Misc

Misc

“Myco-Diesel” puts mushrooms on the fuel map.

A Hemp4fuel.com exclusive: Prof. Gary Strobel, emeritus, has given me his permission to release his new article on Mycodiesel, a fuel nearly identical to diesel fuel, but produced by a mushroom. Please read on:

The production of myco-diesel hydrocarbons and their derivatives by the endophytic fungus Gliocladium roseum (NRRL 50072)

An endophytic fungus, Gliocladiun roseum (NRRL 50072), produced a series of volatile hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon derivatives on an oatmeal-based agar under microaerophilic; conditions as analysed by solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME)-GC/MS. As an example, this
organism produced an extensive series of the acetic acid esters of straight-chained alkanes including those of pentyl, hexyl, heptyl, octyl, sec-octyl and decyl alcohols. Other hydrocarbons were also produced by this organism, including undecane, 2,6-dimethyl; decane, 3,3,5 trimethyl; cyclohexene, 4-methyl; decane, 3,3,6-trimethyl; and undecane, 4,4-dimethyl. Volatile hydrocarbons were also produced on a cellulose-based medium, including heptane, octane, benzene, and some branched hydrocarbons. An extract of the host plant, Eucryphia cordifolia < (ulmo), supported the growth and hydrocarbon production of this fungus. Quantification of volatile organic compounds, as measured by proton transfer mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), indicated a level of organic substances in the order of 80 p.p.m.v. (parts per million by volume) in the air space above the oatmeal agar medium in an 18 day old culture. Scaling the PTR-MS profile the acetic acid heptyl ester was quantified (at 500 p.p.b.v.) and subsequently the amount of each compound in the GC/MS profile could be estimated; all yielded a total value of about 4.0 p.p.m.v. The hydrocarbon profile of G. roseum contains a number of compounds normally associated with diesel fuel and so the volatiles of this fungus have been dubbed ‘myco-diesel’. Extraction of liquid cultures of the fungus revealed the presence of numerous fatty acids and other lipids. All of these findings have implications in energy production and utilization.

Read the full article:

http://www.hemp4fuel.com/articles/mic022186.pdf
[Submitted by Hemp4Fuel]

Renewable-energy investments drop globally

Renewable-energy investments drop globally
April 6, 2009

New global investment in renewable-energy projects fell 53 percent in the first quarter, an indication money from government stimulus packages has been slow to reach the industry, a report concluded Thursday.

The steep drop-off shows the global economy’s continued deterioration despite a fresh emphasis on curbing pollution and promoting cleaner energy such as wind farms, solar parks and biofuels plants.

Without necessary financing, it has taken longer to finalize deals which could lead to industry consolidation, said Michael Liebreich, chairman and chief executive of New Energy Finance, an industry-research firm.

Other analysts are forecasting similar results for the quarter. “The economy in general, the capital markets overall have had a very difficult time of it,” Ernst & Young clean-technology analyst Joseph Muscat said.

For the January-March quarter, new global investment in clean-energy projects totaled $13.3 billion compared with $28.3 billion in the year-ago quarter, according to an analysis by London-based New Energy.

Stock-market investors cut new investments in companies devoted solely to clean energy to about $100 million from $2.1 billion, the consulting firm found. Companies that offer clean energy as a part of their overall business did slightly better.

New venture capital and private-equity investment dropped to $1.8 billion from $2.7 billion in the first quarter of 2008. Merger, acquisition, buy-out and refinancing – which is on top of new money – totaled $8.8 billion down from $18.8 billion in the year-ago quarter.

In the United States, asset financing for new projects was $500 million, compared with a little more than $5 billion in the year-ago quarter.

While renewable energy remains a small fraction of all power used, wind and solar are among the fastest growing in the U.S. In 2008, the U.S. became the world’s leading provider of wind power.

“Given the slowness of the first quarter of 2009, it will take a very large acceleration in investment in the remaining three quarters for this year to match 2008 levels,” Liebreich said.

The U.S. has pledged billions of dollars to help the renewable-energy industry as part of its overall economic stimulus package. Money is earmarked for such measures as upgrading the nation’s electrical-distribution system, tax cuts to promote development of alternatives to oil and energy-efficient improvements for federal buildings and modest-income homes.

