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.

The Impact of Smart Homes on Generations

America is already feeling the impact of smart homes. A large industry based on this technology is forming. But, what is the effect of it on the different generations? Here you can find a brief discussion of the impact of smart homes on generations.

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes consist of all the different smart products owned by the user. These products are interconnected. It makes use of the internet to connect to other products. This technical feature is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

There are all kinds of products. Every room or space in a home can be automated by smart home products. You can even install smart devices into your backyard like smart lawnmowers and irrigation systems.

Benefits for all generations

Smart home products are designed to benefit its users. The technology is developed for all generations. So there are benefits to its use that applies to everyone.

These benefits include:

  • An increase in comfort of the user’s lifestyle.
  • Increased life expectancy caused by the usage of these products (i.e. smart security products).

Impacts on different generations

Three larger generation groups have been defined for the purpose of this discussion. It’s been split into the retirees, the working force, and the youth.

Retirees

Smart home products can connect to all kinds of services and devices. Elderly people can enjoy minor medical check-ups from the comfort of their homes. Video calls and domestic smart medical equipment can supply all the information a doctor needs. Doctors can keep an eye on patients that are too far from their offices.

Retired people can make use of smart home technology to automate simple tasks. Grocery shopping and other basic services are accessible through these products. Retirees will enjoy the improved elderly care and greater access to basic services caused by smart homes.

The working force

Smart home products like smart thermostats have been known to save its users an average of 20% in yearly warming and cooling costs. According to a study conducted by SafeAtLast, 57% of American smart home owners save about 30 minutes per day. Automating your home will save you lots of time and effort in the process.

The working force who owns smart home products will be more productive. They will also have more cash on hand due to extra savings. Smart homes can help to create a wealthier economy by assisting the working force.

The youth

The youth of today is the promise for tomorrow. Smart home technology is indirectly designed to increase the life expectancy of its user. All these benefits will help to cultivate a better tomorrow. The youth who grow up with smart home technology will have an advantage over their lesser privileged youths. Though, the psychological effects of this technology (over the long term) is yet to be studied.

Conclusion

This technology wants to make your life better. It will benefit every generation. Give it a try to experience the benefits yourself. Read on to for interesting facts on smart homes.

3 Ways to Make the Most of Your AC Unit

Without a doubt, one of the reasons why so many homeowners are hesitant about the use of their air conditioning unit is due to the potential spike in the utility bills. While it is understandable to want to save money on an AC unit, it makes no sense to have an AC and never use it. It can be challenging to be comfortable in a warmer climate without the help of air conditioning, but a rising utility bill should not deter you from using it when you want to.

That said, there are some ways to help ensure that you are making the most of the AC unit you have. While services such as Elite AC Repair Austin are there for the more severe issues that can pop up, here are a few methods to help you save money by treating your AC unit right.

1. How you handle the ventilation in your home can make all the difference

For example, there are plenty of houses with furniture that ends up blocking the vents, stopping air from effectively moving freely around the home. While it might not be such a big deal, when you are trying to utilize your AC unit to cool things down, it can result in an uneven experience. Before starting, it would be a good idea to check and ensure that the vents in your house are not blocked or clogged in any way.

2. Purposefully blocking ventilation can have its advantages

Once you are confident that everything is in order, there is still the question of which vents to block when the AC is on. After all, there are areas of the home that do not need to be cooled down – such as the basement. By blocking the ventilation in certain areas, you can cool other rooms much faster and save money at the same time.

3. Understand exactly when to have your AC serviced

There are plenty of situations where it seems like the best course of action would be to use a service such as eliteaustinac.com. That said, understanding which situations merit the intervention of a professional can save you plenty of money in the long run. For example, a leak might not be so bad, but it could end up leading to mold as time goes on, eventually turning into a health hazard for you and your family. Clean dirty HVAC air filters regularly to decrease HVAC energy consumption.

clogged-filter-AC

There is also the issue of odd smells, as well as the lack of cold air. If you want to save money, it would be a good idea to have your unit serviced by an expert as soon as possible.

Aside from the tips above, ensure that you keep the condenser clean by washing it with a garden hose every now and then. If you are curious about where to find quality AC units, Trane can help provide you with the best air conditioning units around. The tips above will help you save money while simultaneously giving your AC the treatment it deserves!

A Glimpse Into The Sustainable Megacities Of The Future

Megacities are generally defined as cities with a population greater than 10 million. With this strict definition, it is no surprise that there are only around 30 or 40 megacities across the world. Alongside this, ‘sustainability’ and ‘megacity’ are terms that are almost inherently at odds with one another.

By their very design, megacities rely on resources from other distant places, as they rarely possess their own agricultural infrastructure. Because of this, megacities are generally forced to bear the costs of travel carbon for all the fresh produce that line their supermarket aisles.

Sustainable Megacities Of The Future

In short, the way megacities have been designed and managed in the past is in need of some serious reform, with greater consideration towards the environment and greater investments in green infrastructure. Here’s how the globe’s megacities may be shaped by calls for sustainable growth in the not-so-distant future.

Streamlined waste management

With a population of 5 million, the city of Melbourne is poised to become a megacity in the next few decades. Civil engineers do have some concerns about the city’s ability to adapt to its forecasted growth, however. For instance, rubbish removal in Melbourne is already lagging behind when compared to other cities with similar populations. That being said, there are some other smaller ways in which Melbourne is also catching up – perhaps ready in time for when it’s projected to become a megacity in a few decade’s time.

Public waste bins in the Melbourne CBD are a type of smart bin that are solar-powered and are able to compact the rubbish much more effectively than standard bins. This results in fewer waste trucks travelling through the city less often, reducing their contribution to traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Going further, there are also emerging technologies that are able to use AI to recognise recycling and divert it away from landfill.

Melbourne’s comparatively higher than average population density is a factor to consider here as well, as the placement of bins and the routes of waste trucks are both likely to continue to be largely dictated by the flow of pedestrians through major throughways.

And what about the future of rubbish removal? Cities that are built with sustainability in mind would also be able to install waste bins with pneumatic pipes which transport rubbish directly to waste processing facilities. Given Melbourne’s grid-like layout and substantial underground system, it’s not unlikely that pneumatic pipes may become the veins of the city’s waste disposal system.

waste-management-sweden

Increased accessibility and diverse transport options

Any larger city centre will naturally discourage the use of cars, as congested streets are already a byproduct of higher population density. This is immediately a boon in terms of sustainability, as fewer cars on the road means less pollution. That being said, the city needs to have the alternative transport options and infrastructure in place to make up for these ‘lost’ roadways. This includes bike pathways, pedestrian access, and perhaps most importantly, a variety of interconnected public transport options.

Tokyo is the largest city in the world yet is also ranked as one of the most livable. In fact, Japan’s capital is the only megacity to consistently land on many livability ranking lists. Japan’s public transport networks are world class, famous for having regular services and for being consistently on time. With bullet trains that reach 320km/h, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere they can’t take you. As a bonus, they’ve recently become more accessible for wheelchair and mobility scooter users, as well as blind and deaf commuters too.

An abundance of green spaces

Green spaces are exactly what it says on the tin: areas of land that are predominantly covered by grass, trees or vegetation. Green spaces are vital in the development of any city but are of course, worth focusing on particularly when a city is developing into a megacity.

The presence of these spaces bring with them a whole slew of benefits. They have demonstrated that they are better for people’s mental health and also encourage a sense of social cohesion and community for people living in cities. The trees within these green spaces also do their part to mitigate urban pollution, and can even help keep cities cool during warmer weather.

trees-sustainability

The inclusion of green spaces into cities can also be more holistic – even if there isn’t space for a dedicated park, a tree-lined urban sprawl is far more appealing (and more accommodating towards urban wildlife) than an absolute lack of green.

A culture of urban agriculture

Finally, the perfect way to work against some of the extra reliance that megacities will naturally have on produce that is cultivated elsewhere, is for them to promote the development and upkeep of urban agriculture projects.

The space in any major city is limited, so rooftop farms are an excellent space-efficient step towards making megacities a little bit more self-sustaining. And like other green spaces, rooftop gardens and farms are also a great avenue towards promoting a sense of community within densely populated cities. Through novel processes such as hydroponics and aquaponics, rooftop farms can be sustainable without reliance on soil. They bring with them all the same benefits as green spaces with the added benefit of being a food source.

sustainable agriculture

Some urban citizens are going as far as building honey farms on their rooftops, providing their wider communities with organic and locally grown honey, as well as cultivating local bee populations that can also help to maintain a city’s green spaces with ease.

As the number of megacities across the world continues to increase year upon year, our ideas about how to marry sustainability with megacities must rapidly transition from being an impossibility into being a reality. The logistics surrounding the infrastructure that makes up megacities is something that needs to be carefully considered as these cities grow larger, and not after that growth has already occurred.

Whilst these small steps towards sustainability aren’t essential to growing that city’s economy alongside its population, taking these measures for ensuring sustainable growth can certainly contribute to that city’s livability rating across the long term.

I suppose this exploration of the future of megacities all boils down to one question: without educated sustainable growth strategies in place, why should a future filled with megacities be considered anything but aspirational?

Biomass Energy in Indonesia

It is estimated that Indonesia produces 146.7 million tons of biomass per year, equivalent to about 470 GJ/y. Sources of biomass energy in Indonesia are scattered all over the country, but the biggest biomass energy potential in concentrated scale can be found in the Island of Kalimantan, Sumatera, Irian Jaya and Sulawesi.

Empty_fruit_bunches

Studies estimate the electricity generation potential from the roughly 150 Mt of biomass residues produced per year to be about 50 GW or equivalent to roughly 470 GJ/year. These studies assume that the main source of biomass energy in Indonesia will be rice residues with a technical energy potential of 150 GJ/year.

Other potential biomass sources are rubber wood residues (120 GJ/year), sugar mill residues (78 GJ/year), palm oil residues (67 GJ/year), and less than 20 GJ/year in total from plywood and veneer residues, logging residues, sawn timber residues, coconut residues, and other agricultural wastes.

Sustainable and renewable natural resources such as biomass can supply potential raw materials for energy conversion. In Indonesia, they comprise variable-sized wood from forests (i.e. natural forests, plantations and community forests that commonly produce small-diameter logs used as firewood by local people), woody residues from logging and wood industries, oil-palm shell waste from crude palm oil factories, coconut shell wastes from coconut plantations, as well as skimmed coconut oil and straw from rice cultivation.

The major crop residues to be considered for power generation in Indonesia are palm oil, sugar processing and rice processing residues. Currently, 67 sugar mills are in operation in Indonesia and eight more are under construction or planned. The mills range in size of milling capacity from less than 1,000 tons of cane per day to 12,000 tons of cane per day. Current sugar processing in Indonesia produces 8 millions MT bagasse and 11.5 millions MT canes top and leaves.

There are 39 palm oil plantations and mills currently operating in Indonesia, and at least eight new plantations are under construction. Most palm oil mills generate combined heat and power from fibres and palm kernel shells, making the operations energy self–efficient. However, the use of palm oil residues can still be optimized in more energy efficient systems.

Other potential source of biomass energy can also come from municipal wastes. The quantity of city or municipal wastes in Indonesia is comparable with other big cities of the world. Most of these wastes are originated from household in the form of organic wastes from the kitchen. At present the wastes are either burned at each household or collected by the municipalities and later to be dumped into a designated dumping ground or landfill.

Although the government is providing facilities to collect and clean all these wastes, however, due to the increasing number of populations coupled with inadequate number of waste treatment facilities in addition to inadequate amount of allocated budget for waste management, most of big cities in Indonesia had been suffering from the increasing problem of waste disposals.

With Indonesia’s recovery from the Asian financial crisis of 1998, energy consumption has grown rapidly in past decade. The priority of the Indonesian energy policy is to reduce oil consumption and to use renewable energy. For power generation, it is important to increase electricity power in order to meet national demand and to change fossil fuel consumption by utilization of biomass wastes. The development of renewable energy is one of priority targets in Indonesia.

The current pressure for cost savings and competitiveness in Indonesia’s most important biomass-based industries, along with the continually growing power demands of the country signal opportunities for increased exploitation of biomass wastes for power generation.

Useful Tools For Working With Cryptocurrency

With over 19,000 coins registered on CoinMarketCap, cryptocurrency has stormed the world, attracting the attention of many people around the world regardless of their investment experience.

Because it’s such a popular asset today, particularly among younger investors, it’s easy to get into the crypto market without enough expertise for fear of missing out.

Investing in cryptocurrency is perilous in any situation, but it’s especially so if you don’t know how to study and assess cryptos.

10 Trending Crypto Exchanges

You can obtain the information to make an informed investment decision with the correct cryptocurrency tools. Furthermore, it is recommended that you purchase your cryptocurrency from a reputable platform where you can buy or trade cryptocurrency.

