Buying Clean Electricity

Go green slogan has been buzzing all around us for year. We read, suggest various tips how to go green like using energy star appliances, switching to CFL/LED etc. but we hardly hear and talk the which electricity to shop? I mean here we hardly think about the source of electricity, whether the electricity is clean or renewable?
Having said that, few basic questions pop-up regarding cleaner/greener source of electricity. What are the cleaner source of electricity available? Are they available in our area?
Common clean energy resources available in U.S. are wind, hydro, PV, landfill gas, biogas. And to find out who are the providers in your area or are they expensive? You just need to visit website of U.S. department of energy and then the sub section buying green power. For an example in Texas clean power can be purchased from the Green Mountain Energy Company one of the partners of Shop Electricity Rates Texas.
The next question comes how to shop clean electricity?
You don’t get electricity directly from clean/green electricity provider. The electricity is fed to common power grid and then delivers to your home. There are number of electricity providers who sell both fossil fuel based electricity and also clean electricity, one of them is Shop Electricity Rates Texas.


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Eco-friendly Bedroom furnishing

“Go green and live sustainable life” is the mantra buzzing every corner for leading healthy and longer life. Almost third of our life we spent in our bed rooms, in my opinion if we can make our bed rooms organic it’s like winning half of the battle of greening!

Tips for Eco-friendly Bedroom furnishing
1. Use of CFL or LED bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs.
2. Petro based mattresses can be unsafe if they are made up with harmful materials like pesticide, polyurethane, petroleum-based polyester, and chemical flame retardant. Petro based fiber used for mattresses can be replaced with un-harmful, natural and organic material like organic cotton, natural latex, untreated wool or less common material coir (coconut fiber).
3. Petro based pillow similar to petro-mattresses can cause health issues as material filled in pillow undergoes heavy chemical treatments. Fumes of that ether accumulates in body and can have adverse health problems. Organic pillows can be made up by natural material like bamboo hemp, buckwheat hull, flax seed and cotton.
4. Use of less VOC material: VOCs are emitted by paints, lacquers, adhesives, solvents room freshener etc. Formaldehyde is the common VOC that is used in manufacturing of particle board, hardwood plywood. And most of the bed room furniture like bed, shelve, closet, bedroom vanity are made up of plywood/particle wood.
5. Use of organic rugs or eco-friendly floor materials like bamboo, reclaimed wood.
6. Use of eco-friendly furniture: Eco-friendly or sustainable furniture here I mean by material, design, multi-use, reusability etc. Use of renewable- natural material like hemp, bamboo or other natural, renewable materials for furniture like bed, shelve, closet, bedroom vanity.
7. Use/recycling of waste material: waste recycled or reclaimed material like cardboard, glass, ceramic can be used in decoration of bedroom vanity, closet etc.

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Solar panels : Electricity generation and beyond…

Once again earth day came and we once again gave li’l extra thought to save our earth, conserve energy and on on on …but I read some interesting articles regarding usage of home solar panels

Solar panel installation on roof for electricity production is much known but recently I read that PV cells installed on insulated roof can reduce heat gain in summer and hence reduce air condition load other interesting usage are to use as a patio shade and awning, we all know shading of awning can save electricity up to 65% on south facing windows and up to 77% on west facing windows and reduction 8 F-15F (5C-8C) in internal temperature.

Mean solar panels can not only used for clean electricity generation but also for saving energy and utility bills $$$

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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle junk mails

According to Dr James Hansen, NASA’s leading climate scientist Americans receive 100 billion of paper pieces of junk mail per year which is equivalent to 9 millions of cars and 51,548,000 million tons of green house gases each year. To minimize the impact of green house gases on global warming everybody needs to follow 3R rules for junk mails too. First R to reduce junk mails at first place second R is try to reuse junk mail, blank side of the paper can be used for draft work or drawing or practice work for the kids and the last R is to recycle for material or energy recovery.
As a common person it’s very difficult to imagine impact of junk mails other than just feel annoyed on receiving mails but according to Dr James emission due to junk mails draw an attention to have system for do not mail list similar to do not call list.
Greendimes, founded by Pankaj Shah, is one of the several companies who are working on reducing junk mails received this company is also trying to help environment by planting one tree in month for one person register to do not mail list and their home page shows that 1.6 million pounds of junk mails stopped by its efforts.

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Biofuel-An Introduction

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Up coming Bio-butanol Technologies – II : Algae to Bio-Butanol

syngas-to-alcohol-alAccording to Dr. Adrian Vance, algal-butanol has potential to contribute in America’s fuel requirements and carbon dioxide sequestration to fight green house effect and global warming, algae are fastest growing plants and in presence of sunlight and CO2 they can double their mass with in 12 hrs.

According to him algae farming and butanol production is very simple process, algae is cultivated in algae farm tank in presence of CO2 and sunlight and the mass is then flow down to fermentation tank in presence of butanol producing bacteria. Accorgding to Dr. Adrian, experiments can be carried out using 1 foot deep, 8 feet wide and 200 feet long plastic trough for algae farming, CO2 can be supplied through tubing in form of bubbles and the culture kept agitated using motor driven screws and at the end of the day half of the top of the culture will be ready for fermentation and can be transferred to fermentation vessel.

Algae culture then will be mixed with Clostridium tyrobutyricum and Clostridium acetobutylicum bacteria in fermentation vessel where temperature can be maintained by sun light or by heat exchangers. After several days of fermentation the culture will be cooled to zero degree Celsius and butanol will be separated out from the water.

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Up coming Bio-butanol Technologies – I : Biomass to Bio-Butanol using Thermochemical process

syngas-to-alcohol1After my previous two post I got comments asking what are methods of production of bio-butanol, so I thought to cover various process of biobutanol production starting from upcoming. Economical production of bio-butanol in commercial scale is little far, all the processes available for bio-butanol have one or another hitches.

Fuel derived from food sources are loosing their shine due to food vs fuel reality, non-food feed stock such as biomass are catching interest lately. Syngas (synthesis gas, which is mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) can be derived from gasification of biomass can be catalytically converted to organic fuels like ethanol, butanol and other higher alcohols.

The whole process of biomass to biobutanol can be divided in three basic steps, first is gasification of biomass to syngas and its cleaning and polishing for removal of particulate, tar, acid gases and some other impurities like ammonia. The second step is alcohols synthesis using appropriate catalyst and third step is separation of alcohols.

To best of my knowledge this process of bio-butanol process is at its nascent stage only and groups which are working on this are Syntec Biofuel and Diesel Brewing.

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