Fungus among us could become non-food source for biodiesel production © 2011 PhysOrg.com The researchers, Rakesh Bajpai and coauthors from the University of Louisiana, have published their study on the possibility of using alligator fat as fuel in a recent issue of the American Chemical Society journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.In 2008, the US produced about 700 million gallons of biodiesel to help supply some of the 45 billion gallons of diesel consumed that year. Most of the biodiesel came from soybean oil. Due to concerns that using food crops to produce fuels will raise the price of food, scientists have been investigating alternative feedstocks, including sewage sludge, Chinese tallow, and used vegetable oil.By showing in experiments that oil extracted from alligator fat meets nearly all of the official standards for high-quality biodiesel, the Louisiana researchers have added another feedstock to the list. The scientists explained that alligator fat has a high lipid content, and the lipids could be recovered by microwaving frozen samples and by using a chemical solvent.Although it would play a small role in biodiesel production if it is ever to be used, alligator fat could have an advantage of lower processing costs compared to some other feedstocks since it is a waste product. More information: Potential of Alligator Fat as Source of Lipids for Biodiesel Production, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., Article ASAP, DOI: 10.1021/ie201000sAbstractA large amount of alligator fat (AF) is produced by alligator meat processing industry and disposed in landfills or discarded as waste. The AF can be used as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production due to its high lipid content. In this work, recovery of lipids from the AF tissue was studied by solvent extraction as well as by microwave rendering. Microwave rendering resulted in AF oil recovery of 61% by weight of the frozen AF tissue obtained from producers. The fatty acid profile of the lipid showed that palmitic acid (C16:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1), and oleic acid (C18:1) were the dominant fatty acids accounting for 89–92% of all lipids by mass; 30% of the fatty acids were saturated and 70% were unsaturated. The biodiesel produced from AF oil was found to meet the ASTM specifications of biodiesel concerning kinematic viscosity, sulfur, free and total glycerin, flash point, cloud point, and acid number. Oil extracted from alligator fat meets nearly all of the official standards for high-quality biodiesel. Image credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service (PhysOrg.com) — In addition to being a novelty food, alligators could also provide a feedstock for biodiesel. Every year, the alligator meat industry disposes of about 15 million pounds of alligator fat in landfills. Now scientists have found that oil can be extracted from the fat and used to make a high-quality biodiesel. Citation: Alligator fat could be used to make biodiesel (2011, August 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-gator-tank-alligator-fat-source.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
More information: Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus, Science 19 April 2013: Vol. 340 no. 6130 pp. 324-328 DOI: 10.1126/science.1224664ABSTRACTGrowing concerns that contemporary patterns of economic development are unsustainable have given rise to an extensive empirical literature on population growth, consumption increases, and our growing use of nature’s products and services. However, far less has been done to reach a theoretical understanding of the socio-ecological processes at work at the population-consumption-environment nexus. In this Research Article, we highlight the ubiquity of externalities (which are the unaccounted for consequences for others, including future people) of decisions made by each of us on reproduction, consumption, and the use of our natural environment. Externalities, of which the “tragedy of the commons” remains the most widely discussed illustration, are a cause of inefficiency in the allocation of resources across space, time, and contingencies; in many situations, externalities accentuate inequity as well. Here, we identify and classify externalities in consumption and reproductive decisions and use of the natural environment so as to construct a unified theoretical framework for the study of data drawn from the nexus. We show that externalities at the nexus are not self-correcting in the marketplace. We also show that fundamental nonlinearities, built into several categories of externalities, amplify the socio-ecological processes operating at the nexus. Eliminating the externalities would, therefore, require urgent collective action at both local and global levels. Citation: Researchers suggest conformity pressure and desire to keep-up is pushing unsustainable population growth (2013, April 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-conformity-pressure-desire-keep-up-unsustainable.html Journal information: Science To feed the world, give women equal rights The two researchers note that in many parts of Africa, current growth rates mean a likely doubling of the population by 2050—they add that increased consumption rates by the same people is leading to unsustainable growth patterns due to limited environmental resources. Peer pressure among men to produce as many children as possible (due to historical land tenure issues) they assert, has led to a very high fosterage rate, while the burden of supporting children continues to fall primarily on women. At the same time, they found that despite living on just an average of 1200 international dollars a year, consumption rates in the same areas have been climbing for several years. Taken all together, they say, it makes for an environment full of externalities that promote fertility.Scientists have not been able to agree on how many people our planet can sustain. Some suggest we are already on a population curve that will lead to war, disease and general misery. Others contend that innovations and discoveries will lead to higher food yields and other technologies to shelter clothe and provide for the needs of an ever growing number of people. No one is suggesting that there is no limit to how many people can live here on Earth, it’s a question of how many can live here at what level. The pessimistic view is that nature will provide the corrections for us, while those with a more optimistic outlook suggest that technology and education will lead us to curbing our growth by managing our birthrate intelligently.Dasgupta and Ehrlich argue that their research shows that circumstances in some parts of the world are leading to a situation that is unsustainable—it won’t self correct and unless something changes such systems will collapse. They suggest that an education program for women (by people at both the global and local level) be instituted to break the pattern of fertility encouragement—it’s been shown to be effective in other parts of the world. (Phys.org) —Partha Dasgupta an economist with the University of Cambridge and Paul Ehrlich, a conservation biologist at Stanford University have published a paper in the journal Science in which they suggest that peer pressure and a desire to keep up with others can lead to unsustainable population growth. They use data from several sources to compare population growth rates between people in African—where population growth is exploding in some areas—with others where it is not, to show that when people experience peer pressure to have large families and also feel pressure to keep up with the consumption habits of other people where they live, the result can be explosive population growth. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.org Explore further
(Phys.org) —A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Oregon has used melanin as an ingredient in a cocktail that led to the creation of a biodegradable battery anode. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they created the anode and to what purpose it might be put in the near future. Citation: Research team uses melanin to make biodegradable battery anode (2013, December 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-team-melanin-biodegradable-battery-anode.html Over the past several decades, medical researchers have been working on a way to create devices that can remain inside the human body, without the risk of causing harm. One such example is the pace-maker. It sits inside the chest, monitoring heart activity and delivers a small jolt when needed to keep the heart beating on a proper rhythm. Though it’s doubtless saved many lives, it also constitutes a health hazard—there are materials inside its case that upon escape could cause serious harm. Some of the most hazardous are in the battery, and that’s why researchers are working so hard to find a way to build one that is not only non-toxic, but is also biodegradable. In this new effort, the researchers have taken a step towards that ultimate goal by creating a battery component that is made from a material that is created naturally by the human body—melanin.Melanin is a material that exists in the skin of humans and other animals, and is responsible for the creation of pigments. In its natural state it exists as a group of disordered extended hetero-aromatic polymer networks, which means it’s a great material for holding a relatively large amount of ions. To use it as part of a battery, the team added it to a few other ingredients to create a mix that could be poured onto a steel mesh after adding sodium ions. The battery that resulted, the team found, was capable of discharging for up to five hours, though admittedly, offering less power than traditional batteries.The entire battery was not biodegradable of course, which means much more work needs to be done before such a battery might be used with an implantable medical device. Possible uses for such a device range from monitoring wounds and/or blood pressure to the delivery of drugs to specific body parts. Researchers show how to keep cathode material ‘in line’ to enhance battery performance Explore further More information: Biologically derived melanin electrodes in aqueous sodium-ion energy storage devices, PNAS, Published online before print December 9, 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1314345110AbstractBiodegradable electronics represents an attractive and emerging paradigm in medical devices by harnessing simultaneous advantages afforded by electronically active systems and obviating issues with chronic implants. Integrating practical energy sources that are compatible with the envisioned operation of transient devices is an unmet challenge for biodegradable electronics. Although high-performance energy storage systems offer a feasible solution, toxic materials and electrolytes present regulatory hurdles for use in temporary medical devices. Aqueous sodium-ion charge storage devices combined with biocompatible electrodes are ideal components to power next-generation biodegradable electronics. Here, we report the use of biologically derived organic electrodes composed of melanin pigments for use in energy storage devices. Melanins of natural (derived from Sepia officinalis) and synthetic origin are evaluated as anode materials in aqueous sodium-ion storage devices. Na+-loaded melanin anodes exhibit specific capacities of 30.4 ± 1.6 mAhg−1. Full cells composed of natural melanin anodes and λ-MnO2 cathodes exhibit an initial potential of 1.03 ± 0.06 V with a maximum specific capacity of 16.1 ± 0.8 mAhg−1. Natural melanin anodes exhibit higher specific capacities compared with synthetic melanins due to a combination of beneficial chemical, electrical, and physical properties exhibited by the former. Taken together, these results suggest that melanin pigments may serve as a naturally occurring biologically derived charge storage material to power certain types of medical devices. Structural characterization of eumelanins. SEM images of pristine natural (NatMel), Na+ -loaded natural (NatMel-Na), synthetic (SynMel), Na+ -loaded synthetic (SynMel-Na), electro-deposited (E-SynMel), and Na+ -loaded electrodeposited (E-SynMel-Na) melanins. Scale bar, 500 nm. Credit: PNAS, Published online before print December 9, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1314345110 © 2013 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Galaxy NGC 1132 has a disturbed hot halo, study finds (2017, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-galaxy-ngc-disturbed-hot-halo.html Gargantuan galaxy NGC 1132 — a cosmic fossil? Explore further (Phys.org)—A new study recently published on arXiv.org reveals that the fossil group galaxy NGC 1132 (also known as UGC 2359) has a disturbed and asymmetrical hot halo. The findings provide new insights into the formation and evolution of this galaxy and could improve our understanding of fossil groups in the universe. © 2017 Phys.org Temperature maps obtained with two methods: (Left) 2-dimentional adaptive binning by contour binning (Sanders 2006). (Right) Hybrid binning (O’Sullivan et al 2014). The temperature scale is given at the bottom and ranges from 0.8keV (green) to 1.4 keV (yellow). Marked are the location of the discontinuity and the D25 ellipse. Credit: Kim et al., 2017. More information: Disturbed Fossil Group Galaxy NGC 1132, arXiv:1706.04609 [astro-ph.GA] arxiv.org/abs/1706.04609AbstractWe have analyzed the Chandra archival data of NGC 1132, a well-known fossil group, i.e. a system expected to be old and relaxed long after the giant elliptical galaxy assembly. Instead, the Chandra data reveal that the hot gas morphology is disturbed and asymmetrical, with a cold front following a possible bow shock. We discuss possible origins of the disturbed hot halo, including sloshing by a nearby galaxy, ram pressure by external hotter gas, merger and nuclear outburst. We consider that a minor merger with a low impact parameter is the most likely origin: NGC 1132 may be a rare example of unusual late mergers seen in recent simulations. Regardless of the origin of the disturbed hot halo, the paradigm of the fossil system needs to be reconsidered. Located some 318 million light years away from the Earth, NGC 1132 is a well-known fossil galaxy group. The so-called “fossil group” is an isolated elliptical galaxy embedded in an extended halo of X-ray emitting gas the size of a galaxy group. Such groups are believed to be the end result of galaxy merging within a normal galaxy group, leaving behind the X-ray halo of the progenitor group.When it comes to NGC 1132, it is similar to other fossil groups. Previous observations show that it has an extended X-ray luminous halo, as in other fossil groups. It is also known to be a slow rotator with a core radial profile at the center, which is similar to typical old giant elliptical galaxies. All in all, NGC 1132 is expected to be old and relaxed long after the giant elliptical galaxy assembly.However, the new research presented by a team of researchers led by Dong-Woo Kim of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggests that NGC 1132’s hot gas morphology is disturbed and asymmetrical, with a cold front following a possible bow shock.”We found that the hot gas is disturbed, in contrast to the conventional view that the hot halo in the fossil system would be relaxed and undisturbed,” the researchers wrote in the paper.Kim’s team has analyzed archival data provided by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory as part of the Chandra Galaxy Atlas project. The spacecraft observed NGC 1132 in 1999 and 2003 with its Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS). The analysis revealed important details about NGC 1132’s hot gas morphology. The new results indicate that the system is quite disturbed with an asymmetric hot halo, including a sharp edge to the east and extended emission to the west.”The Chandra data revealed a cold front at r~10 kpc to the east of the center and an extended hot gas region toward the west. There may be a possible shock at r~20 kpc just ahead of the cold front,” the paper reads.The researchers noted that the disturbance in the hot halo of NGC 1132 is most likely caused by a recent minor merger of a small galaxy with a low impact parameter.”This hypothesis is consistent with recent simulations of rejuvenated fossil systems and the evidence of recent galaxy interactions provided by optical observations,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the authors of the paper, the new findings show that the paradigm of the fossil system needs to be reconsidered. The researchers also underlined the need of further Chandra observations of the NGC 1132 system in order to put their results on a stronger statistical base.
The move, which comes amid declining prices of crude oil in the international market, will boost government revenue and help it contain the fiscal deficit. The revised excise duty on petrol and diesel came into affect from Tuesday, official sources said.The move will have no impact on retail prices of petrol and diesel, they said.This is the second hike in excise duty in three weeks. On 12 November the government had raised the excise duty by Rs 1.50 per litre on both petrol and diesel but that did not have any impact on the retail prices. In view of the declining prices of crude, oil marketing companies had on Monday cut petrol price by 91 paise a litre, the seventh reduction since August, and diesel by 84 paise per litre, the third straight cut. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashWhile the fall in global rates and the resultant cuts in retail prices have led to lower realisation on account of customs and VAT, particularly in case of state governments, there wasn’t any loss to the central government on account of reduction in petrol and diesel prices as excise duty on the two fuels is fixed and not ad valorem.Unbranded petrol at present attracts a basic excise duty of Rs 2.70 per litre, a special additional excise duty of Rs 6 a litre and a road cess of Rs 2 per litre. Unbranded diesel attracts a basic excise duty of Rs 2.96 a litre and road cess of Rs 2 per litre. The total excise duty on unbranded petrol will rise from Rs 10.70 to Rs 12.95 per litre and that on unbranded diesel from Rs 4.96 per litre to Rs 5.96. Brent rates, the benchmark grade for more than half of the world’s oil, have dropped to $68.34 a barrel, the lowest level since October 2009. Prices declined 18 per cent last month and are 38 per cent lower in 2014. Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsState-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL), following the fortnightly review practice revised rates on Sunday. Petrol price was cut by 91 paisa a litre and diesel by 84 paisa. The seventh reduction in price since August has meant that petrol costs Rs 63.33 a litre in Delhi, Rs 10.27 per litre less than what it cost in July.The third reduction in diesel rates in one month has led to the price coming down to Rs 52.51 a litre. Oil firms revise rates of petrol, which was deregulated in June 2010, and diesel on 1st and 16th of every month based on average international oil price and rupee-US dollar exchange rate.
Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the West Bengal State Election Commission (SEC) to make a fresh announcement extending the deadline for filing of nominations, and finalise a new election schedule for the Panchayat polls.A single bench of the court quashed the SEC’s April 10 order that had cancelled the extension for filing nominations which the poll panel had announced on April 9.Justice Subrata Talukdar directed the Commission to issue a fresh deadline extending the day for filing nominations in consultation with the state and other important stakeholders. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn his 35-page order, the judge said the Commission would then reschedule the other dates for the election process as per the rules.As the rules provide for 21 days time between the last date of nomination and the first day of polling, the original polling dates of May 1, 3 and 5 would change, as per the court order.Justice Subrata Talukdar also lifted the stay on the election process.Opposition parties — Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Congress and the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) — had moved the court, accusing the Trinamool of unleashing massive pre-poll violence against their party workers to prevent them from filing nominations for the polls ever since the process began on April 2. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe parties were also aggrieved with the SEC after the poll panel on April 10 withdrew its order issued on April 9 night extending the filing of nominations by a day.The SEC had said it withdrew the April 9 notification following a letter of legal advice by Additional Chief Secretary of the West Bengal government Saurabh Kumar Das and Trinamool Congress vice president Kalyan Banerjee that the notification for extension was a violation of the Panchayat Act 46(2). On Friday, Justice Talukdar rejected the state government’s legal advice, saying once the election dates were announced, the state had no role in the election process.As the opposition parties knocked on the doors of the judiciary, Justice Talukdar had on April 12 stayed the Panchayat election process. The Trinamool and the SEC challenged the stay, but a High Court division bench on April 16 refused to interfere in the case, and asked the single bench to hear the case.
Kolkata: A physically challenged woman was allegedly beaten up and forced to leave her own home by her two brothers on Saturday.She has been admitted to Habra hospital by her elder sister and is undergoing treatment. A complaint lodged with Duttapukur Police Station against her two brothers. Bani Roy, a resident of Gangapur, Ghoshpara in Duttapukur, alleged that for the last one-and-a-half years, her two brothers used to torture her. Even when their mother was ill and bedridden, they did not bother to stop their acts and look after their mother. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeLying in a bed at Habra hospital, Bani alleged that his two brothers Shib Shankar Roy and Narayan Roy used to force her to transfer the assets in their names. Bani also said she is physically challenged by birth. Her left leg and hand do not work. On Sunday morning, locals saw that Bani lying on the road and neighbours immediately informed her elder sister Munni Chakraborty at Habra about the situation. Chakraborty recovered Bani and admitted her to hospital. Duttapukur Police Station was informed. Both Shib Shankar and Narayan have fled their house. Police are trying to nab both the accused.
Kolkata: A student from Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas was allegedly duped by some persons who promised him loan at a minimal interest rate.The victim had approached the alleged cheaters after they posted an advertisement on a social media channel regarding the same. According to sources, Arpan Debnath, a resident of Malirbagan at Sonarpur is a post-grad student. Recently, he had seen an advertisement on a social media channel reading that an organisation offers loan at a very low rate of interest. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalThe advertisement read — any unemployed person will be granted loan and no Income Tax return needs to be filed. To avail loan, Debnath contacted the organisation through the social media channel where the advertisement was posted. After a while, a person claiming to be Alok Das assured him through a message that he would get the mentioned loan amount soon. On January 2, a person claiming to be Subhajit Das went to Debnath and collected necessary documents such as photocopy of his Voter ID card, Aadhar Card, Pan Card and a blank cheque. On the very next day, i.e January 3, Debnath’s specimen signature was Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedalso collected. On January 4, Debnath was asked to visit a person in Hazra from where he was taken to a bank for necessary documentation. A few hours after his visit, Debnath received a text message saying Rs 36,000 had been withdrawn from his account. Later, when he tried to get in touch with the organisation through the social media channel, he failed to get response. On January 7, he lodged a complaint at Sonarpur police station. Later, the Cyber Crime section of West Bengal Police at Bhavani Bhavan was also informed. According to sources, police have identified the account where the money was transferred. The sleuths are checking with the account holder and his connection.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday held a high-level meeting with the senior officials of various departments at Nabanna to issue directives to prevent dengue ahead of monsoon.It was earlier found that Metro railways construction sites across the city often became the breeding ground of mosquitoes. During her meeting, Banerjee asked the Chief Secretary Malay Dey to take up the issue with Metro Railway authorities for preventive steps. It was not possible for the Kolkata Municipal (KMC) workers to undertake conservancy drive in Metro construction sites. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseCM instructed officials of various civic bodies to take adequate precautionary measures ahead of monsoon. She instructed the civic bodies and fisheries department officials to release Gappi in water bodies so that the fish can kill the mosquito larva. Various civic bodies and fisheries department have been releasing the fish to check the breeding of mosquitoes. Banerjee directed senior officials of various civic bodies including the KMC to repair the potholes ahead of monsoon so that water is not accumulated there. She instructed the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation officials to take adequate preventive measures as some dengue cases were reported from its jurisdiction areas last year. She asked the officials of the Public Works Department (PWD), Public Health Engineering (PHE), Irrigation and waterways department and other departments to pull up their socks to ensure that not a single case of dengue is reported in the next season. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee also stressed on the publications of advertisements so that people become aware about the preventive measures. While leaving Nabanna, the Chief Minister told the reports that state Education department has also been asked to spread awareness among the school students. State health department has been instructed to conduct anti-dengue drive at regular intervals. Municipalities and panchayats have been asked to take necessary steps by reaching to the grass roots level. They had been doing it and now they have been asked to do it more seriously. The state Education department and Women and Child Welfare department have also been asked to conduct rigorous campaign so that the students are aware about the precautionary measures. CM said that ASHA and ICDS workers who have been doing door-to-door campaigns to create awareness among people will be asked to be more proactive. The ASHA workers will reach out to rural areas and will ensure that accumulation of water does not take place.
Kolkata: State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) seized huge quantity of explosives from Bankura on Sunday. This is for the third time within a week, the CID has found explosives here.According to CID officials, on Saturday sleuths got a tip-off that a truck loaded with explosive materials will enter Bankura. Working on the information CID sleuths intercepted a truck bearing Jharkhand registration number in the evening at Beliatore. CID and police officials present at the spot asked for documents from the driver. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseLater during search, sleuths discovered that the truck was loaded with explosive material. The driver and the owner of the truck, identified as Nishant Kumar, was arrested immediately. After preliminary interrogation, sleuths suspect that the explosives was destined to Birbhum district. During search operation, sleuths seized 97,500 electric detonator, 6250 kg gelatin sticks (power gel) and 11,450 kgs ammonium nitrate from the truck. Previously on Wednesday CID had seized huge quantity of explosive materials from Saltora. The explosive material was stored inside a warehouse at Kastora village of Saltora in Bankura. Sleuths have seized 52,500 pieces of electric detonators, 106 cartons of gelatin sticks (power gel) and 133 sacks of ammonium nitrate along with one abandoned SUV and a bike from there. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe explosive materials were being procured from Orissa, Telangana and Jharkhand. It is suspected that the explosive materials was procured to be used in illegal stone quarries. CID had found explosive materials from a person’s house at Boga village of Indpur in Bankura on Friday night. The owner of the house has been arrested. During search sleuths had seized approximately 800 electric detonators, 200 packets of gelatin sticks (power gel) and around 100 kg of ammonium nitrate. Seeing the huge recovery within a week panic triggered across the Bankura district. Sleuths have also took a serious note in this regard and stepped up the security across the district to maintain law and order situation.