How the Oceans Can Clean Themselves: Boyan Slat

April 27th, 2013

Boyan Slat combines environmentalism, creativity and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability. Currently working on oceanic plastic pollution, he believes current prevention measures will have to be supplemented by active removal of plastics in order to succeed. With his concept called Marine Litter Extraction, Boyan Slat proposes a radical clean-up solution, for which he won the Best Technical Design award 2012 at the TU Delft.

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Where millions of tons of plastic kill ocean life and poison food chains, Boyan sees opportunities to combat this. While researching ocean plastics during school holidays, he performed analysis on various fundamental topics (including particle sizes, plastic/plankton separation and the amount of plastic in the oceans), leading up to the first realistic concept for cleaning up the world’s oceans.

Now a first-year Aerospace Engineering student at the TU Delft, Boyan has always been passionate about applying technology in an original way (at age fourteen he set a world record with launching 213 water rockets), and as an (underwater)photographer and videographer witnesses environmental degradation through his very own eyes.

Graphene Oxide – Solution to Toxic Groundwater

February 9th, 2013

Graphene oxide has a remarkable ability to quickly remove radioactive material from contaminated water, researchers at Rice University and Lomonosov Moscow State University have found.

A collaborative effort by the Rice lab of chemist James Tour and the Moscow lab of chemist Stepan Kalmykov determined that microscopic, atom-thick flakes of graphene oxide bind quickly to natural and human-made radionuclides and condense them into solids. The flakes are soluble in liquids and easily produced in bulk.

The experimental results were reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

The discovery, Tour said, could be a boon in the cleanup of contaminated sites like the Fukushima nuclear plants damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. It could also cut the cost of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas recovery and help reboot American mining of rare earth metals, he said.

Read more:
http://news.rice.edu/2013/01/08/another-tiny-miracle-graphene-oxide-soaks-up-radioactive-waste-2/



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