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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit          July 16, 2014

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Plant material aligns to make tough aerogels
Chemistry World
Japanese scientists have used nanocellulose fibers extracted from plants to create a new type of aerogel that is not only transparent and thermally insulating, but also mechanically tough. Aerogels are ultralight materials, derived by replacing the liquid in a gel with gas. Most often made of silica or carbon, aerogels have a sponge-like structure consisting of randomly ordered nanoparticles and interconnecting pores.
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Biofuels' share of the aviation and marine fuel market will surpass 6 percent in the US by 2024
Fort Mill Times
Aviation and marine biofuels represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the global biofuels market. In the last five years, more than 40 commercial airlines around the world have flown an estimated 600,000 miles powered at least in part by biofuels. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, much of the development in this sector centers on the world's largest aviation market: the U.S.
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Will cities of the future be built of wood?
The Boston Globe (opinion)
Think of a modern cityscape and any number of materials come to mind: the glass and steel of an office tower, the stately brick and stone of a townhouse, the asphalt pavement and stark concrete canyons of 20th-century urban redevelopment. All of these have, at some time, heralded visions of the city’s future. Now, if a growing chorus of architects have their way, the next generation of urban buildings will be crafted from an innovative, versatile structural material that's key to sustainable large-scale development. You'd know it as wood.
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Shrub willow: Woody biomass being turned into a renewable energy source
Time Warner Cable News
A shrub willow is a fast-growing source of woody biomass that’s being turned into a renewable energy resource. "Actually this past year in Northern New York there were about 2,500 tons of willow that were harvested off fields that are growing in Northern New York and delivered to one of the ReEnergy facilities to produce renewable electricity," said Dr. Timothy Volk.
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Deal allows for Walmart, Chick-fil-A on rare forest land in Florida
The Associated Press via Wisconsin Gazette
Environmentalists are scratching their heads over a recent deal between the University of Miami and a Palm Beach County developer that will bring a Walmart store, restaurants and apartments to a section of rare forest. The Miami Herald reports that last month the university sold some 88 acres of rockland, which is habitat to plants animals and insects found nowhere else.
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Biomass trials show promise for future energy source
The Daily Press
On paper, biomass appears to be a nearly perfect fuel stock and raw material for such valuable commodities as cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose. Using land that is marginal for other crops, it is renewable, far less polluting than coal or oil, is carbon-neutral, can be planted and harvested using existing equipment, helps to halt erosion and can contribute to cleaning up lakes and streams as well as putting money into the pockets of hard-working farmers, eager to find ways to stay on the land.
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Record-setting May US hardwood exports — red oak prices soften
WoodworkingNetwork
U.S. hardwood lumber exports reached a one-month record of 150.6 million board feet in May 2014, the latest month with available trade data. At $216.6 million, the value of May exports also set a record. All told, export volumes and values were up 18 percent and 33 percent, respectively, during the first five months of 2014 relative to the same period in 2013.
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What happens to forests when invasive insects win?
Boing Boing
Emerald Ash Borer will likely kill 99 percent of the ash trees in North America. We can't stop it. So what happens next? A 2009 study in the journal Biological Invasions listed 43 native insect species that rely on ash trees for food or breeding. Those insects are the food supply for birds, including woodpeckers.
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Global biofuel production growth to decline
Biofuels International
Global biofuel output is expected to grow during the period up until 2023, fueled by a surge in demand, increased crude oil prices and government policies. The rise however, is expected to be lower than in the past decade. In a joint report, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development expect ethanol and biodiesel output to reach 158 billion liters and 40 billion liters by 2023.
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Judgment puts US Forest Service's Adventure Pass program in jeopardy
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
A federal court judge has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to refund entrance fees to four Southern California hikers, leaving the 17-year-old Adventure Pass program in tatters. U.S. District Court Judge Terry Hatter entered final judgment in the landmark case on June 23, ordering the Forest Service to stop charging forest visitors to hike, fish, bicycle, walk and even park in the forest, according to the judgment. Hatter ruled that charging a recreation fee to a visitor who does not use "developed facilities and services" violates the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.
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Progress on timber harvest is welcome news
The Green Bay Press Gazette
Reduced timber harvests don't affect just those who actually cut down the trees, they are felt in other businesses that directly and indirectly support logging. They are felt by property owners who pay higher taxes as school enrollment and the revenue tied to it shrink as families and young people leave the area for better job opportunities. Plus, as Press-Gazette Media reporter Rachel Minske reported, the long hours and low pay are driving away younger people who are no longer getting involved in the family business.
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