US military to make jet fuel from algae

first_img Coal-based jet fuel poised for next step © 2010 Citation: US military to make jet fuel from algae (2010, February 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The military is the largest single consumer of energy in the US, and a cheap alternative to oil would reduce the 60-75 million barrels of oil currently consumed by military operations. Scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have already successfully extracted oil from algal ponds, and is now about to begin large-scale refining of the oil. Special assistant for energy with DARPA, Barbara McQuiston, said unrefined oil produced from algae currently costs $2 per gallon, but the cost is projected to reduce to around $1. The refined and processed jet fuel is expected to cost under $3 per gallon. The refining operation would produce 50 million gallons of oil derived from algae each year and is expected to begin full-scale operations in 2011. Each acre of algal farm pond can produce 1,000 gallons of oil. The projects are run by private companies General Atomics and SAIC.One advantage of algae over other biofuels such as ethanol derived from corn or sugar is that they do not compete with land use for food, and algae can be grown in brackish water or waste water. The fuel theoretically produces zero carbon emissions, since all the CO2 released when the fuel is burned was absorbed from the atmosphere by the algae in the first place. Even when processing and transportation are taken into account, the fuel is still low carbon.DARPA aims to obtain 50 per cent of all military-use fuel from renewable sources by 2016, and the Air Force plans to test a 50-50 mix of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources in its jet fighters and transport planes by next year. The driving force is not just money, but also the desire to create jet fuel in locations such as Afghanistan, where supply convoys are particularly prone to attack. Creating fuel in the field would not only save money and lives, but the infrastructure would be left behind to enable the production of sustainable fuel supplies to continue.The Chinese government has also been looking at the possibility of using jet fuel produced from algae, and many commercial airlines are doing the same. Explore further ( — If military researchers in the US are right, jet fuel produced from algae may soon be available for about the same price as ordinary jet fuels. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

MIT lab developing ion microthrusters for cubesats

first_imgLozano holds a prototype of a microthruster, developed to propel small satellites in space. Credit: Bryce Vickmark © 2013 Explore further For most of their still relatively short history, satellites have been extremely expensive ventures, both to design and build and to launch into space. With the miniaturization of electronics, however, scientists see a way to reduce the costs associated with sending craft into orbit, and also for sending them into outer space—cubesats—satellites that are tiny versions of the older models. They range in size from a shoebox to a Rubix cube. The current versions are sent aloft (sans engine) as part of a cargo load carrying other bigger equipment and remain orbiting the planet for a short time, till gravity pulls them back down. To get more out of their investment, scientists would like to put an engine on the little satellites so that they could stay in orbit, or even be sent to other parts of the solar system. Current research has centered around plasma or colloid thrusters. The researchers at MIT believe that ion thrusters are the better bet. Their idea is to use solar power to generate a charge to electrify a very small amount of liquid propellant—releasing an ion stream through a nozzle—generating just enough thrust to change the course of a cubesat or push it forward. Four of the thrusters would be sufficient to provide both attitude control and propulsion.Scientists believe it might be possible in the near future to send an entire fleet of cubesats into space for the amount of money it currently takes to send just one. In addition to designing tiny engines for them, engineers have also been hard at work designing other components necessary for fully utilizing such a satellite—one such example is the recently developed (also at MIT) inflatable antennae that greatly extends their range. Some suggest cubesats may even provide the long-sought solution to cleaning up space junk. Paulo Lozano. Credit: Bryce Vickmark ( —The MIT News Office is reporting that the University’s Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory (headed by Paulo Lozano) is seeing progress with micro-sized thruster design to power the next generation of self-propelled cubsats. Because traditional combustion or electric engines don’t scale down well, the team has been testing ion electrospray thrusters that can be made as small as a postage stamp. Kickstarting tiny satellites into interplanetary space (w/ Video) Citation: MIT lab developing ion microthrusters for cubesats (2013, October 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers predict global warming will cause an increase in frequency of Indian

first_img Citation: Researchers predict global warming will cause an increase in frequency of Indian Ocean Dipole events (2014, June 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A team of researchers, led by Wenju Cai of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, in Australia has published a paper in the journal Nature in which they report that 21 out of 23 climate models they ran indicated an increased frequency of Indian Ocean Dipole events over the next century. The increase, the team also reports, will be due to the continuation of global warming. Explore further Positive Indian Ocean Dipole events cause devastating floods in many vulnerable east Africa countries. The 1997 positive Indian Ocean Dipole event resulted in several thousand deaths and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The latest generation of climate models project that these extreme events are to occur more often under greenhouse warming. This image depicts the Gash River flooding in Kassala, Eastern Sudan, 2007. Credit: MOHAMED NURELDIN ABDALLAH/REUTERS This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Indian Ocean Dipole events are atmospheric phenomena that occur due to ocean temperature differences. They are characterized by peak sea surface temperature swings between the eastern and western basins. Positive phases of the cycle occur when warmer waters in the west lead to more rainfall there and cooler waters in the east lead to less rainfall. When this happens, land areas in the east such as Australia and Indonesia tend to undergo draughts, while those in the west such as parts of Africa undergo flooding. One example occurred in 1997 when smoke from fires in Indonesia blackened the skies across the region even as thousands of people were killed due to flooding in several African nations. In their paper, the authors of this new study suggest such occurrences are likely to happen much more often over the next several decades.To come to their conclusions, the team examined 31 global climate models and determined that 23 of them were capable of modeling rainfall in the Indian Ocean during both normal times and when there is a dipole event occurring. They ran the models first for the period 1900, to 1999 to see how well they could predict dipole events that actually occurred, then, encouraged by the results, ran the models again, this time for the period 2000 to 2099, under what they describe as business as usual conditions. They report that 21 of 23 models predicted an increase in the frequency of positive phase Indian Ocean Dipole events—the combined average predictions suggest the region will see approximately triple the number of such events over the coming century—from one every 17.3 years to one every 6.3 years. The business as usual conditions assume greenhouse gas emissions will continue to increase at their current pace.If such predictions come to pass it could mean an increase in fires in eastern countries, but more devastating perhaps, an increase in flooding in some of the poorest parts of the world, which would likely be made even worse in coastal areas as sea levels are predicted to rise during the same time period.center_img Journal information: Nature Indian Ocean phenomenon helping to predict extreme weather More information: Increased frequency of extreme Indian Ocean Dipole events due to greenhouse warming, Nature 510, 254–258 (12 June 2014) DOI: 10.1038/nature13327AbstractThe Indian Ocean dipole is a prominent mode of coupled ocean–atmosphere variability, affecting the lives of millions of people in Indian Ocean rim countries. In its positive phase, sea surface temperatures are lower than normal off the Sumatra–Java coast, but higher in the western tropical Indian Ocean. During the extreme positive-IOD (pIOD) events of 1961, 1994 and 1997, the eastern cooling strengthened and extended westward along the equatorial Indian Ocean through strong reversal of both the mean westerly winds and the associated eastward-flowing upper ocean currents1, 2. This created anomalously dry conditions from the eastern to the central Indian Ocean along the Equator and atmospheric convergence farther west, leading to catastrophic floods in eastern tropical African countries13, 14 but devastating droughts in eastern Indian Ocean rim countries. Despite these serious consequences, the response of pIOD events to greenhouse warming is unknown. Here, using an ensemble of climate models forced by a scenario of high greenhouse gas emissions (Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5), we project that the frequency of extreme pIOD events will increase by almost a factor of three, from one event every 17.3 years over the twentieth century to one event every 6.3 years over the twenty-first century. We find that a mean state change—with weakening of both equatorial westerly winds and eastward oceanic currents in association with a faster warming in the western than the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean—facilitates more frequent occurrences of wind and oceanic current reversal. This leads to more frequent extreme pIOD events, suggesting an increasing frequency of extreme climate and weather events in regions affected by the pIOD. © 2014 Phys.orglast_img read more

New pulsar discovered during a search for a companion to a lowmass

first_img © 2018 An international team of astronomers has serendipitously detected a new pulsar during a search for neutron star companions to low-mass white dwarfs conducted with the use of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in Green Bank, West Virginia. The discovery is reported in a paper published June 15 on Explore further More information: A Serendipitous Pulsar Discovery in a Search for a Companion to a Low-Mass White Dwarf, arXiv:1806.05889 [astro-ph.SR] report the discovery of a previously unidentified pulsar as part of a radio campaign to identify neutron star companions to low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs) using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). PSR J0802-0955, which is coincident with the position of a WD with a mass of 0.2 solar masses, has a pulse period of 571 ms. Because of its relatively long pulse period, the lack of radial velocity (RV) variations in the radio data, and GBT’s large beam size at the observing frequency of 340 MHz, we conclude that PSR J0802-0955 is unassociated with the LMWD at roughly the same position and distance. Citation: New pulsar discovered during a search for a companion to a low-mass white dwarf (2018, June 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Characteristics of PSR J0802−0955. Credit: Andrews et al., 2018. Pulsars are highly magnetized rotating neutron star or white dwarf that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation has a regular periodicity, usually detected in the form of short bursts of radio emission. In general, pulsars are found by using large radio telescopes. So far, thousand of these objects has been detected.Recently, a group of researchers led by Jeff J. Andrews of the Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas in Greece, has employed GBT for radio observations focused on finding neutron stars accompanying low-mass white dwarfs. The observational campaign, which studied stars in the Extremely Low Mass White Dwarf (ELM WD) survey, resulted in the detection of a previously unidentified pulsar with a relatively long pulse period. The newly found object received designation PSR J0802−0955.”We report the discovery of a previously unidentified pulsar as part of a radio campaign to identify neutron star companions to low-mass white dwarfs (LMWDs) using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). (…) To search for pulsar companions to LMWDs identified in the Extremely Low Mass WD survey, we engaged in a radio wave follow-up campaign using the GBT,” the paper reads.According to the study, PSR J0802−0955 has a spin period of about 571 milliseconds and a dispersion measure of approximately 69.4 light years/cm3. The pulsar was found coincident with the position of a white dwarf star with a mass of 0.2 solar masses, known as SDSS J080250.13−095549.8.However, the researchers concluded that the newly detected object is an isolated pulsar. They noted that relatively long pulse period of PSR J0802−0955, the lack of radial velocity variations in the radio data, and GBT’s large beam size at the observing frequency of 340 MHz, indicate that this pulsar is unassociated with SDSS J080250.13−095549.8 at roughly the same position and distance.”PSR J0802−0955 shows a stable pulse period with no Doppler variations down to a precision of about 10−6 seconds for individual 35-minute subdivisions. Based on the optical radial velocity curve from the LMWD, a putative 1.4 solar mass neutron star companion would show modulations to the spin period of about 10−4 seconds over the length of our observation. We therefore conclude that PSR J0802−0955 is most likely an isolated, field pulsar,” the scientists wrote in the paper.Hence, PSR J0802−0955 is another identified object of the ELM WD survey, which seeks low-mass white dwarfs in binary systems. LMWDs are typically found in binary systems as the universe is not old enough to form them through single-star evolution. Studies show that while most LMWD companions are white dwarfs, some may be neutron stars. Astronomers observe unprecedented detail in pulsar 6,500 light-years from Earthlast_img read more

