A Primer on Waste-to-Energy

Waste-to-Energy (also known as energy-from-waste) is the use of thermochemical and biochemical technologies to recover energy, usually in the form of electricity, steam and fuels, from urban wastes. These new technologies can reduce the volume of the original waste by 90%, depending upon composition and use of outputs.

Energy is the driving force for development in all countries of the world. The increasing clamor for energy and satisfying it with a combination of conventional and renewable resources is a big challenge. Accompanying energy problems in different parts of the world, another problem that is assuming critical proportions is that of urban waste accumulation.

The quantity of waste produced all over the world amounted to more than 12 billion tonnes in 2006, with estimates of up to 13 billion tonnes in 2011. The rapid increase in population coupled with changing lifestyle and consumption patterns is expected to result in an exponential increase in waste generation of upto 18 billion tonnes by year 2020.

Waste generation rates are affected by socio-economic development, degree of industrialization, and climate. Generally, the greater the economic prosperity and the higher percentage of urban population, the greater the amount of solid waste produced. Reduction in the volume and mass of solid waste is a crucial issue especially in the light of limited availability of final disposal sites in many parts of the world. Millions of tonnes of household wastes are generated each year with the vast majority disposed of in open fields or burnt wantonly.

The main categories of waste-to-energy technologies are physical technologies, which process waste to make it more useful as fuel; thermal technologies, which can yield heat, fuel oil, or syngas from both organic and inorganic wastes; and biological technologies, in which bacterial fermentation is used to digest organic wastes to yield fuel.

The three principal methods of thermochemical conversion are combustion in excess air, gasification in reduced air, and pyrolysis in the absence of air. The most common technique for producing both heat and electrical energy from wastes is direct combustion. Combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration systems, ranging from small-scale technology to large grid-connected facilities, provide significantly higher efficiencies than systems that only generate electricity.

Biochemical processes, like anaerobic digestion, can also produce clean energy in the form of biogas which can be converted to power and heat using a gas engine. In addition, wastes can also yield liquid fuels, such as cellulosic ethanol, which can be used to replace petroleum-based fuels. Cellulosic ethanol can be produced from grasses, wood chips and agricultural residues by biochemical route using heat, pressure, chemicals and enzymes to unlock the sugars in biomass wastes.

Waste-to-energy plants offer two important benefits of environmentally safe waste management and disposal, as well as the generation of clean electric power.  The growing use of waste-to-energy as a method to dispose of solid and liquid wastes and generate power has greatly reduced environmental impacts of municipal solid waste management, including emissions of greenhouse gases.

3 Most Common Water Heater Problems

You rarely think about your hot water heater unless there’s a problem, but when there’s a problem with your hot water heater, it’s all you can think about. No one enjoys taking a cold shower, but your hot water heater does a lot more than just make sure you’re comfortable when showering. It provides hot water for your dishwasher and clothes washer, and provides a sanitary environment for washing your hands. The point is, when you need hot water repairs, you need them now. Here are the three most common water heater problems to help you diagnose the issue.

Most Common Water Heater Problems

1. Water Temperature is Too Hot or Too Cold

Almost all homeowners have issues with their water temperature at one time or another. If your water is cold when it should be hot, it could be due to a lack of power, a faulty thermostat, or a faulty heating element. Eliminate possible causes by checking your circuit breakers and ensuring there are no blown fuses. If everything looks good, move on to checking the power switches to make sure they’re on and ensuring the thermostat is receiving power.

If your water is warm, but not getting hot, you could have an undersized water heater, a failing thermostat or heating element, or your hot and cold connections are crossed. You can determine if your connections are crossed by turning off the water supply and turning on a hot water faucet. If the water still flows when the water supply is off, your connections are crossed.

When your water is too hot, this is usually because you have turned your water heater thermostat too high. It is recommended you set it at no hotter than 120°F to avoid burns. Beyond the simple checks recommended here, you should have a professional inspect your water heater if you suspect a faulty thermostat or heating element.

2. Water Heater Leaks

There are various reasons why your water heater might be leaking. It could be a faulty temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve, improper water pressure, a stuck valve, overheating, loose heating element bolts, a leak from a plumbing connection, a bad gasket, or a leaking water tank.

While you can check for obvious loose parts and tighten them (but not too tight), it’s best to leave most leak repairs to professionals because they know how to identify the problem quickly and recommend repairs or replacements to permanently fix the leak.

maintenance of water heater

3. Discolored Water

If you’re getting brownish or yellowish water from any faucet, it could be the result of a rusting water tank. It might be just a failing anode rod, but this is best determined by a professional. If the problem is more than just an anode rod, you’ll probably have to replace the entire water heater.

Conclusion

Hot water problems are absolutely no fun. We’ve come to rely on getting hot water instantly when we need it and when it’s not available, it’s a real hassle. Most hot water issues, though, must be diagnosed by a professional, especially since water heaters can be dangerous to work with. While you can perform some basic checks to attempt to determine the problem, it’s always best to leave this work to those who are trained to do it.

How to Dispose of Plastic Equipment Efficiently

If your company has plastic equipment that’s no longer needed, you can dispose of it by selling the machinery through the most optimal channels.

Here’s a guide on how to do that efficiently.

How to Dispose of Plastic Equipment Efficiently

1. Sell Your Plastic Equipment Through an Established Company

When you offer your used plastic equipment for sale in partnership with an established machinery buyer and vendor that sells the machines on your behalf, your equipment can sell much more quickly.

Why? Because an established third party already has a share of the market and buyers are continually looking for second-hand machinery on its site. It would be much more challenging and typically take longer to sell your plastic equipment by yourself.

You can sell all types of used plastic machinery on the second-hand market, including extruder machines, injection molding machines, blow molding machines, downstream equipment, and thermoforming equipment, to name just a few.

2. Check the Condition of Your Equipment Before You Sell it

Before you start selling your plastic equipment, you should thoroughly check it for any problems. While wear-and-tear is normal for used machinery, if any major problems are found, such as defective parts, you need to be aware of it.

If you sell defective machinery without making buyers aware, you’ll have either a return or a lawsuit on your hands. Transparency is the key to a successful and efficient sale.

Also, by discovering problems with the machinery early on, you could take steps to fix the issue before selling it. That way, you can command a higher price.

However, make sure you calculate whether the cost of the repair is worth it in comparison to the going rate for your make and model of plastic equipment.

3. Have All Required Information Ready Before You Begin the Selling Process

To make sure your plastic equipment sells quickly, which in turn will allow you to free up floor space and create greater efficient operations, make sure you have all the information needed to perform a quick and successful sale.

You’ll typically need to know the make and model of your plastic equipment, the year it was made, and its serial number. You should also provide details of what the machinery was previously used for.

By having all of that information available, not only can you sell your equipment efficiently. You can also command a higher price than machinery without accompanying information.

4. Take High-quality Photographs of Your Equipment

Most buyers will purchase used plastic equipment without seeing it in person, due to geographic differences. That means they need to see detailed photographs of the equipment you are selling before they can choose your machinery over another seller’s items.

Even if buyers come to see the equipment first-hand, they will still begin the buying process online, so providing photos is a crucial step if you want to sell your plastic equipment efficiently.

Furthermore, to increase your chances of an early sale, you need to take photos that are highly detailed. Don’t try to pull the wool over customers’ eyes, either. If the machine you’re selling shows signs of wear and tear, photograph it.

industrial-coatings

And to stand out against other equipment for sale, make sure you take high-quality photos that instantly attract buyers.

Summing Up

When you take the right preparatory steps, you’ll be able to sell your used plastic equipment much more efficiently.

Check the machinery’s condition, ensure you have all the details that buyers will require such as the equipment’s make and model, and learn how to take high-quality photographs of the equipment.

You’ll then be able to quickly sell your plastic equipment for a good price through an established buying and selling platform.

5 Tips for Adding Solar Panels to Your Home

Solar panels are technological appliances that generate electricity by converting light energy into direct currents which are applicable for commercial and residential purposes. The advent of solar panels is a major progress in technology, providing the world with a more economically sustainable and reliable power supply for all possible applications. It also savages the situation of spending extra money on energy bills which can be high, depending on the amount of energy consumed.

