Craft beer waste saves Montana town $1M for wastewater treatment

February 18, 2020 by  
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A Montana town has found a money-saving solution to its sewage and wastewater treatment expenses, thanks to a nearby craft brewery. The innovation caught the eye of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which provided the town and its water reclamation facility an Honorable Mention accolade in one of the federal agency’s annual awards. Havre, Montana has a population of 10,000. Its 40-year-old water reclamation facility, as the EPA has described, “needed upgrades to help meet their final ammonia and residual chlorine limits,” while processing more than 6 million gallons of water . Related: EWG warns ‘forever chemicals’ are contaminating US drinking water at levels far worse than expected Unfortunately, with more than 10 breweries nearby, the wastewater generated further increased because beer waste is “rich in yeast, hops and sugar.” These contents are known to skew the microbial activity process that removes both nitrogen and phosphorus from the water as it is being treated. In short, if nitrogen and phosphorus are not removed before the treated water enters the drain-off into estuaries, then bacterial and algal blooms will arise. These unwanted blooms would disturb an estuary’s water chemistry enough to adversely affect the ecosystem. Engineering consultant Coralyn Revis offered a paradigm shift to solve the issue. “If we can use [brewery waste] correctly and put it in the right spot, it’s very beneficial to the process,” Revis said. “This is super-simplified, but like, if they’re eating their french fries, they need a little ketchup with it. So to get the nitrate out, you dose a little carbon, and the bugs are happier.” Havre’s wastewater plant manager, Drue Newfield, sought Michael Garrity, Triple Dog Brewing Company’s owner, to source leftover barley for feeding the water treatment microbes. The spent barley was used as a substitute for the chemical alum, an aluminum-sulfate solution. The joint endeavor saved the community from investing an additional $1 million in upgrades to the water treatment plant. “To further enhance the biological phosphorus removal process, 10 gallons of waste barley mash from a local brewery gets added daily as an external source of carbon and volatile fatty acid supplement,” the EPA explained. “These improvements have allowed the facility to continuously meet all permit effluent limits and has significantly improved the operability, reliability and treatment capability of the facility. These upgrades have greatly improved the quality of wastewater effluent discharged to the Milk River, particularly with respect to nutrient levels and ammonia toxicity.” The endeavor has been federally acknowledged as a creative and successful example for integrating community involvement at solving water quality infrastructure challenges in four key areas: public health, economy, sustainability and innovation. Via NPR , Core77 and EPA Image via Manfred Richter

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Craft beer waste saves Montana town $1M for wastewater treatment

Sustainable city block in Hamburg goes for gold in energy-efficiency

February 18, 2020 by  
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In Hamburg’s HafenCity district, German architecture firm blauraum Architekten has recently completed the KPTN, a new city block that fits about a dozen different functions under one roof. Inspired by the storehouses of Hamburg’s historic Speicherstadt, the mixed-use development comprises five warehouse-like brick buildings engineered for energy savings and long-term adaptability. With energy consumption levels significantly below those mandated by the German Energy Conservation Directive, EnEV 2009, the project has been entered for the HafenCity (Gold) certificate, an environmental accolade. Conceived as a “city within the city,” the KPTN comprises a cinema, the Hafenbühne stage, restaurants, bars, the Pierdrei hotel, shops, a public underground car park and 220 free and subsidized apartments with access to rooftop playgrounds and a landscaped inner courtyard . The residences range from studio apartments to three- or four-room apartments for families. Despite the diverse program, the open and flexible development that is spread over seven to eight stories — with two floors located underground — presents as a unified whole. Related: Kuehn Malvezzi tops a brick office building in Germany with an energy-efficient greenhouse “The KPTN could be seen as a modern hybrid city warehouse that is able to respond to changing requirements,” the architects explained. “Small apartments can be combined to form larger units and shop areas can be flexibly subdivided. Sustainable building is thus defined as long-term adaptability . The materials were selected with a view to a long service life: durable, weather- and abrasion-resistant surfaces and low-maintenance windows and door frames, reversible connection methods of components that can easily be replaced.” To further future-proof the development, the architects surrounded the hotel and cinema complex with a flood protection balcony. Resident comfort is elevated with innovative HafenCity windows with fixed solar screens, soundproof glazing for the sliding doors and operable windows to promote natural ventilation . + blauraum Architekten Photography by Marcus Bredt via blauraum Architekten

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Sustainable city block in Hamburg goes for gold in energy-efficiency

These floating jellyfish gardens purify polluted water and air while growing food

October 13, 2016 by  
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Janine Hung created the Jellyfish Lodge as a solution to problems plaguing the world’s waterways. The solar-powered structures feature interior gardens that flourish while filtering polluted water. The jellyfish’ long tentacle arms collect drifting trash without harming wildlife. They also test water for toxicity and begin the process of treating water though unique microbial digestion chambers. Once it is purified, water is returned to the surrounding environment. Related: Biodesign Competition winners announced – algae takes center stage The aquaponic gardens grow food while purifying the air with an electrostatic system. The project would encourage nearby residents to maintain the lodges while reaping the benefits of the food grown inside. The Jellyfish Lodge received an Honorable Mention in this year’s Biodesign Competition . + Janine Hung Images via Janine Hung

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These floating jellyfish gardens purify polluted water and air while growing food

Egyptian researchers discover a way to grow forests in the desert with sewage

August 25, 2016 by  
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Desertification is a major issue throughout Africa, but there’s a simple way to stop the spread of deserts into fertile land: planting forests. The problem is that in the regions hardest hit by the phenomenon, there simply isn’t enough clean water to properly nurture the trees and keep them healthy. But an innovative project in Egypt proves that it can be done using repurposed wastewater instead of tapping into the sparse fresh water supply. The trees grown in the forest are thriving, and in fact, the eucalyptus trees have been found to produce wood at four times the rate of pine plantations in Germany. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOSFKGay5Hg Located about two hours from Cairo, the Serapium forest is part of a program initiated by the Egyptian government in the 90s. The 200-hectare plantation is home to a variety of native and non-native trees, including commercially valuable species like eucalyptus and mahogany. Though the soil in this area would normally be too devoid of nutrients to support new tree growth, researchers have found that by watering the trees with sewage effluent , the plants are able to flourish. The wastewater provides so many nutrients that additional fertilizer isn’t even necessary. Related: The Great Green Wall of Africa could fight desertification and poverty The sewage used to water these trees is at stage two in the treatment process . In the first stage, mechanical filters are used to remove dirt and garbage from the water. In the second stage, oxygen and microbes are added to decompose the organic material in the water. This leaves a fluid rich in phosphates and nitrogen, a mixture similar to that found in commercial fertilizers . Normally, this wouldn’t be used to water crops – the amount of fertilizers in the water would be excessive for some plants, and the bacteria in the water could potentially contaminate fruits and vegetables. However, in areas where nothing is grown for human consumption, it’s perfectly safe to use. In as few as 15 years, the trees in the plantation are ready to harvest with a production of 350 cubic meters of wood per hectare. By contrast, German pines would take around 60 years to reach the same level of production. So not only are the plantations helping Egypt retain its fertile land, but they’re also producing a valuable natural resource which would otherwise need to be imported from other nations. Related: South African insurance company backs tree-planting effort to reduce effects of drought It’s estimated that a whopping 650,000 hectares of the Egyptian desert could be converted to wood production if the country were to use 80% of its effluent for the cause. Right now, however, Egypt isn’t even close – and that’s primarily due to a lack of funding. However, it’s possible the nation might be able to use money from the UN’s Green Climate Fund or through private forestry companies. Via Deutsche Welle Images via Deutsche Welle/Oliver Ristau

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Egyptian researchers discover a way to grow forests in the desert with sewage

Parabosol is a portable solar-powered water treatment system for remote areas

April 11, 2016 by  
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Over 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water globally. Although clean water is a basic human right, it continues to be a growing epidemic in the developing world, predominantly in remote communities. Hakan Gürsu of Designnobis devised the Parabosol , a portable solar-powered water purification system for use in remote areas. The system filters and purifies drinking water using a parabolic mirror that boils contaminated water at up to 400 degrees celsius. After boiling, a set of sand and carbon filters catch sand particles and remove odor dissolved gases. Parabosol can clean up to 170 liters of water in a single use. The project was honored with the silver award at the 2014-2015 A’ Design Awards, and it was also a nominee in Design Index 2015. + Parabosol The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Parabosol is a portable solar-powered water treatment system for remote areas

The UK prepares to fire up the largest floating solar farm the world has ever seen

March 1, 2016 by  
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Soon, the United Kingdom will fire up the world’s largest floating solar farm . Over 23,000 solar panels will be floated on a reservoir about 20 miles southwest of London, generating renewable energy to power local water treatment plants. The $8.3 million project has been in planning and development for more than five years and is now just weeks away from completion. Read the rest of The UK prepares to fire up the largest floating solar farm the world has ever seen

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The UK prepares to fire up the largest floating solar farm the world has ever seen

New municipal building in Stockholm will look and act just like a greenhouse

March 1, 2016 by  
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The Fuel Station of the Future will wirelessly charge your self-driving car with solar energy

March 1, 2016 by  
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Self-driving cars are on the rise, and half of all vehicles in the US will be electrified by the year 2050. To accommodate these new technologies Nissan and Foster + Partners just unveiled the Fuel Station of the Future – complete with solar panels, wireless EV chargers , and self-parking technology. Read the rest of The Fuel Station of the Future will wirelessly charge your self-driving car with solar energy

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The Fuel Station of the Future will wirelessly charge your self-driving car with solar energy

NASA inks first contract for the supersonic passenger jet of our dreams

March 1, 2016 by  
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Nearly 70 years ago, pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 rocket plane (currently on display at the Smithsonian). Now, NASA has announced they will build on that historic flight with a contract to design a supersonic passenger jet. Read the rest of NASA inks first contract for the supersonic passenger jet of our dreams

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NASA inks first contract for the supersonic passenger jet of our dreams

Researchers create nanoparticles that scrub polluted water at an accelerated rate

November 27, 2015 by  
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Clean water is a need shared by just about every inhabitant of planet Earth, and that resource is getting increasingly difficult to come by. But a new technology developed by California nanoscientists could help purify polluted water with greater speed and lower costs. Phys.org reports that a team of researchers from California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA have uncovered a method to de-pollute water using enzymes that can get rid of multiple pollutants at the same time – while cutting risks to health and the environment. Read the rest of Researchers create nanoparticles that scrub polluted water at an accelerated rate

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