Archive | Transportation

Britain Eyes CO2 for More Oil Production

DURHAM, England, Oct. 14 (UPI) — Britain could reap a $240 billion North Sea oil bonanza using carbon dioxide to extract oil, but only if the current infrastructure is enhanced, a study says.

Research at Durham University shows that using CO2 to enhance recovery could yield an extra 3 billion barrels of oil during the next 20 years, a university release said. That amount of oil could power, heat and fuel transport in Britain for two years with every other form of energy switched off, researchers say.

The process is almost carbon neutral, with almost as much carbon being put back in the ground as would be taken out, they say.

“Time is running out to make best use of our precious remaining oil reserves because we’re losing vital infrastructure as the oil fields decline and are abandoned,” Jon Gluyas, a professor in Durham’s department of earth sciences, say. “Once the infrastructure is removed, we will never go back and the opportunity will be wasted.

“We need to act now to develop the capture and transportation infrastructure to take the CO2 to where it is needed,” Gluyas said.

Oil is usually recovered by flushing oil wells through with water pressure. Since the 1970s oil fields in Texas have been successfully exploited by pumping CO2 as a liquid into parts of the reservoirs water injection doesn’t reach, resulting in a 4 percent to 12 percent increase in oil production.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Infrastructure, Other, Transportation0 Comments

Student Builds Solar-power Motorcycle

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Sept. 29 (UPI) — A Purdue University student has created a street-legal solar powered motorcycle he says can carry a commuter for a penny a mile.

Physics major Tony Danger Coiro spent $2,500 redesigning and retrofitting the 1978 Suzuki bought for $50 to create the vehicle that has a top speed of 45 mph, a university release said Wednesday.

“The riding experience is surreal,” Coiro said. “I get instant, silent, constant acceleration that outpaces urban traffic. It’s like riding a magic carpet.”

The lead acid batteries that get power from the bike’s solar cells can also be charged by plugging into household current.

Coiro, along with two other solar-power vehicle enthusiasts, has started the Purdue Electric Vehicles Club to help like-minded students expand environmentally friendly transportation options.

“Purdue Electric Vehicles will encourage enthusiasm for, and knowledge and development of, electric vehicles by students and the community,” Coiro said.

Coiro is already designing a 100-horsepower motorcycle that will travel up to 100 miles per charge, top 100 mph and draw even more of its energy from the sun, he said.

“I’ve learned a lot building this first bike, and now I’m ready to make a game-changer,” Coiro said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Solar, Transportation0 Comments

Modern Infrastructures Said 'vulnerable'

LONDON, Sept. 18 (UPI) — Britain’s electrical system, financial networks and transport infrastructure could be paralyzed by a solar flare or a nuclear attack, a U.K. official says.

U.K. Defense Secretary Liam Fox is expected to deliver that warning next week at a summit of scientists and security advisers who believe the infrastructure that underpins modern life in Western economies is potentially vulnerable to electromagnetic disruption, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

Such disruptions can be caused by man-made nuclear blasts or natural events on the surface of the sun.

Fox will tell the conference he believes there is a growing threat, and he wants to address the “vulnerabilities” in Britain’s high-tech infrastructure, the newspaper said.

“As the nature of our technology becomes more complex, so the threat becomes more widespread,” he will say.

The electrical grid, computers, telephones, transportation, water supply and food production are all vulnerable to a major solar flare or an electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear detonation, another expert says.

“Our electrical infrastructures are so ubiquitous that an EMP or geomagnetic storm could shatter nations all over the Earth, and we cannot wait for disaster to spur us to action,” Avi Schnurr, a former U.S. government adviser who works for the Israel Missile Defense Association, said.

The Electric Infrastructure Security Council and the Henry Jackson Society, a think tank, are jointly hosting the summit meeting.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Solar, Transportation0 Comments

Va. Company to Market Spaceflight Tickets

SEATTLE, Sept. 15 (UPI) — Aerospace company Boeing says it’s joined with a private spaceflight marketing firm to sell seats for future spaceflights in the company’s space capsule.

Space Adventures in Virginia will market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard the Boeing Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft, being designed for travel to the International Space Station as well as other future private space stations, SPACE.com reported Wednesday.

Tickets could go to space tourists, individual companies or other non-government groups, as well as U.S. federal agencies other than NASA, Boeing said.

“We want to expand beyond flying astronauts just to the ISS,” Brewster Shaw, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s space exploration division, said. “Very few people have made it to orbit of our species — probably a little over 500 out of 6 or 7 billion people. That’s not enough. We want to see many more have that opportunity.”

Seven spaceflight participants have flown on missions contracted by Space Adventures to the International Space Station.

The two companies have yet to set a price per seat on the Boeing capsule, but did say it will be competitive with the current Russian launches on Soyuz spacecraft used by Space Adventures.

The last passenger trip to the International Space Station — the October 2009 trip of Canadian billionaire Guy Laliberte — cost about $40 million, Space Adventures officials said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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Farmers/foresters: Healthiest Behaviors

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) — Farmers and foresters lead all occupations in healthy behaviors such as eating healthy and exercising, a U.S. survey indicates.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicates farmers and foresters are also most likely to exercise for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week.

Construction workers and business owners are a distant second and third, respectively, while those in sales are the least likely to report healthy eating habits. Clerical and manufacturing workers have the lowest scores in the frequency of exercise.

Transportation workers have the highest level of obesity and the third-highest smoking rate, putting them at highest risk for developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and making them more susceptible to cancer than workers in other occupations. Construction and installation workers have the highest smoking rates and fairly high obesity rates, while professionals have the lowest smoking and obesity rates, the survey indicates.

Business owners have the highest level of job satisfaction, while clerical workers have the lowest score on being able to use their strengths at work and those in manufacturing have the lowest job satisfaction.

The findings are based on more than 123,520 telephone interviews with national employed U.S. adults, conducted Jan. 2 to Aug. 19. The margin of error is 2 percentage points.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Other, Smoking, Transportation0 Comments

If a Hurricane Watch is Called

ATLANTA, Sept. 3 (UPI) — U.S. health officials say people living in areas where hurricane watches are posted should plan and expect to evacuate, and never ignore evacuation orders.

Hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings were posted Thursday evening for much of the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to the Canadian Maritimes as Hurricane Earl churned along the coast.

The National Weather Service issues hurricane watches when there is a threat to coastal areas of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours, a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

If a hurricane watch is issued, the CDC says to:

– Fill the automobile’s gas tank.

– If no vehicle is available, make arrangements with friends or family for transportation outside of the area.

– Fill clean water containers — 5 gallons per person per day.

– Listen to radio or watch television for weather updates as well as disaster sirens and warning.

– Prepare an emergency kit for vehicles with food, flares and other emergency gear.

– Secure or store any items outside which may cause damage property in high winds, such as bicycles, grills, propane tanks.

– Cover windows and doors with wood or place large strips of adhesive tape on the windows to reduce the risk of breakage and flying glass.

– Put livestock and family pets in a safe area. Many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.

– Adjust the thermostat on refrigerators and freezers to the coolest possible temperature.

– If you evacuate, turn off the gas, electricity and water and disconnect appliances.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Bicycles, Electricity, Other, Transportation0 Comments

Study: Flying Safety Varies by Development

HANOVER, Md., Sept. 1 (UPI) — Airline passengers flying in developing countries face 13 times the risk of being killed in crashes as passengers in the developed world, a researcher says.

And while more economically advanced countries in the developing world have better overall safety records than the others, even their death risk per flight is seven times as high as that in developed countries, an article in the journal Transportation Science says.

Worldwide air-safety data from 2000 to 2007 shows the chance of dying on a scheduled flight in a developed nation like the United States, Japan or Ireland was 1 in 14 million, said Arnold Barnett, a professor of operations research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management and a long-term researcher on aviation safety.

On the airlines of economically advancing countries in the developing world such as Taiwan, India and Brazil, the death risk per flight was 1 in 2 million.

And in less economically advanced developing world countries, the death risk per flight was 1 in 800,000, Barnett said.

But with major advances in safety in the last decade, the distinction is “between safe and very safe, and not between safe and dangerous,” Barnett said.

While the study ends in 2007, the patterns it depicts continue to persist, Barnett said.

So far in 2010, there have been eight fatal accidents on scheduled passenger flights. All eight occurred in the developing world.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Aviation, Other, Transportation0 Comments

Groups Urge Serengeti Protection

LONDON, Aug. 25 (UPI) — British wildlife groups say they are urging the government of Tanzania to reconsider plans to build a highway through the heart of Serengeti National Park.

The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Zoological Society of London recommend that alternative routes be used that can meet the transportation needs of the region without disrupting the greatest remaining migration of large land animals in the world in world’s best-known wildlife sanctuary, a WCS release said Wednesday.

At issue is the proposed Arusha-Musoma highway slated for construction in 2012 that would bisect the northern portion of the park and jeopardize the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra, a spectacle comprising nearly 2 million animals.

“The Serengeti is the site of one of the last great ungulate migrations left on Earth, the pre-eminent symbol of wild nature for millions of visitors and TV viewers, and a hugely important source of income for the people of Tanzania through ecotourism,” Dr. James Deutsch, Executive Director of the WCS’s Africa Program, said.

“To threaten this natural marvel with a road would be a tragedy. We implore the Tanzanian government — known around the world for its commitment to conservation — to reconsider this proposal and explore other options.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Animals, Conservation, Ecotourism, Other, Transportation0 Comments

Putin Visits Gray Whale Study Site

MOSCOW, Aug. 25 (UPI) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin joined scientists studying endangered gray whales during a visit Wednesday to Kamchatka Island.

The scientists are trying to determine whether the whales that feed in Olga Bay in the Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve are a remnant of a Korean population of gray whales almost wiped out by whaling in the 19th century or are California gray whales, ITAR-Tass reported. California gray whales breed off southern California and northern Mexico, migrating to arctic waters in the summer.

Putin made four attempts to use a crossbow designed to get a skin sample for DNA testing. He said he finally hit a whale the fourth time.

“I had the sporting feeling,” he said. “I missed the target thrice, but hit it the fourth time.”

The president described the area as “extreme” but beautiful. He said the government should begin encouraging ecotourism by expanding transportation to the Pacific coast of Russia.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Ecotourism, Other, Transportation0 Comments

Modified Yeast Can Make More Ethanol

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Aug. 19 (UPI) — A genetically modified strain of yeast with a higher tolerance for alcohol could lead to more efficient and economical biofuel production, researchers say.

A University of Illinois professor of microbial genomics says the modified yeast could improve microbial fermentation of biomass crops, a process that yields the alcohol-based fuels ethanol and iso-butanol as it converts sugars from biomass into biofuels, a university release said Thursday.

“At a certain concentration, the biofuels that are being created become toxic to the yeast used in making them. Our goal was to find a gene or genes that reduce this toxic effect,” said Yong-Su Jin, an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Food Science said.

Jin worked with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the microbe most often used in making ethanol, to identify four genes that improve tolerance to ethanol and iso-butanol.

“We expect these genes will serve as key components of a genetic toolbox for breeding yeast with high ethanol tolerance for efficient ethanol fermentation,” he said. “Identification of these genes should enable us to produce transportation fuels from biomass more economically and efficiently. It’s a first step in understanding the cellular reaction that currently limits the production process.”

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

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