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WONDER OF GREEN CHEMISTRY

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It is said that opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. It is high time our government, scientist, chemists, private sectors embraced the new concept “GREEN CHEMISTRY OR GREEN TECHNOLOGY”. Green technology involves the use of less harmful, eco-friendly materials such as sands, plants, clothes, cotton, clay, grasses etc., for production processes without actually endangering the natural environment and the physical being contained there in. The green chemistry examines more natural solutions to the threat of environmental degradation from water pollution, indiscriminate discharge of industrial effluents, oil spillages, gas flaring etc. Examples of Green Technology include the following;

1. BIOREMEDIATION OR PHYTOREMEDIATION

The process involve the use of microorganisms, fungi, green plants or their enzymes to return the natural environment altered by contaminants from oil spillage, industrial effluents, water and land pollution, gas flaring, burning of fossil fuels etc., to its original condition.

Phyto-remediation consists of depolluting contaminated soils, water or air with plants that are able to contain, degrade or eliminate metals, pesticides or eliminates metals, pesticides, solvents, explosives, crude oil and various other contaminants, from mediums that contain them. It stands to reason, therefore, that phyto or bioremediation removes pollutants from the environment or renders them harmless, that is, bioremediation is not only a clean-up process, but also an avenue for material recovery and recycling.

Why Phyto-remediation?

Relative to the traditional (engineering-based) technologies used to clean up soils, phyto-remediation confers some significant advantages. Some of these include;

A- Cost-effectiveness: Engineering-based technologies are very costly, in contrast to the relatively much lower cost of phyto-remediation which is mostly “in situ” and, less frequently “ex situ” (which involves excavating the contaminated soil to another site for treatment).

B- Possible recovery and re-use of valuable metals: This point is very significant for companies specializing in “phyto-mining”, a process of recovering useful metals (such as lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum, iron etc) from the harvest of plants which have absorbed the said materials from contaminated soils on which they (the plants) were grown, there by reducing the trend of unemployment.

C- The plants used can be monitored: The process is monitored by measuring the following parameters; Oxidation-Reduction potential, pH, Temperature, CO2 etc.

D- Phyto-remediation is the least harmful method: Because it uses naturally occurring organisms and preserves the natural state of the environment, unlike the engineering-based technologies which dramatically disturb the environment.

E- In addition to the aforementioned, production of oxygen is highly encouraged to meet up with the increasing demand of atmospheric oxygen. Since the process involves planting plants using natural organism, more carbon dioxide is used up by the plants and more atmospheric oxygen is released and there by reducing emission of carbon dioxide for global warming.

2 ADSORPTION PROCESSES FOR WASTE-WATER TREATMENT

The presence of industrial effluents, contaminants, pollutants in water is undesirable because of the toxicological impact of its entrance into the food chain. Many effluents, dyes, chemicals and pigments have toxic as well as carcinogenic, mutagenic and tetratogenic effects. The high cost of waste water treatment coupled with tedious procedure for the regeneration of the conventional adsorbent (that is, activated carbon) that is used. Attention has been shifted to the use of reliable substitutes which is eco-friendly, simple and sludge free, which also involves low investment in terms of both the initial and operational cost.

Adsorption, a simple, reliable, effective and efficacious waste-water treatment method is a suitable primary or tertiary treatment method. Different types of eco-friendly adsorbent for adsorption processes includes: Castor seed shell, Rubber seed shell, Palm kernel fiber, Loofah cylindrical and Clay (the research we are carrying out in the laboratory presently).

The present trends in the technology of water/waste-water treatment using adsorption is more efficient, low cost, eco-friendly and is currently gaining popularity in China, India and other technologically advanced countries. The process is highly recommended for government, private sectors and researchers in order to tackle problem of safe drinking water in the MDGs.

3 RECYCLING OF WASTES

Heap of solids wastes commonly found within our urban cities such as Lagos, Kaduna, Kano etc., could be a money-making ventures and consequently reduce the trend of unemployment amongst the youths that are becoming dread armed robbers. The huge refuse dumps can be converted into harmless, environmental friendly materials such as, conversion of waste papers into tissue paper, cardboard, packaging materials, bill boards etc.

