CRISPR Technology to Revolutionize Bioremediation

When people think of waste management, gene editing probably does not come to most people’s minds. Yet the innovative CRISPR genome modification technology fits well within the confines of managing pollution and waste on the planet. In particular, scientists are looking at how CRISPR technology can help with bioremediation, or pollutant neutralization.

Why Neutralize Pollutants?

The planet is in dire need of help as the negative impact of climate change hovers on the horizon. One of the ways that researchers are revolutionizing waste management and environmentalism is by neutralizing the pollutants that are taking up space in our landfills and oceans.

Scientists have noticed that certain organisms are particularly good at removing toxins from pollutants while others have the advantage of immobilizing toxins. Researchers are connecting the dots in order to figure out how CRISPR can help make these processes more efficient.

CRISPR-Aided Bioremediation

While it is great that scientists have discovered microorganisms that can metabolize pollutants and produce less toxic matter, what if those properties could be expanded?

CRISPR researchers are trying to do just that by using genetic editing to transfer more advantageous genes to other organisms, thus giving them even more power over toxic pollutants. This would speed up the process of natural bioremediation techniques without adding high costs and dangers.

An Edge Over Traditional Techniques

Using CRISPR technology, especially the promising CRISPR/Cas9 lentiviral system, will not only speed up the process but it will do a better job than traditional methods of bioremediation. By using the gene editing technique, scientists can create more chemically superior microorganisms that have more advantageous enzymes. That results in better neutrality of harmful pollutants in the planet’s soil and oceans. In turn, this also ramps up molecular biodiversity, which improves the cleanup process.

Speaking of molecules, the CRISPR method targets different molecular processes within a microorganism’s cells, either to regulate an existing gene or to create an entirely new one. When looking at a particular gene, scientists analyze its ability to target pollutants as well as its process for remediation.

Enhancing Bioremediation with CRISPR

Experts need to keep several aspects in mind when improving the abilities of a remediating organism and ramping up its efficiency. First of all, they need to look at the molecular pathways that lead an organism to remediate or neutralize a pollutant. Are there changes or improvements scientists that can make to these pathways? What can they add or take away?

They do a similar thing with the organism’s enzymes. Next comes bioprocessing and biosensor development, which allows scientists to test the microbial cells for chemical testing and removal efficiency.

Removing Harmful Pollutants

Take mercury, for example, which is a metal that is harmful to the planet as well as those who live on it. The E. coli bacteria has a removal efficiency of 96 when it comes to eradicating mercury.

Scientists can take that Hg2 gene and transporter and perhaps transport it to another microorganism that can metabolize and neutralize another type of pollutant. Researchers continue to look at how this technique can help us clean up the growing number of pollutants in the environment.

It is not just microorganisms that they’re working on, either. Genetic manipulation in plants is another exciting endeavor that could help out in the bioremediation field. By looking at the detoxification processes in certain plants, scientists are trying to figure out how to use CRISPR technology to amp up bioremediation or, rather, phytoremediation efforts.

Some human genes could be especially useful to certain plants that can target heavy metals in the soil. Whether they enhance existing plant species or generate completely new ones, this is an exciting development in remediation efforts against pollutants.

Summer Activity! Start an Indoor Garden!

If you’re worried about your kids losing academic skills over the summer, you might be searching for activities to keep them mentally stimulated. You might have already signed up for a summer reading program or researched some fun math activities. However, throwing in some hands-on science activities can also be fun and educational for kids!

bees-garden

Kids learn best when they’re actively engaged in an activity. If you’re looking for a fun hands-on science activity that you can start this summer and continue into the school year, consider growing your own indoor garden!

Benefits

Aside from providing a fun activity, there are additional benefits to starting an indoor garden.

  • Having plants around your house improves your air quality because they aid in air filtration.
  • If you opt for herbs, veggies, or fruits, you can use what you grow in your cooking
  • Plants are aesthetically pleasing
  • A garden will attract birds, bees, butterflies etc.
  • Taking care of plants can provide your child with a sense of responsibility

Gardening options

An indoor garden doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can make it as large or as little as you would like.

A small garden can be as simple as getting a few small pots and placing them in your windowsill. Even watching a single seed grow can provide some good educational talking points. If you opt for this option, you’ll want to make sure you choose a window that gets a good amount of sunlight.

If you want to take your indoor level to the next level, you can invest in an indoor garden box to put near your windows. These are raised boxes specifically designed for indoor gardening. Most gardening stores sell them, or you can build your own. A bonus of building your own is that you can build it at the perfect height for your tiny gardener!

