Chris and Tony discuss a recent Stella book discussion which served as the starting point for building a more cohesive innovation team at Deere & Company. Learn more about the book and download a discussion guide at www.HowStellaSavedTheFarm.com
LONDON Oil giants including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell risk spending more than a third of their budgets by 2025 on oil and gas projects that will not be feasible if international climate targets are to be met, a thinktank says.
More than $2 trillion of planned investments in oil and gas projects by 2025 risk becoming redundant if governments stick to targets to lower carbon emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees celsius, according to a report by the Carbon Tracker thinktank and a group of institutional investors.
The report analyzed the costs of oil and gas projects planned for approval by 69 companies into 2025. It then compared their carbon intensity to targets needed to meet the 2 degree limit set by the 2015 Paris agreement, which would lead to a decline in fossil fuel consumption.
According to the report, Exxon, the world’s top publicly-traded oil and gas company, risks spending up to half its budget on new fields that will not be needed. Shell and France’s Total would see up to 40 percent of their budgets outside the limits.
Fossil fuel companies have come under growing pressure from investors to reduce carbon emissions and increase transparency over future investments.
Sweden’s largest national pension fund, AP7, one of the authors of the report, said last week it had wound down investments in six companies, including Exxon, that it says violate the Paris climate agreement.
The world’s top fossil fuel companies have voiced support for the Paris agreement reached by nearly 200 countries. Many of them have urged governments to impose a tax on carbon emissions to support cleaner sources of energy such as gas.
President Donald Trump said this month he would withdraw the United States from the Paris accord which he said would undermine the U.S. economy and weaken American national sovereignty.
The report gave the example of five of the most expensive projects, including the extension of the giant Kashagan field in Kazakhstan and the Bonga Southwest and Bonga North in Nigeria, which will not be needed within the 2 degree scenario.
Around two thirds of the potential oil and gas production which is surplus to requirements under the 2 degree scenario is controlled by the private sector, “demonstrating how the risk is skewed towards listed companies rather than national oil companies,” the report said.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company Aramco, widely considered the lowest cost oil producer in the world, would only see up to 10 percent of its production uneconomical under the carbon emissions scenario, the report said.
The report’s authors said their discussions with oil companies had shown they wanted to remain flexible to respond to future developments and possible changes in the oil price.
International oil companies including Shell and BP have rejected the idea that some of their assets could end up redundant, saying the reserves they hold are too small to be affected by any long-term decline in demand.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Adrian Croft)
(NewsUSA) – Back in the late 1800s, hordes of miners descended on Colorado’s Custer County to seek their fortunes. They staked nearly 100 individual claims, and mined large amounts of top-grade silver and gold from the ground. The area even acquired a revealing name: the Hardscrabble Silver District.
The mines fell on hard times by the 1920s. But there was plenty of ore left in the ground. When one of the properties in the District, called Silver Cliff, was explored using modern techniques in the 1980s, geologists found some of the highest levels of silver ore ever measured in North America — and estimated that the area contained 40 million to 50 million ounces of silver. That would be worth more than three-quarters of a billion dollars at today’s prices.
Still, the Silver Cliff property and others like it remained untapped — until now.
A North America-based company called Viscount Mining Corp (TSXV: VML, OTCQB:VLMGF) has realized the potential of both Silver Cliff and a similar historical mining property in Nevada called Cherry Creek. As he explains in a recent interview with Stock-Sector, Viscount CEO Jim MacKenzie did the painstaking work of acquiring the properties. Then he oversaw a new round of geological exploration in which new test holes were paired with the holes drilled in the previous testing at Silver Cliff.
The results from this new exploration have now come in — and they are extremely impressive. The data shows up to 67 ounces of silver per ton of ore at Silver Cliff, confirming the great promise shown in the earlier results. Viscount is now planning the next phase of drilling to verify and expand the resource, looking towards full-scale mine operations.
Meanwhile, the company is also moving ahead with its Cherry Creek property in Nevada, which includes more than 400 past claims and more than 20 mines that produce silver, gold, and tungsten.
“With these two valuable mining properties, I think that Viscount Mining Corp. is ideally positioned to take advantage of the long-term demand for — and rising prices of — silver and gold,”says professional geologist Howard Lahti, Ph.D, Viscount’s Vice President of Exploration.
