Biofuels, Fuels and Chemistry

Monday, August 31, 2015

This summer, in most parts of the country, average pump prices have been nearly a dollar per gallon lower than the previous three years. But the price of oil can be quite volatile, and so what do consumers say they'd do if gasoline became unaffordable?

Personal vehicles are a staple form of transportation for most U.S. consumers, whether for traveling to work or escaping to distant places. Moreover, cars have a long-standing symbolic link with Americans’ sense of independence. Not surprisingly, pressures to reduce car use often evoke psychological resistance. 

Since its inception in October 2013, the University of Michigan Energy Survey has asked U.S. consumers, in an open-ended format, about what they would do differently to get around if gasoline prices reached a level that they thought would be personally unaffordable. Understanding consumers’ responses can shed light on this important energy-related aspect of decision making.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A new piece on Energy Institute Research Professor John DeCicco's blog, Cars and Climate, explores the flow of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide during the life cycle of biofuels. It is excerpted below. 

"After all that's been written about the pros and cons of biofuels over the years, it's fair to ask whether there's anything left to say. It turns out that there is, and a new insight comes from evaluating what actually happens on the earth, that is, on the land where the plants used to make biofuels are grown.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A multidisciplinary University of Michigan research group exploring more efficient materials for hydrogen fuel cells has been awarded a $1.2 million Department of Energy (DOE) grant aimed at isolating and developing “best-in-class” hydrogen storage technology.

MOF Don Siegel
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Part of the Students for Clean Energy Lecture Series, this talk will explore the dramatic drop in global oil prices, its origins, and its ramifications. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

See this article on the U.S. Conversation here

Monday, February 23, 2015

An interdisciplinary team of University of Michigan researchers have released a detailed draft analysis of policy options for hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas and oil extraction process commonly known as fracking.

The draft final report of the U-M Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan Integrated Assessment consists of seven chapters totaling more than 270 pages. Its key contribution is an analysis of Michigan-specific options in the areas of public participation, water resources and chemical use related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

ANN ARBOR—Nearly all of the studies used to promote biofuels as climate-friendly alternatives to petroleum fuels are flawed and need to be redone, according to a University of Michigan researcher who reviewed more than 100 papers published over more than two decades.

Once the erroneous methodology is corrected, the results will likely show that policies used to promote biofuels—such as the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard and California's Low-Carbon Fuel Standard—actually make matters worse when it comes to limiting net emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide gas.

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

The phenomenal rise of production of natural gas from shale formations in the US is having a dramatic impact on the energy and manufacturing landscape, but has also raised environmental concerns about water, air, and climate impacts.  Two University of Michigan reports have addressed issues and options related to shale gas production in Michigan, and impacts and opportunities for US manufacturing.  Technological and business opportunities that can help ensure that shale gas becomes a bridge to a cleaner energy future.  Join us for a panel discussion focusing on issues and options relative to shale gas production in Michigan, moderated by Liesl Clark of 5 Lakes Energy. 


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