If you have older children who already have a good understanding of gardening basics or if you’re living in a small space, you might want to consider a hydroponic system. Hydroponics involves growing plants using a nutrient-rich solution instead of soil. You can find a number of hydroponic kits to get started available online, or you can build your own system.

For hydroponic systems, the kind of water you use is very important. If your home gets hard water or water mixed with many additives, it may be worthwhile to filter the water through reverse osmosis(https://ro-systemreviews.com) before using it for your plants.

What you’ll need

Plants

Decide if you want to grow flowers, fruits, vegetables, or herbs. After you pick what you want to grow, decide if you want seeds or cuttings. Starting with seeds is a great option if you have kids because they’ll get to see the entire life cycle of a plant. Seeds also tend to be less expensive, which can be useful if some of your plants end up not making it.

Containers

You can use almost anything for a container as long as there is proper drainage. You can buy plastic or clay pots meant for gardening. These pots will have drainage holes at the bottom.

For a less expensive option, you can dig through your recycling bin for old milk cartons, butter containers, or egg cartons. Just make sure to punch holes in the bottom of your recycled container for drainage!

Grow lights

If you live in a house or apartment that doesn’t receive a lot of natural sunlight, you’ll either need to invest in plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight or invest in grow lights. Grow lights are a great option because they are specifically designed to provide indoor plants with the light they need. Even if you live in the darkest of homes, a grow light will have you saying “Look at our new indoor garden”!

Growing medium

You’ll, of course, need something for your plants to grow in. If you’re going with the traditional container or the garden box approach, you’ll want to invest in a quality potting mix. If going for the hydroponic approach, you’ll want to choose a medium that works well with your chosen system.

Child-size gardening tools

Your child will enjoy having their own tools to garden with! Invest in shovels, trowels, and watering cans that are the right size for your child.

Connecting it to learning

The best way to connect your new garden to learning is by taking your child’s lead. Children are naturally curious, so wait for your child to ask questions. You and your child can then research the questions together, either on the computer or at the library.

Possible topics you’ll explore together include why do plants need sunlight, what the life cycle of a plant is, and how can you tell if a plant is healthy.

Remember — keep it fun! The whole point of your new indoor garden is to allow your child to explore the world around them. A great indoor learning environment creates happy and healthy kids.

Everything You Should Know About An Algae Biorefinery

High oil prices, competing demands between foods and other biofuel sources, and the world food crisis, have ignited interest in algaculture (farming of algae) for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biogasoline, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels. Algae can be efficiently grown on land that is not suitable for agriculture and hold huge potential to provide a non-food, high-yield source of biodiesel, ethanol and hydrogen fuels.

algae-biorefinery

Several recent studies have pointed out that biofuel from microalgae has the potential to become a renewable, cost-effective alternative for fossil fuel with reduced impact on the environment and the world supply of staple foods, such as wheat, maize and sugar.

What are Algae?

Algae are unicellular microorganisms, capable of photosynthesis. They are one of the world’s oldest forms of life, and it is strongly believed that fossil oil was largely formed by ancient microalgae. Microalgae (or microscopic algae) are considered as a potential oleo-feedstock, as they produce lipids through photosynthesis, i.e. using only carbon, water, sunlight, phosphates, nitrates and other (oligo) elements that can be found in residual waters.

Oils produced by diverse algae strains range in composition. For the most part are like vegetable oils, though some are chemically similar to the hydrocarbons in petroleum.

Advantages of Algae

Apart from lipids, algae also produce proteins, isoprenoids and polysaccharides. Some strains of algae ferment sugars to produce alcohols, under the right growing conditions. Their biomass can be processed to different sorts of chemicals and polymers (Polysaccharides, enzymes, pigments and minerals), biofuels (e.g. biodiesel, alkanes and alcohols), food and animal feed (PUFA, vitamins, etc.) as well as bioactive compounds (antibiotics, antioxidant and metabolites) through down-processing technology such as transesterification, pyrolysis and continuous catalysis using microspheres.

Algae can be grown on non-arable land (including deserts), most of them do not require fresh water, and their nutritional value is high. Extensive R&D is underway on algae as raw material worldwide, especially in North America and Europe with a high number of start-up companies developing different options.

Most scientific literature suggests an oil production potential of around 25-50 ton per hectare per year for relevant algae species. Microalgae contain, amongst other biochemical, neutral lipids (tri-, di-, monoglycerides free fatty acids), polar lipids (glycolipids, phospholipids), wax esters, sterols and pigments. The total lipid content in microalgae varies from 1 to 90 % of dry weight, depending on species, strain and growth conditions.