In recent times, the installation of solar panels to homes has been a prominent activity of homeowners, especially in the United States. A solar-powered home will not only boost the value of your home, but also give room for savings, and provide a safe and healthy environment. But yet, so many people shun the prospect of installation because it seems like a formidable task.

Today, the addition of solar panels to your home is not a big deal as it was, as the choice of system size, component selection, and mounting and appropriate safety disconnection can be achieved with proper information and knowledge.

These are five tips that you will need to successfully power your homes with solar panels:

1. Budget

Although there has been a common misconception that solar panel installation is expensive, it is indeed an incredible way of saving money. It helps in minimizing the rate at which you depend on electricity from the power grid, resulting in you saving money in the long run. Even though the initial expenses during the first action solar installation might seem much, it becomes a cost-saving electricity generating facility over time.

Over time, the cost of procuring solar panels is consistently dropping since many people are installing it because is one of the cheapest forms of electricity worldwide. Nevertheless, your financing options is an important thing to consider before anything else – the more financially buoyant you are, the more the utility that will be derived from it. Estimate how much cost that the procurement and the installation of the entire solar set up will incur. The strength of the panels affects the price – the more powerful it is, the more expensive each panel will be.

2. Roof Condition and Position

Solar panels are very durable and they can have a lifespan of 25 years or more. Considering the longevity of most roofing materials that are affected by some environmental conditions like snow, hail, rain, hurricane, and sunshine, most home roofs don’t last more than 20 years especially most asphalt shingle or composition roofs. So, the condition of the roof of your home must be in the best condition before setting up solar panels.

In addition to the age and condition of your home roof, the positioning in terms of the layout and the direction that it’s facing should be considered. It should be in such a way that sunlight shines on it daily so as to be able to reap all the amazing benefits that exist with going solar if your home qualifies.

If for the most part of the year, your roof is exposed to a considerably significant quantity of sunlight, installing solar panels would be an excellent idea. The more sunlight that is shining on your solar panel is, the more the energy produced. The presence of huge trees around your roof will cast shades enormously, therefore depriving the panels of direct exposure and also of maximizing the energy coming from the sun. When panels are being installed, they should be fixed in such a way that will prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris that could hinder the hitting of the panel by enough sunlight exposure.

Both factors ensure the longevity of an economically stable power supply from the solar panels in your homes.

3. Activities undertaken in homes

The nature of activities done in the home greatly affects the energy consumption rate. The monthly energy consumption rate of your household may differ in a year due to the fact that you will need to run activities and appliances because of the peculiarity of the season. For example, your electricity bill might be higher in summer months than other months in a year because you will probably run the air conditioner more in this season.

If the energy consumption rate is less, then an undersized solar setup will be sufficient and conversely. An estimate of the number of solar panels that will enough to meet your electricity consumption daily, monthly or yearly should be done appropriately. Fortunately, not all of your appliances will be running at the same time and with usage of smart electrical panels you can optimize the power usage and even automate some of the tasks

So, the knowledge of your home energy consumption rate and your home dimensions allows momentum solar experts to help you design solar systems that best suits your energy use and budget.

4. Types of Solar Panels

There are different solar panel types based on functions. In the market, the two most sought after solar setups available are:

  • Photovoltaic – which converts sunlight into light energy by using arrays of cells
  • Thermal – which heats up water or air with energy from the sunlight.

So, your choice can be made between the two solar technologies depending on your intended purpose.

According to make-up, solar panels are distinctly grouped into two major categories:

Each option should be examined carefully, not forgetting to measure how efficient the solar panel is going to be and the right fit for you. Do you have questions? Companies like https://customenergy.solar/ are here to help! SunPower by Custom Energy is a leader in residential solar power. Offering efficient, customizable energy solutions to the entire state of Utah.

5. Warranty Details

Solar panels that are installed in homes have chances of performing efficiently and hassle-free for years. Solar panels can last for as long as twenty-five years under normal conditions. Nevertheless, in rare situations, issues can occur. That’s more of a reason why you should make your buy from a dependable buyer in order to ensure a money-back guarantee and be assured of a lengthy time of performance without breaking down.

Purchasing the right solar panels for your home enables you to enjoy the numerous benefits that come with it. So, do go for a solar panel that suits your home best rather than going for the current fads of the market.

How to Become a Future Leader

Employees no longer stay in the same job for decades, which is an issue for most businesses. Therefore, firms constantly have to employ people from the outside to fill management roles. Instead of quitting, an opportunity in the current market is to become an employee of value and set yourself for leadership positions.

Innovative businesses will look for and analyze potential leaders to fill senior roles. You can improve your chances of becoming a future leader by focusing on yourself:

How to Become a Future Leader

Subject Matter Expert

You must be an expert on a specific area if you want recognition at work and gain attention. If you are an expert on an essential topic for the organization, people will come knocking at your door, and your value will increase.

You’ll be offered chances to interact with other teams, and you’ll be able to ask for promotions because of the power you’ll hold.

For example: if you are looking to progress to a leadership position in a political field, the American Leader would be a good source of information for you. It would provide you with the necessary details about current issues in the economy rather than just basic headlines.

Be Self-Aware

Make a point of highlighting and concentrating on your strengths. Incorporate them into your daily routine in whatever manner you can. Are you able to admit to any flaws you may have? Can you give specific examples of how you dealt with them and why you believe it helped you achieve something you’re proud of now?

Even routine and human, it is OK to make mistakes as long as you admit them quickly and honestly and give solutions.

You will be perceived as someone who does not accept responsibility for your actions if you do not acknowledge making a mistake or shift the blame off yourself.

Take On Responsibilities Outside Your Job Description

You won’t be able to advance to a leadership role in your career if all you do is what’s written in the profile. It would help if you constantly pushed yourself to take on new responsibilities outside your regular job responsibilities.

Managers are very eager to support an employee who wishes to take advantage of a vast new opportunity at work. You will advance your career, enhance your abilities, and be better placed for leadership opportunities if you take on extra assignments.

The Ability to Communicate and Network at All Levels

Across all levels, the skill to communicate and network is crucial. One of the essential attributes of a leader is their ability to network and communicate effectively. You must be able to demonstrate how you have built, nurtured, and used your network for the benefit of yourself and others.

how to treat employees

Using networks for personal and professional purposes outside your day-to-day employment demonstrates your ability to form and retain new relationships, which is critical for success in all areas. Communicating yourself adequately and your strategic ideas to others can help you advance in your leadership career. Create a clear picture of what you want to receive from a networking relationship and strive toward it.

Conclusion

Academics and consultants have attempted to propose new approaches to leadership throughout history, but the time for adhering to and following a single style or ‘way of operating’ has passed.

Remember, great leaders are not born overnight — nor should they be! Your experience and talent will come together to create the knowledge you need to succeed.

Leaders must reconcile messy internal tensions, work with a vision that respects the various interrelated systems they operate and tune in to a vital and personal mission to fulfill genuine potential.

What Does A Good Property Management Company Do?

Are you a landlord or a real estate investor? One of the biggest decisions you will ever have to make is whether to use a property management company to maintain and oversee the daily operations of your property. Compared to landlords who prefer the do-it-yourself approach of management in order to save money, working with property management companies increases your chances of growing your properties bottom line and enhancing your rental portfolio.

property-management-firm

But what does a good property management company do? Here is a list of essential services you can expect from a good property management company.

1. Effective Collection of Rent from Tenants

If you own many rental units, you understand how cumbersome it can get when trying to collect rent from every tenant all by yourself. This is why you should use a reputable property management company. A good property manager will ensure that all your tenants pay their leases in full and at the right time.

If you have limited time and you want to focus most of your efforts on growing your business, hiring a property manager who is fully committed to the day to day running of your property will be a great investment.

2. Regular Property Maintenance

Dealing with frequent calls from tenants is probably the biggest reason why landlords enlist the help of a management company. Sometimes the tenant’s needs are not very big but the timing and the urgency are. You may receive a call in the middle of the night from a distressed tenant who has misplaced their keys and can’t get in.

Failure to address these issues can result in serious problems with your tenants in the future. Having a good property manager who responds urgently to all property issues will not only ease your burden but also ensure that all your rental properties are optimized.

