Engineers and Environment

Delhi surface drains-a beginning has been made to clean up

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 07, 2017

Blog
Delhi surface drains-a beginning has been made to clean up
Delhi has three major surface drains.  Najafgarh plus Supplementary, Shahadra and Barapullah.  Najafgarh traverses a length of 40 km from Dwaraka to Wazirabad with a catchment area of 374 sqkm.   According to the Central Pollution Control Board, almost 70 tributary drains join it and total 17,288 industries from across the Capital pour their effluents into it.  

Apparently, all the major drains of Delhi have not undergone a comprehensive desilting and cleaning process since their inception.  Delhi's drainage system was laid in 1976 by the Irrigation and Flood Department, taking into account the urbanisation limits upto 1981.   

Ayala Water and Ecology Limited has now been engaged by the Delhi Government to spruce up an 8-Km  stretch of the supplementary drain that joins Najafgarh drain and finally falls into the Yamuna.

Ayala  specializes in phytoremediation and constructive wetlands.   This involves planting specific shrubs and trees, besides placing elements like gravels and limestone, which will absorb chemicals and pollutants from homes and factories.  This will be an inexpensive, natural and benign method of cleaning the river.  

Besides the floating and sedimentary sludge and solid waste will be collected and treated suitably so that it can be recycled in the form of bricks or bio gas.  

Engineers and Environment

Trash Buster

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 09, 2016

Blog
In 2013, a teenage Dutch student named Boyan Slat came up with an idea to corral the ocean's plastic pile-up:  What if we could use natural ocean currents to gather bottles and bags inside long, floating barricades? He raised $2.2 million via crowd-funding for a research expedition and founded the Ocean Cleanup.  The organization aims to launch its barriers in 2020, with a goal to remove nearly half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch within 10 years. 
-artice in Fast Company Innovation by Design 2015

Engineers and Environment

Novel waste water treatment technology from IIT Bombay- Soil Bio technology

Posted by Siddharth Biyani on September 29, 2011

Blog

CAMUS‐SBT  is an  oxygenation  engine that outperforms  conventional  technologies

likeActivated Sludge Process (ASP), Sequential Batch  Reactor (SBR),  Membrane  Bio Reactor

(MBR)and Moving Bed Bio‐reactor (MBBR). Our technology harnesses a  special set  of

 bio‐chemical reactions  to deliver  the  oxygenation required for effluent treatment. 

 

In  conventional technologies,  aeration isachieved mechanically, which is very energy

intensive.  At higher ambient  temperatures (like inIndia) the solubility of oxygen in water

is  low, therefore  energy  requirements of mechanical  aeration  used by  conventional

technologyincreases.  Moreover, air contains only20% oxygen, the rest being nitrogen that

ispassed into water wastefully, further adding to process inefficiency.

 

CAMUS‐SBTresolves this problem  using a  bio‐chemical method  of  oxygenation, which

notonly uses the atmospheric oxygen, but also uses the  nitrogen  from the  atmosphere  in  a

specially  engineered natural  ecology  to achieve the desired level of purity.

 

In  addition conventional  technologiesgenerate  large  amount of  sludge  for which

additional  disposal facilities  have  to  becreated.  CAMUS‐SBT  does not  face  any such

problems.Theschematic of the process is shown below.  


Featuresof our technology:

 

  • ·         Low‐energy consumption

  • ·         All green natural process

  • ·         No moving  parts  apart from pumps

  • ·        No bio‐sludgeformation

  • ·         Efficient removal  of  COD and nitrogen

  • ·         Near drinking  water  quality after treatment

  • ·        Treatment  cost Rs  3‐5  per 1000L

  • ·        Garden likeambiance

  • ·         Bio‐tower designs  available for spaceconstrained areas.

  • ·        One time mediainstallation

  • ·         Long life

  • ·         Unskilled personnel  sufficient to operate

  • ·        No foul Odor

 

Varioususes of the technology

·        Sewage treatment plant(STP)  and industrial effluent treatment plant (ETP)applications.

·        Retrofit ofpre-existing STP/ETPs with SBT/CAMUS-SBT systems. 

·        Laundry EffluentTreatment for total water reuse. 

·        Distilleryspent-wash treatment. 

·        Coffee Effluenttreatment.

·        Hospitals waste water ,Hotels waste water,Municipal waste water can all be treated using SBT.

·        Design of zerodischarge air scrubbers for removal of waste noxious gases (Sulphur, NOx  

              and organic pollutants from Industrialprocesses). 

 

 

Common Mancan help

Currentlyaverage consumption of an individual per day is around 135 Liters per day (mayvary with climatic conditions) and it is increasing with the increasingstandards of living and to add to it our fresh water source are continuouslydepleting. Out of this 135 liters around 50% is being used for secondarypurposes like toilet flushing and bathing etc. which can easily be treated andrecycled which will save a lot of fresh water It’s high time now that we throwour water in the municipal sewer lines and depend on the government to takecare of it which is extremely difficult. The better approach can be to treatthe water locally at our housing complex or bungalows or your commercialcomplexes and reuse it for secondary purposes which doesn’t really requirefresh water sources .The recycled water can be used for gardening and flushingby providing a separate lines but people have a mental block for using therecycled water.

