Corbett, a professor of marine policy in UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, works on energy and environmental solutions for transportation. He has launched a website that reports the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in terms of lost uses of the lost fuel on a daily basis.
Visitors to the website can choose the spill rate they believe is most accurate from a range of reported estimates, and the website will automatically calculate how many cars, trucks, and ships could have been powered for a year, based on Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Here are just a few of Corbett's findings:
Corbett says he developed the website to help put the oil spill in a perspective to which everyday users of petroleum, including most Americans, can relate.
Transportation activities consume about two-thirds of all petroleum in the United States -- more than 20 billion barrels per day, according to Corbett. Gasoline for automobiles accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. total transportation energy, diesel fuels power most of our goods movement, and most international containerized cargoes are delivered by ships -- the largest vehicles ever built.
“Energy resources offshore are being explored because each of us petroleum consumers is demanding more,” Corbett says.
The website also may help us decide how to reduce risks of future oil spills.
“Drilling this exploratory well by the Deepwater Horizon was an extremely high-risk proposition,” Corbett says. “At $75 per barrel of crude oil, the oil spilled would have been worth about $90 million in terms of spill oil value if extracted for refining. Some experts are now estimating damages from the spill to exceed $10 billion. That's a potential 100 to 1 loss, given the spill damage-to-value ratio.”
Corbett's research collaborations focus on ways to improve the energy performance of transportation systems using ships, trucks, trains, and other vehicles. There are ways to reduce the need for offshore oil drilling, Corbett says:If we improve automobile fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg), as proposed by the current administration, we would offset demand equivalent to the gasoline energy lost by 199 years of Deepwater Horizon daily releases.
Rebalancing how we transport goods would achieve substantial energy savings. A shift from truck to rail for specific commodities/routes would require about 20 percent of the energy per ton-mile compared to trucking. Achieving this would require an investment in infrastructure and green logistics to facilitate intermodal combinations of trucking and rail rather than treating the modes as competitors.Shifting passengers from single-occupant cars to car-sharing/carpooling and better transit also would produce important reductions.
“The wise use of petroleum and other energy resources is an opportunity for each of us,” Corbett says. “We can reduce the need to drill deeper into environmental risk. Within a few miles of our communities, we can do a lot to reduce energy demand.”
Article by Tracey Bryant
Tracey Bryant | EurekAlert!
Scientists on the road to discovering impact of urban road dust
18.01.2018 | University of Alberta
Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk
17.01.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences