Category: environment

ALTERNATIVE REFRIGERANTS

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Alternative refrigerants are the subject of a lot of argument, lobby and misinformation. There are actually many natural substances that work fine for a cooling unit. CO2 actually sublines at standard air pressure but under pressure it does condense into a liquid. This makes possible to use it for refrigeration and is outperforms the environmentally damaging …

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GRAIN GLUT

peaches and cream corn

In the last 4 years grain futures have been down as a glut of grains continues to pour into elevators. Favorable weather has helped US corn growers. Increased technical ability has also improved yields. Cheap corn, soybeans and wheat are all driving down global prices. Last year 638 million tons of excess grains were produced. …

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ASPERGILLUS TUBINGENSIS

Aspergillus tubingensis

Aspergillus tubingensis has been known since 1934. Recently it was discovered in a Pakistani garbage dump where it was realized it could metabolize polyester polyurethane The fungus is used industrially as a chemical feed stock source. Now with this new finding it is likely the fungus will be developed to clean up garbage in dumps. …

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POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) have been widely used since the 1930s. Production only fell sharply in 1970 when it was realized that PCB contamination was a growing problem. PCB is widely used with electrical infrastructure for thermal management. PCB is very stable which provides long service life for components. Today PCB is recognizes as a persistent …

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CHERNOBYL UPDATE

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Recently the EU provided expertise and engineering to construct a new containment structure over the existing concrete barrier. The original containment building was erected hastily after reactor 4 exploded on April 20, 1986. The fire inside reactor 4 continued to burn until May 10, 1986; it is possible that well over half of the graphite was ejected …

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FUKUSHIMA REPORT

radiation

Recent reports of radiation at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 2 have now reached 530 sieverts. This is much worse than the earlier estimated 27 sieverts suggested my muon imaging. Last summer, Tepco released the results of its muon tomography, showing that reactor 2 still had a significant mass of material at the bottom of its reactor pressure …

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PRIMATES UNDER THREAT

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Today more than 1/2 of the primates are near extinction. Primates are spread throughout 90 countries, but two thirds of the species live in just four: Brazil, Madagascar, Indonesia and Congo. More than half of the world’s apes, monkeys, lemurs and lorises are now threatened with extinction as agriculture and industrial activities destroy forest habitats …

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BABY POWDER

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Baby powder is a common product in drug stores. Unfortunately most consumers have no idea what it is made of. Most baby powder is made from talc. Talc is hydrated magnesium silicate. Sometimes baby powder is made from cornstarch. Talcum powder is dangerous if inhaled since it may cause aspiration pneumonia or granuloma. Granuloma is where the …

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CARBON DIOXIDE EXCEEDS 400 PPM

Carbon dioxide levels have now risen well above 400 ppm. September is usually the month when carbon dioxide is at its lowest after a summer of plants growing and sucking it up in the northern hemisphere. See the reaction over at NASA. Remember that every pound of meat releases 34.1 pounds of carbon dioxide to …

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MORE RECORD HEAT IN 2016

On the heels of record heat in 2015, NASA has reported that the first half of 2016 has smashed previous records. Every indication is that is only getting worse and worse. So far this year, the average temperatures are 1°C warmer compared to last year. The NOAA has now seen 14 record of record heat. …

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