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A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Park et al. | Jun 27, 2022

A novel filtration model for microplastics using natural oils and its application to the environment

Recognizing the need for a method to filter microplastics from polluted water the authors sought to use nonpolar solvents, palm oil and palm kernel oil, to filter microplastics out of model seawater. By relying on the separation of polar and nonpolar solvents followed by freezing the nonpolar solvent, they reported that microplastics could be extracted with percentages ranging from 96.2% to 94.2%. They also provided an estimation to use this method as part of container ships to clean the Pacific Ocean of microplastics.

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The relationship between macroinvertebrates, water quality, and the health of Stevens Creek

Li et al. | Aug 18, 2021

The relationship between macroinvertebrates, water quality, and the health of Stevens Creek

Stevens Creek, which flows through Santa Clara County in California, provides a crucial habitat for federally designated threatened steelhead trout, with a portion of the trout’s diet being dependent on the presence and abundance of macroinvertebrates that inhabit the creek. In this article, the authors investigate how the water chemistry within the creek was associated with the abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrates, and subsequently the creek’s health. They conduct qualitative analysis of macroinvertebrates and water quality to obtain a general understanding of the health of Stevens Creek.

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Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

Van Note et al. | Dec 02, 2020

Comparing the Biodegradability of Petroleum-based Plastic with a Novel, Sustainable Bio-plastic Alternative

In this research, a novel bioplastic inclusive of bamboo tannins and chitosan is selected from more than 60 trial formula variations based on resulting strength, fatigue, and transparency attributes. The biodegradability of the finalized bioplastic is compared to that of conventional polyethylene, in addition to investigating its solubility and water absorbance. This research displays the potential of a legitimate, fully biodegradable plastic alternative to current marketplace bioplastics.

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Purification of Water by Aloe

Sharma et al. | Aug 19, 2016

Purification of Water by Aloe

The authors test the ability of aloe vera gel to purify water of four separate contaminants. Aloe reduced the levels of copper, iron, and phosphate, but not nitrate. Potential applications of this purification system are discussed.

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The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

Green et al. | Nov 29, 2018

The Effects of Post-Consumer Waste Polystyrene on the Rate of Mealworm Consumption

In a world where plastic waste accumulation is threatening both land and sea life, Green et al. investigate the ability of mealworms to breakdown polystyrene, a non-recyclable form of petrochemical-based polymer we use in our daily lives. They confirm that these organisms, can degrade various forms of polystyrene, even after it has been put to use in our daily lives. Although the efficiency of the degradation process still requires improvement, the good news is, the worms are tiny and themselves are biodegradable, so we can use plenty of them without worrying about space and how to get rid of them. This is very promising and certainly good news for the planet.

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Effect of Different Growth Media on Algae’s Ability for Carbon Dioxide Biofixation

Chaudhuri et al. | Oct 12, 2020

Effect of Different Growth Media on Algae’s Ability for Carbon Dioxide Biofixation

In this study, the authors investigate the effects of different algal growth media on algae's ability to perform carbon dioxide biofixation, or utilize carbon dioxide by fixing it into fatty acids within the cells. More specifically, carbon dioxide biofixation of Chlorella vulgaris was cultured in one of four media options and carbon dioxide was measured and compared to controls. The study results demonstrated that the use of media can enhance algae's capacity for biofixation and this has important implications for developing methods to reduce carbon dioxide in the environment.

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Kinetic Monitoring and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the Green Oxidation of (-)-Menthol to (-)-Menthone

Surapaneni et al. | Aug 06, 2020

Kinetic Monitoring and Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy of the Green Oxidation of (-)-Menthol to (-)-Menthone

In an effort to reduce the production of hazardous substances, green chemistry aims to make chemical processes more sustainable. One way to do so is changing solvents in chemical reactions. Here, authors assessed different “green” solvents on the oxidation of (-)-menthol to (-)-menthone using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, optimizing the solvent system for this reaction.

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Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Wang et al. | Mar 14, 2022

Friend or foe: Using DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found at home

Here the authors used morphological characters and DNA barcoding to identify arthropods found within a residential house. With this method they identified their species and compared them against pests lists provided by the US government. They found that none of their identified species were considered to be pests providing evidence against the misconception that arthropods found at home are harmful to humans. They suggest that these methods could be used at larger scales to better understand and aid in mapping ecosystems.

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The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Shu et al. | Nov 10, 2020

The external presence of running water influences the root growth of pea plants (Phaselous vulgaris)

Each year, invasive tree roots cause large amounts of damage to underground pipes. While this is usually due to leaks and cracks, tree roots can also invade pipes that are structurally sound. We are interested in investigating whether plant roots have an affinity towards flowing water, measured through mass, even when the running water is not in direct contact with soil. We tested this by creating a choice chamber with water running under one end and no stimulus on the other end. Overall, the masses of the roots growing towards flowing water were greater than the masses of the roots growing towards the end with no stimulus, showing that plant roots did have an affinity towards flowing water.

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