Archive for the ‘economics’ category: Page 8

Aug 3, 2022

World’s first wind turbine with recyclable blades is up and spinning

Posted by in categories: economics, sustainability

Separating the resin, fiberglass, and wood, among others, is achieved through using a mild acid solution. The materials can then go into the circular economy, creating new products like suitcases or flat-screen casings without the need to call on more raw resources.

The RecyclableBlade technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, and the blades were manufactured in Hull in the UK (pictured above). The nacelles were produced and installed in Cuxhaven, Germany. Siemens Gamesa has a plan to make all of its wind turbine blades fully recyclable by 2030 and all of its wind turbines fully recyclable by 2040.

Aug 3, 2022

Why Quantum Money Could Replace Blockchain-Based Cryptocurrencies

Posted by in categories: blockchains, cryptocurrencies, economics, energy, quantum physics

A new type of quantum money could make energy-sapping blockchains obsolete, say researchers.

Aug 3, 2022

Red mud is piling up. Can scientists figure out what to do with it?

Posted by in categories: chemistry, economics, food, sustainability

Practical and glamorous, aluminium is prized for making products from kitchen foil and beverage cans to Tesla Roadsters and aircraft. But the silvery metal—abundant, cheap, lightweight, and corrosion resistant—has a dark side: red mud. This brownish red slurry, a caustic mishmash of metal-and silicon-rich oxides, often with a dash of radioactive and rare earth elements, is what’s left after aluminum is extracted from ore. And it is piling up. Globally, some 3 billion tons of red mud are now stored in massive waste ponds or dried mounds, making it one of the most abundant industrial wastes on the planet. Aluminum plants generate an additional 150 million tons each year.

Red mud has become trouble looking for a place to happen. In 2010, an earthen dam at one waste pond in Hungary gave way, unleashing a 2-meter-high wall of red mud that buried the town of Ajka, killing 10 people and giving 150 severe chemical burns. (See more on the dangers posed by waste dams.) Even when red mud remains contained, its extreme alkalinity can leach out, poison groundwater, and contaminate nearby rivers and ecosystems. Such liabilities, as well as growing regulatory pressure on industry to develop sustainable practices, have catalyzed global efforts to find ways to recycle and reuse red mud. Some researchers are developing ways to extract the valuable rare earth metals, whereas others turn the mud into cement or bricks.

“There is hope here,” says Yiannis Pontikes, a mechanical engineer at KU Leuven. But economic and marketing hurdles remain, and “the clock is ticking” as regulators consider new controls, says Efthymios Balomenos, a metallurgical engineer at the National Technical University of Athens. “At some point we will not be able to produce waste. So, there is an urgent need to make changes.”

Continue reading “Red mud is piling up. Can scientists figure out what to do with it?” »

Aug 2, 2022

Chipmaking giant TSMC ‘non-operable’ if China invades Taiwan

Posted by in category: economics

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) Chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) has warned that the economies on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will plunge into turmoil should China invade Taiwan.

CNN on Monday (Aug. 1) published footage of a video interview with Liu, titled “Can China afford to attack Taiwan?” in which Liu noted chipmaking will no longer be “the most important thing we should be worried about” if Beijing were to attack Taiwan.

Still,“Nobody can control TSMC by force,” Liu said, when asked about the company’s perceived reputation as a “shield” given its significance. TSMC factories will be rendered “non-operable” in the event of a Chinese attack because the sophisticated manufacturing facilities depend on real-time connections with the outside world, with Europe, U.S., and Japan, he reckoned.

Aug 1, 2022

Better parks, cleaner rivers: How Pa. will spend a ‘generational’ $765 million for conservation and environmental programs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, food, sustainability

Under the state budget passed last week, Pennsylvania’s conservation programs will receive a one-time, pandemic-related federal booster shot of $765 million for state parks, forests, streams, open space, farms, and home energy efficiency — an amount one environmental advocate called “generational.”