 

To Take aninitiative to recycle waste water in there facilities one has to do following

1.)   Assess the water consumption which can be doneby the total number of residents and multiplying by average water consumption.

2.)   Decide an area for the STP. Preferably itshould be an open area but not accessible to children

3.)   IF you wish to install SBT units the pleasemail us at vec@visionearthcare.com with theabove details .

4.)   It generally takes 2-3 months for a new SBTunit to be installed and get functional.

5.)   If you already have an STP working and if youwant to retrofit it then also please mail us and we will retrofit your existingplant using SBT

6.)   Typically SBT unit require 1-1.5 m2 per KLD(can be included under garden area and design is flexible)of sewage to treat withan operating cost of 3-4 Rs. Per KL

7.)   Various designs are available for spaceconstraint area and for hilly regions where laying of sewerage pipelines isdifficult.


Engineers and Environment

Application to identify trees

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 23, 2011

Blog


"Scientists have developed the first mobile app to identify plants by simply photographing a leaf. The free iPhone and iPad app, called Leafsnap, instantly searches a growing library of leaf images amassed by the Smithsonian Institution. In seconds, it returns a likely species name, high-resolution photographs and information on the tree's flowers, fruit, seeds and bark. ...
Leafsnap debuted in May, covering all the trees in New York's Central Park and Washington's Rock Creek Park. It has been downloaded more than 150,000 times in the first month, and its creators expect it to continue to grow as it expands to Android phones.

Smithsonian research botanist John Kress, who created the app with engineers from Columbia University and the University of Maryland, said it was originally conceived in 2003 as a high-tech aid for scientists to discover new species in unknown habitats. The project evolved, though, with the emergence of smartphones to become a new way for citizens to contribute to research.
..Leafsnap cost about $2.5 million to develop, funded primarily by a grant from the National Science Foundation. It will cost another $1 million to expand it within the next 18 months to cover all the trees of the United States, involving about 800 species.

Full Story on - San Jose Mercury News

Engineers and Environment

Intelligent Electricity

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 07, 2008

Blog

Intelligent Electricity

Have you ever wanted to view your electricity consumption at a click of a button and understand your total cost involved in consuming electricity? Have you ever wanted to manage your peak load efficiently and be responsive to utility’s Time of Day tariff programs? Have you ever wondered if you can somehow turn on / off your electrical appliances remotely?

connectgaia.com leverages advanced metering, sensor, proven IP communication technologies and a robust IT backbone to bring intelligence into electricity consumption. The solution integrates the power and internet highways. Ably supported by intelligent meters and a host of wireless sensors, connectgaia.com will empower electricity users to efficiently manage their power consumption over the web.

connectgaia units – gaiaeco (mother) and gaiacell (child) – with Demand Response capabilities, arm consumers with information on their electricity usage that in turn allows them to realign consumption patterns. By curbing their power use during peak periods, they not only save money but also help to ease the demands on power plants and distribution lines.

These connectgaia units though not energy efficiency devices in themselves, enable power users to set up informed energy efficiency and conservation measures by using state-of-art technology and sensor networks. connectgaia.com is the platform that will make possible an era of energy efficiency where better energy management is institutionalized and sustained among electricity customers.

source:http://www.connectgaia.com/wps/portal


 

Engineers and Environment

Solar illuminations -no electricity needed!

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 15, 2007

Blog

"Perfect for use as a festive decoration at Christmas time or use all year round to decorate trees, shrubs, parasols, and other outdoor items. Perfect for areas where electricity is unavailable or difficult to run wiring. That makes these solar string lights perfectly safe to use almost anywhere. The most important feature we wanted to ensure, was dusk to dawn illumination. Therefore we incorporated a powerful, but compact, solar panel and a high capacity battery all contained in a neat, weatherproof controller box, which has a removeable ground spike. In most applications these lights should run dusk to dawn after a full charge. In fact, after a full charge, during our tests, they were still functioning over 100 hours later without seeing any sunshine. These are probably the best solar string lights you will find so order your set now while stocks last! The 104 LED bulbs never need replacing. They automatically illuminate at dusk and switch off at dawn and come on an approximate 37’ cord. The controller allows several different modes, such as slow twinkle, fast twinkle, all on, slow sequence, fast sequence, reverse sequence etc. Available in three color choices, choose from a set of all white, or a set of white & blue, or a set of green, amber & red. Color of fixture is black."

Link

http://www.solarilluminations.com/acatalog/Solar_Christmas_Tree_Lights___Party_Light_String.html

 


Engineers and Environment

Solar power from satellites

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 13, 2007

Blog

 Solar Power from Satellites

At some point before 2050, satellites collecting solar power and beaming it back to Earth will become a primary energy source, streaming terawatts of electricity continuously from space. That’s if you believe a recent report from the Pentagon’s National Security Space Office, which says confidently that we will see “a basic proof-of-concept within 4-6 years and a substantial power demonstration as early as 2017-2020″.

