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Archive for June 30th, 2007

GIANT MICROWAVE TURNS PLASTIC BACK TO OIL

Posted in Clean Energy, Eco Warriors, News Brief on June 30th, 2007

oil1.jpg A US company is taking plastics recycling to another level – turning them back into the oil they were made from, and gas.

All that is needed, claims Global Resource Corporation (GRC), is a finely tuned microwave and – hey presto! – a mix of materials that were made from oil can be reduced back to oil and combustible gas (and a few leftovers).

Key to GRC’s process is a machine that uses 1200 different frequencies within the microwave range, which act on specific hydrocarbon materials. As the material is zapped at the appropriate wavelength, part of the hydrocarbons that make up the plastic and rubber in the material are broken down into diesel oil and combustible gas.

GRC’s machine is called the Hawk-10. Its smaller incarnations look just like an industrial microwave with bits of machinery attached to it. Larger versions resemble a concrete mixer.

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SOURCE: New Scientist

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U.N. REPORT WARNS OF SPREAD OF DESERTS TO FERTILE LAND

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief on June 30th, 2007

CALLS FOR QUICK ACTION

Desert1.jpg Enough fertile land could turn into desert within the next generation to create an “environmental crisis of global proportions,” large-scale migrations and political instability in parts of Africa and Central Asia unless current trends are quickly stemmed, a new United Nations report concludes.

“The costs of desertification are large,” said Zafar Adeel of the United Nations University, who is based in Canada and is an author of the report, to be released Thursday.

“Already at the moment there are tens of millions of people on the move,” Dr. Adeel said in an interview. “There’s internal displacement. There’s international migration. There are a number of causes. But by and large, in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia this movement is triggered by degradation of land.”

The report’s authors say individual nations and international groups must collaborate to solve what has so far been an underrecognized crisis in the making, caused mainly by climate change. Water resources are overexploited because the poor have no other options, and climate change has exacerbated the cycle. Governments and wealthier countries must aid these populations to develop more sustainable livelihoods or suffer the consequences, the report says.

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