About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the CEO of BioEnergy Consult, and an international consultant, advisor and trainer with expertise in waste management, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, environment protection and resource conservation. His geographical areas of focus include Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biogas technology, biomass energy, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. Salman has participated in numerous national and international conferences all over the world. He is a prolific environmental journalist, and has authored more than 300 articles in reputed journals, magazines and websites. In addition, he is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability through his blogs and portals. Salman can be reached at salman@bioenergyconsult.com or salman@cleantechloops.com.

Tips on Writing a Research Paper on Solar Energy

The share of energy received from the Sun is steadily increasing every year. Last year, the global solar market increased by 26%. According to forecasts, in 2018 for the first time, the mark of 100 gigawatts of new installed capacity per year will be passed all over the world. Writing a research paper on solar energy is not an easy assignment, as you will have to deal with lot’s of statistics, results of experiments, and, surprisingly, sociology — the usage of alternative sources of energy are strongly connected with the social issues and moods. In this article, you’ll receive some tips on how to write a stellar research paper on solar energy and impress your professor.

We are sure you know how to structure a research paper, and you won’t forget about an engaging thesis (problem) statement. Our tips will cover the latest trends you should mention and the discussions related to the usage of solar energy, pros, cons and exciting facts.

Pay Attention to the Latest Trends

EssayWritingService has identified several trends in the solar energy market in the near future. Read on to know more:

  • An increasing number of countries are developing solar energy projects at the national level. In 2016, there were 32 such countries, at the end of last year already 53. Tenders for the development of solar energy are planned in 23 countries.
  • In the United States in the next 4 years, the number of states installing more than 1 gigawatt will reach 18. They will account for 80% of all US photovoltaic plants.
  • Reducing the cost of solar energy can be achieved through the use of more powerful modules, which will reduce the proportion of equipment and maintenance costs.
  • The role of electronics operating at the level of a single photovoltaic panel will grow. Now micro-inventors and current converters for one module are not used very widely.
  • Prices for stationary solar systems in the world are falling, but in the USA they remain at the same level (the cost of watts of power for US home systems is the highest in the world). The price for a “sunny” watt from state to state can vary by 68 cents, and companies will have to look for ways to reduce production costs.

Talk about the Future

Naturally, interest in renewable energy sources will continue to grow. The year 2050 will be the point of no return – it is by this time that most countries will completely switch to clean energy. And in 2018 serious steps will be made in this direction.

The first to be hit will be coal power plants in Europe. To date, 54% of them are not profitable, and there are only for the sake of peak load. In 2018, Finland will ban the use of coal to generate electricity and increase the tax on carbon dioxide emissions. By 2030, the country plans to abandon this fuel completely.

The Indian coal mining company Coal India also plans to close 37 coal mines in March 2018 – their development has become uneconomical due to the growth of renewable energy. The company will save about $ 124 million on this, after which it will switch to solar power and install at least 1 GW of new solar capacity in India.

Don’t Focus Solely on Content

It is a no-brainer that the content of your research paper is the most essential part of your work. However, if you forget about formatting, citations, plagiarism, using valid academic sources, etc., your research paper can fail despite having an amazing thesis statement or the project idea. https://plagiarismdetector.net/ can help in detecting plagiarized content.

When you start doing research, note down every link you use or want to use, every quote you like, every piece of statistical information. At first, it seems very dull and unnecessary — you think you can find this information at any moment. However, days pass, and you fail to make proper references, which can be a reason of being accused of plagiarism. Proofread your research paper several times, use online sources to check grammar and spelling, don’t forget about plagiarism checkers to stay on the safe side.

If you find out that writing a proper research paper on solar energy is too complicated for you now, or you don’t have enough time energy to deal with it, it is a wise choice to get affordable research paper writing by experts who can help you immediately with your assignment. When writing a research paper on solar energy don’t forget to check on the latest numbers and analytical data worldwide. Good luck!

5 Clever Ways To Boost Employee Wellbeing This 2022

As an employer, you know all too well how the majority of your employees’ waking hours are dedicated to your company. Thus, prioritizing their wellbeing within the workplace is a necessity. While it’s true that you need to look after your company’s sales and revenue, you also need to remember that without your people, your company would be lifeless. Your workforce is your most valuable asset, and through their skills and talents, they’ll keep your company running and thriving for many years.

However, it may be challenging for them to stay productive when their health and wellbeing are compromised. Furthermore, employees with poor health and low morale are less likely to feel motivated or happy to work. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to promote the wellbeing of your employees, regardless of whether they’re working from home or back onsite, in your office.

To start, here are five clever ways you can boost your employees’ wellbeing this 2022.

Ways To Boost Employee Wellbeing

1. Institute Flexible Working Arrangements

One of the main reasons some employees struggle with their health and wellbeing is the lack of work-life balance. This can happen, especially if you’re too uptight with your employees’ working hours. Even if you think letting them work from home has given them the luxury to spend time with their family or avoid long commutes, remember that not all of them are in the same circumstances.

Some of your workers probably have to be in the living room just to look after their kids and work at the same time. Or perhaps, visit an internet café for a more stable internet connection. One way to boost their wellbeing and overall quality of life is by instituting flexible working. For example, allow them to work during their most flexible time (especially if they have family and kids) as long as they still deliver quality output before the deadline.

You may also want to consider partnering with an IT company Capetown based or other managed IT service providers within your area to provide you with 24/7 tech support. This way, your employees can choose to work at their most convenient time and have a smoother and safer technological experience from possible security breaches despite working remotely.

Overall, implementing flexible working arrangements will help your employees achieve work-life balance and boost their overall being while maintaining their productivity.

2. Promote Healthy Eating Habits

You’re probably wondering how you can promote healthy eating habits to your employees when you have little control over their lifestyles. But since they’re spending most of their hours working for you, you can use this as an advantage to promote healthy eating within your organization. For example, enforce a mandatory one-hour break, which they should strictly use for eating and refueling themselves and not use the time to run errands.

You also need to discourage them from eating meals on the office desk so they can devote their lunch break for eating and not be distracted to do additional work. If you have a company cafeteria or lunchroom, replace those unhealthy junk foods with fresh fruits, nuts, and other healthy snacks to encourage them to choose healthy foods. You can do the same for beverages by providing water, tea, and coffee instead of soda.

3. Organize Daily Or Weekly Fitness Challenges

One of the best ways to jumpstart your employees’ physical health and wellbeing is by organizing daily or weekly fitness challenges. Besides encouraging them to be physically active, this is also an excellent opportunity to start friendly competitions, promote interaction, and have fun in the office. Some daily or weekly fitness challenges you can try may include:

  • Thousand Steps Challenge: Encourage your team to walk and collect as many steps for a week via their fitness trackers. The person who has the highest number of steps gets a prize from the company.
  • Bike To Work Challenge: The team member who gets to bike the most miles will be awarded.

You can also insert a few minutes for stretching wherein you invite everyone to get up from their seats for five to ten minutes and perform basic stretches together.

4. Provide Personal Or Virtual Mental Health Therapy Or Counseling

Mental health issues are prevalent among many employees, yet some employers and even co-workers often overlook them. This is true, especially since the pandemic has brought plenty of changes to everyone’s lives and mental health. One way to help your employees boost their mental wellness is by providing personal or virtual mental health counseling for those who need them the most.

You can also conduct monthly mental health awareness programs to discuss further the importance of reaching out and availing help when needed. Meanwhile, you can also organize some daily or weekly mental health exercises to boost their mental health, like:

  • Providing time for meditation
  • Exploring mental health apps
  • Spreading positive and inspirational quotes every morning
  • Practicing stress management

5. Encourage Socialization and Interaction

Your employees’ relationship with you and their co-workers also plays a vital role in boosting their wellbeing. When they don’t feel a sense of unity and belongingness within your company, they’ll less likely feel motivated in coming to work, eventually affecting their work performance and productivity. So, keep your team members engaged and develop healthy relationships with one another by hosting group activities other than corporate meetings.

How to Boost Employee Wellbeing

Some fun and interactive activities you can try are:

  • Monthly or quarterly office parties
  • Virtual games
  • Company social traditions (e.g., Friday happy hours, monthly team lunches)

If time and budget allow, you can also organize an annual company field trip to promote interaction and, at the same time, expose them to new experiences.

Takeaway

Meeting your employees’ health and wellness needs is crucial to your company’s success. Once you’ve applied one or more of these tips, conduct a survey within your workforce and see if it’s working or necessary adjustments should be made. Let their feedback guide you in customizing your employees’ wellbeing program.

The Benefits of Indoor Plants and How to Keep Them Fresh

Having a natural ambiance around your house and workplace is not only aesthetically pleasing but has also proven to increase productivity and positively impact mood and behavior. No doubt that indoor plants trigger a feeling of happiness from inside. Setting up foliage in your environment reduces anxiety and stress since interaction with nature improves self-being.

self-watering-planters

Many studies and researches have proved promising impacts of having greenery in your surroundings. Here are but a few of the benefits of indoor plants:

1. Increased healing period

People are arranging more and more planters in hospitals, workplaces, and homes. Be it outdoor or indoor plants, they all contribute to making the environment a better place to breathe and survive. Furthermore, being surrounded by plants and flowers has proven to be an effective method of lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving sleep cycles, boosting immunity, and uplifting mood.

