University of Delaware are developing renewable jet fuel
The University of Delaware’s Catalysis Centre for Energy Innovation (CCEI) – an Energy Frontier Research Centre supported by the US Department of Energy – is developing an alternative jet fuel.
The researchers are looking into creating a renewable fuel made from corncobs and wood chips, as opposed to petroleum.
Last year alone, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) handled approximately 43,684 flights every day, with the US military and commercial flights using 20bn gallons of jet fuel.
In 2016, global air travel contributed 815mn tonnes of CO2 emissions, which is 2% of the world’s manmade total.
The International Air Transport (IATA) has estimated that by 2035 the amount of people that travel by air will have nearly doubled since 2016, increasing from 3.8bn to 7.2bn.
The university’s Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, associated with the CCEI, are transforming plant materials into green products, such as new fuels and chemicals.
One of the greatest obstacles these experiments face is increasing the speed and efficiency of the chemical prosses coupling and deoxygenation, both of which are important for improving the flow of fuel at freezing sky temperatures.
“International planes may fly at an altitude of 35,000 feet, where the outside temperature could be as low as -14° Centigrade,” commented CCEI Associate Director Basudeb Saha.
“That's the temperature at which a plane has to run, and the fuel can't be frozen.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.