Category: Transportation (page 2 of 9)

Intern, MassDEP (Various Locations)

The Department of Environmental Protection is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water, the safe management of toxics and hazards, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources. In an effort to assist MassDEP with its succession planning, MassDEP continues to recruit individuals who are interested in working and utilizing their skills in the environmental field. MassDEP is providing opportunities to undergraduate students, graduate students, law school students, and other individuals who are seeking experience in the environmental field.

Application Deadline: November 25th
Apply Online

New Holiday Bus Partnership to Debut This Fall

Beginning this fall, Tufts is launching a partnership with MyBusHome, a small private company which contracts with major coach fleets to provide buses on major school breaks, thereby reducing the need for hundreds of parents to make individual trips to pick up their kids.

The pilot run for the program will occur in October over the Indigenous People’s Day long weekend. Destinations will include Albany, NY; Portland, ME; Philadelphia, PA; and New York, NY. These cities were chosen through an analysis of the demographics of the student body in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The partnership aims to fill gaps in availability, affordability, or convenience of mass transit options. The buses will have a lower carbon impact than if students were to be driven to and from school by their parents or guardians.

Buses are also scheduled for Thanksgiving, the winter break, and the spring break.

Tickets can be purchased at MyBusHome will be processing all payments, ticketing, and questions.

Various Positions, Hubway (Boston)

Join the team at Hubway and help to transform the way people get around the Boston metro area. Bicycle sharing is a convenient, fun and healthy transportation option that enhances urban livability and mobility. We are especially looking for bike mechanics (full-time, part-time, and/or on-call) and field bike technicians (checking on bikes out in the field). 

Learn more.

Boston Ave Shuttle Will Now Stop at Whole Foods

Beginning this fall, the free campus shuttle which runs a loop along Boston Avenue on the Medford/Somerville campus will add a stop at the Whole Foods store on Mystic Valley Parkway.

Though there are several groceries stores near campus readily accessible by car, reaching them by foot or by bike — and returning with a load of groceries — can be difficult, inconvenient, and time-consuming.  The new shuttle stop will provide students with another option for fresh produce and other healthy food and make doing errands simpler and more sustainable.

The revised schedule will also include a stop at the Mayer Campus Center, thereby linking the Boston Ave and Davis Square shuttles and making travel between the different sectors of campus and its surroundings more feasible.

Recycling interns Alex Cherry and Megan Mooney worked with Administrative Services to make the change possible. Cherry notes that Whole Foods offers a bottle and can return station and hopes students will use the shuttle for that service as well.

Administrative Services hosts information about shuttle schedules and the shuttle tracker app. The shuttles will begin operating once the school year starts, but the Boston Ave shuttle is available here.


GUEST POST: University of Rochester Team Discovers a More Efficient Way to Convert Alternative Fuel

Written by Darya Nicol, University of Rochester ’16

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Like ethanol, butanol can be used as a fuel additive to gasoline as a way to reduce harmful vehicle emissions. In just six months, Professor William Jones’ University of Rochester research team developed an efficient route to n-butanol, making it look more like gasoline, thus enabling butanol to be a better alternative to ethanol.

Jones’ team of five researchers accomplished this by modifying the Guerbet reaction. Named after Frenchman Marcel Guerbet, the organic chemical reaction converts ethanol to butanol plus water. Before the team’s discovery, the Guerbet reaction produced the co-product acetaldehyde which can react with butanol to produce unwanted molecules. Jones’ team modified the reaction to produce only one product and 25 percent more butanol than with the previous process.

Switching from ethanol to butanol prevents engine corrosion. To streamline the modified Guerbet process for the fuel industry, Jones states that “this process would be attached to an ethanol production facility.” The facility would update the process to produce both ethanol and butanol.

Butanol is not currently used in mass because the fermentation process producing it does not build up a large enough concentration, although advances are being made in this process. The typical length of butanol production with the newly developed system is one day. Ideally, for the process to perform at maximum productivity, Jones states, “we need a less expensive catalyst and a longer living catalyst.”

Iridium is used as the initial catalyst for the reaction. However, iridium is quite expensive. According to Jones, “it’s gold expensive.” The financial support of the National Science Foundation and the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis, an NSF Center for Chemical Innovation program, was needed to conduct their research.

Once efficiency is maximized, consumers ultimately won’t be the ones making behavioral changes. Jones states, “they’ll get the benefits of it without even knowing it.” Changes must be made by companies. According to Jones, “for a company to buy into it, it has to replace a more expensive alternative, not just for a financial benefit, but for an improvement in performance.” As of now, modifying the Guerbet reaction is one improvement in the right direction.

This article is a guest post via The Green Dandelion, the sustainability blog of the University of Rochester. 

Photo Source.

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