Daily Archives: January 29, 2013

Sustainability as Innovation Strategy: How Sustainability and Innovation Drive Each Other and Company Competitiveness at Danone

Read the full story at Management Innovation Exchange.

Sustainability is a powerful way to generate innovation at Danone, producing creativity through presenting new problems to solve, establishing big goals that force people to think differently and fostering contradictions.  Employees are then empowered to act, thus generating innovation. Sustainability and innovation drive each other and together they increase competitiveness.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Food processing, Green business


Scientists trick iron-eating bacteria into breathing electrons instead

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Scientists have developed a way to grow iron-oxidizing bacteria using electricity instead of iron, an advance that will allow them to better study the organisms and could one day be used to turn electricity into fuel. The study will be published on January 29 in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Biofuels


DOE Tech Transfer Site Features First-of-its-Kind Search Capability

Read the full story from OSTI.

The Department of Energy (DOE) Technology Transfer website has a new search tool. For the first time users can search tech transfer information across the DOE national laboratories with a single search box.

This new tool enables users to search all DOE technology transfer information, including inventions, patents and other applied research, available from DOE national laboratories in real time. Using web-crawling technology, the search capability allows users to enter a single query for a technology transfer term, and the search feature returns a consolidated, relevance-ranked list of information from across the DOE complex. Users do not need to know the national laboratory or researcher associated with a search term to find the information they need.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Energy, Web resources


An Energy Literate Citizenry from K-to-Gray: A Webcast on the Department of Energy’s Energy Literacy Initiative

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Register at

This webinar will detail the Energy Literacy Framework, which identifies concepts every citizen should know to be energy literate.  With this document, Department of Energy (DOE) aims to empower energy educators to apply an interdisciplinary, systems-based approach to teaching the physical, natural and social sciences necessary for a comprehensive understanding of energy. The Energy Literacy Framework was developed through a series of workshops and an extensive review and comment process involving the 13 federal partner agencies which make up the U.S. Global Change Research Program and many other education partners. With the Energy Literacy Framework complete and in print, work continues involving education partners to advance energy education with audiences from K-Gray.  Learn more about the Energy Literacy Framework ( and energy education resources now available.


America’s Children and the Environment, Third Edition

Download the document.

America’s Children and the Environment is an EPA report that presents key information on environmental stressors that can affect children’s health. In January 2013, EPA released an updated third edition of this report (ACE3) that shows the status and trends of:

  • Environments and Contaminants (contaminants in air, water, food, and soil and other environmental conditions),
  • Biomonitoring (chemicals measured in the bodies of mothers and children), and
  • Health (childhood diseases and health outcomes).
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Environmental health, Publications


Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change Present Series of Publications on “Water in a Warming World”

In a joint online-focus, “Nature Geoscience” and “Nature Climate Change” present overview articles, original research, and opinion pieces that analyze the availability and governance of fresh water in a changing world.  Water is the basis for life, in a biological as well as in a societal sense.  Under the combined influences of human development and a warming climate, supply and demand of water for consumption and irrigation, mineral exploration, and energy production will change.  For more information and to access these articles, visit:

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Publications, Water


Use of chemical and physical characteristics to investigate trends in biochar feedstocks

Fungai N.D. Mukome, Xiaoming Zhang, Lucas C.R. Silva, Johan Six, and Sanjai J. Parikh. (2013). “Use of chemical and physical characteristics to investigate trends in biochar feedstocks.”Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Just Accepted Manuscript. DOI: 10.1021/jf3049142.

Abstract: Studies have shown that pyrolysis method and temperature are the key factors which influence biochar chemical and physical properties; however, information on biochar feedstocks is more accessible to consumers, making feedstock a better measure for selecting biochars. This study characterizes physical and chemical properties of commercially available biochars and investigates trends in biochar properties related to feedstock material to develop guidelines for biochar use. Twelve biochars were analyzed for physical and chemical properties. Compiled data from this study and from literature (n = 85) were used to investigate trends in biochar characteristics related to feedstock. Analysis of compiled data reveals that despite clear differences in biochar properties from feedstocks of algae, grass, manure, nutshells, pomace and wood (hard and soft woods), characteristic generalizations can be made. Feedstock was a better predictor of biochar ash content and C/N ratio but surface area was also temperature dependent for wood derived biochar. Significant differences in ash content (grass and manure > wood) and C/N ratio (soft woods > grass and manure) enabled the first presentation of guidelines for biochar use based on feedstock material.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Biochar


The Longterm Impact of Biochar in Soil (Season 2)

Read the full post at Re:Char.

After posting our results from our second season test plots in Kenya, we received a wide range of commentary. While it was nearly all positive, some people did not quite understand the impact of these results. We’ve tried to clarify the information below, and present what we feel are the most important results from this experiment. This is not intended to be published as a peer-reviewed scientific document, it’s only a statement of our findings, and the conclusions we’ve drawn. If you’d like to draw your own conclusions from our raw data, please send an email request to

Our test farm is managed by our team of local farmers in Bungoma County, Western Kenya. All test plots receive similar sunlight and rainfall.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Biochar


Assessing the Vulnerability of Watersheds to Climate Change: Results of National Forest Watershed Vulnerability Pilot Assessments

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A report detailing innovative approaches to assessing the relative vulnerability of water resources to climate change on National Forests is now available. Eleven National Forests from throughout the United States conducted assessments of potential hydrologic change due to ongoing and expected rapid climate warming. Each National Forest identified water resources important in their area, assessed climate change exposure and watershed sensitivity, and evaluated the relative vulnerabilities of watersheds and water resources to climate change.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Climate change, Water


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