Sunday, June 3, 2007

58. Remediation

(zeolite, recycling filtration, etc.; various types of water and soil cleansing technologies dependent upon physical characteristics of the materials utilized, learning options, mycelium, etc.)

Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish
19:02 min.

[Spain has the world's largest ecological fish farm (that is so rich it is without feed inputs)--based on flooded canals and wetlands that remediates the polluted rivers that feed it and provides fish and ecological services for many other species as well.] Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

Ideally, like in the film above, this entire category would disappear when commodity ecology was working properly in smooth pass-offs from one area to another--without wastes or iteratively mounting ecological damages in the locations where humans live, grow things, mine, or whatever.

Oil Remediation via Straw, Without Chemicals (6:28)

"Man who specializes in erosion control has a cleaner, greener solution to removing oil spills. They use Coastal Bermuda Grass and Wheat Straw, and "would be a massive ready to use supply in a few weeks (throughout the Southeast)." Hay will keep floating, gather oil on its surface very efficiently, and then can be gathered at high tide on beaches (keeping oil from getting into beach sand), or gathered in the water. Wave action encourages this technique instead of how waves destroy chemical technique choices of techiques. "If it washes up on shore, its just like seaweed, so take typical beach cleaning equipment, pick it up, and put it in lined dumpsters, and take it off and burn it for energy...The [main] point is getting it out of the water (and getting it before it gets in beach sand)."

Cheap Cotton/Nylon Fiber Oil Absorbing Cloth for Beaches (limited supply)

"Man who specializes in erosion control has a cleaner, greener solution to removing oil spills for last-ditch attempt to save beaches with this cotton cloth typically used for erosion control."

The below video however is a brilliant cross-over example mixing several consumptive use categories at once: waste remediation, energy generation, and water purification all in one! The application is mentioned near the close of the video though the whole video is interesting.

Given that human waste streams like fecal coliform pollution will always exist, some form of remediation will likely always be there. This one is modular, localizable to a watershed, and thus an ingenious application of sustainable technology. It makes use of an energy technology's by-product effects (clean water and energy) to conduct waste water treatment. Talk about solving many issues at once!

Oxy Hydrogen Process (Water Fuel Cell)
8:25 min

Additionally see the category 'garbage/garbage disposal'.

Another major idea that has localization capacities is mycelium. Mycelium is an excellent base for starting the commodity ecology, because literally it was the basis for all land base life: the first land dwellers that prepared everything chemically for soil formation that other creatures utilized later. See this short stunning video, below. The only difficulty with this idea of use of packing materials is how to shore up particular localized biodiversity. If you watch the film, come back and think about that: the potential is for creating a loss of biodiversity and locality via saving it. However, the general principle is ingenious: use cardboard as a multi-use packing material. You can use it for packing materials and you can use it for the material that it is already 'seeded' (literally) and ready for turning itself green. Packing materials as innately sold and bound with a 'mycelium and seeds' mixture, so when it is thrown away, it will consume itself and create a green area when turned to 'trash'.

Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world (17 minutes)

"Entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets seeks to rescue the study of mushrooms from forest gourmets and psychedelic warlords. The focus of Stamets' research is the Northwest's native fungal genome, mycelium, but along the way he has filed 22 patents for mushroom-related technologies, including pesticidal fungi that trick insects into eating them, and mushrooms that can break down the neurotoxins used in nerve gas. There are cosmic implications as well. Stamets believes we could terraform other worlds in our galaxy by sowing a mix of fungal spores and other seeds to create an ecological footprint on a new planet."

Re-basing commodity ecology, the ecologizing of human commodification, on mycelium seems the sounded basis to start. Moreover, it is probably to be expected because mycelium was the first arriving "'life organ' of ecology" that these species would be an integral start for life--and for other commodity ecology paths. It has THE MOST cross-connects or overlaps SO FAR with leads into other categories. It connects very well with:

58. Remediation
16. Herbicides/Pesticides
6. Soils/Dirt/Hydroponics
5. Garbage/Garbage disposal
7. Drugs/Medicines
11. Mycelium based food
72. Packing Materials (for seeding forests, mycelium and seeds embedded)

THAT means mycelium's many local multiple consumptive positional uses makes it a good place to start upon the commodity ecology for branching in multiple directions from this locus. He says 6 ideas. I count seven. Really, all the difficulties with sustainability are already solved. It merely means putting all the pieces together combined with challenging the corrupt developmentalism with the bioregional state institutional arrangements, challenging the arrangements that keep sustainability, sustainable politics, and territorial states from happening.

Note: in practice, remediation of the environment is different materially than remediation of the human body. Information on that location of remediation is under drugs/medicines.

Another short material choice change using mycelium:

Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic?
9:05 min

"Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment. Eben Bayer is co-inventor of MycoBond, an organic (really -- it's based on mycelium, a living, growing organism) adhesive that turns agriwaste into a foam-like material for packaging and insulation."


Mark said...

Besides zeolite for many issues, for nuclear instead of storing it away expensively, there is actually a remediation technology for nuclear waste--though heavily repressed.

There ARE nuclear remediation technologies, hunt for "Brown's gas" videos.


Subject: Remediating Nuclear Waste Materials - UNLV
Dear Mr. Tetreault:

After reading your article in the Review Journal entitled "Nuclear Project Draws Interest," I thought it may be of interest to you to know that the DOE has played this game with university and privately funded laboratories for many years. Perhaps the most comprehensive review of this subject ever undertaken was prepared by Mr. Richard Shamp, President of Nuclear Remediation Technologies, headquartered in Hyattsville, Maryland (301)559-5057. Beginning in 1997, NRT and its chief scientist S-X Jin [once the highest ranked particle physicist in the People's Republic of China, until he escaped to the US in 1994 while addressing the Institute of New Energy symposium in Salt Lake City, Utah] have been submitting critical laboratory documents to DOE, demonstrating the effectiveness of known technologies used to remediate radioactive emissions generated by nuclear fuel waste materials in both solid and liquid form.

After being finessed into providing all the definitive laboratory data to Dr. Frank Goldner of DOE's nuclear remediation division, then-Secretary of DOE Spencer Abraham attempted to confiscate, classify and impound NRT's technology while at the same time pretending to be considering providing grant money to support its continued development. The fact that the technology in question had already been awarded six patents [K. Shoulders et al] was the only thing that prevented him from succeeding. Instead of providing grant funding, Dr. Goldner [of DOE's nuclear remediation division] was instructed to put an end to NRT's pursuit of DOE funding for the development and deployment of its technologies. And that is precisely what he did.

During a conference call held on November 15, 2003, I was informed by Goldner [of DOE's nuclear remediation division] that not only did DOE not intend to ever provide any funding to anyone for the purpose of remediating radioactive emissions in spent nuclear fuels, he insisted that it is and will continue to be DOE's policy for the next 40 years to encapsulate and bury every ounce of high-grade nuclear waste material stored in the US under ground at [earthquake prone and water leak prone] Yucca Mountain. Further, he told us that [this extends to scientific research repression by the DOE and that] any attempt to obtain any high-level nuclear waste materials for testing by anyone, including government funded laboratories, would be arrested and jailed without access to legal counsel under the Export Administration Act. I still don't know what the EAA has to do with remediating radioactive emissions, but that is what he said.

In 1999, while Elliott Richardson was Secretary of DOE, NRT was awarded a discretionary grant of $2,000,000 for the purpose of advancing its test schedule. The work was to have been undertaken in concert with Dr. George Miley, physicist in residence at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana - Dr. Miley's laboratory at the Champaign-Urbana campus was level 2 accredited by DOE, and was therefore acceptable as a test and development site. However, within less than 90 days after the announcement of the grant had been published, pressure from within the Department rose to such extraordinary levels that Secretary Richardson was forced to withdraw the grant, albeit grudgingly.

The only similar technology ever contemporaneously developed in the US for the remediation of radioactive emissions in high-grade nuclear waste materials was developed in the late 1990's by Dr. Paul Brown and his colleagues at World Atomics in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After being granted several patents for the 'Nuclear Spallation Device' he designed, Brown contracted with several Japanese contractors to build three successively powerful prototype versions of his device.

He had them built in Japan because DOE actively intervened more than a dozen times to prevent US companies from building it.

The problem with Brown's device was that it was little more than a small, semi-controlled nuclear fission-powered device designed to continuously bombard nuclear waste material targets with a highly charged gamma ray field. Because it was so dangerous to operate, Brown was never able to obtain the necessary State Department or UN transport clearances to have it shipped across international waters into the US for further testing and development.

As you may recall, [the same] Dr. Brown was killed shortly thereafter under the most questionable of circumstances, just as the utility of his nuclear spallation technique was about to be publicly demonstrated in Japan. (Only a month before he died, Dr. Brown met with me and a few of my business and science associates in Henderson, Nevada to present his method of neutralizing radioactive waste. His method is No. 13 in my list of [U.S. suppressed] methods of neutralizing or disposing of radioactive waste in .

We have known how to safely remediate radioactive emissions from spent nuclear fuels, both liquid and solid, for nearly a decade.

We have the test data and prototype apparatus to prove it. That data, including all the protocols, policies, procedures and experimental design criteria associated with our work have been submitted to DOE many times over - Dick Shamp can tell you all about it if you want to go to the trouble to ask him - with the net result that DOE will not allow the US Postal Service to deliver our proposals any longer. If you want to see what is really going on with nuclear remediation, this is a very good place to begin.

Thanks for writing your article - you're about to find out how big Pandora's box really is.

[signed] David G. Yurth, Ph.D. Director Science and Technology Nuclear Remediation Technologies, Inc.


Have 3 people been assassinated because of the Cincinnati Group's discovery of a low-energy nuclear transmutation process that can be used, e.g., for radioactive waste remediation?


Robert Bass: Low-Energy Nuclear Transmutation

From: Don Quixote II <>
To: Sir Arthur C. Clarke <>
Date: Saturday, November 25, 2000 8:07 AM
Subject: A WARNING? My micropellet proposal to Japanese government

Have 3 people been assassinated because of the Cincinnati Group's discovery of a low-energy nuclear transmutation process that can be used, e.g., for radioactive waste remediation?

The original 14 addressees are all editors or investigative reporters

From: Bass, Robert W (IDS)
To: Adil Shamoo ; Barbara DelloRusso ; Eugene F. Mallove ; George Miley ; Hal Fox ; Jean-Francois Cazorla ; Jed Rothwell ; Jim Wilson ; Mitchell Swartz ; Pat Bailey ; Patrick Bailey ; Charles B. Stevens ; Elijah C. Boyd ; Marjorie Hecht Cc: 'Xing-Zhong Li'
Sent: Friday, November 24, 2000 6:50 PM
Subject: My micropellet proposal to Japanese government

PREFACE: It is readily documented that the CIA and the KGB and the Mossad, etc. all have "sprays" which can be sprayed upon someone and cause him to die of apparently natural causes. One famous case occurred (not long after Chris Tinsley's death) in which Mossad agents were caught red-handed spraying a Hamas activist in Jordan, and King Hussein told the Israeli Prime Minister that if they didn't send the antidote quick there would be hell to pay; but it wasn't the Mossad which sent the antidote to Jordan, it was the CIA! (They sent a doctor from the Mayo clinic [who had been previously accused of being a collaborator with the CIA] to revive the victim.)

So much for people who say that political assassinations by democratic governments are paranoid fantasies.


Hal, Dr. Li approached me semi-publicly after the American Nuclear Society (ANS) meeting, where he heard me talk about the CG's LENT process. He said that he hadn't wanted to spoil my presentation by saying anything negative, but he wanted ME to know that he himself did NOT believe the CG claims and that he could NOT confirm the claims based on his own experience and that yet he liked me and wanted me to know "the truth." (By the way, did you know that Dr. Li has 35 Ph.D.'s working for him full-time on CF in China with Chinese government support!!)

Dr. Li said that he had gone to your lab in Utah and watched you and Dr. Jin run the experiment with a "good" gamma ray detector. However, he claims that when the thorium begins to precipitate out, the solid angle of the detector remains unchanged, but the thorium is moving out of that fixed solid angle, so that the radioactivity SEEMS to be decreasing but it is a false alarm.

He said that he took the "before & after" fluids that you gave him back to China and had them tested but with negative results. (But Li _did_ admit that the straight-line graph I showed could not be explained by his negative assumptions and was "affirmative evidence on the side of the CG.")

Don Holloman of CG says that the 7-man team of Francesco Celani et al in Italy tested the CG LENT-1 device so thoroughly that "data reduction" took 37 volunteer undergraduates "months" to complete. In their publication they claim that they achieved both complete "radiometric balance" AND complete "chemical balance" of the before-process and after-process results. However, Celani's boss died in midlife of alleged "natural causes".

And you know that Stan Gleeson of the Cincinnati Group seemed to be perfectly well when he suddenly died at age 48 of "a stroke."

George Miley told me that when at ICCF-8 he asked Celani why he didn't follow through on this type of LENT work (which Chris Tinsley was starting in England [having emailed me about Stan's open-beaker LENT test] just before he dropped dead at age ~50 of "natural causes"), the reply of Celani was: "THREE PEOPLE have died, and I don't want to be the fourth!"

George Miley thought that Celani was talking about radiation-sickness danger, but that is not what Celani has in mind! The proof that Celani is open to conspiracy theories is that he is on the masthead of the LaRouche magazine and they don't merely suspect conspiracy, they have been jailed by a gov't conspiracy!

(Lawrence Hecht shook my hand at ANS after having just got out on parole after 5 years of a multi-decades sentence for "selling securities without a license" which was not [even] a crime in VA when he sold "political loans" to LaRouche supporters but [despite that] the Secretary of State of VA (who 2 days later was made a Judge as payoff for her cooperation) after studying the matter for 2 weeks decided that Political Loans are indeed 'securities.' (One of Hecht's colleagues is still in jail [illegally] with a 77-year sentence.)

The barbaric nature of a 77-year sentence for a technical infraction is self-evidently PROOF of evil at work: Pres. George Bush's stockbroker brother [Neil Bush of Silverado Bank in Colorado] was REALLY guilty of the same infraction, but he was merely fined $1,000 and told to "be more careful" and "don't do it again"!)

I feel that my own life has been threatened in writing, indirectly by the British government. Here's why: Nobel Laureate Brian Josephson agreed to show at the historic Cavendish Lab the Mallove cold fusion video which I had hand-carried to him. Dr. Josephson even published in Gene's magazine a letter saying he was going to show the video publicly! But when there was a conference there and many important scientists present, suddenly Josephson reneged! He told me in writing that he had first showed the video privately to a Very Important Person (I suspect Sir Brian Pippard, J's own teacher, after whom TWO buildings at Cambridge are named!); then he, Josephson, was "convinced" by said VIP that it is "for the best" that the public be "allowed to continue to believe" that the whole CF/LENR thing was a delusion!!

I tried to get J to say why he had agreed. He replied (with copies of his email to me both to Gene and to Yeong Kim at Purdue) that it was for reasons of military security; "they" are afraid that terrorists or rogue nations will learn how to make vest-pocket H-bombs. (This is why physicist Fred Zimmerman of the US State Dept. is helping Park with his campaign to outlaw cold fusion meetings.)

When I replied to J that my own theory of deuterium crystals could be used to make "fusion micro-pellets" or "micro-bombs" and that I had sent a copy of my proposal to the Japanese government before they terminated their NHE program, J replied to me that I had better "keep your bright ideas to yourself".

In case I pass away prematurely of "natural causes" I am going to copy the preceding paragraph and send a copy to Gene Mallove [he's dead as well from mysterious causes in a 'burgulary' several years ago--he got mad at MIT conducting scientific fraud hiding the reality of cold fusion] and include below a copy of my "microbomb" proposal to the Japanese government.

My MSD "bright idea" which J says I should keep to myself has been spread all over the world by Internet since late 1997 and January 1998, so it's too late to suppress the idea by suppressing me.

Best personal regards, Bob


all from:

A History Of 'New Energy' Invention Suppression Cases
By Gary Vesperman

As Dr. Yurth said above, if you follow out energy politics of intentionally keeping people clientelistic to major global conglomerates that gatekeept solutions worldwide for everything under the sun already invented: "you're about to find out how big Pandora's box really is."

Mark said...

Attack of the Metal-Eating Plants
Stephen Leahy Email 02.12.05 | 2:00 AM

Genetically modified plants may be the green solution for cleaning up contaminated soils.

The results of a successful field trial in California last year were published last week in the online arm of Environmental Science & Technology. They showed that genetic engineering boosted a plant's ability to absorb selenium, a toxic heavy metal, by 430 percent.

"It was our first trial, and we were surprised at how well it worked," said study author Norman Terry, a professor of plant and microbial biology with the University of California, Berkeley.

Phytoremediation -- the use of plants to absorb or break down contaminants -- has been used over the past decade with varying success.

Genetic engineering offers the potential to ramp up the slow-growing phytoremediation industry with a new generation of toxin-cleaning super plants.

Terry chose Indian mustard, a fast-growing plant with natural abilities to tolerate toxic soils.

He genetically enhanced the plant's ability to convert selenium into a nontoxic form. That allowed the plants to accumulate more of the contaminant without being killed.

The test plants were grown outside in heavily contaminated soils taken from the San Luis Drain, a concrete-lined canal that was used to channel irrigation wastewater from Central Valley farms until the pollution starting killing birds. In conditions that would kill other plants, the genetically modified mustard thrived, doing nearly as well as the non-modified control plants in normal soil, Terry said.

Selenium contamination is a serious problem in California's Central Valley and other farmlands in the West that use irrigation water. As it evaporates, low levels of selenium in the water build up in the soil year after year. Selenium is considered an essential trace mineral for both humans and animals, but it becomes toxic at high doses. As much as 2.6 million acres of Western agricultural land are considered susceptible to selenium contamination, according to a U.S. Department of the Interior study (.pdf).

"Phytoremediation is very cheap compared to bulldozing the soil and carting it off for landfill or to some decontamination facility," said Terry.

His success so far is just a "proof of concept" and not good enough to consider commercially. The next step is to turn the mustard into a super-duper selenium vacuum and magnify its absorption abilities 100-fold. Terry thinks he may already have the solution. Instead of engineering the plant to absorb more selenium, he plans to enable the Indian mustard to transform selenium into a harmless gas and release it from the leaves.

"We've been able to do it with plants in the lab," he said. An application to grow the new plants outside is before the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but obtaining permission is "very difficult," he said.

That's as it should be, said Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist with the Center for Food Safety.

"We don't know enough about the unintended effects of genetic engineering," said Gurian-Sherman. The toxicity of plants can change, or a modified plant could interbreed with wild plants, he said. "What happens when an insect eats one of these plants, and then something else eats that insect?

"Just because GM plants could be used in phytoremediation doesn't absolve them from careful safety assessments," said Gurian-Sherman.

Selenium isn't the only target. Applied PhytoGenetics is working on cottonwood trees with a bacterial gene that will allow them to absorb mercury from contaminated sites and release a less-harmful form into the atmosphere.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin, often found in sediments of water bodies. The company chose water-loving cottonwoods because they grow fast. Field trials have been under way for less than two years, and, while the process seems to be working, researchers don't yet know how much mercury is being removed from the soil at the test site, said CEO David Glass.

Putting mercury back into the air isn't a long-term solution, said Glass. "We're hopeful we'll develop a plant that will hold onto the mercury." But that's many years away, making it difficult to attract investors, he said.

"It's too early to know how big a market this product will have," said Glass. "However, there's a growing problem (mercury contamination) out there that needs to be fixed."

Mark said...

nuclear remediation technologies list

Comparison of My List of 27 Methods of Neutralizing or Disposing of Radioactive Waste with PACE’s 9 Methods

Gary Vesperman

It seems safe to claim that there are at least two dozen different proposed methods of neutralizing or disposing of radioactive waste. Note that the credibility, practicality, safety and accessibility of these methods vary.

1. Theory of an anti-proton source and/or anti-neutron source; Gordon Ziegler.

2. Reversal of the order to disorder arrow in the second law of thermodynamics; Gordon Ziegler

(Both of Ziegler’s methods require large, high-energy linear accelerator facilities. For 50 million dollars all aging, disease, and decay processes could be reversed in a one-mile radius)

3. Patent on special large containers that have fins. These are put on container ships and sunk 200 feet into the mud at the bottom of the deepest ocean trenches; Dr. M.

4. $50,000 grant from the Canadian Gov. to neutralize radioactive waste using an esoteric technology; Dr. Andrew Michrowski.

5. Patent that describes a relatively inexpensive way of getting rid of radioactive material (or anything, for that matter) forever; Purdue University professor.

6. The Hawkings’ generator uses simple car battery-powered apparatus to generate a 6 to 8-inch long white spark of cold electricity 4 inches in diameter between two brass balls. Substances inserted in the spark reportedly have been observed to sometimes transmute to heavier elements; Ken Hawkings.

7. Collective ion acceleration method has been designed and developed to the point of bench testing in the laboratory. The collective ion accelerator is completely documented, has been submitted to the Department of Energy, and is ready for full laboratory testing, prototype construction and testing. Development phases II and III each needs $2.5 million. Phase IV would involve on-site field testing of a transportable system suitable for remediation of radioactive emissions in both liquid and solid wastes; Salt Lake City, Utah research group led by Chinese plasma physicist Dr. Shang Xian Jin.

8. Simple deep underground burial, e.g., Yucca Mountain, Nevada; U.S. Government.

9. Dematerialization device A using highest powered positive ions ever; Mike Hanson.

10. Dematerialization device B using highest powered positive ions ever; Mike Hanson.

11. Dematerialization device C using highest powered positive ions ever; Mike Hanson.

12. Dematerialization device D using highest powered positive ions ever; Mike Hanson.

(Hanson’s dematerialization devices transmute any waste into its lowest possible harmless
form by passing it through a dematerialization spherical boundary – an extremely active boson field kinetics area of plasmatic surface tension/extreme heat.)

13. Photo-deactivation using gamma rays; Dr. Paul Brown.

14. Implosion machine is an electric arc welder which is modified to duplicate nature’s ball lightning; Sonne Ward.

15. Roy transmutation process.

16. According to inventor John Schnurer, Barker’s patented method is the easiest, most effective, and least messy method for remediation of radioactive waste. It is dry and reproducible. One shot of only minor energy is required, and then the process self runs. The equipment is simple, off-the-shelf, inexpensive and requires no special skill.

17. Dr. Ronald Gillembardo’s method of neutralizing waste. He showed it to the Czechoslovakian government which had been digging their own version of Yucca Mountain, and they stopped digging.

18. Keller catalytic process which is also known as "volcano in a can"; Keller.

19. Transmutation of low-level nuclear waste into a glassy substance by running a super high voltage through it; unknown.

20. 96% reduction of radioactivity by welding with Brown’s gas; further reduction is possible by utilizing liquefied Brown’s gas; Yul Brown.