Messari

Messari is a cryptocurrency data aggregator that includes a number of chart analysis tools to assist you in making better trading decisions. You can utilize a screener with numerous criteria, such as sector, price, and market cap, to customise your study on different coins.

Messari is a free service. However, for $24.99 per month or annually, you may upgrade to Messari Pro to get the most out of this crypto research tool. Daily insights and long-form research are included with the Pro subscription and sophisticated filtering, graphing, and watchlist tools. You may also download data to a spreadsheet using Pro.

Glassnode

Glassnode is on-chain analytics and intelligence platform that collects data from several blockchains to evaluate crypto network activity and then delivers metrics and insights to investors.

You may use Glassnode to check market indicators for any coin and see how many active addresses have completed transactions. Price data, as well as the ability to set alerts and export data, are all available.

For free, Glassnode offers “Tier 1” data updated every 24 hours. Paid subscriptions cost $29 per month or $799 per month, are paid annually, and include more data tiers and more frequently updated information.

LunarCrush

LunarCrush is a social intelligence software that analyzes social media data to determine market activity, transaction data, and investor mood.

Consider how the simple mention of Bitcoin and Dogecoin by social influencers produced massive price movements over the past year to understand the impact of mood on crypto. LunarCrush gives you real-time insight into who those influencers are and the ability to follow the influencers, coins, and exchanges that you’re most interested in.

The most complete platform features, data, and awards are reserved for those who contribute to the community on LunarCrush. These contributions will earn you LUNR, the platform’s token, which you can spend to access those benefits.

Coin Metrics

Coin Metrics is a cryptocurrency financial intelligence, market data, index, network data, and other analysis tool provider that can assist you in making informed crypto decisions.

Over 100 assets and 400+ metrics are available on the site, including innovative ones like free float supply and realized cap.

You can download your chart in various extensions once you’ve finished adding measurements to it using Coin Metrics’ network data visualization tool.

Santiment

Santiment is another crypto research tool worth looking at. Santiment, like Glassnode, provides on-chain and social media data on more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies, allowing you to predict price movement.

In addition, the platform provides foundational insights and behavioral data to help you stay ahead of the curve. Furthermore, you can set up notifications on Santiment to get notifications if the social volume of a currency you’re interested in increases.

Beginner cryptocurrency investors can acquire a sense of the market for free by using essential metrics and limited API calls. Paid accounts are $149 or $399 per year and include more metrics and historical data, API calls, and technical assistance.

Coin Dance

Coin Dance is a cryptocurrency research tool with a lot of data. The software keeps track of harsh rates, network nodes, fees, block sizes, and mining breakdowns, among other things.

You can also sort the data by nation to observe how cryptocurrency acceptance is progressing around the world.

Other top-level information covered by Coin Dance includes blockchain, price history, search volume, market capitalizations, demographics, and more. Users can vote on the accuracy of the information offered by the community because the platform is community-driven.

Where can I exchange COTI to CAKE

CryptoMiso

Investing in cryptocurrencies without first evaluating the success of a particular currency is likely a wrong decision, as you could end up with a defunct enterprise. Because cryptocurrencies are software protocols, they will eventually die if they are not developed, maintained, and improved.

As a result, it’s vital to keep track of the progress of particular crypto initiatives. It’s simple to keep track of them on Github. Still, you won’t be able to keep track of all the cryptocurrencies individually, necessitating a crypto research tool like CryptoMiso.

CryptoMiso is a cryptocurrency research tool that evaluates coins based on Github activity. Based on the most popular repository, you can see how many commits an individual crypto project has made over time.

Conclusion

Any cryptocurrency investor requires cryptocurrency analysis tools. Before investing in a certain crypto project, familiarize yourself with one or two tools. These tools can give you information on any cryptocurrency project’s price movements.

How Farmers Can Benefit from Agriculture Recruiting?

Agriculture recruiting is the process of hiring personnel with agrarian qualifications. The qualification may be in the form of diplomas, degrees, and practical experience. Farming is an art that can be learned by any individual interested in venturing into the industry. However, it takes a level of expertise to navigate the various dynamics that influence whether the farming process is a success. Let’s take a look at how farmers can benefit from agricultural recruiting.

agricultural-recruiting

1. Research

Data gathered from in-depth research is one of the ways that farmers can benefit from agriculture recruiting. As a farmer, it is tempting to plant convenient crops, season, and plants that are enjoyable. However, agriculturalists base decisions on in-depth research data.

Agriculture recruiting will provide researchers who can provide you with the following information that is crucial for the success of any crop:

  • The specific crops that grow well in your particular geographical area
  • The temperatures required for specific crops to grow in a healthy state
  • The best time of the season to plant a specific crop
  • The advantages and disadvantages of planting the crop
  • Mistakes experienced by other farmers and how to avoid these
  • Labour required for the crop
  • Gadgets needed for effective planting
  • Type of irrigation required for watering the crop

Such information requires in-depth research through case study analysis, interviews with farmers, participant observation, and desk research. Expert agricultural researchers will provide such data, which will help a farmer make informed decisions regarding their crop.

2. Business Management Consulting

A farmer may be a wealth of knowledge regarding the practical execution of crop planting. They may be sure of the times to plant, the soil, and the processes it takes to yield a quality crop. If the farmer is in business, they may not have the expertise regarding business management.

The business aspect of farming requires market research, competitor analysis, market trend projection, foresight, marketing, consumer behavior, and networking. Through agricultural recruiting, a farmer is paired with an expert in such business processes. The coupling of the skills may result in farming business success.

3. Soil Testing

It is difficult to determine the type of soil that you plan to grow the crop. Agriculturalists know how to test the soil to decide various dynamics. Soil type can determine the type of crop that will raise best, the produce that will require the least labor, the kind of fertilizer that nurtures the soil type effectively, and the season that certain crops flourish. A farmer who has soil tested before beginning a planting process will have a higher success rate than one who risks planting the wrong type of produce in the soil.

4. Seed Selection

Regardless of the type of crop that a farmer decides to plant, they can choose from numerous kinds of seeds. The decision to buy a particular type of seed should depend on varying factors such as land space, soil type, and temperature. This is the kind of information that a farmer will benefit from if they venture into agriculture recruiting. You can research it yourself—however, it may be difficult to verify the knowledge freely shared in digital spaces.

pest-management

5. Expert Damage Control

Crops can succumb to factors that are sometimes out of the farmer’s control. For example, unexpected heavy rainfall, winds, or a sudden pest problem could all affect the crop’s quality. Agriculture recruiting means accessing experts of damage control in such situations. Experts will know whether crops can be salvaged from the damage and the process that is required. If the crop is damaged beyond the point where any can be nurtured to health, experts will give information regarding how to move beyond the damage. Prevention methods in some cases may also be provided for future execution.

6. Pest Management

Pest management is crucial to the success of a crop. Experts can decipher whether a crop requires a form of pest management, the kind of pest that may damage the crop, how it damages the harvest, as well as when and how to apply pest control substances. Certain chemicals may, in fact, harm the crop, or become hazardous to health if applied on the wrong type of crop. The expert advice offered to farmers is therefore essential, especially when there is the use of chemicals. Agriculturalists are also trained on how to use the chemicals, meaning farmer safety is a priority.

Conclusion

Farmers can benefit from agriculture recruiting because of expert knowledge. Farmers can benefit from in-depth research, soil testing, seed selection consultation, damage control, pest management, and farming from the business facet. It is advised that farmers consult such expertise to avoid costly mistakes and develop their farming art through expert guidance.

How Digital Technologies Enable Efficient Waste Management

Computer-based technology continues to transform our lives and lead to innovation in industries crucial to the earth’s ecological balance. One such sector benefiting from new inventions is waste management, which is responsible for keeping communities clean through waste removal and recycling. This sector utilizes digital tools that work together to advance global sustainability efforts and ensure the smooth running of operations at waste management companies.

To learn more, here’s how digital technology enables efficient waste management:

Benefits of Digital Technologies in Waste Management

Management Through Cloud-Based Software

The waste management process has become more streamlined thanks to smart waste management software and cloud computing. These computer applications help in tracking, customer service, controlling, monitoring, scheduling, organizing, and optimizing waste collection and administration. They give a digitized outline of locations where waste needs to be managed. It means displaying real-time data on bin waste levels, dumpster truck routing, and overall waste inventory.

This technology can also be used in entire districts on a large scale or by a single waste collection company. The whole management operation can be done in a semi-automated process between a waste collector and an IT company, such as https://fusioncomputing.ca/ and similar ones for running and management. The information generated by these programs creates a large volume of data that requires cloud services to transmit and store. Thus, it becomes necessary to be on a cloud-based platform to maintain efficiency.