Muscat believes a recovery will begin later this year as the stimulus money begins to filter down.

“Over time that will lead to an overall sector improvement but I think as far as I can see it’s really going to be a company specific situation,” he said.

More coverage at the Wall Street Journal

SOURCE: The Associated Press

[Submitted by Hemp4Fuel]

Hemp could be key to zero-carbon houses

08 April 2009 – University of Bath, UK

Hemp, a plant from the cannabis family, could be used to build carbon-neutral homes of the future to help combat climate change and boost the rural economy, say researchers at the University of Bath.

A consortium, led by the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials based at the University, has embarked on a unique housing project to develop the use of hemp-lime construction materials in the UK.

Hemp-lime is a lightweight composite building material made of fibres from the fast growing plant, bound together using a lime-based adhesive. The hemp plant stores carbon during its growth and this, combined with the low carbon footprint of lime and its very efficient insulating properties, gives the material a ‘better than zero carbon’ footprint.

Professor Pete Walker, Director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, explained: “We will be looking at the feasibility of using hemp-lime in place of traditional materials, so that they can be used widely in the building industry.

“We will be measuring the properties of lime-hemp materials, such as their strength and durability, as well as the energy efficiency of buildings made of these materials.

“Using renewable crops to make building materials makes real sense – it only takes an area the size of a rugby pitch four months to grow enough hemp to build a typical three bedroom house.

“Growing crops such as hemp can also provide economic and social benefits to rural economies through new agricultural markets for farmers and associated industries.”

The three year project, worth almost £750,000, will collect vital scientific and engineering data about this new material so that it can be more widely used in the UK for building homes.

The project brings together a team of nine partners, comprising BRE Ltd, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio architects, Hanson Cement, Hemcore, Lhoist UK, Lime Technology, National Non-Food Crops Centre, University of Bath and Wates Living Space. As part of the project the University of Bath received a research grant of £391,000 from the Renewable Materials LINK programme run by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2009/04/08/hemp-houses/
[Submitted by dlenef]

The Caitlin County Hemp Wars

Hemp, the musical? An original play, showing one night only, May 5, in Boston.

Background

Three generations of an extended farm family don’t always get along (“Family”). The farm is going under, and there is disagreement about how to keep it going. Shelly, a college student, wants to live her own life and loves Michael, Uncle Ray’s farm hand against the will of her parents (“Want to be me”). One night she has a dream which she shares with her grandmother Cora. Maybe her family can save the farm by growing Industrial Hemp? Cora shares Shelly’s ideas with her devoted husband Henry who serenades her with a song of eternal love (“Love is Forever”). Tom, Shelly’s brother and third generation of this extended farm family, expresses jealousies toward his sibling, antipathy towards Michael, and commiserates with his cousins about the plight of the farm (“Kids Know Best””).

At Shelly’s Invitation, the grandparents attend a Hempfest where they listen to a local band (“Grass”) and learn about the useful applications of Industrial Hemp. After fighting with her parents, Shelly visits Michael who asks her to marry him (“Take a Stand”). At a family meeting, there is general agreement that because of their desperate situation they are willing to experiment with a Hemp crop. Shelly and Michael announce their engagement, and Michael is accepted into the fold. All is right with the world (“Peace Now”), except for Uncle Ray who thinks the family should sell the farm. Next morning, the family elders, in an east-meets-west experience, show Shelly’s Goth clad friends how to sow the Hemp (“Planting the Seeds” – a combination of Traditional and Rap music).

Ray, wanting “out” of the farm (“Caitlin County Blues”), exposes his family to the corporate executives who want to buy the farm for a considerable sum (“Compromised Individuals”). The family meets with some neighboring farmers who agree to help with the Harvesting of the crop (“Hangin’ Together”). They create a “crop-circle” to divert the Feds who in all likelihood will be snooping around (“Diversionary Tactics”). Cora creates her own diversion (“The Chase”) until they are all caught. At the Caitlin County Courthouse, the family is ably represented by their attorney (“Courtroom Cowboy”), and they get off with a light sentence. Ray leaves town, Shelly and Michael become husband and wife, and, in a rousing finale, the family and community realize the importance of being there for each other (“One People”).

The Caitlin County Hemp Wars Website

A couple of video samples on Vimeo
[Submitted by dlenef]

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