Category Archives: business service

Biofuels as Alternative Sources of Energy

Biofuels are produced by converting organic matter into fuel for powering our society. These biofuels are an alternative energy source to the fossil fuels that we currently depend upon. The biofuels umbrella includes under its aegis ethanol and derivatives of plants such as sugar cane, as well aS vegetable and corn oils. However, not all ethanol products are designed to be used as a kind of gasoline. The International Energy Agency (IEA) tells us that ethanol could comprise up to 10 percent of the world’s usable gasoline by 2025, and up to 30 percent by 2050. Today, the percentage figure is two percent.

However, we have a long way to go to refine and make economic and practical these biofuels that we are researching. A study by Oregon State University proves this. We have yet to develop biofuels that are as energy efficient as gasoline made from petroleum. Energy efficiency is the measure of how much usable energy for our needed purposes is derived from a certain amount of input energy. (Nothing that mankind has ever used has derived more energy from output than from what the needed input was. What has always been important is the conversion—the end-product energy is what is useful for our needs, while the input energy is just the effort it takes to produce the end-product.) The OSU study found corn-derived ethanol to be only 20% energy efficient (gasoline made from petroleum is 75% energy efficient). Biodiesel fuel was recorded at 69% energy efficiency. However, the study did turn up one positive: cellulose-derived ethanol was charted at 85% efficiency, which is even higher than that of the fantastically efficient nuclear energy.

Recently, oil futures have been down on the New York Stock Exchange, as analysts from several different countries are predicting a surge in biofuel availability which would offset the value of oil, dropping crude oil prices on the international market to $40 per barrel or thereabouts. The Chicago Stock Exchange has a grain futures market which is starting to “steal” investment activity away from the oil futures in NY, as investors are definitely expecting better profitability to start coming from biofuels. Indeed, it is predicted by a consensus of analysts that biofuels shall be supplying seven percent of the entire world’s transportation fuels by the year 2030. One certain energy markets analyst has said, growth in demand for diesel and gasoline may slow down dramatically, if the government subsidizes firms distributing biofuels and further pushes to promote the use of eco-friendly fuel.

There are several nations which are seriously involved in the development of biofuels.

There is Brazil, which happens to be the world’s biggest producer of ethanols derived from sugars. It produces approximately three and a half billion gallons of ethanol per year.

The United States, while being the world’s greatest oil-guzzler, is already the second largest producer of biofuels behind Brazil.

The European Union’s biodiesel production capacity is now in excess of four million (British) tonnes. 80 percent of the EU’s biodiesel fuels are derived from rapeseed oil; soybean oil and a marginal quantity of palm oil comprise the other 20 percent.

Consultants on Alternative Energy

The alternative energy consultants tell us that the transition from the petroleum-driven economy and society will not be a smooth one, on the whole. The amount of new technologies and infrastructures that need to be developed and built is staggering—even as Germany achieves powering 10% of the entire nation through the use of wind turbines and solar arrays, even as corporation after corporation is springing up, helped by various governments’ tax breaks and rebate incentives, to drive forward the alternative energy mission. We have lain dormant on alternative energy on the grand scale for so long that we now have to scramble to play catch-up as access to cheap oil lurks ever closer to being a thing of the past.

Consultants on alternative energy also tell us that we need multilateral, international efforts in concert with one another in the direction of getting away from the heavy—almost total—dependence on fossil fuels. They are poised to become too expensive, burning them is polluting the atmosphere, and digging for them is disrupting the natural environment. We have about 30 years left of reasonably cheap oil and gas—and consultants say that within 20 years beyond that point, we had better be at least 90% independent of them. Unfortunately, at the present time the world is mostly not acting as if this is the case. The thirst for oil is growing, not slaking, and it is growing faster now than it did even in the 1970s.

One of the major problems of transition, the consultants point out, is that higher oil and gas prices stimulate the economy (This flies in the face of what many energy so-called “experts” and many members of the public believe, but the fact is that oil and gas are found and manufactured and transported by huge corporations who employ multitudes of staff workers and contractors; and from their huge profits their stocks remain lucrative on Wall Street.). Alternative, or “green” energy has to become more marketplace friendly, more profitable to investors and would-be employers. Wall Street does not like change; so there is resistance to this much-needed economic transition. It is because of this that many consultants are saying that we need an international, governments-backed initiative put into place; we are told that we cannot expect the new economy to spring forth overnight, all clean and polished and perfected, from the black ashes of the fossil fuel economy phoenix.

It is most imperative that the wealthy, big-production nations such as the US, Japan, Western Europe, and others be the ones to spearhead the effort to get off of the fossil fuel dependence. Smaller, poorer nations are very simply never going to achieve the level of energy production through coal and oil that these nations have—for by the time they would be ready to, the cheap access to the fossil fuels will be gone, and they will never be able to sustain their newly-risen civilizations at that time as we have been able to do. The time for transition from black to green is now.

Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing is becoming extremely popular but this does not mean all business owners know how to run an effective email marketing campaign. However, those who are well versed in the subject of email marketing and have experiencing using popular strategies effectively are likely to gain a huge advantage over their competitors who do not have these skills. This article will provide useful information for business owners who are hoping to improve their sales or website traffic through effective email marketing.

If you do not have a great deal of information about email marketing and do not fully understand the principles involved one of the best ways to orchestrate a truly effective email marketing campaign is to hire a consulting firm with a proven track record in promoting business through email marketing to assist you in your endeavor. Similarly to traditional marketing such as radio, television and print media, the popular strategies governing email marketing are changing constantly. As a business owner you likely already have enough to deal with trying to stay up to date on business practices that you do not have the time, energy or finances to also stay up to date on the latest changes in email marketing.

For this reason it is certainly worthwhile to hire a professional in the email marketing industry who can devote himself full time to keeping up to date with the most effective email marketing strategies and designing an email marketing campaign for our business to help you achieve your business related goals. However, selecting a consultant from the many options available can be downright overwhelming. In general you should look for a consultant who has a great deal of experience, a proven track record, listens to your questions carefully, explains concepts simply and makes your project a priority.

Another popular strategy for email marketing is to offer an email correspondence course on a subject closely related to your website or the products or services you offer. These correspondence courses should include a number of short segments, provide useful information, be of interest to your intended audience and should also help to promote your business in some way. The simplest way to promote your business without having your correspondence course deemed to be spam is to use a soft sell approach to subtly urge readers to make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Publishing and distributing period e-newsletters is another example of an email marketing strategy which can be highly effective. An e-newsletter is very similar to a newsletter which is printed and distributed by conventional methods such as mail delivery. The bulk of an e-newsletter should be quality content in the form of featured articles, short articles containing useful tips or product reviews. The e-newsletter may also contain graphical elements. These elements may simply be graphic designs or they may be graphics which also serve as links. The links may direct traffic to your website or to other websites. Finally, your e-newsletters should contain some type of soft sell sales approach. It is important to not make the sales pitch blatant as this may result in the e-newsletter being considered spam. Finally, the e-newsletter should contain a call to action urging the readers to either make a purchase or visit your website for more information.

Regardless of the method of email marketing you opt to utilize, one of the most important strategies is to evaluate the effectiveness of your email marketing on a regular basis. This is critical because elements of your email marketing campaign which are not working should be weeded out. Likewise elements of your marketing campaign which are enjoying a high degree of success should be utilized more often. For example if you notice there is a spike in sales or website traffic each time you issue an e-newsletter, it might be worthwhile to begin issuing e-newsletters more often. This type of evaluation and feedback can turn a moderate success into a huge success.

Alternative Energy from the Ocean

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) was conceived of by the French engineer Jacques D’Arsonval in 1881. However, at the time of this writing the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii is home to the only operating experimental OTEC plant on the face of the earth. OTEC is a potential alternative energy source that needs to be funded and explored much more than it presently is. The great hurdle to get over with OTEC implementation on a wide and practically useful level is cost. It is difficult to get the costs down to a reasonable level because of the processes presently utilized to drive OTEC. Ocean thermal energy would be very clean burning and not add pollutants into the air. However, as it presently would need to be set up with our current technologies, OTEC plants would have the capacity for disrupting and perhaps damaging the local environment.

There are three kinds of OTEC.

“Closed Cycle OTEC” uses a low-boiling point liquid such as, for example, propane to act as an intermediate fluid. The OTEC plant pumps the warm sea water into the reaction chamber and boils the intermediate fluid. This results in the intermediate fluid’s vapor pushing the turbine of the engine, which thus generates electricity. The vapor is then cooled down by putting in cold sea water.

“Open Cycle OTEC” is not that different from closed cycling, except in the Open Cycle there is no intermediate fluid. The sea water itself is the driver of the turbine engine in this OTEC format. Warm sea water found on the surface of the ocean is turned into a low-pressure vapor under the constraint of a vacuum. The low-pressure vapor is released in a focused area and it has the power to drive the turbine. To cool down the vapor and create desalinated water for human consumption, the deeper ocean’s cold waters are added to the vapor after it has generated sufficient electricity.

“Hybrid Cycle OTEC” is really just a theory for the time being. It seeks to describe the way that we could make maximum usage of the thermal energy of the ocean’s waters. There are actually two sub-theories to the theory of Hybrid Cycling. The first involves using a closed cycling to generate electricity. This electricity is in turn used to create the vacuum environment needed for open cycling. The second component is the integration of two open cyclings such that twice the amount of desalinated, potable water is created that with just one open cycle.

In addition to being used for producing electricity, a closed cycle OTEC plant can be utilized for treating chemicals. OTEC plants, both open cycling and close cycling kinds, are also able to be utilized for pumping up cold deep sea water which can then be used for refrigeration and air conditioning. Furthermore, during the moderation period when the sea water is surrounding the plant, the enclosed are can be used for mariculture and aquaculture projects such as fish farming. There is clearly quite an array of products and services that we could derive from this alternative energy source.

Email Marketing Mistakes

Many business owners who opt to try email marketing make the mistake of believing any type of email marketing is beneficial. This is simply not true; there are a number of mistakes business owners can make when they organize an email marketing campaign. Examples of these types of mistakes may include allowing promotional materials to be tagged as spam, not following up with promotional emails, not being prepared for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort and not marketing specifically to the target audience.

We will begin our discussion on email marketing mistakes with spam. Spam is a problem which is reaching endemic proportions. Each day Internet users are bombarded with spam from around the world. This may include a host of unsolicited emails which are promoting products or services the recipients may or may not be interested in purchasing. A critical mistake business owners can make in email marketing is to issue emails which are likely to be construed to be spam. This may result in the emails never reaching the recipient or the emails being deleted, without being read, by the recipient. Avoiding the potential of falling into the spam category is not very difficult. It basically involves ensuring your promotional emails contain more useful copy than blatant advertising. This will make it more likely for your emails to be taken seriously.

Another email marketing mistake often made is failure to follow up on promotional emails. Sending out emails to interested parties can be very beneficial but it is even more beneficial to contact these email recipients by other methods such as mail or telephone to answer any questions they may have and offer any additional information they may require. This type of follow up can be much more effective than simply sending an email and allowing it to fall into the abyss of an overcrowded email inbox.

Business owners may also run into the mistake of not preparing themselves for an influx of customers after an email marketing effort. The express purpose of email marketing is to generate increased interest in your products or services. Therefore it is critical for business owners to anticipate an increase in business and be prepared to accommodate this increased demand for products and services. This is important because potential customers who have to wait for products or services may seek out your competitors who are better prepared to provide them with products or services immediately.

Finally a critical mistake made by business owners is to not tailor an email marketing campaign to their specific target audience. This can be a problem because it may result in the email marketing being less effective. Business owners typically make this mistake because they fall into the trap of believing that it is more important to reach a large audience than it is to reach a target audience. You may blindly send your email marketing materials to millions of recipients and only generate a few leads. However, you could send the same email marketing materials to a smaller group of only a thousand recipients who all have an interest in your products and services and will likely generate more leads from this smaller email distribution list. It is not only important to send your message to members of your target audience but to also tailor your message to suit this audience. Creating an email message which will appeal to a variety of individuals is not as important as creating a message which will appeal to members of your target audience.

An Energy Alternative: Free Energy

There has been much debate about what is often called “free” energy—energy that can supposedly, with the right technology, be drawn straight out of the atmosphere, and in very abundant supply. The debates are about whether the stuff actually exists or not, what it would actually cost were it to be harnessed, and if it does exist is it truly as abundant and efficient as it’s being made out to be by proponents of research and development into this potential alternative energy source.

When one hears the phrase “free energy device”, one might be hearing about one of several different concepts. This might mean a device for collecting and transmitting energy from some source that orthodox science does not recognize; a device which collects energy at absolutely no cost; or an example of the legendary perpetual motion machine. Needless to say, a perpetual motion machine—a machine which drives itself, forever, once turned on, therefore needing no energy input ever again and never running out of energy—is impossible. However, it is not so simple to say that a new technology for harnessing the energy “floating” in the atmosphere is impossible. New technologies replace old ones all the time with abilities that had just been “impossible”. Harnessing the power of the atom for providing huge amounts of energy was “impossible” until the 1940s. Flying human beings were an “impossible” thing until the turn of the 20th century and the Wright Brothers’ flight.

The biggest claim of the proponents of “free” energy is that enormous amounts of energy can be drawn from the Zero Point Field. This is a quantum mechanical state of matter for a defined system which is attained when the system is at the lowest possible energy state that it can be in. This is called the “ground state” of the system. Zero Point Energy (ZPE) is sometimes referred to as “residual” energy and it was first proposed to be usable as an alternative form of energy way back in 1913 by Otto Stern and Albert Einstein. It is also referred to as “vacuum energy” in studies of quantum mechanics, and it is supposed to represent the energy of totally empty space. This energy field within the vacuum has been likened to the froth at the base of a waterfall by one of the principal researchers into and proponents of Hal Puthof. Puthof also explains, the term ‘zero-point’ simply means that if the universe were cooled down to absolute zero where all thermal agitation effects would be frozen out, this energy would still remain. What is not as well known, however, even among practicing physicists, are all the implications that derive from this known aspect o quantum physics. However, there are a group of physicists—myself and colleagues at several research labs and universities—who are examining the details, we ask such questions as whether it might be possible to ‘mine’ this reservoir of energy for use as an alternative energy source, or whether this background energy field might be responsible for inertia and gravity. These questions are of interest because it is known that this energy can be manipulated, and therefore there is the possibility that the control of this energy, and possibly inertia and gravity, might yield to engineering solutions. Some progress has been made in a subcategory of this field (cavity quantum electrodynamics) with regard to controlling the emission rates of excited atoms and molecules, of interest in laser research and elsewhere.