The funding means three new state parks, one possibly in the Philadelphia region, as well as a new ATV park, though locations haven’t been announced. The money, which is in addition to regular yearly budget funding, comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a $1.9 trillion federal economic stimulus bill signed by President Joe Biden last year as part of COVID-19 relief.

The ARPA funds, combined with an additional $56 million from the state’s Oil and Gas Lease Fund, and a $12 billion state surplus, mean that agencies routinely faced with declining or stagnant spending plans are suddenly getting a big lift.

Continue reading “Better parks, cleaner rivers: How Pa. will spend a ‘generational’ $765 million for conservation and environmental programs” »

Jul 29, 2022

Economic losses from weather-related events, 1970–2060

Posted by in categories: climatology, economics

This graph shows the worldwide economic losses from weather-related events, from 1970 through to the present day, with a future trend projected out to 2060.

The data here is from Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, and is adjusted for inflation at 2021 prices. It excludes non-weather disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

A significant gap exists between the total economic damages and the losses protected by insurance. For example, the worldwide figure for weather-related disasters in 2021 amounted to $233.27 billion, of which insurance covered “only” $101.12 billion.

Jul 27, 2022

China plans to build world’s largest water canal from Three Gorges Dam to Shanghai

Posted by in categories: economics, food

To boost economic activity and food output, China’s ambitious project takes off and might take a decade or more to be completed.

Jul 25, 2022

Why 536 was ‘the worst year to be alive’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, economics, food

Ask medieval historian Michael McCormick what year was the worst to be alive, and he’s got an answer: “536.” Not 1,349, when the Black Death wiped out half of Europe. Not 1918, when the flu killed 50 million to 100 million people, mostly young adults. But 536. In Europe, “It was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year,” says McCormick, a historian and archaeologist who chairs the Harvard University Initiative for the Science of the Human Past.

A mysterious fog plunged Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia into darkness, day and night—for 18 months. “For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during the whole year,” wrote Byzantine historian Procopius. Temperatures in the summer of 536 fell 1.5°C to 2.5°C, initiating the coldest decade in the past 2,300 years. Snow fell that summer in China; crops failed; people starved. The Irish chronicles record “a failure of bread from the years 536–539.” Then, in 541, bubonic plague struck the Roman port of Pelusium, in Egypt. What came to be called the Plague of Justinian spread rapidly, wiping out one-third to one-half of the population of the eastern Roman Empire and hastening its collapse, McCormick says.

Historians have long known that the middle of the sixth century was a dark hour in what used to be called the Dark Ages, but the source of the mysterious clouds has long been a puzzle. Now, an ultraprecise analysis of ice from a Swiss glacier by a team led by McCormick and glaciologist Paul Mayewski at the Climate Change Institute of The University of Maine (UM) in Orono has fingered a culprit. At a workshop at Harvard this week, the team reported that a cataclysmic volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed ash across the Northern Hemisphere early in 536. Two other massive eruptions followed, in 540 and 547. The repeated blows, followed by plague, plunged Europe into economic stagnation that lasted until 640, when another signal in the ice—a spike in airborne lead—marks a resurgence of silver mining, as the team reports in this week.

Jul 24, 2022

Top Technologies that are Taking Us to Metaverse in 2022

Posted by in categories: business, economics, virtual reality

View insights.

The existence of ethical concerns is precisely why it’s important for business owners to understand the different technologies driving the Metaverse forward and what impact they may have on users, the environment, and our society. By understanding these technologies, businesses can find new ways to enrich our society with constructive uses of virtual reality connectivity that enrich our world and keep the digital economy booming.

In addition, understanding these technologies is important because as more advanced techniques are developed for use in Metaverse projects, the average cost of US$48,000 for app design in the USA will undoubtedly go up. Business owners need to understand what they need to focus on when planning their next move.

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Jul 24, 2022

A Green Hydrogen Economy Depends on This Little-Known Machine

Posted by in categories: economics, futurism

Electrolyzers are machines that have a big future.

The electrolyzer, obscure for decades, sees its sales soar. Here’s how the technology works.

Continue reading “A Green Hydrogen Economy Depends on This Little-Known Machine” »

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