Turn that waste plastic (2, 4, 5 & 6) into fuel. This machine cooks the plastic at over 300 Celsius, and condenses the gas back into a liquid oil. 1kg of plastic + 1 kWh of electric, = 1 liter of fuel (3 hours). At just over $13k, it would pay for itself in about 6 years (including the electric costs to run it).
I have several devices that are charged with a USB 5v charger. Most have a warning on them “Disconnect charger when charged to save energy”. Why? Because most 5v chargers do not know when the batteries are charged, so they keep charging, wasting energy, producing excess heat, and reducing battery life (and the life of the charger).
This weekend we got a USB Smart Charger. This device stops charging when your device is fully charged, and displays a green light to let you know it’s done. Handy for my Kindle Fire which gives you no notification that it’s finished. This devices saves energy, and will extend the life of my devices, and itself.
At 2 Amp output, it’s fully capable of charging the most demanding 5v device, whether it’s a tablet or a phone, or a usb powered device with no onboard battery, like an Arduino.
Velvetwire Introduces First-Ever Apple HomeKit Device Smart Charger
Powerslayer Blu Eliminates Energy Waste and Allows for Customized Charging of Devices
SANTA CRUZ, CA – September 30, 2014 – Velvetwire, a leader in smart energy technology, today announced the winter availability of Powerslayer Blu, its Apple HomeKit-enabled USB charger. The Powerslayer is a cleverly designed intelligent smartphone charger that integrates a first-of-its-kind device-aware software for a more energy efficient charging process as well as a surge protector for keeping both consumers and gadgets safe. Now with added Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity, Powerslayer Blu is compatible with the HomeKit-controlled ecosystem, allowing for customization and enhanced control of the charging process in addition to reducing energy waste.
“Our vision for Velvetwire arose during a two-year sailing trip around the world, where we realized the vital importance of conserving energy. Powerslayer is our first endeavor at tackling energy waste and creating a smarter energy future for the modern consumer,” said Jennifer Lee, co-founder and COO of Velvetwire.
Powerslayer Blu is a unique, eco-conscious way to charge devices. By turning off automatically when charging is complete, the device prevents overcharging and protects the battery life of USB devices. It also eliminates vampire power – the energy constantly consumed by electronics even in standby mode – while looking stylish.
“We are proud to be among the first group of companies to produce HomeKit-compatible devices,” said Eric Bodnar, co-founder and CEO at Velvetwire. “By integrating Bluetooth technology into the Powerslayer, we’re offering customers a new way to interact with their devices and be part of Apple’s HomeKit. Velvetwire is committed to developing intelligent, energy-efficient devices that allow users to live more consciously without sacrificing convenience. We look forward to sharing Powerslayer Blu and future generations of our power-saving devices with the world.”
Powerslayer Blu’s customization features include the ability to select between high power boost-mode charging and eco-mode to maximize battery life as well as the ability to receive a variety of device notifications. The charger interacts wirelessly with Apple devices through a Bluetooth-powered iOS application developed by Velvetwire and can interact with other HomeKit applications. The app allows users to visually see and monitor relevant information about the level of charge their device is receiving. By tailoring charging power levels to suit their situation, users are provided a whole new level of interaction with the charging process.
Pricing and Availability:
Powerslayer Blu is available Winter 2014 for $89. To sign up to learn more about Powerslayer Blu and become alerted when available, visit www.velvetwire.com.
Based in Santa Cruz, California, Velvetwire produces intelligent technology products that help eliminate energy waste. After two successful startup exits, co-founders Eric Bodnar and Jennifer Lee journeyed on an extensive sailing trip around the world where they realized the preciousness of conserving energy – upon return they launched Velvetwire. The company is now at the forefront of wireless and mobile innovation with deep-rooted commitment to rethinking the way modern society consumes energy. For more information about Velvetwire, visit www.velvetwire.com.
