New methods for better purification of wastewater

Before wastewater reaches recipient waters, nutrients must be removed in order to avoid eutrophication and large algal blooms, which may result in serious damage to animal and plant life. Robert Almstrand at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown in his thesis that better removal of nitrogen from wastewater can be achieved by providing the bacteria that purify the water with alternating high and low levels of nutrients.

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BioScapes: the beauty of nature

Sometimes a picture says it all, but occasionally a picture just fascinates you even though you’re not quite sure what you’re looking at. The pictures from the Olympus BioScapes Competition fall into the latter category and we just couldn’t withhold … Continue reading

Carbon nanotubes have unexpected negative impact on environment

Carbon nanotubes are stronger than steel, harder than diamond, light as plastic and conduct electricity better than copper. It is no wonder they can be found in an increasing range of products, ranging from tennis rackets to solar cells and … Continue reading

Coral is losing its chemical war with seaweeds

As if anthropogenic pollution and overfishing isn’t damaging enough for coral reefs worldwide, now certain seaweeds seem determined to see the end of reefs as well. These macroalgae produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of reef-building coral or even kill … Continue reading

Biomaterials should be more important than biofuels

When talking about a biobased economy, most people think biofuel. And who can blame them, since gasoline alone is good for about half of global petroleum use? A transition from petroleum to biomass as a source for fuel would put … Continue reading

Making batteries greener and better with algae

Existing batteries are not known for their environmentally friendly components, since most contain heavily toxic chemicals. The much used lithium-ion batteries, best known for their use in cell phones and electric cars, for instance can contain pollutants that may decrease … Continue reading

Iron fertilisation geoengineering affects deep sea ecology too

Ocean iron fertilisation, one of the most discussed CDR geoengineering proposals, deliberately tries to stimulate biological activity in the upper ocean. New research shows this in turn affects ecology at the ocean floor too. Let’s just hope sea cucumbers don’t … Continue reading

Sulphur switch in algae new route to marine cloud geoengineering?

Marine bacteria produce two types of sulphur compounds as they eat dead algae biomass. The one, methanethiol, or MeSH, is cycled downwater into the food chain. The other forms a liquid aerosol, dimethylsulfide, or DMS. The latter plays an important … Continue reading