Cracow University of Technology posted this:New way of detection Cryptosporidium and Giardia protozoa.Advantages of the technology: - Our method is sensitive, reproducible, species-specific and inexpensive way to detect Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts ad Giardia intestinalis cysts in various environmental samples. - There is not necessary to use highly specialized and expensive equipment. All the materials for realizing the invention (chemical reagents and equipment etc.) are commercially available. - It is not requirement the use of toxic flammable solvents to ensure the safety of personnel conducting the test. - The use of appropriate materials, allowed to simplify and shorten the work, to improve the reproducibility of detection and reduce the cost of detection procedure. - To achieve sensitive detection method allows subjecting the examination of much smaller volumes of liquid samples in comparison with that provided by the USEPA protocols (United States Environmental Protection Agency).
University of Vigo posted this:Innovative process for the removal of persistent organic pollutants present in wastewater streams.This is the first time that surfactants-based aqueous phase segregation has been proposed for the remediation of aromatic organic pollutants. Up to know, biological degradation was used alone or in combination with other physical and chemical methods (e.g. volatilization, sorption, electrokinetic, oxidation, extraction with supercritical fluids, etc.), that often entail economic and environmental disadvantages. Therefore, the proposed strategy is an environmentally friendly alternative that entails benefits such as low energy consumption, low cost, availability of reagents at bulk quantities and easy implementation.
University of Vigo posted this:Procedure for sea urchin embryo cryopreservation and attached bioassayThis sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) embryo cryopreservation procedure with attached bioassay has been specifically designed for sea urchin blastula (8 hour development embryo) conservation in liquid nitrogen to be used as out of reproductive season biological supply. This protocol has applications in research, aquaculture and ecotoxicology. The process described is fully developed, from how to obtain blastula embryos from sea urchins, composition and concentration used of the cryoprotecting agent, cryopreservation procedure including the cryoprotecting agent addition and dilution methodology, the seeding temperature during freezing and including a post-thawing viability study The possibility of a sea urchin embryo biobank ensures not only the access to test organism embryos all year round but also access to these embryos in places where it was not possible before either for their distance to the ocean or for the lack of the necessary facilities to maintain reproductive adults in optimum conditions to breed. The development of the bioassay using cryopreserved sea urchin embryos will help overcome the seasonal constraints in application of bioassays to assess marine water quality.
University of Vigo posted this:Valorization of whey and vinasses by producing antimicrobial extracts using biotechnological processesThis invention is based on the production of antimicrobial extracts with potential application against pathogenic microorganisms. The biotechnological production of antimicrobial metabolites was carried out using Lactobacillus plantarum strains. Two industrial wastes, whey, and wine distilled lees (or vinasses) were assayed in order to make the process economically competitive with regard to the chemical one. The extracts are mainly composed by lactic acid, 3-phenyllactic and bacteriocins. Whey was enzymatically hydrolyzed and the solutions were fermented sequentially or simultaneously. The bioprocesses were carried out continuously or discontinuously
University of Vigo posted this:New sustainable adsorbent for bleaching efficient industrial effluentsMany industries, such as those belonging to the textile, wine, and paper industry, consume huge volumes of water and, as a result, generate a large amount of contaminated water containing persistent colour pollutant compounds. These compounds represent an environmental and health threat due to their well-known associated problems, such as carcinogenicity, toxicity and mutagenicity. Furthermore, they entail a great environmental impact when discharged in aquatic environments, perceptible at very low concentrations, creating an undesirable visual impact, which, in many cases, does not meet the degree of conformity under the current directives on the wastewater treatment for industrial effluents (Directive 91/271 / EEC). The solution proposed by the research group Chemical Engineering at the University of Vigo, is the use as adsorbent of peat, or a similar lignocellulosic material, immobilized in calcium alginate beads. This process is efficient, cheap and environmentally friendly, unlike other processes and technologies. In fact, the utilization of peat instead of activated carbon as industrial adsorbent has the advantage that peat requires no activation, unlike activated carbon, reducing operating costs. In addition, the low cost of the adsorbent would be translated into significant economic benefits. Moreover, depending on the contaminant removed from the waste effluent, the exhausted adsorbent may be used as soil fertilizer at its end of life.
Technology Transfer Office
RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd. posted this:High Voltage Photovoltaic Cells with High EfficiencyA novel photovoltaic cell is described for converting sunlight to electricity at higher efficiency relative to existing cells, and with improved flexibility for integration in modules, both one-sun and concentrating. The new cell contains many small sub-cells, which are internally connected in series. Such configurations are called Monolithic Integrated Modules (MIM) and they are capable of providing very high open circuit voltage. Our MIM design is based on a monolithic device with vertical PN junctions with significant expected advantages in performance relative to existing MIM designs: higher voltage; smaller contact area and no front metallization grid, leading to higher efficiency; better utilization of the solar spectrum; and better matching to integration in modules including concentrator modules. High-voltage cells can be electrically connected in parallel instead of series, leading to nearly independent operation (voltage-coupled instead of current-coupled) even under non-uniform illumination and even partial shading conditions. This will improve the overall performance of a photovoltaic system, and permit a less demanding and less expensive optical design. Project ID : 6-2011-180
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Treatment of water from bentonite slurryWhy Does Water From Slurry Require Treatment? The problem arises once the slurry is used and subjected to the separation process by applying a filter press, in order to reuse the water to generate new slurry. The water, due to the loss of quality it suffers during the construction process, interferes with the proper functioning of bentonite, forming an unstable slurry, which tends to flocculate, and thus loses the necessary properties for application. Processing these waters entails a considerable environmental improvement, in addition to cutting operating costs by reducing water consumption and the dumping of effluent which, due to the physicochemical characteristics acquired, is not suitable for discharge under current legislation.
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Economic analysis of water resources managementThe main lines of research of the group are: •Water management in areas vulnerable to extreme weather events: drought risk and water scarcity. •Tools and methods for assessing potential climate change impacts, costs & benefits, and risks & opportunities. •Link between science (i.e. water economics) and policymaking (i.e. EU Freshwater Policy). •Hydroeconomic analysis of water investments. •Economic analysis of biophysical flows of ecosystem services. •Groundwater management.
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Water Footprint assessment to minimize the impacts to the Water Footprint valueWater footprint is a novel indicator of freshwater use, which quantifies the volume of water required by a product, service or activity when and where it is consumed. It includes both direct and indirect freshwater consumption. It also provides information on sustainability, by comparing the Water Footprint value with the availability and quality of water resource in situ. The final aim is to manage an improvement strategy designed to minimize the impacts related to this Water Footprint value. The three colours of water: • Green water. Rainwater, stored in soil as humidity, removed by plants in evapotranspiration processes. It is the main component in agrifood industries. • Blue water. Water volume that depends on a more or less complex infrastructure for its use. Its origin may be surface or subterranean. The traditional indicators for water use have focused on this component. • Grey water. Water volume that is required to buffer the concentration of pollutants that are spread in the environment. It depends on the quantity and quality of the spill, the essential quality of the receiving environment and the standards that are used to assess the environmental quality. Water footprint can be assessed in multiple scopes or levels (process, product, consumer, producer, business) by considering both direct and indirect impacts over the whole life cycle. Nowadays it is possible to achieve Water Footprint certification by implementing one of these two international standards: • WATER FOOTPRINT NETWORK – Water footprint assessment manual • ISO 14046 – Water footprint – Principles, requirements and guidelines
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Geomatics laboratory for water resources managementIMDEA Water works on the methodological development and application of different spatial tools to support water resources management, including environmental mapping, remote sensing, the design and implementation of spatial databases and geoportals, applications for provisioning networks, and hydrological and hydrogeological modelling. New spatial information sources (LIDAR, GPS, digital terrain models, high-resolution imaging or drones) enable us to create new, high-resolution thematic mappings. Remote sensing techniques help derive biophysical vegetation variables (vegetation indices, water stress, agricultural output, crop evapotranspiration, etc.), geological mapping, soil usage, etc. Spatial databases record and order this information, forming a Hydrological Information System able to analyse the topological and quantitative relationships of different variables, the development of advanced 3D mapping and its implementation in web geoportals. Hydrogeological modelling by means of individual numerical models and/or coupled with hydrogeochemical models allows us to assess water resources in terms of their quantity and quality, and can be the basis for decision-making on the issue of water resources, both for surface water and groundwater bodies. Combining the extraction of data contained in old mappings and geo-positioning techniques with GPS allows the identification of hydraulic heritage elements for the development of decision-making support strategies.
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Laboratory techniques for contaminant transport assessmentLaboratory techniques: Experimental analysis of processes affecting transport of contaminants through the vadose zone and the aquifer are necessary to interpret field data, especially when the recognition at field level is hampered by the complexity of the environmental system. Batch and column experiments, specifically designed to simulate field conditions as reliably as possible, provide valuable information on interaction between contaminants and vadose zone and/or aquifer materials. These laboratory techniques are also useful to assess the response in terms of contaminant removal during water reuse and water treatment activities. Experimental study should always be coupled with numerical modelling to quantify contaminant transport parameters, with the aim of finding the nexus between field and laboratory research.
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Aquatic ecotoxicology and ecological risk assessmentEcotoxicology is a multidisciplinary science which aims to assess how interaction between pollutants and the environment affects ecosystems, taking into account the susceptibility of individuals, populations and communities to be affected by and recover from any type of toxic stress. Assessing ecological risk from pollutants requires preliminary research into the emission and transport of contaminating substances in the environment and the exposure to which live organisms may be subjected. Likewise, laboratory and/or field experiments help evaluate the toxic effects caused by different pollutants and exposure patterns. Finally, the results of these studies are combined to calculate the likelihood of ecosystems being affected by the use of potentially toxic substances.
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Land application systems for urban wastewater treatment of small built-up areasA Land Application Systems (Figure 1) is a plot area, sized according to the influent to be treated, which has forests installed and is irrigated with wastewater. The residual water partially evaporates and the rest is taken up by the roots of trees and filtered through the soil. Before application to the soil, it is desirable to introduce a primary treatment system, to remove coarse solids, sand, grease and solids. But these systems provide more than just simple purification, because while treating the water, we are also producing biomass with high economic value. Unlike conventional waste water treatment systems, no external energy input is needed, so the running and maintenance costs are greatly reduced. Furthermore, it is a robust technology and the operation is simple. This technology is therefore ideal for treatment of urban waste water from small towns, with strong flow oscillations.
IMDEA Water Institute posted this:Ecological assessment of groundwater and groundwater dependent ecosystemsAn integrated management of groundwater resources requires a complete monitoring of biological, ecological and physical-chemical water properties in order to enhance our understanding on the ecosystem services they provide. IMDEA Water offers environmental services and fauna survey in groundwater (GW) and groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs) (i.e. the hyporheic zone of rivers, wetlands) for the groundwater resource sector. In order to ensure an adequate quality of groundwater for urban and rural consumption and considering the protection of aquatic resources to accomplish the directives regulations concerning water resources (Water Framework Directive, WFD 2000/60/EC, Directive on Environmental Quality, DEC 2008/105/EC and Groundwater Directive, GWD 2006/118/EC), we offer our integrated environmental consulting service on ecological assessment of GW and GDEs using a combination of traditional and innovative techniques for monitoring, evaluation and ecological analysis of GW biotic communities. We provide cost effective project solutions and outstanding client relations by delivering scientifically rigorous surveys on groundwater ecosystems.