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Desrosiers M.,Center dExpertise en Analyse Environnementale du Quebec | Martel L.,Center dExpertise en Analyse Environnementale du Quebec | Boudreau L.,DSEE | Cormier M.,Environment Canada | And 8 more authors.
ASTM Special Technical Publication | Year: 2012

The St. Lawrence River is subject to various anthropological pressures that can entail negative consequences for the ecosystem. As a result of the third and fourth St. Lawrence Action Plans, the current vision of sustainable management of this river and its main functions emphasizes the need for sound risk-based assessment approaches to support management decisions. More specifically, the sustainable navigation strategy, drawn up under St. Lawrence Action Plan III, explicitly identifies the need to develop sediment quality assessment tools, including those derived from ecotoxicological studies. The first management option addressed in this perspective was the open-water disposal of dredged sediments. In this context, an ecotoxicological risk assessment (ERA) approach using chemical characterization in Tier 1 and benthic organisms' toxicity tests in Tier 2 was elaborated based on physicochemical, toxicity testing, and benthic community structure data acquired from sediment samples collected in 59 sites along the St. Lawrence River. Hence this ERA approach will be used to determine whether the risk posed by the exposure of benthic organisms to dredged sediments at deposit sites and downstream is acceptable and compatible with open-water disposal. Copyright © 2012 by ASTM International.

News Article | October 15, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

The Sony PlayStation 4 has a decent enough media player, and it's about to become even better due to an update that is set to release to the console on Oct. 14, 2016. The update promises to make it possible for users to add 360-degrees photos and videos to the system. PlayStation 4 owners can do this via a USB-stick or even a media server. Once the contents have been added to the console, they'll need to activate "VR Mode" to see them in action. "If you've a PlayStation VR connected to your PlayStation 4, simply activate 'VR mode' from Media Player's Options menu, then select your 360° video or photo from your media server or USB device," says the PlayStation Blog. "You'll now be able to view your chosen media in full 360° thanks to the power of PlayStation VR." PS4 users should bear in mind that content must be captured in "equirectangular format by a 360-degree omnidirectional camera." Furthermore, the following formats are the only ones supported at this time: MKV, AVI, MP4, MPEG2 PS, MPEG2 TS, and AVCHD for videos; JPEG, BMP, and PNG for images. The update is quite interesting because it also adds goodies for audiophiles who are seeking to listen to high quality music. According to the PlayStation Blog, support for high res FLAC has been added along with the ability to unpscale non-high res FLAC. This is all possible thanks to Sony's proprietary DSEE HX technology. To take advantage of the new 360-degrees features, users will require to have the PSVR headset in their homes. It cannot be done without it; however, this device is not needed for taking advantage of the new audio options. It should be noted that Sony's DSEE HX technology is just a fancy equalizer seeing as it is not possible to upscale sound and recover data from lossy compressed music files. Sony has been working hard to sell PSVR to the masses. So far, it has garnered good enough reviews from critics. Those who are interested in the device should know beforehand that PSVR doesn't like mirrors or bright lights. The company is also preparing to launch its PS4 Pro for sale in November. The system is all about delivering video games in 4K, but players should expect most games to be upscaled using a technology known as checkerboard. The console will also support HDR, 4K media streaming, but will not come with the much talked about UHD disk drive for 4K Blu-Ray movie playback. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Andric I.,DSEE | Jamali-Zghal N.,DSEE | Santarelli M.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Lacarriere B.,DSEE | Le Corre O.,DSEE
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

To reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses, developed countries tend to increase the use of environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. Retrofitting of existing coal fired condensing power plants to co-firing with biomass is a generally accepted method for decreasing the dependency on fossil fuels and carbon-dioxide emission reductions. To determine if the co-firing is an environmentally friendly solution, two methods are used to cover all significant aspects of electricity production process that may influence the environment: carbon footprint and emergy evaluation. These environmentally accounting approaches were chosen to determine the maximum supply distance of biomass that allows the co-firing of coal and biomass to be more environmentally efficient than the pure coal combustion. Furthermore, geological origin of the coal combusted is taken into account, considering that the environmental inputs for feedstock creation varied throughout the history. The results of the study showed that the addition of approximately 20% biomass to the mass of the combustion mixture causes the decrease in carbon-dioxide emissions for nearly 11-25% and total emergy flow for 8-15%. However, further results indicate that the co-firing process is environmentally acceptable if the biomass supply stocks are within the area determined by maximum supply distances. Nevertheless, the supply area radius resulting from the emergy evaluation is 49-62% shorter depending on the coal type combusted. Furthermore, the emergy loading ratio of co-firing was lower than for the pure coal firing (10.65 compared to 12.39, respectively) indicating that the co-firing process causes less pressure on the ecosystem. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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