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FARM NEWS
To detoxify soil, just shoot lasers at it, study says
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Aug 29, 2017


Researchers have developed a new technique for ridding soil of pollutants: blasting the dirt with lasers.

Oil spills and other contaminant-releasing catastrophes are often thought of as water-based, but soils can also become tainted by harmful chemicals. Most Superfund sites -- places suffering from the aftereffects of extreme pollution -- are on dry land.

Traditional methods for removing harmful contaminants from large amounts of soil are expensive and time consuming. However, researchers at Northeastern University have developed a cheaper, more efficient way to detoxify soil.

The method involves the concentration of high-powered infrared lasers on contaminated soil.

In experiments, researchers were able to successfully remove DDE from artificial soil. DDE is a derivative of DDT, the infamous, cancer-causing pesticide banned in 1972. Because DDE glows when exposed to ultraviolet light, it's easy to track.

After researchers blasted contaminated soil with their high-powered laser, an ultraviolet scan revealed no glowing DDE molecules -- proof that the laser light broke down and eradicated the pollutant.

Traditionally researchers use chemical solvents and water to flush out toxins, but this often simply dilutes the problem, instead of getting rid of the contaminant. Plants and microbes can help breakdown pollutants, but the process is extremely slow.

"Other methods are either costly, labor intensive, have low efficiency, or take a long time," Northeastern researcher Ming Su said in a news release.

Su and her colleagues hope a plow-like device pulling laser-carrying fiber-optic cables could soon be used to detoxify contaminated soil. They detailed the potential for such a device in a new paper, published this week in the Journal of Applied Physics.

FARM NEWS
Scientists turn brewing waste into fresh yeast to make more beer
Washington (UPI) Aug 29, 2017
What's better than beer? More beer, of course. It's a motto scientists in Singapore have taken to heart. Researchers at Nanyang Technological University have found a way to turn brewing waste into nutrients for feeding yeast. That yeast can be used to brew - you guessed it - more beer. Yeast is essential to fermentation, the conversion of grain sugars into alcohol. Meanwhile, t ... read more

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FARM NEWS
Russian scientists invent device allowing them to sense kilometers into Earth

Nickel key to Earth's magnetic field, research shows

Man-made fossil methane emission levels larger than previously believed

NASA Mission to Study Atmospheric Disturbances from Marshall Islands

FARM NEWS
Nine Satellites in exactEarth's Real-Time Constellation Now in Service

IAI, Honeywell Aerospace team for GPS anti-jam system

India to launch satellite next week to fix malfunctioning navigation system

Japan launches satellite for better GPS system

FARM NEWS
Ancient trees reveal relationship between climate change, wildfires

Greenpeace steps up protest against Polish forest logging

Brazil's opening of Amazon to mining sets off alarm

Annual value of trees estimated at 500 million dollars per megacity

FARM NEWS
Technique could aid mass production of biodegradable plastic

Researchers identify cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst

How a bacterium can live on methanol

Cyborg bacteria outperform plants when turning sunlight into useful compounds

FARM NEWS
Moscow gets its first traffic signals powered by renewable energy

Perovskite solar cells go single crystal

Photosynthesis discovery could help design more efficient artificial solar cells

Solar hydrogen production by artificial leaves

FARM NEWS
Saudi Arabia shortlists 25 bidders for major wind plant

First foundations set for Baltic Sea wind farm

Wind energy blows up storm of controversy in Mexico

U.S. extends wind energy taproots into Zambia

FARM NEWS
In a first, U.S. ships coal to Ukraine

China to strictly control new coal-fired power capacity

Russian scientist says leave coal in the ground

Coal production gains slowing, U.S. report finds

FARM NEWS
Chinese Communist Party congress set for Oct 18: state media

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo's ashes buried at sea

On Chinese Valentine's Day, businesses woo 'single dogs'

Steer clear of screens and self-abuse, Chinese recruits told




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