Showing posts with label mobile phones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mobile phones. Show all posts

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Waste-To-Energy System Could Mean Big Savings

IST Energy Corp. launched a waste-to-energy system into the consumer market that cleanly converts trash into electricity and gas heat.

The GEM3T120 can process up to three tons of paper, plastic, food, wood and agricultural materials daily into pellets. The resulting energy from these pellets is enough to power and heat a 200,000 square foot building housing more than 500 people. With no disposal costs for the waste it processes and the energy produced, IST estimates the GEM creates an annual energy cost savings of about $250,000.

"The GEM is the right product at the right time," said Stu Haber, president and CEO of IST Energy. "The GEM has created a value for every bag of trash we generate - first by eliminating the need for disposal and then by converting it into energy."

"This model can save businesses, institutions and municipalities hundreds of thousands of dollars annually," Haber added. "Never have sustainability and environmental stewardship been more of a focal point for Americans, especially considering President Obama's goals for energy independence."

The GEM can save consumers big bucks, but the benefits of using the system are not only financial. The GEM is eco-friendly and carbon negative, diminishing greenhouse gases by 540 tons annually. In fact, the system powers itself with the clean energy it produces.

Venues that are ideal for the GEM include:

Universities
Hospitals
Malls
Resorts
Amusement parks
Arenas and stadiums
Large apartment complexes
Office buildings and industrial plants
City transfer stations

Friday, January 16, 2009

E-waste looms behind solar-power boom

Imagine a manufacturer that took back its products after 25 years of use.

That's exactly what watchdog group Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition is recommending that the solar industry do in a white paper released on Wednesday. Solar is a renewable source of energy, and solar panels don't pollute when they are generating electricity. But the upstream process of making solar panels involves a number of toxic chemicals.

Most solar cells are made out of silicon, the same material embedded in billions of electronic chips. As a result, the burgeoning solar photovoltaics (PV) industry faces an electronic-waste problem.


The solar array at Applied Material's California headquarters. Where will the panels go after 25 years?

In its white paper, the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition recommends that manufacturers phase out harmful chemicals while it seeks out more benign materials and develops "environmentally sustainable practices." If the fast-growing solar business doesn't plan ahead, it risks "repeating the mistakes made by the microelectronics industry," according to the coalition.

"The electronics industry's lack of environmental planning and oversight resulted in widespread toxic chemical pollution that caused death and injury to workers and people living in nearby communities. The high-tech industry's legacy now includes the growing global tide of toxic electronic waste, or e-waste," the report says.

A report from China by The Washington Post brought attention to this solar-waste issue to many people for the first time. A reporter visited a village where toxic silicon tetrachloride, a byproduct of silicon cell manufacturing, was dumped, making the land unsuitable for growing and posing a health risk to residents.

The coalition recommends that manufacturers test materials for toxicity before they are used in manufacturing and to step up take-back programs so that materials can be recycled.

By keeping solar panels out of the waste stream, municipalities can eliminate health and environmental risks, such as water contamination. Silicon-based panels typically last 20 to 25 years.

Alternative thin-film solar cells using different materials pose their own health challenges.

For example, First Solar (which has a recycling program), which is considered the cost leader in solar power, makes cells from cadmium telluride. Although the toxicity of the cadmium telluride is not well understood, there is risk of exposure to toxic cadmium compounds during the manufacturing process, according to the report.


AUDIO

Solar power and e-waste
CNET News reporter Martin LaMonica tells CNET News editor Leslie Katz what kind of toxins are produced by solar panels, and what the recommendations are for dealing with them.
Download mp3 (2.62MB)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Monday, December 22, 2008

Scientists discover new forest

with undiscovered species on Google Earth
Conservationists have found a host of new species after discovering uncharted new territory on the internet map Google Earth.

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent


Mount Mabu itself is under threat as Mozambique's economy grows and people use the wood for fuel Photo: Julian Bayliss/RBG Kew

The mountainous area of northern Mozambique in southern Africa had been overlooked by science due to inhospitable terrain and decades of civil war in the country.

However, while scrolling around on Google Earth, an internet map that allows the viewer to look at satellite images of anywhere on the globe, scientists discovered an unexpected patch of green.

A British-led expedition was sent to see what was on the ground and found 7,000 hectares of forest, rich in biodiversity, known as Mount Mabu.

In just three weeks, scientists led by a team from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew found hundreds of different plant species, birds, butterflies, monkeys and a new species of giant snake.

The samples which the team took are now back in Britain for analysis.

So far three new butterflies and one new species of snake have been discovered but it is believed there are at least two more new species of plants and perhaps more new insects to discover.

Julian Bayliss, a scientist for Kew based in the region, discovered Mount Mabu while searching on Google Earth for a possible conservation project. He was looking at areas of land 5,400ft (1,600m) above sea level where more rainfall means there is likely to be forest.

To his surprise he found the patches of green that denote wooded areas, in places that had not previously been explored. After taking a closer look on more detailed satellite maps, he went to have a look.

An expedition was organised for this autumn with 28 scientists from the UK, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Switzerland. The group was able to stay at an abandoned tea estate but had to hack through difficult terrain and use 70 porters in order to carry out their investigations.

Within weeks they had discovered three new species of Lepidoptera butterfly and a new member of the Gaboon viper family of snakes that can kill a human in a single bite. There were also blue duiker antelope, samango monkeys, elephant shrews, almost 200 different types of butterflies and thousands of tropical plants.

Jonathan Timberlake, expedition leader, said digital imagery has helped scientists to discover more about the world. He believes there may be other small pockets of biodiversity around the world that are yet to be discovered that could be stumbled upon by searching on Google Earth, especially in areas like Mozambique or Papua New Guinea which have not been fully explored yet.

Mr Timberlake said discovering new species is not only important to science but helps to highlight conservation efforts in parts of the world threatened by logging and development.

Mount Mabu itself is under threat as Mozambique's economy grows and people use the wood for fuel or clear the land to grow crops.

"We cannot say we have discovered all the biodiversity areas in the world, there are still ones to discover and it helps to find new species to make people realise what is out there," he said.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Phone Makers Monitor Charger Energy Consumption


Mobile manufacturers launch star rating system comparing the energy consumption of chargers


November 19, 2008 - Espoo, Finland - A group of mobile manufacturers has launched a common energy rating system for chargers, making it easier for consumers to compare and choose the one that saves the most energy. The star rating system developed and supported by LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson is one of a series of measures being taken by the industry to reduce the environmental footprint of its products.

Many consumers are unaware that chargers consume electricity when disconnected from the phone but left plugged into the wall socket. Around two thirds of the energy used by mobile devices is wasted in this way. Manufacturers are addressing this by continually improving the efficiency of their chargers and in making it easier for consumers to pick the ones using the least energy.

The new rating system indicates how much energy each charger uses when left plugged into the wall socket after charging is completed. The ratings covers all chargers currently sold by the five companies, and range from five stars for the most efficient chargers down to zero stars for the ones consuming the most energy. If the more than three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four or five star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium sized power plants.

People will be able to visit the websites of each manufacturer to view and compare the results for every charger. The ratings are based on the European Commission's energy standards for chargers and the internationally recognized Energy Star standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. The ratings will be reviewed regularly and developed further in order to drive constant improvement.

Many of the manufacturers are also working on other ways to reduce energy consumption. Most major producers have begun introducing visual alerts into their devices to remind people to unplug the charger from the mains when the battery is fully charged.

The group of manufacturers was initially created as part of a European Commission Integrated Product Policy pilot project looking at how different industries could reduce the environmental impact of their products and inform consumers of better choices. Nokia proposed the mobile phone sector to the Commission and was joined by a number of manufacturers, operators and others in the industry.

Phone Makers Monitor Charger Energy Consumption

Mobile manufacturers launch star rating system comparing the energy consumption of chargers


November 19, 2008 - Espoo, Finland - A group of mobile manufacturers has launched a common energy rating system for chargers, making it easier for consumers to compare and choose the one that saves the most energy. The star rating system developed and supported by LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Sony Ericsson is one of a series of measures being taken by the industry to reduce the environmental footprint of its products.

Many consumers are unaware that chargers consume electricity when disconnected from the phone but left plugged into the wall socket. Around two thirds of the energy used by mobile devices is wasted in this way. Manufacturers are addressing this by continually improving the efficiency of their chargers and in making it easier for consumers to pick the ones using the least energy.

The new rating system indicates how much energy each charger uses when left plugged into the wall socket after charging is completed. The ratings covers all chargers currently sold by the five companies, and range from five stars for the most efficient chargers down to zero stars for the ones consuming the most energy. If the more than three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four or five star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium sized power plants.

People will be able to visit the websites of each manufacturer to view and compare the results for every charger. The ratings are based on the European Commission's energy standards for chargers and the internationally recognized Energy Star standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. The ratings will be reviewed regularly and developed further in order to drive constant improvement.

Many of the manufacturers are also working on other ways to reduce energy consumption. Most major producers have begun introducing visual alerts into their devices to remind people to unplug the charger from the mains when the battery is fully charged.

The group of manufacturers was initially created as part of a European Commission Integrated Product Policy pilot project looking at how different industries could reduce the environmental impact of their products and inform consumers of better choices. Nokia proposed the mobile phone sector to the Commission and was joined by a number of manufacturers, operators and others in the industry.

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