Pneumatic Sorting

Separating waste is essential to reducing the chances that its byproducts don’t end up in a landfill and pollute the environment. It’s also necessary to classify waste according to recyclable materials and those that need a different disposal method.

While waste management industries mostly still use manual labor to carry out this process, the ongoing development of digital technology is likely to change this in the form of robots. Industrial robotics is an emerging science where robots are created to use pneumatic or sensor-based sorting to deconstruct waste into its simplest parts.

waste-management-sweden

These robots use detectors and computerized image recognition to identify what rubbish can be dismantled to reuse or throw away its components. Doing this increases waste sorting efficiency and operational effectiveness by saving time, labor, and floor space in waste management plants.

Automation Through AI

Artificial intelligence can improve the waste management industry by providing solutions on how to optimize operations. These AI and neural networks can, among many things, use data to pinpoint the causes of waste within a particular sector. It then uses this information to configure the best possible model for a waste management company to reduce the amount of waste produced or give sustainable solutions on how to dispose of it.

For instance, an AI system can weigh food ingredients in a restaurant against usage frequency. Then, it can be used to determine how much product is needed to reduce waste and improve food waste management. Another AI application is through autonomous waste cleaning machines such as street sweepers. These processes are completed through automation and machine learning algorithms to minimize human involvement.

Smart Technology Products

It’s no secret that the internet of things is revolutionizing how people live. This constant connection of physical devices and goods to the internet and computer software also impacts waste management. Technology products such as smart bins, e-waste recycling kiosks, and waste level sensors have become commercially available for consumers, businesses, and high-density cities.

smart waste management

AI-based waste management systems can help in route optimization and waste disposal

These devices can process materials for recycling faster and eliminate the human error that comes with incorrect recycling. Sensors can detect the levels of waste in a dumpster or trashcan to inform waste management when bins need to be collected. Doing this maximizes resource use, leading to cleaner urban environments by preventing overflowing rubbish from polluting the surrounding area.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is key to utilizing digital technology in waste management optimization. Information collected through cloud services, smart technology, and AI can optimize waste management. It can be done by discovering patterns that lead to developing a more efficient business model, enhancing accuracy, and reducing costly errors.

For instance, data analysis can help identify better routes for refuse removal trucks or how to eliminate the amount of unrecyclable waste that mistakenly lands up in landfills. It can also calculate and estimate trends and the volume of waste produced within an area and evaluate how efficient the current management system is to make improvements where applicable.

Conclusion

Digital technology enables efficient waste management through computer software, data utilization, and artificial intelligence. These systems can be integrated and automated using smart devices that work together to improve operations such as waste sorting and waste level detection.

Furthermore, digital technology in waste management contributes to greater efficiency by using data analytics to discover trends and identify patterns that can be used to construct a better business model for the waste management company. In the end, although humans will always play a role in waste management, future technology will increasingly take over most of the labor involved.

What You Need to Know About Food Waste Management

Food waste is an untapped energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Food waste is difficult to treat or recycle since it contains high levels of sodium salt and moisture, and is mixed with other waste during collection. Major generators of food wastes include hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, residential blocks, cafeterias, airline caterers, food processing industries, etc.

In United States, food waste is the third largest waste stream after paper and yard waste. Around 13 percent of the total municipal solid waste generated in the country is contributed by food scraps. According to USEPA, more than 35 million tons of food waste are thrown away into landfills or incinerators each year, which is around 40 percent of all food consumed in the country.

As far as United Kingdom is concerned, households throw away around 4.5 million tons of food each year. Food wastage in Canada causes 56.6 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions. These statistics are an indication of tremendous amount of food waste generated all over the world.

food_waste

Food Waste Management Strategy

The proportion of food waste in municipal waste stream is gradually increasing and hence a proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised to ensure its eco-friendly and sustainable disposal. The two most common methods for food waste recycling are:

  • Composting: A treatment that breaks down biodegradable waste by naturally occurring micro-organisms with oxygen, in an enclosed vessel or tunnel;
  • Anaerobic digestion (AD): A treatment that breaks down biodegradable waste in the absence of oxygen, producing a renewable energy (biogas) that can be used to generate electricity and heat.

