Scientists from Newcastle University are using llama droppings to help combat environmental problems caused by polluted water seeping from abandoned silver and tin mines in the Bolivian Andes.
The project is being spearheaded by Paul Younger, Professor of Hydrogeochemical Engineering at Newcastle University. It has been adapted from a community-based natural regeneration technique which uses waste materials to treat polluted mine waters. Professor Younger pioneered the technique, along with scientists and engineers from the University working in partnership with the residents of former mining communities in North East England, who called him in to help them address the threat to their environment caused by polluted water draining from disused mines.
Mine water has a high acid content and is extremely damaging to the ecology of the surrounding areas. The scientific basis for the regeneration technique, which involves the creation of `low-tech` bioreactors constructed in the form of wetlands with a substrata of compost and limestone, is called bacterial sulphate reduction. Bacteria living in the compost and limestone use dissolved sulphate, found in abundance in mine water, as an energy source, producing sulphide. The sulphide then reacts with the dissolved iron and traps it, as iron sulphide, in the compost bed. This process also raises the pH in the water and generates alkalinity.
This technique has been so successful in the North East of England that it is now being customised and exported for similar problems in other countries and is helping to make Newcastle University Europe`s leading centre for minewater research.
Melanie Reed | alphagalileo
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
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Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
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Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
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21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy