Category Archives: Emissions

Top 5 Green Cars of Fall 2013

Top5GreenCarsFall2013

Alternatively fueled cars aren’t sexy simply for how they help the environment—they save you the money you normally would spend on gas, too. From hybrids to true electric, luxury to everyday driving, these five cars mark an exciting time in U.S. car culture. Plug in to these alt-fuel cars and enjoy the ride, as well as the savings in your pocket.

Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac ELR is what the Chevy Volt was intended to be, according to Car and Driver. It’s fuel-efficient, fun to drive and a feast for the eyes. The drive train is the same as the Volt, the engine is bigger and the exterior has the lines of the Converj concept car displayed at the 2009 auto show in Detroit. Planned for a late 2013 release, the price is rumored to be close to $60,000, which will keep curiosity seekers away but draw those with a green conscience and a taste for luxury.

A large console dominates the front interior, to cover the 288-cell battery that powers this machine. This is the same battery as in the Volt, with two drive motors and a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to keep it charged. Per GM, the performance is expected to be in the range of zero-60 mph in eight seconds. One may expect 35 miles on a full battery charge.

BMW i3

Car Connection reports that the i3 is a new-from-the-ground-up design. It’s not an electric retrofit of another model.

The body is carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, making it lighter and stronger than other cars. The entire side of the car can be opened for access, because there is no need for a door pillar. This shell sits on an aluminum frame which holds the battery and drive train.

A two-cylinder gasoline engine is available as an option to generate enough electricity to keep the car moving between charges. This is a standard feature in the Chevy Volt, but is optional in the BMW.

BMW states the expected mileage on a charge is 80-100 miles. The estimated MSRP is $41,000. People who love their BMWs may watch how well this new design takes off. The initial buyers will likely already have a BMW in their garage.

Ford Focus Electric

Less about style and more about function, the electric Focus has an estimated mileage of 75 on a full charge. Otherwise, the performance should be similar to the gas version of the Focus. At an MSRP of $39,200, this Focus is packed with many standard features, such as HD radio, navigation and Ford’s MyTouch infotainment system.

This is still a Ford Focus with an electric engine. Those who prefer the subcompact world but want to step into the green, all-electric world, should look into this vehicle.

Chevy Volt

The Volt was a pioneer of electric cars, and it has set the tone for many designs after it. The $39,000 MSRP may scare off potential buyers, but by now, the Volt will be showing up in used car listings. The Kelley Blue Book has used cars and prices, so future Volt owners may find a good deal on a 1-year-old electric car.

The two electric motors and unique drive train are still innovative. The standard gas engine charges the battery and gives an average 35 mpg. For many, this is still the car to buy as an entry into all-electric driving.

Nissan Leaf

Available in late 2013 will be the second generation of the Leaf. There are a few changes, mainly to the electrical equipment. With the improvements comes a reduction in price. The MSRP will be $29,650.

An improved charging system, navigation, voice SMS read-out and backup camera system highlight the equipment changes. Mileage is expected to be almost 75 miles on a full charge.

The Leaf has had a year of production driving, so consumers will have real road statistics from which to buy into electric.

What green car are you most intrigued by?

Algae Powered Apartments

These apartments in Germany are 100% self powered by algae fueled bio reactors. Algae panels on the building also provide shade and temperature regulation, as the sunnier it is the thicker the algae grows in the panels.

Algae Powered Apartment

Read more: http://homes.yahoo.com/news/net-zero-apartments-powered-live-algae-151500406.html

Algae-Powered-Apartments-2

 

Learn how to make algae biofuel: http://organicmechanic.com/algae-biofuel/ or to make an algae based business to take advantage of these and other algae business trends! http://organicmechanic.com/algae-business/

Take A Bite With The PB&J Campaign

Is it possible to protect animals and the environment through a vegan based diet? The people from the PB&J Campaign believe it is a fact. The organization was formed by a group of concerned citizens sponsored by the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) who assists activist working to improve the world naturally. The PB&J Campaign’s sole purpose is to fight our environmental issues through limiting the amount of animal products people eat. Their goal is to shed light on the damage eating animals cause and help individuals change one meal at a time. Although, the program’s reasons are geared more towards environmentalism than animal rights it promotes vegan lifestyle and in the process will save thousands of defenseless animals from slaughter houses. The program shows individuals that they can make a huge difference similar to the act of recycling through simply changing their diet as well.

How Does It Actually Work?

According to the PB&J Campaign, everything we eat comes from plants, whether we eat the plants directly or through an animal intermediary. The basic problem is that animals are inefficient at converting plants into meat, milk, and eggs. Relatively little of what they eat ends up in what you eat because animals use most of their food to keep them alive – to fuel their muscles so they can stand up and walk around, to keep their hearts beating, to keep their brains working. That cow, pig, or chicken has to eat a lot more protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients than it yields in meat, eggs, or milk. The result is that it takes several pounds of corn and soy to produce one pound of beef, or one pound of eggs, one pound of milk, etc. This holds true even if we’re measuring calories or protein; it takes several times the calories or protein in livestock feed to produce the calories or protein we get from the meat, eggs, or milk.

If we’re wasting livestock feed, we’re also wasting what it takes to grow that feed. This includes inputs like fossil fuels (with all the emissions they produce) to run machinery, to pump water for irrigation, for transportation, and to produce the pesticides and fertilizers. Then there’s the land (= cleared rainforest and grasslands) for growing the crops, along with fertilizers (which produce their own greenhouse gas emissions) and pesticides. When you eliminate livestock and digest plants directly it takes less plants to support you. You also save the inputs that go into the plants. You save fossil fuels, water, land, fertilizers, and pesticides. You also save extra greenhouse gas emissions from fertilizer and burning fossil fuels, and you save water pollution from chemicals and silt washing off fields into waterways.

And if that’s not enough, you save on the resources used in raising the animals – yet more land and water. You also save the animal waste that is its own pollution problem, not to mention more greenhouse gas emissions like methane from enteric fermentation. Few people are aware that livestock is responsible for 18% of global climate change.

If you want to contribute in the fight to make a healthier planet by one meal at a time than take the Pledge Now.

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com

Almost Makes You Feel

– that the US is finally taking the environment (or at least the gas crisis) seriously:

From AutoblogGreen:

States pay drivers to replace their older cars

Considering that the legacy left behind by American car companies has little to do with being clean, there seems to be an increased sense of urgency by some U.S. states to replace the older fleet of vehicles with newer, and therefore cleaner, vehicles. The states with the two largest vehicle fleets, Texas and California, have both implemented new programs which offer cash-based incentives to owners of older vehicles which fail current emissions testing. In Texas, up to $3,500 is offered towards a vehicle three-years old or newer, though income restrictions do apply. In California, there is no maximum income number, though the far-left state is a bit less generous, offering $1,500 towards the purchase of a replacement vehicle.

Canada is also getting in on the act with a program slated to begin on January 1 of next year. In a move close to our hearts, the incentive is applicable to new vehicles, new bicycles or even bus passes. Sadly, the value is a rather low $300. Way to go Canada; perhaps upping the ante a bit would make the program a bit more meaningful.

[Source: The Detroit News]

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com

The Jokes Are Just Too Obvious –

– but the reality of global frightening is too damned frightening. Part of the problem is animal gas emissions, but it looks like a solution might be coming soon.

From Max Lindberg (Planetsave):

You’ve probably had that one pulled (pardon the pun) on you at least once in your life, and the old guy got a good laugh out of your response. It’s ok, old guys do strange things, I know.

Well, this isn’t about old guys, but sheep, cattle, deer and goats, the premier emitters of methane gas in the world. In this case, nature is “pulling the finger.”

For New Zealand, according to the Telegraph, its 45 million sheep and 10 million cattle are responsible for more than half of that nation’s methane emissions. That’s a lot of burping and farting, but the country is trying to meet the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

Don’t laugh, to New Zealand’s government this is serious stuff, so serious that an animal “flatulence tax” may be imposed on farmers. They’ve reportedly shown their disapproval by sending parcels of manure to members of parliament.

Estonians, meanwhile, have just lifted a tax on cattle methane emissions. Farms housing more than 300 cows or 2000 pigs would have been assessed an annual tax of about $5000 each. Protests have halted that action, at least for the time being. It’s said that cattle account for 18% of that country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Science To The Rescue!

According to Phil Goff, New Zealand’s trade minister, scientists in that country have mapped the genome that causes methane in ruminant animals. That, he says, can lead to a vaccine that would turn off the fart switch and reduce greenhouse gasses.

It may be a while, but Goff told an Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development meeting in Paris that a solution to the problem was in sight.

Scientists in Australia have reportedly developed a burp vaccine that acts against the archaean microbes that produce methane in sheep rumens. It was apparently somewhat successful.

Is There a Future for a Flatulence Shot?