University of California, Davis
April 22, 2014
BIODIGESTER TURNS CAMPUS WASTE INTO CAMPUS ENERGY
[Editor’s note: Photos of the UC Davis biodigester can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1gGZEUJ. ]
More than a decade ago, Ruihong Zhang, a professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of California, Davis, started working on a problem: How to turn as much organic waste as possible into as much renewable energy as possible.
Today, on Earth Day, the university and Sacramento-based technology partner CleanWorld are officially unveiling the UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ) at the campus’ former landfill. Here, the anaerobic digestion technology Zhang invented is being used inside large, white, oxygen-deprived tanks. Bacterial microbes in the tanks feast on campus and community food and yard waste, converting it into clean energy that feeds the campus electrical grid.
“It has been the thrust of my research to bring the innovations we made possible at UC Davis to commercial scale,” Zhang said. “This technology can change the way we manage our solid waste. It will allow us to be more economically and environmentally sustainable. I am proud and grateful to be a part of the team who helped make this moment a reality.”
It is the third commercial biodigester CleanWorld has opened using Zhang’s technology within the past two years and is the nation’s largest anaerobic biodigester on a college campus.
The system is designed to convert 50 tons of organic waste to 12,000 kWh of renewable electricity each day using state-of-the-art generators, diverting 20,000 tons of waste from local landfills each year.
The facility took unique advantage of its location at the now closed UC Davis landfill by blending landfill gases — primarily methane — with the biogas to create a total of 5.6 million kWh per year of clean electricity. It is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13,500 tons per year.
The READ BioDigester encompasses several of the university’s goals: reducing campus waste in a way that makes both economic and environmental sense, generating renewable energy, and transferring technology developed at UC Davis to the commercial marketplace.
“The biodigester is the latest chapter in UC Davis’ world-renowned legacy of environmental sustainability,” said Linda P.B. Katehi, chancellor of UC Davis. “This project stands as a model public-private partnership and demonstrates what can be achieved when research universities and private industry collaborate to address society’s most pressing challenges.”
The project is decidedly homegrown: Campus waste is converted into renewable energy for the UC Davis electrical grid using technology invented by a UC Davis professor and licensed by CleanWorld. The company’s chief executive officer Michele Wong and vice president of research and development Josh Rapport are UC Davis alumni. Rapport received his doctorate in anaerobic digestion from UC Davis under Zhang’s tutelage in 2011.
“There is so much to celebrate today as we recognize the far-reaching environmental and sustainability impacts this technology will have,” Wong said. “It will enable the more than 100 million tons of organic waste each year that is currently being landfilled in the U.S. to be converted to clean energy and soil products. CleanWorld is proud to be the commercialization partner with Dr. Zhang and UC Davis for these game-changing innovations. With this project, we’ve crossed the bridge from research and development to commercialization and proven that CleanWorld’s high-solid AD system can be a feasible, cost-effective, and repeatable solution, not only for municipalities and communities, but also for universities and public institutions throughout California and the U.S.”
The READ BioDigester is a closed loop system, moving from farm to fork to fuel and back to farm. Whatever is not turned into biogas to generate renewable electricity can be used as fertilizer and soil amendments — 4 million gallons of it per year, which could provide natural fertilizers for an estimated 145 acres of farmlands each day.
Nearly half of the organic waste, or feedstock, needed to operate the biodigester to full benefit will come from UC Davis dining halls, animal facilities and grounds. CleanWorld is working with area food processing and distribution centers to supply the remaining amount. Meanwhile, UC Davis will earn 100 percent of the project’s green energy and carbon credits and receive all of the electricity generated.
Anaerobic digestion is an age-old process. However, Zhang’s patented technology made it more efficient — capable of eating a broader variety and bigger quantity of waste, turning it into clean energy faster and more consistently than other commercial anaerobic biodigesters.
The project benefits from a unique public-private partnership. While Zhang moved the technology forward, CleanWorld’s commercializing efforts have made it modular, cost-effective and faster to deploy, making it one of the most advanced, commercially available anaerobic digestion systems in the country. The READ BioDigester, for example, went from bare ground to full installation within six months. Its $8.5 million cost was roughly two-thirds less than other anaerobic digesters the university researched as potential renewable energy sources.
CleanWorld financed the majority of the project with private equity and a commercial loan with First Northern Bank. Approximately $2 million in public funding came from the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission.
CleanWorld’s other two biodigesters are in the Sacramento area:
* The Sacramento BioDigester opened in December 2012 and can digest 25 tons per day. Construction is underway to expand its size to digest 100 tons per day and produce 700,000 gallons per year of renewable compressed natural gas, fueling both public and private fleets.
* The American River Packaging BioDigester in Natomas opened in April 2012. It can convert 10 tons of waste per day and generates roughly 1,300 kWh of energy daily.
CleanWorld is the leading North American innovator of advanced, high-solids anaerobic digestion (HSAD) technology. CleanWorld’s BioDigesters represent a generational leap forward in anaerobic digestion technology, dramatically reducing the time and cost of construction, commissioning and operation, while increasing output, efficiency, and revenue opportunities. A subsidiary of Synergex, a global leader in technology for more than 35 years, CleanWorld was founded and is managed by people committed to the idea that our precious organic resources should never be wasted.
About UC Davis
UC Davis is a global community of individuals united to better humanity and our natural world while seeking solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. Located near the California state capital, UC Davis has more than 34,000 students, and the full-time equivalent of 4,100 faculty and other academics and 17,400 staff. The campus has an annual research budget of over $750 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and 99 undergraduate majors in four colleges and six professional schools.
* Download biodigester photos: http://bit.ly/1gGZEUJ
* Watch a video about the UC Davis biodigester: http://youtu.be/AgwHi6ogBpM
* Vine video: From lunch to lights: https://vine.co/v/MnmQ3EBtXOB
* Visit www.CleanWorld.com: http://www.CleanWorld.com
* Ruihong Zhang, UC Davis Biological and Agricultural Engineering, (530) 754-9530, firstname.lastname@example.org
* Tracy Saville, CleanWorld, (916) 853-0362, email@example.com, cell: (916) 717-3250
* Kat Kerlin, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-7704, firstname.lastname@example.org, cell: (530) 750-9195
See all of our news releases at http://www.news.ucdavis.edu.
NEW REPORT: FOOD EXPIRATION DATE CONFUSION CAUSING UP TO 90% OF AMERICANS TO WASTE FOOD
NRDC & Harvard Reveal Costs of Mass Consumer Confusion; Offer New Plan for Commonsense Food Date Labeling
NEW YORK (September 18, 2013) – U.S. consumers and businesses needlessly trash billions of pounds of food every year as a result of America’s dizzying array of food expiration date labeling practices, which need to be standardized and clarified, according to a new report co-authored by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. One key finding from an industry-conducted survey: More than 90 percent of Americans may be prematurely toss food because they misinterpret food labels as indicators of food safety.
“Expiration dates are in need of some serious myth-busting because they’re leading us to waste money and throw out perfectly good food, along with all of the resources that went into growing it,” said Dana Gunders, NRDC staff scientist with the food and agriculture program. “Phrases like ‘sell by’, ’use by’, and ‘best before’ are poorly regulated, misinterpreted and leading to a false confidence in food safety. It is time for a well-intended but wildly ineffective food date labeling system to get a makeover.”
NRDC and Harvard Law’s study, The Dating Game: How Confusing Food Date Labels Lead to Food Waste in America (http://www.nrdc.org/food/expiration-dates.asp) is a first-of-its-kind legal analysis of the tangle of loose federal and state laws related to date labels across all 50 states and presents recommendations for a new system for food date labeling. The report is a follow-up to NRDC’s 2012 Wasted (http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp) report, which revealed that Americans trash up to 40 percent of our food supply every year, equivalent to $165 billion.
