Solutions for Maritime Industry Emissions

Until 2018, the maritime industry did not have a climate plan. While this may seem surprising, shipping tends to stay quiet about the environmental impacts of a global economy. Additionally, unlike other carbon-intensive sectors, it tends to quietly sail along unnoticed by consumers. It was not included in the Paris Agreement in 2016 and was not held accountable for its contribution to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The International Maritime Organization laid out plans to cut emissions in half by 2050, an ambitious goal by one of the world’s main polluters. One of the main strategies to reduce CO2 emissions is to transition to more efficient fuel types. Most large shipping vessels operate with heavy fuel oil, which is rich in sulfur and extremely polluting. The International Maritime Organization is seeking to replace heavy fuel oil in 60,000 shipping vessels.

emissions-shipping-sector

However, consumer awareness surrounding the environmental cost of international shipping, coupled with innovative technology, may reduce the amount of pollution produced. The most likely solutions for reducing emissions from the maritime industry include transitioning to a more low-carbon fuel source, changing transport speeds, adopting sustainable shipping waste disposal strategies, transitioning to renewable energy and optimizing travel routes.

The Price of International Shipping

Shipping emissions are expected to grow exponentially between now and 2050. International shipping accounts for the majority of industrial pollution. Maritime regulations are significantly behind those for other carbon-intensive industries. It can be legally complicated to assign accountability to certain countries, especially in international waters. A handful of mega-ships can have the same level of greenhouse gas emissions as millions of cars, accounting for an incalculable portion of air and water pollution.

Our economy is global. When you look at the tags on your furniture, appliances, clothes and electronics, you may see dozens of countries around the world. Even our food, including perishable items like avocados and lettuce, are shipped internationally. Fresh produce can be shipped thousands of miles without spoiling using different refrigeration systems, such as air compressor technology. While these technologies make it easier to transport food, they come with a high-carbon impact. However, there are energy-efficient solutions to reduce carbon emissions in the shipping industry.

Energy-Efficient Solutions

Low-carbon technology is available in the shipping industry, but how it works in practice may be a different story. For example, switching from a high sulfur fuel oil to a low carbon option may have the greatest impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Lowering sulfur oxide emissions is key to reducing the effects of international shipping.

However, switching oils will require the industry to identify pollution from the whole lifecycle, meaning that the use of fuel is only one part of its environmental impact. Accounting for this will be crucial in finding a sustainable solution for maritime industry emissions.

Another solution that is easier to implement than changing fuels is a practice called slow steaming. Slow steaming simply refers to slowing boats down, sometimes only by a few degrees. While it may not sound like much, changing a ship’s speed by a couple of kilometers can result in an 18% increase in fuel savings, which could be a gamechanger. However, industry leaders are worried that simply slowing down ships is not the answer, since it will result in a need for more vessels to keep the global economy moving.

Other energy-efficient solutions to maritime industry emissions include route optimization, renewable energy such as wind-assist technology and transitioning to all-electric ships. Norway, a main exporter in the petroleum and fish industries, has already tested an all-electric vessel and is actively working to optimize this technology to transition more ships away from fuel oil.

Time for Maritime to Go Green

The effort by the maritime industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is significant. Effective solutions to help curb climate change include transitioning to low sulfur fuel oils, changing ship speeds and investing in new technology such as renewable energy. However, consumer awareness will also play a vital role in the future of international shipping. The cost of a global economy is significant. Finding more sustainable methods of transporting goods across the ocean is imperative.

Best Cars Scanners to Check Efficiency of Your Motor

One of the easiest ways to check the efficiency of your car’s engine and its components is to use an OBD2 scanner. An OBD2 scanner is a diagnostic tool that is used to read and clear codes, run system checks, and sometimes make adjustments to a car’s CPU.

Most OBD2 diagnostic scanners also include a feature called live data, or data stream, which is what you’re looking for if you need to do some efficiency checks. A diagnostic scanner with a live data function is the best thing to use to check the efficiency of your motor.

car-scanner-diagnostic

We can use the live data function to look into fuel economy, thermal efficiency and general engine performance. Using OBD2 scanners to delve into the live data of your car is a much cheaper alternative than sending the vehicle off for testing, and you can get a good idea of how the engine is performing just by using the scanner. This of course saves a lot of time and money.

You can find lots of information about various OBD tools at https://obdstation.com, who regularly review different OBD2 scanners. Head there to find out about the best OBD2 scan tools that have live data functions included, which you can use the check the efficiency of your car’s engine components.

If you already have an OBD2 scan tool and want to investigate your car’s efficiency, then there’s a few key things that you’ll want to look into. The first is fuel economy.

Fuel Economy

You want to make sure that your engine is using fuel at the correct rate for your vehicle. If an engine is using too much fuel, then the engine will have a very low economy and be more expensive to run. If an engine is overusing fuel, then this could suggest a few different problems with the fuel system, which we’ll talk about later.

So, how can you use an OBD2 scanner to investigate fuel economy? Well, part of the live data stream from an OBD2 diagnostic scan tool that is displayed is a reading called Fuel Trim. Fuel trims basically refer to how much fuel is being released into the engine by the fuel delivery system. Fuel trims are represented on the OBD2 screen by a percentage, where a percentage of 0.0% suggests that the fuel system is working perfectly, with the right amount of fuel being released into the engine.

If the reading is a positive number, so above 0.0%, then this means that too much fuel is being released. If the reading is negative, below 0.0%, then there is too little fuel being released. An OBD2 scanner will give two values for fuel trims, a long term fuel trim (LTFT) and a short term fuel trim (STFT). They both represent the same thing, LTFT is just calculated over a longer period of time, so is more of an average value.

Of course nothing is perfect, so you probably won’t be seeing readings of 0.0% for both STFT and LTFT. However, you’d expect a healthy engine with a properly functioning fuel injection system to have an STFT reading between -10.0% and 10.0%, and an LTFT reading between -5.0% and 5.0%.

If the fuel trims are both too high, then your car is using too much fuel, which means it’s not at its best efficiency. The problem could be caused by the fuel injection system overcompensating for a vacuum leak for example. Having said that it’s also a problem if the values are too low. Even though the engine is using too little fuel, this will be made up by issues in other areas, which will result in a less efficient engine and therefore a more costly one to run.

Engine RPM

Another indicator of how efficiently your engine is operating is its revolutions per minute (RPM). Even a basic OBD2 device should display the idle RPM of the engine. Note that the RPM will change if you touch the throttle, so we’re focussing on the idle RPM here.

Most cars have idle speeds of between 600 and 1000rpm, whilst for trucks its around 600rpm, and motorbikes are higher at around 1200rpm. Be sure to check the car manufacturers handbook or research your vehicle online to find out what RPM its engine should be at.

If the RPM is too high, then this will definitely result in your engine being less efficient. If it’s too low, then it won’t be generating the right amount of power, so again will be less efficient. If your RPM is too high or too low, then it’s probably down to an issue with idle control valve, or a vacuum leak.

Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP Sensor)

Manifold Absolute Pressure is another factor that can have quite a big influence on how efficient an engine is operating.

The MAP sensor data readings are usually specific to fuel injected engines. MAP sensors measure the air pressure in the intake manifold, which helps the engine CPU decide on the correct air/fuel ratio. Having a correct balance is key for efficiency, so that the engine isn’t using too much or too little fuel.

Like the Ignition sensors, faulty MAP sensors will lead to an incorrect fuel/air balance, resulting in excessive fuel consumption, lack of power, and failed emissions tests. Again, this is useful data to indicate possible problems with your car.

What is an OBD Scanner?

An OBD Scanner is a car diagnostic device used by mechanics to read vehicle trouble codes, turn off the check engine light, install third party components, run system checks and include lots of other advanced features. OBD scanners are an essential tool for the workshop, and save mechanics a lot of time and cash.

They are effective tools for looking into an engine’s efficiency and performance.

How Can an OBD Scanner Help your Cars Efficiency?

Although an OBD scanner won’t solve any problems by itself, it is a fantastic investigation tool that will show you how efficiently your engine is operating and will highlight any problems with the engine that will be reducing its efficiency.

You can gain lots of information about fuel economy, thermal efficiency, and engine performance, The ease of use that an OBD2 tool will offer makes it a great alternative to sending vehicles off for complex testing.

What is the best auto scanner for the money?

There are lots of great scanners out there. The most important feature to look out for if you want to check your motor’s efficiency is live data streaming. The best OBD scanners will all offer this service.

5 Reasons to Choose Rail Travel

Are you debating the best way to get from A to B? Are you considering travelling by rail – but not sure if it offers the most benefits? You’re in the right place. Here, we explore five reasons to choose rail travel.

1. You can be productive

If you’re driving a car, you need to place your undivided attention on the road in front of you. When you take the train, however, you’re free to spend your time onboard as you wish. Whether that’s being productive by getting some work done on your laptop, relaxing with your favourite podcast or refuelling with a bite to eat, you can make the most of your time spent travelling.

2. It’s better for the environment

Studies have shown that public transport can help to tackle climate change – by reducing the reliance on individual car journeys and therefore lowering overall emissions from petrol and diesel. In the US, greenhouse gas emissions caused by transport accounts for around 29% of the country’s total emissions – so by having less cars on the road, emissions can be reduced. This will in turn improve air quality, particularly in urban areas, leading to a healthier population.

3. You can avoid traffic

Have you ever been in a rush to get somewhere, got stuck in a traffic jam and ended up being late? You’re not alone – many of us have been caught out by heavy traffic at one time or another. Travelling by train means you don’t need to worry about getting stuck in traffic, you can simply hop onboard and get from A to B with ease. For instance, if you need to travel by train from Cambridge to Hatfield in rush hour, you’ll typically arrive in less than an hour with no stress about traffic or parking.

4. It’s fast and efficient

Another benefit of travelling by rail is that it’s fast and efficient. Many rail services can travel at impressive high speeds which are much quicker than that of a car on the road. Of course, how fast the train travels will depend on the service and model – but some of the fastest trains in the world include the Shanghai Maglev at 267mph and the Fuxing Hao at 249 mph.

5. It’s cost-effective

Travelling by train may also be a more cost-effective option than travelling by car or plane. This really depends on where you’re travelling to and from, so it’s important to do your research before you book your travel. In some cases, you may be able to take advantage of deals and discounts from the train provider. For instance, you can often get great value fares if you have a railcard or travel at Off-Peak times.

Will you take the train next time you have to travel?

Rationale for Biomass Supply Chain

Biomass resources have been in use for a variety of purposes since ages. The multiple uses of biomass includes usage as a livestock or for meeting domestic and industrial thermal requirements or for the generation of power to fulfill any electrical or mechanical needs. One of the major issues, however, associated with the use of any biomass resources is its supply chain management.

The resource being bulky, voluminous and only seasonally available creates serious hurdles in the reliable supply of the feedstock, regardless of its application. The idea is thus to have something which plugs in this gap between the biomass resource availability and its demand.

The Problem

The supply chain management in any biomass-based project is nothing less than a big management conundrum. The complexity deepens owing to the large number of stages which encompass the entire biomass value chain. It starts right from the resource harvesting and goes on to include the resource collection, processing, storage and eventually its transportation to the point of ultimate utilization.

Owing to the voluminous nature of the resource, its handling becomes a major issue since it requires bigger modes of logistics, employment of a larger number of work-force and a better storage infrastructure, as compared to any other fuel or feedstock. Not only this their lower energy density characteristic, makes it inevitable for the resource to be first processed and then utilized for power generation to make for better economics.

All these hassles associated with such resources, magnify the issue of their utilization when it comes to their supply chain. The seasonal availability of most of the biomass resources, alternative application options, weather considerations, geographical conditions and numerous other parameters make it difficult for the resource to be made consistently available throughout the year. This results in poor feedstock inputs at the utilization point which ends up generating energy in a highly erratic and unreliable manner.

The Solution

Although most of the problems discussed above, are issues inherently associated with the usage of biomass resources, they can be curtailed to a larger extent by strengthening the most important loophole in such projects – The Biomass Resource Supply Chain.

World over, major emphasis has been laid in researching upon the means to improve the efficiencies of such technologies. However, no significant due diligence has been carried out in fortifying the entire resource chain to assure such plants for a continuous resource supply.