In the U.S., it’s reported that about 2 percent of this country’s methane emissions come from livestock. Research is continuing on altering an animals diet, and changing the way fertilizers are used where livestock graze. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) outlines methane emissions from all sources on their website.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says scientists estimate livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Shots of the kind proposed by New Zealand scientists could make a big impact on greenhouse gasses, especially in smaller countries with large amounts of domestic and wild ruminants.

Do Humans Add to Greenhouse Emissions?

Of course you know, as long as we depend on livestock for the major portion of our protein and other nutritional needs, we add to greenhouse gas numbers by merely sitting down to a steak, or some bacon and eggs. I suspect, however, the steak will win out, after all we’re paying record amounts for gasoline and we’re still driving our gas guzzlers every day, adding even more pollutants to the air we breathe.

And then, maybe we might look at insects as a possibility. If you haven’t read my recent post, take a look.

Well, just thought you’d like to know that help may be on the way for those countries awash in livestock-emitted methane, and maybe, someday, for humans too. No, our “gas” emissions are small in comparison, and only a minor irritant if you happen to be downwind of someone with a problem.

Mother earth has her own way of belching methane, something that’s caused some severe changes in the planet’s weather. Read Joshua S Hill’s blog; Methane Could Kick-Start Increased Warming“.

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com

The Price Of Going Green

There are and have been many debates on whether or putting carbon emissions in check would be beneficial to the economy as much as to the environment in general. Many people advocate the opinion that concentrating on “going green” would be at the expense of economic necessities, such as industrial development and business expansion. Tackling this pessimistic view, leading Economist Professor Robert Repetto labored relentlessly to put together a unique interactive website where people judge see for themselves the cost of fighting planetary degradation, depending upon the steps or methods each elects to follow.

According to the remarkable initiative, consumers have a choice of some 27 Special Economy models, each of which takes into consideration different aspects and assumptions of both economic and environmental point of views. The entire venture aims at measuring what happens if and when carbon emissions are reduced and maintained below acceptable risk levels for environmental hazard.

According to conclusions reached in the investigations and research conducted by Robert Repetto, any of these methods, once adopted to cut down carbon emissions, would invariably be cost-effective on a long-term basis. These answers are further substantiated by findings from the McKinsey Report, a study on carbon mitigation. This latest report looks both at measures taken to reduce CO2 emissions and also at the economics involved in the process. In addition, it analyses the finding of investigations similar in nature to what Pr. Repetto claims all through his interactive website, such as taking measures for reducing carbon emissions which might be prohibitively pricey at present but which in the long run might not only constitute an excellent investment, but also offer the only course of action to keep our planet alive and self-sufficient.

If and when adopted, such measures would quickly pay for themselves, meaning that adopting them would basically insure self-financing. General assumptions are that the economy will literally explode in terms of profitability by the year 2030. The idea of such an economic boom remains valid despite predictions of doom in the near future owing to a general inability to curb carbon emissions. Economic costs remain unchanged no matter what type of model for saving the environment is chosen.

The interactive website Prof Repetto has created can be consulted by anybody to test his or her knowledge on keeping our planet green, while at the same time sampling what it would be like to choose any of the 27 listed models.

Most amazing of all is that no matter what model is chosen, the resulting answers are identical. Reducing carbon emission is an expensive yet critical mission that not only pays for itself in the end, but also improves the tempo of economic development. It therefore offers a Black & White type of proof where people can witness directly what stakes are involved, what costs with be implied and what will be the results to each of the 27 well-chosen models.

And so at long last is a way in which can easily prove what it means to have a green planet and gem-free environment, and its impact on the present and future global economy. All that remains is a matter of choice.

Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com

Your New Car on 6 Fuels – and only 20% Emissions

A Gmail conversation about choosing a new vehicle
that is cost effective and eco-friendly:


Jennifer
: I’m looking for a new car, any suggestions? I’m thinking Honda Hybrid Civic, or a Prius with 50 MPG.


8 minutes
4:31 PM me: 😉
4:33 PM honestly?
i think you need a diesel. they are awesome engines.
Jennifer: yeah
I haven’t even started looking at those because of gas milage
er cost of gas rather
I’d have to do a MPG V Cost comparison
me: you mean VEG mileage, jen?
😉
4:34 PM Jennifer: oh, I do!
🙂
me: What is your budget?
Jennifer: about around 18,000 or less
me: oh wow
4:35 PM you could have the most pimped Greencar possible
Jennifer: I’ve got money saved, plus I’m trading in the bug, hoping to get 1,000 out of it at least, so I’ll only be paying on 11,000
haha
pimpin
4:36 PM me: i mean WOW it would be amazing
Jennifer: I’d have to look into the practicalities of doing that
4:38 PM me: what if it ran on 6 fuels, and cut emissions to only 20% of normal.
you start with a base vehicle
4:39 PM a kickin’ vw for instance
Jennifer: 6 fuels?
me: maybe a mercedes …there are many choices for high quality diesels for under 10,000 if it’s just a few years old.
4:41 PM Yes, 6. It is a diesel, and as it is a post mid-nineties model then the tubes are almost certainly biodiesel compatible. that is 2.
a vegetable oil kit is installed. this will be the primary operating fuel. 3.

