Coach House Geography

Interesting Geography stuff for InterHigh

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Archive for the ‘Transport’ Category

Analysis Promising Biodiesel Crop needs Time To Prove Itself

Posted by Lindy on October 30, 2011

Date: 28-Oct-11; From article by  Nina Chestney

There is new hope for biodeisal from a little known tree, the pongamia pinnata tree. It will not reduce food production as it grows on poor land but much more research is needed before we can be sure it will work.

Pongamia pinnata is native to Australia, India and parts of southeast Asia. Its oil has so far been used in medicines, lubricants and oil lamps. Pongamia is attractive because, after six years of cultivation, its oil yield is estimated to rise to around 23 tonnes per hectare per year — almost double yields of 12 tonnes from jatropha (see below), another tree that is a biodiesel feed crop, and 11 tonnes from palm oil.

But the optimism is cautious as prior experience with jatropha shows that what looks like a promising crop may prove disappointing. A few years ago, jatropha was hailed as a biofuel alternative to fossil fuels that would not further impoverish developing countries by diverting resources away from food production. Its high oil yield and ability to grow on marginal land were attractive, but its commercial promise was overstated. Some farmers found that it needed fertilizer to thrive and that its harvesting and processing proved energy-intensive.

However, the evergreen pongamia can grow on marginal arid or semi-arid land and is a nitrogen-fixing tree, which means that it helps fertilize the soil, is promising.


While several large organisations have already planted trees in unused areas of Australia and India, it also believed that there is a role for small scale production.  India has recognized the potential for small-holders to grow the tree on marginal land and has encouraged them to plant around 25 million trees since 2003 and has bought the seed pods for processing into biodiesel.


Posted in Appropriate technology, Bio-enenrgy, Energy sources, Renewable, Solution to problems, Sustainability, Transport | Leave a Comment »

Graph of the day

Posted by Lindy on November 24, 2010

This shows the BTU ( British thermal Units) of energy used by one person to go from Seattle and Portland by varies means ( both cities are in Oregon – I think – but certainly NW USA, but certainly not that far apart from one another)

Posted in Fun stuff, IGCSE, Transport | Leave a Comment »

Bioethanol Trumps Biodiesel Say Europe’s Producers

Posted by Lindy on July 6, 2010

6th July 2010

Cheaper, local ingredients make bioethanol more profitable, and sustainable, than far more widely produced biodiesel in Europe, even though it adds to a surplus of conventional petrol while diesel remains more in demand.

Biodiesel has to be made from vegetable oils, which have to be mostly imported and are far more expensive than locally grown cereals, the main raw material for bioethanol, which can be blended with petrol. Reuters data show that a tonne of biodiesel costs 803 euros to refine in Germany — using palm oil at 715 euros/tonne — but will sell at 721 euros. Not much profit there!

Bioethinol:  In Spanish ports, a tonne of local wheat costs 150 euros and can be used to make 387 litres of ethanol, so grain costing 388 euros will make one cubic meter. But  it sells 470 euros/m3. Now does not that more sense? As a result, several large European biofuel manufacturers see bioethanol as a better long-term business.

Producers in some countries hoped for a near-term boost to demand for bioethanol by increasing the percentage in petrol to 10%. France and Poland have already introduced E10, and Germany is likely to follow suit in late 2010 or 2011, although the government has yet to set a date.

“E10 will probably become a standard in coming years and its introduction in a large consuming country like Germany would certainly be an advantage to other countries which wish to follow.” .

Posted in Appropriate technology, Bio-enenrgy, IGCSE, Renewable, Transport | Leave a Comment »

Coming Antarctic Season 2010/11, the Last for Big Cruise Ships

Posted by Lindy on June 3, 2010

The Antarctica season beginning in November is likely to be the last one as it has been known. Proposed changes to the type of fuel ships are allowed to burn and carry in this fragile ecosystem have now become a reality, making the future of big cruise ships in Antarctica uncertain.

A rule was passed last year by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) banning the use and carriage of heavy fuel oils, the type of fuel commonly burned by big ships, in the Antarctic. The reasoning is that a spillage of this type of fuel is considered too much of a risk—and accidents do happen, as we witnessed in 2007, when Gap Adventures’ M/S Explorer was holed by ice and sank.

The deadline for the actual implementation of the new regulation was set for August 21, 2011, making the forthcoming Antarctic summer the last time some lines are likely to visit the region. So what does this really mean for cruise ships in the region?

Most small expedition-style ships are unaffected, as almost all of them run on marine gas oil and marine diesel oil, neither of which is included in the ban. However, the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) predicts that the number of passengers on “seaborne” cruises—voyages on big ships that cruise the region but don’t land anywhere—could plummet from 14,350 this year to just 6,400 next year. Overall, the new rules could lead to a 23% decline in cruise tourism to Antarctica.

The problem facing the cruise lines is this: not only will ships be banned from using heavy fuel oil—but they won’t be allowed to carry it, either. Practically speaking, the former is possible to manage; it’s not uncommon for a ship to burn more economical, heavy oil for long sea passages and switch to a more expensive but less polluting fuel when nearer shorelines.

But, in Antarctica, the new rules on carriage would mean working out a complicated formula whereby all the “bad” fuel is used up before entering the area governed by the Antarctic Treaty (south of 60 degrees latitude) and “good” fuel is burned not only for the sailing in Antarctica, but the whole voyage back to South America, the nearest landfall and re-fuelling stop. Needless to say, “good” fuel is more expensive—a cost likely to be passed on to the passenger.

A few of the large carriers have said they will comply and continue operating there, but several say they cannot do so.

Posted in Antarctic, Fragile environments, Hazards, Solution to problems, Transport, Y9 | Leave a Comment »

Families sought for new trial of electric cars

Posted by Lindy on October 28, 2008

The government are seeking 100 families who live in cities who are prepared to swap their petrol/diesel car for an elelctric one. Could this be you? Read here for the full article!

Posted in Renewable, Transport | Leave a Comment »

Fancy a PT?

Posted by Lindy on September 9, 2008

It goes 24 miles on one charge. Is faster than walking with a maximum at 12.5 mph maximum. Its fun and it is low in emissions. Want one? Not in the UK you can’t. They are not yet legal here!

PS PT is personal transporter – the next thing after a mobile maybe?

Posted in Fun stuff, Global warming, Solution to problems, Transport | Leave a Comment »

Air Traffic over Britain – Britain From Above – BBC

Posted by Lindy on August 18, 2008

Posted in Fun stuff, Transport | Leave a Comment »

Yet another scarey one!

Posted by Lindy on August 17, 2008

Posted in nonrenewables, Transport | Leave a Comment »

A better way to move?

Posted by Lindy on August 13, 2008

More and more commercial companies are transferring transport from road to the waterways. The picture is of imported wine being moved by Tesco down the Manchester ship canal to its bottling plant at Irlam. This keeps 50 lorries a week off the roads. But British Waterways, who runs the canals, is not helping by selling off wharves for development – without places to load and unload, many routes can not be used. See the full aticle here.

Posted in Transport | Leave a Comment »