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Sandia National Laboratories and a commercial firm have designed a drilling tool that will withstand the heat of geothermal drilling.
The downhole hammer attaches to the end of a column of drill pipe and cuts through rock with a rapid hammering action similar to that of a jackhammer. Downhole hammers are not new — the oil and gas and mining industries have used them since the 1950s — but the older design, with its reliance on oil-based lubricants, plastic and rubber O-rings, isn’t suited for the hotter temperatures of geothermal drilling.
“The technology behind the new hammer is fundamentally the same, but Sandia worked with Sweden-based Atlas Copco in material selection and dry lubricant technology that will work in the high-temperature environment,” said mechanical engineer Jiann Su, Sandia’s principal investigator on the project with Atlas Copco, which operates worldwide and makes specialized equipment and systems for drilling, mining and construction.
The Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office funded Atlas Copco as prime contractor on the project, and the company partnered with Sandia as the subcontractor.
“Part of what the DOE’s Geothermal Program is looking to do is help lower the cost of getting geothermal energy out to customers,” said Su, a researcher in Sandia’s geothermal research department. “Some of reducing the cost is lowering exploration and development costs, and that’s one of the areas we’re helping to tackle.”
The Geothermal Energy Association’s 2016 annual production report said the U.S. had about 2.7 gigawatts of net geothermal capacity at the end of 2015. In addition, the U.S. market was developing about 1.25 gigawatts of geothermal power, and new renewable portfolio standards in states such as California and Hawaii could create opportunities for geothermal energy, the report said.
Su said the high temperature hammer could help reach those development goals.
New downhole hammer will be plus for drillers
Su considers the three-year project a success, and said the team and Atlas Copco are looking for opportunities to deploy the tool.
“We developed a tool that can be used in high-temperature environments that can help increase the drilling rates and the rate of penetration to maybe 5 to 10 times that of conventional drilling operations, so that’s a big plus for drillers,” he said. “It adds to the available options drillers have. This is not necessarily the final option for every drilling situation but it does provide a good option for the right situation.”
Atlas Copco turned to Sandia for its expertise in materials, understanding of how moving surfaces interact and high-temperature testing and operations. “Atlas Copco is the expert at designing and manufacturing the hammers, but Sandia is better equipped to handle the high-temperature challenges, the lubrication and materials,” Su said. “And high-temperature testing isn’t something that Atlas Copco typically does.”
A critical piece of the project was developing lubricious coatings, which help reduce friction between parts, important in geothermal operations. “As temperatures increase, the oils essentially cook and you get this sooty mess inside. It’s like running your car too long without changing your oil,” Su said. The hammer has internal moving components that require lubrication, similar to a piston in a car engine.
His team’s work on materials and lubricious coatings built on decades of Sandia research in those areas. The team worked with Sandia’s Materials Science and Engineering Center on a multilayer solid lubricant capable of operating at high temperatures. Similar solid lubricants are used commercially, for example, to improve the lifespan of moving components in cars, but Su’s team worked with a formula tailored to the operating conditions and base materials.
“If we were starting from scratch, the difficulty level would have been high, but since Sandia has a history of experience in that arena, we had some idea of what to start with,” he said. “It made things a lot easier.”
Development took three years
The project began by determining whether a high-temperature hammer was even possible. The Sandia team initially tested materials and coating combinations that would survive the expected environments while Atlas Copco designed a hammer without plastic parts, Su said. They proved the concept, and the project spent the next two years building hammers and a facility for high-temperature testing.
The hammers proved successful. “We were able to reach our drilling rates, the materials held up, the coatings worked well,” Su said.
Sandia’s new facility is designed to test hammers under real-world operating conditions, including temperatures up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees C). Conventional drilling generally sees temperatures of less than 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
The high operating temperature (HOT) test facility, a three-sided open concrete structure, houses a 20-foot-tall drill rig, heating chamber and process gas heater. Researchers can simulate conditions deep underground and the elevated temperatures affecting the hammer and can drill into different types of rock, like the granite commonly found in geothermal-rich areas. The facility is instrumented to measure drilling parameters.
HOT was in itself a large project. “We took a little more time in the development process, but when we put it all together, everything worked pretty much as we expected it to,” Su said. The work required integrating multiple subsystems, including electrical, mechanical, pneumatic and control systems. Sandia also worked with Atlas Copco on what instrumentation was required to collect the necessary data.
“We’re using the facility for other activities that we’re doing now,” such as developing drilling automation, Su said. “That’s a plus for Sandia.”
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Nearly all organisms live in symbiosis with a vast, diverse array of microbes. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is the interaction between plants and a group of fungi called Glomeromycota. Most land plants, including several crop species, are able to interact with these fungi, which have been long known to positively affect plant growth and nutrition. The fungi live in plant roots where they elongate their tendrils (called hypha) into the surrounding soil, like an extension of the root system, to better access and transfer nutrients to the plant. In return the plant serves the fungus food made during photosynthesis.
Previous research has shown that an AM fungal dinner at least consists of high-energy sugars, but published in New Phytologist, researchers from the labs of Dr. Maria Harrison at the Boyce Thompson Institute and Dr. Peter Dörmann at the University of Bonn have produced the first experimental evidence to suggest that AM fungi also get their fat (lipids) from the host plant.
“Until recently, it has been assumed that the fungus obtains sugar from the plant and can manage to make other essential nutrients itself,” Harrison explains. “However, this is not the full story.”
The transfer of lipid may be just as important. Living inside a plant root, the fungus will enter the root cells and create a tree-like structure called an arbuscule, giving the symbiosis its namesake. As an arbuscule is formed, new plant and fungal membrane must be generated, like the bark on the extending branches of a growing tree. To do so both organisms ramp up production of lipids, which are important building blocks for cell membranes. Sure enough, plant root cells that harbor fungal arbuscules increase their expression of genes involved in producing such lipids by 3000-fold.
Taking it a step further, Bravo et al. showed that individually mutating two of those genes, FatM and RAM2, in the model legume Medicago truncatula not only disrupts the fungus’ ability to form healthy arbuscules, but also reduces plant production of a lipid necessary for fungal growth, called 16:0 β-monoacylglycerol (MAG). This result indicates that FatM and RAM2 may play specific roles in the biosynthesis of 16:0 ?MAG, and further highlights the importance of this particular lipid for AM symbiosis.
What makes this food exchange even more important is the fact that AM fungi can’t synthesize 16:0 ?MAG themselves, indicating the fungi depend on their host plant as the source of this molecule. The exciting discovery that the plant provides the fungus with this essential lipid helps explain the fungus’ mysterious obligate nature, meaning it is completely dependent on its host for survival and reproduction.
“Without the basic lipids that are obtained from the plant, the AM fungus cannot produce the complex lipids that it requires to live,” says first author Armando Bravo.
One of the next steps in this research is to investigate how the plant regulates 16:0 ?MAG production, and whether more fat for the fungus means more nutrient transfer to the plant in return. In a world where agricultural lands are being depleted of essential nutrients, AM symbiosis may be the key to healthier plants and greater crop yield.
Construction equipment : Leffer rotater, The hydraulic full 360 degree turning casing rotators are economically used to construct bored piles with the full casing method under hard soil conditions. The continuous cutting of the hard ground guarantees a boring speed satisfying to-day’s requirements, even for compressive resistance of up to 2500 kg/cm2.
GOMACO’s paving line includes slipform paving equipment that has the latest technology and versatility to pave widths up to 50 ft. (15.2 m) and paving depths up to 19 in. (483 mm), covering a wide range of paving projects. GOMACO slipform pavers will meet the strictest specifications and provide rideability requirements that are needed today.
Big Stan weighing in at 250,000 lb with a mast 90-ft high, it is the largest truck mounted drill rig in the southwest and possibly one of the biggest period. They have drilled holes up to 30-ft in diameter and the rig can go as deep as 200-ft using its 534,000 ft-lbs of torque and 75,000 lbs of crowd pressure.
(NewsUSA) – Sponsored News – It is no longer a brave new world for businesses. The digital age is here, and if experts are to be believed, businesses that have not already embraced this opportunity, risk joining those companies that refuse to adapt, and consequently are rapidly losing customers and revenue.
Consider this: according to the statistical website multpl.com, during 2015, S&P 500 companies as a group lost 3 percent in sales and 15 percent in earnings. At the same time, “Unicorn” private sectors companies, which are valued at more than $1 billion, including organizations such as Uber and Airbnb, are transforming the global business landscape in the digital age and quickly stepping over the old guard.
