Friday, April 30, 2010
Image credit: Peter Etnoyer, Ph.D
Table 1. Global area of aquatic and terrestrial biomes. Oceanic basins, terrestrial landmasses, and marine and terrestrial biomes are listed in order of descending size. Marine biome area estimates are derived from recent peer-reviewed literature, except for seamounts and beaches, estimated as part of this study. All units are square kilometers. A biome is a major life zone characterized by similar biotic and physical characteristics.
Source: Peter Etnoyer, Ph.D
U.S. Falling in Global Adult Mortality Survey: Ranks 49th for Women and 45th for Men: Behind All of Western Europe
"The announcement of these projects, which follows another major project announced recently by SunEdison in Italy -- demonstrates our deep expertise as developers of a wide range of solar energy plants, from rooftop retail facilities to large, ground-mount utility-scale operations," said Carlos Domenech, president, SunEdison. "Given our financing capabilities and project skills, SunEdison plans to continue to expand rapidly in Italy and in our other targeted growth areas in the United States, Canada and other European countries."
SunEdison earlier announced a 72 MW photovoltaic solar plant to be built in northeastern Italy near the town of Rovigo as the largest solar energy plant in Europe.
To develop the Apulia projects, SunEdison signed a 47 million euro financing deal with NORD LB - Norddeutsche Landesbank -- a leading bank in Germany. Vinod Mukani, Head of Americas Solar Origination for NORD/LB, said "We are pleased to partner with SunEdison to provide financing for these projects and to support SunEdison in their development plans across the globe. This financing further highlights NORD LB's client focused strategy, advisory capabilities and its commitment towards renewable energy sector." Heiko Ludwig, Head of Energy Origination Europe for NORD/LB added, "Considering the intricate nature of the financing for the portfolio, NORD LB advised SunEdison on an efficient and financeable cross border structure for its Italian portfolio. The financing of renewable energies is one of the NORD LB Group's key areas of business growth and the partnership with SunEdison allows us to demonstrate again our leading position in project financing in the solar sector across the world."
"Our goal is to continue to increase our presence and our solar electric power interconnections in Italy over the course of the year," said Pancho Perez, General Manager of Europe and MENA Region for SunEdison. "We have very strong project finance and development capabilities and are continuing to expand our relationships with solar channel partners throughout Italy."
The SunEdison Lecce solar parks will generate power for more than 3,300 homes during their first year of operation while reducing carbon dioxide emissions that are equivalent to taking 2,000 cars off the road. Besides the dramatic environmental advantages, the new solar plants will also create construction and plant operating jobs in the region.
Seven of the Lecce plants are already fully operational and were grid connected and sold in the first quarter of 2010. The other five plants are under construction and expected to be completed and operational by the third quarter. The 47-million-euro financing deal with Nord LB covers the majority of the one-megawatt plants.
"Solar energy has a very bright future in Italy, and we are glad that SunEdison can be a partner in providing clean-energy solar solutions for the region by financing and completing these important projects," said Liborio Nanni, General Manager, SunEdison Italy
SunEdison is a global provider of solar-energy services. The company finances, installs and operates distributed power plants using proven photovoltaic technologies, delivering fully managed, predictably priced solar energy services for its commercial, government and utility customers. In 2009, SunEdison delivered more kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy than any other solar services provider in North America. For more information about SunEdison, please visit www.sunedison.com.
MEMC is a global leader in the manufacture and sale of wafers and related intermediate products to the semiconductor and solar industries. MEMC has been a pioneer in the design and development of silicon wafer technologies for 50 years. With R&D and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, MEMC enables the next generation of high-performance semiconductor devices and solar cells. Through its SunEdison division, MEMC is also a developer of solar power projects and North America's largest solar energy services provider.
MEMC's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "WFR" and is included in the S&P 500 Index. For more information about MEMC, please visit www.memc.com.
About NORD/LB (Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentale)
Based in Hannover, Germany, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentale (Nord/LB) has grown to be Germany's tenth largest financial institution with roots going back to 1765. The Bank offers a range of financial services including Project Finance, Real Estate Lending, Asset Backed Finance, Treasury and Capital Markets functions. The financing of renewable energies is one of the Nord/LB Group's key areas of business growth. With a volume of around 3.5 billion Euros, the Group is already one of the leading finance providers in this sector. Nord/LB has an excellent track record in the solar sector that spans the entire globe, from rooftop & ground mount solar projects in Germany, Canada and US, to larger ground mount solar farms as well as panel & glass manufacturing facilities. More information can be found at www.nordlb.com
Fusion Power and Gamma Ray Lasers May Be Possible with Purified Positronium Atoms Say UCR Physicists
Credit: Adam Maloof.
Credit: Nicholas Swanson-Hysell
The Neoproterozoic era, which lasted from 1,000 million years ago to 542 million years ago, is divided into three distinct periods, beginning with the Tonian, extending through the Cryogenian and ending with the Ediacaran. The Cryogenian period is notable in Earth history for the extensive and repeated ice ages that took place, beginning with the massive Sturtian glaciation at the start of the period. This marked the first ice age on Earth in roughly 1.5 billion years, which is an unusually long time span between glaciations. Since the Cryogenian, Earth has endured an ice age about once every 100 to 200 million years.
Credit: Adam Maloof
Dr. Jalaloddin Ghanavy, the artificial trachea project executive, said that in this implant performed with no surgery, the fabricated trachea framework together with nanocapsules for release of growth and cellular differentiation factors were injected to damaged trachea.
He made the remarks in a news conference held for the announcement of Iranian scientists' success in artificial trachea implant by single-phase operation in human which was performed on a 29-year-old woman for the first time in the world.
"After injection of synthesized material, stem cells migrated to the framework by blood circulation and transformed to cartilaginous cells by growth factors", he added.
He reiterated that three days after the first step, a second injection containing matrix and other growth factors was given for epithelial cells which eventually resulted in repairing trachea organ on the injected framework.
According to the researchers, the next surgery plan is to transplant artificial trachea to people with such damaged trachea for whom there is no chance of repair by any kind of surgery. It is remarkable that this achievement is obtained as a result of 12 years research effort.
Also, Aliakbar Velayati, Masih Denshvari Hospital Chief, reiterated that the mentioned implant is performed for the first time in the world, saying, "This implant was performed with no need to surgery at two steps. It was performed to a sheep on 2008 which is alive now."
"It is a common practice to transplant trachea from brain dead people to patients in foreign countries. It causes immune system's reaction to the transplanted trachea and to reject it. To overcome this problem, immune system suppressing drugs with many side effects are used", he added.
The woman had traveled to foreign countries 10 years ago to mend the problem and had undergone two surgeries but unfortunately neither operation had worked for her, Velayati said.
Source: Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council
Nano-Titanium Dioxide Photocatalyst Provides Low Cost Method to Remove Agricultural Pesticides from Water
"We synthesized titanium dioxide nanoparticles of 6 to 11 nanometers by controlled hydrolysis of TiCl4 solution in both anatase and rutile phases. We studied the removal of Bentazon herbicide in the presence of TiO2 nanoparticles as photocatalyst and under UV-C irradiation and analyzed a number of determining factors in this process," Dr. Alireza Khataee, one of the researchers, said in an interview with the news service of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council.
"We also elaborated the kinetics of Bentazon herbicide removal by Langmuir-Hinshelwood model", Khataee added.
Noting that in the controlled hydrolysis method, it is possible to synthesize TiO2 nanoparticles in anatase, rutile, or amorphous form by controlling the conditions, he reiterated that the Anatase form of TiO2 has better photocatalytic properties than rutile one and calcinating its nanoparticles enhances photocatalytic properties through improving crystals quality.
"The results imply that using synthesized nanocatalysts shows better performance than their commercial type in removing Bentazon herbicide from contaminated waters," Khataee said.
He also mentioned that the organic derivatives of titanium have been used for the synthesis of TiO2 nanoparticles in most of the previous works whereas in the present study "we used TiCl4 as raw material".
Considering the high price of titanium organic derivatives and the fact that TiCl4 is one of the intermediate components in industrial production of TiO2 by chloride method, it seems promising to industrialize the present method with no problem.
The details of this research are published at Desalination, volume 249, pages 301-307, 2009.
The EARTH consortium, which is made up of top academic institutions, telecommunications service providers and component and infrastructure vendors, hopes to slash energy consumption by 50% between now and 2012. The project aims to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the ICT sector and facilitate the implementation of environmentally sustainable broadband wireless services.
The team will also play a key role in making European and international broadband infrastructures widely available in both existing and emerging markets.
The project partners say they will tackle the challenge by focusing on the energy efficiency of mobile networks at a comprehensive system level instead of assessing discrete network elements. They say that their approach will enable them to clinch energy savings in wireless network areas, as well as in the networks' components and radio interfaces.
Their work will result in the development of a new generation of energy-efficient network equipment and components. The EARTH partners will also shape deployment strategies that target better efficiency, and determine optimal energy-aware network management solutions.
The EARTH project is part of the EU's 'Network of the Future' initiative, which seeks to break down the structural limitations of the existing internet architecture - currently the infrastructure struggles to support so many applications and services for which it was simply not designed.
Ultimately, the Network of the Future will make the new generation of telecom infrastructure, network and internet technologies a reality, which in turn will lead to greater support for governments and various sectors including environment, transport, health and education.
'What makes EARTH so compelling is that it has the potential to deliver tangible benefits to society on a number of levels; reducing energy consumption of networks and their impact on environment, while making broadband wireless service available to a greater number of people in Europe,' said Dr Rainer Fechner, head of Bell Labs in Germany and a member of the management board of Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland, coordinator of EARTH. 'The value of our contribution derives from deep experience and innovations in both green technology and advanced wireless systems.'
The EARTH project brings together experts from Ericsson (Sweden), Ericsson Kommunikacios Rendszerek Kft (Hungary), Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Hungary), the University of Oulu (Finland), NXP Semiconductors (France), DOCOMO Communications Laboratories Europe GmbH (Germany), Telecom Italia S.p.A., the University of Surrey (UK), Dresden University of Technology (Germany), Interuniversitair micro-electronica centrum vzw (IMEC - Belgium), the Technical University of Lisbon (Portugal), TTI Norte SL (Spain), the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).