Afghanistan's natural resources include significant deposits of metals such as gold, silver, copper and zinc; precious and semi-precious stones including lapis, emerald and azure; and coal, natural gas and oil. Accurate geological surveys of the country's mineral resources are crucial to locating deposits and advising potential investors, but the AGS has seen decades of decay and neglect.
Michael Watts, an analytical chemist with the British Geological Survey, is deputy leader of a team that has just left for Afghanistan to install a geochemistry laboratory. ‘We have to take a very pragmatic, low-tech approach,’ Watts told Chemistry World magazine. ‘We are establishing a very basic infrastructure.’ The main piece of equipment for the laboratory will be a spectrophotometer, used to test water for the presence of zinc, nickel and copper.
If the AGS can start to function efficiently once again, the future is potentially bright: donors such as the World Bank are waiting in the wings with substantial investment to help develop Afghanistan’s mineral trade.
Read the whole story here: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/24050701.asp
Michael Watts can be contacted while in Afghanistan by email: email@example.com
Also in this issue:
How green is ‘green chemistry’? Some chemistry enthusiastically labelled as green may be nothing of the kind, warn researchers who worry that mediocre – if well-meaning – science is damaging their subject.
Read the whole story here: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/25050701.asp
China’s battle with fake drugs: Chemistry World joins counterfeit pharmaceuticals investigator Gao Jingde, who is fighting the rising tide of fake or substandard drugs which, according to one estimate, claim up to 300,000 Chinese lives a year.
Read the whole story here: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2007/May/18050701.asp
Plus: As companies and consumers face a 1 July deadline to comply with the EU’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations – covering everything from televisions to fridges, computers to pinball machines – we look at the chemistry that is helping to beat e-waste. (feature article on request)
Brian Emsley | alfa
Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology
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How reliable are shells as climate archives?
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Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
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Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
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Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
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