Epidemiological evidence exists to indicate regular and long term use of hair dyes for women can be associated with the development of bladder cancer. During dyeing processes, up to 40 per cent of the dyes are not consumed by the substrate to which they are applied and they then find their ways into wastewaters and are flushed into the environment.
Researchers from QUESTOR, Queen’s Environmental Centre and Europe's only Industry/University Co-operative Research Centre, will be reporting on the latest results from a four year EU-funded flagship research project into reducing the impact of such dyes on our health and the environment.
Known as SOPHIED (Sustainable Bioprocesses for the European Colour Industries), project researchers at Queen’s and their 27 European partners have been actively developing new durable bioprocesses destined to modernise the European Colour Industry.
Explaining the importance of the research to both industry and the general public, Ciaran Prunty, from QUESTOR’s Applied Technology Unit said: “Colour dyes are not something that often crop up in many people’s list of environmental and health concerns. However, almost all of the clothes and fabric that surround us have been treated with colour dyes and many of us also use dyes to colour our hair.
“The global dyestuff market produces around 1.15 million tonnes per year and generates sales of almost €5 million. It is heavily influenced by global production trends such as the shift in production of textiles to low labour cost countries. Indeed, Chinese dyestuff production now accounts for half of the total production in the world.
“For EU residents therefore, research projects such as SOPHIED are vital in providing intelligence in order to help reduce the implications of toxicity and other issues. Traditionally weaker than other sectors in research and development, the results from QUESTOR and the other partner institutions, which will be discussed at this week’s conference, will provide a shot in the arm for the dyestuff industry and pave the way for the use and development of greener technologies.”
Within the SOPHIED project, QUESTOR has a significant role in the delivery of the development of new bioremediation technology for decolouring dye wastewater.
Further information on the SPOHIED project can be found at http://www.sophied.net/ while further information on the work which takes place at QUESTOR can be found at http://questor.qub.ac.uk/newsite/index.htm
Lisa Mitchell | alfa
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy