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Alternative Materials

Nontoxic Flame Retardants from Whey

Whey is generally a waste byproduct from cheese- and yogurt-making. Producers need to find ways to dispose of it, and often it is discharged into wastewater systems. Research at the Polytechnic University of Turin is being done to explore the good choice real cialis online without prescription use of whey as a replacement for toxic compounds used as flame retardants.

Treated fabrics are kept from burning as readily because the casein from whey forms a layer of char on the surface when it is exposed to heat, which prevents the fire from spreading as readily. Tests on discount cialis cotton and we like it canadian pharmacy cialis generic polyester materials often self-extinguished, and tests on cotton-polyester were also inhibited and burned more slowly.

While the tests have been promising, the process is viagra femele not yet ready for commercialization because "the cheese-treated fabrics stink." But, if the compounds that cause the odor can be removed, this can be a technology to remove more harmful chemicals from common use and make use of a waste product at the same time. And, it could give the we choice cialis professional word "cheesecloth" a whole new meaning.

image: CC BY-SA 3.0 by Oscar/Wikimedia Commons

via: Environmental Building News


​FIPEL Lights May Offer Alternative to LED

LEDs may seem to be the peak of efficient lighting technology, but they aren't perfect, and that doesn't mean that other technologies aren't being explored. Recently, scientists from Wake Forest University announced a new kind of light called FIPEL, which stands for "field-induced polymer electroluminescent." If it performs as promised, it offers several advantages over LED and compact fluorescent lights. With commercial development already under way, lights using this technology are reportedly going to be available to consumers in 2013.

Researchers behind the project are promoting it for its improved color properties, as well as avoiding the use of mercury or the "annoying buzz" in fluorescent lights. Of course, the old style T-12 fluorescent bulbs, and their associated magnetic ballasts (which were the kind that could develop a hum) are already being phased out, and means and methods for warming the light from LEDs have long been available.

This is not to say that there are no benefits from FIPEL lights. One disadvantage that most LEDs present is that they are point sources, so the viagra on women light is very directional. FIPEL light comes from the entire surface (similar to the ESL light, another alternative to CFL or LED lights).

A review posted in Ars Technica reveals a number of weaknesses in the data available about the FIPEL light. Ars notes that the new light is "based on FIPEL technology," and not necessarily a proper FIPEL light. The article from Ars also dissects the numbers around FIPEL light as compared with other technologies, and finds it seriously wanting.

For instance, the light level of the test FIPEL had a luminance of 100 cd/sq meter, which is only a tiny fraction of the luminance of a light such as a fluorescent tube (27,000 cd/sq meter) or even the Moon (2,500 cd/sq meter). However, the photo attached to canadian health care the press release and used in other articles about the technology (as well as this one) show something in the researchers' hands that is more than a little bit brighter than the lab space. So the numbers may not add up, but something would appear to be working. Furthermore, glare can be reduced by spreading the light over a wider area, so a larger area, lower luminance light source is not necessarily a bad thing.

via: Buildings


A Self-Filling Water Bottle

The need for water is pill price cialis important in many parts of the world without the infrastructure to provide safe drinking water. There are many personal technologies that can be used water purification or water gathering. While the idea of a self-filling water bottle may at first sound like magic, it's based on nanotechnology and biomimicry.

NBD Nano is named for the Namib Desert Beetle, whose shell functions to collect water for the insect, and which served as the inspiration for the technology. The technique behind this uses hydrophilic (water retaining) and hydrophobic (water repelling) coatings to concentrate moisture in the air onto the click now viagra online switzerland hydrophilic surfaces, and then, as the droplets become big enough, the water runs into a central collector. A small fan is used to move air over the surface to improve collection.

The company is pursuing a variety of possible applications for the technique. While it is not yet a commercial product, this offers a possibility of cialis without prescription making water scarcity less of a problem in an increasingly water-dependent world.

image: Public Domain by Moongateclimber/Wikimedia Commons

via: PRI


Synthetic Fuel Made From Air and Water

An English company called Air Fuel Synthesis has begun producing gasoline (petrol) directly from air and viagra canada online pharmacy water. Using carbon capture technology to sequester CO2 out of the atmosphere, and electrolysis to cialis pharmacy crack water into its constuituent hydrogen and oxygen, the company's process then combines the hydrogen and carbon dioxide to create synthetic gasoline or other fuels.

To be carbon emissions neutral, any carbon that is going to be burned as fuel ought to have come from the atmosphere, rather than from fossil sources buried in the ground. That is why plant-based and microbial methods of producing fuel are considered relatively clean, since the carbon in them was atmospheric. This process short circuits that even further by directly extracting the CO2 from the air and synthetically creating the gasoline replacement.

In addition to the direct atmospheric carbon extraction, the process also uses renewable energy to power the electrolysis process, so that the carbon debt is not merely transferred. Although the cheap tramadol cod free fedex feedstock is free, the other costs of the process are likely too high for this to be an immediate replacement for oil drilling and refining, at least in the short term. And the process has only been able to produce a small amount of fuel in its test facility, yielding just five liters (less than 1.5 gallons) in two months. But cost and capacity are issues that can be improved as the method is developed and scaled up.

This adds to sales cialis the number of non-petroleum processes being developed for fuel production we have seen. It seems less a question of whether these methods will work than it is one of purchase cialis next day delivery which ones will reach commercial scale, and how soon that happens.

via: Treehugger


Greener Plastics or More Greenwash?

While it may sound like a repeat of the Organic Vinyl April Fools joke from a few years ago, new bio-polymers are getting touted as a green alternative for conventional plastic. While there are some positive aspects to using plant-based feedstock rather than fossil materials, Building Green offers a strong critique of the problems still inherent in bio-PVC.

Avoiding petroleum feedstocks is a good move in general, although the diversion of food crop products is as troubling to us as it is when it is done to produce fuel. Price fluctuations and increased volatility in the oil markets make this a good business strategy for companies producing and levitra generic canada using these plastics. But, the core question remains: "Is it greener, or is it merely greenwash?"

Although carbon issues are now closely linked with the broader green movement, carbon isn't the only deciding factor that makes something green or not. With vinyls, as Building Green writes, "The problem is that material sourcing isn't the issue with PVC--and the biggest concerns that have made PVC the subject of more debate than other polymers have come from problems on the "salt" side of the manufacturing process. Dioxins--the most potent cancer-causing chemicals known to science--are produced in large quantity in the manufacture of the vinyl chloride monomer and then again when this chlorinated plastic is burned in incinerators and uncontrolled landfill fires. Getting the polymer from a biobased source merely sugarcoats PVC without addressing the fundamental problem."

Other plastics like PET, the primary material used for carbonated beverage bottles, are also being produced from biomaterial stocks. This is more of levitra online pharmacy an advantage since the resulting products are compatible with current recycling programs instead of needing to be separated as some other bioplastic containers have needed.

image credit: Cjp24/Wikimedia Commons

via: BuildingGreen

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