Over 90 per cent of world breathing bad air: WHO

September 28, 2016 in Blog

Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organisation said on Tuesday, calling for dramatic action against pollution that is blamed for more than six million deaths a year.

New data in a report from the UN’s global health body “is enough to make all of us extremely concerned,” Maria Neira, the head of the WHO‘s department of public health and environment, told reporters.The problem is most acute in cities, but air in rural areas is worse than many think, WHO experts said.

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Two lakh students vow to not use polythene

September 28, 2016 in Blog

Nearly two lakh students from over 100 schools took an oath on Tuesday to not use polythene in their day to day life.The oath taking programme, organized by the district administration as part of preparations for No Polythene day on October 2, witnessed an overwhelming response with students of private English medium schools in the city and government schools from rural areas coming together to extend their voluntary support to the campaign.

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Geothermal cooling to help save 280mld water

September 27, 2016 in Blog

#geothermal, #savewater

Taurus Downtown Technopark, the mixed-use, IT office and social infrastructure project planned in Technopark Phase III, will have some innovative features. Taurus Investment Holdings (TIH), developers of the five-million-sq-ft facility, is planning to introduce features that will make it more energy efficient.
TIH is planning to use geothermal cooling system for its air conditioners. Ajay Prasad, country head of Taurus, said that the geothermal cooling system will help save around 280 million litres of water per day. “Saving 280 million litres per day will be a major step in water conservation considering the fact that the daily requirement of water in the city is almost the same,” said Ajay. The quantity of water supplied by Kerala water authority to the city is 300 mld.

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IIT-M’s cheap solution to make brackish water potable

September 27, 2016 in Blog

At a cost of just 12 paise per litre, the process is cheaper than reverse osmosis; it offers an affordable and sustainable solution to water scarcity

It may soon become possible to convert brackish water into drinking water at about 12 paisa per litre right on the kitchen table by using a potential difference of just 1.8 volts, thanks to researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M).

Sustainable approach

The researchers used a stack of tissue paper and carbonised it at high temperature to make graphene. Graphite electrodes were then coated with the graphene produced in the lab. When a small potential is applied to the electrodes, the brackish water gets deionised to become potable water. The results were published in the peer-reviewed journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, published by the American Chemical Society.

“An electrode for such deionisation purposes should have high surface area, high electrical conductivity and high porosity,” says Mr. Soujit Sen Gupta, a coauthor of the paper from the Department of Chemistry (DoC), IIT Madras. “The graphene coating gives both high surface area and conductivity.” To render the graphene porous, silica precursors were added to the graphene and removed subsequently. The removal of silica makes the graphene porous while retaining its structural integrity.

When the electrodes are dipped into brackish water and 1.8 volt potential is applied to the electrodes, the sodium and chloride ions move towards respective electrodes and get adsorbed. In about five minutes, the brackish water turns into potable water with less than 500 parts per million (ppm) of sodium chloride, which is less than the permissible limit for drinking water. Further reduction is possible to bring the concentration below 100 ppm, the scientists say.

Filters will last 10 years

Compared with reverse osmosis, which is energy intensive and causes 65-70 per cent of water of the water to be rejected as waste, the wastage is only 25 per cent in the case of capacitive deionisation (CDI) technology, and it can work independent of the grid using solar energy. A prototype has been developed and tests are under way. “At the core of the technology are carbon-based electrode materials with high adsorption capacity,” says Prof. T. Pradeep, corresponding author of the paper from the Department of Chemistry, IIT-M.

When a small potential is applied to electrodes, the brackish water gets deionised to become potable water

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