For the vast majority of food products, manufacturers are free to determine date shelf life according to their own methods. The report finds that the confusion created by this range of poorly regulated and inconsistent labels leads to results that undermine the intent of the labeling, including:
* False Notions that Food is Unsafe – 91 percent of consumers occasionally throw food away based on the “sell by” date out of a mistaken concern for food safety even though none of the date labels actually indicate food is unsafe to eat;
* Consumer Confusion Costs – an estimated 20 percent of food wasted in U.K. households is due to misinterpretation of date labels. Extending the same estimate to the U.S., the average household of four is losing $275-455 per year on food needlessly trashed;
* Business Confusion Costs – an estimated $900 million worth of expired food is removed from the supply chain every year. While not all of this is due to confusion, a casual survey of grocery store workers found that even employees themselves do not distinguish between different kinds of dates;
* Mass Amounts of Wasted Food – The labeling system is one factor leading to an estimated 160 billion pounds of food trashed in the U.S. every year, making food waste the single largest contributor of solid waste in the nation’s landfills.
Two main categories of labeling exist for manufacturers: those intended to communicate among businesses and those for consumers. But they are not easily distinguishable from one another and neither is designed to indicate food’s safety. “Sell by” dates are a tool for stock control, suggesting when the grocery store should no longer sell products in order to ensure the products still have shelf life after consumers purchase them. They are not meant to communicate with consumers, nor do they indicate the food is bad on that date. “Best before” and “use by” dates are intended for consumers, but they are often just a manufacturer’s estimate of a date after which food will no longer be at peak quality; not an accurate date of spoiling or an indication that food is unsafe. Consumers have no way of knowing how these “sell by” and “use by” dates have been defined or calculated since state laws vary dramatically and companies set their own methods for determining the dates, none of which helps to improve public health and safety.
“We need a standardized, commonsense date labeling system that actually provides useful information to consumers, rather than the unreliable, inconsistent and piecemeal system we have today,” said Emily Broad Leib, lead author of the report and director of Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic. “This comprehensive review provides a blueprint calling on the most influential date label enforcers – food industry actors and policymakers – to create and foster a better system that serves our health, pocketbooks and the environment.”
Use of expiration dates for food stem from consumer unease about food freshness mounting over the 20th century, as Americans left farms and lost their connection to the foods they consume. By 1975, a nationwide survey of shoppers showed 95% of respondents considered date labels to be the most useful consumer service for addressing freshness. The widespread concern prompted over 10 congressional bills introduced between 1973-1975 alone, to establish requirements for food dating. During that time, the General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a report to Congress advocating a uniform national date labeling system to avoid confusion. Despite GAO’s prophetic advice, none of the legislative efforts gained enough momentum to become law. Instead, the 1970s began the piecemeal creation of today’s fractured American date labeling regime.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture have the power to regulate food labeling to ensure consumers are not misled, both agencies have failed to adequately exercise their authority. FDA does not require food companies to place any date labels on food products, leaving the information entirely at the discretion of the manufacturer. The only product for which a date is federally regulated is infant formula.
Food producers and retailers can begin to adopt the following recommended changes to date labels voluntarily but government steps, including legislation by Congress and more oversight by FDA and USDA, should be considered as well:
* Making “sell by” dates invisible to consumers, as they indicate business-to-business labeling information and are mistakenly interpreted as safety dates;
* Establishing a more uniform, easily understandable date label system that communicates clearly with consumers by 1) using consistent, unambiguous language; 2) clearly differentiating between safety- and quality-based dates; 3) predictably locating the date on package; 4) employing more transparent methods for selecting dates; and other changes to improve coherency;
* Increasing the use of safe handling instructions and “smart labels” that use technology to provide additional information on the product’s safety.
“The scale of food waste worldwide is one of the most emblematic examples of how humanity is needlessly running down its natural resources. This new report comes on the heels of one compiled by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), which points out that 28 percent of the world’s farmland is being used to produce food that is not eaten–an area larger than China,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director. “Everyone, every business, every city, state and government should do something to tackle this wastage to help reduce the global Foodprint.”
* NRDC’s blog series on food waste: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dgunders/
* NRDC’s Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill report: http://www.nrdc.org/food/wasted-food.asp
* UNEP and the FAO launched the Think Eat Save: Reduce Your Foodprint campaign in January 2013-its partners include NRDC: http://www.thinkeatsave.org/.
Contact: Jackie Wei, email@example.com, 310-434-2325 or (cell) 347-874-8305
# # #
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, is an experiential teaching program of Harvard Law School that links law students with opportunities to serve clients and communities grappling with various food law and policy issues. The Clinic strives to increase access to healthy foods, prevent diet-related diseases, and assist small and sustainable farmers and producers in participating in local food markets. For more information, visit http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/foodpolicyinitiative/
Many folks are familiar with making beer or wine at home. Making alcohol fuel is the next step. The process is simple, distilling the “beer” made from fermented sugars. Drinking alcohol has quite a bit of water in it. For fuel, we want a almost water free product, in excess of 160 proof. The process is energy intensive, especially if you have to convert starches to sugar first, so using waste heat, or solar could mitigate your energy inputs, and produce a less expensive fuel. There are a lot of sugar bearing crops, like beets, corn, and even tree sap. Ethanol can even be made from wood waste like sawdust. There’s one outfit that makes vodka from maple sap, so it’s doable. Waste food sources like stale donuts have even been used.
If you are interested in making your own fuel, I suggest the following information:
I’m sitting here enjoying a great cup of organic coffee, dripped to perfection, but no coffee maker in sight. It’s called Dr. Drip, and it let’s me enjoy a cup of coffee, packaged in a biodegradable (no plastic) package, without needing a coffee maker or electricity to make it. This is not instant coffee! I heated the water on my rocket stove with a few twigs, and 2 minutes later, a great cup of coffee. Can you tell I’m excited about this? You bet I am! I love coffee, and with no landfill waste, I can put all the remains into my composter for the benefit of my garden.
Coir is the fiber from the husk of the coconut. It is the “waste product” (renewable natural by-product) of the food industry, and is a very useful material. It is used in ropes, mats, brushes, sacks, caulking for boats and as stuffing fiber for mattresses. It is also used in horticulture in potting compost, especially in orchid mix, and in wetland restoration, erosion and sediment control.
We use fresh water cured (no salt) coconut coir as bedding for our worm beds, cover material in our composting toilets, as a planting medium for aquaponics, and as part of our soil mix in our square foot garden beds. It is a excellent sustainable replacement for non-sustainable peat moss, as it lasts at least 5x longer without degrading.
Coir fiber has the highest strength and durability of any readily-available natural fiber and use for making a variety of products including products for protecting and improving natural resources. Coir is the fiber processed from coconut husks that have been cured in water. This abundant natural resource is a by-product of the coconut industry. It is a plantation crop growing mainly in the tropics. Each tree produces once in every 7 weeks and year round production of coconuts assures the availability of coconut husks. Traditional coir processing begins with curing (retting) the coconut husks in freshwater for at least three months. This curing turns the coir fibers to dark brown in color. It also increases the durability, strength and flexibility of the coir. With skilled processing, coir fiber is separated into different grades, depending on the length of the fiber. This fiber separation process is done only in Sri Lanka, and the Sri Lanka coir products are superior to coir products made in other countries.
During processing, the initially separated fiber is called mattress coir fiber. These are short and flimsy. The next fiber separated is called omat coir fiber. They are medium in length and thicker than mattress coir fiber. The longer and thicker fiber left after separating the mattress and omat coir fibers are called bristle coir fiber. Bristle coir fiber is the best quality fiber in the market and has very low biodegradability. The left over particles once all the fibers are separated is called the coir pith (dust). Although it has very little nutritive value, the porous coir pith is an excellent soil-less plant growing medium. Coir pith also use in worm and reptile bedding, as well in environmental cleanups.
Recently for convenience, some millers are processing fiber with quick defibering machines. The fiber process from this method is not as flexible and durable as the fiber process from traditional method. India, Philippines and a few other countries cure their coconut husks in lagoons. These fibers are generally white in color due the bleaching effect from salt in lagoon water and they tend to contain excess salts.
Coir fiber and Jute fiber are completely different fiber types. Coir fiber products are stronger and more durable than Jute fiber products.
