4Ocean

4Ocean is an organization of teams that help clean the ocean and beaches around the world. You can donate to their cause by purchasing a bracelet and for each their ocean and coastal teams will collect a pound of trash. So far they have already collected over 50,ooolbs worldwide!

They explain how beach cleanups are an effective way to prevent trash from entering the ocean and that offshore cleanups are an effective way to remove trash that has already entered the ocean.

To donate, find out more info and how to become a 4Ocean ambassador visit their webpage at 4Ocean.com

The Next Phase

Today at 8:00pm CET (11:00am PST) Boyan Slat just announced the next phase of development for his organization “The Ocean Cleanup”.

“Why go after the plastic, if the plastic can come to you?” was Slat’s original rhetorical motto that summed up their initial netting system to clean the gyres of plastic waste.

For the next phase, he shared a new motto: “To catch the plastic, act like the plastic.”

Unlike the original design which involved a larger netting system that required them to anchor the nets to the ocean bed some 4 kilometers down with mixed subterranean stability (this proved to be the most challenging step as well), their new design involves more modular fleet of nets which are anchored in mid-ocean drift. They were able to test the force and flow of water at different depths and found that the netting system only needed to be drastically slowed from drift, not completely halted.  For this reason, weights that would slow the netting down to a rate that plastic still could be collected would be optimal for both the efficiency of implementation as well as the gradual development of a fleet of nets based on a budgetary standpoint.

Oddly enough, this drift technology seems to work even more in our favor than we expected. Slat stated that we need to act like plastic. By this he means that the technology to clean the plastic should be akin to the behavior of the plastic itself in the ocean.  He also explains how after the fleet of nets is set up, the netting system should be able to not only gather the plastic but also over time the drifting nets themselves will be gradually gathered together by the current.

For more information visit their website The Ocean Cleanup!

 

Rozalia Project

“Our mission is to protect the ocean.” (Rozalia Project)

Rozalia Project has an amazing collection of efforts being brought together to tackle pollution.

One cool tool they use for volunteer cleanups is their Rozalia Project Marine Debris Data Card to keep tabs on what trash has been collected.

Here is an excerpt from Rozalia Project’s mission statement:

Prevention: stopping trash getting into the water, and remediation: removing trash from the water and shores before it breaks down into micro size pieces, are the cornerstones of Rozalia Project’s belief that we can clean our oceans.
Here are the strategies and solutions that Rozalia Project is currently using to combat the problem of ocean pollution.
1) INNOVATION
Rozalia Project is using existing technologies in new ways and developing new technologies to clean our oceans from the surface to the seafloor:
Baleen Basker – low bycatch marine debris net
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Sailing Research Vessel (American Promise)
High Resolution Ocean Trash Forecasting
Rozalia Project Ocean Pollution Fellowship Program (Guest Scientists berths available on every 2014 research expedition)
Rozalia Project Undergraduate Intern Program
2) EDUCATION
Rozalia Project has educated 47,000+ people of all ages about the effects and solutions to ocean trash through our in person education programs and our Expedition Reports/ virtual crew member programs over the last 4 years.
3) CLEANUP
Rozalia Project, from inception to present, has removed 565,000+ pieces of ocean trash from the waters and shorelines of North America by leading a variety of our own and volunteer cleanups with the following featured partnerships and programs.
4) SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
We need knowledge before we can act, thus Rozalia Project has implemented several scientific research projects to develop data from which we can produce solutions.
5) LAND BASED SOLUTIONS
Rozalia Project is promoting several physical land based solutions to reduce the land to sea transport of trash.
For more information and videos visit their website Rozalia Project.

The Ocean Clean Up Next Phase

The next phase for Boyan Slat (CEO and Founder) and his team at The Ocean Cleanup is getting near.

On Thursday May 11th, The Ocean Cleanup will be sharing a very special announcement with the world. Discover what they’ve been working on for the past two years, and what will be happening next. The unveiling event will take place at the spectacular “Werkspoorkathedraal” in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and will be streamed LIVE on their webpage at 8.00pm CET / 2.00pm EST.

Check out source The Ocean Clean Up for more info and an unveiling teaser video of what’s to come!

Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE

 

The last time the ocean was as acidic as it is now was 50 million years ago and the change occurred over millennia, not over decades.  We now know that the oceans cannot take infinite abuse.

The Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE is a 2 year competition worth $2 million dollars for team to create radical breakthroughs in measurement technology, namely ocean acidification (pH levels). The point of the competition is to accurately measure acidification for the first time. This alerts people to the fact that we’ve got a problem that is so important that someone is willing to put up private resources as a reward. One of the goals of this prize is to bring more instruments to the problem. There has been an ongoing dearth of data on the state of the health of the oceans. This is an opportunity to start fresh with new tools to share with the public what is really going on.

Measuring the pH in the oceans efficiently and effectively is no easy task. It isn’t only a challenge of accurate measurement but also the depth with which the sensors are able to sink and still perform.

Check out the source link at xprize.org for a video and to find out which team won the prize!

The ocean is critical for the planet and all living species. If competitions like this bring passionate endeavoring people together to make leaps, then what an amazing thing it would be for more such innovation-driven events to emerge.

Plastic-eating Caterpillar

Yet again, we find ourselves turning back to “mother-nature” for answers with regards to environmental restoration.

Announced on BBC news only days ago, we’ve now discovered a caterpillar that munches on plastic bags could hold the key to tackling plastic pollution, scientists say.

Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.

Experiments show the insect can break down the chemical bonds of plastic in a similar way to digesting beeswax.

Each year, about 80 million tonnes of the plastic polyethylene are produced around the world.

The plastic is used to make shopping bags and food packaging, among other things, but it can take hundreds of years to decompose completely.

However, caterpillars of the moth (Galleria mellonella) can make holes in a plastic bag in under an hour.

Dr Paolo Bombelli is a biochemist at the University of Cambridge and one of the researchers on the study.

“The caterpillar will be the starting point,” he told BBC News.

“We need to understand the details under which this process operates.

“We hope to provide the technical solution for minimizing the problem of plastic waste.”

Visit the source link on BBC News for more information!

Solar Cooking

 

Among the many ways we expel energy in order to cook and prepare our food, consider solar cooking! This bread doesn’t look too bad at all! 🍞🍞🍞 check out @yaholnitskyivan for more on his sustainable cooking methods!

Ivan Yaholnitsky is an Educator with a focus on Permaculture, Sustainable development, Solar energy. Visit his website here: ivanyaholnitsky.wix.com/education
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#Solar #SolarCooking #SolarBaking #SDGs#Permaculture #FoodSecurity#sustainability #selfreliance #cuisine#sustainablecuisine

Ooho Water

Ooho is a drinking water product created by a startup known as Skipping Rocks Lab. The product is reported to hype up the internet due to making “eating water” possible and getting rid of plastic bottles at the same time.

According to Extreme Tech eating water was made possible by the startup due to the product’s packaging. Ooho was seen as a spherical blob which has water encased in it making it a squishy bottle. Yet, the huge surprise is that you could actually eat the whole blob of water with no plastic bottle needed.

Ooho was mentioned to be created through seaweeds used as its membrane. The edible bottle’s membrane was composed through spherification which includes sodium alginate from seaweed and calcium chloride. Each ball was then mentioned to only take 2 cents in order to produce it thus saving money as well.

Moreover, amid Ooho being edible, people are still given the choice whether to eat the membrane or not since it was identified to be tasteless and has an unusual surface when eaten. Yet, people could still throw it away and not eat it because as it was mentioned to be biodegradable it will just break down as a compost on land or ground over a week or so.

Furthermore, the Ooho product aims to be “the global solution to water and drinks on-the-go.” The startup mentioned that they also aim to replace and get rid of plastic bottles as they pose a great environmental issue to the world.

Visit source link for more info and a video!

PNNL’s Biocrude Oil

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) have developed a new method for treating human sewage to create a biocrude oil product that can be refined into a fuel akin to gasoline, diesel, or jet fuels.

The process is called hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), and it has been described as a sped-up version of the way the Earth naturally creates crude oil. Researchers apply a considerable amount of heat and pressure to wastewater, breaking down its chemical components into biocrude and an aqueous liquid in minutes.

PNNL says that wastewater treatment plants handle approximately 34 billion gallons of sewage every day. In a Reddit AMA held last week, Justin Billing, one of the scientists on the project, noted that sewage traditionally has three destinations—being turned into fertilizer or soil additive, going in a landfill, or being incinerated. Some wastewater treatment plants (though not all) will also use anaerobic digestion, which “reduce[s] the volume of solids and mitigates the toxic load while also producing methane that can be used for heat and power at the plant,” Billings says. But anaerobic digestion alone can’t solve the whole equation. “From a capital intensity perspective it is reasonable to consider a hydrothermal process like HTL when designing, upgrading, or expanding existing facilities,” he suggested.

Although sewage sludge has been converted to biocrude before, previous methods were considered uneconomical because the sludge had to be dried out before conversion. HTL, on the other hand, pressurizes the sludge to 3,000 pounds per square inch and then heats it up to 660 degrees Fahrenheit (349 degrees Celsius), a process that’s amenable to some liquid being present in the feedstock.

Visit source article with a video from Arstechnica!

24 Hour Solar Thermal Plants

 

The Chilean government recently gave the go-ahead on a massive solar thermal plant that is expected to produce electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week—a considerable feat for a plant that depends solely on solar energy. The plant, proposed for a site in Chile’s Tamarugal province, would consist of three 150 megawatt solar thermal towers, which become heated as mirrors placed around each tower reflect sunlight onto it.

That heat is transferred to molten salt, which circulates through the plant during the day and is stored in tanks at night. The salt, a mixture of sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate that’s kept at a balmy 1,050 degrees Fahrenheit (566 degrees Celsius), is used as a “heat transfer fluid.” As energy is needed, the salt can be dispatched to a heat exchanger, where it will lend its heat to water to create a super-heated steam. That steam is used to move a traditional steam turbine to create electricity.

The molten salt generates high quality super-heated steam to drive a standard steam turbine at maximum efficiency and generate reliable non-intermittent electricity during peak demand hours.

SolarReserve, the US-based company that proposed this project, has also proposed two others—a 260 MW, 24-hour plant near the city of Copiapó in the Atacama Region of Chile, as well as a 390 MW, 24-hour plant in the Antofagasta Region. Mary Grikas, a SolarReserve spokesperson, told Ars via e-mail that Copiapó is shovel-ready, and now Tamarugal is, too, with the Chilean government’s recent approval, which assessed the site for environmental impact. The plant in Antofagasta is still waiting on permitting approval.

Visit the source article for more info and a video!