Changing their fortunes

first_imgClick on arrows to view more photos:Spencer/Columbus looks for a championshipBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSPENCER – The Spencer/Columbus Catholic wrestling team has finished second at the Cloverbelt Conference Meet in each of the past three seasons.The Rockets are looking to change their fortunes, but first have their sights set on a regular-season title.Following a dominating 62-12 win over Abbotsford/Colby on Jan. 18 at Spencer High School, the Rockets improved to 6-0 in Cloverbelt Conference duals and can wrap up an outright regular-season championship with a win at Osseo-Fairchild/Augusta/Fall Creek on Thursday at Osseo-Fairchild.“We’re rolling pretty good,” Spencer/Columbus Coach Jake Zschernitz said. “We’re wrestling good right now, a few injuries, a little banged up. We’re looking at getting healthier and some guys possibly cutting some weight, I don’t know, that will play itself out. I think we’re wrestling really well at the right time, and we’ll see what happens.”All five of the Rockets that won Cloverbelt titles a year ago are back looking for another.Senior Hunter Luepke, a defending WIAA Division 2 state champion at 195 pounds, has moved up to 220 and is as dominating as ever. Luepke is 33-0 this season and is looking for his fourth-straight conference title.Logan Zschernitz, a junior who was third at 285 at the state tournament, is 28-2 this year, and he will be going for back-to-back conference titles.Ashton Ackman (106 pounds), Dominick Wichlacz (120), and Carson Hildebrandt (170) also will defend their Cloverbelt championships at the conference tournament Feb. 3 at Osseo-Fairchild.Wichlacz won his 100th career match in placing third at the St. Croix Falls Invitational on Jan. 20 and is 27-7 this season.Luepke won a title at the tournament, with Bryce Shaw (22-6) placing second at 145. Leo Rodriguez (113) and Hildebrandt took fourth, Caden Schillinger (152) was seventh, Colton Schillinger (132) finished eighth, as the Rockets took eighth place out of 20 teams at the meet.The depth and experience of the Rockets’ lineup has the team psyched for a strong postseason run.“I knew coming into the season we had a really good team,” Jake Zschernitz said. “It was senior night tonight and the seniors (Wichlacz, Shaw, Caden Schillinger, and Luepke) have really stepped up all year. The underclassmen have been winning matches when they need to be.“It’s pretty fun to watch (Luepke and Zschernitz). We’re pretty fortunate to probably have the two best athletes to ever come through this gym at the same time, on the same team. It’s pretty awesome.”Following the Cloverbelt meet, Spencer/Columbus will compete in the WIAA postseason in Division 2, with regionals at Medford on Feb. 10 and sectionals at Amery on Feb. 17. The WIAA State Individual Wrestling Tournament is Feb. 22-24 at the Kohl Center in Madison.Paul Lecker is the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com, a contributor to Hub City Times Sports. You can reach him by email at [email protected]last_img read more

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South Africa demonstrates algae-to-energy technology

first_img30 January 2014 Innovative technology that uses algae to convert waste coal dust into a clean, high-quality coal which can readily be processed into biofuel was publicly demonstrated at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth on Monday. The pioneering technology has been developed by the university over the past three years with funding from the Department of Science and Technology, and plans are afoot for its products to be commercialised, the university said in a statement ahead of Monday’s showcasing event. One of the main areas of research at university’s institute of chemical technology, InnoVenton, has been the conversion of waste coal into a usable, high-quality clean coal using algal biomass. The institute’s researchers have found that the microalgae can be combined with coal and charcoal and acts as an excellent binder for fine coal. “If you mix coal dust and algae biomass, the algae adsorps [collects] onto the surface of the coal and binds the dust together,” InnoVenton’s Professor Ben Zeelie said. The result is a coal-algae composite [briquette or pellet], for which they’ve coined – and trademarked – the name “Coalgae”. “The Coalgae composites may be used as a substitute in applications that require coal, or may be further processed through a variety of additional technologies, such as pyrolysis (heating in the absence of oxygen),” the institute said. “The result of the additional processing is a bio-fossil crude oil blend that may be processed into a variety of fuels, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, and heavy fuel oil. “Carbon sequestration, the upgrading of low grade coal and the production of clean water (a spin-off of the process) are among the advantages of the production of Coalgae, which, along with the production of the bio-crude oil, have presented commercial opportunities.” According to the institute, consulting engineering firm Hatch-Goba recently completed a pre-feasibility engineering study on the microalgae technologies, resulting in a “robust and cost-effective” design for Coalgae production on a semi- and full commercial scale. A full feasibility study will be conducted in the first half of this year. The institute demonstrated various aspects of Coalgae technology on Monday, include the cultivation of microalgae in a closed photo-bioreactor system developed by the university, the use of coal-generated flue gas to meet the microalgae’s need for carbon dioxide and fixed nitrogen, the harvesting of the microalgae, the production of the coal-microalgae composites, and their conversion into raw bio-crude oil. Speaking at the event, the Department of Science and Technology’s deputy director-general for research, development and innovation, Mmboneni Muofhe, said the technology would help to separate South Africa’s biofuels sector from its food-producing sector, and bring the realisation of a full-fledged biofuels industry in the country one step closer. South African fuel producers will begin mandatory blending of petrol and diesel with biofuels from 1 October 2015 as the country moves to encourage investment in its biofuels sector and reduce its reliance on imported fuel. “By 2015, the government intends all transport fuels to be a blend, with biofuels making up at least two percent of the blend. Coalgae exceeds this target,” the department said in a statement last week. And there’s certainly no shortage of raw material at hand. Millions of tons of coal dust go to waste every year in South Africa and elsewhere. According the department, the country currently has over 1-billion tonnes of discarded coal or coal “fines” (fine coal particles), which constitute a serious environmental nuisance. In addition, Coalgae can be delivered using existing petroleum or petrochemical infrastructure. “The ability to combine the two feedstocks (coal fines and algae) means that only one process is necessary, instead of two,” the department said. “Another advantage is that the technology will reduce the logistical challenges of accessing blended biofuels, as well as the capital investments required for the blending and distribution infrastructure.” SAinfo reporter and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Universitylast_img read more

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Man’s body found after Lake of the Ozarks boat crash

first_imgAuthorities have found the body of a Eugene man after a boat accident on the Lake of the Ozarks.The Highway Patrol says two boats crashed into each other at about 10 p.m. Saturday at the 4 MM of the Osage Arm. The driver of the upstream boat, 62-year-old Kelly Wise of Atlantic, Iowa, has been arrested on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. He has minor injuries, and his passenger has moderate injuries.Four mid-Missourians were in the boat heading downstream. Troopers say they found the body of 39-year-old Jason Russell of Eugene at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Nathan Sneller, 37, of Jefferson City was flown to a hospital with serious injuries. Driver Bradley Siebeneck, 37, of Holts Summit, and 42-year-old Brian Basham of Eldon have minor injuries.(This story was last updated at 4:25 a.m. Monday.)last_img read more

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