Tag Archives: transportation

Plant-powered planes show promise

11BBC – To the eye, there was nothing remarkable about the aging Falcon 20 jet as it took off from Ottawa International airport in Canada at the end of October in 2012. But the twin-engined, 10-seater plane was in the process of making aviation history.

After a short flight that saw it climb to 30,000 ft (9,000m) over the capital city, the plane touched back down at the airport to secure its world first.

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Do plants ‘veto’ bad genes?

IndependentBy Heidi Ledford

Two publications are seeking to resurrect claims that plants can reject the inheritance of a mutated gene from their parents, in favour of a healthier ‘ancestral’ copy from their grandparents.

Susan Lolle, a plant geneticist now at the University of Waterloo in Canada, and her colleagues first published evidence in 2005 that plants had passed on genes correctly two generations down, even though the genome of the generation in between had only a mutated version1. This type of inheritance would require some hidden reservoir of genetic information outside of DNA, some suggested — perhaps in RNA transcribed from the healthy gene, which the plant would then use to correct the mutated one. If true, those findings would upend the modern concept of genetic inheritance, and predictably they have met with considerable scepticism.

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Source and Photo: Nature,  8th February, 2013
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Study notes bottlenecks in the aviation biofuel certification process in Brazil

By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Technical certifications for biofuels used in aviation already exist, but according to specialists, there is still no sustainability license certifying that a given fuel obtained from biomass that proves to be a potential candidate for use in commercial aviation be produced according to a set of criteria, including good use of land biodiversity conservation and compliance with labor and environmental legislation.
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New tax regime for the automotive industry expected to stimulate technology for more efficient ethanol engines

By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – The new tax regime for the automotive industry announced by the Federal Government on October 4 is expected to incentivize development of technologies for increased efficiency of ethanol-powered engines in Brazil. Development in this field has stopped and even regressed in recent years according to researchers participating in the International Workshop on Applications of Ethanol for Automotive Engines held on October 4 at FAPESP.
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Brazil set to be a protagonist in biofuels for aviation

By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – Brazil could take the lead in research on biofuels for aviation, following its own example in the auto sector, in which it became one of the first countries in the world to have its auto fleet fueled by biofuel.
Nevertheless, the country will have to overcome several obstacles in the areas of science, technology, agricultural production and public policy, among others, through coordinated efforts with companies from the aeronautical and biotechnology sectors, along with research and government institutions, members of the biofuel production chain and representatives of civil society.
This assessment was made by participants of the Aviation Biofuels Conference in Brazil, which opened on September 11 at EMBRAPA’s (Brazilian Enterprise for Agricultural Research) headquarters in Brasilia, with the objective of discussing the technical and financial feasibility of biofuels and the current stage of research that is being conducted in Brazil on biofuels that could possibly replace kerosene in commercial aircraft.
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Biodiesel resources and production technologies – A review

ScienceDirect – The environmental concern and availability of fuels are greatly affecting the trends of fuels for transportation vehicles. Biodiesel is one of the options as alternative transport fuel. This can be produced from straight vegetable oils (SVOs), oils extracted from various plant species and animal fats. Amongst many resources, availability and cost economy are the major factors affecting the large scale production of the biodiesels. The transesterification is one of the production processes for biodiesel, but incomplete esterification of all fatty acids in the starting material, lengthy purification methods such as water washing, relatively long reaction times, contamination and separation difficulties associated with co-production of glycerol and saponification of the starting material under certain reaction conditions are still being major challenges in the biodiesel production. Technological advancement and enhanced production methods are the demand of present time for large scale and sustainable production of biodiesel. In the present paper, comprehensive review on its production process, feed stock and its applications have been made. From many case studies it was concluded that engine performance with B20 biodiesel blends, and mineral diesel were found comparable.

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Carbon Stocks in Savannas Aboveground Biomass of the Nhecolandia Pantanal, Brazil

Ana H.B.M. Fernandes, Suzana M. de Salis, Fernando A. Fernandes and Sandra M.A. Crispim
Embrapa Pantanal – The forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle, as a dynamic reservoir of this element in the terrestrial biosphere. Through the photosynthesis, the plants convert carbon dioxide (CO2) from atmosphere in vegetal tissues, trapping the carbon into their biomass. Cutting down and burning these areas promote returning of the carbon stored in vegetation biomass into the atmosphere, increasing its CO2 concentration by the carbon monoxide (CO) emission. Overall, the CO2 emissions, associated with land use changes, are the second leading cause of raising the atmospheric CO2 concentration, just behind the greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuel (IPCC, 2007). In Brazil, more than 50% of the total emissions come from land use, which are associated with replacement of natural forests for husbandry activities (Brazil, 2010)…..>>Read More<<

Source and Photo: Embrapa Pantanal
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