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EPA, White House signal support for biomass
Biomass Magazine
On June 2, U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled the Obama administration’s highly anticipated Section 111(d) carbon emission reduction rules for existing power plants. The Biomass Power Association was watching this announcement carefully, as it marks the first of a series of EPA rules due out this summer that will have a big impact on the biomass industry.
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There is a secret ingredient in your burgers: Wood pulp
Quartz
There may be more fiber in your food than you realized. Burger King, McDonald’s and other fast food companies list in the ingredients of several of their foods, microcrystalline cellulose or “powdered cellulose” as components of their menu items. Or, in plain English, wood pulp. The emulsion-stabilizing, cling-improving, anti-caking substance operates under multiple aliases, ranging from powdered cellulose to cellulose powder to methylcellulose to cellulose gum.
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Scientists study the effects of climate change on Puerto Rican forest
Phys.Org
Did you know that there is a tropical rainforest in the U.S.? It's in Puerto Rico — the El Yunque National Forest —and Michigan Technological University researchers are joining U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey scientists there to get a handle on the impact that climate change — particularly warming — is likely to have on the tropical forests of the world.
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University of Hawaii looks into 'industrial hemp' as a biofuel source
Honolulu Civil Beat
July is not only the month when we celebrate our nation’s independence, it also marks the implementation of new legislation. In this article are a few appropriations and regulations that took effect July 1. As of July 1, the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources can grow “industrial hemp,” thanks to SB2175.
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EPA biofuel policy could push up gas prices
International Business Times
If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t lower mandates for the amount of biofuels refineries must blend into gasoline, prices for gas and food could rise without curbing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report. The EPA’s final 2014 biofuel quotas, which are already seven months behind schedule, are now due by the end of June.
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4 new energy maps show a lot about renewables
Clean Technica
When the U.S. Energy Information Administration launched its new U.S. Energy Mapping System last fall and upgraded it for use on mobile devices in early June, it powered a system allowing anyone to visualize some of the reams of data the EIA compiles on all things energy-related in the country. That mapping system has a lot to show about renewables — critical to reducing climate change-driving greenhouse gas emissions — and the spread of renewables development across the continent. In this article are four cool things the new Energy Mapping System can show you about where renewable energy is being produced and where it has the potential to be generated in the future.
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5 furniture brands that don't contribute to deforestation
One Green Planet
Of the 7.5 billion virgin forests that once covered the Earth, nearly half have been cut down for human consumption, with devastating effects, such as global warming and threatening indigenous people and native species. And 40 million additional acres disappear to clear-cutting and unsustainable logging practices each year. But wood products and furniture have been prized for centuries for their beauty, durability and availability. In this article are 5 furniture brands with beautiful sustainable wood products that don’t contribute to deforestation.
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Joint venture for cellulose filaments could lead to more sustainable cosmetic ingredients
Cosmetics Design
The research and development joint venture has been formed with Resolute and Mercer International to develop commercial applications for cellulose filaments that are expected to cover a wide range of consumer goods, including cosmetics and personal care. The new source for the cellulose filaments will be sustainable biomaterials derived from wood fiber that is said to primarily improve the strength and durability of many consumer goods applications.
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Nano from the forest
Chemical & Engineering News
Tucked inside the fibrous cellulose matrices that provide mechanical strength to wood and plants are nanostructured cellulose materials that are jockeying for scientists’ attention. Collectively referred to as nanocellulose, these naturally occurring substances — nanocrystals and nanofibrils — are highly abundant. These materials are being touted for their ability to take various forms, such as gels and films and for the breadth of their potential applications, including electronics and tissue engineering.
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Gypsy moths to take less of a toll this summer
The Bradford Era
Area foliage may get a respite from the gypsy moth this year due to population decline last fall from viral and fungal infections combined with the effects of a long, cold winter. The gypsy moth infestation devastated local forests in 2013 when their populations spiked, resulting in damaging defoliation and the spraying of thousands of acres of public and private land — eradication efforts which might not have to take place this year. The U.S. Forest Service describes the invasive species as “one of North America’s most devastating forest pests” and states that “it is inevitable that the gypsy moth will continue to expand its range in the future.”
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Colored treated wood unveiled in Southern California
Building-Products
West Coast Wood Preserving, Bakersfield, California, has become the first treater in the U.S. to produce a unique new colored treated wood. The product combines the proven performance of Viance’s Preserve ACQ preservative with Viance’s new colorant system to produce pre-colored treated wood offered under the DesignWood brand name. “We are continuing our company’s tradition of innovation and are again the first treater to introduce yet another pioneering treated wood product,” said Elaina Jackson, president and c.e.o. of WCWP.
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1-pot method turns cellulose into n-hexane
TCE Today
Japanese researchers have developed a way to convert cellulose into n-hexane – an important component of vehicle fuel and a useful solvent – in a one-pot process. There is increasing demand for renewable vehicle fuels and other chemicals. The research carried out by Yoshinao Nakagawa and Keiichi Tomishige at Tohoku University, and their team builds on previous research in which they successfully converted glucose into n-hexane. Cellulose is a polymer of glucose and the new process includes an extra step to break it down.
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