Tag Archives: waste
A team of researchers, led by Dr Erik Van Sebelle, at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science say that it will take at least 500 years to stop the growth of five swirling masses of plastic waste in the world's oceans even if we could immediately stop any more plastic going into oceans. A swirling mass of plastic debris, called The North Pacific Gyre, was discovered about 15 years ago. Similar areas of plastic have since been found in other oceans. The research shows this plastic accumulation is an extremely slow process. According to Dr … Continue Reading
Israeli company, Emefcy, has developed a microbe-based technology that harvests energy while treating waste water. The process starts with the same principle as most wastewater treatment – water is aerated so that bacteria in the liquid breaks down organic material. But instead of using electricity to push air into the water, Emefcy uses a permeable, polyethylene filter that allows air in but doesn't let liquid out, The polyethylene membrane surrounds a fuel cell chamber into which the waste water flows. Inside the fuel cell, anaerobic bacteria release electrons. The electrons flow to an anode and then to cathodes in a … Continue Reading
Could the current scandals surrounding Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation organisation be a sign that printed newspapers are in their death throes? Dubious behaviour in a corporation and its management is often a sign of a failing business desperate for revenue. Printed newspapers are a relic of the industrial age and News Corporation seems to be an organisation whose thinking has has not progressed beyond that age. Another sign of desperation and old-fashioned thinking is the Murdoch plan to charge for access to his news web sites. Other businesses are able to thrive on the Internet without doing this … Continue Reading
Japanese authorities are using a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that is then peeled off surfaces, taking microscopic particles of contaminants, including radioactive pollutants, with it to clean up the contamination caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The "blue goo", or DeconGel, was discovered by accident in 2009 at the Hawaiian venture capital and technology incubator firm, Skai Ventures. A researcher spilled a bit of solution from an experiment onto the floor. When it was cleaned up the next morning, the solution came off the floor taking everything foreign with it. Since then, the substance has been been … Continue Reading
African Renewable Energies, a small London–based firm, aims to help poor communities in developing countries earn money and generate electricity from the innumerable rubbish tips around African cities. The idea is to cover landfill sites with thinfilm solar phovololtaic cells printed on to the flexible membranes used to cap landfills. Landfills in Africa are often open dumps without leachate or gas recovery systems. Many are located in ecologically or hydrologically sensitive areas and are operated with below-standard sanitary practices. The solar landfill covers are based upon the use of a single membrane as an integrated and cost-effective solution designed to … Continue Reading
In 2000, Bruce Kania’s black dog, Rufus, jumped into a pond and came out red. Concerned for his dog and wondering what was going on, Bruce also saw a tremendous opportunity for invention, if he could develop a new and natural stewardship tool which could clean water and, in the process, improve life for all the creatures who live in it. Bruce brought together a team of engineers and plant specialists turned to the floating peat bogs of Northern Wisconsin, where world-record fish are to be found within crystal-clear waters, for inspiration: The team set about “biomimicking” these floating riparian … Continue Reading
It is estimated that only about 12 percent of plastic sent to depots actually gets recycled. Because of problems such as glued-on paper labels and different types of plastic combined in one product, the rest goes to the landfill or is burnt. Scientists at the University of Warwick have now devised a system that could recycle 100% of household plastic. The Warwick system uses pyrolysis within a fluidized bed reactor. Pyrolysis is the use of heat in the absence of oxygen for the decomposition of materials, while fluidized bed reactors pass a gas or liquid through solid granular material at … Continue Reading
Why does this volume of ink need this much packaging? This is a HP 564 Colour Ink Value Pack (which HP promotes as "avoiding wastage") and a HP 564 Black Ink Value Pack, which contains the same ink as one HP 564XL cartridge but in three cartridges with three times the packaging plus a large bubble pack. The Value Pack with three cartridges is $45; the single high capacity cartridge is $52.
It is estimated that around 2.6 billion people have no proper sanitation. A group of students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a low cost, modular sanitation solution which they call "Sanergy". The project, which would be operated and maintained by locals and the waste transported to nearby processing plants, through a network of "micro-franchises". Biogas produced from the waste will be used to create electricity and what’s left of the human waste turned into fertilizer. The group has set up a pilot project in the slums of Kenya where more than 10 million live without proper sanitation.
Naji Khoury, an Assistant Professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, has developed a cement-like material, called "Plastisoil", made from discarded polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles which is mixed with soil. The mixture is then blended with a coarse aggregate and heated. The result is a hard yet non-watertight substance, similar to porous asphalt. With traditional concrete and asphalt paving, rainwater stays on the surface and runs into the stormwater drains. With Plastisoil, water is able pass through the paving into the soil below. This reduces the amount of pollutants entering waterways. Professor Khoury says that it takes less energy to … Continue Reading