Science.gov

Sample records for sustainable micro products

  1. Sustainable hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Block, D.L.; Linkous, C.; Muradov, N.

    1996-01-01

    This report describes the Sustainable Hydrogen Production research conducted at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) for the past year. The report presents the work done on the following four tasks: Task 1--production of hydrogen by photovoltaic-powered electrolysis; Task 2--solar photocatalytic hydrogen production from water using a dual-bed photosystem; Task 3--development of solid electrolytes for water electrolysis at intermediate temperatures; and Task 4--production of hydrogen by thermocatalytic cracking of natural gas. For each task, this report presents a summary, introduction/description of project, and results.

  2. Holistic sustainable development: Floor-layers and micro-enterprises.

    PubMed

    Lortie, Monique; Nadeau, Sylvie; Vezeau, Steve

    2016-11-01

    Attracting and retaining workers is important to ensuring the sustainability of floor laying businesses, which are for the most part micro-enterprises (MiE). The aim of this paper is to shed light on the challenges MiE face in OHS implementation in the context of sustainable development. Participative ergonomics and user-centred design approaches were used. The material collected was reviewed to better understand the floor layers' viewpoints on sustainability. The solutions that were retained and the challenges encountered to make material handling and physical work easier and to develop training and a website are presented. The importance of OHS as a sustainability factor, its structuring effect, what distinguishes MiE from small businesses and possible strategies for workings with them are also discussed. PMID:26860740

  3. Developing micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for sustainability assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Dizdaroglu, Didem

    2015-09-15

    Sustainability assessment is increasingly being viewed as an important tool to aid in the shift towards sustainable urban ecosystems. An urban ecosystem is a dynamic system and requires regular monitoring and assessment through a set of relevant indicators. An indicator is a parameter which provides information about the state of the environment by producing a quantitative value. Indicator-based sustainability assessment needs to be considered on all spatial scales to provide efficient information of urban ecosystem sustainability. The detailed data is necessary to assess environmental change in urban ecosystems at local scale and easily transfer this information to the national and global scales. This paper proposes a set of key micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for monitoring the sustainability of residential developments. The proposed indicator framework measures the sustainability performance of urban ecosystem in 3 main categories including: natural environment, built environment, and socio-economic environment which are made up of 9 sub-categories, consisting of 23 indicators. This paper also describes theoretical foundations for the selection of each indicator with reference to the literature [Turkish] Highlights: • As the impacts of environmental problems have multi-scale characteristics, sustainability assessment needs to be considered on all scales. • The detailed data is necessary to assess local environmental change in urban ecosystems to provide insights into the national and global scales. • This paper proposes a set of key micro-level urban ecosystem indicators for monitoring the sustainability of residential developments. • This paper also describes theoretical foundations for the selection of each indicator with reference to the literature.

  4. Sustainable food consumption. Product choice or curtailment?

    PubMed

    Verain, Muriel C D; Dagevos, Hans; Antonides, Gerrit

    2015-08-01

    Food consumption is an important factor in shaping the sustainability of our food supply. The present paper empirically explores different types of sustainable food behaviors. A distinction between sustainable product choices and curtailment behavior has been investigated empirically and predictors of the two types of behavior have been identified. Respondents were classified into four segments based on their sustainable food behaviors: unsustainers, curtailers, product-oriented consumers, and sustainers. Significant differences between the segments were found with regard to food choice motives, personal and social norms, food involvement, subjective knowledge on sustainable food, ability to judge how sustainably a product has been produced and socio-demographics. It is concluded that distinguishing between behavioral strategies toward sustainable food consumption is important as consumer segments can be identified that differ both in their level of sustainable food consumption and in the type of behavior they employ. PMID:25913683

  5. Sustainability Analysis for Products and Processes

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sustainability Analysis for Products and Processes Subhas K. Sikdar National Risk Management Research Laboratory United States Environmental protection Agency 26 W. M.L. King Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45237 Sikdar.subhas@epa.gov ABSTRACT Claims of both sustainable and unsu...

  6. MicroResearch--Finding sustainable solutions to local health challenges in East Africa.

    PubMed

    Kollmann, Tobias R; Bortolussi, Robert; MacDonald, Noni E

    2015-06-01

    The urgent need in Africa for research capacity building has been recognized by African leaders and governments for many years. However, lack of large research funding opportunities has been seen as a major obstacle to improving research capacity in precisely those countries that need it the most. Microfinance has shown that a small infusion of capital can "prime the pump" to creative local economic productivity. In a similar way, MicroResearch has proven effective in promoting a similar bottom-up strategy to find sustainable solutions to local health challenges through local community focused research. Specifically, MicroResearch through hands-on didactic courses, mentoring and small-scale research funding promotes small research projects that improve research skills across the entire health-care provider spectrum to unleash a culture of inquiry. This in turn stimulates health care providers to identify the locally most relevant obstacles that need to be overcome and implement locally feasible and sustainable solutions. MicroResearch is a bottom-up strategy proven effective at finding sustainable solutions to local health challenges. PMID:25934328

  7. Product Lifecycle Management and Sustainable Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.; Grieves, Michael

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the use of product lifecycle management (PLM) in the general aerospace industry, its use and development at NASA and at Marshall Space Flight Center, and how the use of PLM can lead to sustainable space exploration.

  8. A thermally self-sustained micro-power plant with integrated micro-solid oxide fuel cells, micro-reformer and functional micro-fluidic carrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scherrer, Barbara; Evans, Anna; Santis-Alvarez, Alejandro J.; Jiang, Bo; Martynczuk, Julia; Galinski, Henning; Nabavi, Majid; Prestat, Michel; Tölke, René; Bieberle-Hütter, Anja; Poulikakos, Dimos; Muralt, Paul; Niedermann, Philippe; Dommann, Alex; Maeder, Thomas; Heeb, Peter; Straessle, Valentin; Muller, Claude; Gauckler, Ludwig J.

    2014-07-01

    Low temperature micro-solid oxide fuel cell (micro-SOFC) systems are an attractive alternative power source for small-size portable electronic devices due to their high energy efficiency and density. Here, we report on a thermally self-sustainable reformer-micro-SOFC assembly. The device consists of a micro-reformer bonded to a silicon chip containing 30 micro-SOFC membranes and a functional glass carrier with gas channels and screen-printed heaters for start-up. Thermal independence of the device from the externally powered heater is achieved by exothermic reforming reactions above 470 °C. The reforming reaction and the fuel gas flow rate of the n-butane/air gas mixture controls the operation temperature and gas composition on the micro-SOFC membrane. In the temperature range between 505 °C and 570 °C, the gas composition after the micro-reformer consists of 12 vol.% to 28 vol.% H2. An open-circuit voltage of 1.0 V and maximum power density of 47 mW cm-2 at 565 °C is achieved with the on-chip produced hydrogen at the micro-SOFC membranes.

  9. Evaluation Product : Micro-ARSCL

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Jensen

    2014-07-31

    Microscale data product based on the increased temporal resolution of the MMCRs which includes information about the local maxima in each Doppler spectrum, uncertainty estimates for the Doppler moments of the primary peak, Doppler moment shape parameters (e.g., skewness and kurtosis), and more accurate identification of radar clutter.

  10. Towards Sustainable Production of Biofuels from Microalgae

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Vishwanath; Tran, Khanh-Quang; Giselrød, Hans Ragnar

    2008-01-01

    Renewable and carbon neutral biofuels are necessary for environmental and economic sustainability. The viability of the first generation biofuels production is however questionable because of the conflict with food supply. Microalgal biofuels are a viable alternative. The oil productivity of many microalgae exceeds the best producing oil crops. This paper aims to analyze and promote integration approaches for sustainable microalgal biofuel production to meet the energy and environmental needs of the society. The emphasis is on hydrothermal liquefaction technology for direct conversion of algal biomass to liquid fuel. PMID:19325798

  11. Sustainable approach toward synthesis of green functional carbonaceous 3-D micro/nanostructures from biomass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tavangar, Amirhossein; Tan, Bo; Venkatakrishnan, Krishnan

    2013-08-01

    This study proposes a novel technique to synthesize functional carbonaceous three-dimensional (3-D) micro/nanocompounds from agricultural by-products using femtosecond laser irradiation. Biowastes of rice husk and wheat straw are value-engineered to carbonaceous structures in a single-step process under ambient conditions. Our results demonstrate that by controlling the laser fluence, structures with a variety of different morphologies from nanostructures to microstructures can be achieved. Also, the results indicate that altering the laser processing parameters influences the chemical composition of the synthesized structures. This sustainable approach presents an important step towards synthesizing 3-D micro/nanofibrous compounds from biowaste materials. These structures, as-synthesized or as nanocomposite fillers, can have practical uses in electronic, sensing, biological, and environmental applications.

  12. Sustainable approach toward synthesis of green functional carbonaceous 3-D micro/nanostructures from biomass.

    PubMed

    Tavangar, Amirhossein; Tan, Bo; Venkatakrishnan, Krishnan

    2013-01-01

    This study proposes a novel technique to synthesize functional carbonaceous three-dimensional (3-D) micro/nanocompounds from agricultural by-products using femtosecond laser irradiation. Biowastes of rice husk and wheat straw are value-engineered to carbonaceous structures in a single-step process under ambient conditions. Our results demonstrate that by controlling the laser fluence, structures with a variety of different morphologies from nanostructures to microstructures can be achieved. Also, the results indicate that altering the laser processing parameters influences the chemical composition of the synthesized structures. This sustainable approach presents an important step towards synthesizing 3-D micro/nanofibrous compounds from biowaste materials. These structures, as-synthesized or as nanocomposite fillers, can have practical uses in electronic, sensing, biological, and environmental applications. PMID:23924310

  13. Sustainable Multi-Product Seafood Production Planning Under Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simanjuntak, Ruth; Sembiring, Monalisa; Sinaga, Rani; Pakpahan, Endang J.; Mawengkang, Herman

    2013-04-01

    A multi-product fish production planning produces simultaneously multi fish products from several classes of raw resources. The goal in sustainable production planning is to meet customer demand over a fixed time horizon divided into planning periods by optimizing the tradeoff between economic objectives such as production cost, waste processed cost, and customer satisfaction level. The major decisions are production and inventory levels for each product and the number of workforce in each planning period. In this paper we consider the management of small scale traditional business at North Sumatera Province which performs processing fish into several local seafood products. The inherent uncertainty of data (e.g. demand, fish availability), together with the sequential evolution of data over time leads the sustainable production planning problem to a nonlinear mixed-integer stochastic programming model. We use scenario generation based approach and feasible neighborhood search for solving the model.

  14. Sustainability of three apple production systems.

    PubMed

    Reganold, J P; Glover, J D; Andrews, P K; Hinman, H R

    2001-04-19

    Escalating production costs, heavy reliance on non-renewable resources, reduced biodiversity, water contamination, chemical residues in food, soil degradation and health risks to farm workers handling pesticides all bring into question the sustainability of conventional farming systems. It has been claimed, however, that organic farming systems are less efficient, pose greater health risks and produce half the yields of conventional farming systems. Nevertheless, organic farming became one of the fastest growing segments of US and European agriculture during the 1990s. Integrated farming, using a combination of organic and conventional techniques, has been successfully adopted on a wide scale in Europe. Here we report the sustainability of organic, conventional and integrated apple production systems in Washington State from 1994 to 1999. All three systems gave similar apple yields. The organic and integrated systems had higher soil quality and potentially lower negative environmental impact than the conventional system. When compared with the conventional and integrated systems, the organic system produced sweeter and less tart apples, higher profitability and greater energy efficiency. Our data indicate that the organic system ranked first in environmental and economic sustainability, the integrated system second and the conventional system last. PMID:11309616

  15. Hydrazine Catalyst Production: Sustaining S-405 Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wucherer, E. J.; Cook, Timothy; Stiefel, Mark; Humphries, Randy, Jr.; Parker, Janet

    2003-01-01

    The development of the iridium-based Shell 405 catalyst for spontaneous decomposition of hydrazine was one of the key enabling technologies for today's spacecraft and launch vehicles. To ensure that this crucial technology was not lost when Shell elected to exit the business, Aerojet, supported by NASA, has developed a dedicated catalyst production facility that will supply catalyst for future spacecraft and launch vehicle requirements. We have undertaken a program to transfer catalyst production from Shell Chemical USA (Houston, TX) to Aerojet's Redmond, WA location. This technology transition was aided by Aerojet's 30 years of catalyst manufacturing experience and NASA diligence and support in sustaining essential technologies. The facility has produced and tested S-405 catalyst to existing Shell 405 specifications and standards. Our presentation will describe the technology transition effort including development of the manufacturing facility, capture of the manufacturing process, test equipment validation, initial batch build and final testing.

  16. Climate change and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Smith, Pete; Gregory, Peter J

    2013-02-01

    One of the greatest challenges we face in the twenty-first century is to sustainably feed nine to ten billion people by 2050 while at the same time reducing environmental impact (e.g. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, biodiversity loss, land use change and loss of ecosystem services). To this end, food security must be delivered. According to the United Nations definition, 'food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life'. At the same time as delivering food security, we must also reduce the environmental impact of food production. Future climate change will make an impact upon food production. On the other hand, agriculture contributes up to about 30% of the anthropogenic GHG emissions that drive climate change. The aim of this review is to outline some of the likely impacts of climate change on agriculture, the mitigation measures available within agriculture to reduce GHG emissions and outlines the very significant challenge of feeding nine to ten billion people sustainably under a future climate, with reduced emissions of GHG. Each challenge is in itself enormous, requiring solutions that co-deliver on all aspects. We conclude that the status quo is not an option, and tinkering with the current production systems is unlikely to deliver the food and ecosystems services we need in the future; radical changes in production and consumption are likely to be required over the coming decades. PMID:23146244

  17. Sustainable and efficient biohydrogen production via electrohydrogenesis

    SciTech Connect

    Cheng, S.; Logan, B.E.

    2007-11-20

    Hydrogen gas has tremendous potential as an environmentally acceptable energy carrier for vehicles, but most hydrogen is generated from nonrenewable fossil fuels such as natural gas. Here, the authors show that efficient and sustainable hydrogen production is possible from any type of biodegradable organic matter by electrohydrogenesis. In this process, protons and electrons released by exoelectrogenic bateria in specially designed reactors (based on modifying microbial fuel cells) are catalyzed to form hydrogen gas through the addition of a small voltage to the circuit. By improving the materials and reactor architecture, hydrogen gas was produced at yields of 2.01-3.95 mol/mol (50-99% of the theoretical maximum) at applied voltages of 0.2 to 0.8 V using acetic acid, a typical dead-end product of glucose or cellulose fermentation. At an applied voltage of 0.6 V, the overall energy efficiency of the process was 288% based solely on electricity applied, and 82% when the heat of combusion of acetic acid was included in the energy balance, at a gas production rate of 1.1 m{sup 3} of H{sub 2} per cubic meter of reactor per day. Direct high-yield hydrogen gas production was further demonstrated by using glucose, several volatile acids (acetic, butyric, lactic, propionic, and valeric), and cellulose at maximum stoichiometric yields of 54-91% and overall energy efficiencies of 64-82%. This electrohydrogenic process thus provides a highly efficient route for producting hydrogen gas from renewable and carbon-neutral biomass resources.

  18. A self-sustaining micro thermomechanic-pyroelectric generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravindran, S. K. T.; Huesgen, T.; Kroener, M.; Woias, P.

    2011-09-01

    Pyroelectric generators (PEGs) can be used for thermal energy harvesting and present a potential alternative to thermoelectric generators. However, in contrary to thermoelectric generators, the PEG principle requires thermal transients to stimulate the conversion process. Such suitable thermal transients are rare in nature, hindering the deployment. In this paper, we present a micro thermomechanic-pyroelectric energy generator (μTMPG) that converts a stationary spatial thermal gradient into the required transient temperature profile across the PEG. The measured power output of the μTMPG is 3 μW from a temperature difference of 79.5 K. However, with an optimized design, a power output of 39.4 mW is estimated for the same temperature difference.

  19. Globally sustainable manganese metal production and use.

    PubMed

    Hagelstein, Karen

    2009-09-01

    The "cradle to grave" concept of managing chemicals and wastes has been a descriptive analogy of proper environmental stewardship since the 1970s. The concept incorporates environmentally sustainable product choices-such as metal alloys utilized steel products which civilization is dependent upon. Manganese consumption is related to the increasing production of raw steel and upgrading ferroalloys. Nonferrous applications of manganese include production of dry-cell batteries, plant fertilizer components, animal feed and colorant for bricks. The manganese ore (high grade 35% manganese) production world wide is about 6 million ton/year and electrolytic manganese metal demand is about 0.7 million ton/year. The total manganese demand is consumed globally by industries including construction (23%), machinery (14%), and transportation (11%). Manganese is recycled within scrap of iron and steel, a small amount is recycled within aluminum used beverage cans. Recycling rate is 37% and efficiency is estimated as 53% [Roskill Metals and Minerals Reports, January 13, 2005. Manganese Report: rapid rise in output caused by Chinese crude steel production. Available from: http://www.roskill.com/reports/manganese.]. Environmentally sustainable management choices include identifying raw material chemistry, utilizing clean production processes, minimizing waste generation, recycling materials, controlling occupational exposures, and collecting representative environmental data. This paper will discuss two electrolytically produced manganese metals, the metal production differences, and environmental impacts cited to date. The two electrolytic manganese processes differ due to the addition of sulfur dioxide or selenium dioxide. Adverse environmental impacts due to use of selenium dioxide methodology include increased water consumption and order of magnitude greater solid waste generation per ton of metal processed. The use of high grade manganese ores in the electrolytic process also

  20. Sustainable and efficient biohydrogen production via electrohydrogenesis.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shaoan; Logan, Bruce E

    2007-11-20

    Hydrogen gas has tremendous potential as an environmentally acceptable energy carrier for vehicles, but most hydrogen is generated from nonrenewable fossil fuels such as natural gas. Here, we show that efficient and sustainable hydrogen production is possible from any type of biodegradable organic matter by electrohydrogenesis. In this process, protons and electrons released by exoelectrogenic bacteria in specially designed reactors (based on modifying microbial fuel cells) are catalyzed to form hydrogen gas through the addition of a small voltage to the circuit. By improving the materials and reactor architecture, hydrogen gas was produced at yields of 2.01-3.95 mol/mol (50-99% of the theoretical maximum) at applied voltages of 0.2 to 0.8 V using acetic acid, a typical dead-end product of glucose or cellulose fermentation. At an applied voltage of 0.6 V, the overall energy efficiency of the process was 288% based solely on electricity applied, and 82% when the heat of combustion of acetic acid was included in the energy balance, at a gas production rate of 1.1 m(3) of H(2) per cubic meter of reactor per day. Direct high-yield hydrogen gas production was further demonstrated by using glucose, several volatile acids (acetic, butyric, lactic, propionic, and valeric), and cellulose at maximum stoichiometric yields of 54-91% and overall energy efficiencies of 64-82%. This electrohydrogenic process thus provides a highly efficient route for producing hydrogen gas from renewable and carbon-neutral biomass resources. PMID:18000052

  1. Soil Quality as an Indicator of Sustainable Biofuel Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sustainable production of cellulosic feedstocks for second-generation biofuels must not degrade soil, water, or air resources. Critical functions such as (i) sustaining biological productivity, (ii) regulating and portioning soil water, (iii) storing and cycling nutrients, and (iv) filtering and buf...

  2. Developing a Decision Model of Sustainable Product Design and Development from Product Servicizing in Taiwan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huang, Yu-Chen; Tu, Jui-Che; Hung, So-Jeng

    2016-01-01

    In response to the global trend of low carbon and the concept of sustainable development, enterprises need to develop R&D for the manufacturing of energy-saving and sustainable products and low carbon products. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to construct a decision model for sustainable product design and development from product…

  3. Production Equipment and Processes for Bulk Formed Micro Components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paldan, N. A.; Arentoft, M.; Eriksen, R. S.

    2007-04-01

    Manufacturing techniques for production of small precise metallic parts has gained interest during recent years, an interest led by an industrial demand for components for integrated products like mobile phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), mp3-players and in the future for spare parts for the human body. Micro components have also found several applications within the medical, audiological and dental industry, applications that impose increased demands for biocompatible and corrosion-resistant materials and cleanness. So far these micro components have mainly been manufactured by traditional machining techniques or chemical etching. However, these traditional machining and etching techniques are generally not well suited for mass production of advanced micro components, due to handling problems, waste of expensive material and long machining times. This calls for development of a novel production system that can meet the demands for high productivity, high reliability, low cost, while being environmental acceptable. Bulk metal forming meets these demands to a great extent, but the technology cannot directly be transferred to the micro scale. A flexible machine system for bulk micro forming has been developed and used to form a number of industrial micro parts in aluminium and silver, with ongoing work on forming of titanium. Manufacture of billets by cropping has been examined using a simple test rig and an automatic cropping device has been designed, manufactured and tested.

  4. Introduction--the Socially Sustainable Egg Production project.

    PubMed

    Swanson, J C; Mench, J A; Thompson, P B

    2011-01-01

    The social and political pressure to change egg production from conventional cage systems to alternative systems has been largely driven by the desire to provide more behavioral freedom for egg-laying hens. However, a change of this magnitude can affect other components of the production system and may result in unintended outcomes. To understand this issue, a Socially Sustainable Egg Production project was formed to 1) conduct a holistic and integrated systematic review of the current state of knowledge about various aspects of sustainable egg production, and 2) develop a coordinated grant proposal for future extramural funding based on the research priorities identified from the review. Expert study groups were formed to write evidence-based papers in 5 critical sustainability areas: hen health and welfare, economics, food safety and quality, public attitudes, and environmental impacts. These papers were presented as the PSA Emerging Issues Symposium on Social Sustainability of Egg Production at the 2010 Poultry Science Association meeting. PMID:21177464

  5. Strategies for Sustainable Corn Stover Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Second-generation biofuels will be developed using cellulosic feedstocks rather than grain or oilseed crops that can also be used for food and feed. However, to be sustainable, soil and tillage management strategies used to produce those feedstocks must not irreversibly degrade soil resources. Our o...

  6. Wood Energy Production, Sustainable Farming Livelihood and Multifunctionality in Finland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huttunen, Suvi

    2012-01-01

    Climate change and the projected depletion of fossil energy resources pose multiple global challenges. Innovative technologies offer interesting possibilities to achieve more sustainable outcomes in the energy production sector. Local, decentralized alternatives have the potential to sustain livelihoods in rural areas. One example of such a…

  7. Sustainable Production of Chemicals--An Educational Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eissen, Marco

    2012-01-01

    "Sustainability" is a very general term and the question arises how to specify it within daily laboratory work. In this regard, appropriate metrics could support a socially acceptable, ecological and economic product development. The application of metrics for sustainability should be strengthened in education, because they do not belong to…

  8. How "Sustainability" is Changing How We Make and Choose Products

    SciTech Connect

    Cheryl O'Brien

    2006-07-01

    What does Sustainability mean, and why should people in the thermophysical properties business care? This paper will describe sustainability in the context of product development, which is where much of the buzz is currently being generated. Once described, it will discuss how expectations for Sustainability are changing product lines, and then discuss the controversial issues now emerging from trying to measure Sustainability. One of the most organized efforts in the U.S. is the U.S. Green Building Council revolutionizing how the built environment is conceptualized, designed, built, used, and disposed of - and born again. The appeal of the US Green Building Council is that it has managed to checklist how to "do" Sustainability. By following this checklist, better described as a rating system, a more Sustainable product should be achieved. That is, a product that uses less energy, less water, is less noxious to the user, and consumes fewer resources. We care because these Sustainable products are viewed as preferable by a growing number of consumers and, consequently, are more valuable. One of the most interesting aspects of the Sustainability movement is a quantitative assessment of how sustainable a product is. Life Cycle Assessment techniques (not to be confused with life cycle economic costs) developed since the early 1990s are gaining ground as a less biased method to measure the ultimate "bad" consequences of creating a product (depletion of natural resources, nutrification, acid rain, air borne particulates, solid waste, etc.). For example, one assertion is that these studies have shown that recycling can sometimes do more environmental harm than good.

  9. Review and appraisal of concept of sustainable food production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brklacich, Michael; Bryant, Christopher R.; Smit, Barry

    1991-01-01

    Environmental degradation, competition for resources, increasing food demands, and the integration of agriculture into the international economy threaten the sustainability of many food production systems. Despite these concerns, the concept of sustainable food production systems remains unclear, and recent attempts to appraise sustainability have been hampered by conceptual inconsistencies and the absence of workable definitions. Six perspectives are shown to underpin the concept. Environmental accounting identifies biophysical limits for agriculture. Sustained yield refers to output levels that can be maintained continuously. Carrying capacity defines maximum population levels that can be supported in perpetuity. Production unit viability refers to the capacity of primary producers to remain in agriculture. Product supply and security focuses on the adequacy of food supplies. Equity is concerned with the spatial and temporal distribution of products dervied from resource use. Many studies into sustainable agriculture cover more than one of these perspectives, indicating the concept is complex and embraces issues relating to the biophysical, social, and economic environments. Clarification of the concept would facilitate the development of frameworks and analytical systems for appraising the sustainability of food production systems.

  10. Modeling Sustainability in Product Development and Commercialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Robert C.; Rafinejad, Dariush

    2008-01-01

    In this article, the authors present the framework of a model that integrates strategic product development decisions with the product's impact on future conditions of resources and the environment. The impact of a product on stocks of nonrenewable sources and sinks is linked in a feedback loop to the cost of manufacturing and using the product…

  11. Activity-Based Micro-pricing: Realizing Sustainable Behavior Changes through Economic Incentives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamabe, Tetsuo; Lehdonvirta, Vili; Ito, Hitoshi; Soma, Hayuru; Kimura, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Tatsuo

    In this paper, we further develop the idea of combining pervasive computing techniques with electronic payment systems to create activity-based micro-incentives. Economic incentives are an effective way to influence consumer behavior, and are used in e.g. marketing and resource coordination. Our approach allows marketers and regulators to induce consumers to perform particular actions in new application domains by attaching micro-prices to a wider range of behaviors. A key challenge is designing incentive mechanisms that result in desired behavior changes. We examine two basic incentive models. Based on the results of preliminary experiments, we discuss how economic incentives can affect consumer attitudes and lead to sustainable behavior changes.

  12. Assessing the sustainability of egg production systems in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    van Asselt, E D; van Bussel, L G J; van Horne, P; van der Voet, H; van der Heijden, G W A M; van der Fels-Klerx, H J

    2015-08-01

    Housing systems for laying hens have changed over the years due to increased public concern regarding animal welfare. In terms of sustainability, animal welfare is just one aspect that needs to be considered. Social aspects as well as environmental and economic factors need to be included as well. In this study, we assessed the sustainability of enriched cage, barn, free-range, and organic egg production systems following a predefined protocol. Indicators were selected within the social, environmental, and economic dimensions, after which parameter values and sustainability limits were set for the core indicators in order to quantify sustainability. Uncertainty in the parameter values as well as assigned weights and compensabilities of the indicators influenced the outcome of the sustainability assessment. Using equal weights for the indicators showed that, for the Dutch situation, enriched cage egg production was most sustainable, having the highest score on the environmental dimension, whereas free-range egg production gave the highest score in the social dimension (covering food safety, animal welfare, and human welfare). In the economic dimension both enriched cage egg and organic egg production had the highest sustainability score. When weights were attributed according to stakeholder outputs, individual differences were seen, but the overall scores were comparable to the sustainability scores based on equal weights. The provided method enabled a quantification of sustainability using input from stakeholders to include societal preferences in the overall assessment. Allowing for different weights and compensabilities helps policymakers in communicating with stakeholders involved and provides a weighted decision regarding future housing systems for laying hens. PMID:26049800

  13. Sustainable residue removal for energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soils are an important natural resource allowing the production of food, feed, fiber and fuel. The growing demand for these services or products requires we protect the soil resource. Many characteristics of high quality soils can be related to the quantity and quality of soil organic matter (organi...

  14. Assessing the sustainability of beef production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a major food source, beef production provides an important service to our economy. Production of cattle and the associated feed crops also impact our environment, and this impact is not well understood. Although several studies have assessed the carbon footprint of beef, there are other environme...

  15. Food production & availability - Essential prerequisites for sustainable food security

    PubMed Central

    Swaminathan, M.S.; Bhavani, R.V.

    2013-01-01

    Food and nutrition security are intimately interconnected, since only a food based approach can help in overcoming malnutrition in an economically and socially sustainable manner. Food production provides the base for food security as it is a key determinant of food availability. This paper deals with different aspects of ensuring high productivity and production without associated ecological harm for ensuring adequate food availability. By mainstreaming ecological considerations in technology development and dissemination, we can enter an era of evergreen revolution and sustainable food and nutrition security. Public policy support is crucial for enabling this. PMID:24135188

  16. Bioeconomic Sustainability of Cellulosic Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Andrew Paul; Ponti, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    The use of marginal land (ML) for lignocellulosic biofuel production is examined for system stability, resilience, and eco-social sustainability. A North American prairie grass system and its industrialization for maximum biomass production using biotechnology and agro-technical inputs is the focus of the analysis. Demographic models of ML biomass…

  17. Sustainable potato production and global food security

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The potato (Solanum spp.) is currently the leading non-grain commodity in the global food system with production exceeding 329 million metric tonnes in 2009. The extraordinary adaptive range of this species complex combined with ease of cultivation and high nutritional content have promoted steady i...

  18. High Yields for Enhanced Sustainable Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Globally, humankind is in the midst of one of the greatest technological, environmental, and social transitions since the industrial revolution as we strive to replace fossil energy with renewable sources. The Billion Ton Report established a target for U.S. bioenergy feedstock production and throug...

  19. Definition of animal breeding goals for sustainable production systems.

    PubMed

    Olesen, I; Groen, A F; Gjerde, B

    2000-03-01

    What we do is determined by the way we "view" a complex issue and what sample of issues or events we choose to deal with. In this paper, a model based on a communal, cultural, or people-centered worldview, informed by a subjective epistemology and a holistic ontology, is considered. Definitions and interpretations of sustainable agriculture are reviewed. Common elements in published definitions of sustainable agriculture and animal production among those who seek long-term and equitable solutions for food production are resource efficiency, profitability, productivity, environmental soundness, biodiversity, social viability, and ethical aspects. Possible characteristics of future sustainable production systems and further development are presented. The impact of these characteristics on animal breeding goals is reviewed. The need for long-term biologically, ecologically, and sociologically sound breeding goals is emphasized, because animal breeding determined only by short-term market forces leads to unwanted side effects. Hence, a procedure for defining animal breeding goals with ethical priorities and weighing of market and non-market values is suggested. Implementation of non-market as well as market economic trait values in the aggregate genotype, as suggested, may allow for breeding programs that contribute to sustainable production systems. Examples of breeding goals in salmon, cattle, and pigs are given, and the resulting genetic responses are evaluated with respect to economic profit (or costs) and other criteria of sustainability. Important prerequisites for breeding programs for sustainable production are appropriate governmental policies, awareness of our way of thinking, and a more communal worldview informed by a subjective epistemology and a holistic ontology. PMID:10764063

  20. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25% by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental well-being. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be utilized to enhance yields of staple crops, incre...

  1. A Landscape Vision for Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feedstock production for biofuel and other bioproducts is poised to rejuvenate rural economies, but may lead to long-term degradation of soil resources or other adverse and unintended environmental consequences if the practices are not developed in a sustainable manner. This presentation will examin...

  2. Advances in Genetics and Genomics for Sustainable Peanut Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant breeding, genetics, and genomics have a critical role to play in sustainable agriculture. These technologies are contributing to rapid progress in improving crop productivity, quality, and resistance to pests and diseases. The advances in genetics and genomics are opening new frontiers in pean...

  3. Sustained delivery of proangiogenic microRNA-132 by nanoparticle transfection improves endothelial cell transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Devalliere, Julie; Chang, William G.; Andrejecsk, Jillian W.; Abrahimi, Parwiz; Cheng, Christopher J.; Jane-wit, Dan; Saltzman, W. Mark; Pober, Jordan S.

    2014-01-01

    Transplantation of endothelial cells (ECs) for therapeutic vascularization or tissue engineering is a promising method for increasing tissue perfusion. Here, we report on a new approach for enhanced EC transplantation using targeted nanoparticle transfection to deliver proangiogenic microRNA-132 (miR-132) to cultured ECs before their transplantation, thereby sensitizing cells to the effects of endogenous growth factors. We synthesized biodegradable PLGA polymer nanoparticles (NPs) that were loaded with miR-132 and coated with cyclic RGD (cRGD) peptides that target integrin αvβ3 expressed on cultured human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs), increasing NP uptake through clathrin-coated pits. Unlike previously reported NPs for miR delivery, these NPs slowly release RNA for several weeks. The endocytosed NPs remain in clathrin-coated vesicles from which they mediate intracellular delivery of siRNA or miRNA. Transfection of HUVECs with miR-132 enhances growth factor-induced proliferation and migration in 2D culture, producing a 1.8- and 5-fold increase, respectively. However, while the effects of conventional transfection were short-lived, NP transfection produced protein knockdown and biological effects that were significantly longer in duration (≥6 d). Transfection of HUVECs with miR-132 NP resulted in a 2-fold increase in the number of microvessels per square millimeter compared to lipid after transplantation into immunodeficient mice and led to a higher number of mural cell-invested vessels than control transfection. These data suggest that sustained delivery of miR-132 encapsulated in a targeted biodegradable polymer NP is a safe and efficient strategy to improve EC transplantation and vascularization.—Devalliere, J., Chang, W. G., Andrejecsk, J. W., Abrahimi, P., Cheng, C. J., Jane-wit, D., Saltzman, W. M., Pober, J. S. Sustained delivery of proangiogenic microRNA-132 by nanoparticle transfection improves endothelial cell transplantation. PMID:24221087

  4. Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li

    2016-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management. PMID:27620092

  5. A micro-sized bio-solar cell for self-sustaining power generation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hankeun; Choi, Seokheun

    2015-01-21

    Self-sustainable energy sources are essential for a wide array of wireless applications deployed in remote field locations. Due to their self-assembling and self-repairing properties, "biological solar (bio-solar) cells" are recently gaining attention for those applications. The bio-solar cell can continuously generate electricity from microbial photosynthetic and respiratory activities under day-night cycles. Despite the vast potential and promise of bio-solar cells, they, however, have not yet successfully been translated into commercial applications, as they possess persistent performance limitations and scale-up bottlenecks. Here, we report an entirely self-sustainable and scalable microliter-sized bio-solar cell with significant power enhancement by maximizing solar energy capture, bacterial attachment, and air bubble volume in well-controlled microchambers. The bio-solar cell has a ~300 μL single chamber defined by laser-machined poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) substrates and it uses an air cathode to allow freely available oxygen to act as an electron acceptor. We generated a maximum power density of 0.9 mW m(-2) through photosynthetic reactions of cyanobacteria, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, which is the highest power density among all micro-sized bio-solar cells. PMID:25367739

  6. Vegetation Health and Productivity Indicators for Sustained National Climate Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, M. O.; Running, S. W.

