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Posts from the ‘Environmental’ Category

  • March 28th, 2018

    Emission or Absorption?

    Tweet In an intriguing novel called Chemistry, by Weike Wang (who holds a chemistry degree), she writes, “A laser is colorful by emission. It is green because it emits light. It is not like a leaf that is green because it absorbs red light…In this way, a green laser is a purer form of color [...]

  • March 21st, 2018

    Hazardous Adsorbents, Part 4: Bioremediation

    Tweet Bioremediation — microbes eating oil spills — has taken the energy industry by storm. Oil companies love it because they can pretend oil spills are no longer a threat to the environment, and will just go away with nature’s help. But… The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of conservation of [...]

  • February 7th, 2018

    Hazardous Adsorbents, Part 3: Corn Cob

    Tweet Everybody loves corn on the cob. It’s a staple of summer picnics. What could be better? Corn on the cob is delicious. But corn cob, used as an adsorbent, is hazardous. For one, it’s biodegradable, which means it will break down and release whatever it has absorbed back into the environment — the worst [...]

  • January 10th, 2018

    Hazardous Adsorbents, Part 2: Coconut Husk

    Tweet Nutritionists have been singing the praises of coconut for years. Touted benefits of coconut oil, for instance, include everything from boosting immunity to balancing hormones, aiding digestion to beautifying skin and hair. Coconut water is a delicious, almost calorie-free beverage, and coconut butter, a yummy, heart-healthy alternative on toast. What a versatile fruit! But [...]

  • January 3rd, 2018

    Fatberg: A Bad Place to Live

    Tweet Many sweet little hamlets throughout the U.S. are called “burgs”: Harrisburg. Plattsburgh. Some are more famous than others. Gettysburg. Some are known for their steel mills. Or football teams. Pittsburgh. But there are some burgs/bergs where no one should live. Like Fatberg. “Fatberg” can be any town or city, anywhere in the world. Because [...]

  • December 27th, 2017

    OSHA and the EPA: Your “Support Staff”

    Tweet For anyone under 50, it may seem as though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have always existed. However, both government agencies were independently created in 1970, to keep the American people safer and healthier on the job, and to protect human health and the environment on [...]

  • December 20th, 2017

    Oil Crisis! Our Wildlife At Risk

    Tweet Sometimes, oil and animals mix. Consider how ducks produce an oily substance from their preen glands to create a waterproof barrier that protects their feathers. It’s why we call our oil-only sorbent socks and booms FiberDuck (in case wondering about the name was keeping you awake at night.) When it comes to oil spills [...]

  • December 13th, 2017

    Hazardous Adsorbents, Part 1: Peat Moss

    Tweet Peat moss seems pretty innocuous. It’s widely used in horticulture for packing plants, and for compost. There’s more of it in places like Ireland and Finland, known for their wetlands, than anywhere else on Earth. It’s just a harmless organic substance, right? That’s debatable. Or, we might say, depeatable. While peat moss (also known [...]

  • October 18th, 2017

    POTUS for WOTUS

    Tweet Last February, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army for Civil Works to review the Clean Water Rule and “publish a proposed rule for notice and comment rescinding or revising the rule.” As with all great government edicts, a schedule of public meetings ensued for WOTUS (Waters [...]

  • September 27th, 2017

    Forecast: Cloudy and Clear

    Tweet This is the Age of the Cloud, when the term that once referred to a billowing mass of water vapor wafting gently through the sky now means a virtual storehouse for every imaginable kind of data. We upload the contents of our devices to cyberspace, trusting we’ll be able to access what we need [...]