Wednesday, March 20, 2013, 9:00 – 9:45pm

UW Science Now: Shaz Vijlee: Synthetic Fuels as Alternative Jet Fuels AND Erik Budsberg: Biojet Fuel from Poplar Trees

Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. $5. Triple feature!


VijleeIn this double-header, UW researchers explore fuel alternatives and sustainability. First up: State-of-the-art technology can be used to make jet fuel from plentiful fossil-fuel sources such as natural gas and coal, as well as vegetation—one way to reduce dependence on volatile petroleum markets. With synthetic fuels considered as potential alternatives and/or replacements for traditional jet fuels, Shaz Vijlee, a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at the UW, investigates where these fuels come from and how they are different from conventional fuels. Addressing the basics of burning these fuels, and what we need to consider before implementing them in real engines, Vijlee describes how synthetic fuels fit into larger energy and energy-policy discussions. Then: Erik BudsbergBudsberg, who’s pursuing his Masters at the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, says continued research into the evolving field of biofuels could lead to a new sustainable-fuel source in the near future—but how do we know it would be better for the environment than petroleum-based fuels? By studying the entire lifespan of a biofuel system using a relatively new technique called Life Cycle Assessment, Budsberg demonstrates how the production and use of biofuels could affect the environment, and investigates the environmental sustainability of biojet fuel produced from locally grown poplar trees for use in the Pacific Northwest. Presented by Town Hall and UW’s Engage: The Science Speaker Series as part of The Seattle Science Lectures, with the University of Washington, Pacific Science Center and University Book Store. Series sponsored by Microsoft. Series media sponsorship provided by KPLU.
Advance tickets are $5 or 888/377-4510 and at the door beginning at 8:30 pm. Town Hall members receive priority seating. Downstairs at Town Hall; enter on Seneca Street. Triple feature! Your ticket to this event also gains entry to Bernard Lietaer & Jacqui Dunne: Rethinking the Idea of Money, at 6 pm, and Joel Magnuson: Toward a Livable Post-Carbon Economy, at 7:30 pm.

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