    2014-12-01

    The National Climate Assessment process is developing a system of physical, ecological, and societal indicators that communicate key aspects of the physical climate, climate impacts, vulnerabilities, and preparedness for the purpose of informing both decision makers and the public. Implementing a 14 year record of Gross and Net Primary Productivity (GPP/NPP) derived from the NASA EOS MODIS satellite sensor we demonstrate how these products can serve as Ecosystem Productivity and Vegetation Health National Climate Indicators for implementation in sustained National Climate Assessments. The NPP product combines MODIS vegetation data with daily global meteorology to calculate annual growth of all plant material at 1 sq. km resolution. NPP anomalies identify regions with above or below average plant growth that may result from climate fluctuations and can inform carbon source/sink dynamics, agricultural and forestry yield measures, and response to wildfire or drought conditions. The GPP product provides a high temporal resolution (8-day) metric of vegetation growth which can be used to monitor short-term vegetation response to extreme events and implemented to derive vegetation phenology metrics; growing season start, end, and length, which can elucidate land cover and regionally specific vegetation responses to a changing climate. The high spatial resolution GPP and NPP indicators can also inform and clarify responses seen from other proposed Pilot Indicators such as forest growth/productivity, land cover, crop production, and phenology. The GPP and NPP data are in continuous production and will be sustained into the future with the next generation satellite missions. The long-term Ecosystem Productivity and Vegetation Health Indicators are ideal for use in sustained National Climate Assessments, providing regionally specific responses to a changing climate and complete coverage at the national scale.

  7. The Power of Micro Urban Structures, Theory of EEPGC - the Micro Urban Energy Distribution Model as a Planning Tool for Sustainable City Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tkáč, Štefan

    2015-11-01

    To achieve the smart growth and equitable development in the region, urban planners should consider also lateral energies represented by the energy urban models like further proposed EEPGC focused on energy distribution via connections among micro-urban structures, their onsite renewable resources and the perception of micro-urban structures as decentralized energy carriers based on pre industrialized era. These structures are still variously bound when part of greater patterns. After the industrial revolution the main traded goods became energy in its various forms. The EEPGC is focused on sustainable energy transportation distances between the villages and the city, described by the virtual "energy circles". This more human scale urbanization, boost the economy in micro-urban areas, rising along with clean energy available in situ that surely gives a different perspective to human quality of life in contrast to overcrowded multicultural mega-urban structures facing generations of problems and struggling to survive as a whole.

  8. Sustainable production of biologically active molecules of marine based origin.

    PubMed

    Murray, Patrick M; Moane, Siobhan; Collins, Catherine; Beletskaya, Tanya; Thomas, Olivier P; Duarte, Alysson W F; Nobre, Fernando S; Owoyemi, Ifeloju O; Pagnocca, Fernando C; Sette, L D; McHugh, Edward; Causse, Eric; Pérez-López, Paula; Feijoo, Gumersindo; Moreira, Ma T; Rubiolo, Juan; Leirós, Marta; Botana, Luis M; Pinteus, Susete; Alves, Celso; Horta, André; Pedrosa, Rui; Jeffryes, Clayton; Agathos, Spiros N; Allewaert, Celine; Verween, Annick; Vyverman, Wim; Laptev, Ivan; Sineoky, Sergei; Bisio, Angela; Manconi, Renata; Ledda, Fabio; Marchi, Mario; Pronzato, Roberto; Walsh, Daniel J

    2013-09-25

    The marine environment offers both economic and scientific potential which are relatively untapped from a biotechnological point of view. These environments whilst harsh are ironically fragile and dependent on a harmonious life form balance. Exploitation of natural resources by exhaustive wild harvesting has obvious negative environmental consequences. From a European industry perspective marine organisms are a largely underutilised resource. This is not due to lack of interest but due to a lack of choice the industry faces for cost competitive, sustainable and environmentally conscientious product alternatives. Knowledge of the biotechnological potential of marine organisms together with the development of sustainable systems for their cultivation, processing and utilisation are essential. In 2010, the European Commission recognised this need and funded a collaborative RTD/SME project under the Framework 7-Knowledge Based Bio-Economy (KBBE) Theme 2 Programme 'Sustainable culture of marine microorganisms, algae and/or invertebrates for high value added products'. The scope of that project entitled 'Sustainable Production of Biologically Active Molecules of Marine Based Origin' (BAMMBO) is outlined. Although the Union is a global leader in many technologies, it faces increasing competition from traditional rivals and emerging economies alike and must therefore improve its innovation performance. For this reason innovation is placed at the heart of a European Horizon 2020 Strategy wherein the challenge is to connect economic performance to eco performance. This article provides a synopsis of the research activities of the BAMMBO project as they fit within the wider scope of sustainable environmentally conscientious marine resource exploitation for high-value biomolecules. PMID:23563183

  9. Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Zhang, Gong; Yang, Xiahua; You, Shao-Hong

    2015-10-01

    This review on Sustainability covers selected 2014 publications on the focus of the following sections: • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management. PMID:26420087

  10. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

    PubMed Central

    Schroeder, Julian I.; Delhaize, Emmanuel; Frommer, Wolf B.; Guerinot, Mary Lou; Harrison, Maria J.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Horie, Tomoaki; Kochian, Leon V.; Munns, Rana; Nishizawa, Naoko K.; Tsay, Yi-Fang; Sanders, Dale

    2013-01-01

    With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25 per cent by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental health. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be used to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content and increase resistance to key stresses, including salinity, pathogens and aluminium toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land. PMID:23636397

  11. Multi-scale modeling for sustainable chemical production.

    PubMed

    Zhuang, Kai; Bakshi, Bhavik R; Herrgård, Markus J

    2013-09-01

    With recent advances in metabolic engineering, it is now technically possible to produce a wide portfolio of existing petrochemical products from biomass feedstock. In recent years, a number of modeling approaches have been developed to support the engineering and decision-making processes associated with the development and implementation of a sustainable biochemical industry. The temporal and spatial scales of modeling approaches for sustainable chemical production vary greatly, ranging from metabolic models that aid the design of fermentative microbial strains to material and monetary flow models that explore the ecological impacts of all economic activities. Research efforts that attempt to connect the models at different scales have been limited. Here, we review a number of existing modeling approaches and their applications at the scales of metabolism, bioreactor, overall process, chemical industry, economy, and ecosystem. In addition, we propose a multi-scale approach for integrating the existing models into a cohesive framework. The major benefit of this proposed framework is that the design and decision-making at each scale can be informed, guided, and constrained by simulations and predictions at every other scale. In addition, the development of this multi-scale framework would promote cohesive collaborations across multiple traditionally disconnected modeling disciplines to achieve sustainable chemical production. PMID:23520143

  12. Links between livestock production, the environment and sustainable development.

    PubMed

    Pradbre, J-P

    2014-12-01

    This study examines the prospects for strong growth in the supply and demand for animal products worldwide, especially in developing countries, where 80% of the world's population lives. Based on scientific publications, statistics and field observations, it reviews greenhouse gas emission levels from livestock, the ability of ruminant livestock systems to sequester carbon and the capacity of the livestock industry to meet the challenge of sustainable development and to share its benefits while minimising impacts to climate change. Special attention is paid to the situation of the 800 million livestock farmers in the world living at the extreme end of poverty. The study underlines the importance of improving livestock productivity and the interdependence of the economic, environmental and social components of sustainable development. It highlights how, in the least developed countries and most lower-middle-income countries, the pressure exerted by animal diseases hampers efforts to improve livestock productivity. Poor livestock farmers have not sufficiently benefited from development policies and need support to adopt technological advances to meet the challenges of sustainable development and poverty reduction. PMID:25812202

  13. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as themore » growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.« less

  14. Environmental indicators for sustainable production of algal biofuels

    SciTech Connect

    Efroymson, Rebecca A.; Dale, Virginia H.

    2014-10-01

    For analyzing sustainability of algal biofuels, we identify 16 environmental indicators that fall into six categories: soil quality, water quality and quantity, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, and productivity. Indicators are selected to be practical, widely applicable, predictable in response, anticipatory of future changes, independent of scale, and responsive to management. Major differences between algae and terrestrial plant feedstocks, as well as their supply chains for biofuel, are highlighted, for they influence the choice of appropriate sustainability indicators. Algae strain selection characteristics do not generally affect which indicators are selected. The use of water instead of soil as the growth medium for algae determines the higher priority of water- over soil-related indicators. The proposed set of environmental indicators provides an initial checklist for measures of biofuel sustainability but may need to be modified for particular contexts depending on data availability, goals of the stakeholders, and financial constraints. Ultimately, use of these indicators entails defining sustainability goals and targets in relation to stakeholder values in a particular context and can lead to improved management practices.

  15. Water footprints of cities - indicators for sustainable consumption and production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, H.; Döll, P.; Fader, M.; Gerten, D.; Hauser, S.; Siebert, S.

    2014-01-01

    Water footprints have been proposed as sustainability indicators, relating the consumption of goods like food to the amount of water necessary for their production and the impacts of that water use in the source regions. We further developed the existing water footprint methodology, by globally resolving virtual water flows from production to consumption regions for major food crops at 5 arcmin spatial resolution. We distinguished domestic and international flows, and assessed local impacts of export production. Applying this method to three exemplary cities, Berlin, Delhi and Lagos, we find major differences in amounts, composition, and origin of green and blue virtual water imports, due to differences in diets, trade integration and crop water productivities in the source regions. While almost all of Delhi's and Lagos' virtual water imports are of domestic origin, Berlin on average imports from more than 4000 km distance, in particular soy (livestock feed), coffee and cocoa. While 42% of Delhi's virtual water imports are blue water based, the fractions for Berlin and Lagos are 2 and 0.5%, respectively, roughly equal to the water volumes abstracted in these two cities for domestic water use. Some of the external source regions of Berlin's virtual water imports appear to be critically water scarce and/or food insecure. However, for deriving recommendations on sustainable consumption and trade, further analysis of context-specific costs and benefits associated with export production will be required.

  16. Sustainability of organic food production: challenges and innovations.

    PubMed

    Niggli, Urs

    2015-02-01

    The greatest challenge for agriculture is to reduce the trade-offs between productivity and long-term sustainability. Therefore, it is interesting to analyse organic agriculture which is a given set of farm practices that emphasise ecological sustainability. Organic agriculture can be characterised as being less driven by off-farm inputs and being better embedded in ecosystem functions. The literature on public goods and non-commodity outputs of organic farms is overwhelming. Most publications address the positive effects of organic farming on soil fertility, biodiversity maintenance and protection of the natural resources of soil, water and air. As a consequence of focusing on public goods, organic agriculture is less productive. Meta-analyses show that organic agriculture yields range between 0·75 and 0·8 of conventional agriculture. Best practice examples from disadvantaged sites and climate conditions show equal or, in the case of subsistence farming in Sub-Saharan Africa, higher productivity of organic agriculture. Hence, organic agriculture is likely to be a good model for productive and sustainable food production. Underfunding in R&D addressing specific bottlenecks of organic agriculture are the main cause for both crop and livestock yield gaps. Therefore, the potential for improving the performance of organic agriculture through agricultural research is huge. Although organic farming is a niche in most countries, it is at the verge of becoming mainstream in leading European countries. Consumer demand has grown over the past two decades and does not seem to be a limiting factor for the future development of organic agriculture. PMID:25221987

  17. Water footprints of cities - indicators for sustainable consumption and production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoff, H.; Döll, P.; Fader, M.; Gerten, D.; Hauser, S.; Siebert, S.

    2013-02-01

    Water footprints have been proposed as sustainability indicators, relating the consumption of goods like food to the amount of water necessary for their production and the impacts of that water use in the source regions. We have further developed the existing water footprint methodology by globally resolving virtual water flows and import and source regions at 5 arc minutes spatial resolution, and by assessing local impacts of export production. Applying this method to three exemplary cities, Berlin, Delhi and Lagos, we find major differences in amounts, composition, and origin of green and blue virtual water imports, due to differences in diets, trade integration and crop water productivities in the source regions. While almost all of Delhi's and Lagos' virtual water imports are of domestic origin, Berlin on average imports from more than 4000 km distance, in particular soy (livestock feed), coffee and cocoa. While 42% of Delhi's virtual water imports are blue water based, the fractions for Berlin and Lagos are 2% and 0.5%, respectively, roughly equal to local drinking water abstractions of these cities. Some of the external source regions of Berlin's virtual water imports appear to be critically water scarce and/or food insecure. However for deriving recommendations on sustainable consumption and trade, further analysis of context-specific costs and benefits associated with export production will be required.

  18. College Students' View of Biotechnology Products and Practices in Sustainable Agriculture Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, William A.

    2008-01-01

    Sustainable agriculture implies the use of products and practices that sustain production, protect the environment, ensure economic viability, and maintain rural community viability. Disagreement exists as to whether or not the products and practices of modern biotechnological support agricultural sustainability. The purpose of this study was to…

  19. Wayanad widows: A study of sustainable rural economic development using renewable energy technology for micro enterprise in Kerala, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voorhees, Maire Claire

    This thesis examines the situation of the farmer widows of Wayanad, Kerala through exploration of the underlying agricultural and economic issues leading to farmers' suicides, the current state of the environment in the Wayanad District of Kerala, India, and an economic model of micro-entrepreneurship to address economic and social issues of the surviving widows. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were performed through the assessment and document analysis of archive, newspaper, and published reports to gain a macro perspective. The Environmental Vulnerability Index was used as a tool to evaluate and organize findings of the current environmental conditions in the region. This thesis supports the sustainability concept of considering the economic, ecological, and social impacts when identifying economic development pathways. The goal was to explore the appropriateness of small household solar systems as vehicle in the micro-enterprise model to be a sustainable alternative economic pathway to agriculture for the farmer widows of Wayanad.

  20. Cooperation Is Not Enough Exploring Social-Ecological Micro-Foundations for Sustainable Common-Pool Resource Use.

    PubMed

    Schill, Caroline; Wijermans, Nanda; Schlüter, Maja; Lindahl, Therese

    2016-01-01

    Cooperation amongst resource users holds the key to overcoming the social dilemma that characterizes community-based common-pool resource management. But is cooperation alone enough to achieve sustainable resource use? The short answer is no. Developing management strategies in a complex social-ecological environment also requires ecological knowledge and approaches to deal with perceived environmental uncertainty. Recent behavioral experimental research indicates variation in the degree to which a group of users can identify a sustainable exploitation level. In this paper, we identify social-ecological micro-foundations that facilitate cooperative sustainable common-pool resource use. We do so by using an agent-based model (ABM) that is informed by behavioral common-pool resource experiments. In these experiments, groups that cooperate do not necessarily manage the resource sustainably, but also over- or underexploit. By reproducing the patterns of the behavioral experiments in a qualitative way, the ABM represents a social-ecological explanation for the experimental observations. We find that the ecological knowledge of each group member cannot sufficiently explain the relationship between cooperation and sustainable resource use. Instead, the development of a sustainable exploitation level depends on the distribution of ecological knowledge among the group members, their influence on each other's knowledge, and the environmental uncertainty the individuals perceive. The study provides insights about critical social-ecological micro-foundations underpinning collective action and sustainable resource management. These insights may inform policy-making, but also point to future research needs regarding the mechanisms of social learning, the development of shared management strategies and the interplay of social and ecological uncertainty. PMID:27556175

  1. Sustainability of pasta production under future climate in Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalla Marta, Anna; Baldi, Ada; Orlandini, Simone; Calanca, Pierluigi; Altobelli, Filiberto

    2016-04-01

    In this paper, the impact of future climate on pasta green water footprint (WF) was assessed. The model DSSAT CERES-Wheat was applied to simulate the production of rainfed winter durum wheat in Val d'Orcia (Central Italy), which provides the raw material for making traditional Italian pasta. The model was calibrated and validated for a 15-years period and used to estimate wheat yield and grain green WF. Further, the processing of grain for pasta making was analysed and taken into account for the calculation of the WF of final product. Then, the model was applied on future climate scenarios created with the stochastic generator LARS-WG, starting from a set of ENSEMBLES scenarios. The trend of wheat WF was analysed and the sustainability of the production of pasta in Central Italy was investigated and discussed.

  2. Values and public acceptability dimensions of sustainable egg production.

    PubMed

    Thompson, P B; Appleby, M; Busch, L; Kalof, L; Miele, M; Norwood, B F; Pajor, E

    2011-09-01

    The attributes of egg production that elicit values-based responses include the price and availability of eggs, environmental impacts, food safety or health concerns, and animal welfare. Different social groups have distinct interests regarding the sustainability of egg production that reflect these diverse values. Current scientifically based knowledge about how values and attitudes in these groups can be characterized is uneven and must be derived from studies conducted at varying times and using incomplete study methods. In general, some producer and consumer interests are translated through markets and are mediated by market mechanisms, whereas others are poorly reflected by economic behavior. An array of survey and focus group research has been performed to elicit consumer and activist beliefs about performance goals they would expect from an egg production system. These studies provide evidence that consumers' market behavior may be at odds with their ethical and political beliefs about performance goals. PMID:21844278

  3. Preparation and characterization of nanomaterials for sustainable energy production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-jun; Burghaus, Uwe; Besenbacher, Flemming; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2010-10-26

    The use of nanotechnology to develop a suite of sustainable energy production schemes is one of the most important scientific challenges of the 21st century. The challenge is to design, to synthesize, and to characterize new functional nanomaterials with controllable sizes, shapes, and/or structures. To summarize the progress of the research and development made in this important field, the Fuel Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS) organized a symposium on "Nanotechnology for Sustainable Energy and Fuels" during the 240th ACS National Meeting in Boston, MA on August 22-26, 2010, with the ACS Catalysis Division as the cosponsor. This symposium was a global gathering of leading scientists at the intersection of energy and nanotechnology. The topics discussed at the symposium included nanotechnology, not only for traditional fossil fuel production but also for novel processes for renewable energy applications. This article aims to highlight some of the most exciting advances presented at the symposium, including the preparation and characterization of nanomaterials for clean fuel production, CO(2) capture, solar cells and solar fuels, energy conversion and storage materials, hydrogen storage materials, and fuel cells. Finally, possible future developments in this important and timely area are discussed. PMID:20973572

  4. Start-up and Self-sustain Test of 500 W Ultra-Micro Gas Turbine Generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seo, Jeong Min; Park, Jun Young; Seog Choi, Bum

    2013-12-01

    This paper provides the performance test for start-up and self-sustaining of 500W ultra-micro gas turbine (UMGT) generator. Each component of UMGT, a centrifugal compressor, a radial turbine, an annular combustor and a shaft is already designed, manufactured and tested to meet design requirements in previous researches. However, they are not tested to work in an integrate system. Currently, integrated test unit with a compressor, a combustor and a turbine, is developed to find the proper condition of start-up and self-sustain. Ignition sequence depending on rotating speed is designed. Performance test for start-up and self-sustain is designed based on the ignition possible condition. An air impingement starter and a hot bulb inginer are applied. LPG is used as main fuel.

  5. Microalgae as Sustainable Renewable Energy Feedstock for Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; Shariff, M.

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  6. Microalgae as sustainable renewable energy feedstock for biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Medipally, Srikanth Reddy; Yusoff, Fatimah Md; Banerjee, Sanjoy; Shariff, M

    2015-01-01

    The world energy crisis and increased greenhouse gas emissions have driven the search for alternative and environmentally friendly renewable energy sources. According to life cycle analysis, microalgae biofuel is identified as one of the major renewable energy sources for sustainable development, with potential to replace the fossil-based fuels. Microalgae biofuel was devoid of the major drawbacks associated with oil crops and lignocelluloses-based biofuels. Algae-based biofuels are technically and economically viable and cost competitive, require no additional lands, require minimal water use, and mitigate atmospheric CO2. However, commercial production of microalgae biodiesel is still not feasible due to the low biomass concentration and costly downstream processes. The viability of microalgae biodiesel production can be achieved by designing advanced photobioreactors, developing low cost technologies for biomass harvesting, drying, and oil extraction. Commercial production can also be accomplished by improving the genetic engineering strategies to control environmental stress conditions and by engineering metabolic pathways for high lipid production. In addition, new emerging technologies such as algal-bacterial interactions for enhancement of microalgae growth and lipid production are also explored. This review focuses mainly on the problems encountered in the commercial production of microalgae biofuels and the possible techniques to overcome these difficulties. PMID:25874216

  7. Modeling Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraxner, Florian; Leduc, Sylvain; Kindermann, Georg; Fuss, Sabine; Pietsch, Stephan; Lakyda, Ivan; Serrano Leon, Hernan; Shchepashchenko, Dmitry; Shvidenko, Anatoly

    2016-04-01

    Sustainability of bioenergy is often indicated by the neutrality of emissions at the conversion site while the feedstock production site is assumed to be carbon neutral. Recent research shows that sustainability of bioenergy systems starts with feedstock management. Even if sustainable forest management is applied, different management types can impact ecosystem services substantially. This study examines different sustainable forest management systems together with an optimal planning of green-field bioenergy plants in the Alps. Two models - the biophysical global forest model (G4M) and a techno-economic engineering model for optimizing renewable energy systems (BeWhere) are implemented. G4M is applied in a forward looking manner in order to provide information on the forest under different management scenarios: (1) managing the forest for maximizing the carbon sequestration; or (2) managing the forest for maximizing the harvestable wood amount for bioenergy production. The results from the forest modelling are then picked up by the engineering model BeWhere, which optimizes the bioenergy production in terms of energy demand (power and heat demand by population) and supply (wood harvesting potentials), feedstock harvesting and transport costs, the location and capacity of the bioenergy plant as well as the energy distribution logistics with respect to heat and electricity (e.g. considering existing grids for electricity or district heating etc.). First results highlight the importance of considering ecosystem services under different scenarios and in a geographically explicit manner. While aiming at producing the same amount of bioenergy under both forest management scenarios, it turns out that in scenario (1) a substantially larger area (distributed across the Alps) will need to be used for producing (and harvesting) the necessary amount of feedstock than under scenario (2). This result clearly shows that scenario (2) has to be seen as an "intensification

  8. Production and properties of micro-cellulose reinforced thermoplastic starch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kmetty, Á.; Karger-Kocsis, J.; Czigány, T.

    2015-02-01

    Thermoplastic starch (TPS)/micro-fibrillated cellulose (MFC) composites were prepared from maize starch with different amount of distilled water, glycerol and cellulose reinforcement. The components were homogenized by kneader and twin roll technique. The produced TPS and TPS-based polymer composites were qualified by static and dynamic mechanical tests and their morphology was analysed by microscopic techniques. The results showed that the amount of water and the order of the production steps control the properties of both the TPS and its MFC reinforced version. With increasing content of MFC the stiffness and strength of the TPS matrix increased, as expected. Microscopic inspection revealed that the TPS has a homogenous structure and the MFC is well dispersed therein when suitable preparation conditions were selected.

  9. Sustainability of biofuels and renewable chemicals production from biomass.

    PubMed

    Kircher, Manfred

    2015-12-01

    In the sectors of biofuel and renewable chemicals the big feedstock demand asks, first, to expand the spectrum of carbon sources beyond primary biomass, second, to establish circular processing chains and, third, to prioritize product sectors exclusively depending on carbon: chemicals and heavy-duty fuels. Large-volume production lines will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission significantly but also low-volume chemicals are indispensable in building 'low-carbon' industries. The foreseeable feedstock change initiates innovation, securing societal wealth in the industrialized world and creating employment in regions producing biomass. When raising the investments in rerouting to sustainable biofuel and chemicals today competitiveness with fossil-based fuel and chemicals is a strong issue. Many countries adopted comprehensive bioeconomy strategies to tackle this challenge. These public actions are mostly biased to biofuel but should give well-balanced attention to renewable chemicals as well. PMID:26256682

  10. Feeding nine billion: the challenge to sustainable crop production.

    PubMed

    Gregory, Peter J; George, Timothy S

    2011-11-01

    In the recent past there was a widespread working assumption in many countries that problems of food production had been solved, and that food security was largely a matter of distribution and access to be achieved principally by open markets. The events of 2008 challenged these assumptions, and made public a much wider debate about the costs of current food production practices to the environment and whether these could be sustained. As in the past 50 years, it is anticipated that future increases in crop production will be achieved largely by increasing yields per unit area rather than by increasing the area of cropped land. However, as yields have increased, so the ratio of photosynthetic energy captured to energy expended in crop production has decreased. This poses a considerable challenge: how to increase yield while simultaneously reducing energy consumption (allied to greenhouse gas emissions) and utilizing resources such as water and phosphate more efficiently. Given the timeframe in which the increased production has to be realized, most of the increase will need to come from crop genotypes that are being bred now, together with known agronomic and management practices that are currently under-developed. PMID:21841178

  11. The role of productivity in improving the environmental sustainability of ruminant production systems.

    PubMed

    Capper, Judith L; Bauman, Dale E

    2013-01-01

    The global livestock industry is charged with providing sufficient animal source foods to supply the global population while improving the environmental sustainability of animal production. Improved productivity within dairy and beef systems has demonstrably reduced resource use and greenhouse gas emissions per unit of food over the past century through the dilution of maintenance effect. Further environmental mitigation effects have been gained through the current use of technologies and practices that enhance milk yield or growth in ruminants; however, the social acceptability of continued intensification and use of productivity-enhancing technologies is subject to debate. As the environmental impact of food production continues to be a significant issue for all stakeholders within the field, further research is needed to ensure that comparisons among foods are made based on both environmental impact and nutritive value to truly assess the sustainability of ruminant products. PMID:25387028

  12. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Cook, R. James

    2006-01-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  13. How can we improve the environmental sustainability of poultry production?

    PubMed

    Leinonen, Ilkka; Kyriazakis, Ilias

    2016-08-01

    The review presents results of recent life cycle assessment studies aiming to quantify and improve the environmental performance of UK poultry production systems, including broiler meat, egg and turkey meat production. Although poultry production has been found to be relatively environmentally friendly compared with the production of other livestock commodities, it still contributes to environmental impacts, such as global warming, eutrophication and acidification. Amongst different sub-processes, feed production and transport contributes about 70 % to the global warming potential of poultry systems, whereas manure management contributes about 40-60 % to their eutrophication potential and acidification potential, respectively. All these impacts can be reduced by improving the feed efficiency, either by changing the birds through genetic selection or by making the feed more digestible (e.g. by using additives such as enzymes). However, although genetic selection has the potential to reduce the resources needed for broiler production (including feed consumption), the changing need of certain feed ingredients, most notably protein sources as a result of changes in bird requirements may limit the benefits of this strategy. The use of alternative feed ingredients, such as locally grown protein crops and agricultural by-products, as a replacement of South American grown soya, can potentially also lead to improvements in several environmental impact categories, as long as such feeding strategies have no negative effect on bird performance. Other management options, such as improving poultry housing and new strategies for manure management have also the potential to further improve the environmental sustainability of the poultry industries in Europe. PMID:26935025

  14. Animal welfare towards sustainability in pork meat production.

    PubMed

    Velarde, Antonio; Fàbrega, Emma; Blanco-Penedo, Isabel; Dalmau, Antoni

    2015-11-01

    Animal welfare is an important pillar of sustainability in meat production and is associated with other aspects of this concept, such as animal health, productivity, food safety, food quality and efficiency from a cost of production perspective. These interactions are present at all stages of the production cycle, from the beginning of the animals' farm life until their slaughter. On farm, some of the main welfare issues are related to neonatal mortality and low level of sensory input, which are likely to engender stereotypes and injurious behaviours, such as tail-biting. Pre-slaughter handling refers to the interaction between humans and animals prior to and during transport and at slaughter. Strategies to reduce pre-slaughter stress will benefit carcass and meat quality, being the training of stockpeople one of the most cost-effective policies to improve animal welfare. These strategies include also the implementation of standard monitoring procedures to detect signs of consciousness after stunning, before sticking and during bleeding until death occurs. PMID:26013042

  15. Towards sustainable sources for omega-3 fatty acids production.

    PubMed

    Adarme-Vega, T Catalina; Thomas-Hall, Skye R; Schenk, Peer M

    2014-04-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docohexaenoic acid (DHA), provide significant health benefits for brain function/development and cardiovascular conditions. However, most EPA and DHA for human consumption is sourced from small fatty fish caught in coastal waters and, with depleting global fish stocks, recent research has been directed towards more sustainable sources. These include aquaculture with plant-based feeds, krill, marine microalgae, microalgae-like protists and genetically-modified plants. To meet the increasing demand for EPA and DHA, further developments are needed towards land-based sources. In particular large-scale cultivation of microalgae and plants is likely to become a reality with expected reductions in production costs, yield increasese and the adequate addressing of genetically modified food acceptance issues. PMID:24607804

  16. Assessing multimetric aspects of sustainability: Application to a bioenergy crop production system in East Tennessee

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Parish, Esther S.; Dale, Virginia H.; English, Burton C.; Jackson, Samuel W.; Tyler, Donald D.

    2016-02-26

    This paper connects the science of sustainability theory with applied aspects of sustainability deployment. A suite of 35 sustainability indicators spanning six environmental, three economic, and three social categories has been proposed for comparing the sustainability of bioenergy production systems across different feedstock types and locations. A recent demonstration-scale switchgrass-to-ethanol production system located in East Tennessee is used to assess the availability of sustainability indicator data and associated measurements for the feedstock production and logistics portions of the biofuel supply chain. Knowledge pertaining to the available indicators is distributed within a hierarchical decision tree framework to generate an assessment ofmore » the overall sustainability of this no-till switchgrass production system relative to two alternative business-as-usual scenarios of unmanaged pasture and tilled corn production. The relative contributions of the social, economic and environmental information are determined for the overall trajectory of this bioenergy system s sustainability under each scenario. Within this East Tennessee context, switchgrass production shows potential for improving environmental and social sustainability trajectories without adverse economic impacts, thereby leading to potential for overall enhancement in sustainability within this local agricultural system. Given the early stages of cellulosic ethanol production, it is currently difficult to determine quantitative values for all 35 sustainability indicators across the entire biofuel supply chain. This case study demonstrates that integration of qualitative sustainability indicator ratings may increase holistic understanding of a bioenergy system in the absence of complete information.« less

  17. Perspectives on achieving sustainable energy production and use

    EPA Science Inventory

    The traditional definition of sustainability calls for polices and strategies that meet society's present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Achieving operational sustainability requires three critical elements: advances in scien...

  18. A micro powder injection molding apparatus for high aspect ratio metal micro-structure production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Gang; Tor, Shubeng; Loh, Ngiaphiang; Tay, Beeyen; Hardt, David E.

    2007-09-01

    A new variotherm molding apparatus is presented in this paper for the fabrication of high aspect ratio 316L stainless steel micro-structures using micro powder injection molding (μPIM) technology. The molding apparatus prototype includes an injection mold in which a silicon insert with an array of 24 × 24 (576) microcavities is mounted, a set of rapid tempering systems for the mold and a set of vacuum systems. The key advantage of this molding apparatus lies in the real-time monitoring and rapid adjustment of the mold cavity temperature during injection molding and part ejection, which makes molding and demolding of high aspect ratio green micro-structures possible. For example, incomplete filling occurs while injection molding micro-structures of 60 µm × height 191 µm with an aspect ratio of 3.2 using a conventional mold. In comparison, smaller micro-structures with higher aspect ratio are produced successfully in the case of the new molding apparatus, e.g. micro-structures of 40 µm × height 174 µm with an aspect ratio of 4.35 and 20 µm × height 160 µm with an aspect ratio of 8 were molded successfully.

  19. Environmental impacts and sustainability of egg production systems.

    PubMed

    Xin, H; Gates, R S; Green, A R; Mitloehner, F M; Moore, P A; Wathes, C M

    2011-01-01

    As part of a systemic assessment toward social sustainability of egg production, we have reviewed current knowledge about the environmental impacts of egg production systems and identified topics requiring further research. Currently, we know that 1) high-rise cage houses generally have poorer air quality and emit more ammonia than manure belt (MB) cage houses; 2) manure removal frequency in MB houses greatly affects ammonia emissions; 3) emissions from manure storage are largely affected by storage conditions, including ventilation rate, manure moisture content, air temperature, and stacking profile; 4) more baseline data on air emissions from high-rise and MB houses are being collected in the United States to complement earlier measurements; 5) noncage houses generally have poorer air quality (ammonia and dust levels) than cage houses; 6) noncage houses tend to be colder during cold weather due to a lower stocking density than caged houses, leading to greater feed and fuel energy use; 7) hens in noncage houses are less efficient in resource (feed, energy, and land) utilization, leading to a greater carbon footprint; 8) excessive application of hen manure to cropland can lead to nutrient runoff to water bodies; 9) hen manure on open (free) range may be subject to runoff during rainfall, although quantitative data are lacking; 10) mitigation technologies exist to reduce generation and emission of noxious gases and dust; however, work is needed to evaluate their economic feasibility and optimize design; and 11) dietary modification shows promise for mitigating emissions. Further research is needed on 1) indoor air quality, barn emissions, thermal conditions, and energy use in alternative hen housing systems (1-story floor, aviary, and enriched cage systems), along with conventional housing systems under different production conditions; 2) environmental footprint for different US egg production systems through life cycle assessment; 3) practical means to mitigate air

  20. Exploiting microRNA Specificity and Selectivity: Paving a Sustainable Path Towards Precision Medicine.

    PubMed

    Santulli, Gaetano

    2015-01-01

    In his State of the Union address before both chambers of the US Congress, President Barack Obama called for increased investment in US infrastructure and research and announced the launch of a new Precision Medicine Initiative, aiming to accelerate biomedical discovery. Due to their well-established selectivity and specificity, microRNAs can represent a useful tool, both in diagnosis and therapy, in forging the path towards the achievement of precision medicine. This introductory chapter represents a guide for the Reader in examining the functional roles of microRNAs in the most diverse aspects of clinical practice, which will be explored in this third volume of the microRNA trilogy. PMID:26663175

  1. Sustainable Energy Production from Jatropha Bio-Diesel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Amit Kumar; Krishna, Vijai

    2012-10-01

    The demand for petroleum has risen rapidly due to increasing industrialization and modernization of the world. This economic development has led to a huge demand for energy, where the major part of that energy is derived from fossil sources such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. Continued use of petroleum sourced fuels is now widely recognized as unsustainable because of depleting supplies. There is a growing interest in using Jatropha curcas L. oil as the feedstock for biodiesel production because it is non-edible and thus does not compromise the edible oils, which are mainly used for food consumption. Further, J. curcas L. seed has a high content of free fatty acids that is converted in to biodiesel by trans esterification with alcohol in the presence of a catalyst. The biodiesel produced has similar properties to that of petroleum-based diesel. Biodiesel fuel has better properties than petro diesel fuel; it is renewable, biodegradable, non-toxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. Biodiesel seems to be a realistic fuel for future. Biodiesel has the potential to economically, socially, and environmentally benefit communities as well as countries, and to contribute toward their sustainable development.

  2. GM crops, the environment and sustainable food production.

    PubMed

    Raven, Peter H

    2014-12-01

    Today, over 7.1 billion people rely on the earth's resources for sustenance, and nearly a billion people are malnourished, their minds and bodies unable to develop properly. Globally, population is expected to rise to more than 9 billion by 2050. Given the combined pressures of human population growth, the rapidly growing desire for increased levels of consumption, and the continued use of inappropriate technologies, it is not surprising that humans are driving organisms to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Many aspects of the sustainable functioning of the natural world are breaking down in the face of human-induced pressures including our individual and collective levels of consumption and our widespread and stubborn use of destructive technologies. Clearly, agriculture must undergo a redesign and be better and more effectively managed so as to contribute as well as possible to feeding people, while at the same time we strive to lessen the tragic loss of biodiversity and damage to all of its productive systems that the world is experiencing. For GM crops to be part of the solution, biosafety assessments should not be overly politically-driven or a burdensome impedance to delivering this technology broadly. Biosafety scientists and policy makers need to recognize the undeniable truth that inappropriate actions resulting in indecision also have negative consequences. It is no longer acceptable to delay the use of any strategy that is safe and will help us achieve the ability to feed the world's people. PMID:24150918

  3. The Role of Sustained Attention in the Production of Conjoined Noun Phrases: An Individual Differences Study

    PubMed Central

    Jongman, Suzanne R.; Meyer, Antje S.; Roelofs, Ardi

    2015-01-01

    It has previously been shown that language production, performed simultaneously with a nonlinguistic task, involves sustained attention. Sustained attention concerns the ability to maintain alertness over time. Here, we aimed to replicate the previous finding by showing that individuals call upon sustained attention when they plan single noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot") and perform a manual arrow categorization task. In addition, we investigated whether speakers also recruit sustained attention when they produce conjoined noun phrases (e.g., "the carrot and the bucket") describing two pictures, that is, when both the first and second task are linguistic. We found that sustained attention correlated with the proportion of abnormally slow phrase-production responses. Individuals with poor sustained attention displayed a greater number of very slow responses than individuals with better sustained attention. Importantly, this relationship was obtained both for the production of single phrases while performing a nonlinguistic manual task, and the production of noun phrase conjunctions in referring to two spatially separated objects. Inhibition and updating abilities were also measured. These scores did not correlate with our measure of sustained attention, suggesting that sustained attention and executive control are distinct. Overall, the results suggest that planning conjoined noun phrases involves sustained attention, and that language production happens less automatically than has often been assumed. PMID:26335441

  4. Computational study of plasma sustainability in radio frequency micro-discharges

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Y.; Jiang, W.; Zhang, Q. Z.; Bogaerts, A.

    2014-05-21

    We apply an implicit particle-in-cell Monte-Carlo (PIC-MC) method to study a radio-frequency argon microdischarge at steady state in the glow discharge limit, in which the microdischarge is sustained by secondary electron emission from the electrodes. The plasma density, electron energy distribution function (EEDF), and electron temperature are calculated in a wide range of operating conditions, including driving voltage, microdischarge gap, and pressure. Also, the effect of gap size scaling (in the range of 50-1000 μm) on the plasma sustaining voltage and peak electron density at atmospheric pressure is examined, which has not been explored before. In our simulations, three different EEDFs, i.e., a so-called three temperature hybrid mode, a two temperature α mode, and a two temperature γ mode distribution, are identified at different gaps and voltages. The maximum sustaining voltage to avoid a transition from the glow mode to an arc is predicted, as well as the minimum sustaining voltage for a steady glow discharge. Our calculations elucidate that secondary electrons play an essential role in sustaining the discharge, and as a result the relationship between breakdown voltage and gap spacing is far away from the Paschen law at atmospheric pressure.

  5. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER Special Forest Products § 223.219 Sustainable harvest of special...

  6. Double- and relay-cropping oilseed and biomass crops for sustainable energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Economically and environmentally sustainable bioenergy production requires strategic integration of biofuel crops into modern cropping systems. Double- and relay-cropping can offer a means of increasing production efficiency to boost profits and provide environmental benefits through crop diversific...

  7. Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest.

    PubMed

    Gelfand, Ilya; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, R César; Gross, Katherine L; Robertson, G Philip

    2013-01-24

    Legislation on biofuels production in the USA and Europe is directing food crops towards the production of grain-based ethanol, which can have detrimental consequences for soil carbon sequestration, nitrous oxide emissions, nitrate pollution, biodiversity and human health. An alternative is to grow lignocellulosic (cellulosic) crops on 'marginal' lands. Cellulosic feedstocks can have positive environmental outcomes and could make up a substantial proportion of future energy portfolios. However, the availability of marginal lands for cellulosic feedstock production, and the resulting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, remains uncertain. Here we evaluate the potential for marginal lands in ten Midwestern US states to produce sizeable amounts of biomass and concurrently mitigate GHG emissions. In a comparative assessment of six alternative cropping systems over 20 years, we found that successional herbaceous vegetation, once well established, has a direct GHG emissions mitigation capacity that rivals that of purpose-grown crops (-851 ± 46 grams of CO(2) equivalent emissions per square metre per year (gCO(2)e m(-2) yr(-1))). If fertilized, these communities have the capacity to produce about 63 ± 5 gigajoules of ethanol energy per hectare per year. By contrast, an adjacent, no-till corn-soybean-wheat rotation produces on average 41 ± 1 gigajoules of biofuel energy per hectare per year and has a net direct mitigation capacity of -397 ± 32 gCO(2)e m(-2) yr(-1); a continuous corn rotation would probably produce about 62 ± 7 gigajoules of biofuel energy per hectare per year, with 13% less mitigation. We also perform quantitative modelling of successional vegetation on marginal lands in the region at a resolution of 0.4 hectares, constrained by the requirement that each modelled location be within 80 kilometres of a potential biorefinery. Our results suggest that such vegetation could produce about 21 gigalitres of ethanol per year from

  8. A low-temperature co-fired ceramic micro-reactor system for high-efficiency on-site hydrogen production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Bo; Maeder, Thomas; Santis-Alvarez, Alejandro J.; Poulikakos, Dimos; Muralt, Paul

    2015-01-01

    A ceramic-based, meso-scale fuel processor for on-board production of syngas fuel was demonstrated for applications in micro-scale solid-oxide fuel cells (μ-SOFCs). The processor had a total dimension of 12 mm × 40 mm × 2 mm, the gas reforming micro reactor occupying the hot end of a cantilever had outer dimensions of 12 × 18 mm. The device was fabricated through a novel progressive lamination process in low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) technology. Both, heating function and desired fluidic structures were integrated monolithically into the processor. Using catalytic partial oxidation of a hydrocarbon fuel (propane) as a reaction model, a thermally self-sustaining hydrogen production was achieved. The output flow is sufficiently high to drive an optimized single membrane μSOFC cell of about the same footprint as the micro reactor. Microsystem design, fabrication, catalyst integration as well as the chemical characterization are discussed in detail.

  9. The Future of Pork Production in the World: Towards Sustainable, Welfare-Positive Systems

    PubMed Central

    McGlone, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary More pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. Making production systems and practices more sustainable will benefit the animals, the planet and people. A system is presented by which production practices are evaluated using a sustainability matrix. The matrix shows why some practices are more common in some countries and regions and the impediments to more sustainable systems. This method can be used to assess the sustainability of production practices in the future where objective, science-based information is presented alongside ethical and economic information to make the most informed decisions. Finally, this paper points to current pork production practices that are more and less sustainable. Abstract Among land animals, more pork is eaten in the world than any other meat. The earth holds about one billion pigs who deliver over 100 mmt of pork to people for consumption. Systems of pork production changed from a forest-based to pasture-based to dirt lots and finally into specially-designed buildings. The world pork industry is variable and complex not just in production methods but in economics and cultural value. A systematic analysis of pork industry sustainability was performed. Sustainable production methods are considered at three levels using three examples in this paper: production system, penning system and for a production practice. A sustainability matrix was provided for each example. In a comparison of indoor vs. outdoor systems, the food safety/zoonoses concerns make current outdoor systems unsustainable. The choice of keeping pregnant sows in group pens or individual crates is complex in that the outcome of a sustainability assessment leads to the conclusion that group penning is more sustainable in the EU and certain USA states, but the individual crate is currently more sustainable in other USA states, Asia and Latin America. A comparison of conventional physical castration with immunological castration shows that the less

  10. Effects of artemisinin sustained-release granules on mixed alga growth and microcystins production and release.

    PubMed

    Ni, Lixiao; Li, Danye; Hu, Shuzhen; Wang, Peifang; Li, Shiyin; Li, Yiping; Li, Yong; Acharya, Kumud

    2015-12-01

    To safely and effectively apply artemisinin sustained-release granules to control and prevent algal water-blooms, the effects of artemisinin and its sustained-release granules on freshwater alga (Scenedesmus obliquus (S. obliquus) and Microcystis aeruginosa (M. aeruginosa)), as well as the production and release of microcystins (MCs) were studied. The results showed that artemisinin sustained-release granules inhibited the growth of M. aeruginosa (above 95% IR) and S. obliquus (about 90% IR), with M. aeruginosa more sensitive. The artemisinin sustained-release granules had a longer inhibition effect on growth of pure algae and algal coexistence than direct artemisinin dosing. The artemisinin sustained-release granules could decrease the production and release of algal toxins due to the continued stress of artemisinin released from artemisinin sustained-release granules. There was no increase in the total amount of MC-LR in the algal cell culture medium. PMID:26432265

  11. Sustainable production of bioactive compounds from sponges: primmorphs as bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Schröder, H C; Brümmer, F; Fattorusso, E; Aiello, A; Menna, M; de Rosa, S; Batel, R; Müller, W E G

    2003-01-01

    Sponges [phylum Porifera] are a rich source for the isolation of biologically active and pharmacologically valuable compounds with a high potential to become effective drugs for therapeutic use. However, until now, only one compound has been introduced into clinics because of the limited amounts of starting material available for extraction. To overcome this serious problem in line with the rules for a sustainable use of marine resources, the following routes can be pursued; first, chemical synthesis, second, cultivation of sponges in the sea (mariculture), third, growth of sponge specimens in a bioreactor, and fourth, cultivation of sponge cells in vitro in a bioreactor. The main efforts to follow the latter strategy have been undertaken with the marine sponge Suberites domuncula. This species produces compounds that affect neuronal cells, such as quinolinic acid, a well-known neurotoxin, and phospholipids. A sponge cell culture was established after finding that single sponge cells require cell-cell contact in order to retain their telomerase activity, one prerequisite for continuous cell proliferation. The sponge cell culture system, the primmorphs, comprises proliferating cells that have the potency to differentiate. While improving the medium it was found that, besides growth factors, certain ions (e.g. silicate and iron) are essential. In the presence of silicate several genes required for the formation of the extracellular matrix are expressed (silicatein, collagen and myotrophin). Fe3+ is essential for the synthesis of the spicules, and causes an increased expression of the ferritin-, septin- and scavenger receptor genes. Furthermore, high water current is required for growth and canal formation in the primmorphs. The primmorph system has already been successfully used for the production of pharmacologically useful, bioactive compounds, such as avarol or (2'-5')oligoadenylates. Future strategies to improve the sponge cell culture are discussed; these

  12. DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF A SUSTAINABLE MICRO-HYDRO POWER PLANT AND DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM FOR A TRIBAL VILLAGE CLUSTER IN RURAL INDIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Columbia University Engineers Without Borders (CU-EWB) is developing a sustainable micro-hydro power plant for the Badi Trika Gouda village in the Indian state of Orissa. The community currently relies on firewood and animal waste matter for lighting and cooking. Our ...

  13. Comprehensive national assessment of the sustainability of beef production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A national assessment is being conducted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the beef checkoff, to develop better scientific understanding of the sustainability of beef. This includes a life cycle assessment (LCA) of greenhouse gas emissions along with other environmental, ...

  14. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability (Journal article)

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show...

  15. The sustainability of organic dairy production in the U.S.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Both organic and conventional dairy farming practices in the U.S. have unique challenges for maintaining sustainable production. Economic sustainability may be most important because milk will not be produced in our economy unless there is profit for the producer. The demand for organic milk has cre...

  16. An integrative modeling framework to evaluate the productivity and sustainability of biofuel crop production systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, X; Izaurralde, R. C.; Manowitz, D.; West, T. O.; Thomson, A. M.; Post, Wilfred M; Bandaru, Vara Prasad; Nichols, Jeff; Williams, J.

    2010-10-01

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: (1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, (2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and (3) an evolutionary multiobjective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a nine-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to (1) simulate biofuel crop production, (2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and (3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  17. An Integrative Modeling Framework to Evaluate the Productivity and Sustainability of Biofuel Crop Production Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Manowitz, David H.; West, T. O.; Post, W. M.; Thomson, Allison M.; Bandaru, V. P.; Nichols, J.; Williams, J.R.

    2010-09-08

    The potential expansion of biofuel production raises food, energy, and environmental challenges that require careful assessment of the impact of biofuel production on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil erosion, nutrient loading, and water quality. In this study, we describe a spatially-explicit integrative modeling framework (SEIMF) to understand and quantify the environmental impacts of different biomass cropping systems. This SEIMF consists of three major components: 1) a geographic information system (GIS)-based data analysis system to define spatial modeling units with resolution of 56 m to address spatial variability, 2) the biophysical and biogeochemical model EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) applied in a spatially-explicit way to predict biomass yield, GHG emissions, and other environmental impacts of different biofuel crops production systems, and 3) an evolutionary multi-objective optimization algorithm for exploring the trade-offs between biofuel energy production and unintended ecosystem-service responses. Simple examples illustrate the major functions of the SEIMF when applied to a 9-county Regional Intensive Modeling Area (RIMA) in SW Michigan to 1) simulate biofuel crop production, 2) compare impacts of management practices and local ecosystem settings, and 3) optimize the spatial configuration of different biofuel production systems by balancing energy production and other ecosystem-service variables. Potential applications of the SEIMF to support life cycle analysis and provide information on biodiversity evaluation and marginal-land identification are also discussed. The SEIMF developed in this study is expected to provide a useful tool for scientists and decision makers to understand sustainability issues associated with the production of biofuels at local, regional, and national scales.

  18. C2CAD: A SUSTAINABLE APPAREL DESIGN AND PRODUCTION CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many environmental problems related to apparel industry, such as toxicity in dyeing wastewater, could be minimized by apparel designers and manufacturers. However, no apparel design and production model put designers' role in environmental sustainability into consideration. ...

  19. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Transportation Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.

    2009-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews NASA Marshall's effort to sustain space transportation solutions through product lines that include: 1) Propulsion and Transportation Systems; 2) Life Support Systems; and 3) and Earth and Space Science Spacecraft Systems, and Operations.

  20. Sustainable Harvest and marketing of rain forest products

    SciTech Connect

    Plotkin, M.J.; Famolare, L.M.

    1992-01-01

    The economics of nontimber rainforest products often make a strong case for forest protection and prevention of deforestation. This book contains 33 diverse papers falling into three catagories: tropical rainforests are underutilized sources of new plant products; increased use of tropical forest products should benefit human inhabitants of the rainforest; nontimber forest products many not be the panacea that some suggest.

  1. Integration: valuing stakeholder input in setting priorities for socially sustainable egg production.

    PubMed

    Swanson, J C; Lee, Y; Thompson, P B; Bawden, R; Mench, J A

    2011-09-01

    Setting directions and goals for animal production systems requires the integration of information achieved through internal and external processes. The importance of stakeholder input in setting goals for sustainable animal production systems should not be overlooked by the agricultural animal industries. Stakeholders play an integral role in setting the course for many aspects of animal production, from influencing consumer preferences to setting public policy. The Socially Sustainable Egg Production Project (SSEP) involved the development of white papers on various aspects of egg production, followed by a stakeholder workshop to help frame the issues for the future of sustainable egg production. Representatives from the environmental, food safety, food retail, consumer, animal welfare, and the general farm and egg production sectors participated with members of the SSEP coordination team in a 1.5-d workshop to explore socially sustainable egg production. This paper reviews the published literature on values integration methodologies and the lessons learned from animal welfare assessment models. The integration method used for the SSEP stakeholder workshop and its outcome are then summarized. The method used for the SSEP stakeholder workshop can be used to obtain stakeholder input on sustainable production in other farm animal industries. PMID:21844279

  2. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  3. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  4. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  5. 36 CFR 223.219 - Sustainable harvest of special forest products.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Sustainable harvest of special forest products. 223.219 Section 223.219 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SALE AND DISPOSAL OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM TIMBER, SPECIAL FOREST PRODUCTS, AND FOREST BOTANICAL PRODUCTS Special...

  6. Sustained expression of microRNA-155 in hematopoietic stem cells causes a myeloproliferative disorder.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Ryan M; Rao, Dinesh S; Chaudhuri, Aadel A; Boldin, Mark P; Taganov, Konstantin D; Nicoll, John; Paquette, Ronald L; Baltimore, David

    2008-03-17

    Mammalian microRNAs are emerging as key regulators of the development and function of the immune system. Here, we report a strong but transient induction of miR-155 in mouse bone marrow after injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) correlated with granulocyte/monocyte (GM) expansion. Demonstrating the sufficiency of miR-155 to drive GM expansion, enforced expression in mouse bone marrow cells caused GM proliferation in a manner reminiscent of LPS treatment. However, the miR-155-induced GM populations displayed pathological features characteristic of myeloid neoplasia. Of possible relevance to human disease, miR-155 was found to be overexpressed in the bone marrow of patients with certain subtypes of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Furthermore, miR-155 repressed a subset of genes implicated in hematopoietic development and disease. These data implicate miR-155 as a contributor to physiological GM expansion during inflammation and to certain pathological features associated with AML, emphasizing the importance of proper miR-155 regulation in developing myeloid cells during times of inflammatory stress. PMID:18299402

  7. Toward a sustainability label for food products: an analysis of experts' and consumers' acceptance.

    PubMed

    Engels, Stéphanie V; Hansmann, Ralf; Scholz, Roland W

    2010-01-01

    The recent proliferation of standards and labels for organic, fair-trade, locally produced, and healthy food products risks creating confusion among consumers. This study presents a standardized approach to developing a comprehensive sustainability label that incorporates ecological, economic, and social values. The methodology is based on an extension of modular life-cycle assessment to non-environmental sustainability criteria. Interviews with a wide range of experts (n=65) and a consumer survey (n=233) were conducted to analyze the feasibility and potential effectiveness of the approach. Responses indicated that a comprehensive sustainability label could considerably influence consumption patterns and facilitate cross-product comparisons. PMID:21883088

  8. Expanding lean thinking to the product and process design and development within the framework of sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sorli, M.; Sopelana, A.; Salgado, M.; Pelaez, G.; Ares, E.

    2012-04-01

    Companies require tools to change towards a new way of developing and producing innovative products to be manufactured considering the economic, social and environmental impact along the product life cycle. Based on translating Lean principles in Product Development (PD) from the design stage and, along the entire product life cycle, it is aimed to address both sustainability and environmental issues. The drivers of sustainable culture within a lean PD have been identified and a baseline for future research on the development of appropriate tools and techniques has been provided. This research provide industry with a framework which balance environmental and sustainable factors with lean principles to be considered and incorporated from the beginning of product design and development covering the entire product lifecycle.

  9. Heterogeneous catalysis for sustainable biodiesel production via esterification and transesterification.

    PubMed

    Lee, Adam F; Bennett, James A; Manayil, Jinesh C; Wilson, Karen

    2014-11-21

    Concern over the economics of accessing fossil fuel reserves, and widespread acceptance of the anthropogenic origin of rising CO2 emissions and associated climate change from combusting such carbon sources, is driving academic and commercial research into new routes to sustainable fuels to meet the demands of a rapidly rising global population. Here we discuss catalytic esterification and transesterification solutions to the clean synthesis of biodiesel, the most readily implemented and low cost, alternative source of transportation fuels to meet future societal demands. PMID:24957179

  10. Can the co-cultivation of rice and fish help sustain rice production?

    PubMed

    Hu, Liangliang; Zhang, Jian; Ren, Weizheng; Guo, Liang; Cheng, Yongxu; Li, Jiayao; Li, Kexin; Zhu, Zewen; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Shiming; Cheng, Lei; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Because rice feeds half of the world's population, a secure global food supply depends on sustainable rice production. Here we test whether the co-cultivation of rice and fish into one "rice-fish system" (RFS; fish refers to aquatic animals in this article) could help sustain rice production. We examined intensive and traditional RFSs that have been widely practiced in China. We found that rice yields did not decrease when fish yield was below a threshold value in each intensive RFS. Below the thresholds, moreover, fish yields in intensive RFSs can be substantially higher than those in traditional RFS without reducing rice yield. Relative to rice monoculture, the use of fertilizer-nitrogen and pesticides decreased, and the farmers' net income increased in RFSs. The results suggest that RFSs can help sustain rice production, and suggest that development of co-culture technologies (i.e. proper field configuration for fish and rice) is necessary to achieve the sustainability. PMID:27349875

  11. MicroRNA-155 regulates inflammatory cytokine production in tumor-associated macrophages via targeting C/EBPbeta.

    PubMed

    He, Min; Xu, Zhenqun; Ding, Tong; Kuang, Dong-Ming; Zheng, Limin

    2009-10-01

    Macrophages (Mphi) are prominent components of solid tumors and exhibit distinct phenotypes in different microenvironments. We have recently found that tumors can alter the normal developmental process of Mphi to trigger transient activation of monocytes, but the underlying regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood. Here, we showed that the protein expression of transcription factor C/EBPbeta was markedly elevated in tumor-associated Mphi both in vitro and human tumors in situ. The expression of C/EBP protein correlated with cytokine production in tumor-activated monocytes. Moreover, we found that C/EBPbeta expression was regulated at the post-transcriptional level and correlated with sustained reduction of microRNA-155 (miR-155) in tumor-activated monocytes. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that C/EBPbeta is a potential target of miR-155 and luciferase assay confirmed that C/EBPbeta translation is suppressed by miR-155 through interaction with the 3'UTR of C/EBPbeta mRNA. Further analysis showed that induction of miR-155 suppressed C/EBPbeta protein expression as well as cytokine production in tumor-activated monocytes, an effect which could be mimicked by silencing of C/EBPbeta. These results indicate that tumor environment causes a sustained reduction of miR-155 in monocytes/Mphi, which in turn regulates the functional activities of monocytes/Mphi by releasing the translational inhibition of transcription factor C/EBPbeta. PMID:19887047

  12. Sustain

    SciTech Connect

    2013-08-20

    Current building energy simulation technology requires excessive labor, time and expertise to create building energy models, excessive computational time for accurate simulations and difficulties with the interpretation of the results. These deficiencies can be ameliorated using modern graphical user interfaces and algorithms which take advantage of modern computer architectures and display capabilities. To prove this hypothesis, we developed an experimental test bed for building energy simulation. This novel test bed environment offers an easy-to-use interactive graphical interface, provides access to innovative simulation modules that run at accelerated computational speeds, and presents new graphics visualization methods to interpret simulation results. Our system offers the promise of dramatic ease of use in comparison with currently available building energy simulation tools. Its modular structure makes it suitable for early stage building design, as a research platform for the investigation of new simulation methods, and as a tool for teaching concepts of sustainable design. Improvements in the accuracy and execution speed of many of the simulation modules are based on the modification of advanced computer graphics rendering algorithms. Significant performance improvements are demonstrated in several computationally expensive energy simulation modules. The incorporation of these modern graphical techniques should advance the state of the art in the domain of whole building energy analysis and building performance simulation, particularly at the conceptual design stage when decisions have the greatest impact. More importantly, these better simulation tools will enable the transition from prescriptive to performative energy codes, resulting in better, more efficient designs for our future built environment.

  13. A microBio reactor for hydrogen production.

    SciTech Connect

    Volponi, Joanne V.; Walker, Andrew William

    2003-12-01

    The purpose of this work was to explore the potential of developing a microfluidic reactor capable of enzymatically converting glucose and other carbohydrates to hydrogen. This aggressive project was motivated by work in enzymatic hydrogen production done by Woodward et al. at OWL. The work reported here demonstrated that hydrogen could be produced from the enzymatic oxidation of glucose. Attempts at immobilizing the enzymes resulted in reduced hydrogen production rates, probably due to buffer compatibility issues. A novel in-line sensor was also developed to monitor hydrogen production in real time at levels below 1 ppm. Finally, a theoretical design for the microfluidic reactor was developed but never produced due to the low production rates of hydrogen from the immobilized enzymes. However, this work demonstrated the potential of mimicking biological systems to create energy on the microscale.

  14. Life Cycle Assessment Software for Product and Process Sustainability Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vervaeke, Marina

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, life cycle assessment (LCA), a methodology for assessment of environmental impacts of products and services, has become increasingly important. This methodology is applied by decision makers in industry and policy, product developers, environmental managers, and other non-LCA specialists working on environmental issues in a wide…

  15. Sustain

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2013-08-20

    Current building energy simulation technology requires excessive labor, time and expertise to create building energy models, excessive computational time for accurate simulations and difficulties with the interpretation of the results. These deficiencies can be ameliorated using modern graphical user interfaces and algorithms which take advantage of modern computer architectures and display capabilities. To prove this hypothesis, we developed an experimental test bed for building energy simulation. This novel test bed environment offers an easy-to-use interactivemore » graphical interface, provides access to innovative simulation modules that run at accelerated computational speeds, and presents new graphics visualization methods to interpret simulation results. Our system offers the promise of dramatic ease of use in comparison with currently available building energy simulation tools. Its modular structure makes it suitable for early stage building design, as a research platform for the investigation of new simulation methods, and as a tool for teaching concepts of sustainable design. Improvements in the accuracy and execution speed of many of the simulation modules are based on the modification of advanced computer graphics rendering algorithms. Significant performance improvements are demonstrated in several computationally expensive energy simulation modules. The incorporation of these modern graphical techniques should advance the state of the art in the domain of whole building energy analysis and building performance simulation, particularly at the conceptual design stage when decisions have the greatest impact. More importantly, these better simulation tools will enable the transition from prescriptive to performative energy codes, resulting in better, more efficient designs for our future built environment.« less

  16. 77 FR 10939 - Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-02-24

    ... memorandum in the Federal Register. (Presidential Sig.) THE WHITE HOUSE, Washington, February 21, 2012 [FR... Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product Procurement Memorandum for the... procurement of biobased products to promote rural economic development, create new jobs, and provide...

  17. Conservation Considerations for Sustainable Bioenergy Feedstock Production: If, What, Where, and How Much?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increased awareness of the need to achieve energy independence and security has resulted in many questions regarding the use of agricultural products as feedstock for bioenergy production. Initial efforts with grain crops, though successful, raised many more questions regarding sustainability and po...

  18. Integrated Metrics for Improving the Life Cycle Approach to Assessing Product System Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    Life cycle approaches are critical for identifying and managing to reduce burdens in the sustainability of product systems. While these methods can indicate potential environmental impacts of a product, current Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods fail to integrate the multiple im...

  19. Biogeochemical research priorities for sustainable biofuel and bioenergy feedstock production in the Americas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demands on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustaina...

  20. The Role of Diverse Strategies in Sustainable Knowledge Production.

    PubMed

    Wu, Lingfei; Baggio, Jacopo A; Janssen, Marco A

    2016-01-01

    Online communities are becoming increasingly important as platforms for large-scale human cooperation. These communities allow users seeking and sharing professional skills to solve problems collaboratively. To investigate how users cooperate to complete a large number of knowledge-producing tasks, we analyze Stack Exchange, one of the largest question and answer systems in the world. We construct attention networks to model the growth of 110 communities in the Stack Exchange system and quantify individual answering strategies using the linking dynamics on attention networks. We identify two answering strategies. Strategy A aims at performing maintenance by doing simple tasks, whereas strategy B aims at investing time in doing challenging tasks. Both strategies are important: empirical evidence shows that strategy A decreases the median waiting time for answers and strategy B increases the acceptance rate of answers. In investigating the strategic persistence of users, we find that users tends to stick on the same strategy over time in a community, but switch from one strategy to the other across communities. This finding reveals the different sets of knowledge and skills between users. A balance between the population of users taking A and B strategies that approximates 2:1, is found to be optimal to the sustainable growth of communities. PMID:26934733

  1. The Role of Diverse Strategies in Sustainable Knowledge Production

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Lingfei; Baggio, Jacopo A.; Janssen, Marco A.

    2016-01-01

    Online communities are becoming increasingly important as platforms for large-scale human cooperation. These communities allow users seeking and sharing professional skills to solve problems collaboratively. To investigate how users cooperate to complete a large number of knowledge-producing tasks, we analyze Stack Exchange, one of the largest question and answer systems in the world. We construct attention networks to model the growth of 110 communities in the Stack Exchange system and quantify individual answering strategies using the linking dynamics on attention networks. We identify two answering strategies. Strategy A aims at performing maintenance by doing simple tasks, whereas strategy B aims at investing time in doing challenging tasks. Both strategies are important: empirical evidence shows that strategy A decreases the median waiting time for answers and strategy B increases the acceptance rate of answers. In investigating the strategic persistence of users, we find that users tends to stick on the same strategy over time in a community, but switch from one strategy to the other across communities. This finding reveals the different sets of knowledge and skills between users. A balance between the population of users taking A and B strategies that approximates 2:1, is found to be optimal to the sustainable growth of communities. PMID:26934733

  2. Productivity ranges of sustainable biomass potentials from non-agricultural land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schueler, Vivian; Fuss, Sabine; Steckel, Jan Christoph; Weddige, Ulf; Beringer, Tim

    2016-07-01

    Land is under pressure from a number of demands, including the need for increased supplies of bioenergy. While bioenergy is an important ingredient in many pathways compatible with reaching the 2 °C target, areas where cultivation of the biomass feedstock would be most productive appear to co-host other important ecosystems services. We categorize global geo-data on land availability into productivity deciles, and provide a geographically explicit assessment of potentials that are concurrent with EU sustainability criteria. The deciles unambiguously classify the global productivity range of potential land currently not in agricultural production for biomass cultivation. Results show that 53 exajoule (EJ) sustainable biomass potential are available from 167 million hectares (Mha) with a productivity above 10 tons of dry matter per hectare and year (tD Mha‑1 a‑1), while additional 33 EJ are available on 264 Mha with yields between 4 and 10 tD M ha‑1 a‑1: some regions lose less of their highly productive potentials to sustainability concerns than others and regional contributions to bioenergy potentials shift when less productive land is considered. Challenges to limit developments to the exploitation of sustainable potentials arise in Latin America, Africa and Developing Asia, while new opportunities emerge for Transition Economies and OECD countries to cultivate marginal land.

  3. Developing sustainable management practices for organic rice production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Demand for organically produced rice has been increasing with up to 50,000 acres now produced in the USA. Although acreage of conventional rice production has decreased in Texas by 36% during the last 15 years, it is now home to some 15,000 acres of organic rice, which has brought new vitality to ot...

  4. Sustainable bioenergy production from marginal lands in the US Midwest

    SciTech Connect

    Gelfand, Ilya; Sahajpal, Ritvik; Zhang, Xuesong; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Gross, Katherine L.; Robertson, G. P.

    2013-01-24

    Long-term measurements of global warming impact coupled with spatially explicit modeling suggests that both climate benefits and the production potential of cellulosic crops grown on marginal lands of the US North Central region are substantial but will be insufficient to meet long-term biofuel needs.

  5. Sustainable Harvests Through Increased Utilization of Salmon By-Products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The growing demand for fish meals and oils has produced a steady rise in the market price garnered by these commodities. However, the practice of discarding fish-processing wastes is still widespread. Alaska’s fishing industry generates over one million metric tons of fish by-products each year, muc...

  6. Soil Biochar Applications Enhance Sustainability of Bioenergy Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residues return plant nutrients to soils and are critically important for nutrient cycling, maintaining levels of soil organic matter, and stabilizing soil structure. Removal of crop residues for use as feedstock for bioenergy production could adversely impact soil quality, reduce net energy pr...

  7. Switchgrass: a productive, profitable, and sustainable biofuel feedstock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass is a model biofuel feedstock for the USA. Progress has been made in all areas of switchgrass for bioenergy and a complete field-validated biomass production system has been developed. However, switchgrass for bioenergy has not been adopted on a large scale. This is a classic chicken-and-...

  8. Sustaining Motivation and Productivity during Significant Organizational Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pellak, Mary T.

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of organizational change and possible negative effects which can impact organizational performance focuses on ways a manager can identify problems with employee motivation and productivity and address them in a supportive manner. Topics include clear expectations, open communication, and recognizing employee efforts. (Author/LRW)

  9. Alfalfa -- a sustainable crop for biomass energy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has the potential to be a significant contributor to America's renewable energy future. In an alfalfa biomass energy production system, alfalfa forage would be separated into stem and leave fractions. The stems would be processed to produce energy, and the leaves would be s...

  10. A testpart for interdisciplinary analyses in micro production engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Möhring, H. -C.; Kersting, P.; Carmignato, S.; Yagüe-Fabra, J. A.; Maestro, M.; Jiménez, R.; Ferraris, E.; Tunc, L. T.; Bleicher, F.; Wits, W. W.; Walczak, K.; Hedlind, M.

    2015-04-26

    In 2011, a round robin test was initiated within the group of CIRP Research Affiliates. The aim was to establish a platform for linking interdisciplinary research in order to share the expertise and experiences of participants all over the world. This paper introduces a testpart which has been designed to allow an analysis of different manufacturing technologies, simulation methods, machinery and metrology as well as process and production planning aspects. Current investigations are presented focusing on the machining and additive processes to produce the geometry, simulation approaches, machine analysis, and a comparison of measuring technologies. Challenges and limitations regarding the manufacturing and evaluation of the testpart features by the applied methods are discussed.

  11. Sustainable production of green feed from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

    PubMed

    Landau, Miron V; Vidruk, Roxana; Herskowitz, Moti

    2014-03-01

    Carbon dioxide hydrogenation to form hydrocarbons was conducted on two iron-based catalysts, prepared according to procedures described in the literature, and on a new iron spinel catalyst. The CO2 conversion measured in a packed-bed reactor was limited to about 60% because of excessive amounts of water produced in this process. Switching to a system of three packed-bed reactors in series with interim removal of water and condensed hydrocarbons increased CO2 conversion to as much as 89%. The pure spinel catalyst displayed a significantly higher activity and selectivity than those of the other iron catalysts. This process produces a product called green feed, which is similar in composition to the product of a high-temperature, iron-based Fischer–Tropsch process from syngas. The green feed can be readily converted into renewable fuels by well-established technologies. PMID:24678062

  12. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Engineering Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decision-making. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful concept to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This paper will demonstrate how the Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions. It has been 30 years since the United States fielded the Space Shuttle. The next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. The outcome is a better use of scarce resources, along with more focus on stakeholder and customer requirements, as a new portfolio of enabling tools becomes second nature to the workforce. This paper will use the design and manufacturing processes, which have transitioned to digital-based activities, to show how PLM supports the comprehensive systems engineering and integration function. It also will go through a launch countdown scenario where an anomaly is detected to show how the virtual vehicle created from paperless processes will help solve technical challenges and improve the likelihood of launching on schedule

  13. Fuel cell systems for a sustainable energy production

    SciTech Connect

    Kivisaari, T.

    1996-12-31

    When talking about fuel cell systems for stationary applications, two of the advantages are claimed to be a high inherent efficiency and environmentally favourable characteristics. It should, however, be obvious to everybody that in order to call an energy production route environmentally benign, it is not enough that just the energy production step itself has a low negative environmental impact, but that all steps involved (e.g. fuel pre-treatment, fuel processing etc.) should be subjected to the same constraints if the overall production process is to be considered environmentally friendly. In order to evaluate the technical possibilities of a biomass fuelled MCFC unit for stationary applications a system study of a 40 MWe biomass-fired MCFC system is currently carried out at The Royal Institute of Technology, as part of the international co-operation within the IEA Advanced Fuel Cell Programme Annex 1, Balance of Plant of MCFC Systems. In addition to the present work, other recent studies involving biomass and fuel cells can be found in literature.

  14. A testpart for interdisciplinary analyses in micro production engineering

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Möhring, H. -C.; Kersting, P.; Carmignato, S.; Yagüe-Fabra, J. A.; Maestro, M.; Jiménez, R.; Ferraris, E.; Tunc, L. T.; Bleicher, F.; Wits, W. W.; et al

    2015-04-26

    In 2011, a round robin test was initiated within the group of CIRP Research Affiliates. The aim was to establish a platform for linking interdisciplinary research in order to share the expertise and experiences of participants all over the world. This paper introduces a testpart which has been designed to allow an analysis of different manufacturing technologies, simulation methods, machinery and metrology as well as process and production planning aspects. Current investigations are presented focusing on the machining and additive processes to produce the geometry, simulation approaches, machine analysis, and a comparison of measuring technologies. Challenges and limitations regarding themore » manufacturing and evaluation of the testpart features by the applied methods are discussed.« less

  15. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas.

    PubMed

    Gollany, Hero T; Titus, Brian D; Scott, D Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C; Chimner, Rodney A; Kaczmarek, Donald J; Leite, Luiz F C; Ferreira, Ana C C; Rod, Kenton A; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V; Cisz, Michelle E

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape. PMID:26006220

  16. Biogeochemical Research Priorities for Sustainable Biofuel and Bioenergy Feedstock Production in the Americas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gollany, Hero T.; Titus, Brian D.; Scott, D. Andrew; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Resh, Sigrid C.; Chimner, Rodney A.; Kaczmarek, Donald J.; Leite, Luiz F. C.; Ferreira, Ana C. C.; Rod, Kenton A.; Hilbert, Jorge; Galdos, Marcelo V.; Cisz, Michelle E.

    2015-12-01

    Rapid expansion in biomass production for biofuels and bioenergy in the Americas is increasing demand on the ecosystem resources required to sustain soil and site productivity. We review the current state of knowledge and highlight gaps in research on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem sustainability related to biomass production. Biomass production systems incrementally remove greater quantities of organic matter, which in turn affects soil organic matter and associated carbon and nutrient storage (and hence long-term soil productivity) and off-site impacts. While these consequences have been extensively studied for some crops and sites, the ongoing and impending impacts of biomass removal require management strategies for ensuring that soil properties and functions are sustained for all combinations of crops, soils, sites, climates, and management systems, and that impacts of biomass management (including off-site impacts) are environmentally acceptable. In a changing global environment, knowledge of cumulative impacts will also become increasingly important. Long-term experiments are essential for key crops, soils, and management systems because short-term results do not necessarily reflect long-term impacts, although improved modeling capability may help to predict these impacts. Identification and validation of soil sustainability indicators for both site prescriptions and spatial applications would better inform commercial and policy decisions. In an increasingly inter-related but constrained global context, researchers should engage across inter-disciplinary, inter-agency, and international lines to better ensure the long-term soil productivity across a range of scales, from site to landscape.

  17. [Sustainable production of bulk chemicals by application of "white biotechnology"].

    PubMed

    Patel, M K; Dornburg, V; Hermann, B G; Shen, Li; van Overbeek, Leo

    2008-12-01

    Practically all organic chemicals and plastics are nowadays produced from crude oil and natural gas. However, it is possible to produce a wide range of bulk chemicals from renewable resources by application of biotechnology. This paper focuses on White Biotechnology, which makes use of bacteria (or yeasts) or enzymes for the conversion of the fermentable sugar to the target product. It is shown that White Biotechnology offers substantial savings of non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for nearly all of the products studied. Under favorable boundary conditions up to two thirds (67%) of the current non-renewable energy use for the production of the selected chemicals can be saved by 2050 if substantial technological progress is made and if the use of lignocellulosic feedstocks is successfully developed. The analysis for Europe (E.U. 25 countries) shows that land requirements related to White Biotechnology chemicals are not likely to become a critical issue in the next few decades, especially considering the large unused and underutilized resources in Eastern Europe. Substantial macroeconomic savings can be achieved under favourable boundary conditions. In principle, natural bacteria and enzymes can be used for White Biotechnology but, according to many experts in the fields, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will be necessary in order to achieve the high yields, concentrations and productivities that are required to reach economic viability. Safe containment and inactivation of GMOs after release is very important because not all possible implications caused by the interaction of recombinant genes with other populations can be foreseen. If adequate precautionary measures are taken, the risks related to the use of genetically modified organisms in White Biotechnology are manageable. We conclude that the core requirements to be fulfilled in order to make clear steps towards a bio-based chemical industry are substantial technological progress in the

  18. Sustained cyclic AMP production by parathyroid hormone receptor endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Ferrandon, Sébastien; Feinstein, Timothy N; Castro, Marian; Wang, Bin; Bouley, Richard; Potts, John T; Gardella, Thomas J; Vilardaga, Jean-Pierre

    2011-01-01

    Cell signaling mediated by the G protein-coupled parathyroid hormone receptor type 1 (PTHR) is fundamental to bone and kidney physiology. It has been unclear how the two ligand systems—PTH, endocrine and homeostatic, and PTH-related peptide (PTHrP), paracrine—can effectively operate with only one receptor and trigger different durations of the cAMP responses. Here we analyze the ligand response by measuring the kinetics of activation and deactivation for each individual reaction step along the PTHR signaling cascade. We found that during the time frame of G protein coupling and cAMP production, PTHrP1–36 action was restricted to the cell surface, whereas PTH1–34 had moved to internalized compartments where it remained associated with the PTHR and Gαs, potentially as a persistent and active ternary complex. Such marked differences suggest a mechanism by which PTH and PTHrP induce differential responses, and these results indicate that the central tenet that cAMP production originates exclusively at the cell membrane must be revised. PMID:19701185

  19. Novel transparent electrodes allow sustainable production of electronic devices

    SciTech Connect

    Constant, Kristen

    2010-12-27

    A novel technique for fabricating inexpensive, transparent electrodes from common metals has been developed by engineers and scientists at Iowa State University and Ames Laboratory. They exhibit very high transparency and are very good electrical conductors. This is a combination of properties that is difficult to achieve with common materials. The most frequently used transparent electrode in today's high-technology devices (such as LCD screens) is indium tin oxide (ITO). While ITO performs well in these applications, the supply of indium is very limited. In addition, it is rapidly decreasing as consumer demand for flat-panel electronics is skyrocketing. According to a 2004 US Geological Survey report, as little as 14 years exploitation of known indium reserves remains. In addition to increasing prices, the dwindling supply of indium suggests its use is not sustainable for future generations of electronics enthusiasts. Solar cells represent another application where transparent electrodes are used. To make solar-energy collection economically feasible, all parts of solar photovoltaics must be made more efficient and cost-effective. Our novel transparent electrodes have the potential to do both. In addition, there is much interest in developing more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly lighting. Incandescent light bulbs are very inefficient, because most of their energy consumption is wasted as heat. Fluorescent lighting is much more efficient but still uses mercury, an environmental toxin. An attractive alternative is offered by LEDs, which have very high efficiencies and long lifetimes, and do not contain mercury. If made bright enough, LED use for general lighting could provide a viable alternative. We have fabricated electrodes from more commonly available materials, using a technique that is cost effective and environmentally friendly. Most of today's electronic devices are made in specialized facilities equipped with low

  20. Tailoring lignin biosynthesis for efficient and sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chang-Jun; Cai, Yuanheng; Zhang, Xuebin; Gou, Mingyue; Yang, Huijun

    2014-12-01

    Increased global interest in a bio-based economy has reinvigorated the research on the cell wall structure and composition in plants. In particular, the study of plant lignification has become a central focus, with respect to its intractability and negative impact on the utilization of the cell wall biomass for producing biofuels and bio-based chemicals. Striking progress has been achieved in the last few years both on our fundamental understanding of lignin biosynthesis, deposition and assembly, and on the interplay of lignin synthesis with the plant growth and development. With the knowledge gleaned from basic studies, researchers are now able to invent and develop elegant biotechnological strategies to sophisticatedly manipulate the quantity and structure of lignin and thus to create economically viable bioenergy feedstocks. These concerted efforts open an avenue for the commercial production of cost-competitive biofuel to meet our energy needs. PMID:25209835

  1. Denitrification 'Woodchip' Bioreactors for Productive and Sustainable Agricultural Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christianson, L. E.; Summerfelt, S.; Sharrer, K.; Lepine, C.; Helmers, M. J.

    2014-12-01

    Growing alarm about negative cascading effects of reactive nitrogen in the environment has led to multifaceted efforts to address elevated nitrate-nitrogen levels in water bodies worldwide. The best way to mitigate N-related impacts, such as hypoxic zones and human health concerns, is to convert nitrate to stable, non-reactive dinitrogen gas through the natural process of denitrification. This means denitrification technologies need to be one of our major strategies for tackling the grand challenge of managing human-induced changes to our global nitrogen cycle. While denitrification technologies have historically been focused on wastewater treatment, there is great interest in new lower-tech options for treating effluent and drainage water from one of our largest reactive nitrogen emitters -- agriculture. Denitrification 'woodchip' bioreactors are able to enhance this natural N-conversion via addition of a solid carbon source (e.g., woodchips) and through designs that facilitate development of anoxic conditions required for denitrification. Wood-based denitrification technologies such as woodchip bioreactors and 'sawdust' walls for groundwater have been shown to be effective at reducing nitrate loads in agricultural settings around the world. Designing these systems to be low-maintenance and to avoid removing land from agricultural production has been a primary focus of this "farmer-friendly" technology. This presentation provides a background on woodchip bioreactors including design considerations, N-removal performance, and current research worldwide. Woodchip bioreactors for the agricultural sector are an accessible new option to address society's interest in improving water quality while simultaneously allowing highly productive agricultural systems to continue to provide food in the face of increasing demand, changing global diets, and fluctuating weather.

  2. Paths Forward: Current International and US Initiatives to Support More Sustainable Options for Uranium Production

    SciTech Connect

    Rehmann, M.; Rood, C.; Keefe, M.

    2008-07-01

    With the nuclear renaissance, the uranium mining industry has undergone a dramatic renaissance, as well. This has been evidenced in the past 2 years with forums such as those organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and in the United States (US) the National Mining Association/Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NMA/NRC) workshops drawing record attendance by established and junior uranium mining firms. In addition, IAEA meetings, as well as meetings of the NMA, industry, and agencies have begun to focus, not on only on site closure - but on the growing industry and plans for permitting new uranium recovery facilities. Finally, the International Forum on Sustainable Options for Uranium Production (IFSOUP) has emerged to carry forward many recent cooperative dialogs and concepts developed in sustainability initiatives, bringing together industry, agencies and NGOs - with the view to developing more sustainable, socially-acceptable uranium recovery practices. In this context, this paper will present current international and US initiatives which are intended to support more sustainable options for uranium production. First, we will describe a new initiative for international cooperative dialogues, to build industry, agency and NGO cooperation for enhancing global sustainability in uranium production operations, and avoid the legacy issues found in past operations: the inaugural meeting of the International Forum on Sustainable Options for Uranium Production, or IFSOUP. IFSOUP will carry forward discussions of recent and present initiatives including the Global Mining Initiative; the Mining, Minerals, and Sustainable Development Initiative (MMSD); the International Council on Mining and Metals; and the sustainable development initiatives of the US National Mining Association. Consistent with the process of ensuring development of a sustainable uranium recovery industry, while factoring in stakeholder concerns, an initiative to promote strong regulation in

  3. Sustainability evaluation of Sicily's lemon and orange production: an energy, economic and environmental analysis.

    PubMed

    Pergola, M; D'Amico, M; Celano, G; Palese, A M; Scuderi, A; Di Vita, G; Pappalardo, G; Inglese, P

    2013-10-15

    The island of Sicily has a long standing tradition in citrus growing. We evaluated the sustainability of orange and lemon orchards, under organic and conventional farming, using an energy, environmental and economic analysis of the whole production cycle by using a life cycle assessment approach. These orchard systems differ only in terms of a few of the inputs used and the duration of the various agricultural operations. The quantity of energy consumption in the production cycle was calculated by multiplying the quantity of inputs used by the energy conversion factors drawn from the literature. The production costs were calculated considering all internal costs, including equipment, materials, wages, and costs of working capital. The performance of the two systems (organic and conventional), was compared over a period of fifty years. The results, based on unit surface area (ha) production, prove the stronger sustainability of the organic over the conventional system, both in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, especially for lemons. The sustainability of organic systems is mainly due to the use of environmentally friendly crop inputs (fertilizers, not use of synthetic products, etc.). In terms of production costs, the conventional management systems were more expensive, and both systems were heavily influenced by wages. In terms of kg of final product, the organic production system showed better environmental and energy performances. PMID:23850762

  4. Micro-scale Plasma Arc Gasification for Waste Treatment and Energy Production Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caraccio, Anne

    2015-01-01

    As NASA continues to develop technology for spaceflight beyond low earth orbit, we must develop the right systems for sustaining human life on a long duration or planetary mission. Plasma arc gasification (PAG) is an energy efficient mechanism of waste management for power generation and synthetic gas(syngas) production.

