Energy crop producer Ceres Inc. plans to market its new agricultural seeds and traits under the trade name Blade Energy Crops in the U.S. The first products to be sold under the brand are currently being multiplied for spring 2009 sowing. They include switchgrass cultivars developed specifically for biofuels, EG 1101 and EG 1102, as well as high-biomass types of sorghum.
Because of their high yields, energy crops can produce more fuel per acre than first-generation biofuel crops and further mitigate greenhouse gas emissions since the new crops require fewer inputs and actually build new topsoil. Ethanol made from switchgrass produces 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum and nearly five times more net energy than starch-based ethanol. Further improvements are likely as breeders introduce new seed varieties and innovations in refining technology are commercialized.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
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Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
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