What is Algae Biorefinery

In order to develop a more sustainable and economically feasible process, all biomass components (e.g. proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) should be used and therefore biorefining of microalgae is very important for the selective separation and use of the functional biomass components.

The term algae biorefinery was coined to describe the production of a wide range of chemicals and biofuels from algal biomass by the integration of bio-processing and appropriate low environmental impact chemical technologies in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable.

If biorefining of microalgae is applied, lipids should be fractionated into lipids for biodiesel, lipids as a feedstock for the chemical industry and essential fatty acids, proteins and carbohydrates for food, feed and bulk chemicals, and the oxygen produced can be recovered as well.

The potential for commercial algae production, also known as algaculture, is expected to come from growth in translucent tubes or containers called photo bioreactors or in open systems (e.g. raceways) particularly for industrial mass cultivation or more recently through a hybrid approach combining closed-system pre-cultivation with a subsequent open-system.

Advantages of Algae Biorefinery

The major advantages of an algae biorefinery include:

  • Use of industrial refusals as inputs ( CO2,wastewater and desalination plant rejects)
  • Large product basket with energy-derived (biodiesel, methane, ethanol and hydrogen) and non-energy derived (nutraceutical, fertilizers, animal feed and other bulk chemicals) products.
  • Not competing with food production (non-arable land and no freshwater requirements)
  • Better growth yield and lipid content than crops.

Indeed, after oil extraction the resulting algal biomass can be processed into ethanol, methane, livestock feed, used as organic fertilizer due to its high N:P ratio, or simply burned for energy cogeneration (electricity and heat). If, in addition, production of algae is done on residual nutrient feedstock and CO2, and production of microalgae is done on large scale in order to lower production costs, production of bulk chemicals and fuels from microalgae will become economically, environmentally and ethically extremely attractive.

Anaerobic Digestion of Animal Manure

Animal manure is a valuable source of nutrients and renewable energy. However, most of the manure is collected in lagoons or left to decompose in the open which pose a significant environmental hazard. The air pollutants emitted from manure include methane, nitrous oxide, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter, which can cause serious environmental concerns and health problems.

In the past, livestock waste was recovered and sold as a fertilizer or simply spread onto agricultural land. The introduction of tighter environmental controls on odour and water pollution means that some form of waste management is necessary, which provides further incentives for biomass-to-energy conversion.

cow-manure-biogas-plant

Anaerobic digestion is a unique treatment solution for animal manure management as it can  deliver  positive  benefits,  including  renewable  energy,  water pollution, and air emissions. Anaerobic digestion of animal manure is gaining popularity as a means to protect the environment and to recycle materials efficiently into the farming systems.

Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants, based on anaerobic digestion of cow manure, are highly efficient in harnessing the untapped renewable energy potential of organic waste by converting the biodegradable fraction of the waste into high calorific value gases.

The establishment of anaerobic digestion systems for livestock manure stabilization and energy production has accelerated substantially in the past several years. There are thousands of digesters operating at commercial livestock facilities in Europe, United States,  Asia and elsewhere. which are generating clean energy and fuel. Many of the projects that generate electricity also capture waste heat for various in-house requirements.

Important Factors

The main factors that influence biogas production from livestock manure are pH and temperature of the feedstock. It is well established that a biogas plant works optimally at neutral pH level and mesophilic temperature of around 35o C. Carbon-nitrogen ratio of the feed material is also an important factor and should be in the range of 20:1 to 30:1. Animal manure has a carbon – nitrogen ratio of 25:1 and is considered ideal for maximum gas production.

Solid concentration in the feed material is also crucial to ensure sufficient gas production, as well as easy mixing and handling. Hydraulic retention time (HRT) is the most important factor in determining the volume of the digester which in turn determines the cost of the plant; the larger the retention period, higher the construction cost.

Description of Biogas Plant Working on Animal Manure

The fresh animal manure is stored in a collection tank before its processing to the homogenization tank which is equipped with a mixer to facilitate homogenization of the waste stream. The uniformly mixed waste is passed through a macerator to obtain uniform particle size of 5-10 mm and pumped into suitable-capacity anaerobic digesters where stabilization of organic waste takes place.

In anaerobic digestion, organic material is converted to biogas by a series of bacteria groups into methane and carbon dioxide. The majority of commercially operating digesters are plug flow and complete-mix reactors operating at mesophilic temperatures. The type of digester used varies with the consistency and solids content of the feedstock, with capital investment factors and with the primary purpose of digestion.

Biogas contain significant amount of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas which needs to be stripped off due to its highly corrosive nature. The removal of H2S takes place in a biological desulphurization unit in which a limited quantity of air is added to biogas in the presence of specialized aerobic bacteria which oxidizes H2S into elemental sulfur.

Biogas can be used as domestic cooking, industrial heating, combined heat and power (CHP) generation as well as a vehicle fuel. The digested substrate is passed through screw presses for dewatering and then subjected to solar drying and conditioning to give high-quality organic fertilizer.

Municipal Waste Management in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been witnessing rapid industrialization, high population growth rate and fast urbanization which have resulted in increased levels of pollution and waste. Solid waste management is becoming a big challenge for the government and local bodies with each passing day. With population of around 35 million, Saudi Arabia generates more than 15 million tons of solid waste per year. The per capita waste generation is estimated at 1.5 to 1.8 kg per person per day.

Saudi_Arabia_Waste

Solid waste generation in the three largest cities – Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam – exceeds 6 million tons per annum which gives an indication of the magnitude of the problem faced by civic bodies.  More than 75 percent of the population is concentrated in urban areas which make it necessary for the government to initiate measures to improve recycling and waste management scenario in the country.

In Saudi Arabia, municipal solid waste is collected from individual or community bins and disposed of in landfills or dumpsites. Saudi waste management system is characterized by lack of waste disposal and tipping fees. Recycling, reuse and energy recovery is still at an early stage, although they are getting increased attention. Waste sorting and recycling are driven by an active informal sector. Recycling rate ranges from 10-15%, mainly due to the presence of the informal sector which extracts paper, metals and plastics from municipal waste.

Recycling activities are mostly manual and labor intensive. Composting is also gaining increased interest in Saudi Arabia due to the high organic content of MSW (around 40%).  Efforts are also underway to deploy waste-to-energy technologies in the Kingdom. All activities related to waste management are coordinated and financed by the government.

The Saudi government is aware of the critical demand for waste management solutions, and is investing heavily in solving this problem. The 2017 national budget allocated SR 54 billion for the municipal services sector, which includes water drainage and waste disposal. The Saudi government is making concerted efforts to improve recycling and waste disposal activities. Saudi visa for qualified waste management professionals will also go a long way in improving waste management situation in the country.

Is There A Cheaper Alternative To Dental Implants?

If you’re looking for a tooth replacement, dental implants might be an ideal option of all. They’re strong, can last a long time, and can give off the impression of a real tooth. The thing, however, is that dental implants are not suitable for everyone. There are many considerations to make before your dentist will allow you to undergo the whole process, and truth be told, implants also cost a hefty sum. To others, this process might be a hard pass.

Dental implants might be too expensive for your budget, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a chance at achieving polished, brighter, and well-built new teeth!

Here’s a list of some of the best tooth replacement alternatives you can go through that are as good as dental implants but cost way less than it.

Cheaper Alternative To Dental Implants

1. Partial Dentures

Are you trying to replace just a single tooth or two? Partial Dentures might be the best choice that doesn’t require as much as a dental implant. If you’re looking for a great clinic that offers this service around the area, you should inquire to VIPcare best Tampa dentist. They are known for their budget-friendly and professional treatments and their competent and highly trusted dentists.

Partial Dentures are done by attaching the false teeth with your natural teeth by using metal clasps. This is to ensure that the replacement is stable and can withstand your everyday needs. Like dental implants, partial dentures also give off a natural look, so you don’t have to worry about getting noticed. It’s also made to make you feel comfortable, so they’re ideal for your day-to-day use.

2. Tooth-supported Fixed Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are one of the highly recommended restorative treatments you can take in case of a missing tooth. From the name itself, dental bridges aim to “bridge” the gaps between your teeth and help you achieve a natural-looking smile with just a few processes at a much lesser cost.

A fixed dental bridge is done by crowning the existing teeth or the anchor teeth with the fake teeth that will later fit in the middle of the two crowned anchors. Most fixed bridges are porcelain, so you don’t have to worry about it looking too “fake” because it certainly will give off a natural-looking impression. This process won’t make it too hard on your wallet because you can do it in just a couple of weeks compared to dental implants, so it would cost less and can be done quicker.

3. For loose teeth: Gum Disease Treatment

If your teeth aren’t missing yet, but you notice them getting loose, a gum disease treatment might save you from all the hassle and costly process of a dental implant.

This is a process meant to rejuvenate a damaged tooth by cleaning out the bacterial infection surrounding it. Other clinics offer to splint the loose tooth with the more stable and regular teeth to help support and stabilize the damaged teeth. This will enable a more healing time for the tooth and a faster way to recover as well.

alternative to dental implants

Because this doesn’t require any operations, gum disease treatments cost lesser than dental implants. The procedure is more like prevention rather than a cure. When this process works, you can keep your natural teeth and avoid spending money on artificial dental.