Over the years, we put together a collection of information on wood gasification. What is wood gasification? Our friends at All Power Labs have put together a nice tutorial, and have provided us with a gasifier to experiment with. More documentation on that project is upcoming.
Gasification is the use of heat to tranform solid biomass or other carbonaceous solids into a synthetic “natural gas like” flammable fuel. Through gasification, we can convert nearly any dry organic matter into a clean burning, carbon neutral fuel that can replace fossil fuel in most use cases. Whether starting with wood chips or walnut shells, construction debris or agricultural waste, gasification will transform common “waste” into a flexible gaseous fuel you can use to run your internal combustion engine, cooking stove, furnace or flamethrower.
Did you know that over one million vehicles in Europe ran onboard gasifiers during WWII to make fuel from wood and charcoal, as gasoline and diesel were rationed or otherwise unavailable? Long before there was biodiesel and ethanol, we actually succeeded in a large-scale, alternative fuels redeployment– and one which curiously used only cellulosic biomass, not the oil and sugar based biofuel sources which famously compete with food.
This redeployment was made possible by the gasification of waste biomass, using simple gasifiers about as complex as a traditional wood stove. These small-scale gasifiers are easily reproduced (and improved) today by DIY enthusiasts using simple hammer and wrench technology. The goal of this GEK is to show you how to do it, while upgrading the engineering and deployment solutions to something befitting the digital age.
Read more at http://gekgasifier.com/gasification-basics/
Ever on the look out for cleaning supplies that are plant friendly, we found some that are made of plant materials. Non-toxic, biodegradable, grey water recycling friendly, and no waste. Even the packaging is made from recycled materials. They have everything from glass cleaner and bathroom cleaners to vegetable washes. We are using the Glass & Window Cleaner, All-Purpose Cleaner, and the Bathroom & Odor Neutralizing Cleaner. Our package came with a re-usable spray bottle. Just mix the crystals with water and spray. Made in the USA was a bonus!
Our Glass and Glass & Window Crystals Compound Additive cleans without streaks and uses no harsh chemicals. Excellent for effectively cleaning glass, mirrors, chrome, and other hard surfaces around your home.
Comes in packages of 1, 3 and 12
From our clamshell packaging made from recycled materials to our biodegradable and water soluble sachets of crystallized cleaning concentrate, Bio Green Crystals are the most environmentally friendly products available.
Bio Green Crystals is proudly made in the USA, by both Union and non-union workers.
Bio+Green Crystals are revolutionary new compounds. Products in water-soluble pouches containing premeasured amounts of powdered concentrates. When immersed in the water, pouch and powder dissolve formulating a precise cleaning solution for specific cleaning purposes. Bio+Green Crystals are proud to be ZERO-WASTE products.
Crystal Additives and Boosters can be added to any type of cleaner.
Bio+Green Crystals refills are the safest and most eco-friendly cleaners on the market.
They generate zero waste, 100% biodegradable product and carrier reduce your secondary carbon footprint at home, the office and everywhere else they are used.
These products achieve a carbon footprint reduction throughout the entire supply chain.
Bio+Green Crystals are sustainably manufactured and can help your company reduce waste
We can help you save water, save energy and reduce waste:
Environmentally the Bio+Green Crystals are the only true zero waste product on the market. When one weighs the enormous benefit of Bio+Green Crystals with today’s demand for environmental consciousness, added safety and overall value; bio+green crystals are simply the greenest choice for the planet.
Every time you use a bio+green crystal refill, you are conserving 20-40 Megajules of energy and countless amounts of water.
If your Company really wants to save, then do the math on your waste!
* This is the energy and water used to make the plastic bottle and sprayer from manufacture to disposal.
Our friend Nick Rosen, Author and director of off grid books and videos, is working on another project. His previous work on people who live off grid and why they choose to so met with critical acclaim. See Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America.
Had it with The Man? You’ll love this series about 12 off-grid households – managing their own power, water and waste. Its freedom, eco-living, self-reliance.