly remained on the margins,
                                                                                                                                                                                                            the domain of a few do-it-yourselfers who have




G
                                                                                                                                                                                                     rigged their diesels to run on old fryer fat, making the
             rowing demand for natu-             In addition to growing demand for               Canada produces about 6.2 trillion               come off a lot by the end of the year,"            rounds of local burger joints to fill their tanks.
             ral gas to fire in-situ oil-      oilsands, the province of Ontario is            cubic feet annually, and exports more              he explained. "By all indications it's               But the veggie power movement is about to stick
             sands      projects     will      increasing its own natural gas demand           than half of it to points south.                   going lower."                                      one greasy toe into the mainstream, as a company in
             inevitably reduce the             as it retires aging coal-fired power              Total gas exports fell nominally in               Fuelling the exodus from the field is             this western Wisconsin town prepares to open what its
             amount available for              plants to reduce carbon emissions,              2006, by about three per cent, but                 a meltdown on natural gas markets.                 owners believe is the first recycling and filling station
export, says a Calgary energy think-           Canada.com said.                                Martin King, a commodities analyst at              Since the start of the month, natural              for waste vegetable oil in the Midwest, and one of just
tank.                                            At the same time as demand is                 FirstEnergy Capital Corp., expects that            gas prices have lost about 20 per cent             a couple in the nation, chicagotribune.com reported.
  According to Bill Gwozd, a gas sup-          increasing, Canadian production is              figure to accelerate to about 12 per               as hot summer weather and a rash of                  "The problem with vegetable oil is not the technolo-
ply analyst with Ziff Energy Group,            expected to fall to about 17 bcf per day        cent--or more than a billion cubic feet            expected hurricanes south of the bor-              gy, it's the infrastructure," said Coulee Region Bio-
Alberta's oilsands use 600,000 cubic           from about 18 bcf at present.                   a day--by the end of the year.                     der failed to materialize.                         Fuels co-owner Taavi McMahon, a lawyer who also is
feet a day to generate steam and power           Ziff's analysis includes several key            King said the numbers are a reflec-               From a peak of $8.19 US per million               president of a biofuels cooperative in Madison.
needed to separate oil from the tar-           assumptions--most significant that the          tion of lower drilling activity as big             British thermal units at the start of the          "We've been encouraging people to convert to veg-
soaked sands.                                  Mackenzie Valley pipeline comes into            producers like EnCana Corp. and                    month, New York natural gas prices                 etable oil, and when they've asked about fuel avail-
  That figure is expected to rise to two       service by 2014 followed by Alaska in           Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. pull               fell to $6.65 last week. Canadian gas              ability, we've said, well, get ready to go Dumpster-
billion cubic feet (bcf) per day by            2018.                                           the reins on capital spending.                     prices followed suit, falling from a               diving."
2015, a four-fold jump due almost                Any additional delays would exacer-             Industry groups such as the Canadian             high of $6.65 Cdn per gigajoule to                   While clean-burning vegetable oil is widely used as
entirely to the proliferation of new in-       bate an already gloomy supply picture,          Association of Oilwell Drilling                    $5.70.                                             a fuel in Germany, it has only recently begun to catch
situ oilsands projects.                        Gwozd said, comparing the situation             Contractors and the Petroleum                       Even factoring in lower Canadian                  on in the United States. It is not among the eight
  "When we subtract the total supply           to a game of musical chairs. "Maybe             Services Association of Canada are                 output, King said, there's plenty of evi-          power sources the US government tracks through its
from the total amount available for            we turn off gas to the oilsands for a           expecting a 20 per cent drop in the                dence to suggest storage inventories               Alternative Fuels Data Center, which provides infor-
export, there's not much gas left over,"       while," he mused.                               number of wells drilled this year--the             will reach record highs later this sum-            mation on biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, hydrogen,
he added.                                        According      to    the    Canadian          first year fewer than 20,000 wells will            mer.                                               methanol, natural gas, propane and an obscure blend
  Unlike truck and shovel mining, in-          Association of Petroleum Producers,             be drilled in more than half a decade.              "People are throwing in the towel on              of fuels called P-series.
situ projects use high-pressure heated         Canada is the world's third-largest nat-          Fewer wells inevitably lead to lower             2007, especially in the past few days,"              "I don't know of anyone [in federal government]
steam to loosen thick oil deposits and         ural gas producer and the number one            production, said FirstEnergy's King.               he said. "It's starting to look a lot like         who is doing anything on vegetable oil," said
make them flow to the surface.                 supplier of gas imports to the U.S.               "We expect Canadian gas supply to                2006."                                             Roxanne Dempsey, a senior project manager for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Energy Department, who noted that alternative fuels