Your smile shouldn’t cost so much. With these cheap dental implants, you will be able to bring back your genuine grin from ear to ear without the fear of getting frowned upon. Always remember, dental care is also a part of self-care.

The Logistics of a Biomass Power Plant

Biomass logistics involves all the unit operations necessary to move biomass wastes from the land to the biomass energy plant. The biomass can be transported directly from farm or from stacks next to the farm to the processing plant. Biomass may be minimally processed before being shipped to the plant, as in case of biomass supply from the stacks. Generally the biomass is trucked directly from farm to the biomass processing facility if no processing is involved.

biomass_logistics

Another option is to transfer the biomass to a central location where the material is accumulated and subsequently dispatched to the energy conversion facility. While in depot, the biomass could be pre-processed minimally (ground) or extensively (pelletized). The depot also provides an opportunity to interface with rail transport if that is an available option. The choice of any of the options depends on the economics and cultural practices. For example in irrigated areas, there is always space on the farm (corner of the land) where quantities of biomass can be stacked.

The key components to reduce costs in harvesting, collecting and transportation of biomass can be summarized as:

  • Reduce the number of passes through the field by amalgamating collection operations.
  • Increase the bulk density of biomass
  • Work with minimal moisture content.
  • Granulation/pelletization is the best option, though the existing technology is expensive.
  • Trucking seems to be the most common mode of biomass transportation option but rail and pipeline may become attractive once the capital costs for these transport modes are reduced.

The logistics of transporting, handling and storing the bulky and variable biomass material for delivery to the biopower plant is a key part of the biomass supply chain that is often overlooked by project developers. Whether the biomass comes from forest residues on hill country, straw residues from cereal crops grown on arable land, or the non-edible components of small scale, subsistence farming systems, the relative cost of collection will be considerable.

Careful development of a system to minimize machinery use, human effort and energy inputs can have a considerable impact on the cost of the biomass as delivered to the biomass processing plant gate.

The logistics of supplying a biomass power plant with consistent and regular volumes of biomass are complex.

Most of the agricultural biomass resources tend to have a relatively low energy density compared with fossil fuels. This often makes handling, storage and transportation more costly per unit of energy carried. Some crop residues are often not competitive because the biomass resource is dispersed over large areas leading to high collection and transport costs.

The costs for long distance haulage of bulky biomass will be minimized if the biomass can be sourced from a location where it is already concentrated, such as sugar mill. It can then be converted in the nearby biomass energy plant to more transportable forms of energy carrier if not to be utilized on-site.

The logistics of supplying a biopower plant with sufficient volumes of biomass from a number of sources at suitable quality specifications and possibly all year round, are complex. Agricultural residues can be stored on the farm until needed. Then they can be collected and delivered directly to the conversion plant on demand. At times this requires considerable logistics to ensure only a few days of supply are available on-site but that the risk of non-supply at any time is low.

Losses of dry matter, and hence of energy content, commonly occur during the harvest transport and storage process. This can either be from physical losses of the biomass material in the field during the harvest operation or dropping off a truck, or by the reduction of dry matter of biomass material which occurs in storage over time as a result of respiration processes and as the product deteriorates. Dry matter loss is normally reduced over time if the moisture content of the biomass can be lowered or oxygen can be excluded in order to constrain pathological action.

To ensure sufficient and consistent biomass supplies, all agents involved with the production, collection, storage, and transportation of biomass require compensation for their share of costs incurred. In addition, a viable biomass production and distribution system must include producer incentives, encouraging them to sell their post-harvest plant residue.

Beating Procrastination for Students: 7 Working Tips

You know that feeling. There was a task that you were supposed to do a long time ago. But you were constantly postponing collecting the information for your research or preparing for your exam. There is always something to do instead of prep. And no, you’re not being interrupted by something important from the outside. You just feel more like doing something else.

And now you’re working hard, while running out of time, trying to finish your task by the deadline. And you’re beating yourself up over not doing it beforehand. Still, you stay distracted by listening to various podcasts. Or, all of a sudden, you decide to take a break to clean up your room or wash the dishes. All in all, you’re trying to do whatever you can except that task which needs to be done.

Well, congratulations, that’s procrastination! A lot of people confuse procrastination with laziness, but those are totally different things. Laziness is rooted in apathy, lack of desire to do something, and inactivity in general. Thus, it’s a passive thing. Procrastination, on the contrary, is an active process. You choose to do anything else but doing something with burning deadlines.

