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Ammonia-Powered Tractors, Why Cutting Air Pollution Boosts Crops And Ford’s Big EV Expansion

This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.

Brooklyn-based Amogy is working to develop what it believes will be one of the future’s biggest renewable fuels: ammonia, which packs a large energy density and doesn’t produce any greenhouse gas emissions when burned. The startup, which is less than two years old, announced a milestone earlier this week: it had its first successful demonstration of an ammonia-powered tractor. The company had developed an engine which was integrated into a standard John Deere tractor. The tractor was driven for two separate sessions and was refueled in between them.

“We’re thrilled to be demonstrating our zero-emission ammonia power solution in action in a tractor for the first time ever. Ammonia is a viable zero-emission fuel for all heavy-duty vehicles, but especially farming and agriculture, where the readily-available chemical has been used as a fertilizer for decades,” Amogy CEO Seonghoon Woo said in a press release about the demonstration.


The Big Read

Curbing Air Pollution Could Majorly Boost Crop Growth

Cutting emissions of a common air pollutant in half could help fuel crop growth in several major agricultural regions around the world, according to a new Science Advances study led by researchers at the University of Stanford, who suggested the reductions could serve as an important mechanism for mitigating the negative agricultural effects of climate change. Read more here.


Discoveries And Innovations

According to a recent report from the World Meteorological Organization, 2021 was a record-breaking year for several major climate change markers, including ocean warming, ocean acidification, sea level rise and greenhouse gas emissions.

Artificial intelligence tools could be used to track coral restoration by comparing the sounds of healthy and unhealthy reefs. The sounds provide a convenient way for scientists to intervene and make reefs healthier.

A new report suggests that unchecked production of fossil fuels undermines economic development in several ways, including water contamination and air pollution.


Sustainability Deals Of The Week

Foundation Alloy, a vertically integrated metal part production platform, announced it has raised a $10.5 million seed funding round. The company says its technology can produce high-performance metal parts more efficiently, reducing both waste and energy use.

Plastics recycling company Mura Technology announced a $100 million investment this week from engineering firm KBR. The aim of the investment is to expand new recycling projects globally, and a representative from KBR’s management will be joining Mura’s board.

The state of New York announced awards for 22 solar plants and large-scale energy storage projects. The governor’s office said that it expects the projects to generate over $2.7 billion in investments from the private sector and create enough energy to power over 620,000 homes for the next two decades.


On The Horizon

New York-based company GlassPoint will be building the world’s largest solar thermal plant in Saudi Arabia. The steam produced by the plant will be used by the Saudi Arabian Mining Company to produce aluminum. When the facility is completed, it’s expected to lower the carbon footprint of Saudi Arabia by about 4%.


What Else We’re Reading This Week

How to Push Wall Street to Ditch Fossil Fuels for Clean Energy (Bloomberg)

As 2022 Hurricane Season Looms, a Current That Fuels Monster Storms Is Very Warm (Scientific American)

Smaller Reactors May Still Have a Big Nuclear Waste Problem (Wired)



Green Transportation Update

Elon Musk doesn’t like to stay out of the news cycle for long, but he really, really doesn’t like remote work. The billionaire entrepreneur told Tesla employees this week he’s had enough of one of the biggest workplace changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and expects all staff members to report to the office for at least 40 hours a week. “Moreover, the office must be where your actual colleagues are located, not some remote pseudo office. If you don’t show up, we will assume you have resigned,” Musk said in an email to Tesla employees. A few days later, Musk opined about the possibility of a looming recession and may eliminate some Tesla jobs as a result, sending the company’s shares tumbling. And if that weren’t enough, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday revealed that more than 750 Tesla owners have complained about their vehicles suddenly braking at high speeds, adding to the regulatory agency’s ongoing probe of Tesla’s autopilot feature.


The Big Transportation Story

Ford To Invest Billions To Add Jobs In Three States Ahead Of Contract Talks

Ford wants to give Tesla a run for its money as the top seller of electric vehicles, committing billions of dollars to expanding its capacity to build a range of battery vehicles and the lithium-ion packs they need. This week the Dearborn, Michigan-based industrial giant said it’s pouring an additional $3.7 billion into plants in three Midwestern states to accelerate that effort. Read more here.



More Green Transportation News

Electric Trucks Can Fight Inflation – And Petro-State Dictators Like Putin

As Electric Car Basics Come Under Pressure, Hybrid Qualities Demand Recognition

Towing A Trailer With An F-150 Lightning Cuts Range In Half, As Expected, Here’s The Hidden Cost

Shippers Strive To Cut Emissions With Better Planning

Elon Musk Reportedly Wants To Lay Off 10% Of Tesla’s Workforce As He Frets About The Economy


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Read More: Ammonia-Powered Tractors, Why Cutting Air Pollution Boosts Crops And Ford’s Big EV Expansion

2022-06-04 07:00:00

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