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What should be the top environmental priority for the next 40 years?

What should be the top environmental priority for the next 40 years? | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it

Experts speakers argue their cases ahead of an Earthwatch debate in London this week (RT @SeaWeb_org: Good day, SeaWeb fans! Kathy Dowsett www.kirkscubagear.com


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Material Science: A chemical treatment makes a household sponge slurping up oil instead of water

Material Science: A chemical treatment makes a household sponge slurping up oil instead of water | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it

A sponge that can’t absorb a single drop of water may seem like a dud. But if it readily soaks up oil, it could help purify chemical syntheses or clean up oil spills on water. Researchers now report a simple chemical method for turning a household sponge into a water-blocking oil absorber (Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/ie400942t).

 

In response to oil spills on water, cleanup crews often turn to sorbent materials, such as wool, straw, cotton, and synthetic sponges, to separate oil from the water. Sponges are the best choice for the job, say Zhaozhu Zhang and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Science. The materials can absorb a lot of liquid in a short time, and they can float. However, they suck up water as well as oil, so the sponges’ soaking capacity isn’t fully used to remove oil. To make the materials more efficient, Zhang and colleagues decided to make an oil-specific sponge.

 

The researchers purchased polyurethane sponges at a local furniture store and coated its entire surface with a thin layer of polypyrrole. This polymer is well known for being water-repellent and having a strong affinity for oil, says Paul L. Edmiston, a chemist at the College of Wooster, who was not involved in this study.

 

To prepare the sponge for its polypyrrole coating, the researchers first dipped it into ferric chloride and 1H, 1H, 2H, 2H-perfluorooctyltriethoxysilane (PTES). They then put the PTES-coated sponge into a sealed chamber over a pool of volatile pyrrole, which vaporized and infused the sponge. The PTES helped the pyrrole adhere to the sponge surface. Meanwhile, the iron from the ferric chloride helped to catalyze the polymerization of the pyrrole into a thin coating over the sponge’s pores.

 

When the scientists added droplets of water to the surface of the revamped sponge, the water stayed in a bead and wasn’t absorbed. Droplets of oil, however, disappeared into the sponge immediately. The researchers also dipped the sponge into a variety of oils, including motor oil and soybean oil. The sponge sopped up more than 20 times its dry weight for each of the oils. The team tested how the sponge fared after reuse: They sopped up oil with the sponge and then wrung out the absorbed oil. After repeating those steps five times, the sponge could absorb at least 17 times its weight in oil.

 

Other groups have modified meshlike materials to absorb oil, Edmiston says. But he likes the idea of an oil-absorbing sponge, because it has “lots of room to pick up the oil.”

 

Edmiston is concerned that the cost of making these sponges would be prohibitive in the case of a large-scale oil-spill cleanup operation. Although the sponges themselves are cheap, the chemicals used in the treatment are expensive. The superhydrophobic sponges, though may find a place in certain industrial operations, Edmiston says, like removing hydrophobic solvents during chemical syntheses. Such small-scale applications would probably be the first uses for the revamped sponges, he says.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald, East Africa Climate Change Network.
East Africa Climate Change Network.'s insight:

How to slurp up oil from water ,a new research to aid the marine from contaminating our oceans.

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East Africa Climate Change Network.'s curator insight, July 4, 2013 6:38 PM

Reserch that needs to be embraced in the entire Africa continent in order to currb oil spills.

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Monitor Board of Contributors: Climate change for dummies - Concord Monitor

Monitor Board of Contributors: Climate change for dummies - Concord Monitor | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
New York Times Monitor Board of Contributors: Climate change for dummies Concord Monitor Since any long-term problems were eclipsed by the idea that we would all be blown to glowing bits by a nuclear war between the United States and the USSR, it...
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Monitor Board of Contributors: Climate change for dummies - Concord Monitor | @scoopit http://sco.lt/...

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CoconutTreeDiver

CoconutTreeDiver | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
CoconutTreeDiver - .CoconutTreeDiver is on Roatan Diving and Travel. Join Roatan Diving and Travel today to interact and connect with CoconutTreeDiver .

Via Kathy Dowsett
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#CoconutTree amazing.

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Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria

Exclusive: Found after 500 years, the wreck of Christopher Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
More than five centuries after Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, was wrecked in the Caribbean, archaeological investigators think they may have discovered the vessel’s long-lost remains – lying at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti. It’s likely to be one of the world’s most important underwater archaeological discoveries.

Via Kathy Dowsett
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This amazing floating underwater city may become a reality in China

This amazing floating underwater city may become a reality in China | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
A Chinese company wants to build this incredible four-square-mile floating underwater city using the same techniques they're using for the construction of the 31-mile bridge that links Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. It's incredible—the kind of stuff I dreamed about when I was a little kid.

Via Kathy Dowsett
East Africa Climate Change Network.'s insight:

A Chinese company wants to build this incredible four-square-mile floating underwater city using the same techniques they're using for the construction of the 31-mile bridge that links Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai. It's incredible—the kind of stuff I dreamed about when I was a little kid.

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Conference focuses on environmental risks - Bismarck Tribune

Conference focuses on environmental risks - Bismarck Tribune | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Conference focuses on environmental risks Bismarck Tribune “People living on reservations have some of the highest rates of environmentally-related health problems,” says Barbara Schmitt, UTTC economic development director and conference coordinator.
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Marine agriculture - could this be the solution to our land and water scarcity issues?

Marine agriculture - could this be the solution to our land and water scarcity issues? | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it

Via Marsha Irving
East Africa Climate Change Network.'s insight:

Inspiring and very innovative

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Marsha Irving's curator insight, January 7, 2013 8:28 AM

If the main concerns attributed to agriculture are availability of land and water resources, then why not find a way to alleviate pressure on both?

 

Marine agriculture offers a new location for crops to grow and provides unlimited water resources....

 

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Magical Kenya

Magical Kenya | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
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Unesco cites Fort Jesus as a world heritage site.

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Tanzania: Magu Town’s Sh13.4 Billion Water Project Set to Begin | Africa Water-Sector News & NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence

Tanzania: Magu Town’s Sh13.4 Billion Water Project Set to Begin | Africa Water-Sector News & NEPAD Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Tanzania: Magu Town's Sh13.4 Billion Water Project Set to Begin - #Africa #Water http://t.co/uI84QQE9IG
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Clean Water center for Tanzania

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Is environmental action impossible in corporate-dominated age?

Is environmental action impossible in corporate-dominated age? | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Note: We don't think environmental action is impossible in this corporate-dominated age.  It just isn't going to come from corporate interests or the political institutions they control. And it  ce...

Via Robert DesJarlait
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Environmental action is it possible
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Germany's renewable revolution shows the way

Germany's renewable revolution shows the way | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
How did Germany do it? No, not its World Cup victory - how did Germany engineer Europe's highest penetration of renewable energy, plus fast-dropping electricity prices? Keith Barnham explains - and says the UK could do the same, and better!

Via Organic Social Media, ACTS, East Africa Climate Change Network.
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How Climate Change is Destroying Our National Parks - Huffington Post

How Climate Change is Destroying Our National Parks - Huffington Post | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
How Climate Change is Destroying Our National Parks
Huffington Post
The effects of climate change vary around the country. National parks in Hawaii and the desert southwest are getting hotter and drier.
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How Climate Change is Destroying Our National Parks
Huffington Post
The effects of climate change vary around the country. National parks in Hawaii and the desert southwest are getting hotter and drier.

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Chinese artist makes waves, and ice, to highlight environmental pollution - The Guardian (blog)

Chinese artist makes waves, and ice, to highlight environmental pollution - The Guardian (blog) | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
The Guardian (blog) Chinese artist makes waves, and ice, to highlight environmental pollution The Guardian (blog) Yin Xiuzhen tells me that when her work Washing River debuted, onlookers in the southern Chinese city of Chengdu asked the artist if...
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Peace Prize Winner: Wangari Maathai | PBS NewsHour | Jan. 25, 2005

Peace Prize Winner: Wangari Maathai | PBS NewsHour | Jan. 25, 2005 | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize, sits down with Jeffrey Brown about her ecology work and social activism.

Via Kathy Dowsett
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International Sea Turtle Society Calls on Mexico to Stop Endangered Sea Turtle Bycatch

International Sea Turtle Society Calls on Mexico to Stop Endangered Sea Turtle Bycatch | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
The International Sea Turtle Society passed a strongly worded resolution urging Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto to stop the high rates of bycatch of endangered North Pacific loggerhead turtles in commercial fisheries operating in Baja California Sur.

Via Kathy Dowsett
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Timely intervention accross the globe

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News - Study finds 'trillions' of pieces of plastic may be trapped in Arctic ice - The Weather Network

News - Study finds 'trillions' of pieces of plastic may be trapped in Arctic ice - The Weather Network | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Plastic is an integral part of modern society, but this

Via Kathy Dowsett
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Pretty Environmental Propaganda Posters from 1980s China - Slate Magazine (blog)

Pretty Environmental Propaganda Posters from 1980s China - Slate Magazine (blog) | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Pretty Environmental Propaganda Posters from 1980s China Slate Magazine (blog) Steven Zhang, who has researched environmental attitudes among factory owners in China, wrote last year in the Atlantic that his interviewees espoused a vision of...
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Twitter / ZFEP: Part of an SME or NGO w a ...

Twitter / ZFEP: Part of an SME or NGO w a ... | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
East Africa Climate Change Network.'s insight:

How NGOs can beneffit from such interventions.

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Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater: The Coolest Safari Stop (PHOTO) - Huffington Post

Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater: The Coolest Safari Stop (PHOTO) - Huffington Post | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater: The Coolest Safari Stop (PHOTO)
Huffington Post
Behold the beauty of this totally breathtaking hole in the earth!
East Africa Climate Change Network.'s insight:

The paradise made in Earth,East Africa region has amazing sites that needs to be explored.

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Plastics pollution: Biologist surveys ocean woes, students find a solution - MinnPost.com

Plastics pollution: Biologist surveys ocean woes, students find a solution - MinnPost.com | Water,lakes and seas. | Scoop.it
MinnPost.com Plastics pollution: Biologist surveys ocean woes, students find a solution MinnPost.com Since then its ideas have attracted major awards (including the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge's $700,000 first prize) and corporate contracts...
East Africa Climate Change Network.'s insight:
Plastic pollution and how to manage the polution.
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