2. Enhanced energy and performance

Happiness leads to success and great performance in overall life. Giving a natural touch to your environment energizes and soothes the soul inside out. Incorporate a wide range of planters indoors and outdoors to naturally stimulate an active and refreshed mood.

3. Plants absorb noise

Did you know that big trees absorb the noise in highly populated and activated areas? Yes, plants, trees, foliage, and vegetation all act in part as sound absorbers. This is why in areas with generally a lot of greenery (such as suburbs) you are likely to hear a lot less noise. The same principle applies to indoor plants. They soak up sound making for a quiet, relaxed, and serene indoor atmosphere.

4. Greenery relaxes you

Connecting with nature is always an effective way to relax and unwind. No matter if it is sitting by the beach watching the waves crashing into the rocks, or feeling the fresh morning air blowing across your hair, being close to nature is just calming. This biophilic interaction relaxes the soul, body, and mind.

5. Improves focus leading to better memory

Isn’t it amazing to know that plants enable enhanced focus, concentration, and memory retention? Studies show that the arrangement of flowers and plants indoors has significantly improved the productivity of tasks at home and workplaces. Having a close connection with nature not only helps concentrate on the task but also improves the quality of the work. It is highly beneficial to include plants in your surroundings for improved cognitive skills and performance.

How to Take Care of Indoor Plants?

Taking care of plants is easier said than done. It is not enough to simply water them and provide them with sunlight. The right combination of the two is essential in order for a plant to grow and too much or too little of either water or sunlight can quickly see a plant wither and die.

Growing plants indoors requires an immense amount of love and sincere hard work. But what if you don’t have the time and energy to take care of indoor plants. Maybe you have a busy schedule or just don’t have much experience with gardening. What do you do then?

safer-air-quality-in-home

Well, luckily for you, there are many tools available that allow one to grow plants indoors in a manner that is easy, convenient, and effective.

Here a few tips and tricks to make sure your indoor plants flourish and thrive.

  • Pick the right type of plant that best suits the location and environment. Humidity, temperature, and other external factors such as air quality, etc. can all impact the growth of indoor plants.
  • Make sure you water the plants regularly but never too much at once. Excess water is just as harmful as no water as if the soil gets too wet the plant is unable to get the oxygen it needs from the roots in order to grow and will wither and die. To make sure your plants get the right amount of water at the right time use a self-watering planter. See the best self watering planters here and choose one that best fits your indoor or outdoor gardening needs. This tool will help make your gardening tasks a lot easier and a lot less time-consuming.
  • Fertile soil is extremely essential. Add in compost and fertilizers to provide the plant with the nutrient it needs in order to grow.
  • Take care of cleanliness. Prune leaves and branches to give the plant shape.
  • Keep away pesticides and insecticides and allow benefiting insects to make the soil fertile.

How to Buy and Sell Pancakeswap (CAKE)

This token has a very unique tagline amongst investors: eat your cake and have it. Who doesn’t want to eat their cake and have it? Well, pancakeswap’s native token, CAKE (CRYPTO: CAKE), helps you do just that. PancakeSwap is a decentralized exchange (DEX), allowing investors to swap BEP-20 tokens. BEP-20 tokens are tokens built on top of the Binance Smart Chain that doesn’t have its own blockchain. Early investors in CAKE have been on a wild ride as the token has appreciated more than 30 folds in price in the past year. There are a number of reasons why cryptocurrency investors are looking at Cake right now, given the strong secular growth trend driving the decentralized finance (DeFi) space and PancakeSwap’s impressive user base—the largest for any decentralized application (dApp).

How to Buy and Sell Pancakeswap

Continue reading to learn how to buy and sell CAKE if you’re one of these savvy investors:

How to buy CAKE

CAKE is supported by the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance. There are two ways to buy “CAKE.” The first is to buy CAKE with an established cryptocurrency, and the second is to use a credit or debit card. In both cases, all you have to do is choose a cryptocurrency wallet, fund your wallet with established crypto, place a buy order for CAKE, and there you have it. You just purchased CAKE. Now all you need to do is eat it literally but it’ll still be there, sitting pretty in your wallet. Easy peasy, yes? But I would still be breaking down these processes for ease of understanding.

1. Choose a cryptocurrency wallet

To choose a wallet, you have to consider compatibility and security. In terms of compatibility, the best wallet for CAKE is MetaMask. MetaMask was one of the first wallets to feature the token when it was created, and it allows Cake to be bought, sold, and traded at little cost. In terms of security, the Safepal S1 is the best wallet for Cake. It provides top-notch security for users, as it is a hardware wallet built to store cryptocurrencies offline, and it provides a level of accessibility that is unmatched. If you have to consider both compatibility and security, then Trust Wallet is the best, as it allows you to connect directly to PancakeSwap to buy, sell, and trade.

2. Fund your wallet with an established coin

Examples of established coins are BTC, ETH, and USDT. If you already have an established coin in your wallet, then you can skip this step. If you have an established coin in another wallet, you can transfer it to your trust wallet.

3. Buy Cake

After successfully transferring cryptocurrency to your Trust Wallet, you can connect to Pancakeswap and exchange the coin for CAKE tokens.

4. Keep your CAKE safe

Cryptocurrencies are usually stored in wallets. There are hot wallets and cold wallets. For ease of use, major cryptocurrency exchanges have their own wallets, so if you only have a small amount of crypto, it is preferable to leave your investment in your exchange account. But a digital wallet, which is a form of hot wallet, can offer more security if you want to move your crypto to a more secure storage facility. The best wallet for CAKE is the Trust Wallet. Trust wallet has a strong connection with the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, where PancakeSwap is hosted. Additionally, Trust Wallet allows you to connect directly to PancakeSwap to buy, sell, and trade CAKE.

bitcoin-cash

How to sell cake

The procedure for selling CAKE is very similar to that for purchasing it. Navigate to the “DEX” at the bottom of your wallet app, select the token you are swapping from under the “Swap” tab, which will be “CAKE”, select the stablecoin that you would like to swap to, and enter the amount, then press the “Swap” button and confirm. After your CAKE has been swapped for a stable coin, you can now send that stablecoin to your exchange and sell it.

Cake has the potential to make you a lot of money on PancakeSwap. While the platform is open to all types of exchanges, it is more welcoming to investors who hold CAKE, the platform’s native token. If you own Cake, you can benefit from general features such as investing in liquidity pools. You can also take advantage of exclusive features such as staking in SYRUP pools, farms, maximizing the prediction feature, and entering the lottery.

Carbon Market in the Middle East

Middle East is highly susceptible to climate change, on account of its water scarcity, high dependence on climate-sensitive agriculture, concentration of population and economic activity in urban coastal zones, and the presence of conflict-affected areas. Moreover, the region is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions on account of its thriving oil and gas industry.

The world’s dependence on Middle East energy resources has caused the region to have some of the largest carbon footprints per capita worldwide. Not surprisingly, the carbon emissions from UAE are approximately 55 tons per capita, which is more than double the US per capita footprint of 22 tons per year. The MENA region is now gearing up to meet the challenge of global warming, as with the rapid growth of the carbon market. During the last few years, many MENA countries, like UAE, Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have unveiled multi-billion dollar investment plans in the cleantech sector to portray a ‘green’ image.

There is an urgent need to foster sustainable energy systems, diversify energy sources, and implement energy efficiency measures. The clean development mechanism (CDM), under the Kyoto Protocol, is one of the most important tools to support renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives in the MENA countries. Some MENA countries have already launched ambitious sustainable energy programs while others are beginning to recognize the need to adopt improved standards of energy efficiency.

The UAE, cognizant of its role as a major contributor to climate change, has launched several ambitious governmental initiatives, including UAE embassy legislation, aimed at reducing emissions by approximately 40 percent. Masdar, a $15 billion future energy company, will leverage the funds to produce a clean energy portfolio, which will then invest in clean energy technology across the Middle East and North African region. Egypt is the regional CDM leader with twelve projects in the UNFCCC pipeline and many more in the conceptualization phase.

Middle East is an attractive carbon market as it is rich in renewable energy resources and has a robust oil and gas industry. Surprisingly, very few CDM projects are taking place in MENA countries with only 22 CDM projects have been registered to date. The region accounts for only 1.5 percent of global CDM projects and only two percent of emission reduction credits.

The two main challenges facing many of these projects are: weak capacity in most MENA countries for identifying, developing and implementing carbon finance projects and securing underlying finance. Currently, there are several CDM projects in progress in Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia. Many companies and consulting firms have begun to explore this now fast-developing field.

The Al-Shaheen project is the first of its kind in the region and third CDM project in the petroleum industry worldwide. The Al-Shaheen oilfield has flared the associated gas since the oilfield began operations in 1994. Prior to the project activity, the facilities used 125 tons per day (tpd) of associated gas for power and heat generation, and the remaining 4,100 tpd was flared. Under the current project, total gas production after the completion of the project activity is 5,000 tpd with 2,800-3,400 tpd to be exported to Qatar Petroleum (QP); 680 tpd for on-site consumption, and only 900 tpd still to be flared. The project activity will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 2.5 million tCO2 per year and approximately 17 million tCO2 during the initial seven-year crediting period.

Potential CDM projects that can be implemented in the region may come from varied areas like sustainable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, landfill gas capture, industrial processes, biogas technology and carbon flaring. For example, the energy efficiency CDM projects in the oil and gas industry, can save millions of dollars and reduce tons of CO2 emissions. In addition, renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, holds great potential for the region, similar to biomass in Asia.

Salt-Free Water Softeners are Critical for Wastewater Management

If you use hard water in your home, you might’ve noticed that your soap doesn’t lather properly and that there are scales and deposits in your pipes and appliances. This happens because hard water contains excess calcium and magnesium ions. These hardness-causing ions are responsible for the poor soap lathering, your dry skin, and scales forming in your pipes.

Water softeners remedy this by softening water and making it easier to use. There are two types of water softeners; salt-based water softeners and salt-free water softeners. How both types work and why salt-free softeners are critical for wastewater management is the topic of this article.

Why Salt-Free Water Softeners Are Critical for Wastewater Management

How Salt-Based Water Softeners Work

Salt-based water softeners have resin tanks that contain thousands of tiny, negatively charged resin beads.

Hard water contains positively charged magnesium and calcium ions. When it passes through the water softener unit, the resin beads attract the magnesium and calcium so they stick to them. Calcium and magnesium ions are then exchanged for sodium ions. The resin beads eventually become saturated with calcium and magnesium, and they have to be rinsed off with saltwater in a process called regeneration.

Regeneration usually happens in the middle of the night. The process is simple – water softeners have a salt storage tank where brine forms. During regeneration, the sodium ions in the saltwater solution replace the magnesium and calcium ions until the resin bed is fully covered with new sodium. Afterward, the saltwater solution and hardness minerals are washed and flushed down the drain, and the water softener continues its normal operation.

Issues

If you use a salt-based water softener, you have to add a bag of sodium chloride to the salt storage tank every once in a while.

Also, salt-based water softeners consume a lot of water during regeneration. The saltwater rinse-off procedure can waste up to 100 gallons per cycle, depending on the individual water hardness.

Besides consuming some electricity and wasting gallons of water, salt-based water softeners also pollute the environment. The extra sodium may get into the soil and cause stunted growth in plants or finds its way into freshwater. The excess chloride in softened water can harm freshwater plants and organisms by affecting their reproductive patterns and destroying their entire ecosystem.

Overall, salt-based water softeners are an issue for the environment and for plants, which is why several farming cities in southern California have banned or severely restricted their usage.

How Salt-Free Water Softeners Work

Salt-free water softeners are also called water conditioners or descalers. They help stop the effects of hard water, although they operate differently from salt-based water softeners. Salt-free water softeners do not undergo the ion exchange or regeneration process.

In place of ion exchange, salt-free water softeners use various technologies, Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) being one of the, where hardness minerals are transformed into micro-crystals. In this system, the hard water flows through a “nucleation site” full of TAC media. The nucleation site is where the micro-crystals are formed. As hard water comes in contact with the TAC media, magnesium and calcium ions are attracted and get stuck. More calcium and magnesium ions build up in the nucleation sites, forming small micro-crystals. When the crystals reach a certain size, they break off the TAC media and are released back into the water. The micro-crystals will remain crystalline as they flow through your home plumbing. These crystals will not cause scales to form in your pipes or give you any of the typical hard water problems.

In summary, salt-free water softeners do not remove hardness minerals; they only neutralize them and keep them in harmless forms.

Using a salt-free water softener is an excellent way to eliminate water hardness without all the wastewater and environmental hazards caused by salt-based water softeners. Salt-free softeners also increase your drinking water’s nutritional value because it doesn’t lack minerals beneficial to your body.

effluent-treatment-plant

Other Reasons to Pick Salt-Free Water Softeners

Here are some more reasons salt-free water softeners are an excellent choice and to be preferred over salt-based systems.

Low Energy Consumption

Salt-free water softeners do not require electricity to work. Using a salt-free water softener means you’ll save on your electricity bill, compared to if you were using a salt-based water softener.

Easy to Maintain

Salt-free water softeners are very easy to maintain and install. The systems use either a single tank or cartridge. They don’t need to go through the regeneration process or saltwater rinse off, which means they don’t need drain connections. If you’re thinking about getting a salt-free water softener, you can check out Nuvo water softeners. There are different versions and sizes you could choose from.

Conclusion

Salt-free water softeners are critical to wastewater management because they do not need to go through regeneration, so they don’t produce wastewater. With salt-free water softeners, the processed water goes directly into your house or your water heater. If you live in an area where salt-based water softeners are banned, you can always try using a salt-free water softener. You should also consider getting a salt-free water softener if you run a farm or own a small garden.

