Solar Impulse Word of the Day – Penultimate

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Headlines all over the world are sharing the word of the day – penultimate, meaning the next to the last* – in this case the next to last flight for Solar Impulse 2. The Guardian newspaper explained, “After setting off from Seville on Monday morning, the plane passed through Algerian, Tunisian, Italian and Greek airspace, and flew over the Giza Pyramids before touching down at Cairo airport at around 7.10am (5.10am GMT). Its support crew cheered as the plane, no heavier than a car but with the wingspan of a Boeing 747, landed, and trailed after it on bicycles.” Which brings up a question – why are the guys on foot outrunning the guys on the expensive electric bicycles? Certainly, …

Increasing biofuel Production 20 Times

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

What if, instead of using corn to make ethanol, we were to use corn stover, the waste stalks, leaves and non-edible portions of the corn plant?  It’s not a new or novel idea, but Michigan State University researchers have taken a new direction in extracting energy from it. The East Lansing research team has managed to produce 20 times more energy than through the use of existing methods by using microbes to “produce biofuel and hydrogen, all while consuming agricultural wastes.” The method combines biological, chemical and electrical reactions to generate fuel and energy.  Gemma Regurera, an MSU microbiologist,” has developed bioelectrochemical systems known as microbial electrolysis cells, or MECs, using bacteria to break down and ferment agricultural waste into …