Since technologists are now embracing green technology by creating wealth from wastes producing one material from other existing materials without endangering the environment and the eco-system at large. For instance, instead of falling or cutting trees for pulp and paper and exposing our soil to erosion, the trees could be spared and attention should be shifted to the use of rags, un-used clothes, grasses, leaves, waste paper for the production of paper and other packaging materials like envelope. Government at all levels should enact stringent laws banning the public from indiscriminate falling of trees, also people-centered approached to environmental policies and ecological friendly is highly recommended.

Recycling of sachet water nylons as well as the empty plastics of table water should be encouraged and alternative use is found for them which include recovery of spilled oil on land / water or for the production of certain thermostable materials like, insulators, casing etc.

Recycling of effluents from some industries such as Nigerian Breweries, Guinness, PZ, Unilever should be taken serious, for this will encourage creating wealth from waste and also to reduce poverty, unemployment and restless amongst the youths. By adopting simple method to treat this liquid wastes efficiently, it will go along way to reduce the environmental degradation as well as bio-accumulation of the toxic metals in the aquatic lives. Millennium Development Goals is much achievable.

CONCLUSION

It has been said that “any nation that neglect grass root education has placed a ceiling above its head and will not experience growth beyond the barrier”, hence, local government, state government, federal government and the private sectors are enjoined to finance the education in the country as this is the only way to technologically develop our country. Various committees should be set up by government to be responsible for the collection of various projects carrying out at our high institutions in the country, instead of dumping the projects in the offices of our HODs. Funds inform of grants, scholarships, fellowships should be made available to the best graduating students (first class or second class upper graduates) with flair for meaningful researches just like the one carrying out by the writer, this will place our dear country (Nigeria) amongst economically and technologically develop nation by 2020. Many developing nations are doing it and succeed, Nigeria cannot be an exception. The time to act and change our orientation is NOW. YES WE CAN!

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Good news on environment, but can it last?

Friday, September 25, 2009


WASHINGTON - There's nothing like a recession to help clear the air of toxins and drive down pump prices — but we all know it can't last. Or can it?

Even some of the gloomier environmental prognosticators see the world's steep recession possibly prompting a lasting shift in consumer behavior that could form the basis of a more sustainable environment.

As nations haggle about how to battle climate change, global greenhouse gas emissions are in sharp retreat despite an ample supply of fossil-based fuels.

"The United States has entered a new energy era, ending a century of rising carbon emissions," said activist Lester Brown in a recent article.

As president of the Earth Policy Institute, Brown is known for bleak forecasts but now sees the world on a better course.

"Even though part of this decline in carbon emissions was caused by the recession and higher gasoline prices, part of it came from gains in energy efficiency and shifts to carbon-free sources of energy, including record amounts of new wind-generating capacity," he wrote on his website.

While the U.S. Congress is deadlocked and hope is fading for an international deal to combat global warming at a December meeting in Copenhagen, carbon dioxide emissions are shrinking around the world.

Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to fall by about 2.6 per cent this year, the steepest fall in more than 40 years, the International Energy Agency predicted this week.

Even more startling, U.S. emissions are expected to drop 6 per cent, to their lowest level since 1999, according to the World Resources Institute.

A fall in industrial production and sharp decline by the world's top gas-guzzler, the United States, is a big part of the improving outlook for emissions, which scientists say need to be controlled to prevent global warming.

Some changes of the past two years seem set to continue, even after the U.S. economy recovers.

Record energy prices in 2008 prompted many consumers to switch to smaller cars and even to public transit. Even though prices later retreated, analysts increasingly see the classic American gas guzzler as an artifact of the past.

"The general trend for improved energy efficiency is likely to continue and has been going on for a long time. I don't see a groundswell of people buying Hummers," said John Felmy, chief economist with the American Petroleum Institute, referring to oversized cars that symbolized U.S. excess.

Even after more autos return to the roads, tough new fuel economy standards will soon begin kicking in.

Average fuel standards for new cars and light trucks will rise by 10 miles a gallon (23.5 l/100 km) to 35.5 miles per gallon (6.6 l/100 km) between 2012 and 2016. Carbon emissions should fall by 900 million metric tons, or more than 30 per cent, over the life of the program.

When gas prices soared in 2007 and 2008, Americans still drove over 4.8 trillion kilometers a year.

Last year, miles driven fell by 3.6 per cent and the figure stayed just as low during the first seven months of this year.

"It's going to be a long time before we get back to that '07 peak," said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Illinois-based Ritterbusch & Associates, an oil trading advisory firm.