3 Ways to Refresh Your Home in the New Year

You’ve most likely set personal goals for the new year, but have you considered how your personal space can impact your progress?  A clean, healthy, and peaceful home base is necessary for incubating new habits or commitments.

Read on for some ideas on how to spruce up your home and give yourself a better chance of meeting your goals this month.

ways to refresh your home

1. Reset with a Deep Clean

Deep cleaning is traditionally reserved for the spring, but a professional cleaning will keep you and your family safe and healthy all winter long. So before you settle into your home, search for a “Deep Cleaning Service Near Me” and find a company that will protect everyone in your home.

Disinfecting surfaces is an effective method of disinfecting indoor spaces. However, cleaning companies are experts in finding the often overlooked parts of your home that could use the disinfecting power of a professional.

Not only will this help to improve the appearance of your home, but it will also get rid of all the extra dirt and dust hiding in your home’s crevices, as well as the germs that make you susceptible to illness.

2. Bring in Plant Life

Gardening and having plants in your home don’t just have to be for aesthetics. Gardening is a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while enjoying nature’s benefits.

Working with plants can be therapeutic, and studies have shown that it can also help with concentration. If you work from home, you may notice that having plants near your desk increases productivity and creativity. This may be due to how calm we feel when in the presence of nature — even nature that is brought into our homes.

indoor-air-cleaner

Plants help improve indoor air quality by emitting oxygen and absorbing harmful toxins. They can also attract beneficial insects that prey on common pests like mosquitoes. Overall, it makes your home a healthier place.

If you already have plants in your home, you’re ahead of the game! If not, try introducing some plant life to help refresh your home and support your goals for the new year.

3. Update your Lightbulbs

How often have you struggled to find the perfect lighting in your house? Whether it’s for Zoom calls or a relaxing meal, getting the proper lighting can instantly improve your living experience and even your mood. It can also help reduce your electricity bills and your carbon footprint.

There are plenty of great options for finding ways to improve your home’s lighting, including smart light bulbs and LED lights.

energy efficient home

With multicolored Wi-Fi-enabled bulbs, smart lightbulbs can easily change hues and mood. You can even have customized lighting on a timer! These smart LED bulbs are also voice-activated and can be controlled via an app, making it easy to ensure that the lights are turned off when you leave the house.

Regular LEDs will do just the trick if you aren’t ready to convert to WiFi light bulbs. They not only last longer than standard lightbulbs and help you save money on your electricity bill, but they also benefit the environment. You will use less electricity as a result of their efficiency. You’ll also be lowering your carbon footprint because replacing bulbs less frequently means less waste and fewer light bulbs used over time.

When something as simple as changing your lightbulbs helps not only you but the environment as well, it makes it quite a no-brainer.

Take on the New Year

Keeping your home clean, healthy, and peaceful is essential in accomplishing your goals in the new year. Whether it’s a professional deep cleaning, introducing plant life, or replacing old light bulbs, give yourself every opportunity to have your best year yet.

Energy Potential of Bagasse

Sugarcane is one of the most promising agricultural sources of biomass energy in the world. Sugarcane produces mainly two types of biomass – sugarcane trash and bagasse. Sugarcane trash is the field residue remaining after harvesting the sugarcane stalk while bagasse is the fibrous residue left over after milling of the sugarcane, with 45-50% moisture content and consisting of a mixture of hard fibre, with soft and smooth parenchymatous (pith) tissue with high hygroscopic property.

Bagasse contains mainly cellulose, hemicellulose, pentosans, lignin, sugars, wax, and minerals. The quantity obtained varies from 22 to 36% on sugarcane and is mainly due to the fibre portion in the sugarcane and the cleanliness of sugarcane supplied, which, in turn, depends on harvesting practices.

The composition of bagasse depends on the variety and maturity of sugarcane as well as harvesting methods applied and efficiency of the sugar processing. Bagasse is usually combusted in furnaces to produce steam for power generation. Bagasse is also emerging as an attractive feedstock for bioethanol production.

It is also utilized as the raw material for production of paper and as feedstock for cattle. The value of Bagasse as a fuel depends largely on its calorific value, which in turn is affected by its composition, especially with respect to its water content and to the calorific value of the sugarcane crop, which depends mainly on its sucrose content.

Moisture contents is the main determinant of calorific value i.e. the lower the moisture content, the higher the calorific value. A good milling process will result in low moisture of 45% whereas 52% moisture would indicate poor milling efficiency. Most mills produce Bagasse of 48% moisture content, and most boilers are designed to burn Bagasse at around 50% moisture.

Bagasse also contains approximately equal proportion of fibre (cellulose), the components of which are carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, some sucrose (1-2 %), and ash originating from extraneous matter. Extraneous matter content is higher with mechanical harvesting and subsequently results in lower calorific value.