It’s obvious in some ways: above the atmosphere, a solar cell receives about 40 times more energy per year than an equivalent site on the ground, due to the absence of atmospheric scattering and seasonal or nightly reductions in light.

The NSSO suggests that an orbiting spacecraft with solar panel arrays would be comparable to current ground-based installations spanning hectares and, eventually, a few square kilometres. Then that energy can be sent to the ground - using, the Pentagon suggests, a giant laser or microwave beam.

The report, Space Based Solar Power as an Opportunity for Strategic Security, suggests optimistically that one application will be the beaming of “energy aid” via satellite into conflict and disaster zones, minimising the human cost of resource wars and catastrophic events caused by global warming.

“The technology has been in development for a while,” says Joseph Rouge, associate director of the space office. “The truly hard and expensive part is going to be getting it into orbit. We’ll need regular launches and on-orbit robotic assembly systems. It’s a $10bn [£4.8bn] programme, but by 2050 it could deliver 10% of America’s power needs.”

Source: The Guardian
http://www.tinyurl.com/2lq8gx

Engineers and Environment

solar power

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 25, 2007

Blog

Solar power could be the world’s number one electricity source by the end of the century, but until now its role has been negligible as producers wait for price parity with fossil fuels, industry leaders say.

Once the choice only of idealists who put the environment before economics, production of solar panels will double both next year and in 2009, according to U.S. investment bank Jefferies Group Inc, driven by government support especially in Germany and Japan. 

Similar support in Spain, Italy and Greece is now driving growth in southern Europe as governments turn to the sun as a weapon both against climate change and energy dependence.


Subsidies are needed because solar is still more expensive than conventional power sources like coal, but costs are dropping by around 5 percent a year and "grid parity," without subsidies, is already a reality in parts of California.
Very sunny countries could reach that breakeven in five years or so, and even cloudy Britain by 2020.


"At that point you can expect pretty much unbounded growth," General Electric Co’s Chief Engineer Jim Lyons told the Jefferies conference in London on Thursday, referring to price parity in sunny parts of the United States by around 2015.


"The solar industry will eventually be bigger than wind."
The United States’ second largest company, GE is a big manufacturer of wind turbines and wants to catch up in solar, said Lyons.

Source: www.enn.com

Engineers and Environment

Retired Civil Engineer Norphel

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 09, 2007

Blog

For 15 years, Chewang Norphel, a retired civil engineer of Ladakh, has been building "artificial glaciers" to make life a little easier for the hard working but poverty-stricken farmers of Ladakh.  He uses a network of pipes to capture and channel precious snowmelt that would otherwise be wasted.  First, water from an existing stream is diverted through iron pipes to a shady area of the valley.  From there, the water flows out to a sloping hill at regular intervals along the mountain slope.  Small stone embsnkments impede the flow of water, creating shallow pools.  During the winter, as temperatures drop, the water in these pools freezes.  Once this cycle has been repeated over many weeks, a thick sheet of ice forms, resembling a glacier. 

Norphel says an artificial glacier scores over a natural one in many ways. " It is closer to the village and at a comparatively lower altitude. "

Norphel can be contacted at Tel: 01982-252151

Engineers and Environment

Computer tools for conservation

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 05, 2007

Blog


Computer tools for conservation


This tool — known as the "SWAP model," short for State Wildlife Action Plan — is unique: It considers a habitat’s numerous species all at once and displays the results in maps that are intuitively easy to grasp.  A cutting-edge, customized computer tool that takes 150 years of information on at-risk animals across Tennessee and marries that data to the latest in mapping software — geographic information systems (GIS) has been in use in the U.S.A.

The SWAP model incorporates 150 years of information on:

Animal sightings in Tennessee; Their preferred habitats; Threats to these animals (such as road construction or dam building); and Conservation actions known to counteract these threats. The software tracks 664 at-risk animals across the state — on land, in water, and in caves — with data mathematically weighted toward most recent sightings, species most at risk, and other key factors.

Then it produces maps that display color areas where at-risk species are proven to live and thrive. The darker the color, the more viable the habitat.  Part of what makes the SWAP model so innovative is that it turns the longstanding conservation strategy of preserving a habitat for the sake of a single rare species  on its head.

“That’s the old, standard way of conservation thinking,” “The SWAP model allows us to see all the at-risk species in an area that will benefit by removing certain threats or restoring habitat."

Another intriguing aspect of the SWAP model is its ability to project hypothetical scenarios. What if the Conservancy were to restore a farmland pasture to wooded wetlands, for instance? Would that help the at-risk species in the area?

The SWAP model can predict the outcome.

Read the full article at http://www.nature.org

http://tinyurl.com/39mlfw
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