Beating Procrastination for Students

While you can always request help by paper writer, and never bother about your essays again, procrastination affects different aspects of your life. Solving the problem with paper writing won’t clear out other issues related to your delaying tactics. And procrastination may negatively impact not only your college life but your work as well.

If you want to start doing everything on time and learn to balance your studying, work, and leisure, you should check out the following tips that will help you in your fight against wasting time.

1. Acknowledge Your Procrastination

One of the main reasons why we cannot solve certain issues is that we refuse to acknowledge the problem. You may use different excuses to justify delaying important things because you have other important things to do.

And it’s okay to postpone doing your research when something that you didn’t see coming hits you hard. Once. If you’re holding up things on a regular basis, then you are procrastinating. You need to acknowledge it to fight it. And then not postpone dealing with it. You know you want to.

2. Figure Out the Reason

After acknowledging the problem, you need to find the reasons behind it. Writing a research paper can be an actual bore while preparing for the exam can be quite stressful. Avoiding boredom and stress is normal. But if those are the causes of your procrastination, there are several things that you can do about it.

If you want to avoid boredom, while writing your paper you can either find the ways to get it done as soon as possible, or you can think about the aspects of it that are enjoyable for you. After all, you’re processing a lot of information to transform it into a finished product. That’s something that deserves recognition.

If you’re afraid of the stress of exam preparation, think that after going through all of it, you will be able to pass it without any problems. Actually, there’s nothing to worry about at all, but we are going to talk about it in detail later.

3. Get Rid of Distractions

Quite often we try to fool ourselves. We may think that preparing for an exam while at your friend’s place is a good idea. We may consider writing the paper while watching your favorite TV series. Well, let’s be honest, that is possible only if you’re a prodigy and extremely good at multitasking. Otherwise, it won’t work. Most likely you won’t get any joy from the party/TV show, and your paper won’t be ready.

4. Set Deadlines Yourself

Considering the previous situation, you can go with a different scenario. How about setting your personal deadlines that will allow you to write your paper beforehand, and you would be able to go to the party without being haunted by the idea that you haven’t finished something? Just make the first draft of your paper, you will be able to polish it after the party. But the first draft must be ready.

online-learning

Now, let’s consider your preparation for the exam. You cannot learn everything one night before the test. How about creating the to-do lists for the day? And put each topic that may pop up on your exam to that list? Just devote an hour or two every day to each topic, and you will prepare with ease.

5. State of Efficiency

Each of us has the time when we’re the most efficient. That’s the time that you should devote to your studies. If it happens so that you’re most efficient during night hours, use them to write your paper. If you prefer waking up early in the morning, and you feel most efficient from, let’s say 4 am to 10 am, use this time frame for preparing for the exam. Utilize your state of efficiency.

6. Avoid Stressing Out

We often get anxious just thinking how much time a task can take. And the anxiety brings demotivation. And when you’re demotivated, you would rather spend your time on anything else, except that task. But you should avoid stressing too much about it. Consider several scenarios of what may happen if you succeed or fail at that particular task.

beating procrastination

If you fail to finish your paper on time, most likely you will be asked to submit it when it is ready. Yep, that can affect your score, but is it such a big deal? Not really. If you fail your exam, you can retake it. Again, it will affect your grades, but will someone die because of that? No. Nothing really will happen to you.

This attitude is not to make you forget about the pending tasks, but it will help you to take them easy. And things can be done way easier when you don’t think of them as some big obstacle in your life. It’s just another paper you need to finish. It’s just another exam you need to pass. Nothing serious.

7. Ask for Help

Another thing that you need to remember is to never be ashamed of asking for help. It will save you time, and save your nerves as well. Ask your peers who have had similar assignments for advice. Someone may share their tips for writing a research, while those who made similar research can share their notes with you. You can even ask your professors to shed some light on what to do.

Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy in the UK

The UK has become a leading voice in the fight against climate change. It’s cleantech and green energy sector consists of a startups and scaleups, all serving as a microcosm for the rest of the planet. Electric cars, renewable power and even insect-based protein for pets – this is the extent of innovation happening in the UK. Of course the UK isn’t the only country serving as an incubator for renewable energy companies – many other countries and companies are doing their part. However, if you’ve got an interest in renewable energy stocks to buy in the UK, then keep reading to know the best renewable energy companies to invest in the United Kingdom.

1. Recycling Technologies

A product of the University of Warwick conceived back in 2012, Recycling Technologies has aspirations towards a circular economy specifically for combating the effects of plastic. Thus far this green energy company has created modular technology that converts mixed plastic waste into a viable fuel for new plastic production, thus lessening the amount of new plastic on the planet.

recycling technologies

To date, Recycling Technologies has raised enough investment capital (£33.7m) to start building and commercialising its technology.

2. First Light Fusion

Conceived at the University of Oxford in 2011, First Light Fusion is looking at new was to utilise the power of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), a form of laser-focused fuel compression,  for the purposes of power generation. One of the major benefits of fusion is that unlike other forms of renewable energy like wind or solar, fusion can deliver energy in spite of weather conditions.

Thus far, First Light Fusion has secured £53m in equity funding and plans on upgrading its resources, hiring more staff and expediting its workflow. Anyone with an interest in energy and solar company stocks would do well to keep an eye on this one as it looks set to go places.

3. Propelair

Likely taking a page out of Bill Gates’ book, Propelair has developed a low-water flush toilet system for the business sector. It’s toilet system can be integrated into existing drains, thus making for low-cost installation and reducing the water usage in commercial buildings.

The company has secured equity financing to the tune of £16.5m and has global interests stretching as far as the Middle East and Australia.

4. SaveMoneyCutCarbon

Established back in 2012, SaveMoneyCutCarbon serves in a consulting capacity and acts as a singular conduit for all kinds of energy and water saving initiatives.  Catering to both households and companies, SaveMoneyCutCarbon provides consultancy services, analysis, advice and energy-saving product installations. The company also provides a slew of eco-friendly products for home use.

how to make your home energy efficient

To date, the company has raised £8m in equity funds. Throw in a pre-money valuation of £13.7m and a £3.65m deal with Barclays and you have a company with plans to grow locally and beyond.

5. Enertechnos

This energy efficient startup has developed a new type of electrical transmission cable that relies on capacitance technology to minimise the loss of energy. The end result is an electrical transport solution epitomised by the Captive Transfer System which lets energy travel from power plants to households and end consumers at a much more efficient rate than the archaic power-draining wires used in traditional power grids. This technology can also be integrated with other sustainable energy products like smart grids, electric vehicles and wind farms.

Equity funding to date totals £8.36m, pre-money valuation sits at £22.1m, and the company plans to expand commercial sales, its marketing team and its engineering.

Things You Should Know About the Different Uses of Biochar

Biochar is a carbon-rich, fine-grained residue which can be produced either by ancient techniques (such as covering burning biomass with soil and allowing it to smoulder) or state-of-the-art modern biomass pyrolysis processes. Combustion and decomposition of woody biomass and agricultural residues results in the emission of a large amount of carbon dioxide. Biochar can store this CO2 in the soil leading to reduction in GHGs emission and enhancement of soil fertility.

Biochar holds the promise to tackle chronic human development issues like hunger and food insecurity, low agricultural productivity and soil depletion, deforestation and biodiversity loss, energy poverty, water pollution, air pollution and climate change. Let us have a close look at some of the most promising applications of biochar.

 

1. Use of biochar in animal farming

At present approx. 90% of the biochar used in Europe goes into animal farming. Different to its application to fields, a farmer will notice its effects within a few days. Whether used in feeding, litter or in slurry treatment, a farmer will quickly notice less smell. Used as a feed supplement, the incidence of diarrhoea rapidly decreases, feed intake is improved, allergies disappear, and the animals become calmer.

In Germany, researchers conducted a controlled experiment in a dairy that was experiencing a number of common health problems: reduced performance, movement disorder, fertility disorders, inflammation of the urinary bladder, viscous salivas, and diarrhoea. Animals were fed different combinations of charcoal, sauerkraut juice or humic acids over periods of 4 to 6 weeks.

Experimenters found that oral application of charcoal (from 200 to 400 g/day), sauerkraut juice and humic acids influenced the antibody levels to C. botulinum, indicating reduced gastrointestinal neurotoxin burden. They found that when the feed supplements were ended, antibody levels increased, indicating that regular feeding of charcoal and other supplements had a tonic effect on cow health.

2. Biochar as soil conditioner

In certain poor soils (mainly in the tropics), positive effects on soil fertility were seen when applying untreated biochar. These include the higher capacity of the soil to store water, aeration of the soil and the release of nutrients through raising the soil’s pH value. In temperate climates, soils tend to have humus content of over 1.5%, meaning that such effects only play a secondary role.

Indeed, fresh biochar may adsorb nutrients in the soil, causing at least in the short and medium term – a negative effect on plant growth. These are the reasons why in temperate climates biochar should only be used when first loaded with nutrients and when the char surfaces have been activated through microbial oxidation.