5 minutes
4:46 PM me: now it gets interesting. to really cut emissions, and boost horsepower significantly, a hydrogen generator is installed. This is far simpler than it sounds. and safer. do a search on amazon and find the kid’s toy car that operates on the same premise – electrolysis. add electricity to water and hydrogen is free to be burned. this is fed into the air intake of the engine.
4:47 PM hydrogen is multiple times stronger than any typical liquid fuel
4:48 PM so only very small amounts of water – like a few ounces – are required to sustain the reaction for hundreds of miles.
4:49 PM Jennifer: really…?
hmmmm
me: this awesome injection boost makes the engine consume 40-60% LESS liquid fuel!! this is all fact.

4:56 PM me: and there are still 2 more energy sources at work. the electrolysis requires energy to sustain the reaction. conventional wisdom is, attach it to the battery, which is charged by the alternator during operation. this works, but it is drawing energy from the engine to do it, lowering efficiency and reducing the benefit of adding hydrogen injection. so instead of upping battery storage and the alternator, you employ 2 passive forces to supply power: a solar panel on the roof, and recurisve breaking – which is used on many hybrids today. a lot of kinetic energy is created when braking happens, and it is very simple to redirect that electrically.

5 minutes
5:01 PM me: out the tail pipe: veg oil has half the emissions as diesel, and the hydrogen replaces half of the normal veg usage. The ONLY emission from the hydrogen combustion is PURE water. (which actually might help nature?) plus with the increased efficiency, the fuels will more properly and totally combust, creating another 5-15% drop in emissions. you would have the healthiest car on the road.

8 minutes
5:09 PM me: so i have one question for you
Jennifer:
Yes
5:10 PM Am i feeling luckY?
haha!
me: do you want to CHANGE THE WORLD?
haha
Jennifer: I do change the world!
5:11 PM I’d need help, and a plan, and a car, for all of this

5 minutes
5:18 PM me: you could visit events and show it off. might want to have a webpage and blog about it. you could connect with people in an awesome way. newspaper, radio, tv, is easy to set up and fun.
5:19 PM me: your car could be the concept car that blows people’s minds.

14 minutes
4:53 PM Jennifer: I have some concerns initially. Who can install it? Also this needs to be something I can maintain on my own, or at least be able to pay someone to do it. You know?

5:39 PM me: installation: there are a few biofuel conversion places, or you could maybe find a University to help? This part could be a challenge, but I bet there is someone who can do it. maintenance on your side: you will put diesel or biodiesel from the pump into the primary tank. the car will drive regularly like this. then when you have the time and interest to collect vegetable oil, a very convenient filtration system would be available. or you could essentially buy it in bulk from Costco or whatever at that point because it will be burned half as much (hydrogen injection provides the other half of the energy). that may be intimidating, but it’s actually fun and easy to learn. i could help a lot with it, and there could be a storage tank that you could refuel from. if you did go recycled oil, that would be in my opinion the most sustainable choice, as you are not using virgin crops but a waste product. this ALSO means that your fuel costs would be essentially NOTHING. during startup and shutdown the vehicle would use a bit of diesel, or biodiesel (which can be homemade but is a chemistry filled pain in the rear). when the system was warm enough it would switch to veg. that system would require a filter change every 500-2000 miles. this will be easy to access and totally doable, or you could ask any mechanic to service it for you – it’s really not that hard, and maybe you know someone who could help you with it once a month or so.


6 minutes
6:00 PM Jennifer: I think I need to review what you just told me and think about it, I’m going to look over it tonight once I get home. Will you be online later so we can further discuss?
6:04 PM me: yes i’ll be online later. i should be getting back to work here. glad you’re considering it, this really interests me!
6:05 PM Jennifer: great! I’m interested in knowing what I can do to make this happen, if it makes sense for me. We’ll chat later. Thanks for everything and I’ll talk with you soon!
Smart Energy Technology: www.OrganicMechanic.com