Glenfiddich Whisks Whisky Waste into Fuel

The whisky distiller Glenfiddich has converted its fleet of trucks to be powered by waste products from making whisky. It’s a classic bio waste to bio gas setup. The trucks were converted from diesel to biodiesel engines and the waste from distilling was gathered and converted to biodiesel.

With such a high profile distiller taking this logical, cost saving, and planet saving action we will hopefully see others follow.

Experts now add that its waste products could also benefit the environment. The biogas emitted by whisky’s production process cuts CO2 emissions by over 95 per cent compared to diesel and other fossil fuels and reduces other harmful particulates and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 99 per cent, Glenfiddich said.

The trucks Glenfiddich is using are converted vehicles from truck maker Iveco that normally run on liquefied natural gas. Each biogas truck will displace up to 250 tonnes of CO2 annually, according to the distiller.

Glenfiddich has a fleet of around 20 trucks and Watts believes the technology could be applied throughout the delivery fleets of William Grant and Sons’ whisky brands. It could also be scaled up to fuel other company’s trucks.

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Make Believe Ideas and the City

streetcar

The mayor of Toronto, like other 20th century mayors, believes in mystical solutions to urban problems. In the 21st century smart mayors are shedding the myths and make-believe thinking around urban design. In forward looking places we see neighbourhoods made livable and large swaths of land made into the human scale. Paris is opening more areas for people and even New York reclaiming useless land. What am I referring to? Cars. The magic ability of cars to solve all problems. Over at Spacing they have quite the piece on this make-believe notion we should abandon.

In the make-believe world, the car is a necessity, which allows many planners and politicians to resist changes that adversely affect “traffic” on roads. Thirty percent of Toronto households nonetheless manage to get around without owning a car, even while their transit journeys are routinely blocked by cars. A measurement of traffic volume by all modes along the Bloor corridor in October 2019 showed 267,000 daily trips, among which there were only 17,000 cars. Politicians nonetheless claimed that a proposed bike lane in the same stretch would prevent people from going downtown.

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Driving Kills the Planet, Here’s How to End the Obsession with Cars

Intersection

Smoking is bad for your health, yet people still smoke. Driving is bad for your health, yet people still drive. Over the last half century we’ve worked hard to help people quit smoking and deter people from engaging in the behaviour in the first place. It’s time we help people quit driving and deter them from even starting.

The reasons people think they need are a car stem from many directions. The way cities and suburban locations are built are designed for limited mobility (car focused), cities don’t provide non-car options, and just like tobacco there’s big money encouraging everyone to drive. Over at Vox they’ve outlined multiple approaches to getting people out of their cars and into the world.

End single-family zoning to encourage mixed-use development
On its face, single-family zoning is a housing policy that creates quiet, uncrowded neighborhoods by restricting the development of apartments, townhouses, or any other dwelling that’s not a freestanding home. It’s incredibly prevalent in the US (75 percent of residential land is single-family zoned), and, as my colleague Jerusalem Demsas points out, it is incredibly harmful. It has had a racist impact, having been used to exclude people of color from certain neighborhoods, and it overall increases the cost of housing by limiting supply.

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Battery Electric Freight Trains can Help Reduce Emissions

Trains are great for efficiently moving freight long distances and are used the world over. Many regions already have all electric rail systems, but in North America electric adoption hasn’t happened. Historically, this has been due to the installation and maintenance costs for the vast distances of overhead electric wires. Advances in battery technology hopes to change this.

An American company, Wabtec, built and tested their FLXdrive engine last year and found it worked rather well. The engine is built on the same platform as their Diesel engines but runs off of batteries more powerful than a Tesla’s and can regenerate energy with braking.

However, the environmental benefits of rail have been undermined by the heavy reliance upon diesel to fuel freight trains, as well as a widespread preference among businesses to move goods via trucks rather than trains. This is a problem globally beyond the U.S. — the International Energy Agency has said that freight rail is “often neglected” in climate debates and currently carries only seven per cent of all freight moved around the world.

A greater tonnage of goods is now moved by trucks on roads than by rail, however, and the rail industry hopes action on the climate crisis will prove advantageous to its own prospects. “If we decarbonize all of the locomotives and decrease the number of trucks, we will get to where we need to be,” said Gebhardt. Medium and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for about a quarter of all U.S. emissions from transportation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than double the pollution emitted by aircraft.

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Leaded Gas for Cars Impossible to Buy Globally

small car

After decades of effort by environmentalists leaded gasoline for use in automobiles is impossible to buy anywhere on the planet. Last month Algeria ended sales for leaded gasoline which marked the end of the dangerous fuel for consumers according to the UN Environment Programme. All gas burning is bad for people and the planet, but leaded gasoline use was the worst.

The next step in getting rid of leaded gasoline is to ban it’s use in airplanes.

Petroleum containing tetraethyllead, a form of lead, was first sold almost 100 years ago to increase engine performance. It was widely used for decades until researchers discovered that it could cause heart disease, strokes and brain damage.

UNEP cited studies suggesting that leaded gas caused measurable intellectual impairment in children and millions of premature deaths.

Most rich nations started phasing out the fuel in the 1980s, but it was still widely used in low- and middle-income countries until 2002, when the UN launched a global campaign to abolish it.

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