So what do the likes of Snapchat and Pinterest have that other companies do not? According to HCL Technologies, a leading global IT services company, technology is at the core of these forward-looking enterprises and there are four distinct characteristics that these companies embrace:
* Experience-Centric. These companies strive to offer the consumers a unified experience.
* Service-Oriented. These companies change the operating model to focus on customer experience.
* Agile & Lean. These companies optimize their size for fast-paced maneuvers.
* Ecosystem-Driven. These companies collaborate to extend the ecosystem beyond the enterprise.
“Going forward — with the disruptions in the business landscape due to digitalization, new age business models and technologies — the thinking of ‘business as usual’ and expecting to succeed needs a change,” cautions C. Vijay Kumar, President, Global Infrastructure Services, HCL Technologies. “An enterprise can no longer operate in isolation.”
Instead, says Kumar, an enterprise has to look at a holistic business model transformation, overhauling its business functions and operations for a unified experience. A business must hyper-focus on services and collaborate across the entire ecosystem for success.
While there is no blueprint for success, Kumar believes HCL can help guide companies through digital transformation and ultimately be successful through 3rd-generation, IT-outsourcing partnerships. HCL defines this as Next-Gen IT & Operations, and is uniquely positioned to offer integrated transformation services across applications and infrastructure, while adding the unique elements of hybrid cloud and DryICE, HCL’s 3rd-generation automation platform.
C. Vijay Kumar adds that key elements of HCL’s differentiation include “Digital Infrastructure Transformation that leverages our capability in implementing Software-defined Infrastructure Stack, Hybrid Cloud Solutions, Unified Communications and Modern workplace solutions.”
HCL’s DryICE automation encompasses 30-plus components, including some of the traditional automation solutions and orchestration, machine learning and cognitive solutions. This is a modular approach, enabling enterprises to be lean and agile, and has been implemented across all of HCL’s top customers while gaining significant traction among new customers.
HCL’s Next-Gen IT&O approach adds significant value in making enterprises agile and lean for the digital age. It focuses on end-to-end technology transformation, preparing www.hcltech.com.
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Bobcat Company and Doosan joined North Dakota State University (NDSU) to dedicate its new STEM Classroom and Lab Building, which will support studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In September 2015, Doosan, Bobcat Company and NDSU announced the 2015 academic year scholarship recipients benefiting from an endowment funded by a $3 million donation from Doosan and Bobcat Company and $1.5 million from the state of North Dakota. The initial scholarship distribution awarded $2,000 to 10 students. When fully funded, the endowment will distribute approximately $180,000 in scholarships per year in perpetuity, benefiting countless students and their families.
Glow sticks, like those brandished by trick-or-treaters and partygoers, light up due to excited electrons of the molecules in the contained fluorescent dye. Electrons accept the exciting energy from a chemical reaction that results when an inner tube in the glow stick is cracked and two fluids come into contact. After exciting to a higher energy level, they relax back to a lower energy by releasing light that can guide young candy hunters in costumes.
A glow stick’s color offers a direct way to visualize excitation energy, the energy required to send a single electron into an excited state. But this phenomenon plays fundamentally important roles in numerous situations, such as charging a cell phone, imaging cells with fluorescent microscopy and photosynthesis in plants. Researchers in multiple fields rely on understanding excitation energies of materials in their work, but calculating their values is notoriously difficult and becomes incredibly complex for electrons in larger compounds and polymers.
In a new study appearing this week in the Journal of Chemical Physics, from AIP Publishing, researchers at Temple University demonstrate a new method to calculate excitation energies. They used a new approach based on density functional methods, which use an atom-by-atom approach to calculate electronic interactions. By analyzing a benchmark set of small molecules and oligomers, their functional produced more accurate estimates of excitation energy compared to other commonly used density functionals, while requiring less computing power.
The density functional has widespread potential for use due to its improved accuracy and because it is a non-empirical functional, meaning that it does not rely on data from specific conditions in the calculation. Thus, it can be universally applied to address questions in chemistry, physics and materials science.
“We tried to develop a new method that is good not only for the ground (lowest energy) state, but also for the excited state. We found that because this method gives a very good estimate of excitation energy, it can be further applied to study other dynamical properties,” said Jianmin Tao, research assistant professor of physics at Temple University. “This functional may provide novel insights into excitation energy or related properties of molecules and materials.”
