by Michigan Technological University, August 2, 2018 in ScienceDaily
Using 100-year-old minerals processing methods, chemical engineering students have found a solution to a looming 21st-century problem: how to economically recycle lithium ion batteries.
Pan, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University, earned his graduate degrees in mining engineering. It was his idea to adapt 20th century mining technology to recycle lithium ion batteries, from the small ones in cell phones to the multi-kilowatt models that power electric cars. Pan figured the same technologies used to separate metal from ore could be applied to spent batteries. So he gave his students a crash course in basic minerals processing methods and set them loose in the lab.
by Anthony Watts, July 31, 2018 in WUWT
As many WUWT readers know, there’s this push to “save the planet” by banning plastic straws. Like most liberal Earth saving fantasies, it’s rooted in shonky science, or in this case, no science at all, just a guess.
by University of the Basque Country, July 19, 2018 in ScienceDaily
A study conducted in mining areas in Asturias by the Animal Ecotoxicity and Biodiversity group led by Dr Pilar Rodriguez, through collaboration between the Department of Zoology and Animal Cellular Biology and that of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology of the UPV/EHU’s Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Limnology Laboratory at the University of Vigo has enabled progress to be made in this field and has proposed the ecological threshold concentration for 7 metals (cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, lead and zinc) and two metalloids (arsenic and selenium). The study included a number of non-contaminated localities belonging to the reference network of the Nalón river basin as well as other highly contaminated ones. This is a basin with a long history of mining activities due to the high levels of metals naturally occurring in its rocks.
by Eric Worrall, May 12, 2018 in WUWT
Puna Geothermal Venture has removed 60,000 gallons of flammable Pentane from a geothermal plant in the path of the Hawaii volcanic eruption. But concerns remain that if the geothermal wells break, they could flood the neighbourhood with toxic volcanic gasses.
Kilauea eastern rift zone fissure eruption May 2018. By United States Geological Survey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
by B. Friedlander, January 25, 2018 in CornellChronicle
“Plastics make ideal vessels for colonizing microscopic organisms that could trigger disease if they come into contact with corals,” Lamb said. “Plastic items – commonly made of polypropylene, such as bottle caps and toothbrushes – have been shown to become heavily inhabited by bacteria. This is associated with the globally devastating group of coral diseases known as white syndromes.”
When plastic debris meets coral, the authors say, the likelihood of disease increases from 4 to 89 percent – a 20-fold change. The scientists estimate that about 11.1 billion plastic items are entangled on reefs across the Asia-Pacific region, and that this will likely increase 40 percent over the next seven years.
by UNIVERSITY OF YORK and the “blame Russia” department, February 26, 2018 in WUWT
Global levels of ethane and propane in the atmosphere have been underestimated by more than 50%, new research involving scientists at the University of York has revealed.
These hydrocarbons are particularly harmful in large cities where, through chemical reactions with emissions from cars, they form ozone – a greenhouse gas which is a key component of smog and directly linked to increases in mortality.
See also here and here
by E. Krukowska and R. Morison, February 26, 2018 in Bloomberg
European Union nations are poised to endorse the biggest overhaul of the market they created more than a decade ago to rein in pollution, a move that may lift prices of power generated from fossil fuels.
The measures, due for final approval in Brussels on Tuesday, impose tougher requirements on thousands of companies to reduce greenhouse gases or pay higher costs for their carbon dioxide emissions. They’re part of a plan to clear up a flaw in the market that left the cost of CO2 permits well below the level needed to stir investments in green energy.
by Edouard Guigue, 13 janvier 2018
Que sont les métaux rares ? Des ressources peu connues mais essentielles au fonctionnement de l’espace mondialisé. Insérées au cœur de tout appareil électronique, sans elles aucune de nos technologies numériques n’existerait. Composant également la plupart de nos technologies vertes (éoliennes, panneaux solaires ou voitures électriques), leurs modes de production laissent toutefois perplexe sur leur capacité à s’établir comme alternatives durables aux énergies fossiles. La pollution ne serait pas réduite mais simplement délocalisée… essentiellement en Chine où 95% des terres rares sont produites. Un chiffre qui par ailleurs devrait nous alarmer sur la situation de dépendance à la Chine dans laquelle le reste du monde -dont l’Europe- se trouve depuis les années 1980. Guillaume Pitron nous présente une enquête de six ans, dont les résultats sont à retrouver dans son livre La guerre des métaux rares.