India to build cultural centre in Sri Lanka

first_imgIndia Monday signed an MoU with Sri Lanka for building a cultural centre in Jaffna, in northern Sri Lanka, according to ministry of external affairs statement.The centre is to be built in the next 36 months, on a plot of land adjacent to the Jaffna Public Library, at an estimated cost of SLR 1.2 billion. As per the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the cultural centre and the adjoining water body, the Pullukulam, will be transformed into an integrated cultural space that can also accommodate open-air performances on a floating stage.The purpose of the Jaffna Cultural Centre is to provide suitable social infrastructure for the people of the Northern Province, especially for the people of Jaffna, to help them reconnect with their cultural roots. It would also serve as a delivery centre for training, instruction and education in a variety of cultural disciplines.last_img read more

A buffet from Bengal

first_imgThe Bengali food festival is here again! All the folks out there who crave for bengali food can head on as Welcomhotel Sheraton brings us the opportunity to enjoy the best of bengali delicacies.In Bengal cooking is considered high art. There are indeed two distinct traditions – one from the East, the second from the West,  Bangals and Ghotis. The main difference between food cooked in a West Bengali home – those from originally from Kolkata (Calcutta), and its surrounding districts and towns, tastes sweeter.East Bengali home – those from Dhaka (Dacca) now in Bangladesh, generally resists putting sugar in their foods. Fresh water fish is what a true Bengali look forward to. This fest would highlight the best of two Bengals, with its distinct tastes and flavours. So  hurry and book your table.last_img read more


first_imgA group show titled Watch Out is being organised in the Capital that features the works of 28 young artistes from across the country. The showwill feature several mediums like canvases, sculptures and photography.Watch Out is the second series of exhibition that displays the artpieces collected by Art Alive Gallery through their website The website was formed to nurture and promote young and emerging talent from all across the country and give them an opportunity to showcase their works to a worldwide audience that appreciates art. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The participants are – Aditi Saigal, Asish Das, Augustus Mithal, Bhaskara Rao B, Dipti Biswal, Jayanta Bhattacharya, Jignasha Ojha, Mainaz Bano, Meghansh Thapa, Parameswar Samal, Pradipta Chakraborty, Pratap Morey, Radha Dhaka, Sanjay Biswal, Sanjib Singha, Shashi Paul, Shuvankar Maitra, Sidharth Pansari, Somnath Bothe, Subash Pujahari, Sudhir Talmale, Sumanto Chowdhury, Suraj Kumar Kashi, Surekha H Matt, Tapas Biswas, Tapas Maite, Tarab Khan and Vinita Karim.When: 9 August -10 SeptemberWhere: Art Alive Gallery, Plot 120 Sector 44, GurgaonTimimg:11 am to 7 pmlast_img read more

IMI Kolkata kicks off 2018 session with 172 students

first_imgKolkata: International Management Institute – Kolkata (IMI) commenced its new session in the presence of veteran theatre personality Rudraprasad Sengupta and his team “Nandikar”. Professor Arindam Banik, Director of IMI said 172 students are joining the Institute’s PGDM programme (2018-2020) this year.It may be mentioned that IMI-Kolkata has also introduced a new section of students for the upcoming batch (PGDM 2018-2020) with an additional strength of 60 (approximately) over last year. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe institute hosted one of its kind orientation ceremony with Sengupta’s team Nandikar having planned an exclusive workshop for the new students.The theme of the workshop is “Nothing But Truth”. It is a two-day workshop enhancing communication between students and encouraging team work. The workshop is also designed to help students shed their inhibitions. It will also give students an opportunity to better their creative skills.The IMI-Kolkata campus in Alipore, spread over nearly 3-acre, was established in 2010 to provide significant opportunities to learn, grow and develop multiple skills across various disciplines of Management. Centrally located, the Kolkata campus is also equipped with residential facilities. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedCurrently, IMI-Kolkata has active academic and research collaborations with the University of Tours, University of Bordeaux and ESC Rennes School of Business in France, as also Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) and Kunming University of Science & Technology in China and many others. IMI-Kolkata has added a new section to the new batch in its Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) Programme. The same has been approved by AICTE. The new section is meant to enhance the capacity of the Institute.last_img read more

TollygungeKarunamoyee Bridge subsides for 2nd time in a week

first_imgKolkata: The Karunamoyee Bridge that connects Tollygunge with Behala subsided for the second time within a week on Thursday. A crack was noticed in the same portion that had subsided six days ago and was repaired.Initally, Kolkata Police put guard wall in the affected portion to regulate traffic movement but after a few hours, a strong plate was put on the damaged portion and traffic movement was normalised.The engineers of Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority will soon visit the site and take up the maintenance work. It may be mentioned that this part of the bridge had subsided six days ago following which a plate was put on the portion and vehicle services were restored within a few hours after the incident. Later, the bitumen layer was cut open and asphalt was put on the damaged portion. The KMDA decided to undertake up the repair work of the expansion joint later. The pressure of traffic on the bridge has increased reasonably with more vehicles plying on it after Majerhat bridge caved in on September 4. It may be mentioned that this bridge is already on the list of bridges under KMDA that require repair work.last_img read more

Delightful summer reading for kids

first_imgThe scorching heat of the summer may be one of the most dreadful times of the year for the grown-ups but for children, it brings with it the euphoria of one of the most anticipated vacations in the calendar. Here are a few reading treats listed for children to read this summer vacation:4Book: The Ammuchi Puchi; Author: Sharanya Manivannan and Nerina Canzi”When Anjali and I were really little, we were sort of afraid of our grandmother, Ammuchi.”Aditya and Anjali love listening to their grandmother’s stories, particularly the scary one about the ghost in the tree. But the night their grandmother passes away, all her stories seem to lose their meaning. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThen something happens that is more mysterious and magical than any story. Could their grandmother still be with them after all?Stunningly illustrated and told in gorgeous, poetic prose, this is a poignant and moving story about bereavement and healing.4Book: Inside India — Festivals and Celebrations; Author: Shachii Manik and Ahmed SikanderJoin Indy and Dia on a super exciting and fun tour of India’s popular, curious and bewildering festivals and celebrations. This activity book for children will help you navigate India’s colourful festival calendar through engaging activities like word searches, crossword puzzles, number games, recipes, art and craft and much more. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive3. Book: Encyclopaedia of DinosaurThis book introduces the readers to the intriguing world of Dinosaurs. The book contains pictures and information about the newly discovered Indian Dinosaurs. A captivating offering to let one know where these creatures lived and what they looked like, it seems just apt for a vacation read.4. Book: A Bagful Of History; Author: Subhadra Sen GuptaLet’s take a walk through history. And as you travel back in time, there are encounters of dinners with Mughal princess Jahanara Begum; a jugalbandi with Miyan Tansen, one can compete with the nawabs of Chandni Chowk in a kite-flying duel, be a part of Raja Ram Mohan Roy’s fight for the education of the girl child, or revolt with Indian sepoys in the Mutiny of 1857. Many more exciting events find mention in the book. Peppered with stunning illustrations and unusual trivia, this is a fascinating read about the unforgettable events and people from Indian history.5. Book: The Children’s Book Of TruthsWhy do people fight? What’s the use of education? Is India rich or poor? Why are stories important? Can anyone be a leader? Is science only about exams? Will planting trees save the earth? Growing up throws up a lot of questions – about people, events and the world around us. Sometimes the answers are in simple black and white, wrong and right, but mostly they are not.In this book, ten truth-explorers and idea-shapers share with you their thought-provoking views on important topics close to your heart and mind. Drawing on their experiences, they help you see many different sides of a question and arrive at the most important truth – your own conclusion, your own interpretation, your own answer.6. Book: Rebel with a paintbrush; Author: Anita VachharajaniAn artist, a citizen of the world and a rebel, Amrita Sher-Gil was one of modern India’s first professional women artists.last_img read more