Encouraging test process helps remove drug residue from wastewater

Pharmaceuticals and fishThe proliferation of drug residue in our waterways has become an increasingly challenging health hazard, one that until now has seen no large scale solution, other than educating the public to dispose of unused medications properly.

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Long stretch of oil seen in Gulf of Mexico

Boat travels through oil spotted in West Bay just west of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River Friday October 22, 2010. photo by Matthew Hinton / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Environmentalists have repeatedly said there’s still oil out there and that the government was too quick to re-open fishing areas of the Gulf. Now there’s proof.

Louisiana fishermen have found a miles long string of floating oil that’s heading towards fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta. According to the Times Picayune “boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up.”

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New Jersey to lead the way banning lawn care chemicals

New Jersey may ban lawn fertilizers


One doesn’t generally think of New Jersey as an environmental leader, but that could be about to change. A bill making its way through the New Jersey legislature that if passed would severely limits how residents apply fertilizer would ban many lawn care products on the shelf today. 

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Concrete pavers help remove NOx from roadway air

Concrete pavers in the Netherlands are keeping the air cleaner


Concrete pavers used to pave a stretch of road in the Netherlands have produced some stunning results.    

Scientists were testing the material in these pavers for their air-purifying capabilities. For this project, 1,000 meters of a road in the municipality of Hengelo was surfaced with these stones. Another area of equal length was paved with traditional paving material for comparison.    

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands (TUe) did three air-purity measurements last spring and discovered that over the  area paved with air-purifying concrete, the NOx content was 25 to 45 percent lower than that over the area paved with normal concrete.  

Car pollution is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions

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Ban on dishwasher detergents with high phosphates to begin July 1st


Beginning July 1st, it will be illegal for retailers to sell high phosphate dishwasher detergent in sixteen states. The new phosphate limit of 0.5 percent phosphorus by weight only applies to non-commercial dishwasher detergents. 

A ban on phosphates had been in the works in a number of states since 2008, to give detergent companies time to develop effective dishwashing alternatives. 

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Creating Energy from Nature – but really?

Question markThe past few days I’ve seen news items touting scientific evidence – some real, some perhaps bogus – touting a variety of ways to create electricity from nature.

First came the dubious article about hair-based solar panels. Yesterday, the news wires buzzed with a story about creating energy from salt and pepper. And today there’s a story that scientists say they may be able to garner energy from of all things the sap from maple trees.

It makes me wonder what some of those scientists are imbibing.

Alright, I admit that creating energy from Nature is both a creative venture and cost effective in that the ways documented so far are renewable – as in algae, wind, solar, etc. Am I perhaps stuck in a narrow mindset that I find some of their “sources” suspect? I wonder.

What do you think?

New Generations – a better carbon neutral biofuel

Not all biofuels are alike.

new-generation-biofuels-logo-300x911New Generation Biofuels, a renewable fuels provider, offers commercial customers a biofuel with minimal CO2 emissions and more than 40% lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than either diesel or biodiesel.

New Generations’ biofuel comes from a variety of feedstock – vegetable oil, animal fat and/or algae. With water and some proprietary ingredients added to the mix, it’s then blended. The result is a white milky substance with virtually no sulfur, which the company believes provides a lower cost, renewable, sustainable and fully biodegradable alternative energy source.

Originating in Italy, this amazing patent-pending technology has made its way to North America where, says New Generation Biofuels Chief Marketing Officer Phil Wallis,there are several perfect large markets.

“We go after the market with the (largest) need to reduce their emissions,” he said – power generation and the boiler markets. The latter includes institutions, hospitals, and schools.

Currently working with combustion turbines and boilers, Wallis says the biofuel combusts so well, one client – Cleaver Brooks, a leading manufacturer of commercial and industrial boilers – saw a 50% reduction of NOx.

new-generations-biofuels2-150x1111This biofuel has a small carbon footprint compared to alternative existing fuel oil or biodiesel, says Wallis. “Many of the alternatives out there – wind, solar, etc. – require equipment, which comes at a cost.”  No extra equipment is necessary to make the switch to New Generations’ biofuel, Wallis said.

All that’s required is to clean the tank, tune the boiler to this kind of fuel mix (which takes about 1½ hours to do), then put the white liquid in.

“it’s as easy as changing your light bulbs.” Wallis said. This low cost alternative is “a low-hanging fruit for boilers,” he said.