The functional is especially efficient in terms of computing power because it is semi-local, and uses the electron density at a reference point, as well as information around the reference point to inform the calculation. Like other semi-local functionals, however, the new method has room for improvement in calculating excitation energies for conjugated oligomers — compounds composed of multiple units containing alternating single and multiple bonds, which share delocalized electrons.
In future work, Tao plans to apply the functional to study luminescent and fluorescent dyes, which absorb and emit light of particular measurable wavelengths. These molecules are invaluable for biomedical research, where they can be used to tag specific cells or proteins under the microscope, or in diagnostic tests to detect particular DNA sequences. Estimating the excitation energies of these complex materials, however, is a computationally heavy task.
“Dyes are usually large, conjugated oligomers and polymers,” explained Tao. “Their optical spectra can be fine-tuned by manipulation of the molecule’s skeleton, so this functional should be very useful in the design of light-emitting materials, due to its high computational efficiency and good accuracy,” Tao said.
Materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
Svanen, heavy lift crane used in the construction of offshore wind farms and view from Groomsport, Co Down, Northern Ireland
Tagged: , svanen , crane , heavy , rig , wind , farm , offshore , sea , water , groomsport , county , down , belfast , lift , harbour , ring , red
Our FNG graduated today lol. Trav & Dwoody discuss John Deere’s terrible business systems. Boastfully claim 10 Million would be enough to crush John Deere Landscape Supply. Ask when Doug Black is calling (John Deere’s CEO)? And encourage the idea that lawn care companies should sell and start supply companies, because the private equity market will treat them well as the landscape supply the acquisitions market heats up.
Australia’s fastest camera has revealed the time it takes for molecules to break apart.
The experimental research, conducted by Griffith University’s Centre for Quantum Dynamics, aims to help in the design of new molecules for materials science or drug discovery.
The Centre is the only place in the country to have the machine in its Australian Attosecond Science Facility.
Research published in Nature Communications shows how scientists can measure, in real-time, the time that it takes and the separation distance of two atoms when the bond is broken in the simplest diatomic molecule.
The result in an astonishing 15 millionth of a billionth of a second at a distance of half a billionth of a metre.
The research was led by Associate Professor of Physics Igor Litvinyuk and conducted in collaboration with theorists from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Associate Professor Litvinyuk said the molecule was made of two protons and one electron which they shared.
“That electron sharing is responsible for the chemical bond which binds the protons together to form the molecule,” he said.
“We made that molecule dissociate and observed how soon the electron would ‘decide’ at which proton it will remain. That is called ‘electron localisation’ or loss of sharing and it signifies a breakage of a chemical bond.”
Co-author Professor Robert Sang, Dean (Research) Griffith Sciences, said there was a fundamental interest in how molecules behaved.
“This allows us to start thinking about how we might engineer a new molecule and is a stepping stone towards looking at that type of reality, particularly in areas like drug discovery,” he said.
“It’s pretty amazing you can do measurements on this sort of timescale. We can even observe processes which are faster than that.”
DETROIT Ford Motor Co (F.N) will export the next-generation Focus compact car from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, the company said on Tuesday.
The current Focus will be phased out of production in Wayne, Michigan in mid-2018, according to Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations. The Wayne plant will begin building a new Ranger compact truck in late 2018.
No U.S. jobs will be affected, Ford said, adding that it employs more U.S. hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the United States than any other automaker.
The redesigned Focus for North America will be built at a joint-venture plant in Chongqing, China, Hinrichs said. Earlier this year, Ford canceled plans for a new $1.8-billion small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and said it would build the new Focus instead at an existing plant in Hermosillo.
The decision to shift from Hermosillo to Chongqing, where Ford has an existing Focus plant, was made “over the last couple months,” according to Hinrichs, and will save the automaker $500 million in tooling costs.
Ford also said some future variants of the new Focus will be shipped later from Europe.
U.S. President Donald Trump had criticized Ford for shifting small-car production from the United States to Mexico. Hinrichs said Ford planned to inform the White House this morning.
Hinrichs said Ford remains a major exporter to China, shipping about 80,000 vehicles a year from North America.
General Motors Co (GM.N) has been exporting Buick and Cadillac cars from China to the United States, as has Volvo Cars, a unit of Chinese automaker Geely (0175.HK).
(Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Nick Zieminski)