For every 100 tons of Sugarcane crushed, a Sugar factory produces nearly 30 tons of wet Bagasse. Bagasse is often used as a primary fuel source for Sugar mills; when burned in quantity, it produces sufficient heat and electrical energy to supply all the needs of a typical Sugar mill, with energy to spare. The resulting CO2 emissions are equal to the amount of CO2 that the Sugarcane plant absorbed from the atmosphere during its growing phase, which makes the process of cogeneration greenhouse gas-neutral.

35MW Bagasse and Coal CHP Plant in Mauritius

Cogeneration of bagasse is one of the most attractive and successful biomass energy projects that have already been demonstrated in many sugarcane producing countries such as Mauritius, Reunion Island, India and Brazil. Combined heat and power from sugarcane in the form of power generation offers renewable energy options that promote sustainable development, take advantage of domestic resources, increase profitability and competitiveness in the industry, and cost-effectively address climate mitigation and other environmental goals.

Why it is Important to Recycle Used Filters and Oil

Illegally or inappropriately disposed of used motor oil can have a grievous impact on the environment. Studies conducted indicate that a single gallon of used oil can pollute up to a million gallons of water. Used oil filters are made of steel which means they can be recycled. In some developed countries, they are the most recycled materials and dumping them in landfills is illegal in other countries, while some have stringent laws that define how they should be disposed of.

Regulatory organizations such as the environmental protection agency reiterate that used oil filters should only be recycled or disposed of once all the free flowing oil has been drained. Presently, oil filters manufactured in the United States are not subject to dangerous waste regulation provided the filter is:

  • Hot drained then crushed
  • Broken through the anti drain valve or the dome and hot drained
  • Hot drained then dismantled

Hot draining is the process of draining the oil filter near or at engine operating temperature above 60ºF. Basically, the filter is either crushed or punctured while still warm in order to clear any surplus oil. The environmental protection agency recommends hot draining for up to 12 hours.

While lubricating oil hardly wears out, it gets dirty. Foreign bodies such as chemicals, water, dirt or even metal scrapings can mix with it and lower its performance capability. Contaminated oil should be replaced either with re-refined or virgin oil in order to execute its job appropriately.

The contaminated oil can be taken through used oil recycling procedures with studies indicating that approximately 380 million gallons of contaminated oil are recycled annually. Recycled oil is often taken through immense re-refining to eliminate all the impurities in order to produce pure oil.

The end product referred to as re-refined oil should fit similar rigorous compounding, refining, and performance principles as pure motor oil. Re-refining is an environmentally and energy valuable method of managing used motor oil. Producing a gallon or re-refined base stock requires less energy that producing crude oil base stock.

Advantages of Recycling Used Filters and Oil

Oil re-refining helps reduce heavy metal emissions and greenhouse gases as opposed to combusting it as fuel. Re-refining is an ideal way of managing used motor oil, it is environmentally friendly, and converts used oil into a renewable resource. Re-refining used motor oil reduces a nation’s reliance on foreign crude oil.

Used motor oil filters contain oil at the time of disposal. Having the ideal recycling company recover them ensures that the oil is recovered and re-refined. This also helps safeguard landfill space.

Collection of Materials

The manufacturers of oil tanks and filters are responsible for the materials. Many times, they provide big containers for disposing of the used filters especially in large volume shops. Recycling companies however can provide bins or drums for used filters while the shops provide waste oil storage facilities.

While used oil tanks will not be replaced when service providers are changed, shop managers must analyze the state of their used oil storage facilities to rule out spillage or loss when oil is transferred to an oil truck.

If need be, many recycling companies can also provide storage facilities. Used oil filters do not necessarily have to be crushed or drained before being recycled provided they are kept in a bin or drum.

What Next?

Oil filters are broken down into small fragments while the metals are removed and sold as scrap. Eventually, they are used to manufacture various products such as manhole covers and rebar. The contaminated oil is sold recycling companies. A huge percentage of the used oil is refined, drained, and used as an energy alternative to natural gas while the remaining percent is processed into hydraulic oil.

Finally

Used oil can be detrimental to water bodies and the environment in general. Companies should incorporate stringent recycling strategies for both used oil and filters to protect the environment and conserve space in landfills.

3 Things to Consider While Using OBD2 Can Scanner

One of the easiest ways to check the efficiency of your car’s engine and its components is to use an OBD2 scanner. An OBD2 scanner is a diagnostic tool that is used to read and clear codes, run system checks, and sometimes make adjustments to a car’s CPU.

Most OBD2 diagnostic scanners also include a feature called live data, or data stream, which is what you’re looking for if you need to do some efficiency checks. A diagnostic scanner with a live data function is the best thing to use to check the efficiency of your motor.

car-scanner-diagnostic

We can use the live data function to look into fuel economy, thermal efficiency and general engine performance. Using OBD2 scanners to delve into the live data of your car is a much cheaper alternative than sending the vehicle off for testing, and you can get a good idea of how the engine is performing just by using the scanner. This of course saves a lot of time and money.

You can find lots of information about various OBD tools at https://obdstation.com, who regularly review different OBD2 scanners. Head there to find out about the best OBD2 scan tools that have live data functions included, which you can use the check the efficiency of your car’s engine components.

If you already have an OBD2 scan tool and want to investigate your car’s efficiency, then there’s a few key things that you’ll want to look into. The first is fuel economy.

1. Fuel Economy

You want to make sure that your engine is using fuel at the correct rate for your vehicle. If an engine is using too much fuel, then the engine will have a very low economy and be more expensive to run. If an engine is overusing fuel, then this could suggest a few different problems with the fuel system, which we’ll talk about later.

So, how can you use an OBD2 scanner to investigate fuel economy? Well, part of the live data stream from an OBD2 diagnostic scan tool that is displayed is a reading called Fuel Trim. Fuel trims basically refer to how much fuel is being released into the engine by the fuel delivery system. Fuel trims are represented on the OBD2 screen by a percentage, where a percentage of 0.0% suggests that the fuel system is working perfectly, with the right amount of fuel being released into the engine.

If the reading is a positive number, so above 0.0%, then this means that too much fuel is being released. If the reading is negative, below 0.0%, then there is too little fuel being released. An OBD2 scanner will give two values for fuel trims, a long term fuel trim (LTFT) and a short term fuel trim (STFT). They both represent the same thing, LTFT is just calculated over a longer period of time, so is more of an average value.

Of course nothing is perfect, so you probably won’t be seeing readings of 0.0% for both STFT and LTFT. However, you’d expect a healthy engine with a properly functioning fuel injection system to have an STFT reading between -10.0% and 10.0%, and an LTFT reading between -5.0% and 5.0%.

If the fuel trims are both too high, then your car is using too much fuel, which means it’s not at its best efficiency. The problem could be caused by the fuel injection system overcompensating for a vacuum leak for example. Having said that it’s also a problem if the values are too low. Even though the engine is using too little fuel, this will be made up by issues in other areas, which will result in a less efficient engine and therefore a more costly one to run.

2. Engine RPM

Another indicator of how efficiently your engine is operating is its revolutions per minute (RPM). Even a basic OBD2 device should display the idle RPM of the engine. Note that the RPM will change if you touch the throttle, so we’re focussing on the idle RPM here.

Most cars have idle speeds of between 600 and 1000rpm, whilst for trucks its around 600rpm, and motorbikes are higher at around 1200rpm. Be sure to check the car manufacturers handbook or research your vehicle online to find out what RPM its engine should be at.

If the RPM is too high, then this will definitely result in your engine being less efficient. If it’s too low, then it won’t be generating the right amount of power, so again will be less efficient. If your RPM is too high or too low, then it’s probably down to an issue with idle control valve, or a vacuum leak.

3. Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP Sensor)

Manifold Absolute Pressure is another factor that can have quite a big influence on how efficient an engine is operating.

The MAP sensor data readings are usually specific to fuel injected engines. MAP sensors measure the air pressure in the intake manifold, which helps the engine CPU decide on the correct air/fuel ratio. Having a correct balance is key for efficiency, so that the engine isn’t using too much or too little fuel.

Like the Ignition sensors, faulty MAP sensors will lead to an incorrect fuel/air balance, resulting in excessive fuel consumption, lack of power, and failed emissions tests. Again, this is useful data to indicate possible problems with your car.

What is an OBD Scanner?

An OBD Scanner is a car diagnostic device used by mechanics to read vehicle trouble codes, turn off the check engine light, install third party components, run system checks and include lots of other advanced features. OBD scanners are an essential tool for the workshop, and save mechanics a lot of time and cash.

They are effective tools for looking into an engine’s efficiency and performance.

How Can an OBD Scanner Help your Cars Efficiency?

Although an OBD scanner won’t solve any problems by itself, it is a fantastic investigation tool that will show you how efficiently your engine is operating and will highlight any problems with the engine that will be reducing its efficiency.

You can gain lots of information about fuel economy, thermal efficiency, and engine performance, The ease of use that an OBD2 tool will offer makes it a great alternative to sending vehicles off for complex testing.

What is the best auto scanner for the money?

There are lots of great scanners out there. The most important feature to look out for if you want to check your motor’s efficiency is live data streaming. The best OBD scanners will all offer this service.