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Biofuels, Summer Jobs for Teens, & Houston Poets: Houston Matters for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Each Tuesday of this month, leading up to Earth Day this weekend, Houston Matters has been exploring efforts here in Greater Houston to pursue alternative, renewable forms of energy, those that might someday help us to dramatically reduce carbon emissions. In past weeks, we discussed solar energy, hydrogen, and wind power. On this edition of the program, […]

Each Tuesday of this month, leading up to Earth Day this weekend, Houston Matters has been exploring efforts here in Greater Houston to pursue alternative, renewable forms of energy, those that might someday help us to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

In past weeks, we discussed solar energy, hydrogen, and wind power. On this edition of the program, we’ll talk about developments in biofuels, including ethanol.

The corn-based fuel ethanol has been a part of the gas we use in our cars for years now – it’s long been seen as politically expedient to support, because it sounds clean – deriving fuel from corn, of which we have an abundance here in the US. But just how clean is it? What energy is expended to produce it? And what about other biofuels? We hear stories of people who use leftover grease from fast food restaurants to power their retrofitted cars. Could something like that ever work on a larger scale? We’re hearing a lot these days about a potential resurgence of diesel – is biodiesel an option to reduce our carbon footprint? And can you really derive energy from algae? Really?

We’ll discuss these and other examples of biofuels, and what’s being researched, developed, and implemented here in Greater Houston with Ken Brown of Biofuels Power Corp and Roman Wolff from Enhanced Biofuels. Then, we’ll welcome your questions for Dr. Daniel Kainer, Professor and the Director of the Lone Star College Biotechnology Institute.

Also this hour: It’s the time of year many area teens start looking for summer jobs. Some, of course, work year-round. Others go to school in the summer months. But many seek out jobs either for disposable income, or to save for college, or for a car, or to provide support for their family. And yet, a recent report indicates fewer teens are working in Houston. We’ll discuss the report and welcome your suggestions for good summer jobs for Houston teens.

Plus: April is National Poetry Month, and there are many poets living, working and publishing in Greater Houston. Catherine Lu of Houston Public Media’s Arts & Culture Unit recently spoke with several Houston poets about how Houston influences their work. We’ll hear highlights from those conversations.

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