                A Clean Energy
                                                                                                                                                                                                     account for less than 1 percent of the nation's energy
                                                                                                     Nanoscale Device for Storing                                                                    use. The lack of data makes it difficult to judge veg-
                                                                                                                                                                                                     etable oil against other types of alternative fuels for

                                                                                                          More Hydrogen                                                                              efficiency and other economic benefits. But

                 Cruise Patrol                                                                                                                                                                       McMahon, who also supports ethanol and biodiesel,
                                                                                                                                                                                                     says grease rises to the top in a comparison because it


                                                                                               H
                                                                                                       ydrogen-powered cars seem to be            engines, would require a hydrogen storage          requires almost no heat processing or energy-adding


T
        he annual Clean Energy Cruise is       standing the whole energy issue and then                the best solution to the problem of        tank the size of a double-decker bus.              ingredients.
        riding a fresh wind of interest in     getting them involved in practical ways to              fossil fuels pollution. The ever             This problem could be solved by a                  "I'm relatively convinced that vegetable oil is the
        renewable energy sources.              support conservation and the use of clean       increasing concerns about global warming           recently found nanoscale solution, as sci-         most efficient use" of crop resources, he said.
  Drawing environmentalists, consumers         energy sources," O'Brien said.                  and the future shortage of natural fuel            entists in Greece announced that they
who want to promote alternatives to fossil       The cruise is also an opportunity for the     sources have given the automotive indus-           found a new way of storing hydrogen in               Modified Engines
fuels, and community leaders thinking          state agency in charge of promoting clean       try and researchers from other fields alike        carbon nanoscrolls. These materials can              Engines must be modified with special tanks
about wind power in their own towns, the       energy to make a pitch for the cause.           a new impulse in developing new tech-              store more hydrogen than any other mate-           because veggie oil has to be preheated before it will
charter boat cruise to the Hull wind tur-        "I would encourage anyone who's skep-                                                                                                               combust, especially in winter. A diesel car or truck
bine at the Hull Gut is filling up fast,       tical about wind power or concerned                                                                                                                   can be converted with kits that cost $2,000 to $4,500
boston.com said.                               about the noise or the visibility impacts to                                                                                                          at the Madison co-op, McMahon said.
  The cruise will leave Thursday morning       come visit the turbine," said Jon Abe,                                                                                                                  INOV8, a company based in nearby La Crosse,
and take passengers past clean energy          project manager for Mass. Technology                                                                                                                  helped develop the Blair facility to boost its line of
projects in the Boston Harbor neighbor-        Collaborative's Large Onsite Renewables                                                                                                               vegetable-oil-burning water heaters and boilers.
hood, including a solar photovoltaic           Initiative, which awards grants for feasi-                                                                                                              "Most of the attention has been focused on the auto-
(solar panel) project at the Boston Coast      bility studies and for design and construc-                                                                                                           mobile sector, but we see huge potential in stationary
Guard station, a similar solar panel instal-   tion.                                                                                                                                                 uses" including in restaurants and greenhouses, said
lation at the Spectacle Island recreational      Abe, who will be on the cruise, pointed                                                                                                             INOV8's Matt Fisher. "Up until this recycling center
center, the wind turbine owned by electri-     to renewable energy initiatives such as                                                                                                               opened up, there wasn't any easy access to this type of
cal workers Local 103 by the Dorchester        Brockton's Brightfields, a solar installa-                                                                                                            fuel. This expands our market base."
gas tank , and a methane gas producing         tion built on a brownfields site, and a                                                                                                                 McMahon said the oil center opened this month to
biomass project on Deer Island in              Milton Boy Scout troop's feasibility study                                                                                                            wholesale customers. It's located about 30 miles north
Winthrop, before arriving at Hull.             for a wind power turbine on a scout camp                                                                                                              of La Crosse in a town of about 1,200 and shares a
  Passengers will disembark for an up-         site.                                                                                                                                                 white cinder-block building with a do-it-yourself car-
close look at the turbine known as Hull 1,       Other regional initiatives include wind                                                                                                             wash. It looks like anything but the home base of a
and John MacLeod of the Hull Light             measurement towers in Quincy and                                                                                                                      green revolution.
Department will speak on the town's            Hanover, some small wind and solar                                                                                                                      Naturally, the water for the carwash, owned by one
plans to expand on its successes.              power projects in Plymouth, and a solar                                                                                                               of McMahon's partners, is heated in an INOV8 veg-
  The growth in the number of folks look-      energy project by Extrusion Technology                                                                                                                gie oil burner--"the state's only vegetable-oil-heated
ing to support wind power is "stunning,"       in Randolph.                                                                                                                                          carwash," McMahon said with pride.
said Larry Chretien, head of the nonprof-        The Technology Collaborative's Alyssa                                                                                                                 Inside are a half-dozen surplus milk tanks that can
it Massachusetts Energy Consumers              Rosen will also be on board to explain                                                                                                                filter 5,000 gallons of waste vegetable oil per day. For
Alliance, which organizes the cruise.          Clean Energy Choice, a program that             Scientists in Greece announced that they found a new way of storing hydrogen in carbon nanoscrolls.   now he's getting most of the oil--3,000 gallons a
  "It's just what the doctor ordered in        rewards consumers' cash contributions to        nologies.                                          rial and are safe to use for future vehicles       week--from a Kettle Foods potato chip plant in
terms of raising people's awareness and        renewable energy by giving grants to their        Though fuelcell could one day replace            and portable applications.                         Beloit, but plans to step up his efforts to procure more
excitement over wind power," Chretien          city or town.                                   the internal combustion engine, there are            George Froudakis at the University of            from restaurants and possibly other sources as he
said.                                            Mass. Energy, which purchases energy          still some technological problems to be            Crete, who led the work, said that they            ramps up production.
  For industry pros, it's a chance to          from renewable sources for the 10,000           overcome, like hydrogen storage and the            were able to control how tightly the scrolls         "America's obesity problem is our lifeblood here,"
exchange information and network. And          households it serves, seeks to encourage        efficiency of the chemical processes,              wind up and, hence, how much hydrogen              he said.
it's an opportunity for representatives of     projects similar to the Hull I wind turbine,    Softpedia.com said.                                they adsorb, by adding impurities to the
public and private organizations interest-     a 660-kilowatt turbine built six years ago,       So far, the biggest downside of hydrogen-        carbon nanosheets.                                   Cheap Alternative
ed in the clean energy movement -- such        and Hull 2, the larger 1.8 megawatt tur-        powered cars is the fact that it is very diffi-      Their findings suggest that adding lithi-          The idea is to keep the pumps flowing as much as
as Shannon O'Brien, the former guberna-        bine built last year.                           cult to store it safely and it's not stable,       um ions should increase the uptake of              possible with recycled oil, but McMahon said selling
torial candidate who now heads the Girl          Hull's municipal light department is          either, so these cars require bulky pressur-       hydrogen at atmospheric pressure and               unused product--straight vegetable oil in greaser ver-
Scouts Patriot Trails Council.                 considering building the nation's first off-    ized tanks that could explode much in the          room temperature from 0.19% to 3.31%,              nacular--is a future possibility. Recycled oil for non-
  The council's eight-person staff, and        shore wind power project, to consist of         same way a methane gas tank does.                  twice the amount that other materials have         transportation uses such as farm implements should
possibly the boss herself (depending on        four turbines in state administered coastal       Normal fuelcells produce energy from             achieved. Moreover, the scientists hope            sell for $1.50 to $1.75 a gallon depending on the
scheduling), will take the cruise to learn     waters, Chretien said.                          the electrochemical reactions between              that by decreasing the temperature, hydro-         grade, while road fuel will add about 50 cents a gal-
how to assimilate wind power and clean           Hull is still way ahead of its neighbors in   hydrogen and oxygen. The best fuel cells           gen uptake should increase.                        lon for taxes, he said.
energy to programs involving Patriot           wind power generation, and no similar           available on the market have a range of              "Most of the scientists working on this            His ultimate goal is to create a loop: get farmers to
Trails' 23,000 girls. Her organization is      turbines are scheduled to be built in the       200 miles tops, so to increase it to 300           field of research believe that the solution to     grow canola and soybeans and press their own oil,
developing new science patch programs          state this year. Said Chretien, "We're not      miles, a reasonable mileage, compared to           this problem will arise from the synthesis         which Coulee Region Bio-Fuels would distribute to
for Girl Scouts with the goal of "under-       seeing them go up fast enough."                 those achieved by internal combustion              of new materials," Froudakis says.                 restaurants, then collect the old grease, filter it and
                                                                                                                                                                                                     sell it back to farmers--cheap--to use in their tractors
                                                                                                                                                                                                     and trucks.
                                               Natural Gas Found in Western Uganda                                                                                                                     However, the business model is a work in progress.
                                                                                                                                                                                                     McMahon, who with his two partners invested


T
       he London-based oil company             Africa's power house, exporting surplus         my.                                                past decade, according to Uganda's                 $45,000 in the project, hopes the fuel availability per-
       Tullow Oil PLC has discovered           hydropower electricity to neighboring             Uganda, like many of its sub-Saharan             Investment Authority. And the popula-              suades more drivers to convert their vehicles but
       natural gas in western Uganda,          countries, but it has outgrown its supply,      counterparts, relies on hydroelectric              tion has exploded at a rate of about 3.6           cheerfully admits that he has done no real market
which the government says will be used         forcing a rationing schedule that leaves        power from Lake Victoria, the vast lake            percent a year--the highest rate in Africa,        research.
for solving the country's power short-         the capital, Kampala, in the dark for up        shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.              according to the United Nations.                     "We may be way ahead of ourselves," he said.
ages, officials said on Friday.                to 30 hours at a time, AP reported.             Since 2000, Uganda has sapped all the                To help close the energy gap, the gov-             Fisher, though, sees the model of local waste oil
 "We struck gas while looking for oil,"          Electricity prices have doubled in the        electricity its dams can produce. Making           ernment installed two diesel generators            recycling as sound business and an important advance
Houer Flusee, a company official, said.        past year to an average of 26 cents per         the problem worse, the dams are running            last year producing 50 megawatts each.             in energy usage.
"We are to study its components to             unit--an astronomical amount in a coun-         below capacity due to falling water lev-           But fuel is costly, with each unit con-              Biofuels are not without controversy. Some critics
establish its quality. But it seems to be      try of 28 million where per capita              els on Lake Victoria.                              suming about 42,000 gallons each day--             say using food crops as fuel already has driven up
good gas."                                     income is around $280.                            Malinga believes the discovered gas              the equivalent of four tankers. The gov-           prices, hurting the poor, and that wealthy countries
 The oil explorer was drilling the Nzizi         "Tanzania and Nigeria are producing           could partly cover domestic needs of               ernment, which subsidizes the fuel to the          could decide they need the energy and cut back on
well to check the extent of oil deposits       many megawatts of power out of their            factories and hospitals.                           tune of $150 million each year, and con-           food aid to places that cannot grow enough of their
but the hydrocarbons found turned out to       gas," said Malinga. "We will do the               "It can also be used for domestic pur-           sumers have carried the cost burden.               own. Moreover, waste vegetable oil is not dumped in
be natural gas, said Honey Malinga,            same."                                          poses such as cooking or in hospitals                Tullow has been exploring for oil in             the ground now; it's used in cosmetics and pet food.
head of petroleum exploration and pro-           Malinga said the gas found in Western         and factories," Malinga said.                      Uganda for the last four years. So far it          Recycling and burning it "is an alternative, not a solu-
duction department in the Ministry of          Uganda flows at a rate of 14 million              The energy crisis in Uganda has been             has discovered oil in four wells, which            tion," McMahon said. "It's a chance to help the rural
Energy.                                        cubic feet per day and will go a long           caused in part by the country's rapid              have a cumulative flow of 12,050 bar-              economy by keeping things local. I just think it's
 Uganda was once heralded as East              way in improving the country's econo-           growth. The economy has doubled in the             rels oil per day.                                  important for people to have choices."

								
To top