The usual solution to encounter such a problem is to have long term contracts with the resource providers to not only have an assured supply but also guard the project against unrealistic escalations in the fuel costs. Although, this solution has been found to be viable, it becomes difficult to sustain such contracts for longer duration since these resources are also susceptible to numerous externalities which could be in the form of any natural disaster, infection from pests or any other socio-political or geographical disturbances, which eventually lead to an increased burden on the producers.

PKS From Africa Can Fuel Biomass Power Plants in Japan

Japan’s biomass fuel requirement is estimated to be tens of millions of tons each year on account of its projected biomass energy capacity of 6,000MW by the year 2030. To achieve this capacity, more than 20 million tons of biomass fuel will be needed every year which will be mainly met by wood pellets and palm kernel shell (PKS). The similarity of the properties of wood pellets with PKS makes PKS the main competitor of wood pellets in the international biomass fuel market.

PKS-biomass

PKS has emerged as an attractive biomass commodity in Japan

Canada and USA are the biggest suppliers of wood pellets to the Japanese biomass market while PKS mainly comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. With the size of the material almost the same as wood pellets, but at a cheaper price (almost half the wood pellets) and also available in abundance, PKS is the preferred biomass fuel for the Japanese market. PKS can be used 100% in power plants that use fluidized bed combustion technology, while wood pellets are used in pulverized combustion.

Although there is abundant PKS in CPO (crude palm oil) producing countries, but fluctuations in CPO production and increase in domestic demand has led to reduction in PKS exports in Southeast Asia. In palm oil plantations, it is known as the low crop season and peak crop season. When the low crop season usually occurs in the summer or dry season, the supply of fruit to the palm oil mills decreases so that the CPO production decreases and also the supply of PKS automatically reduces, and vice versa in the peak crop season. When demand is high or even stable but supply decreases, the price of PKS tends to rise.

In addition, a wide range of industries in Indonesia and Malaysia have also began to use PKS as an alternative fuel triggering increased domestic demand. In recent years, PKS is also being processed into solid biomass commodities such as torrified PKS, PKS charcoal and PKS activated carbon. Thus, there is very limited scope of increasing PKS supply from Southeast Asia to large-scale biomass consumers like Japan and South Korea.

Palm oil mills process palm oil fruit from palm oil plantations, so the more fruit is processed the greater the PKS produced and also more processors or mills are needed. At present it is estimated that there are more than 1500 palm oil mills in Indonesia and Malaysia. Palm kernel shells from Indonesia and Malaysia is either being exported or used domestically by various industries. On the other hand, in other parts of the world PKS is still considered a waste which tends to pollute the environment and has no economic value.

Palm Oil Producers

Top palm oil producers around the world

West African countries, such Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, are still struggling to find a sustainable business model for utilization of PKS. Keeping in view the tremendous PKS requirements in the Asia-Pacific region, major PKS producers in Africa have an attractive business opportunity to export this much-sought after biomass commodity to the Japan, South Korea and even Europe.

Simply speaking, PKS collected from palm oil mills is dried, cleaned and shipped to the destination country. PKS users have special specifications related to the quality of the biomass fuel used, so PKS needs to be processed before exporting.

PKS-export

PKS exports from Indonesia and Malaysia to Japan are usually  with volume 10 thousand tons / shipment by bulk ship. The greater the volume of the ship or the more cargo the PKS are exported, the transportation costs will generally be cheaper. African countries are located quite far from the Asia-Pacific region may use larger vessels such as the Panamax vessel to export their PKS.

Which Option to Consider While Purchasing Forklift: Buy, Lease or Rent?

There are various options to consider when you want to acquire a forklift. As this is no cheap piece of equipment. Making a decision requires you to use a unique lens to decide on what’s best for your scale of operation. Are you torn between renting, leasing or buying? To help you through this challenging process, below, you will find points that will assist you in determining the best cause of action for your business:

 

  1. Renting a forklift

If you in a seasonal peak during your business period or in need of moving extra freight, renting is the choice you can take. When you choose to rent a forklift, you are sure to benefit from experimenting with different classes of forklifts to see which one increases productivity.

 However, rentals are somewhat expensive compared to leasing or buying. This is because you will have to cover maintenance costs as well as the time that the forklift will be idle while at the dealership between rental assignments.

During renting, remember that there will be building waste that needs attention. You need to take care of transportation waste, construction waste sorting as well as recycling streams.

  1. Leasing a forklift

While you are contemplating leasing, you can set your number of years on which you intend to rent the machine. Having a short lease will allow you to work better if you want to become fluid. Leasing will provide you with less monthly payments when compared to renting or buying.

This option allows you to test-drive new models without making a permanent commitment to buying it. You will be at a position to make adjustments where you see fit in terms of decreasing the fleet size, changing product mix or modifying terms of the lease

  1. Buying a forklift

Does your business have a preference for owning all the capital equipment it has? Do you want to access a higher competitive credit line? Is your business stable, or you anticipate to use the material for more than 20 years? Do you have cash at hand to make a purchase immediately? If yes, the best course of action that you should proceed with it buying your forklift machine.

This way, you are sure to make a better return on investment because when you rent over a long period, rental fee tends to become higher as compared to monthly financial costs.

Buying a forklift will allow you to make your modifications than with a rental or leased equipment. You get customized options which suit your specific needs.

You can enjoy a tax deduction as purchased forklift are entitled to a reduced tax.

Conclusion

When deciding on what purchasing technique to use, be sure to analyze your business needs before making any rash decisions. This will go hand in hand with the ultimate choice you make in purchasing option that will work for your company.

Logistics of a Biopower Plant

Biomass logistics involves all the unit operations necessary to move biomass wastes from the land to the biomass energy plant. The biomass can be transported directly from farm or from stacks next to the farm to the processing plant. Biomass may be minimally processed before being shipped to the plant, as in case of biomass supply from the stacks. Generally the biomass is trucked directly from farm to the biomass processing facility if no processing is involved.

biomass_logistics

Another option is to transfer the biomass to a central location where the material is accumulated and subsequently dispatched to the energy conversion facility. While in depot, the biomass could be pre-processed minimally (ground) or extensively (pelletized). The depot also provides an opportunity to interface with rail transport if that is an available option. The choice of any of the options depends on the economics and cultural practices. For example in irrigated areas, there is always space on the farm (corner of the land) where quantities of biomass can be stacked.

The key components to reduce costs in harvesting, collecting and transportation of biomass can be summarized as:

  • Reduce the number of passes through the field by amalgamating collection operations.
  • Increase the bulk density of biomass
  • Work with minimal moisture content.
  • Granulation/pelletization is the best option, though the existing technology is expensive.
  • Trucking seems to be the most common mode of biomass transportation option but rail and pipeline may become attractive once the capital costs for these transport modes are reduced.

The logistics of transporting, handling and storing the bulky and variable biomass material for delivery to the biopower plant is a key part of the biomass supply chain that is often overlooked by project developers. Whether the biomass comes from forest residues on hill country, straw residues from cereal crops grown on arable land, or the non-edible components of small scale, subsistence farming systems, the relative cost of collection will be considerable.

Careful development of a system to minimize machinery use, human effort and energy inputs can have a considerable impact on the cost of the biomass as delivered to the biomass processing plant gate.

The logistics of supplying a biomass power plant with consistent and regular volumes of biomass are complex.

Most of the agricultural biomass resources tend to have a relatively low energy density compared with fossil fuels. This often makes handling, storage and transportation more costly per unit of energy carried. Some crop residues are often not competitive because the biomass resource is dispersed over large areas leading to high collection and transport costs.

The costs for long distance haulage of bulky biomass will be minimized if the biomass can be sourced from a location where it is already concentrated, such as sugar mill. It can then be converted in the nearby biomass energy plant to more transportable forms of energy carrier if not to be utilized on-site.

The logistics of supplying a biopower plant with sufficient volumes of biomass from a number of sources at suitable quality specifications and possibly all year round, are complex. Agricultural residues can be stored on the farm until needed. Then they can be collected and delivered directly to the conversion plant on demand. At times this requires considerable logistics to ensure only a few days of supply are available on-site but that the risk of non-supply at any time is low.

Losses of dry matter, and hence of energy content, commonly occur during the harvest transport and storage process. This can either be from physical losses of the biomass material in the field during the harvest operation or dropping off a truck, or by the reduction of dry matter of biomass material which occurs in storage over time as a result of respiration processes and as the product deteriorates. Dry matter loss is normally reduced over time if the moisture content of the biomass can be lowered or oxygen can be excluded in order to constrain pathological action.

To ensure sufficient and consistent biomass supplies, all agents involved with the production, collection, storage, and transportation of biomass require compensation for their share of costs incurred. In addition, a viable biomass production and distribution system must include producer incentives, encouraging them to sell their post-harvest plant residue.

How is Biomass Transported

Transporting biomass fuel to a power plant is an important aspect of any biomass energy project. Because a number of low moisture fuels can be readily collected and transported to a centralized biomass plant location or aggregated to enhance project size, this opportunity should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

It will be a good proposition to develop biomass energy plants at the location where the bulk of the agricultural waste stream is generated, without bearing the additional cost of transporting waste streams. Effective capture and use of thermal energy at the site for hot water, steam, and even chilled water requirements raises the energy efficiency of the project, thereby improving the value of the waste-to-energy project.

biomass_transportation

Important Factors

  • The maximum rate of biomass supply to the conversion facility.
  • The form and bulk density of biomass.
  • The hauling distance for biomass transportation to the processing plant.
  • Transportation infrastructure available between the points of biomass dispatch and processing plant

Transportation is primarily concerned with loading and unloading operation and transferring biomass from pre-processing sites to the main processing plant or biorefinery. Truck transport and for a few cases train transport may be the only modes of transport. Barge and pipeline transport and often train transport involve truck transport. Trucks interface with trains at loading and unloading facilities of a depot or processing facility. Barge and pipeline require interfacing with train and/or truck transport at major facilities either on land or at the shores.

Physical form and quality of biomass has the greatest influence on the selection of handling equipment for the lowest delivered cost possible. A higher bulk density will allow more mass of material to be transported per unit distance. Truck transport is generally well developed, is usually cheapest mode of transport but it becomes expensive as travel distance increases. Pipeline biomass transport is the least known technology and may prove to be the cheapest and safest mode of transport in the near future.

Transportation costs of low-density and high-moisture agricultural residues are a major constraint to their use as an energy source. As a rule of thumb, transportation distances beyond a 25–50- km radius (depending on local infrastructure) are uneconomical. For long distances, agricultural residues could be compressed as bales or briquettes in the field, rendering transport to the site of use a viable option.

biomass-train

Greater use of biomass and larger scale conversion systems demand larger scale feedstock handling and delivery infrastructure. To accommodate expansion in feedstock collection and transportation, production centres can be established where smaller quantities of biomass are consolidated, stored, and transferred to long-distance transportation systems, in much the same way that transfer stations are used in municipal waste handling. Preprocessing equipment may be used to densify biomass, increasing truck payloads and reducing transportation costs over longer haul distances.

The Importance of Eco Friendly Cars in Our Future

There have been many revolutions in the engineering of passenger vehicles. First, in the late 1800’s came the automobile. Less than twenty years later, the first consumer car, the Model T was put into production. Over time, engineers kept improving cars and made them faster, safer, and better for the environment. Just a decade ago, cars that operate just as well as traditional fuel burning models began hitting markets around the globe. Every year these cars keep getting better, and it looks like they are the future of transportation.

Green On the Streets and in Your Wallet

The appeal of an eco friendly vehicle is pretty obvious, when you take a look at how much money owners save on fuel costs. According to a report from Business Insider Americans in some states spend an average of over $1,300 per year on fuel alone.

Internationally, many countries such as Canada have introduced extra taxes on fuel inefficient vehicles. Some countries, including Norway, Germany, and France have all proposed banning the sale of new gas powered vehicles. It seems that many countries see the harm that burning fuel causes to the environment, and are willing to push consumers to more efficient and clean transportation options, such as gas or electric powered cars. The use of these as power sources has garnered criticism as to whether or not natural gas is a reliable renewable resource, but natural gas been proven to be just as renewable and green as electric hybrids of today.

Studies have proven that “greener” vehicles do not just save consumers in taxes and fuel though. Electric cars can save owners quite a bit of money over time in maintenance. Since electric vehicles tend to need less engine maintenance, the cost of repairs and upkeep drop drastically.

Safer Roads and Better Fuel Efficiency

Today the roads are full of electric cars. While they certainly are the future, every driver is surely interested in what comes next. With driverless cars increasingly entering highways around the world, it would seem that the future of efficiency is with automated driving.

According to an article in Forbes, driverless vehicles could reduce fuel consumption in passenger vehicles by as much as 44 percent and 18 percent for trucks. That is an enormous impact for the environment. This reduction is due in part to the amount of time the cars are in use. With driverless cars, commuters could share vehicles and each passenger vehicle would spend less time idle, depreciating in value and wasting resources.

Self driving cars are already incredibly safe, and that is in part because they are programmed to strictly follow all traffic laws. According to a CNN report 90% of traffic accidents are caused by human error. These accidents could be reduced by fuel efficient driverless vehicles.

Making Your Current Ride More Efficient

Not all of us can afford to pony up the cash for a new electric vehicle, but that does not mean you can’t be more environmentally friendly with your current car or truck. There are plenty of ways to help make your vehicle and commute efficient. One simple way to reduce your use of fossil fuels is to minimize trips and idle time. If you sit in a drive through or traffic regularly, turn off your vehicle. The Environmental Defense Fund suggests turning off your vehicle if you idle for more than 10 seconds at a time.

Performing maintenance at scheduled intervals also keeps your vehicle in great condition, which helps it stay at its peak efficiency. Replacing spark plugs, keeping clean air filters in your car, and airing up tires to the manufacturer’s specified pressure can all improve your vehicles overall performance.

Lastly, driving fast consumes more fuel. Following the speed limit and posted directions, avoiding fast braking and acceleration, and using cruise control on the highway can help save on gas.

Biomass Storage Methods

Sufficient storage for biomass is necessary to accommodate seasonality of production and ensure regular supply to the biomass utilization plant. The type of storage will depend on the properties of the biomass, especially moisture content. For high moisture biomass intended to be used wet, such as in fermentation and anaerobic digestion systems, wet storage systems can be used, with storage times closely controlled to avoid excessive degradation of feedstock. Storage systems typically used with dry agricultural residues should be protected against spontaneous combustion and excess decomposition, and the maximum storage moisture depends on the type of storage employed.

Moisture limits must be observed to avoid spontaneous combustion and the emission of regulated compounds. Cost of storage is important to the overall feasibility of the biomass enterprise. In some cases, the storage can be on the same site as the source of the feedstock. In others, necessary volumes can only be achieved by combining the feedstock from a number of relatively close sources. Typically, delivery within about 50 miles is economic, but longer range transport is sometimes acceptable, especially when disposal fees can be reduced.

Storage of biomass fuels is expensive and increases with capacity.

Agricultural residues such as wheat straw, rice husk, rice straw and corn stover are usually spread or windrowed behind the grain harvesters for later baling. Typically these residues are left in the field to air dry to moisture levels below about 14% preferred for bales in stacks or large piles of loose material. After collection, biomass may be stored in the open or protected from the elements by tarps or various structures. Biomass pelletization may be employed to increase bulk density and reduce storage and transport volume and cost.

Biomass Storage Options

  • Feedstock is hauled directly to the plant with no storage at the production site.
  • Feedstock is stored at the production site and then transported to the plant as needed.
  • Feedstock is stored at a collective storage facility and then transported to the plant from the intermediate storage location.

Biomass Storage Systems

The type of biomass storage system used at the production site, intermediate site, or plant can greatly affect the cost and the quality of the fuel. The most expensive storage systems, no doubt, are the most efficient in terms of maintaining the high fuel quality. Typical storage systems, ranked from highest cost to lowest cost, include:

  • Enclosed structure with crushed rock floor
  • Open structure with crushed rock floor
  • Reusable tarp on crushed rock
  • Outside unprotected on crushed rock
  • Outside unprotected on ground
  • Subterranean

The storage of biomass is often necessary due to its seasonal production versus the need to produce energy all year round. Therefore to provide a constant and regular supply of fuel for the plant requires either storage or multi-feedstocks to be used, both of which tend to add cost to the system.

Reducing the cost of handling and stable storage of biomass feedstocks are both critical to developing a sustainable infrastructure capable of supplying large quantities of biomass to biomass processing plants. Storage and handling of biomass fuels is expensive and increases with capacity. The most suitable type of fuel store for solid biomass fuel depends on space available and the physical characteristics of the fuel.