The best method of loading nutrients is to co-compost the char. This involves adding 10–30% biochar (by volume) to the biomass to be composted. Co-composting improves both the biochar and the compost. The resulting compost can be used as a highly efficient substitute for peat in potting soil, greenhouses, nurseries and other special cultures.

Because biochar serves as a carrier for plant nutrients, it can produce organic carbon-based fertilizers by mixing biochar with such organic waste as wool, molasses, ash, slurry and pomace. These are at least as efficient as conventional fertilizers, and have the advantage of not having the well-known adverse effects on the ecosystem. Such fertilizers prevent the leaching of nutrients, a negative aspect of conventional fertilizers. The nutrients are available as and when the plants need them. Through the stimulation of microbial symbiosis, the plant takes up the nutrients stored in the porous carbon structure and on its surfaces.

A range of organic chemicals are produced during pyrolysis. Some of these remain stuck to the pores and surfaces of the biochar and may have a role in stimulating a plant’s internal immune system, thereby increasing its resistance to pathogens. The effect on plant defence mechanisms was mainly observed when using low temperature biochars (pyrolysed at 350° to 450°C). This potential use is, however, only just now being developed and still requires a lot of research effort.

3. Biochar as construction material

The two interesting properties of biochar are its extremely low thermal conductivity and its ability to absorb water up to 6 times its weight. These properties mean that biochar is just the right material for insulating buildings and regulating humidity. In combination with clay, but also with lime and cement mortar, biochar can be added to clay at a ratio of up to 50% and replace sand in lime and cement mortars. This creates indoor plasters with excellent insulation and breathing properties, able to maintain humidity levels in a room at 45–70% in both summer and winter. This in turn prevents not just dry air, which can lead to respiratory disorders and allergies, but also dampness and air condensing on the walls, which can lead to mould developing.

As per study by the Ithaka Institute’s biochar-plaster wine cellar and seminar rooms in the Ithaka Journal. Such biochar-mud plaster adsorbs smells and toxins, a property not just benefiting smokers. Biochar-mud plasters can improve working conditions in libraries, schools, warehouses, factories and agricultural buildings.

Biochar is an efficient adsorber of electromagnetic radiation, meaning that biochar-mud plaster can prevent “electrosmog”. Biochar can also be applied to the outside walls of a building by jet-spray technique mixing it with lime. Applied at thicknesses of up to 20 cm, it is a substitute for Styrofoam insulation. Houses insulated this way become carbon sinks, while at the same time having a more healthy indoor climate. Should such a house be demolished at a later date, the biochar-mud or biochar-lime plaster can be recycled as a valuable compost additive.

4. Biochar as decontaminant

As a soil additive for soil remediation – for use in particular on former mine-works, military bases and landfill sites.

Soil substrates – Highly adsorbing and effective for plantation soil substrates for use in cleaning wastewater; in particular urban wastewater contaminated by heavy metals.

A barrier preventing pesticides getting into surface water – berms around fields and ponds can be equipped with 30-50 cm deep barriers made of biochar for filtering out pesticides.

Treating pond and lake water – biochar is good for adsorbing pesticides and fertilizers, as well as for improving water aeration.

5. Use of biochar in wastewater treatment – Our Project

The biochar grounded to a particle size of less than 1.5 mm and surface area of 600 – 1000 m2/g. The figure below is the basic representation of production of biochar for wastewater treatment.

We conducted a study for municipal wastewater which was obtained from a local municipal treatment plant. The municipal wastewater was tested for its physicochemical parameters including pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD), total suspended solids (TSS), total phosphates (TP) and total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN) using the APHA (2005) standard methods.

Bio filtration of the municipal wastewater with biochar acting as the bio adsorbent was allowed to take place over a 5 day period noting the changes in the wastewater parameters. The municipal wastewater and the treated effluent physicochemical.

The COD concentration in the municipal wastewater decreased by 90% upon treatment with bio-char. The decrease in the COD was attributed to the enhanced removal of bio contaminants as they were passed through the biochar due to the biochar’s adsorption properties as well as the high surface area of the bio char. An 89% reduction in the TSS was observed as the bio filtration process with bio char increased from one day to five days

The TKN concentration in the wastewater decreased by 64% upon treatment with bio char as a bio filter. The TP in the wastewater decreased by 78% as the bio filtration time with biochar increase. The wastewater pH changed from being alkaline to neutral during the treatment with biochar over the 5 day period

6. Use of Biochar in Textiles

In Japan and China bamboo-based biochar are already being woven into textiles to gain better thermal and breathing properties and to reduce the development of odours through sweat. The same aim is pursued through the inclusion of biochar in shoe soles and socks.