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Borers branch out from ash trees
The Philadelphia Inquirer via Phys.Org
Bad news in the bug department: The emerald ash borer, a tiny, glitter-green insect from China expected to kill virtually all ash trees in the eastern U.S. — unless they are treated with expensive chemicals — may have a new target. The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that the borer had attacked the white fringe tree, which is in the same family as not only the ash, but forsythia and lilac.
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Driving towards success with biomass-derived petrol
Chinese scientists have overcome previous limitations to generate high octane number petrol from biomass-derived γ-valerolactone, an organic compound that is already often blended in small amounts with petrol or diesel. Using an ionic liquid catalyst, the conversion churned out a 2,2,4-trimethylpentane-rich substance with an octane number of 95.4, the highest reported for biomass derived fuel.
The 2014 US Midterm elections: How the advanced bioeconomy industry saw it
In this article are the highlights of industry association reaction to the U.S. Midterms, in which U.S. voters turned sharply right and handed control of the Senate and House to the Republican Party. Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs, says, "The biodiesel industry is proud to have a broad base of bipartisan and regionally diverse support on Capitol Hill, so I don’t think the partisan shift in the Senate will have much of an impact."
UN report stresses factors influencing future of biofuels
As biofuels now account for 1 percent of global energy use, a report on the "State of the Global Biofuels Market" released by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development says second generation technologies, climate change concerns and economic pressures are carving the future of the growing biofuels sector.
"While alternative energy sources are growing faster than any other source, they still account for a very limited share of primary energy demand," it says.
Biodegradeable waterproof coating created from plants
Researchers at Queensland University of Technology have developed a new waterproofing compound from entirely natural sources. Not only is the material easy to produce, it is completely biodegradable and sustainably produced. You’re probably thinking this is one of those things that will be on the market “in the next five years,” as some things indefinitely seem to be, but not this time.
US lumber production up almost 5 percent
From January to August, U.S. lumber production totaled 21.054 billion board feet. This represents an increase of 4.7 percent over the same period of last year.
Through August, production in the west U.S. was up 4.2 percent compared to a year ago.
US construction boom set to roll on
In its Construction Outlook report, Dodge Data & Analytics says that following a five percent increase this year, the overall value of construction spending which takes place throughout the U.S. will rise by nine percent in calendar year 2015, as financing for projects becomes easier to obtain, investors shift to real estate as an asset class and more construction bond measures are passed.
Leading the way will be the office, institutional, single-family housing, multi-family housing and public works sectors, in which spending is tipped to rise by 15, nine, 15, nine and five percent, respectively.
Animal fat in airplanes: Could biofuels help airlines' bottom lines?
In 2006, jet fuel became the biggest expense on the balance sheets of U.S. airlines. And airlines have been battered by volatile fuel prices in the past 10 years, even when they buy hedges to protect against cost spikes.
Right now, oil prices are down, but nobody expects them to stay there.
What plummeting oil prices mean for renewable energy
The price of west Texas crude oil recently traded below $80 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange for the first time in five years. On Nov. 4, the low of $75.84 per barrel was more than 25 percent below the prices of just this past summer.
Oil’s slippery price slope could get even slipperier as winter approaches.
Global warming not just a blanket: In the long run, it's more like tanning oil
While computer models churn out bleak forecasts for the planet's future, scientists also have a more conceptual understanding of what is happening as humans pump carbon dioxide into the air. But the conceptual understanding of carbon dioxide wrapping the planet in a blanket that traps more heat is not quite right.
Amid firewood quarantine, New Hampshire officials tell wood suppliers to be cautious
The emerald ash borer has prompted the state to extend its firewood quarantine to Rockingham and Hillsborough counties, New Hampshire, after researchers recently found the pest in communities in both areas.
Merrimack County has also been under quarantine for the ash borer, which was first found in New Hampshire in 2013 and is considered the most destructive forest pest in North America.
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