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Researchers make nanostructured carbon using the waste product sawdust
Chemists at the University of Birmingham have found a new way to make nanostructured carbon using the waste product sawdust, according to research published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Green Chemistry.
By cooking sawdust with a thin coating of iron at 700 degrees centigrade, the researchers have discovered that they can create carbon with a structure made up of many tiny tubes. These tubes are one thousand times smaller than an average human hair.
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US renewables continue to outpace coal, oil and nuclear
North American Windpower
Renewable energy sources accounted for more than two-fifths of all new U.S. electrical generating capacity put in service during the first three quarters of this year, according to the latest Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Only natural gas provided more new generating capacity.
The US housing market in 10 charts
The Wall Street Journal
How’s the housing market doing? The answer is that it depends on your time frame. Looking back against 2011, when prices and sales hit bottom, the market is clearly improved.
Compared with last year, the pace of sales gains have slowed, but they’re not getting dramatically worse, either.
Bioenergy Day recognizes importance of biomass
Oct. 22, was the second annual National Bioenergy Day, and more than 40 facilities and organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada opened their doors to show folks the benefits of using woody biomass for heating and electrical power production. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has continued to support bioenergy’s role in protecting the health of forests on federal lands, saying, "Renewable wood energy is part of the Obama Administration’s ‘all of the above’ energy strategy."
EPA: Cellulosic fuel production continues in September
Ethanol Producer Magazine
The U.S. EPA has published renewable identification number (RIN) data for September, reporting that both D3 cellulosic biofuel and D7 cellulosic diesel RINs were generated during the month.
Nearly 7.56 million D3 cellulosic biofuel RINs were generated in September, bringing the total for the first nine months of the year to more than 11.12 million.
Are bark beetles making wildfires more severe?
Teton Valley News
Many forests across the U.S., including several in Idaho, have faced large tree die-offs because of pine-beetle epidemics. The beetles burrow into trees disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, killing the plant.
Aside from the harm to the trees themselves, it was long assumed that the large number of dead or dying trees increases not only the likelihood of fires, but how damaging they are once they start.
REG completes upgrades at Iowa biodiesel plant
Renewable Energy Group (REG) has finished upgrades to its 30 MMgy biodiesel biorefinery in Mason City, Iowa, which enables the plant to produce biofuel from a number of diverse raw materials.
Work on the $20 million project started approximately one year ago, shortly after plant operations were restarted, following REG's acquisition in July 2013.
Architecture Billings Index bodes well for US construction industry
World Property Journal
According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), all geographic regions and building project sectors in the U.S. showed positive conditions and heightened level of demand for design services signaled in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI).
The AIA reported the September ABI score was 55.2, up from a mark of 53.0 in August.
Celebrating National Forest Products Week
President Obama declared the week of Oct. 20, to be National Forest Products Week, which was a great tribute to the more than 900,000 Americans who work in the U.S. forest products industry. Members representing nearly 87,000 of these hard-working men and women understood more than most the important role that forest products play in American's daily lives for communication, packaging, shelter, hygiene and everything in between.
Pellet exports from North America to Europe has plateaued in 2014
Business Wire via Digital Journal
Pellet shipments from the U.S. and Canada to Europe have gone in opposite directions in 2014, with the shipments from the U.S. South being up ten percent from the 4th quarter of 2013 to the 2nd quarter of 2014, and Canadian volumes declining 25 percent during the same period, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. The new expanding markets for pellet producers in Western Canada have instead been Japan and South Korea.
Biobased materials, chemicals attract significant investment
The bio-based materials and chemicals industry is poised to attract nearly $1 billion in investment this year, led notably by later-stage funding rounds, according to Lux Research. The estimated $974 million investment represents a 28 percent increase from 2013, suggesting companies that endured the waves of economic disruption have gained maturity and regained investors’ confidence.
China's log imports grow 22 percent
China's Custom has reported that between January and August this year Chinese log imports rose 22 percent to 35.38 million cubic meters. The top 5 countries in terms of log supply were: New Zealand, Russia, the U.S., Papua New Guinea and Canada.
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