A Fischer-Tropsch slurry phase reactor at Sasol. (Image: Emerson Process Management) Janine ErasmusSouth African fuel producer Sasol has become the first company in the world to gain approval from international aviation authorities for use of its fully synthetic jet fuel in commercial airliners. Sasol produces its fuels from coal and natural gas and is the world’s only commercial user of the proprietary coal to liquids (CTL) process used to make the jet fuel.Sasol CTL, as it is known, underwent a testing process that spanned several years before getting the green light from aviation fuel specification authorities. Among these are the British Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for Def Stan (Defence Standard) 91-91 – this governs the requirements for kerosene jet fuel. Other stakeholders – including engine and airframe manufacturers, airlines, relevant oil companies, and bodies such as the International Air Transport Association – were also part of the approval processSasol CE Pat Davies says, “Approval by the international aviation fuel authorities recognises the absolute need to develop aviation fuel from feedstocks other than crude oil in order to meet the world’s growing needs.”For almost a decade Sasol has provided jet fuel that consists partly of a CTL component and partly of kerosene derived from crude oil.Sasol CTL has now been officially classed as Jet A-1 fuel, which is fuel for jet and turbo-prop-engined aircraft. Jet A is the standard aviation fuel in the United States and is only available there, while Jet A-1, which is similar but has a lower freezing point, is sanctioned for use elsewhere in the world.In the US, ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, publishes the ASTM D1655 specification for aviation turbine fuels. It is expected that the latest version of the standard will include the Sasol CTL synthetic jet fuel. ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organisations in the world.Helping the environmentTests have shown that emissions from Sasol’s jet fuels are lower than those of similar fuel derived from coal, because of the lower sulphur content. This has positive implications for the environment.The technology also signifies a move away from the use of crude oil as a fuel source. Alternative fuels are the subject of intensive research because of the high cost of crude, and Sasol’s technology can be applied not only to coal but also to gas and biomass. In the context of energy sources biomass refers most often to plant material, but can equally apply to material of animal origin. Either way, it is carbon-based.Countries with high reserves of coal and natural gas will be able to turn these reserves into valuable income using Sasol’s environmentally benign technology. According to Sasol the world has proven coal reserves of an estimated 985-billion tons, with the largest known reserves being in the US, Russia, China, India, Australia, Germany and South Africa. Sasol plans to make its unique technology available internationally.While current approval only applies to jet fuel produced at Sasol’s Secunda, Mpumalanga, plant, the company intends submitting applications for approval for its Oryx GTL (gas to liquid) plant in Qatar and its GTL plant in Nigeria. The latter is a joint venture with Chevron, parent company of Caltex.In addition, Sasol is considering potential CTL ventures in the US, China and India which will also fall under the approval process. Its partner in India will be the Tata Group.Converting coal to liquid energyThe coal to liquids process involves three stages. In the gasification stage the coal is turned into raw gas, which is then purified into a synthesis gas for the next stage. The second stage involves a process known as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. The conversion takes place in a unique low-temperature Fischer-Tropsch Slurry Phase Reactor developed by Sasol, which can produce between 2 500 and 17 000 barrels per day. Here the synthesis gas is converted into heavy hydrocarbons in the presence of a catalyst, typically based on iron and cobalt.Finally, the products of stage two are upgraded depending on the final product required – these range from automotive and aviation fuels and waxes to high-grade lubricants. Upgrades include various chemical processes, as well as refining through a conventional petroleum refinery.Sasol has stated that it has the strategic intent to be a world leader in Fischer-Tropsch chemistry.Reducing South Africa’s dependence on crudeSasol was established in 1950 to protect South Africa, which does not have its own crude oil reserves, from incurring heavy costs due to increasing crude oil imports. Major milestones in the company’s history include the production of its first automotive fuel in 1955, and the establishment in 1990 of its first international marketing company, Sasol Chemicals Europe. This paved the way for Sasol’s extensive globalisation programme.Today Sasol has operations in more than 20 countries and exports its products to more than 100. In addition to its CTL evaluations in China, India and the US, the company is currently working with the South African government on exploring the feasibility of an 80 000 barrels-per-day facility in South Africa.Related articlesSasol’s massive BEE deal Sasol: making liquid fuel from coal Useful linksSasolAviation fuelsASTM InternationalOryx GTLSasol ChevronInternational Air Transport Association
The Orange River is one of South Africa’smajor water sources. (Image: GraemeWilliams, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com.For more photos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusThe Council for Scientific and Industrial Research will feature prominently at the World Water Forum in Istanbul this month, with a number of the organisation’s groundbreaking research projects going on show. Top South African water scientists will also take part in discussions and presentations.CSIR group executive Khungeka Njobe is excited about the organisation’s participation in the fifth edition of the World Water Forum (WWF5), particularly as South Africa is on the shortlist to host the next event.“South Africa is competing against France and Canada to host WWF6 in 2012,” she said. “We will be using this opportunity to share with the global water community our progressive legislative and policy framework and world-class research. The Department of Water Affairs is leading the bid process, but the CSIR has a critical role to play in demonstrating the country’s leadership in water research.”The host for 2012 will be announced during the forthcoming session. Should South Africa be awarded the sixth World Water Forum, it will be a major coup for the southern hemisphere, which has never had the chance to host the event. The country’s bid is centred on Durban, which has the infrastructure and facilities to host an event of this magnitude.The 2012 World Water Forum in South Africa will mean that water problems relevant to sub-Saharan Africa will come under the global spotlight, and that the Southern African Development Community region will be placed on the global water map. The event will give Africa the chance to become a valued contributor to the water-related issues of the world, rather than merely a recipient of donor aid and professional advice.Top-level representationCSIR projects on display at the Forum include acid mine drainage methodologies, human health projects, rural service delivery, and programmes focusing on water for growth and development. Many of these projects fall under the CSIR Built Environment and CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment sectors.CSIR representatives at WWF5 include engineer Dr Kevin Wall, CSIR water resources manager Marius Claassen and researcher Renias Dube. Wall is also scheduled to present a paper on South Africa’s strategy for water services asset management, and the three scientists will assist Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Lindiwe Hendricks during the week-long event. Hendricks will host a round table involving her ministerial counterparts from around the world.The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s Water for Growth and Development programme, one of the projects on show in Istanbul, is in the running for the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize, one of three prestigious water-related awards up for grabs.The other two awards are the Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Water Prize, and the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize.The King Hassan prize, worth R1-million (US$100 000), is for individuals or organisations that have made outstanding contributions in various aspects of water resources, whether scientific, economic, technical, environmental, social, institutional, cultural or political.The Kyoto prize is worth R280 000 ($28 000) and acknowledges grassroots-level activities that work towards addressing critical water needs of communities and regions. The Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Water Prize is for journalistic excellence in the coverage of water issues. A prize of R264 000 (€20 000) each will be awarded to two journalists.Global collaboration on water problemsAccording to the World Water Council, 1.1-billion people around the world live without clean drinking water, and 2.6-billion people lack adequate sanitation. Poor access to safe water increases child mortality by up to 20 times, and in areas not served by usable water 3 900 children die every day from water-borne diseases.The World Water Forum is the largest water-related event in the world and aims to facilitate global collaboration on these critical water problems. The forum is organised by the World Water Council and takes place every three years, providing an ideal platform for policy-makers from all over the world to press for greater political commitment to and higher priority for water management strategies.The 2009 forum takes place in March in Istanbul, Turkey, after successful events in Mexico (2006), Kyoto (2003), The Hague (2000), and Marrakech (1997). This year’s theme is “Bridging Divides for Water” and is a reference to the location – Istanbul stands at the cross-roads of Europe, Asia, Middle-East and Africa – as well as the intent of providing a bridge between the developed and developing worlds.There are a number of side events associated with the main forum, among them the World Water Forum Expo and Water Fair, the Global Water Education Village, and the Youth World Water Forum.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at email@example.com.Useful linksWorld Water ForumWorld Water Forum – Facebook pageWorld Water CouncilDepartment of Water Affairs and ForestryWater for Growth and Development (pdf)
8 January 2014When South Africa takes on Monaco in a Davis Cup tie from 31 January to 2 February at the Irene Country Club just outside Pretoria it will be a return to a venue very familiar to long-time South African Davis Cup star Rik de Voest.Although captain John-Laffnie de Jager has not yet named his team, De Voest is sure to be in it as he is ranked only behind Kevin Anderson among South Africans.‘This is where my tennis started’“We moved to Irene in 1984 and my parents joined the club. This is where I had my first introduction to tennis and I fondly remember hitting balls with my dad with a wooden racket, so effectively this is where my tennis started,” De Voest recalled in a statement on Tuesday.“I took my first tennis lessons at the Irene Country Club and, because we lived close by, I made use of the courts frequently in my younger years.”After De Voest turned professional, Irene Country Club became involved in a tennis initiative with the local farm school and De Voest gave the project his full support.Successful programme“Over the years I have been lucky enough to see the growth of this programme and follow the success of the players that have passed through it. I have always donated all my used tennis rackets and clothing and footwear to the programme over the years,” he said.Recently the tennis side of the club has undergone a renovation, which included the addition of new courts. This has increased the popularity of tennis at the club and attracted new members.‘Amazing’“It would be amazing to play a Davis Cup tie at Irene Country Club,” said De Voest.” I believe the exposure to international players and the national team will further benefit the development and interest in tennis at Irene.“Now nearing the end phase of my tennis career and with my long history with the club, it would be extra special to play a Davis Cup tie at Irene Country Club where it all began for me.”TeamsSouth Africa and Monaco are expected to name their sides for the tie mid-January. According to Davis Cup rules, both teams have the right to name their squads up until 10 days before the commencement of the tie.The tie will be played on a hard court with seats for 700 spectators.All the matches are played as the best of five sets until a result has been achieved.Admission will be free on first come first serve basis, for unreserved seats.PROGRAMMEFriday, 31 January 09:45 – Opening Ceremony10:00 – First singles match to be followed by second rubber immediately thereafter Saturday 1 February 12:00 – Doubles Match Sunday, 2 February10:00 – First reverse singles match, followed by final singles match SAinfo reporter
NBA59.9+9.864.5+13.9+4.1 The NBA and NFL have the biggest regular-season home advantages, improving a team’s chance of winning by 10 and 7 percentage points, respectively. And those benefits grow even larger in the playoffs, ballooning to as high as 14 percentage points for NBA teams. NFL home teams gain almost 5 extra points of win probability in the playoffs — again, after controlling for the fact that better teams tend to get more postseason home games.In baseball and hockey, on the other hand, playing at home doesn’t get you nearly as much help. MLB teams win about 54 percent of home games whether it’s the postseason or not (so much for last licks!), and while NHL teams do a bit better at home in the regular season (55 percent), they actually see their advantage decrease slightly in the playoffs.In general, home advantage is a subject that deserves more research, simply because we’re still not entirely sure what combination of factors actually cause it. Some, like crowd noise, are obvious, while others are written into the sport’s rules (home hockey teams have the right to make the final line change before the puck drops, giving them a consistent edge in matchups). Other phenomena, like the home team getting preferential treatment by officials, still need further study. But numbers like the ones in the table above show that each sport brings its own weird nuggets to the overall topic of home-field/court/ice.Either way, after their loss Tuesday night, maybe the Rangers and their fans will take solace in being the latest case study for a fascinating natural experiment. (Probably not.) What’s home-field/court/ice worth in the postseason? LEAGUEWIN PERCENTBOOST*WIN PERCENTBOOSTPLAYOFF DIFF. NFL57.1%+7.064.7%+11.8+4.8 NHL55.1+5.155.3+4.8-0.3 When the Ottawa Senators traveled to New York to take on the Rangers in Game 6 on Tuesday night, it was fair to think the series would probably head back to Ottawa for a Game 7. The Senators got drubbed in the series’ first two contests in New York, and the nervously raucous Madison Square Garden crowd was hoping to give the Rangers a key home-ice edge in an otherwise tight series. The problem with this thinking, though, is that home-ice advantage is not much of an advantage in the NHL — and it has proven even less important in the playoffs.And so, the Rangers’ 4-2 loss at home (and playoff elimination) provided just the latest in a string of home-ice disappointments this postseason. So far, home teams are exactly .500 (33-33) in 2017, their worst playoff showing since 2012, when teams actually had a losing record at home at 39-47. Hockey home-ice isn’t actually the disadvantage that record would imply, but it’s also not the game-changer we’re used to seeing in other sports like football and basketball, where home teams have been very spoiled over the years.To measure the strength of each league’s home edge, I gathered data on every regular-season and playoff game since 2000, tracking how often the home team won. I also used our Elo ratings1Or, in the case of the NHL, Hockey-Reference.com’s Simple Rating System (SRS). to calculate an “expected” winning percentage for each game — based on the quality of the two teams — had the matchup been staged at a neutral site. (This isn’t important for the regular season, because every team is scheduled for roughly equal home and road games. But in the playoffs, better teams are rewarded with more home games, a factor for which we must control.)Comparing home teams’ actual winning percentages to what we’d expect on neutral ground, we can see how much of a boost teams get by being at home in each sport. We can also see how that boost changes from the regular season to the playoffs — if indeed there is a change. HOME TEAMS IN REG. SEASONHOME TEAMS IN PLAYOFFS MLB54.0+4.054.2+4.0+0.0 Percentage point change from home team’s expected win percentage at a neutral location. In the playoffs, better teams are awarded more home games, so expected home win percentage is higher than 50 percent.Source: Sports-Reference.com
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Next month’s DOD/Federal Energy & Water Forum will provide energy and water industry leaders an opportunity to hear federal officials describe their strategies for achieving sustainability across the government as well as offer their feedback on federal initiatives.ADC and the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) — the leading nonprofit organizations in the field of energy and water partnerships — are teaming up to co-host the forum on Dec. 16 at the Army Navy Club in downtown Washington. The event will feature public and private leaders discussing their experiences — including successes achieved and challenges ahead — in energy efficiency, utilities privatization, renewables and water/wastewater/stormwater systems. The forum’s expert panels and interactive discussions also will provide an opportunity for participants to develop solutions to real-world issues.Sessions will focus on the following topics:Overview of federal energy and water authoritiesEnergy efficiency and how it supports operational sustainability at federal sitesHow energy savings performance contracts helped the federal government achieve its efficiency goalsThe evolution of utilities privatization and its role in energy securityCreative solutions to overcoming market barriers for renewable energy projectsWater, wastewater and stormwater systemsHow private sector water projects can be adapted to federal sitesFinancing optionsThe capital market’s appetite for energy and water projectsThe role of public-private partnerships in advancing federal energy and water goalsThe day-long dialogue will conclude with a panel of leading federal officials reacting to the discussions and outlining the government’s path to reaching sustainability.To register for the forum, visit the event website.