A good property manager will also inspect the property regularly and make sure that all routine maintenance such as lawn care, plumbing issues, drywall patching, pressure washing, and all other services that tenants may need are handled at the right time.

3. Sourcing of Tenants

It is one thing to get tenants for your rental property, it’s another thing to get the right tenants. A good property management company will ensure that proper screening of prospective tenants is done so that you don’t end up with tenants who are bankrupt or have fully maxed their credit cards and will have problems paying rent every month.

A good property manager will also take time to call previous landlords and also look into the tenant’s criminal history. The last thing you need is a tenant who puts you or the entire neighborhood at risk.

4. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping is a vital part of property management. Proper bookkeeping ensures that taxes are kept at a minimum, and the cash keeps flowing. A good property manager will ensure that your books are kept properly but if they don’t offer bookkeeping services, they can advise you on where you can outsource a good bookkeeper who will add value to your business.

5. Effective Handling of Defaulters

Sometimes tenants get caught up in serious issues such as breaching of leases while others could be involved in criminal issues. While some issues can be sorted directly with the renter’s other issues require lawyers and even going to court. A good property management company can handle these problems for you and save you the time and agony of dealing with such stressful situations.

Biomass Energy Potential in Philippines

The Philippines has abundant supplies of biomass energy resources in the form of agricultural crop residues, forest residues, animal wastes, agro-industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes and aquatic biomass. The most common agricultural wastes are rice hull, bagasse, cane trash, coconut shell/husk and coconut coir. The use of crop residues as biofuels is increasing in the Philippines as fossil fuel prices continue to rise. Rice hull is perhaps the most important, underdeveloped biomass resource that could be fully utilized in a sustainable manner.

At present, biomass technologies utilized in the country vary from the use of bagasse as boiler fuel for cogeneration, rice/coconut husks dryers for crop drying, biomass gasifiers for mechanical and electrical applications, fuelwood and agricultural wastes for oven, kiln, furnace and cook-stoves for cooking and heating purposes. Biomass technologies represent the largest installations in the Philippines in comparison with the other renewable energy, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas abatement technologies.

Biomass energy plays a vital role in the nation’s energy supply. Nearly 30 percent of the energy for the 80 million people living in the Philippines comes from biomass, mainly used for household cooking by the rural poor. Biomass energy application accounts for around 15 percent of the primary energy use in the Philippines. The resources available in the Philippines can generate biomass projects with a potential capacity of more than 200 MW.

Almost 73 percent of this biomass use is traced to the cooking needs of the residential sector while industrial and commercial applications accounts for the rest. 92 percent of the biomass industrial use is traced to boiler fuel applications for power and steam generation followed by commercial applications like drying, ceramic processing and metal production. Commercial baking and cooking applications account for 1.3 percent of its use.

The EC-ASEAN COGEN Programme estimated that the volume of residues from rice, coconut, palm oil, sugar and wood industries is 16 million tons per year. Bagasse, coconut husks and shell can account for at least 12 percent of total national energy supply. The World Bank-Energy Sector Management Assistance Program estimated that residues from sugar, rice and coconut could produce 90 MW, 40 MW, and 20 MW, respectively.

The development of crop trash recovery systems, improvement of agro-forestry systems, introduction of latest energy conversion technologies and development of biomass supply chain can play a major role in biomass energy development in the Philippines. The Philippines is among the most vulnerable nations to climatic instability and experiences some of the largest crop losses due to unexpected climatic events. The country has strong self-interest in the advancement of clean energy technologies, and has the potential to become a role model for other developing nations on account of its broad portfolio of biomass energy resources and its potential to assist in rural development.

3 Ways Real Estate Firms Can Adopt Environmentally Sustainable Practices

Real estate accounts for 40% of the world’s energy consumption and 1/3 of all carbon emissions. With that kind of eco-footprint, real estate firms are at the frontlines of climate change risks created by greenhouse gas, making the switch to sustainability necessary.

Realtors, brokers, and building owners need to do their part to ensure they don’t intentionally or unintentionally encourage the excessive use of energy, waste, and inefficient practices. Here are 3 ways real estate firms can adopt a more sustainable real estate portfolio.

ways real estate firms can adopt a more sustainable real estate portfolio

1. Establish a Remote Work and Technology Policies

The first step on your eco-journey should include a remote work/technology policy. These policies will encourage building occupants or remote brokers and realtors to adopt greener technologies or reduce their energy and water consumption when they’re at home.

For example, you can make the real estate transaction process greener by creating a paperless pipeline. You’ll save on your energy consumption by reducing transportation costs. If you have to use paper, utilize recycled materials and adopt enhanced recyclability for all employees.

To improve your remote work/technology policy, include the following processes:

  • Adopt low-energy apparatuses at home (for example, LED lighting or smart lighting).
  • Minimize water and energy use at home/work (for example, putting your computer in sleep mode when it isn’t in use and using a filter instead of an in-office water jug).
  • Lessen the hazardous material intensity of property and business spaces.
  • Reduce the use of paper where possible. Use phone apps or software instead.
  • Extend the durability and functionality of your business property.

Your remote work or technology policy can also include cutting your direct mail marketing campaigns and switching to email and digital marketing full-time to reduce wastes.

2. Green Your Business Through Your Clients

Making your business green is very important, but there are other ways to create sustainability in your company that involve your clients directly. Eco-friendly homes are a hot commodity with Millenials and Gen Z, so if you showcase your concern for the environment, you’ll attract clients.

When selling to a potential buyer, explain green initiatives that a homeowner can cash in on if they buy a fully-stocked, eco-friendly home. For example, homebuyers can take advantage of tax credits and improved energy efficiency when purchasing Energy Star appliances.

Keep in mind that green property buyers may not know enough to seek homes that feature green amenities, like water-conserving fixtures, sustainable flooring, and energy-efficient windows. Realtors who explain these features fluently will have an easier time getting a sale.

engineered-wood-flooring

Don’t forget about the sellers! Home sellers that want to speak to a green crowd should be coached on how to do so, as green amenities are often a big selling point to buyers.

3. Create Sustainability Through Business Initiatives

A green portfolio will easily attract the eco-conscious, but you have to walk the walk. If you’re all talk, clients will see right through you, so brokers and their agents have to educate themselves on green practices. Here are some key ways companies are reducing their carbon footprint.

Work With Sustainable Vendors

Prospective clients don’t just look at the firm’s eco-footprint; they’ll also research vendors. Everything from HVAC parts to landscaping services will be critiqued with a fine-toothed comb, so it’s essential that you choose service providers and suppliers that practice sustainability.

On your website, display all the vendors you work with. That way, clients are reassured that both you and your vendors are committed to creating a more environmentally friendly world.

Pursue Green Certifications

Building operations and construction, directly and indirectly impact the environment, meaning real estate firms should achieve a green building certification to be sustainable.

Many property developers have adopted Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED) of the US Green Building Council to become more eco-friendly. Other options include WELL Building Institute and the National Association of Homebuilders.

Such standards have led to a growing inventory of efficient and sustainable buildings.

Set Emission Targets

Several companies are adopting the science-based target approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions which establishes targets that keep the global temperature increase below 2°C.

Keeping carbon emissions down as low as possible also has lasting effects on the industry as a whole. New innovative practices and technologies will emerge to help clients and firms adopt strategies that further reduce their carbon footprints, leading to a more eco-friendly nation.

Cheap Writing Service for Student Needs

When students are looking for a cheap writing service to help with their essays, they are often overwhelmed with all of the results that they find. There are many different websites available, but they are not all created equal. This is one of the best websites for essay writing help, especially for essay editing.

WritePro.net wants to make sure that its users are satisfied with the help that they receive. They have outlined a few simple guarantees that make a huge difference in a student’s overall success. Not every service offers these types of things, and some of them do not even guarantee a student’s progress.

Here Are the Website’s Guarantees

  • Immediate attention. No matter when you try to reach out to receive help on your essay, somebody will be available. This service offers help at all hours, so you don’t have to worry about missing out. Their employees are stationed all over the world. These employees are on standby, which means they are just waiting for you to submit your essay and receive help!
  • WritePro’s employees realize the importance of turning assignments in on time. Students have deadlines to meet in multiple classes, and it can be hard to adhere to those deadlines with a busy schedule. Luckily, this service gives students plenty of time to turn in their essays once they are edited.
  • Plagiarism is a big deal in the academic world and in writing in general. Students must submit unique, original work in order to receive credit for their assignments. If it is found that a student has plagiarized, the student might receive a zero on the essay or face other serious consequences. This service offers cutting-edge anti-plagiarism software, which the employees will use to ensure that every paper is unique.

There are a few good reasons for students to receive help from professional essay writers. The main reason that students will ask a professional for help is that they need to strengthen their writing or they do not have enough time to write the essay on their own.

Using a professional writer for paper help has a variety of benefits, including:

  • Improving writing style. Students are still developing their writing, and they might not be at the appropriate grade level. They might also need help with transitioning from everyday writing to more formal, academic writing. A professional can point out different parts of an essay that students should change and help them to make those changes.
  • Receiving important feedback. Sometimes the only feedback that students receive on their writing is from their teachers during the grading process. This input is critical to the writing process, but it happens after the essay has been completed. Working with a professional writer gives students an opportunity to get feedback before it becomes a part of their grade.
  • Getting a second look. After working on an essay for hours, students tend to lose focus and may not realize that their writing isn’t making sense. Writing professionals can take a look at the work that students have completed and make sure everything makes sense. This can also help to improve the overall flow of the paper!

One of the best parts about this specific service is that it is geared toward ESL students. ESL students are faced with extra challenges when it comes to writing essays. This is because they are often unfamiliar with the writing techniques and styles that native English speakers have known for their entire lives.

Overall, WritePro boasts many impressive features, which is helpful when students are choosing a cheap writing story. Its commitment to ESL students is also very significant and can be hard to find elsewhere.

Bioplastics: Making an Informed Decision

Plastics are regarded by some as one of the greatest human inventions and continue to benefit society in more ways than one. However these benefits come at a high environmental cost as research has shown that “over 300 million metric tons of plastics are produced in the world annually and about 50% of this volume is for disposable applications, products that are discarded within a year of their purchase”.

bioplastics

About 50 percent of all plastics produced worldwide are disposed of within one year of being manufactured; now that is a critically important statistic when plastics have been known to have life spans over 500 years.  Infact, this is the main reason behind massive waste accumulation of plastics in landfills, drainage systems, water bodies etc. Moreover, plastic’s destruction is evident when in 2009, it was reported that an estimated 150 million tons of fossil fuels were consumed for the production of plastics worldwide.

Given all of these facts, it is no surprise that the pervasive use of non-biodegradable plastics has provoked many environmental and health concerns, especially in developing countries where plastic is often disposed of in unauthorized dumping sites or burned uncontrollably.

One result of this broadening awareness of the global plastic waste problem and its impact on the environment is the development of bioplastics.  Bioplastics are based on biomass derived from renewable resources and are in many cases more environmentally friendly than traditional petroleum based plastics. Currently, numerous types of bioplastics are under development, the most popular being Polylactides, Polyglycolic acids, Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), aliphatic polyesters and polysaccharides.

Basic Concepts and Misconceptions

Overall, in the Plastics Industry Trade Association’s 2012 Bioplastics Industry Overview Guide, it is stated that bioplastics that are both bio-based and biodegradable play an important role in further advancing the plastic industry as a whole.  Incredibly essential to note, is that within the above statement, it states, the importance of bioplastics that are both bio-based and biodegradable.  This statement implies that not all bioplastics are biodegradable and/or bio-based.

bioplastic

In fact, according to a 2011 industry report, there are many characteristics such as degradable, biodegradable, bio-based and compostable that are used to describe bioplastics. However, not every bioplastic is comprised of all of these features.  According to the report, this remains a common misconception as the public at large still lacks a clear understanding of the various bioplastic related terms.

For instance, it is commonly thought of that the terms bio-based and biodegradable are interchangeable. However not all bio-based plastics will degrade naturally. In fact, “many bio-based products are designed to behave like traditional petroleum-based plastic, and remain structurally intact for hundreds of years”.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines biodegradable plastics as a plastic in which all the organic carbon can be converted into biomass, water, carbon dioxide, and/or methane via the action of naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, in timeframes consistent with the ambient conditions of the disposal method (Compostable Plastics 101).

This definition implies that there is a specific timeframe for the biodegradation to take place and merely fragmenting into smaller pieces, even if microscopic, does not make a material biodegradable.  This definition is commonly confused with the term degradable which is a broader term given to polymers or plastics that simply break down by a number or means, such as physical disintegration, chemical disintegration and biodegradation by natural mechanisms.

After degradation, a degradable plastic can still remain in a smaller or fragmented form unlike that of a biodegradable plastic, which needs to completely biodegrade into water, carbon dioxide and/or methane. This distinction between terms results in polymers that are degradable but not biodegradable.

Another term that is commonly found to describe bioplastics is ‘compostable’. Compostable is defined by ASTM as “a plastic that undergoes biological degradation during composting to yield carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds, and biomass at a rate consistent with other known compostable materials and leaves no visually distinguishable or toxic residues”.

While the ASTM has specific standards for a plastic to be compostable such as biodegradation, eco-toxicity, and disintegration, the main difference between a plastic being compostable versus biodegradable is the rapid rate at which biodegradation, eco-toxicity, and disintegration occur. Therefore, in theory, all compostable plastics are biodegradable however, not all biodegradable plastics are compostable.

Finally, probably the most often confused term regarding bioplastics is the label, “bio-based”.  As defined by the US Department of Agriculture, the term “bio-based” refers to solely the raw materials of the plastic. According to the Department of Agriculture, bio-based materials that are those that are “composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic agricultural materials or forestry materials”.

Since the majority, not all, of the materials have to be renewable, many bio-based plastics combine both petroleum-based materials with naturally based ones. For this reason, some researchers have suggested that a bio-based material may not technically be a sustainable product. Therefore, while the two terms are somewhat related, whether or not a product is bio-based is not an independent indicator of whether it is biodegradable.

Making an Informed Decision

This lack of understanding between the terms is a large issue that does not get much recognition.  Consumers are increasingly buying more and more bioplastics but are not fully being educated on the differences between the various different types of bioplastics on the markets. While as a whole, bioplastics may have many notable attributes making them excellent alternatives to traditional plastics, they are not considered flawless solutions.

Some bioplastics encompass all of the above qualities while others may only hold one or two of these characteristics; meaning that there is a vast disparity between how environment-friendly different bioplastics might actually be.

Consumers often see the term bioplastic or a bio-based plastic and automatically assume that it will breakdown into the soil like leaves or grass once it is disposed of, when as discussed, this is often not the case. All in all, given the significant differences between the terms, it is very important for consumers to know that “bio-based,” “biodegradable” and “compostable” are individual attributes and be educated on what these characteristics actually mean. It is equally important for manufacturers to be educated on these differences and make proper labeling of their bioplastic products.

References

Biobased and degradable plastics in California. Retrieved from  this link

California Organics Recycling Council. (2011). Compostable plastics 101. Retrieved from this link

Confused by the terms biodegradable & biobased. (n.d.). Retrieved from this link

Divya, G., Archana, T., & Manzano, R. A. (2013). Polyhydroxy alkanoates – A sustainable alternative to petro-based plastics. Petroleum & Environmental Biotechnology, 4(3), 1-8. http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/2157-7463.1000143

Liu, H-Y. (2009). Bioplastics poly(hydroxyalkanoate) production during industrial wastewater treatment. Retrieved from ProQuest Digital Dissertations. (AAT 3362495)

Niaounakis, M. (2013). Biopolymers: Reuse, recycling, and disposal. Waltham, MA: William Andrew Publishing.

North, E. J., & Halden, R. U. (2013). Plastics and environmental health: the road ahead. Reviews on Environmental Health, 28(1), 1-8. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2012-0030

The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. (2012, April). Bioplastics Industry Overview Guide.

United States Department of Agriculture. (2006). Federal biobased products preferred procurement program. Retrieved from this link