Soil-powered fuel cell promises cheap, sustainable water purification

Soil-powered fuel cell promises cheap, sustainable water purification

Soil microbial fuel cells as designed by researchers at the University of Bath. Credit: University of Bath

Engineers at the University of Bath have shown that it’s possible to capture and use energy created by the natural reactions occurring in microorganisms within soil.

A team of chemical and electrical engineers has demonstrated the potential of cheap, simple “soil microbial fuel cells” (SMFCs), buried in the earth to power an electrochemical … [more…]

Sea-level rise linked to higher water tables along California coast

Sea-level rise linked to higher water tables along California coast

Credit: University of Arkansas

In the first comprehensive study of the link between rising sea levels and inland water tables along the California coast, researchers found an increased threat to populated areas already at risk from rising water tables, and the possibility of flooding in unexpected inland areas.

In the new study, researchers modeled the effects of rising sea level along the entire California coastline. While results varied with local … [more…]

“Safe” levels of thyroid inhibitor in tap water much lower than thought

Yet another study demonstrating that tap water may be quite unsafe to drink, and that yet another one of EPA/FDA regulations on “safe” levels of a potent thyroid-inhibiting contaminant in drinking water are nothing more than wishful thinking. Namely, the study below claims that the levels of perchlorate in drinking water defined as safe by the EPA/FDA are an order of magnitude higher than what is considered “acceptable” risk, and … [more…]

Aluminum may affect lead levels in drinking water

Researchers find aluminum in water could affect lead’s solubility — in certain cases

It is not uncommon to find aluminum in municipal water systems. It’s part of a treatment chemical used in some water treatment processes. Recently, however, it has been discovered in lead scale, deposits that form on lead water pipes.

The aluminum presence in pipes is both unsurprising and, in the quantities researchers saw in water pipes, not … [more…]

Nanocellulose used to remove microplastics from water

Nanocellulose used to remove microplastics from water

Photo: A scanning electron microscope image shows microplastic particles (measuring 100 nanometers each) attached to the nanocellulose "mesh" VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

While no one likes seeing plastic waste floating in our waterways, tiny unseen "microplastic" particles are also a threat to the aquatic environment – and to human health. A new study now suggests that a material known as nanocellulose could be used to remove them from … [more…]