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Middletown, PA, United States

Singh R.V.,Environmental Engineering
International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management | Year: 2012

Solid waste includes a good sphere of multidisciplinary source which reflects the life style of the people generating it and the existing process in solid waste management. In developing state of India, an inherent demand of resource increases the waste population that further aggravates the economics of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management system. In recent years, due to drastic increase in urban population and economics of Patna city, there is an urgent need for good management practices in MSW which will help to reduce the possible effect from the existing poor management practices of processing systems. The quantification study for MSW will be very helpful in decision making for processing and disposal aspects. The present paper entails the existing management practices in addition to the quantification study of MSW in Patna city. © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. Source

Home > Press > Multiple uses for the JPK NanoWizard AFM system in the Smart Interfaces in Environmental Nanotechnology Group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Abstract: JPK Instruments, a world-leading manufacturer of nanoanalytic instrumentation for research in life sciences and soft matter, reports on the breadth of research applications where their NanoWizard® AFM system is being used in the Smart Interfaces in Environmental Nanotechnology Group under the leadership of Associate Professor, Rosa M Espinosa-Marzal. Dr Rosa M Espinosa-Marzal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The goal of her research is to design innovative systems and improved materials that can solve environmental problems of our society by applying fundamentals of surface and colloidal science, materials chemistry, and nanotechnology. The central theme of her research group, Smart Interfaces in Environmental Nanotechnology (SIEN), is to design, synthesize, characterize and develop a fundamental understanding of bioinspired materials and of (bio) interfaces, also under nanoconfinement. Atomic force microscopy, AFM, is a vital tool for these studies. Speaking about her group and their experiences since the starting of their use of the JPK NanoWizard® AFM system, Dr Espinosa-Marzal says “My team of researchers is looking at a broad range of materials which require imaging in fluids to a high level resolution. The ability to measure low noise, high resolution force curves is of particular value as is the capability of working in liquid environments without the fear of damaging the piezo or sample. My students have made many positive comments which are important to me. I am confident that their imaging is of the quality they need to complete their research assignments.” Picking out some of the projects where the NanoWizard® is being successfully used, it is revealing to hear the comments of the SIEN group members describe what makes them particularly pleased with the performance of the system. In one project which is setting out to understand the structure of water at the interface with 2D materials such as graphene, the biggest challenge is to make high resolution, force spectroscopy measurements. Operating in liquid the NanoWizard® has produced high resolution phase images in AC mode that reveal the contamination on the graphene surface. Ultimately, the group hopes to study the layering of water molecules and ions on the graphene surface, which can be used as a possible interface for water purification. Imaging soft structures in aqueous environments is the challenge of the researchers developing model cell membranes. These are tri-layered soft structures, with interfacial and mechanical properties similar to a cell membrane. These require a low noise system to both image and perform nanomechanical characterization with QI™ mode of individual layers and the complete stratified structure. In a biofilm study, one researcher is looking to understand the precipitation of calcite in biofilms found in drinking water distribution systems. Here, colloidal AFM probes are applied to make surface force measurements on heterogeneous soft composites. These are used to determine mechanical forces of the films including adhesion and detachment forces. The combination of AFM with an inverted microscope has been invaluable here using JPK's patented Direct Overlay™ feature to identify appropriate areas to image and ultimately to generate force maps which allow the understanding of the spatial variability of the mechanical properties for mineralized and non-mineralized samples. Other projects include the study of biomineralization (imaging amorphous calcium carbonate) and how ionic liquids respond to nanoscale confinement and to surface heterogeneities. These just further illustrate the versatility of the JPK NanoWizard® in a multi-user research group. For more details about JPK's NanoWizard® AFM and their applications for the bio & nano sciences, please contact JPK on +49 30726243 500. Alternatively, please visit the web site: www.jpk.com or see more on Facebook: www.jpk.com/facebook and on You Tube: www.youtube.com/jpkinstruments. About JPK Instruments JPK Instruments AG is a world-leading manufacturer of nanoanalytic instruments - particularly atomic force microscope (AFM) systems and optical tweezers - for a broad range of applications reaching from soft matter physics to nano-optics, from surface chemistry to cell and molecular biology. From its earliest days applying atomic force microscope (AFM) technology, JPK has recognized the opportunities provided by nanotechnology for transforming life sciences and soft matter research. This focus has driven JPK's success in uniting the worlds of nanotechnology tools and life science applications by offering cutting-edge technology and unique applications expertise. Headquartered in Berlin and with direct operations in Dresden, Cambridge (UK), Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai (China), Paris (France) and Carpinteria (USA), JPK maintains a global network of distributors and support centers and provides on the spot applications and service support to an ever-growing community of researchers. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

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Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

GAINESVILLE, FL (Reuters) - It's called the 'Swamp', a stadium that packs more than 90,000 fans when the University of Florida Gators host a home game. If Environmental Engineering Professor Treavor Boyer has his way, this field and all of the people attending the football games will be part of a massive science experiment in sustainability. The experiment would involve re-purposing the abundant amounts of urine produced at the stadium which Boyer views as a resource that is currently going to waste. Urine is nutrient rich, containing high concentrations of nitrogen as well as phosphorous and potassium. "What you'll see is that you can collect enough nitrogen over those seven home football games to meet the nutrient requirements for that field for the growing season," said Boyer. His idea is to stop streaming urine to a waste water facility and collect the pee in giant vats at the stadium instead to then use to fertilize the field. "So you collect urine in the storage tank. Then what you want is for it to sit for a period of time, probably on the order of several weeks. That allows it to change chemistry and it is an important change in chemistry where the nitrogen goes from urea, which is excreted from our metabolism and it gets transformed into ammonia." Ammonia is a powerful fertilizer but according to Boyer, separating the urine from the rest of the waste is easier said than done. It's a problem Boyer and his team are tackling in the urine lab. The team is developing the next generation of waterless urinals and newly designed toilets with the goal of harnessing the pee while using just a fraction of the water needed to operate conventional bathrooms. Once collected in a storage tank and after its chemical transformation, the solution can be further processed to extract the nutrients into a solid fertilizer which can be easily transported. Boyer is confident that his team can figure out the science. He says the biggest problem is getting people over the 'ick' factor. "We know a can should get recycled. I don't think most people feel that way about urine, right? Most people don't urinate and be like that should have been recycled and recovered," he said. "My sort of vision of maybe a slightly skewed world that's what I want people to think about every time they urinate, like wow, those are nutrients that could have been saved and re-used," he added. If all goes as planned, the grass at the Swamp will soon be greener in more ways than one.

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Site: http://www.scientificcomputing.com/rss-feeds/all/rss.xml/all

Just over 10 years ago, the United States experienced one of the most damaging hurricanes in U.S. history, Hurricane Katrina. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Katrina claimed 1,833 lives, cost over $100 billion in damages and, as stated in a U.S. Census Bureau report, displaced over 400,000 people living in and around New Orleans and the Mississippi Golf Coast. More recently, Hurricane Sandy tore along the east coast of the U.S. in 2012, causing an estimated 147 deaths and over $50 billion in damages, as mentioned in a 2013 NOAA Service Assessment. Hurricanes and coastal floods have left life-altering wreckage in their wake long before Katrina and Sandy, and they will continue to pound into the coasts long after. These natural disasters cannot be thwarted, but the work of one research group at the University of Notre Dame is making a difference in being able to better prepare for these situations by modeling the physics of the coastal ocean to forecast coastal storms. The Computational Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) devotes their time to developing high performance codes and coastal circulation models to advance hurricane hazard modeling to help protect people, infrastructures and plan for future construction. Developing next-generation codes that are more flexible and efficient is a continual effort of the CHL. Improving the accuracy of codes and minimizing computational costs helps in the effort to make these technologies more widely available. The CHL is led by Joannes Westerink, the Joseph and Nona Ahearn Professor of Computational Engineering and Science and the Henry J. Massman Chairman of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences. Developing models of the coastal ocean requires many computational hours. Westerink and the CHL team recently celebrated the acquisition of their new computer cluster. Housed at Union Station Technology Center downtown South Bend and maintained by the Center for Research Computing, the Lenovo Intel Xeon E5-2680 cluster adds a total of 1,512 cores on the front end, increasing CHL cores to 3,000. The typical run time of a hurricane event simulating 20 days real time on 2,000 cores is approximately four hours, assuming five simulation days per hour. With the chip speed improvement of the newly acquired cores, the CHL is quadrupling their capacity. “Exponentially expanding our computer horsepower allows us to delve deeper and deeper into the physics of the coastal ocean,” says Westerink. The hurricane modeling process begins with the development of codes to simulate the equations that describe the physics of the coastal ocean environment. The code most widely used by government, universities, and for consulting, is ADCIRC+SWAN. This model has been used for the FEMA Great Lakes Flood Insurance Study, the East Coast Flood Insurance Study, the Gulf Coast Flood Insurance Study, and by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ADCIRC, a coastal ocean circulation code, is the leading modeling technology in evaluating coastal flood risk and was co-developed by the CHL with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Texas at Austin. Once the code is developed, a grid is created to figure out the geometry and hydrodynamic flow characteristics of the region being studied. Once the code and grid have been generated, they are combined with metadata in a high performance, massively parallel computing environment. Results are compared to multiple data sets from previous events to validate whether the process was captured correctly. Currently, the CHL is working on projects for NSF to advance code development, and is partnering with AON, FMGlobal, Office of Naval Research, NOAA, Arcadis, Baker and SURA on projects to model the coastal ocean and shoreline environments of the New York Harbor, Western Alaska, Puerto Rico and the western North Pacific. These models will help measure the risk and vulnerabilities of flooding and storm surges that could cause major damage to the ecosystems of these coasts.

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Site: http://www.reuters.com

Researchers from Beijing and California have found that tackling the ever growing problem of plastic pollution may be as easy as feeding worms. "Our study found that actually mealworms eat Styrofoam and they digest Styrofoam in their gut," said co-author of the study Wei-Min Wu, an environmental engineer at Stanford University. The researchers found that mealworms can safely eat Styrofoam and other types of plastic and while deriving energy from the process. One experiment compared a group of worms that ate foam to a group that ate bran and found no difference in their overall health. The other surprising discovery was how fast the worms were able to break down materials that up until now were thought impossible to biodegrade. "The process was very fast. In less than 24 hours it became CO2," added Wu. The researchers found that an enzyme secreted by the microbes in the worms gut act like a sledgehammer breaking down a wall. "I think the secreted enzymes are really interesting those are the tools that actually break the wall down into little pieces," said Environmental Engineering Professor Craig Criddle of Stanford University. The researchers now plan to study these worms further to better understand how they work, as well as search for other insects that may have plastic-eating superpowers. The hope is to begin tackling the mounting problem of plastic pollution before it's too late. "It's an issue because we are running out of landfill space for one thing, especially in dense urban environments, also the clutter that results, particularly in the ocean," added Criddle. In the United States alone, 33 million tons of plastic is thrown away every year. Hopefully soon, scientists, aided by the mighty mealworm, may start coming up with ways to deal with it.

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