Transportation and the Environment

With pollution and global climate change in the news, cities and communities are investigating alternative modes of transportation.  As a global leader in environmental solutions, Agilent is helping in this research.

Metro transit systems avoid congestion, reduce gasoline consumption and provide affordable transportation in more than 60 countries.  But do they provide a safe commuting environment?

Researchers in China examined the indoor microenvironments of subways, reviewing more than 160 studies across 20 countries.  They found unhealthy levels of air pollution in these closed environments, including hydrocarbons, particulate matters and airborne bacteria.

Several of the cited studies used Agilent GC/MS and HPLC systems to measure air quality.

Biodiesel can have 50 percent lower carbon monoxide emissions and 30 percent lower particulate matter emissions than petroleum diesel.  However, biodiesel spills can have adverse environmental effects.

Researchers in the U.S. and Hungary studied the rates at which different fuels biodegrade.  They found that a 20-percent fish biodiesel blend will biodegrade much faster than normal heating diesel (HD).  The researchers used an Agilent GC/MS, mass selective detector and column to analyze hydrocarbons in the soil.

The worldwide pulp and paper industry is one of the world’s biggest environmental polluters.  In the U.S., 27 percent of municipal solid waste is comprised of paper waste.

Researchers in India successfully used a yeast organism (Rhodosporidium kratochvilovae) to “digest’ toxic pulp and paper industry effluent (PPIE) and turn it into high-quality biodiesel fuel.  They used an Agilent GC/MS and column in their analytical work.

In addition to providing environmental solutions to customers, Agilent also practices sustainability as a company.

In the UK, 38 percent of car travel is for commuting or business purposes.  Researchers studied 20 companies – including Agilent – who had implemented programs encouraging employees to travel to work more sustainably.  The study found that such “workplace travel planning” programs could reduce commuter driving by an average of 18 percent.

Agilent was also highlighted as one of 44 Fortune 500 companies publicly addressing the environmental effects of transportation in their supply chain.

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