21. Combining Brown’s gas with bucking magnetic fields inside a plasma ball; Hans Becker.

22. Joe Champion’s transmutation method.

23. Searl effect generator-powered anti-gravity spacecraft for one-way trip out of solar system; John Searl.

24. Gravito-magnetic device-powered anti-gravity spacecraft for one-way trip out of solar system; David Hamel.

25. Anti-gravity spacecraft for one-way trip out of solar system; David Burns.

26. Russian process that uses liquid lead bismuth to trigger transforming in the form of neutrons; Anthony Hechanova.

27. Accelerator-driven Transmutation of Waste (ATW) as recently described by Denis E. Beller, Ph.D., of University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

June 14, 2002, long-time friend, physicist, and email correspondent Andrew Michrowski, Ph.D., emailed me two reports. Dr. Michrowski is with The Planetary Association for Clean Energy, Inc. (in French La Société planétaire pour l'assainissement de l'énergie, inc), 100 Bronson Avenue / Suite 1001, OTTAWA, Ontario K1R 6G8 (613) 236-6265 fax: (613) 235-5876 .

One report is a copy of Bill C-27 submitted to Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on

Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources as “An Act respecting the long-term management of nuclear fuel waste”. The other report was written by Mark Porringa of Zeropoint Techtonix Inc, 430 Bass Lake Road, R R # 1,Deep River, Ontario K0J 1P0 (613) 584-2960 fax: (613) 584-4616 . The text of Porringa’s brief descriptions of nine alternative, peer-reviewed techniques as candidates for the global clean-up of nuclear waste is copied below.

I have compared these nine methods with my list of 27. Some methods in the Canadian list of nine would be additions to my list. The Brown’s gas-metal matrix process seems different from the two versions of Brown’s gas in my list. I have “96% reduction of radioactivity by welding with Brown’s gas; further reduction is possible by utilizing liquefied Brown’s gas; Yul Brown”, and “combining Brown’s gas with bucking magnetic fields inside a plasma ball; Hans Becker”.

My list does not include the ZIPP fusion process, RIPPLE fission, Kervran reactions, Monti process, and higher group symmetry electrodynamics.

(Mark Porringa’s report follows next.)

Advanced Nuclear Waste Decontamination Technologies

The following is a reasonably comprehensive list of potentially effective nuclear waste treatment methods that might be employed to treat the entire range of radioactive wastes that have proven to be such a daunting and horrendously expensive problem for the nuclear industry (in all its forms) with major, long-term implications for the environment.

A wide variety of methods will probably be required to accommodate the many different radioactive waste sources including high and low level, solids, liquids and gases. Process names used here are in some cases just convenient labels used to categorize and set them apart from each other.

Theories on several of these processes are still quite speculative and solid evidence that would pass conventional peer review is still lacking. This is after all a very new field of science.

Some of these technologies are already well protected by international or national patents, with additional US and international patents pending, and further patents may be obtained on new developments as they are made.

Brown’s Gas-Metal Matrix Process:

The BG-MMX process utilizes a patented electrolysis cell of the Australian Prof. Yul Brown’s design that is said to produce a stoichiometric mixture of monatomic hydrogen and oxygen or possibly a quasi-stable water molecule raised to a high-energy state. This gas has some very peculiar properties including the ability to sublimate tungsten (6000oC) with an implosive flame that burns cool in air with a temperature of only 130oC.

The gas is used to heat a proprietary mixture of metals and/or metal oxides including the radwaste to be neutralized. A highly exothermic radiant reaction appears to result in the immediate reduction of radioactivity approaching 95% of the original levels judging from preliminary tests, within seconds of treatment. The process is conjectured to be effective with high level solid wastes and possibly gasses, but probably not liquids. The high temperatures involved may also preclude the processing of more volatile wastes.

Since 1991, this technology has been successfully demonstrated, on a small scale, at least 50 times to US, Chinese, Japanese and United Kingdom officials on a variety of nuclear waste products including americium, cobalt, uranium, and plutonium. The technique can be applied for the immediate decontamination of stockpiles of nuclear waste materials being held near nuclear power plants. The process is very simple, safe, and inexpensive to develop further into robotics application for on-site treatment with no foreseen environmental effects.


The Photoremediation process of the American Dr. Paul Brown is essentially conventional physics, albeit applied in a new and novel way. The process involves the use of a high-energy electron beam impinged on a target which in turn produces a monochromatic gamma radiation that is tuned to induce photofission and photoneutron reactions in the target material causing rapid neutralization of radioactive isotopes. The efficiency claimed exceeds 500% due to the high cross-section reactions in the giant dipole resonance region. The 10 million electron-volt (MeV) electron beam produces typical fission reactions in the 200 MeV range effectively turning high-level solid wastes such as spent fuel into an energy source. The process is apparently intended for on-site treatment with some waste-partitioning required, an aspect which may not be desirable in certain countries.

While this idea is similar in topology to a system being developed by Los Alamos National Labs, Dr. Paul Brown’s approach offers several advantages: no need for extensive chemical pre-processing and the energy required to effect transmutation is greatly reduced. No new technology needs to be developed, yet the engineering of such a photon reactor must be completed and it could itself become a practical method for generating power.

ZIPP Fusion:

The ZIPP fusion process, identified by Mark Porringa, induces a wide variety of fusion reactions, resulting from the radial compression of individual diatomic and other simple molecules dissolved or suspended in a light water, carbon arc electrolysis cell. A variety of other cell configurations are envisioned.

The process appears to produce only stable isotopes, which should therefore make it capable of stabilizing a wide variety of radioactive waste materials. The theory on the process draws from condensed charge phenomena, Brown’s gas implosion, cavitation bubble collapse and sonoluminesence - all variations of the Casimir effect - which is believed to cohere the zero-point energy of quantum vacuum fluctuations. Transmutations using variations of this basic process may be applicable to a wide variety of nuclear wastes and appears capable of operating with an efficiency exceeding 100%.

A major implication of this process is that the strong force of the nucleus is understood as an ultra close range Casimir effect. Oakridge Nuclear Laboratories in the US in conjunction with several international collaborators have just (this month, in fact) announced a deuterium cold fusion process based on the essential elements of the ZIPP fusion process first reported in 1998. The process is very simple and inexpensive to develop.

RIPPLE Fission:

The RIPPLE fission process is an adaptation of existing potential technology utilizing a supersonic ionized gas to aerosol a counter flow heat exchanger that envelopes the radioactive waste aerosol in a vacuum induced plasma vortex which appears to disrupt the matter stabilizing influence of the quantum vacuum fluctuations resulting in “gentle” low recoil fission reactions which produce only stable fission products, with excess neutrons being prompt converted to protons via quenched beta emissions. The process is apparently proven with conventional non-radioactive wastes and is believed applicable to the entire spectrum of radwaste without the need for waste partitioning. This process is also conjectured to operate with an over-unity efficiency.

LENTEC Processes:

The Low Energy Nuclear Transmutation Electrolytic Cells of the Cincinnati group produce a variety of transmutation reactions using a variety of exotic electrolysis cell designs that generally produce condensed charge clusters composed primarily of up to 1011 electrons each. These electron charge clusters produced with the use of special electrodes can penetrate the nuclei of larger atoms in solution and transmute these atoms into stable elements.

The range of design and operating protocols and potential applications are essentially limitless provided for the waste that is dispersed in the electrolyte. The reported transmutation of thorium to stable titanium and copper by the Cincinnati Group and by the Salt Lake City group is one of the most dramatic examples of this type of treatment process. Application to other high-level liquid transuranic fissionable wastes such as surplus plutonium seems likely. The glaring absence of normal fission yield energies is perplexing but probably explicable as another form of low recoil fission reaction, similar to RIPPLE fission.

Plasma Induced/Injected Transmutation - PIT Processes (also known as HDCC):

Plasma induced/injected transmutation processes run include a gamut from recent achievements dating back to the Oshawa-Kushi cold plasma transmutations reported in 1964. The patented High-Density Charge Cluster (HDCC) process was first discovered by Kenneth Shoulders and added on to by Harold E. Puthoff. Later, the late Stan Gleeson discovered HDCC in properly processed solutions. Still later, Alexander Ilyanok of Belarus discovered HDCC, followed by Vasiliy Baraboskin in Russia.

The production of condensed charge clusters and various plasma glow discharge phenomena in a variety of gaseous atmospheres is again implicated as the underlying cause with what should be by now an obvious connection with the coherence of zero-point energy from the quantum or stochastic vacuum. Desk-top high energy particle accelerators have also been envisioned, based on the “piggy back” principle, in which the clusters permit acceleration of “piggy-backed” heaver +ions to extremely high energies capable of causing fusion and transmutations in target materials including those in solution and the materials of which the electrodes are composed. Brown’s gas implosion and cavitation bubble collapse reactions are also believed to be prevalent in these types of cells due to the prevalence of electrolysis.

A high-density charge cluster technology was discovered and used by Stan Gleeson to stabilize radioactive liquid wastes and has been developed further in the last 4 years by a group led by S-X Jin and Hal Fox. Best results for radioactive liquids have been demonstrated in the processing of thorium for a 30-minute period and achieving a reduction of radioactivity of about 90% from a liquid sample.

Kervran Reactions:

The very compelling evidence compiled by French Nobel candidate Dr. Louis Kervran has identified a wide range of nuclear transmutations in biological systems that have not been adequately explained. Coherence of zero-point energy via Casimir effects within the Somatid particles identified by the Canadian Gaston Naessens is implicated as a possible cause. A wide variety of in vitro and in vivo reactions are believed to be possible as proven in nature and numerous experiments typically involving a reaction medium composed of a dielectric fluid such as water. Highly radiation resistant microorganisms have been found thriving in the core of nuclear reactors indicating the possibility of microorganisms being capable of transmuting some bioactive nuclear wastes in the course of the normal metabolism of such organisms.

The Monti Process:

The Italian Roberto A. Monti’s process involves confined explosions involving proprietary mixtures of materials that include radioactive waste. Ignition of such mixtures causes nuclear transmutations resulting in reduced radioactivity (to near-background levels) following combustion, gradually over 1 to 4 days. This technique has been confirmed by the Italian ENEA and is supported by the French CEA scientists as a serious candidate for treatment of waste stockpiles. The system, as currently designed, required waste to be inserted into a chamber.

Higher Group Symmetry Electrodynamics:

Extremely weak, non-classical, higher group symmetry electromagnetic fields were found during a 1991 experiment made by Glen Rein to alter significantly the level of radioactivity in materials, even those in the environment. The experiments suggest that higher group symmetry electrodynamics modulate the quantitative and /or qualitative properties of radioactive species. If the non-classical fields directly affect the radioactive species, it is likely that the appropriate field parameters will be discovered to neutralize radioactive emissions. In 1999, a theoretical basis for the phenomenon was developed by the Welsh physicist, M. W. Evans, with the participation of Lt. Col. (retired) Thomas E. Bearden.

The technology is extremely simple and could be applied with minimum logistics for treating massive structures, in-toto outdoors, such as the Chernobyl disaster site.

(End of Mark Porringa’s report)

Mark said...

[Gee, next is to make something really useful instead of pollutive out of gasoline...; may be more useful in waste reduction/remediation]

fuel Japanese Make Gasoline From Cattle Dung

Japanese Make Gasoline From Cattle Dung

By KOZO MIZOGUCHI, Associated Press Writer Fri Mar 3, 8:37 PM ET

TOKYO - Scientists in energy-poor Japan said Friday they have found a new source of gasoline — cattle dung.

Sakae Shibusawa, an agriculture engineering professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, said his team has successfully extracted .042 ounces of gasoline from every 3.5 ounces of cow dung by applying high pressure and heat.

"The new technology will be a boon for livestock breeders" to reduce the burden of disposing of large amounts of waste, Shibusawa said.

About 551,155 tons of cattle dung are produced each year in Japan, he said.

Gasoline extracted from cow dung is unheard of, said Tomiaki Tamura, an official of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency. Japan relies almost totally on imports for its oil and gasoline needs.

The team, helped by staff from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology near Tokyo, produced gasoline by adding several unspecified metal catalysts to the dung inside a container and applying a 30-atmosphere pressure and heat of up to 300 degrees Celsius (572 Fahrenheit), Shibusawa said. Details of the catalysts could not be disclosed, he added.

The team hopes to improve the technology so that it can be used commercially within five years, Shibusawa said.

In a separate experiment revealing another unusual business potential for cow dung, another group of researchers has successfully extracted an aromatic ingredient of vanilla from cattle dung, said Miki Tsuruta, a Sekisui Chemical Co. spokeswoman. The extracted ingredient, vanillin, can be used as fragrance in shampoo and candles, she said.

Tsuruta said the vanillin was extracted from a dung solution in a pressurized cooker in a project co-organized by a Japanese medical research institute.;_ylt=A9FJqaeYog5E1u0A8gxxieAA;_ylu=X3oDMTA3MXN1bHE0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Mark said...

The U.S. Gov't will fund this, though ignores all the above!

remediation >> Editorials
The plutonium question

Published February 4, 2006

For decades, the question about what to do with America's nuclear waste has had basically one answer: Yucca Mountain. Hold the waste at power plants until it can be shipped to that carved-out mountain lair in remote Nevada, where it can slowly and harmlessly decay for thousands of millenniums. But lawsuits and other political challenges make it doubtful that the facility will open in the next several years. Or maybe ever.

So now the Bush administration and some congressional leaders are proposing a new way to reduce the radioactive risks of Yucca Mountain and possibly avoid building more repositories: recycling.

What if, they ask, you could take the fuel that comes out of a nuclear reactor and instead of burying it in huge casks that must be guarded for centuries, you could recycle some of it and run it through a nuclear reactor again? Maybe even more than twice? What if that means less nuclear waste would be created and the stuff that is left over would be less radioactive?

In theory, it's a powerful and elegant solution. This country has embraced recycling of other commodities. Why not nuclear fuel?

First, a bit of rudimentary nuclear physics. Nuclear power plants operate with uranium fuel rods. When the rods are depleted, they contain small amounts of plutonium. If that plutonium is separated out, it can be used to make new fuel rods for power plants. Even though plutonium accounts for a tiny fraction of the weight of spent fuel, once separated and made into new fuel it can provide substantial amounts of energy.

It also can also be used to build a bomb. A dozen pounds is plenty. The challenge: extract the plutonium in a way that it can be reused in nuclear power plants as fuel--but that would make it difficult to use to make bombs. And do that economically, so you don't spend more in the process than if you simply use new fuel rods made of uranium, a far cheaper option at the moment.

Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory and elsewhere are working on new technology to meet this challenge. Right now, this new recycling technology has only been demonstrated in small experiments. But the Bush administration is set to unveil a $250 million initiative to speed development of these processes, according to U.S. Energy Department officials.

If the technology works, it could help expand the construction of nuclear plants in America at a time when energy prices are soaring and worries over global warming loom.

Opponents worry that the U.S. is charging ahead at breakneck speed. They note that Congress has ordered the Energy Department to deliver a strategy on recycling by next month, with the hopes of settling on a viable technology by next year. They say that's far too hasty and may involve an unacceptable risk: nuclear proliferation. The U.S. stopped reprocessing plutonium for civilian fuel in the 1970s over fears it would increase the chance that nuclear weapons would spread. Plutonium, unlike the lethally radioactive spent fuel, is vulnerable to loss or theft.

What's more, there's a global abundance of fresh plutonium ready and waiting to fuel reactors. Thus there's no clamor yet from nuclear utilities for reprocessed plutonium because, remember, for now it would cost more.

Still, there's good reason to continue this research. Argonne's Phillip J. Finck testified last year before a House committee that the nation's need for more nuclear waste storage could be reduced by "a factor of more than 100" if it works.

In World War II, the U.S. rushed to build the first atom bomb in the 1940s, through the crash program known as the Manhattan Project. The urgency was to win the war against the Nazis. There's urgency now, too, but on a different scale. Today America is in a different war. Terrorists prowl the world for nuclear material.

This new technology may be promising in solving a pernicious nuclear waste storage problem. But scientists must first prove that it won't make a dangerous world even more so.

Mark said...

The toxic avenger

WHAT IT IS: A system for neutralizing the effect of radioactive waste on the environment using toxin-eating microbes

LEAD INVENTOR: Environmental engineer Craig Criddle, Stanford

SNAPSHOT: Microbes found in the groundsoil of toxic waste sites often can metabolize the waste. Criddle has developed a method of stimulating them to grow in quantities that can renew acres of poisoned land.

FANTASY APP: Cleaning up the world’s radioactive landfills quickly and efficiently

THE STORY: In the 1940s, Los Alamos, New Mexico, wasn’t the only place where world-renowned physicists were doing secret work. At Oak Ridge, Tennessee, other physicists, working under assumed names, were refining the uranium needed for the bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima. The city opened up after the war, and atomic weapons production stopped in the ’80s, but at least one element of this secret history lingered, embedded in the earth, seeping into the water. At Oak Ridge, uranium levels were dangerously high.

Given the carelessness of the scientists, who spent decades dumping waste into ponds eventually paved over to make a parking lot, there was far too much contaminated land to excavate. Criddle, 49, a practical man who likes to chop his own wood and catch his own fish, thought a simpler solution might be found in the soil itself.

Among the microbes living on the site were several that included uranium in their exotic diet; they then converted the noxious substance into an insoluble form that didn’t harm the environment any further. Bioremediation, as the process is called, had been used in the past, by Criddle and others, to treat chemical spills. Unfortunately, these microorganisms found other substances in the Oak Ridge soil—strong acids and solvents used in refining the uranium—far less appetizing than the uranium. If the bacteria were going to make Oak Ridge more amenable to human life, the soil needed to become less hostile to bacterial life.

That has required the invention of specialized processes to flush out the groundsoil with clean water, gradually lowering the acidity. Following this housecleaning, the microbes are given large quantities of ethanol, a favorite food that prompts population growth. And a lot of microbes will be needed. Oak Ridge is just one of dozens of sites, an estimated 75 million cubic meters of contaminated sediment nationwide, undergoing a $220 billion cleanup effort, arguably the largest in history. Working with a team of Stanford geochemists and Department of Energy hydrogeologists, Criddle is preparing to scale up his human-bacterial collaboration: “The microbes are there. They’ve always been there. It’s just a matter of getting them what they need to thrive.”

Mark said...

Soil community-inspired residential wastewater treatment:

The Biolytix Filter is a compact septic system that mimics the structure and function of decomposer organisms along a river’s edge. In the Biolytix system, worms, beetles, and microscopic organisms convert solid sewage and food waste into structured humus, which then acts as the filter that polishes the remaining water to irrigation grade. The treated water is then distributed through shallow tubes to irrigate lawn and landscape. The system uses 1/10 the energy of conventional sewage treatment systems, needs no chemicals, and produces irrigation water that is safe for the environment.

Mark said...

It's an insulator, retardant, purifier, catalyst, remediator, war material (perhaps to make wars impossible actually, if you think about it--indestructible things so humans applying violence to each other might be rendered useless--if equally supplied of course) and building material all rolled into one:


[Several other building materials are mentioned in this post as well, most of them not retardants though insulators instead]

from The Sunday Times
August 19, 2007
Scientists hail ‘frozen smoke’ as material that will change world

Image :3 of 3

Videos: Aerogel in the wild | 'The stuff of dreams': Aerogel in architecture | Peter Stothard on Aerogel, frozen smoke and Rupert Brooke |

A MIRACLE material for the 21st century could protect your home against bomb blasts, mop up oil spillages and even help man to fly to Mars.

Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of dynamite and protect against heat from a blowtorch at more than 1,300C.

Scientists are working to discover new applications for the substance, ranging from the next generation of tennis rackets to super-insulated space suits for a manned mission to Mars.

It is expected to rank alongside wonder products from previous generations such as Bakelite in the 1930s, carbon fibre in the 1980s and silicone in the 1990s.

Mercouri Kanatzidis, a chemistry professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, said: “It is an amazing material. It has the lowest density of any product known to man, yet at the same time it can do so much. I can see aerogel being used for everything from filtering polluted water to insulating against extreme temperatures and even for jewellery.”

Aerogel is nicknamed “frozen smoke” and is made by extracting water from a silica gel, then replacing it with gas such as carbon dioxide.

The result is a substance that is capable of insulating against extreme temperatures and of absorbing pollutants such as crude oil.

It was invented by an American chemist for a bet in 1931, but early versions were so brittle and costly that it was largely consigned to laboratories.

It was not until a decade ago that Nasa started taking an interest in the substance and putting it to a more practical use.

In 1999 the space agency fitted its Stardust space probe with a mitt packed full of aerogel to catch the dust from a comet’s tail. It returned with a rich collection of samples last year.

In 2002 Aspen Aerogel, a company created by Nasa, produced a stronger and more flexible version of the gel. It is now being used to develop an insulated lining in space suits...

Mark Krajewski, a senior scientist at the company, believes that an 18mm layer of aerogel will be sufficient to protect astronauts from temperatures as low as -130C. “It is the greatest insulator we’ve ever seen,” he said.

Aerogel is also being tested for future bombproof housing and armour for military vehicles. In the laboratory, a metal plate coated in 6mm of aerogel was left almost unscathed by a direct dynamite blast.

It also has green credentials. Aerogel is described by scientists as the “ultimate sponge”, with millions of tiny pores on its surface making it ideal for absorbing pollutants in water.

Kanatzidis has created a new version of aerogel designed to mop up lead and mercury from water.

Other versions are designed to absorb oil spills.

He is optimistic that it could be used to deal with environmental catastrophes such as the Sea Empress spillage in 1996,

[the best way to 'deal with' that is to get rid of oil, period! See "Energy" category.]

when 72,000 tons of crude oil were released off the coast of Milford Haven in Pembrokeshire.

Aerogel is also being used for everyday applications. Dunlop, the sports equipment company, has developed a range of squash and tennis rackets strengthened with aerogel, which are said to deliver more power.

Earlier this year Bob Stoker, 66, from Nottingham, became the first Briton to have his property insulated with aerogel. “The heating has improved significantly. I turned the thermostat down five degrees. It’s been a remarkable transformation,” he said.

Mountain climbers are also converts. Last year Anne Parmenter, a British mountaineer, climbed Everest using boots that had aerogel insoles, as well as sleeping bags padded with the material. She said at the time: “The only problem I had was that my feet were too hot, which is a great problem to have as a mountaineer.”

However, it has failed to convince the fashion world. Hugo Boss created a line of winter jackets out of the material but had to withdraw them after complaints that they were too hot.

Although aerogel is classed as a solid, 99% of the substance is made up of gas, which gives it a cloudy appearance.

Scientists say that because it has so many millions of pores and ridges, if one cubic centimetre of aerogel were unravelled it would fill an area the size of a football field.

Its nano-sized pores can not only collect pollutants like a sponge but they also act as air pockets.

Researchers believe that some versions of aerogel which are made from platinum can be used to speed up the production of hydrogen. As a result, aerogel can be used to make hydrogen-based fuels.

* Read all 228 comments


From The Times
November 16, 2005
It's the stuff of dreams
Could buildings one day be made of carbon?

Tom Dyckhoff

Mark Miodownik got a box from Nasa the other day. It contained aerogel, the lightest solid on earth. You can barely feel it, save for a slight warmth on your palm.

It’s an insulator, but was mainly used by Nasa for collecting space dust — it’s so light that even the tiniest coating is detectable.

Dr Miodownik likes it, though, for its aesthetics. It’s like bath foam, he explains, “but imagine the bubbles are a nanometre wide”, and, like bath foam, it has a blue iridescence and rainbow refraction.

“I could gaze at it all day. Imagine a building coated in it.”

Dr Miodownik, a materials scientist at King’s College London, has a vast store cupboard of these goodies — “like a giant sweet shop, and I’m in charge”.

The Engineering Art Materials Co-operative is a library not of books but of materials, both sci-fi, such as aerogel, and more commonplace, though equally amazing. Here’s tungsten, “what they make light-bulb filaments from”, only a big fist of it — “people are astonished how heavy it is”.

The point of Dr Miodownik’s sweet shop is to inspire architects, artists and designers. “These materials shouldn’t be gathering dust in science departments. They should be out there,” he says.

Engineering Art is in part a dating agency between creatives and science, through events that Dr Miodownik organises at Tate Modern to get architects, artists and designers just to feel materials, to “innovate through their fingers”, learn their properties and get them “out there” on buildings.

Their obsession with novelty means that architects are as sensitive to trends as schoolkids. Right now you can’t move for buildings made from Cor-Ten steel and ETFE, the first a metal that intentionally rusts to a rich red, the second a cladding material like bubble wrap — the Eden Project is covered in it and the world’s largest ETFE building, the national swimming centre, is being built for the Beijing Olympics.

However, “conservatism is the overriding character of the building industry,” says Graham Dodd, an associate director at Arup, the world’s most innovative engineers. “So technological innovation happens incredibly slowly.”

Dodd’s department scours the globe for new components for buildings.

“There may be technologies or materials that seem new in architecture,” he says, “but by the time they’ve reached us they’re old news.”

Architects have long fantasised about the industrial production of buildings as if they were cars or boats. Future Systems famously used boat manufacturers to construct the Media Stand at Lords because there simply wasn’t the expertise within the building industry.

Today computer-aided design means that architects can dream faster and wilder than ever. Dodd spends much of his time perfecting double curved glass panels to create seamless blobs. Engineering, the actual making of the buildings, and the things they are made from are having to catch up fast with imaginations.

In fact, says Dodd, “we are on the foothills of the most exciting period of technological change since the 1960s”.

Fugitive Materials: The Art and Science of Impermanence, with Mark Miodownik, Cornelia Parker and others, takes place at Tate Modern, SE1 (020-7887 8888), on Nov 29 at 6.30pm.

Bye, bye brick? The future of building


Áron Losonczi, a Hungarian architect, laid glass fibres into structural concrete blocks before they set, rendering the light ethereal and see-through.


Used to insulate spaceships 30 years ago, Nanogel — sound absorbent, insulating and light transmitting — is now sandwiched within building facades.


American architects have invented a new façade material made from paper-thin, polymer-based film, stuffed with air gel pockets for insulation. It can be attached with flexible solar cells and LEDs, printed with patterns and wrapped around a frame.

Electrochromic glass

We already have glass that becomes opaque by running an electric current through it. More sophisticated versions change reflectivity, glare, colour and opacity: entire glass-clad buildings might act like Reactolite sunglasses, and reducing the heat gain and loss that can make glass so energy inefficient.

Responsive environments

Spaces that communicate with their user have been one of architecture’s dreams since the Sixties. One day walls will be soft, embedded with sensors and IT, so that walls become like skin, buildings like bodies. Coating walls in nanotechnology devices is being explored too, for instance to make surfaces self-cleaning — or coating them in electronic ink so that a wall becomes one giant LCD screen. The first small SmartSlab panels will emerge in the next three years.

Carbon fibre

Imagine a skyscraper, 40 storeys high, with a helical shell entirely woven by robots from IT-embedded carbon fibre, like a cocoon. The LA architects Peter Testa and Devyn Weiser are pioneering the transfer of carbon fibre technology to architecture. Most of their projects, like the Carbon Tower, remain speculative.

Mark said...

Brown's Gas [applied as nuclear waste remediation]

Joe Champion ( )
Sun, 02 Jun 1996 10:35:07 -0700




Attempts to fly had, of course, been made since Grecian times and there had been many fantasies how man could take to the air. Leonardo Da Vinci, in the 15th Century, made some remarkably creative designs of aircraft, but only on paper.

When we came to the 19th Century, there was much talk of flying and there were plenty of balloon flights with hot air balloons and finally beginning about 1890, the German experiments with H2 gas-filled "air ships".

All along it was said that heavier than air machines were absurd, - impossible, - and absolutely would never be.

The Wright Brothers were clever enough, very American for their time, pioneers, erudite, mathematical, excellent engineers.

They faced the problem with all their mathematical knowledge and wisdom and succeeded.

Curiously enough, this was only the beginning. Of course, their first thought was to invite some people along to see and say: "Look, we've done it, we can fly. It's a heavier than air machine."

They tried and tried but people would come and sneer and say they didn't believe it. There must be some trick, - and go away again.

Finally, the Wright brothers thought they knew what they should do. They should come to a very public place and show people, hundreds of thousands of people, flying, heavier than air, machines.

So, they went from Dayton, OH to New Jersey and in fields which may well have been near where New Jersey turnpike now runs, they kept on taking off, landing and flying around. There was substantial traffic on the roadways, some cars, some horses and buggies, and they must have been seen by very many people. The general reaction was, "We know that is not possible to have heavier than air machines, and therefore, these people are not flying. Perhaps they are pretending to, making hops, maybe they have a balloon inside there, holding it up but they cannot be flying because we know heavier than air machines cannot fly."

So, finally the Wright brothers went on a ship and took the whole thing to Paris, France, and there for the first time they got believers. Being not so squinty and skeptic as the Americans, the French took to them and began to build machines. Bleriot flew across the Channel in 1911, only three years after the Dayton, OH, flight. Of course, directly this was done, everything changed and in no time people were building aircraft and airlines were formed, etc.

So, it is with inventions which overgo the time, which are far out enough to be ahead of themselves and do things which have been regarded as totally impossible in the past.

It is important to remember this when one talks about chemically stimulated nuclear change and maybe demonstrations are necessary and will be much more convincing than anything else. But, it may be necessary to demonstrate again and again until so many people have seen it that the whispers begin to spread. There will come a time in which it will take off, and then all in flash, in a single year, there will be a revolution in thinking.

Until that time one has to just keep on trying, showing, demonstrating, letting people do it themselves, to find out and be convinced.

To add a point to this tale, I tell another one from a person who had been the energy czar in the Rockefeller administration and who got hold of Yull Brown. Yull had for some time been putting deuterium in the water when he electrolyzed and finding that when he took the deuterium and hydrogen together, he got 6,000�F and not 2,000�F, a very peculiar thing which cannot be explained chemically at all.

So, my friend the energy czar heard of the process of "quenching radioactivity" which Yull Brown claims he could do. Because of his former connections with Governor Rockefeller, he was able to get down from Washington two DOE engineers to act as witnesses.

The experiments were set up and carried out. There was no doubt that when the flame was played on the radioactive material, for more than 2 minutes, the radioactive decreased about 80 to 90%.

After the experiment had been done, my friend, who had taken quite a lot of trouble to set it up and obtain "reliable witnesses" triumphantly asked the engineers if they would write a report describing what they had seen.

"Seen?", said one. "We haven't seen anything."

There was much discussion of radioactivity escaping around the room. Searched for, there was none. Then, there was the question perhaps it had hidden inside the small grains. They were chopped up. There was no radioactivity inside the grains.

Finally, the two engineers sheepishly explained that, if they went back and told what they had seen, they would lose their jobs, as being gullible fools and that because everybody knows that it is not possible to quench radioactivity by heating it.



Joe Champion

Mark said...

removing estrogen through wastewater treatment can reverse the adverse impact of this substance/hormone on wild fish

It is important to filter out other chemicals in wastewater treatment than simply toxins. The regimen of treatment should be for wider known externalities to fish and other aquatic-dependent animals that have the same difficulty with excessive estrogen loads.

full article:

Published on Science Blog (
Fish devastated by sex-changing chemicals in municipal wastewater
Created 02/16/2008 - 07:36

While most people understand the dangers of flushing toxic chemicals into the ecosystem through municipal sewer systems, one potentially devastating threat to wild fish populations comes from an unlikely source: estrogen.

After an exhaustive seven-year research effort, Canadian biologists found that miniscule amounts of estrogen present in municipal wastewater discharges can decimate wild fish populations living downstream.

The research, led by Dr. Karen Kidd, an NSERC [1]-funded biology professor at the University of New Brunswick (Saint John) and the Canadian Rivers Institute, confirms that synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills can wreak havoc on the sex lives of fish. Small amounts of estrogen are excreted naturally by women whether or not they are taking birth control pills.

Male fish exposed to estrogen become feminized, producing egg protein normally synthesized by females. In female fish, estrogen often retards normal sexual maturation, including egg production.

“We’ve known for some time that estrogen can adversely affect the reproductive health of fish, but ours was the first study to show the long-term impact on the sustainability of wild fish populations,” explains Kidd. “What we demonstrated is that estrogen can wipe out entire populations of small fish — a key food source for larger fish whose survival could in turn be threatened over the longer term.”

Kidd and her colleagues reported the findings last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. She is also presenting the research at the prestigious 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference during a session entitled, From Kitchen Sinks to Ocean Basins: Emerging Chemical Contaminants and Human Health.

Estrogen is part of a broader class of sex-changing chemical compounds known as endocrine disrupting substances. These contaminants, also present in pulp mill effluents, can seriously interfere with normal hormonal processes, notes Kidd, the Canada Research Chair in Chemical Contamination of Food Webs.

To better understand the impacts of estrogen on fish, the researchers conducted a seven-year, whole-lake study at the Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario. Over three summers, they added tiny amounts — low parts per trillion — of the synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills to the lake to recreate concentrations measured in municipal wastewater.

During that period, they observed that chronic exposure to estrogen led to the near extinction of the lake’s fathead minnow population as well significant declines in larger fish, such as pearl dace and lake trout.

“Generally, the smaller the fish, the more vulnerable they are to estrogen,” remarks Kidd.

Part of the reason, she adds, is that smaller fish have a shorter lifespan and will often die after reproducing only once.

The researchers used synthetic estrogen because it tends to persist longer in the environment than natural estrogens. Yet the problem with estrogen is not its environmental persistence but rather its persistent discharge in municipal wastewater into surface waters.

Kidd says the risk is greatest for aquatic ecosystems downstream from municipalities that either discharge untreated wastewater or maintain only primary treatment facilities. On the flipside, the problem is of less concern near cities that remove a wide range of chemical contaminants, including estrogens, from wastewater using secondary and tertiary treatment processes.

It is now understood, she says, that removing estrogen through wastewater treatment can reverse the adverse impact of this substance/hormone on wild fish. In fact, three years after halting additions of synthetic estrogen to the experimental lake, the researchers discovered that the fathead minnow population was on the rebound.

“To me, that’s the good news. Once you take the stressor out the system, we now have ample evidence that suggests affected fish populations will recover.”
Source URL:


Mark said...

This is an ecological means with fungi to remove radiation toxicity from the environment, particularly battlefields.

Fungi lock depleted uranium out of harm's way

* 17:00 05 May 2008
* news service
* Andy Coghlan

Humble fungi found in most back gardens could help clean up battlefields contaminated with depleted uranium.

At present, sites can be partial decontaminated by physically collecting and disposing of fragments from shells. However, radioactive particles and dust from explosions remain in the soil, preventing full reclamation.

Now, a research team in Scotland has established that common fungi can grow on and chemically lock away the offending uranium. As their hyphal filaments sprawled across fragments of depleted uranium, the tubules gradually became coated in a yellowy mineral.

This, it turned out, locked the uranium into a chemical form inaccessible to biological organisms, and unlikely to dissolve into surface waters. [Still radioactive though!]

At twice the density of lead, depleted uranium is added to weapons to give them extra force to penetrate targets. But the complete fallout from exploding missiles is impossible to collect physically. This means that hazardous radioactive uranium-235 in the material, which can cause kidney toxicity and has been linked with nerve damage and lung cancer, can persist in the environment for decades.