Renewable energies are expanding their role. China is promising big strides while the Obama administration is lavishing $90 billion dollars to boost solar and wind power.

Some environmentalists worry that progress on emissions could backfire if politicians use the improvement to argue that there's no need to pass laws controlling emissions.

Gernot Wagner, economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, believes the United States and other countries still need to cement progress with legislation to cap emissions.

"Key is to set an absolute cap on emissions to reorient the U.S. and global economy toward a low-carbon, high-efficiency development path and climate safety," he said.

Said Dan Weiss, who directs climate strategy at the Center for American Progress think-tank, reflected the cautious optimism among activists: "It's definitely too soon to break out the champagne but it's definitely cause to think about where the champagne is," he said.

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Cars running on ethanol can pollute too: Brazil study

Friday, September 18, 2009


RIO DE JANEIRO — Cars running on sugarcane ethanol can produce as many harmful pollutants as those using ordinary petrol (gasoline), according a study published by Brazil's environment ministry.

But the report on the emissions of the cars on Brazil's roads does not count carbon dioxide emissions.

"We want to make sure that customers are aware of pollutant emissions" when they buy a car, Environment Minister Carlos Minc said Tuesday on delivering the report.

The study ranked emissions based of a scale of "green grades" that measured three pollutant gases that do not produce climate change but do affect the health of a country's population: carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide.

The green grade scale, ranging from 0-10, does not count carbon emissions, which are the main driver of global warming, because emissions from burning ethanol are offset by the carbon dioxide that sugar cane absorbs as it grows, the study said.

The research also examined 250 so-called "flex-fuel" cars, which use both ethanol and petrol and constitute about 85 percent of all cars on the road in Brazil.

Among those receiving the lowest scores, eight were cars running on ethanol, including several with "flex" engines, the study said, though all of the models examined met Brazil's standards for maximum emissions levels in 2008.

Environmental group Greenpeace welcomed the report, but an official with the group's climate change campaign in Brazil, Joao Talochhi, told Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper that "when it comes to public health, the Brazilian government should invest in non-polluting vehicle technology."

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WASH BEFORE YOU EAT THAT FRUIT

Friday, September 11, 2009




It's long but very informative

We all think eating fruits means just buying fruits, cutting it and just popping it into our mouths. It's not as easy as you think. It's important
to know how and when to eat. What is the correct way of eating fruits?> IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUITS AFTER YOUR MEALS! FRUITS SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
If you eat fruit like that, it will play a major role to detoxify your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.
FRUIT
IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD.
Let's say you eat two slices of bread and then a sliceof fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it is prevented from doing so.
In the meantime the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.
So please eat your fruits on an empty stomach or before your meals! You have heard people complaining - every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I
eat durian my stomach bloats up, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet etc - actually all this will not arise if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. The fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence you will bloat!
Graying hair, balding, nervous outburst, and dark circles under the
eyes all these will not happen if you take fruits on an
empty stomach.
There is no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruits become alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruits, you have the Secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and normal weigh
When you need to drink fruit juice - drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don't even drink juice that has been heated up. Don't eat cooked
fruits because you don't get the nutrients at all. You
only get to taste. Cooking destroys all the vitamin But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit fast to cleanse your body. Just eat fruits
and drink fruit juice throughout the 3 days and you will be surprised when your friends tell you how radiant you look!
KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.
APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack& stroke.
STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total
antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.
ORANGE: Sweetest medicine. Taking 2-4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessens the risk of colon cancer.
WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also
packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are vitamin C & Potassium.
GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for
their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene; this is good for your eyes.
Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can you believe this? For those who like to drink cold water, this article is> applicable to you. It is nice to have a cup of cold drink after a meal. However, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you have just consumed. It will slow down the digestion. Once this 'sludge' reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup,warm water or warm after a meal.

A serious note about heart attacks HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE': (THIS IS NOT A JOKE!) Women should know that> not every heart attack symptom is going to
be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw line.. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack . Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms.. Sixty percent of people who have
a heart attack while they are asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Let's be careful and be aware. The more we know the better chance we could survive...

Acardiologist says if everyone who gets this mail sends it to 10 people, you can be sure that we'll save at least one life.
Read this...It could save your life!!

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Obama to address union, name manufacturing adviser

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is addressing one of his key constituencies — organized labor — on Monday as union members gather to celebrate the holiday named for their movement.