Post a comment Ride in the back seat at your own risk Tags 2:09 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt LT More From Roadshow General Motors Car Industry 2019 Chevy Malibu review: Swing and a miss 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Recalls Chevrolet Pontiac Share your voice Enlarge ImageOwners of vehicles affected by GM’s massive ignition switch recall wanted the company to pay for their vehicles’ lost value, but a federal judge says no. Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive General Motors’ ignition switch recall was one of the biggest and deadliest to hit the market in decades. The fix for it has been out for a long time now, but the owners of the affected vehicles aren’t giving up on getting the General to pay for its mistake.A large part of that effort has been directed at suing GM for the difference between what customers paid for their recalled vehicles and what the vehicles are worth now. Unfortunately for the consumers, a federal judge in a Manhattan court on Tuesday ruled that the vehicle owners couldn’t seek damages from GM for lost value, Reuters reports.US District Judge Jesse Furman specifically cited the plaintiffs’ lack of fair market value information for their vehicles as a reason for tossing out their claims. It would make it nigh-on impossible for a jury to accurately assess the amount of damages for which GM would be liable.The judge’s decision affects owners in three states — California, Missouri and Texas. He also indefinitely tabled a possible trial that had been set for January 2020 to address owners’ claims.”GM is pleased with the Court’s ruling,” said a GM representative, in a statement. “The Court granted GM’s summary judgment motion rejecting plaintiffs’ claims for alleged economic loss, which was Plaintiffs’ largest remaining claim. As the Court noted, ‘the ruling changes the landscape [of the litigation] in dramatic ways.'”GM’s behavior during the recall process for the millions of affected vehicles was enough to get the Department of Justice to file a criminal case against the company, which has now been dismissed after the terms of a three-year deferred prosecution agreement were met. Now playing: Watch this: 4 Photos 0
Gunfight IllustrationA man was killed in a reported gunfight with police in Ghoshgati village of Ullapara upazila in Sirajganj early Saturday, reports UNB.Deceased Mostafa Kamal, 35, son of a certain late Abdur Rashid of Kawak Mahalla municipal area is a drug trader and accused in 11 drug-related cases, police said.Acting on tip-off a team of police conducted the drive in the area around 4:00am, said Ullapara police station officer-in-charge Dewan Kowshik Ahmed.Sensing presence of the law enforcement, the drug traders opened fire on them, forcing the policemen to fire back, triggering the gunfight, leaving the drug trader dead on the spot, he added.Police also recovered 21 bottles of phensedyl and 80 yaba tablets and arrested four more drug traders from the spot.The arrestees are — Ganesh, 25, Sanjay Chandra Saha, 22, Sony Ahmed, 33 and Selim Reza, 27.According to the human rights organisation, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfires or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in 2018.In January and February of 2019, the number of such killing was at least 50, the rights body said on its website.
Photo provided by the Harris County Sheriff’s OfficeThe U.S. Marshals have arrested William Joseph Greer, who has been on the run for 11 years and is one of the top 15 most wanted fugitives in the agency’s list.Gary Blankinship, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Texas, announced Wednesday his agency has arrested William Joseph Greer, who has been on the run for 11 years and is one of the top 15 most wanted fugitives in the Marshals’ list.Greer is wanted by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) for the murder of his girlfriend Tammy Marie Esquivel in December of 2006.During a press conference held at the HCSO headquarters in downtown Houston, Rich Hunter, chief deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Texas, detailed that the Marshals –in collaboration with Mexican law enforcement agencies— arrested Greer in a rural area of Mexico on Tuesday.Hunter added Greer’s extradition is under way and the HCSO will take custody upon his arrival.“My deputies have been from one end of the United States to the other, tracking down leads, we’ve interviewed hundreds of people, we’ve tracked hundreds of leads,” Blankinship stressed at the press conference.Sheriff Ed Gonzalez noted he hopes Greer’s arrest sends the message “that law enforcement will continue to work collaboratively until we can bring closure to every case.” Share
Damian Dovarganes/APPeople wait for news about the shooting that left two injured at Salvador Castro Middle School in Los Angeles on Thursday. A shooting at a Los Angeles middle school classroom Thursday that left one boy in critical condition, injured four others and had panicked parents in tears was an accident, police said.The shooting was reported just before 9 a.m. and within minutes a 12-year-old girl was taken into custody without incident. Police interviewed her and by evening they announced that they would book her on a charge of negligent discharge of a firearm on school grounds.The determination capped a frantic day at Salvador B. Castro Middle School in downtown Los Angeles and corroborated what some students told reporters after the lockdown was lifted and they were reunited with parents on the school’s athletic field.In a telephone interview with his mother alongside, Jordan Valenzuela, 12, told The Associated Press he was in the classroom next door when he heard a loud bang. He said he talked to the girl just after the shooting and she was sobbing.“She was like, ‘I didn’t mean to. I had the gun in my backpack and I didn’t know it was loaded and my backpack fell and the gun went off,’” he said.Shortly after that he said the girl asked him to hide the weapon.“She said, ‘If I give you the gun will you hide it for me?’” he said. “I said ‘No.’ Then I moved away from her because I was a little bit scared.”Shallin Lopez, a seventh-grader at the school, was in the room at the time of the shooting. She said she never saw a gun.“I just saw something pop,” she said. “It was loud. I didn’t see her shoot.”Police recovered a semi-automatic handgun after the shooting. TV video from helicopters showed a dark-haired girl in a sweatshirt being led from the school in handcuffs as anxious parents and family members gathered on a street corner, many crying and talking on their phones as they waited.Diego Salinas had just dropped off his 12-year-old sister and was stunned when she called minutes later to say there had been a shooting.“There were so many things crossing my mind,” said Salinas, who was still shaking hours later. “I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I wanted to run. I wanted do so many things.”Claudia Anzueto, Jordan Valenzuela’s mother, said the boy was crying when he called her from a borrowed cellphone to tell her he was OK.“Not safe, very insecure,” Anzueto said of the school. “I fear for my son’s life. You know what I mean, you really hear about things like this in the news, and just to hear that something like that happened so close to home, it scared the life out of me.”The district has a policy requiring every middle and high school campus to conduct daily random searches by metal-detector wands at different hours of the school day for students in the sixth grade and up.Student Melanie Valencia, 13, said the school did a random security search Thursday, but that she’s never been checked.The most seriously injured victim, a 15-year-old boy shot in the head, was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and remained in intensive care during the afternoon but was doing well.“This child was extremely lucky,” said Dr. Aaron Strumwasser, a trauma surgeon. “The trajectory of the bullet did not hit any vital structures that were an immediate threat to life.”A 15-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the wrist was hospitalized in fair condition. An 11-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl were grazed and were treated and released from the hospital. A 30-year-old woman who was treated after the shooting was not hospitalized and the nature of her injury was not immediately known.The school’s campus was placed on lockdown but most classes continued. The school has about 365 students in grades 6-8 and almost all are Hispanic and many are from low-income families.“We will attend to the needs of these students who witnessed this very carefully, with the understanding this is very traumatic,” said Steve Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Unified School District police force. “We have our school mental health folks that are here to support the needs of the students.”#Rampart; #LAFD and #LAPD provide update regarding today’s school shooting. pic.twitter.com/1aoltc15F2— Erik Scott (@PIOErikScott) February 1, 2018 Update 5 Patients #Assist; 8:53AM; 1575 W 2ND ST; Westlake; LAFD assisting LAPD with a shooting … https://t.co/2i7jR2fHpl— LAFD (@LAFD) February 1, 2018 #Assist; 8:53AM; 1575 W 2ND ST; https://t.co/1jxzXQLhMj; Westlake; LAFD assisting LAPD … https://t.co/rrcFsdbnpT— LAFD (@LAFD) February 1, 2018 #LIVE Aerials over LA school where 2 students were reportedly shot and a female student suspect is in custody https://t.co/pJRifBCEVv— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) February 1, 2018 #LIVE aerials over LA school where 2 students have reportedly been shot and a female student suspect is in custody. Watch: https://t.co/CUW7QSayal pic.twitter.com/T2EC7UA1le— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) February 1, 2018 Share
Larry Young, former Maryland State Senator and current host of “The Larry Young Morning Show,” was named one of the 100 most important talk show hosts in the country by industry bible “Talkers Magazine.” His show is heard Monday through Friday on WOLB 1010 AM from 6 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. According to the magazine, Young is ranked 45 out of 100. Young was first named to the list in 2007 as number 99 and has steadily moved up the ranks year in and year out.Larry Young, former Maryland State Senator and current host of “The Larry Young Morning Show. (Courtesy Photo)