C&EN Assistant Managing Editor Michael McCoy described how new laws in 16 states require manufacturers to eliminate phosphates from automatic dishwasher detergents sold in the United States. Once hailed as a wonder for making dishes squeaky clean, sodium tripolyphosphate later became a villain in the fight against water pollution.
It can wash down household drains, through sewage treatment facilities, and into lakes and streams. Just like the phosphate fertilizer applied to crops, it kick-starts growth of algae, which die, decay, and deplete oxygen from the water, causing fish kills and other problems. McCoy explains that the well-intentioned phosphate-removal laws, however, have caused an unintended problem for some consumers, leaving dishes and glassware with spots and unsightly films.
Detergent manufacturers are now turning to chemists and the chemical industry in a search for phosphate-free formulas that don't leave dishes dirty. Some manufacturers have already found promising alternatives, while others are testing new detergent ingredients, including polymers and enzymes, that can clean like phosphates without contributing to water pollution.
ARTICLE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE "Goodbye, Phosphates"This story is available at
Michael Bernstein | EurekAlert!
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
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UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration
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Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.
Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...
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16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering