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Items filtered by date: May 2015

© Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved. www.ens-newswire.com

GAINESVILLE, Florida March 15, 2013 – A new genus and species of extinct saber-toothed cat that lived five million years ago in what is now Polk County, Florida, has been identified based on fossils of the animal found over the past 25 years.

Called Rhizosmilodon fiteae, the carnivorous apex predator with elongated upper canine teeth was about the size of a modern Florida panther. It lived in a forested coastal habitat that was also inhabited by rhinos, tapirs, three-toed horses, peccaries, llamas and deer, scientists say. Its relatively small size probably allowed it to climb trees and safely hide captured prey from large carnivores, such as packs of wolf-sized hyena-dogs and an extinct type of bear larger than the modern grizzly.

Published in Environment

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland, June 1, 2015 – The 2015 hurricane season officially opened on Monday as U.S. weather forecasters predicted a “below-normal” risk of hurricanes in the Atlantic and “above-normal” risk in the Pacific.

“But that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy,” said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center in its annual prediction.

Tropical Storm Ana off the Carolinas, May 9, 2015 (Image by NASA/GSFC/Jeff Schmaltz/MODIS Land Rapid Response Team)

Published in Environment

© Environment News Service (ENS) 2015. All rights reserved. www.ens-newswire.com

BERKELEY VALE, New South Wales, Australia, May 26, 2015  – Australia’s first commercial-scale plant to convert waste plastics to “road-ready” fuel has produced its first batch.

The facility will turn discarded non-recyclable household plastics into diesel, gasoline and the electricity needed to power the facility. Foyson Resources is behind the new A$4 million facility at Berkeley Vale, about 90 kilometers north of Sydney on Australia’s east coast.

Based in North Sydney and publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange, Foyson Resources is engaged in the exploration and development of gold, copper, and molybdenum deposits in Papua New Guinea.

Integrated Green Energy Ltd, IGE, is constructing the facility, which uses IGE’s proprietary catalytic re-structuring technology.

This technology subjects shredded plastic to a high temperature heat stream – above 400 degrees Celsius – in the absence of oxygen. This causes the polymer to break down into smaller molecules, forming gas and liquids which resemble crude oil.

The liquids are fractionated into hydrocarbons in the form of gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel.

The road-ready fuels that have been produced will be independently tested and evaluated, Foyson said in a statement May 18.


Bevan Dooley, CEO of Integrated Green Energy Ltd, holds road-ready fuel made from waste plastic at the new Berkeley Vale facility. (Photo courtesy IGE)

IGE chief executive Bevan Dooley says the Berkeley Vale Plant is scheduled to begin full production with 200 tonnes per day of waste plastics during June 2016.

Dooley expects that production in the year ending June 2017 will reach 49 million liters of on-road diesel and 16 million liters of petrol, all meeting Australian Fuel Standards.

IGE’s waste to energy technology is a self-powered process and produces no harmful emissions, significant noise or visual problems, the company says.

Foyson Managing Director Mike Palmer told the Australian Broadcasting Corp., “The 200 tonnes a day, we produce less than a ton of waste material and that waste material is essentially silica or sand, so there’s nothing environmentally unpleasant about that product. And we also produce natural gas, which we can either flare off or it itself can be sold to local energy consumers.”

But Jeff Angel, executive director of the environmental group Total Environment Centre, believes the needs of the Berkeley Vale plant will cut into the supply of recyclable plastics that could be turned into useful plastic items.


Shredded plastic waste ready to be processed into gasoline, diesel and electricity (Photo courtesy IGE)

Palmer answers that 95 percent of the material to be processed at the Berkeley Vale facility will be non-recyclable plastic, with a small amount of recyclable plastic getting into the mix only because the waste sorting system is not perfect.

IGE has secured two contracts that will supply the plastic feedstock requirements of the Berkeley Vale plant for the first three years to June 2018, as throughput increases from 50 tonnes per day (tpd) to 200 tpd, by the scheduled installation of three more production modules.

The contracts will be assigned to Foyson on completion of the IGE transaction, which is planned to occur, subject to shareholder approval, at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in July.

“Management has a strategy in place that will see us build three or more of these units in the next three years in Australia,” Dooley said.

IGE says the three additional plants will collectively process in excess of 126,000 tonnes of waste plastics – producing 120,000,000 liters of on-road fuels.

Environmental News Service article reprinted by the Sun Bay Paper with permission

Published in Technology
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:36

Heroin Epidemic In Africa

Heroin use is spreading throughout the world and while Western, prosperous nations make up the bulk of demand, political instability has caused serious ancillary damage to spread to an unlikely place on the world stage - East Africa.

Civil wars, religious conflict and general upheaval in the Middle East has brought tighter border security to the traditional smuggling routes into Europe and the USA. As a result, those lucrative markets are now seeing the flow from poppy fields diverted into the nations of Tanzania and Kenya  where security is lax and a blind eye from easily bribed officials makes custom seizures far less likely. It has also resulted in more addiction problems in Nations where treatment and health concerns are more difficult to address.

Published in General/Features
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