As Obama prepares for a critical speech Wednesday to Congress and the nation about his efforts to overhaul health care, a supportive audience at the AFL-CIO's annual Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati should provide welcome relief from the highly charged partisan atmosphere surrounding the issue.

Besides addressing health care, Obama will tell the assembled union members he has named Ron Bloom as senior counselor for manufacturing policy. Bloom has served since February as senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner as part of Obama's auto industry task force.

Bloom is traveling to Cincinnati with the president, the White House said. He will be working with the National Economic Council to "provide leadership on policy development and strategic planning for the president's agenda to revitalize the manufacturing sector."

The White House said Bloom would continue in his position with Geithner but would expand his role to coordinate administration manufacturing policy with the Departments of Commerce, Treasury, Energy and Labor.

"Ron has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the way in creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs of the future," Obama said in a statement released Sunday night.

Before moving to Treasury, Bloom was a special assistant to the president of the United Steelworkers union. He was a founding partner in the investment banking firm of Keilin and Bloom.

Despite a friendly audience at the labor picnic, where Obama is expected to be welcomed by national union leaders John Sweeney and Richard Trumka, the gathering could turn out to be a small oasis in the swing state of Ohio.

Opposition to Obama's health care overhaul was evident Saturday at a "Tea Party" rally in the Cincinnati suburb of West Chester, where a crowd of thousands protested with signs such as "Government-run health care makes me sick" and "Leave our health care alone."

The AFL-CIO's Eddie Vale said the picnic — this will be the 23rd annual such gathering — normally draws as many as 20,000 people. Then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton attended the event in 1992.

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Obama Presents New Industry Aide on Labor Day


One day after announcing the resignation of his adviser on green jobs, President Obama will introduce his senior adviser on manufacturing.

CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller reports that Ron Bloom has traveled with Mr. Obama for his introduction at a manufacturing-friendly audience — the AFL-CIO's annual Labor Day picnic in Cincinnati.

Bloom isn't a stranger to unions, and this won't be his first position in Washington. Knoller reports that Bloom will continue to serve as a senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's Auto Industry Task Force. Previously, Bloom served as a legal adviser to the president of the United Steelworkers Union.

"Distinguished by his extraordinary service on the auto task force and his extensive experience with both business and labor, Ron has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the way in creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs of the future," Mr. Obama said in a statement.

The White House says Bloom will work closely with the National Economic Council and the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Labor and the Treasury to oversee Mr. Obama's agenda for the manufacturing sector.

Before working with the steelworkers union, Bloom was a founding partner of the investment banking firm Keilin and Bloom. At the firm, he worked with unions representing steelworkers and auto workers as well as the Teamsters union, the Air Line Pilots Association and other unions.

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Environmental Pollution

Thursday, August 6, 2009



Environmental pollution is contamination of air, water and land from man-made waste. Pollution leads to depletion of the ozone layer, global warming and climate change. Air pollution is the release of chemicals and particles into the atmosphere. Water pollution includes surface runoff, leakage into groundwater, liquid spills, wastewater discharge and littering. If toxins are spilled on the ground or if an underground storage tank leaks, soil can become contaminated. Well known contaminants include herbicides and pesticides. Toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, which pollutes the natural environment and contaminates groundwater.

Other types of pollution include ocean... Show more »
Environmental pollution is contamination of air, water and land from man-made waste. Pollution leads to depletion of the ozone layer, global warming and climate change. Air pollution is the release of chemicals and particles into the atmosphere. Water pollution includes surface runoff, leakage into groundwater, liquid spills, wastewater discharge and littering. If toxins are spilled on the ground or if an underground storage tank leaks, soil can become contaminated. Well known contaminants include herbicides and pesticides. Toxic waste is waste material, often in chemical form, which pollutes the natural environment and contaminates groundwater.

Other types of pollution include ocean pollution and noise pollution. Environmental pollution can have a deadly effect on humans and ecosystems. For example, cigarette smoke, including second-hand smoke, causes cancer, emphysema, stroke and heart attack. Drinking water can become contaminated by untreated sewage, rashes and skin problems occur due to oil spills, while excessive noise can cause hearing loss. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 to put a limit on the amount of pollutants in the air. Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1963, the Noise Control Act in 1972 and the Clean Water Act in 1977. Pollution is a bigger concern in other parts of the world, especially developing countries. Time Magazine reported in 2007 that the most polluted spots in the world included China, India, Peru and Russia.

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