Eat your heavy elements

"The fungal-produced minerals are capable of long-term uranium retention, so this may help prevent uptake of uranium by plants, animals and microbes," says team leader Geoffrey Gadd of the University of Dundee. "It might also prevent the spent uranium from leaching out from the soil," he says.

Essentially, the fungi form uranyl phosphate minerals which stabilise the uranium. "They change its chemistry from being highly chemically unstable and reactive metallic uranium to one of the most chemically stable forms, thus preventing uranium migration through the food chain," says Gadd.

Gadd says that any clean-up operation based on the fungi would be very low-tech. All that would be needed in practice would be to add moisture and nutrients to soil to help fungi flourish.

"You can go to just about any soil, and you'd find fungi that would lock away uranium," he says. "You could literally pick them from your own back garden."

Depleted deleted

But he cautions that the minerals probably couldn't ever be considered harmless as they still contain uranium, and this could still be toxic if eaten. Nor have the Dundee team yet worked out a practical way to collect and dispose of the trapped uranium.

The finding itself was a bonus in research mainly aimed at tracing the environmental fate of uranium.

"Our work is only very preliminary," he says.

Ultimately, it might be possible to devise practical ways of using the fungi to decontaminate sites,
Gadd says.

Journal reference: Current Biology (vol 18, R375).


Mark said...

Ultrasound And Algae Team Up To Clean Mercury From Sediments

ScienceDaily (Mar. 29, 2006) — Ultrasound and algae can be used together as tools to clean mercury from contaminated sediment, according to an Ohio State University study.

This research could one day lead to a ship-borne device that cleans toxic metals from waterways without harming fish or other wildlife, said Linda K. Weavers, the John C. Geupel Chair in Civil Engineering at Ohio State.

Doctoral student Ziqi He described the group's latest results in a poster session March 27 at the American Chemical Society meeting in Atlanta.

Weavers' research group previously determined that ultrasonic vibrations can shake mercury loose from sediment.

"We found ultrasound to be very effective at getting mercury out of sediment and into water," He explained. "But then we needed a third party to get the mercury out of the water. That's how we got the idea to add a biological element to the treatment."

Weavers and He joined with Richard Sayre, professor of plant, cellular and molecular biology at Ohio State, and Surasak Siripornadulsil, a former graduate student in the university's biophysics program.

Sayre's team has genetically modified a species of algae to boost its natural ability to absorb heavy metals. [er, let's just utilize something already field tested for a few billion years, what say you? the regular algae is OK...]

In laboratory tests, student He vibrated an ultrasonic probe inside beakers containing water, sediment, and algae. The vibrations freed mercury from the sediment, and within seconds, the algae adsorbed up to 60 percent of the mercury from the water.

The combined system of ultrasound and algae removed 30 percent of the mercury from sediment within the first few minutes.

There are alternative cleanup methods that also absorb a high percentage of metals, Sayre admitted, but they are less selective -- they absorb all metals.

His modified algae species absorbs five times the normal amount of a select group of toxic metals, including mercury, cadmium, copper, and zinc.

"Say you were trying to clean water that contained effluent with a lot of calcium or iron in it -- or seawater, which contains sodium," Sayre said. "If your algae aren't selective, they'll absorb those other metals and you'll recover less mercury. So the advantage of these modified algae is that other metals don't interfere with the cleanup."

Weavers envisions that boats could dredge sediments from contaminated waterways and clean them on board using ultrasonic equipment and algae-based filters. [then they are contaminated with genetically engineered algae everywhere! hardly an ideal solution to create a biologially living and expanding contamination for one that was at least 'dead' metal!]

Then the clean sediment could be returned to its original location.

Or, the equipment could be placed directly on sediment to treat it in place.

Either procedure would leave wildlife unharmed, she said. [they claim....]


Mark said...

Researcher Sees Trees As A Clean, Green Solution

ScienceDaily (Aug. 9, 2000) — Here's an idea that will grow on you: using trees and other plants to reduce water and ground pollution -- and reducing overall cleanup costs.

That's the goal of environmental engineer Joel Burken, an assistant professor of civil engineering at UMR, who is leading a team of graduate and undergraduate students in this nontraditional research effort.

"Who would have thought that trees could help purify water?" says Burken.

But that's exactly the goal behind a relatively new idea in environmental engineering. Known as "phytoremediation," the method involves using plants to clean up pollutants.

A green revolution

"I hope that phytoremediation will revolutionize the process of remediating contaminated sites," Burken says. "The effort could replace the current methods now being used to cleanse contaminated soil and groundwater."

Some of those current methods of water purification consists of pumping, heating or even baking the ground to extract the pollutants. "All of those measures, especially pumping, are incredibly expensive," Burken says. "In contrast, phytoremediation uses living plants to reduce contaminated soil, sludges and groundwater in a less expensive way."

Phytoremediation has also been expanded to provide safer methods of cleaning metals, crude oil, and landfill leachates, Burken says.

Working in conjunction with the University of Connecticut and Ecolotree Inc., an environmental engineering company, Burken plans to cut costs by using poplar trees to remove the pollutants from water tables that may be used for drinking water.

One method involves incorporating genetically enhanced microbes with the planting of the trees. [stop creating a novel genetic pollution when you are 'remediating'!]

This type of "genetic engineering" gives the microbes the ability to break down naturally, Burken says.

University of Connecticut researchers do the actual genetic engineering part of the process, creating the enhanced microbes.

Burken carries on the process by inoculating cuttings from the trees. Burken tests the trees to see the impacts of the genetic engineering. The research has proven to be beneficial, Burken says. "In one case, 1,700 poplar trees were planted on a contaminated U.S. Navy site. The efforts resulted in saving the site about $5 million in the clean-up process."

While "there are still many questions left unanswered about exactly why this process works, it seems to work," says Burken. "But we don't know exactly why. It is just a simple but elegant process that does the job."


Mark said...

Right Blend Of Microbes And Plants Can Clean Up Toxic Spills

ScienceDaily (Apr. 1, 2005) — GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Superfund sites are infamous for their hazardous, stubborn chemical wastes, but one cleanup solution may be to put the right mix of plants and microbes together in the soil, according to a new University of Florida study.

The study examined the interaction between two of the likeliest candidates for cleanup duty – the loblolly pine and soil-dwelling, methane-eating bacteria.

The practice of planting chemically resilient trees and plants in contaminated sites to absorb harmful chemicals from the soil, known as phytoremediation, is highly appealing both to environmental cleanup agencies and to the communities near the hazardous sites. Phytoremediation is still in its infancy but has the potential to be relatively safe, sustainable and efficient – and the trees are aesthetically pleasing as well.

Microbes in the soil also play a key role: They help plants not only to absorb nutrients through their roots but also to soak up contaminants. However, the interaction between plants and microbes is not necessarily symbiotic, according to the study, which appeared in the January issue of the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

“We’re trying to see what the role of the microbes is in the rhizosphere, the soil region around the plant roots,” said Adriana Pacheco, a graduate student in UF’s environmental engineering department and the lead author of the paper. “It seems to be one of the most important processes occurring.”

Pacheco’s research focused on methanotrophs, bacteria that consume methane in soils and in the process can also consume and break down a range of harmful organic compounds that may be present, such as the carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as PCBs, and trichloroethylenes, or TCEs.

However, not all trees work equally well with all kinds of microbes, and knowing how the different plant species affect the bacteria may be the key to effective and efficient cleanup, Pacheco said.

In her study, she focused on one tree species, the loblolly pine, a prime candidate for phytoremediation at a number of Superfund sites, particularly in the southeastern United States.

Loblolly pines are well known for supporting thriving populations of bacteria near their roots, possibly because of the piles of needles littering the soil and releasing a pungent group of chemicals called monoterpenes.

“These terpenes have been shown to inhibit bacteria,” Pacheco said. “But methanotrophs can also be in really high concentrations in the rhizosphere of the pines, and they are degrading TCEs. So one of the questions is, are monoterpenes helping them in some way?”

To answer this question, Pacheco isolated several different species of methanotrophic bacteria, fed them methane and added monoterpenes as well as TCEs, and then measured the bacteria’s response to the monoterpenes by observing how oxygen levels in the samples changed over time. She found that while some species of the bacteria thrived when the pine chemical was added, the chemical appeared to be toxic to others. That, she said, suggests environmental engineers will need to choose both plants and microbes carefully when planning phytoremediation-based cleanup.

Scientists also want to address what happens to the contaminants after they’ve passed through the microbe-plant system.

“It’s a very aesthetic treatment,” said Angela Lindner, a UF professor of environmental engineering and co-author of the paper. “Trees and plants are very resilient. They can accumulate the chemicals, and many times they will also transform the chemicals within the plant, and then the products as well as the chemical can volatilize through the leaves. But we need to know where the stuff is going.”

For methanotrophic bacteria, at least, the fate of the chemicals is known. The bacteria produce an enzyme that breaks down harmful chlorinated compounds into harmless carbon dioxide, oxygen and water.

The study provides environmental engineers with more of the information they’ll need to design effective cleanup programs, said Robin Brigmon, principal engineer in the Environmental Biotechnology section of the Savannah River National Laboratory.

“Information like this on the terpene activity will really help – perhaps give us another monitoring device to look at environmental restoration,” he said.

Furthermore, understanding the interactions between methanotrophic bacteria, the root systems of plants and chemicals in the soil has larger implications, Brigmon added.

“These kinds of practices are extremely important and significant from a global perspective,” he said. “Different methanotrophs each have their own ecological niche, and this work will help to further characterize the organisms responsible for the activity. That can have implications for (the fate of) other chemicals, such as greenhouse gases, that percolate through the rhizosphere.”


Mark said...

York Researchers Develop Pollution-busting Plants To Clean Up Contaminated Land

ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2006) — Scientists at the University of York have played a crucial role in developing a way of using plants to clean up land contaminated by explosives.

The research, by a team led by Professor Neil Bruce in CNAP (Centre for Novel Agricultural Products) in the University's Department of Biology, uses micro-organisms found in soil to turn trees and plants into highly-effective pollution-busters. The research findings are published in Nature Biotechnology.

Decades of military activity have resulted in pollution of land and groundwater by explosives resistant to biological degradation. Large tracts of land used for military training, particularly in the USA, are contaminated by RDX, one of the most widely-used explosives, which is both highly toxic and carcinogenic.

The six-strong CNAP team has isolated a bacterial micro-organism in the soil in contaminated land that can utilise the explosives as a source of nitrogen for growth. But, because RDX is so mobile in soil, the bacteria present are not degrading it quickly enough to stop the contamination of land and ground water. So the York team has redeployed the enzyme in the bacteria into plants, giving them the ability to biodegrade the pollutant more efficiently.

Professor Bruce said: "We have taken that activity from the bacteria and put it in plants with large amounts of biomass. A tree, for instance, is effectively a big pump, seeking out water, and if we can redeploy the enzyme which degrades the explosive making it harmless, it combines the capabilities of soil bacteria with the high biomass and uptake properties in plants.

"We are using an enzyme already existing in the soil but putting it into a more efficient machine [i.e., the tree] to biodegrade the RDX. It is a sustainable, low maintenance and low cost process which has the potential to clean up large areas of land in military training ranges or industrial sites."

So far, the research has involved redeploying the enzyme into a model plant system – Aradidopsis thaliana – but in collaboration with researchers at the University of Washington, the CNAP team are now extending the technique to robust plants species such as trees, including aspen and poplar, and perennial grasses.

The technique can also be used to modify plants to resist other organic pollutants.


Mark said...

Using Plants To Clean Up Soil

ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2007) — Raising soil acidity to a pH level of 5.8 to 6 to help alpine pennycress absorb heavy metals from soil doesn't harm beneficial soil microbes, according to a recent study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators.

The researchers have been conducting ongoing studies on using alpine pennycress (Thlaspi caerulescens) to remove cadmium and other heavy metals as part of a soil remediation process known as phytoextraction. Previously, they found that lowering the pH helped the plant remove toxic metals, but they were concerned that increasing soil acidity too much could harm beneficial soil microbes.

ARS agronomist Rufus Chaney, with the Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., has been a leader in using metal-accumulating plants to clean contaminated soil. He and others have shown that T. caerulescens can concentrate up to about 8,000 parts per million of toxic cadmium in its leaves.

Harvesting the aboveground vegetation annually makes it possible to reduce the concentration of cadmium in soil to safe levels in three to 10 years.

Phytoextraction costs about $250 to $1,000 per acre per year, while the alternative clean-up method--removal and replacement with clean soil--costs about $1 million per acre.

The University of Maryland filed a patent on the use of T. caerulescens for the phytoextraction of cadmium in 2000, with Chaney as a cooperator.

A patent for the process was granted in 2006 in the United States and Australia. No other similar technologies currently exist for remediation of cadmium-contaminated soils using plants.

To measure how pH affects soil microbes, Chaney and University of Maryland colleagues Shengchun Wang and Scott Angle adjusted two smelter-contaminated, high-metals soils to a range of pH levels, grew T. caerulescens in them for six months, and then analyzed soil microbe populations and activity. Then they adjusted the soils back to normal pH levels and incubated them for six months, to see if previously observed reductions in microbes persisted under normal soil management.

The scientists found that if the soil pH was adjusted no lower than that needed to maximize annual cadmium removal--a pH of about 5.8 to 6--there was no lasting adverse effect on soil microbes. And in both test soils, T. caerulescens tended to protect the soil microbes, compared to unplanted soils at the same pH levels.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Mark said...

Researchers Clean Up Petroleum Spills With Plants

ScienceDaily (Jul. 5, 2000) — WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A husband and wife research team at Purdue University has pioneered the use of plants to help clean up soil contaminated with petroleum products.

The Environmental Protection Agency and industry researchers already use methods developed by the Purdue team at several petroleum spill sites across the nation.

"We're using natural methods to clean up soil pollutants," says Katherine Banks, a Purdue professor of civil engineering. She and her agronomy professor husband, Paul Schwab, were one of the first research teams to develop methods for field-testing phytoremediation, the use of plants to clean up contaminated soil.

Banks says her expertise solving hazardous waste problems combined with Schwab's strong plant and soils background is a marriage that makes phytoremediation work. Their son complains that they always talk about work at home, "which makes us better researchers, although it makes us a little narrow in some ways," Banks says.

Banks and Schwab have used plants to help clean up a Texas oil pipeline spill, contamination at an Indiana manufactured-gas plant, an industrial sludge site in California and diesel spills on Naval bases in Virginia and California. They describe their work in "Bioremediation of Contaminated Soils," a book published last winter by the American Society of Agronomy.

"Soil microbes are actually the ones that break down the petroleum contaminants," Schwab says, "but the plants accelerate the microbes’ action in the soil. They stimulate microbes to degrade contaminants by getting more oxygen into the soil and by supplying nutrients through their roots."

Other biological clean-up methods can do the job faster, but phytoremediation costs much less and leaves the soil structure intact, Schwab says.

"With standard methods you have to dig the soil out and then incinerate, compost or landfill the contaminated material," Schwab says. "Using phytoremediation, we can treat the soil at the spot where a spill occurred."

Near Bedford, Ind., Banks and Schwab are working with the EPA and Indiana Gas Co. to compare the efficiency of several bioremediation methods at a contaminated site at a coal-to-natural gas refinery. Their joint efforts have become a demonstration project for natural gas manufacturers nationwide.

At Bedford, the Purdue researchers have planted grasses and poplar trees on one part of the site to hasten the degradation of the soil pollutants. The EPA is treating other parts of the site by composting soil, land farming (adding nutrients to soil with tillage), or letting natural processes work to degrade the contaminants. During the next few years both EPA and Purdue will compare the cost and speed of each clean-up treatment.

Banks' graduate student Tom Spriggs, from Bargersville, Ind., oversees the Bedford phytoremediation project. The work will become the basis for his doctoral thesis.

The biggest challenge at any site comes in finding the right plant for the job, Schwab says. Part of the challenge comes in matching plants to climate. For example, plants that thrive in southern Indiana may not make it through hurricanes or the heat of an east Texas summer.

Another part of the problem is finding plants that survive in contaminated areas and at the same time encourage microbial growth.

Banks and Schwab have worked with crop scientists to find plants that work best with microbes to break down petroleum.

No one yet has a complete list of the best plants for the job, Banks says, although researchers have identified some characteristics that make plants good at phytoremediation.

"For this method to work, we've got to get the roots in contact with the contamination," Banks says. "Sod-forming grasses work well in certain situations, because they have a large root surface in contact with the soil."

In field tests, the researchers found that fescue and Bermuda grass work well.

Clovers and alfalfa also look promising in certain situations, because their root systems stimulate microbe growth.

Schwab and Banks met on the job when they both worked as professors at Kansas State University.

Banks was working on an EPA project and needed help looking at soil characteristics. A friend told her to call Schwab, and their collaboration began.

They'll continue to focus on clean up of petroleum products, in part because petroleum is one of the major soil contaminants around the world and in part because plants are well-suited to petroleum remediation.

"Petroleum isn't very mobile, it adheres tightly to components of the soil," Schwab says.

"Phytoremediation works well with compounds like that because the contaminants stay in the top six feet of the soil and are in direct contact with plant roots."


Mark said...

Urine Collected And Purified Separately

ScienceDaily (Jun. 22, 2006) — From an environmental and cost perspective, it is a good idea to collect and purify urine separately, rather than simply allowing it to flow into the sewer, according to Delft University of Technology researcher Jac Wilsenach, who on Monday June 26 will receive his PhD degree based on this research subject. Wilsenach estimates that substantial savings on energy costs can be achieved and moreover that raw materials can be reclaimed. Applying this research can lead to revolutionary changes in waste water management.

Urine accounts for less than 1% of our waste water, but it contains 50-80% of the nutrients in the waste water. For this reason, it is extremely burdensome for our sewer water purification installations.

In fact, it is illogical to allow such a dirty waste water flow to mix with other waste water, as has occurred in our sewers for more than a hundred years. There is growing support therefore for collecting and purifying urine separately. By separating urine, phosphate and nitrogen are more effectively removed. Phosphate can even be reclaimed as a raw material. Urine accounts for at least 50% of the phosphate in waster waste, (with phosphate being a raw material of limited availability), and for 80% of the nitrogen found in the waste water.

In Sweden and other countries, experiments have been conducted involving separate urine-collections.

Delft University of Technology PhD candidate Jac Wilsenach researched – supported by a STOWA grant – the possibilities and consequences of following this principle in the Netherlands.

He concluded that if 50% of the
urine is separately purified, it would save 25% of the energy needed for the entire purification system.

Moreover, the stench of the sewer will be lessened, environmental pressure on the surface water will be reduced, and sewer pipes will be better protected against rot.

A requirement for separating urine is an appropriate toilet (on which men also sit to urinate) or a dry urinal, both of which are commercially available.

The urine is collected in tanks on a per building or neighbourhood basis and must then be - preferably as undiluted as possible - periodically transported to a special purification installation.

It is also possible to process the urine in a decentralized manner - concepts for this were developed in the research.


Mark said...

Remediating toxic nanoparticles

Fate of nanoparticles depends on properties of water carrying them
May 4th, 2008 - 12:31 pm ICT by admin - Email This Post Email This Post

Washington, May 4 (ANI): A new study has found that the fate of nanoparticles spilled into groundwater, depends on the properties of water carrying them.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US carried out the study.

They found out that the environmental fate of carbon-based nanoparticles and the ability of municipal filtration systems to remove them from drinking water, depends on subtle differences in the solution properties of the water carrying the particles.

In slightly salty water, for example, clusters of Carbon 60 (C60) would tend to adhere tightly to soil or filtration system particles. But where natural organic compounds or chemical surfactants serve as stabilizers in water, the C60 fullerene particles would tend to flow as easily as the water carrying them.

According to Kurt Pennell, a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, “In some cases, the nanoparticles move very little and you would get complete retention in the soil.”

“But in different solution conditions or in the presence of a stabilizing agent, they can travel just like water. The movement of these nanoparticles is very sensitive to the solution conditions,” he added.

Researchers want to know more about the environmental fate of nanoparticles to avoid creating problems like those of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), in which the harmful effects of the compounds were discovered only [stupidly] after their use became widespread.

“We want to figure out now what will happen to them and how toxic they will be in the environment,” said Pennell.

To study the flow and retention of the nanoparticles in simulated soil and filtration systems, Pennell’s research team filled glass columns with either glass microbeads or sand, and saturated the columns with water.

They then sent a “pulse” of water containing C60 nanoparticles through the columns, followed by additional water containing no nanoparticles.

They measured the quantity of nanoparticles emerging from the columns and analyzed the sand and glass beads to observe the quantity of C60 retained there. They also extracted the contents of the columns to measure the distribution of retained nanoparticles.

“In sand, we saw a uniform distribution of the nanoparticles throughout the column, which suggests that under the circumstances we examined, there is a limited retention capability due to filtration,” explained Pennell. “Once that capacity is reached, the particles will pass through until they are retained by other grains of soil or sand,” he added.

According to Pennell, the study findings suggest that the predictions of “filter theory” will have to be modified to explain the transport of nanoparticles in soil. (ANI)


Mark said...

[This deserves honorable mention for being withotu additional chemicals. However, there are many better ways already known that solve other issues simultaneously than simply the remediation of water issue. See above solutions for instance. Besides, this is hardly useful for complete remediation to potable water as some systems already mentioned above. However it's a start for areas without it and it requires zero additional pollutive chemicals to use it and little space as well.]

New [spinning water] invention to make water recycling faster and cheaper

June 15th, 2008 - 11:05 am ICT

Washington, June 15 (ANI): A scientist has invented a new water filtration method that is cheaper and can recycle about five times faster than present day systems.

According to a report in ENN, the scientist who made the invention is Meng Lean from California, US.

Though the water is not safe for drinking, it can be used for activities such as agriculture.

The system involves a spiral filtration system. Water is funneled through lightweight disks as they spin, separating dirt and particles from the clean water.

Another advantage of the new invention is that much less land space is needed than for a water-treatment plant.

Lean continues to refine his system.

He and his team plan to experiment on a larger level by the end of June. The goal is to recycle 100 liters of water a minute. (ANI)



PALO ALTO (KGO) -- California is officially in a drought with many of us now facing water restrictions. So it may interest you to hear the ideas of a Bay Area scientist who wants to recycle the worlds' dirty water.

This invention isn't going to magically reverse the drought or give us more water to drink. But it may, at some point, be able to clean and recycle water at a rapid pace for all of us to use.

Bay area scientist Meng Lean is hard at work these days recycling a lot of dirty water.
Story continues below

"If you are looking at gray water, which is for agriculture or washing your car and stuff like that where you don't need to drink it, then this is sufficient. You can just use this and it will be ready to go," said Meng Lean Ph.D., Palo Alto Research Center.

No it is not safe enough to drink but the change is noticeable.

This invention came about when lean was hired by the U.S. Army. His job was to develop a system to purify water for soldiers in the field. From that, this water purification technology emerged inside a Palo Alto lab that's smaller than most college dorm rooms.

"It has a huge potential to change the way water treatment is done throughout the world," said Nitin Parekh, Palo Alto Research Center.

The potential is to recycle water faster more efficiently from lakes, rivers, agriculture even beverage companies. The key to cleaning the water is found in lightweight disks or spiral filtration system. Water is funneled through the disks as they spin, then speed and science take over, separating dirt and particles - leaving the rest. Long term, Lean's team wants to sell the idea on a large scale to water districts.

"You can put 10 modules, 50 modules, to get to the millions of water a day that are typical requirements for large water utilities," said Parekh.

The big sell here, according to Parekh, is space and money. He says the technology is cheap to make and filters water five times faster than today's system and the spiral disks take up little real estate space compared to water treatment plants.

"Since we are using tax payer money, we are always looking to cut costs anyway we can. So new technology on the market that helps us to do that - we would be very interested in that," said Susan Siravo, Santa Clara Valley Water District.

Lean admits this technology isn't perfect.

"There are viruses that are smaller than a micron that we can not get removed from the water treatment process that we use," said Parekh.

By the end of June, Meng Lean and his team will launch a larger operation. The goal is to recycle 100 liters of water a minute. The future of his invention will hinge on the success of that next experiment.


Mark said...

Remediation of nitrogen with algae as well as water purification and biodiesel rolled into one

From: Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute, More from this Affiliate
Published October 8, 2007 11:26 AM

Better Than Corn? Algae Set to Beat Out Other Biofuel Feedstocks


* Galp launches plan to make diesel from algae
* Shell seeks to make diesel fuel from algae
* A Better, Cheaper Way To Make Biofuels: Algae
* Flying High on Algae - KLM Tests Algae-Based Kerosene for Airplane Fuel


Forget corn, sugar cane, and even switchgrass. Some experts believe that algae is set to eclipse all other biofuel feedstocks as the cheapest, easiest, and most environmentally friendly way to produce liquid fuel, reports Kiplinger’s Biofuels Market Alert.

“It is easy to get excited about algae,” says Worldwatch Institute biofuels expert Raya Widenoja. “It looks like such a promising fuel source, especially if it’s combined with advances in biodiesel processing.”

The inputs for algae are simple: the single-celled organisms only need sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide to grow.

They can quadruple in biomass in just one day, and they help remove carbon from the air and nitrogen from wastewater, another environmental benefit.

Some types of algae comprise more than 50 percent oil, and an average acre of algae grown today for pharmaceutical industries can produce 5,000 gallons (19,000 liters) of biodiesel each year. By comparison, an average acre of corn produces 420 gallons (1,600 liters) of ethanol per year, and an acre of soybeans yields just 70 gallons (265 liters) of biodiesel per year.

“Your bang for your buck is just bigger because you can really do this on a much smaller amount of land and yet yield much, much higher biomass,” said Michael S. Atkins, CEO of San Francisco area-based Ocean Technology & Environmental Consulting (OTEC).

Douglas Henston, CEO of Solix Biofuels, a company that grows algae for biofuels, has estimated that replacing all current U.S. diesel fuel use with algae biodiesel would require using only about one half of 1 percent of the farmland in production today.

Algae can also grow on marginal lands, such as in desert areas where the groundwater is saline.

But creating an optimal environment for algae can be difficult—and costly. [hardly so, this article ignores the Valcent rather low tech arrangement?] Open ponds are often host to a wide range of other species, including invasives, and balancing temperature needs, light levels, fluid circulation, and other factors can raise the price tag quickly. [Valcent already solved both these issues, so these claims can be dismissed.]

According to a recent Worldwatch report on biofuels, in the near term, algae production for fuel is only likely to be economical in cases where the organisms are grown near power plants, where they can also help soak up the pollution. [That ignores Valcent as well.]

A Massachusetts company, GreenFuel Technologies, is building such systems in Arizona, Louisiana, and Germany, and hopes to capture as much as 80 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted from the plants during daylight hours.

On its Web site, Solix Biofuels notes that rising gas prices are making algae-based biofuel more attractive. With it and other companies now investing in the technology, experts estimate that large-scale commercial production of algae fuel could be just five years away, Kiplinger’s reports.


Mark said...

Polymer Sponge Catches Household Pollutants in Storm Drains [and reduced E. Coli]

January 1, 2006 — Storm drains fitted with a spongy material -- a synthetic polymer similar to those used in diapers -- can catch household pollutants such as paint and motor oil as they are washed off by the rain. Twenty-eight states are already using the material to stop pollutants from reaching rivers, lakes and oceans.

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--Oil, grease, deadly bacteria and disease are all found in our ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans. Now, a new invention may be the first step to cleaning up our water.

From traffic to urban sprawl, environmentalist Mark Gold says it all leaves our water sources dirty and polluted. "Everything you can think of is a source, whether it's your car, your next door neighbor, yourself," says Mark Gold, an environmentalist from Heal the Bay in Santa Monica, Calif.

One solution for all this pollution is the Smart Sponge Plus. Rodolfo Manzone, a chemist at AbTech Industries in Scottsdale, Ariz., says, "It is a very simple system based on a combination of synthetic polymers."

The Smart Sponge Plus uses the same material found in diapers, roofing, car bumpers, and glue and has an anti-microbial coating that removes pollutants and destroys bacteria. The sponge is placed in existing storm drains to catch the pollutants before they end up in rivers, lakes or the ocean.

Rodolfo says, "It has the capability to absorb, retain oil, grease and nitrocarbons and to lock them in and create solid waste." The sponge can also kill E. coli bacteria. The water in our lakes or rivers may not be safe enough to drink yet, but it is clean enough to swim in. And that's a step in the right direction.

BACKGROUND: Beach closings due to contamination are becoming more and more of a problem every year, thanks to issues of sewage and storm runoffs. Instead of closing the beaches, why not clean up the water? A new technology not only removes pollutants from water, it also destroys bacteria that can cause illness.

THE PROBLEM: A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that 85 percent of the beach closings and health advisory days were caused by dangerously high levels of bacterial found in human or animal waste. The NRDC has urged the Environmental Protection Agency to tighten controls over sewer overflows and stormwater discharges to help ensure that states and municipalities monitor water quality and notify the public when it does not meet bacterial standards.

THE SOLUTION: Smart Sponge Plus is a spongelike material that resembles popcorn and can be used to remove hydrocarbons, oil grease and other toxins in water. It also contains an antimicrobial agent to combat common bacteria such as E. coli and fecal coliform. Unlike other antimicrobials that poison harmful microorganisms, the Smart Sponge Plus ruptures the cell membranes, preventing the microorganisms from functioning or reproducing. It can also transform hydrocarbon pollutants into a stable solid for easy recycling. The Smart Sponge can be inserted directly into storm drains, so there is no need to break up roads, build vaults or create ponds. This makes it easier, cheaper and faster to use than other environmental remediation techniques. Smart Sponge Plus is currently being implemented in Rhode Island and Los Angeles.

ABOUT ANTIMICROBIALS: Antimicrobials describe both natural and synthetic substances, including antibiotics and disinfectants, that can kill or slow down the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Sometimes microorganisms can develop a resistance over time to an antimicrobial substance, however, so that it is no longer an effective deterrent. Naturally occurring alternatives could help address this problem.


Mark said...

Recycling Without Sorting
Engineers Create Recycling Plant That Removes The Need To Sort

[see the video at the link]

October 1, 2007 — Engineers use the term single-stream recycling for their plant that takes the sorting out of the public’s hands.

Trucks dump an unsorted mess of paper, plastic, and metal onto a conveyor belt. Magnets, air blowers, and optical scanners separate the items, making it possible to recycle the different products.

See also:
Matter & Energy

* Materials Science
* Nanotechnology
* Electronics

Earth & Climate

* Recycling and Waste
* Environmental Issues
* Environmental Science


* Recycling
* Waste management
* Biodegradation
* Waste

Recycling programs have been underway for years, but Americans still lag behind on recycling efforts. The biggest reason -- it's inconvenient.

If you recycle, you know the drill ... separate ... separate ... separate ...

"In the early years, we've had to separate things fairly significantly," recycler Steve Snowden says.

Now, Snowden's separating days are over. A new program called "Single Stream Recycling" allows you to put all recycle items into one container.

"We like it quite a bit because it is so easy," Snowden says.

Leaving the rest of the work up to someone else!

"We do the separation to mechanically separate the materials here at the recycling facility," says Michael Taylor, environmental scientist from Waste Management Recycle America, who developed the system.

Fast, rotating devices separate newspaper and cardboard from cans and glass that tumble to another level. Magnets grab metal cans and optical scanners recognize plastic from other items and trigger blasts of air to blow plastic into another bin.

"Highly-engineered, highly complex mechanical systems do the work in a much more efficient, much more cost effective and much more significantly faster-paced environment," Taylor explains.

Environmental scientists have seen an increase in recycling of almost 30-percent among homeowners who use the system.

"We're much more liable to do something the easier it is to do it," Snowden says.

There are 27 Waste Management Recycle America "Single Stream Recycling" facilities in the country. There are also other recycling organizations that use Single Stream.

The Materials Research Society and the Optical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.

PROS AND CONS: If residents don't have to maintain separate containers for their glass, bottles, paper and plastic supporters of the plant say that this encourages more people to participate in recycling. Residents can simply load all recyclables into a single container to be sorted at the plant. It also reduces costs for local governments, because less expensive trucks can be used if the waste material isn't sorted beforehand. Trucks cost $50,000 each more equipment to keep paper and other materials separate, for example. Critics say such a single-stream plant is inefficient and diminishes the usefulness of the materials collected, because it opts for speed to process the vast quantities of mixed recyclable waste it receives. There is more contamination as a result, which degrades the quality of what is sorted.

HOW IT WORKS: The plant uses a variety of sorting devices, including screens, magnets and ultraviolet optical scanners that trigger blasts of air to separate plastic bottles from the rest of the items, as well as spinning, star-shaped plastic devices that separate newspaper from cans and bottles by pushing the paper higher up an inclined screen so the heavier, smaller cans and bottles tumble down to a lower level. Glass is sorted by color and crushed, while plastic is shredded into small chips.


* Recycle all paper (junk mail, boxes, magazines, envelopes), bottles and cans (aluminum, glass, metal, and plastic).

* Buy products with little or no packaging, and buy the largest size you can use.

* Buy reusable products such as non-disposable cameras, electric razors, reusable lunch boxes, etc.

* Bring your own mug to the office or local coffee house for coffee; paper cups waste both money and landfill space.

* Buy products made with recycled materials.

* Reduce your junk mail by canceling unwanted catalogs.

* Bring your own reusable grocery sacks when shopping at the local supermarket.


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Mark said...

Mycoremediation is a form of bioremediation, the process of using fungi to return an environment (usually soil) contaminated by pollutants to a less contaminated state.

The term mycoremediation was coined by Paul Stamets and refers specifically to the use of fungal mycelia in bioremediation.

One of the primary roles of fungi in the ecosystem is decomposition, which is performed by the mycelium. The mycelium secretes extracellular enzymes and acids that break down lignin and cellulose, the two main building blocks of plant fiber.

These are organic compounds composed of long chains of carbon and hydrogen, structurally similar to many organic pollutants.

The key to mycoremediation is determining the right fungal species to target a specific pollutant.

Certain strains have been reported to successfully degrade the nerve gases VX and sarin.

In an experiment conducted in conjunction with Thomas, a major contributor in the bioremediation industry, a plot of soil contaminated with diesel oil was inoculated with mycelia of oyster mushrooms; traditional bioremediation techniques (bacteria) were used on control plots. After four weeks, more than 95% of many of the PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) had been reduced to non-toxic components in the mycelial-inoculated plots. It appears that the natural microbial community participates with the fungi to break down contaminants, eventually into carbon dioxide and water.

Wood-degrading fungi are particularly effective in breaking down aromatic pollutants (toxic components of petroleum), as well as chlorinated compounds (certain persistent pesticides; Battelle, 2000).


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