Showing posts from June, 2012

Discussion: "Creating a culture of collaboration in universities"

According to David Ferrucci from IBM, "scientists, by their nature, can be solitary creatures conditioned to work and publish independently to build their reputations [and] while collaboration drives just about all scientific research, the idea of 'publishing or perishing' under one's own name is alive and well" .   This situation can be attributed partly to discipline-based UK research regulations, so that academics interested in inter-discipinary research have a number of challenges to overcome. There has been a recent enlightening discussion by academics from different UK universities on practical ways to encourage interdisciplinary research here . In related news: "...many politicians are so ecologically illiterate they would think that a food chain is a line of supermarkets," Myers Kent said in a 2008 press release discussing the absence of effective institutional settings that encourage public participation for sustainable de

CHP Plants: Potential emissions and policies

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants are well-established in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and other parts of Northern Europe owing to the presence of vast amounts of forestry which serve as ready bio-feedstock for cogenerating electricity and heat. Efficiencies of these plants are dependent on biomass quality as well as plant size, and when used to generate solely electricity, efficiencies have been observed to improve. Today's post briefly explores the potential emissions from such plants, and highlights the benefits of feed-in-tariff policies.    Most CHP plants can utilize waste matter from forestry and agricultural operations, thus reducing the amount of waste going to the environment. However, biofuel utilization in these plants are not 100% carbon dioxide emission-free, as some fossil fuel is often required to facilitate the pre-treatment of bio-feedstock as some may require size reduction, screening and pre-drying, while others may have compounds that need to be removed to