Currently, only about 3 percent of food waste is recycled throughout USA, mainly through composting. Composting provides an alternative to landfill disposal of food waste, however it requires large areas of land, produces volatile organic compounds and consumes energy. Consequently, there is an urgent need to explore better recycling alternatives.

Anaerobic digestion has been successfully used in several European and Asian countries to stabilize food wastes, and to provide beneficial end-products. Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and England have led the way in developing new advanced biogas technologies and setting up new projects for conversion of food waste into energy.

biogas-enrichment

Of the different types of organic wastes available, food waste holds the highest potential in terms of economic exploitation as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Food waste can either be used as a single substrate in a biogas plant, or can be co-digested with organic wastes like cow manure, poultry litter, sewage, crop residues, abattoir wastes, etc.

Food waste is one of the single largest constituent of municipal solid waste stream. Diversion of food waste from landfills can provide significant contribution towards climate change mitigation, apart from generating revenues and creating employment opportunities. Rising energy prices and increasing environmental pollution makes it more important to harness renewable energy from food wastes.

Anaerobic digestion technology is widely available worldwide and successful projects are already in place in several European as well as Asian countries which makes it imperative on waste generators and environmental agencies in USA to strive for a sustainable food waste management system.

10 Ways To Make Your Lifestyle More Green

We should all be looking for ways to make our lifestyles more green. Of course, it’s up to the major corporations to alter their practices in order to protect the planet as well, but we can all do our part to make things that little bit better for the environment. You might think that doing so will result in a huge upheaval to your life, and while it certainly will mean making some serious changes, it doesn’t all have to be arduous. Here are 10 ways to make your lifestyle more green:

a paper free office

1. Go paperless

One of the biggest ways that you can help the environment is to eliminate paper waste from your life to as much of a degree as possible. Let’s say you’ve taken out a loan and you’re dealing with the loan company. For personal loans and quick loans alike, you can ask for paperless bills and status updates, thus significantly reducing the amount of paper that circulates. You can do the same for other correspondence; bank statements, utility bills, and other necessary documents can all usually be delivered in paperless form.

2. Ditch your car

Personal vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to climate change in the world. If you want to have a significant impact on the environment, then it’s a good idea to ditch your car entirely. If you can, try to walk or cycle anywhere you need to go; this is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions. If you absolutely can’t walk or cycle to your destination, then try to take public transport; buses and trains are much better for the environment than driving yourself.

3. Change your diet

Many researchers agree that the best diet for the planet would be a “flexitarian” diet. This involves eating mostly plant-based foods with the occasional meal consisting of meat or fish. It’s not that difficult to achieve this; there are many delicious plant-based recipes out there, and you’d be surprised how many of the foods you already consume on a regular basis are entirely vegan. If you don’t think you can commit to a totally vegan diet, then try flexitarian eating for a while; you might surprise yourself!

growth of organic food industry

4. Switch off appliances

You might have grown accustomed to leaving appliances in standby mode, but if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you should turn things off when you’re not using them. That means switching them off at the wall or turning off the main power switch rather than simply placing them in “rest” mode. Contrary to popular belief, for example, switching off a light when you exit a room is pretty much always more energy-friendly than leaving it on, no matter how many times you’re doing it.

5. Save food

Instead of throwing away leftovers, why not try to find something fun and clever to do with them? If you’re eating chicken, for example, and you have bones left over, then you can make stock from them. Similarly, if you’ve had a meal with a lot of vegetables and you haven’t managed to eat them all, you could turn the leftovers into “bubble and squeak” or any number of other dishes. Other tips include microwaving near-stale bread to give it a little more freshness and eating dinner leftovers for lunch.

6. Change your energy company

If you’re with an energy company that hasn’t made any significant pledges to focus on the environment, it might be time to change. Shop around for a different energy company that emphasises its commitment to sustainability. Changing your energy company is very easy; many firms will try to make you believe it’s difficult, but it’s not, and it could save you a huge amount of money as well. This goes for utility bills and other services, too.

7. Ditch plastics

It’s not always possible to ditch single-use plastics; they’re a huge part of the way in which many supermarkets and other shops package their products. However, where possible, it’s a good idea to move away from plastics in favour of paper-based or recyclable packaging. Many plastics still aren’t recycled; only 16% of the world’s plastic waste is actually recycled to make new plastics. Don’t buy bananas in plastic packaging; buy the ones with a paper sleeve instead.

8. Don’t use your dryer

Tumble dryers are one of the most energy-inefficient appliances you can use. Instead of drying your clothes in a tumble dryer, hang them outside and let them dry naturally in the sun. If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, then hang them up near a window and let the sunlight get to them. Only use your dryer if you absolutely have to; it’s a needless expense considering that most clothes will dry naturally if you leave them for a little while.

9. Turn off water when not in use

Many of us are guilty of leaving the tap running when we’re brushing our teeth or after the shower has warmed up. Turning off taps can have a surprisingly significant impact on the environment, so when you’re brushing your teeth, don’t leave the tap running. Only turn it on when you absolutely need the water, and turn it off as soon as you’re done. Similarly, step into the shower as soon as it’s warm enough for you, then exit when you’re clean.

ecofriendly plumbing practices

10. Save your water when you’re done

Bathwater, pasta water, and other “waste” water can actually have a lot of uses once you’re done with it. For example, you can use bathwater, or “greywater” as it’s otherwise known, to water your plants; it’s just as nutritious for them as fresh water or rainwater. Similarly, you can save pasta water to do the same thing. This combines fantastically with growing your own fruit and vegetables; not only are you saving water, but you’re also building a self-sustainable lifestyle!

Ultrasonic Pretreatment in Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge

Anaerobic digestion process comprises of four major steps – hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis and methanogenesis. The biological hydrolysis is the rate limiting step and pretreatment of sludge by chemical, mechanical or thermal disintegration can improve the anaerobic digestion process. Ultrasonic disintegration is a method for breakup of microbial cells to extract intracellular material.

Ultrasound activated sludge disintegration could positively affect anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge. Due to sludge disintegration, organic compounds are transferred from the sludge solids into the aqueous phase resulting in an enhanced biodegradability. Therefore disintegration of sewage sludge is a promising method to enhance anaerobic digestion rates and lead to reduce the volume of sludge digesters.

The addition of disintegrated surplus activated sludge and/or foam to the process of sludge anaerobic digestion can lead to markedly better effects of sludge handling at wastewater treatment plants. In the case of disintegrated activated sludge and/or foam addition to the process of anaerobic digestion it is possible to achieve an even twice a higher production of biogas. Here are few examples:

STP Bad Bramstedt, Germany (4.49 MGD)

  • First fundamental study on pilot scale by Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, 3 years, 1997 – 1999
  • reduction in digestion time from 20 to 4 days without losses in degradation efficiency
  • increase in biogas production by a factor of 4
  • reduction of digested sludge mass of 25%

STP Ahrensburg, Germany (2.64 MGD)

  • Preliminary test on pilot-scale by Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, 6 months, 1999
  • increase in VS destruction of 20%
  • increase in biogas production of 20%

STP Bamberg, Germany (12.15 MGD)

  • Preliminary full-scale test, 4 months, 2002 2) Full-scale installation since June 2004
  • increase in VS destruction of 30%
  • increase in biogas production of 30%
  • avoided the construction of a new anaerobic digester

STP Freising, Germany (6.87 MGD)

  • Fundamental full-scale study by University of Armed Forces, Munich, 4 months, 2003
  • increase in biogas production of 15%
  • improved sludge dewatering of 10%

STP Meldorf, Germany (1.06 MGD)

  • Preliminary full-scale test, 3 months, 2004 2) Full-scale installation since December 2004
  • increase in VS destruction of 25%
  • increase in biogas production of 25%
  • no foam or filamentous organisms present in the anaerobic sludge digester

STP Ergolz 2, Switzerland (3.43 MGD)

  • Full-scale test, 3 months, 2004
  • increase in VS destruction of 15%
  • increase in biogas production of 25%

STP Beverungen, Germany (2.64 MGD)

  • Full-scale test, 3 months, 2004/2005
  • increase in VS destruction of 25%
  • increase in biogas production of 25%

To sum up, ultrasonication has a positive effect on sludge solubilisation, sludge volume, biogas production, flock size reduction and cells lyses. Ultrasonic pretreatment enhances the subsequent anaerobic digestion resulting in a better degradation of volatile solids and an increased production of biogas.

The use of low power ultrasound in bioreactors may present a significant improvement in cost reduction. Therefore, ultrasonic pretreatment enhances the subsequent anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge resulting in a better sludge digestion and efficient recovery of valuables.