  5. Micro-scale energy valorization of grape marcs in winery production plants.

    PubMed

    Fabbri, Andrea; Bonifazi, Giuseppe; Serranti, Silvia

    2015-02-01

    The Biochemical Methane Potential (BMP) of winery organic waste, with reference to two Italian red and white grapes (i.e. Nero Buono and Greco) by-products was investigated. The study was carried out to verify the possibility to reduce the production impact in a green-waste-management-chain-perspective. The possibility to efficiently utilize wine-related-by-products for energy production at a micro-scale (i.e. small-medium scale winery production plant) was also verified. Results showed as a good correlation can be established between the percentage of COD removal and the biogas production, as the winery can produce, from its waste methanization, about 7800 kW h year(-1) electrical and 8900 kW h year(-1) thermal. A critical evaluation was performed about the possibility to utilize the proposed approach to realize an optimal biomass waste management and an energetic valorization in a local-energy-production-perspective. PMID:25529134

  6. Development Of Sustainable Biobased Products And Bioenergy In Cooperation With The Midwest Consortium For Sustainable Biobased Products And Energy

    SciTech Connect

    Michael Ladisch; Randy Woodson

    2009-03-18

    Collaborative efforts of Midwest Consortium have been put forth to add value to distiller's grains by further processing them into fermentable sugars, ethanol, and a protein rich co-product consistent with a pathway to a biorenewables industry (Schell et al, 2008). These studies were recently published in the enclosed special edition (Volume 99, Issue 12) of Bioresource Technology journal. Part of them have demonstrated the utilization of distillers grains as additional feedstock for increased ethanol production in the current dry grind process (Kim et al., 2008a, b; Dien et al.,2008, Ladisch et al., 2008a, b). Results showed that both liquid hot water (LHW) pretreatment and ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) were effective for enhancing digestibility of distiller's grains. Enzymatic digestion of distiller's grains resulted in more than 90% glucose yield under standard assay conditions, although the yield tends to drop as the concentration of dry solids increases. Simulated process mass balances estimated that hydrolysis and fermentation of distillers grains can increase the ethanol yield by 14% in the current dry milling process (Kim et al., 2008c). Resulting co-products from the modified process are richer in protein and oil contents than conventional distiller's grains, as determined both experimentally and computationally. Other research topics in the special edition include water solubilization of DDGS by transesterification reaction with phosphite esters (Oshel el al., 2008) to improve reactivity of the DDGS to enzymes, hydrolysis of soluble oligomers derived from DDGS using functionalized mesoporous solid catalysts (Bootsma et al., 2008), and ABE (acetone, butanol, ethanol) production from DDGS by solventogenic Clostridia (Ezeji and Blaschek, 2008). Economic analysis of a modified dry milling process, where the fiber and residual starch is extracted and fermented to produce more ethanol from the distillers grains while producing highly concentrated protein co-product

  7. Technological challenges for boosting coal production with environmental sustainability.

    PubMed

    Ghose, Mrinal K

    2009-07-01

    The global energy requirement has grown at a phenomenon rate and the consumption of primary energy sources has been a very high positive growth. This paper focuses on the consumption of different primary energy sources and it identifies that coal will continue to remain as the prime energy source in foreseeable future. It examines the energy requirement perspective for India and demand of coal as the prime energy source. Economic development and poverty alleviation depend on securing affordable energy sources and Indian coal mining industry offers a bright future for the country's energy security, provided the industry is allowed to develop by supportive government policies and adopts latest technologies for mining. It is an irony that in-spite of having a plentiful reserves, India is not able to jack up coal production to meet its current and future demand. It discusses the strategies to be adopted for growth and meeting the coal demand. But such energy are very much concerned with environmental degradation and must be driven by contemporary managerial acumen addressing environmental and social challenges effectively The paper highlights the emissions of greenhouse gases due to burning of fossil fuels and environmental consequences of global warming and sea-level rise. Technological solutions for environment friendly coal mining and environmental laws for the abatement of environmental degradation are discussed in this paper. PMID:18604635

  8. PLETS model: a sustainability-concept-based approach to product end-of-life management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunmade, Israel

    2004-12-01

    The need for sustainable product end-of-life management technologies is critical in today's globally competitive environment. The ever-increasing environmental consciousness of consumers and strictness in legislative regulations necessitate more prudent product decisions. The ability to make sound decisions on which product end-of-life management technologies to adopt is crucial to achieving sustainability of the product systems. It is essential that effective assessments of these technologies for future investment and applications indicate the total economic, environmental and social impacts of each option as well as the trade-offs between the various product end-of-life management technologies. The tendency in modeling this decision scenario is to base the formulation and the analysis on crisp, deterministic, and precise data. The product end-of-life management decision environment is however characterized by a mix of crisp and linguistically expressed parameters, most of which are uncertain in nature. Furthermore, the decision makers are interested in selecting an option that both satisfies certain minimum requirements and maximize their utility from a set of feasible alternatives. The goal of this study therefore is to develop a simple, efficient procedure that provides the manufacturing and allied industry with the ability to assess and evaluate the sustainability of remanufacturing and related technologies based on lifecycle thinking. This methodology, termed "product lifecycle extension techniques selection (PLETS) model," is a hybrid of fuzzy logic and a number of multi-attribute decision making models. It can be used to determine the remanufacturability of each product. In addition, it can also be employed to compare the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the feasible set of the product end-of-life management technologies being considered. The proposed methodology is illustrated with an example of end-of-life management for a peanut

  9. Grain production versus resource and environmental costs: towards increasing sustainability of nutrient use in China.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Xiaoqiang; Lyu, Yang; Wu, Xiaobin; Li, Haigang; Cheng, Lingyun; Zhang, Chaochun; Yuan, Lixing; Jiang, Rongfeng; Jiang, Baiwen; Rengel, Zed; Zhang, Fusuo; Davies, William J; Shen, Jianbo

    2016-09-01

    Over the past five decades, Chinese grain production has increased 4-fold, from 110 Mt in 1961 to 557 Mt in 2014, with less than 9% of the world's arable land feeding 22% of the world's population, indicating a substantial contribution to global food security. However, compared with developed economies, such as the USA and the European Union, more than half of the increased crop production in China can be attributed to a rapid increase in the consumption of chemicals, particularly fertilizers. Excessive fertilization has caused low nutrient use efficiency and high environmental costs in grain production. We analysed the key requirements underpinning increased sustainability of crop production in China, as follows: (i) enhance nutrient use efficiency and reduce nutrient losses by fertilizing roots not soil to maximize root/rhizosphere efficiency with innovative root zone nutrient management; (ii) improve crop productivity and resource use efficiency by matching the best agronomic management practices with crop improvement; and (iii) promote technology transfer of the root zone nutrient management to achieve the target of high yields and high efficiency with low environmental risks on a broad scale. Coordinating grain production and environmental protection by increasing the sustainability of nutrient use will be a key step in achieving sustainable crop production in Chinese agriculture. PMID:27489235

  10. Evaluation of greenhouse gas emissions in relation to irrigation methods and sustainable production in California orchard

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    California (CA) is one of the top agricultural production states in the United States of America (USA). Increasing water use efficiency and minimizing environmental impact are two of the major elements affecting sustainability of irrigated agriculture in CA. Field research has been conducted to eval...

  11. Influence of School Climate on Students' Achievement and Teachers' Productivity for Sustainable Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adeogun, A. A.; Olisaemeka, Blessing U.

    2011-01-01

    The study covers ten secondary schools in Lagos State of Nigeria. The purpose is to ascertain the relationship between school climate and student achievements and teachers' productivity for sustainable development. A total sample of 150 respondents was taken. Ten principals, seven teachers and seven students were randomly picked per school. This…

  12. Workshop on the Design of Sustainable Product Systems and Supply Chains; Final Report,

    EPA Science Inventory

    ABOUT THE WORKSHOP The Workshop on the Design of Sustainable Product Systems and Supply Chains was held September 12–13, 2011 at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) offices in Arlington, Virginia. The Workshop was co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (...

  13. DO BIO-BASED PRODUCTS MOVE US TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY? A LOOK AT THREE USEPA CASE STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory


    Do Bio-Based Products Move Us Toward Sustainability? A Look at Three Case Studies within the US EPA
    Mary Am Curran
    US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research & Development, Cincinnati, OH 45268; curran.maryann@epagov
    Abstract The movement to buy "...

  14. Watershed scale environmental sustainability analysis of biofuel production in changing land use and climate scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    RAJ, C.; Chaubey, I.; Cherkauer, K. A.; Brouder, S. M.; Volenec, J. J.

    2013-12-01

    One of the grand challenges in meeting the US biofuel goal is producing large quantities of cellulosic biofeedstock materials for the production of biofuels in an environmentally sustainable and economically viable manner. The possible land use and land management practice changes induce concerns over the environmental impacts of these bioenergy crop production scenarios both in terms of water availability and water quality, and these impacts may be exacerbated by climate variability and change. This study aims to evaluate environmental sustainability of various plausible land and crop management scenarios for biofuel production under changing climate scenarios for a Midwest US watershed. The study considers twelve environmental sustainability indicators related hydrology and water quality with thirteen plausible biofuels scenarios in the watershed under nine climate change scenarios. The land use change scenarios for evaluation includes, (1) bioenergy crops in highly erodible soils (3) bioenergy crops in low row crop productive fields (marginal lands); (3) bioenergy crops in pasture and range land use areas and (4) combinations of these scenarios. Future climate data bias corrected and downscaled to daily values from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) multi-model dataset were used in this study. The distributed hydrological model SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) was used to simulate bioenergy crops growth, hydrology and water quality. The watershed scale sustainability analysis was done in Wildcat Creek basin, which is located in North-Central Indiana, USA.

  15. Butanol production from food waste: a novel process for producing sustainable energy and reducing environmental pollution

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Efficient utilization of food waste for fuel and chemical production can positively influence both the energy and environmental sustainability. In these studies we investigated use of food waste to produce butanol by Clostridium beijerinckii P260. In control fermentation, 40.5 g/L of glucose (initia...

  16. Addressing the challenges for sustainable production of algal biofuels: I. Algal strains and nutrient supply.

    PubMed

    Abdelaziz, Ahmed E M; Leite, Gustavo B; Hallenbeck, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    Microalgae hold promise for the production of sustainable replacement of fossil fuels due to their high growth rates, ability to grow on non-arable land and their high content, under the proper conditions, of high energy compounds that can be relatively easily chemically converted to fuels using existing technology. However, projected large-scale algal production raises a number of sustainability concerns concerning land use, net energy return, water use and nutrient supply. The state-of-the-art of algal production of biofuels is presented with emphasis on some possible avenues to provide answers to the sustainability questions that have been raised. Here, issues concerning algal strains and supply of nutrients for large-scale production are discussed. Since sustainability concerns necessitate the use of wastewaters for supply of bulk nutrients, emphasis is placed on the composition and suitability of different wastewater streams. At the same time, algal cultivation has proven useful in waste treatment processes, and thus this aspect is also treated in some detail. PMID:24350435

  17. Evaluating Consumer Product Life Cycle Sustainability with Integrated Metrics: A Paper Towel Case Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated sustainability metrics provide an enriched set of information to inform decision-making. However, such approaches are rarely used to assess product supply chains. In this work, four integrated metrics—presented in terms of land, resources, value added, and stability—ar...

  18. Expanding the Utilization of Sustainable Plant Products in Aquafeeds – A Review

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continued growth and intensification of aquaculture production depends upon the development of sustainable protein sources to replace fish meal in aquafeeds. This document reviews various plant feedstuffs which currently are or potentially may be incorporated into aquafeeds to support the sustainab...

  19. Engineering oilseeds for sustainable production of industrial and nutritional feedstocks: solving bottlenecks in fatty acid flux

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vegetable oils provide a platform for the production of high-value fatty acids that can replace non-sustainable petroleum and oceanic sources of specialty chemicals and aquaculture feed. Recent efforts to engineer seeds of crop and model species to produce new types of fatty acid structures for thes...

  20. Moving toward energy security and sustainability in 2050 by reconfiguring biofuel production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To achieve energy security and sustainability by 2050 requires reconfiguring biofuel production both by building on current infrastructure and existing technology and also by making substantial improvements and changes in the feedstocks used, the process technologies applied, and the fuels produced....

  1. Micro-scale energy valorization of grape marcs in winery production plants

    SciTech Connect

    Fabbri, Andrea; Bonifazi, Giuseppe; Serranti, Silvia

    2015-02-15

    Highlights: • BioMethane Potential of grape marcs was investigated. • Grape marcs were characterized to realize a micro-scale energy recovery. • Comparative BMP batch-tests utilizing lab-scale reactors were performed. • Biogas valorization by grape marcs anaerobic digestion at small scale is evaluated. - Abstract: The BiochemicalMethanePotential (BMP) of winery organic waste, with reference to two Italian red and white grapes (i.e. Nero Buono and Greco) by-products was investigated. The study was carried out to verify the possibility to reduce the production impact in a green-waste-management-chain-perspective. The possibility to efficiently utilize wine-related-by-products for energy production at a micro-scale (i.e. small-medium scale winery production plant) was also verified. Results showed as a good correlation can be established between the percentage of COD removal and the biogas production, as the winery can produce, from its waste methanization, about 7800 kW h year{sup −1} electrical and 8900 kW h year{sup −1} thermal. A critical evaluation was performed about the possibility to utilize the proposed approach to realize an optimal biomass waste management and an energetic valorization in a local-energy-production-perspective.

  2. Can the co-cultivation of rice and fish help sustain rice production?

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Liangliang; Zhang, Jian; Ren, Weizheng; Guo, Liang; Cheng, Yongxu; Li, Jiayao; Li, Kexin; Zhu, Zewen; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Shiming; Cheng, Lei; Tang, Jianjun; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Because rice feeds half of the world’s population, a secure global food supply depends on sustainable rice production. Here we test whether the co-cultivation of rice and fish into one “rice-fish system” (RFS; fish refers to aquatic animals in this article) could help sustain rice production. We examined intensive and traditional RFSs that have been widely practiced in China. We found that rice yields did not decrease when fish yield was below a threshold value in each intensive RFS. Below the thresholds, moreover, fish yields in intensive RFSs can be substantially higher than those in traditional RFS without reducing rice yield. Relative to rice monoculture, the use of fertilizer-nitrogen and pesticides decreased, and the farmers’ net income increased in RFSs. The results suggest that RFSs can help sustain rice production, and suggest that development of co-culture technologies (i.e. proper field configuration for fish and rice) is necessary to achieve the sustainability. PMID:27349875

  3. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shanshan; Heberling, Matthew T

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show the economy is sustainable), we measure the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNNP from 1993 to 2009. In order to calculate GNNP, we require both economic and natural capital data, but limited data for Puerto Rico require a number of simplifying assumptions. Based on the environmental challenges faced by Puerto Rico, we include damages from air emissions and solid waste, the storm protection value of mangroves and the value of extracting crushed stone as components in the depreciation of natural capital. Our estimate of GNNP also includes the value of time, which captures the effects of technological progress. The results show that GNNP had an increasing trend over the 17 years studied with two periods of negative growth (2004-2006 and 2007-2008). Our additional analysis suggests that the negative growth in 2004-2006 was possibly due to a temporary economic downturn. However, the negative growth in 2007-2008 was likely from the decline in the value of time, suggesting the island of Puerto Rico was moving away from sustainability during this time. PMID:26721472

  4. The usability of a product can be an ally of sustainability.

    PubMed

    Anjos, Thaiana P; Matias, Márcio; Gontijo, Leila A

    2012-01-01

    Few steps like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, turn off the lights when leaving a room, recycle waste or using recycling bags are considered sustainable attitudes. Sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the future generations and it doesn't deplete resources for the future. Consume with conscious is a sustainable habit and usability of products contributes to this. The goal of this paper is to prove that the usability of software contributes positivity or negativity for sustainability. By calculating the amount of electrical power dissipated by an electronic device, you can discover the amount of energy lost by it, and consequently, to relate this quantity with the amount charged by the concessionaire for each kWh of energy used. It was concluded that a software with low usability cause users to lose a lot of time interacting with it and thus spend more energy and money that goes against the concept of sustainability. PMID:22317029

  5. Estimating Green Net National Product for Puerto Rico: An Economic Measure of Sustainability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Shanshan; Heberling, Matthew T.

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net National Product (GNNP), an economic metric of sustainability, for Puerto Rico. Using the change in GNNP as a one-sided test of weak sustainability (i.e., positive growth in GNNP is not enough to show the economy is sustainable), we measure the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNNP from 1993 to 2009. In order to calculate GNNP, we require both economic and natural capital data, but limited data for Puerto Rico require a number of simplifying assumptions. Based on the environmental challenges faced by Puerto Rico, we include damages from air emissions and solid waste, the storm protection value of mangroves and the value of extracting crushed stone as components in the depreciation of natural capital. Our estimate of GNNP also includes the value of time, which captures the effects of technological progress. The results show that GNNP had an increasing trend over the 17 years studied with two periods of negative growth (2004-2006 and 2007-2008). Our additional analysis suggests that the negative growth in 2004-2006 was possibly due to a temporary economic downturn. However, the negative growth in 2007-2008 was likely from the decline in the value of time, suggesting the island of Puerto Rico was moving away from sustainability during this time.

  6. Sustainability evaluation of pasteurized milk production with a life cycle assessment approach: An Iranian case study.

    PubMed

    Rafiee, Shahin; Khoshnevisan, Benyamin; Mohammadi, Issa; Aghbashlo, Mortaza; Mousazadeh, Hossein; Clark, Sean

    2016-08-15

    Agro-food systems play a significant role in the economies of all nations due to energy use and the resulting environmental consequences. The sustainability of these systems is determined by a multitude of interacting economic, social and environmental factors. Dairy production presents a relevant example of the sustainability trade-offs that occur within such systems. On the one hand, dairy production constitutes an important part of the human diet, but it is also responsible for significant emissions of potent greenhouse gases and other pollutants. In this study, the environmental aspects of pasteurized milk production in Iran were investigated using a life-cycle approach. Three sub-systems, namely feed production, dairy farm and dairy factory, were taken into account to determine how and where Iranian pasteurized milk production might be made more environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The results clearly demonstrate that the feed production stage was the hot spot in pasteurized milk production in terms of energy consumption, environmental burdens and economic costs. The largest share of the total production costs belonged to animal feeds (43%), which were part of the feed production stage. The largest consumers of energy in the production of raw milk were alfalfa (30.3%), concentrate (24%), straw (17.8%) and maize (10.9%) for cows, followed by diesel fuel (6.6%) and electricity (5.6%). The global warming potential for the production of 1000kg of raw milk at the dairy-farm gate was estimated at 457kg CO2,eq. Thus, more than 69% of the total impact at the milk-processing gate resulted from the previous two sub-systems (feed production and dairy farm), with the feed-production stage accounting for the largest fractions of the environmental burdens. PMID:27110976

  7. Sustained production of multi-decadal climate records - Lessons from the NOAA Climate Data Record Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    NOAA's Climate Data Record (CDR) Program was designed to be responsive to the needs of climate monitoring, research, and services with the ultimate aim of serving decision making across a spectrum of users for the long term. It requires the sustained production of high quality, multidecadal time series data describing the global atmosphere, oceans, and land surface that can be used for informed decision making. The challenges of a long-term program of sustaining CDRs, as contrasted with short-term efforts of traditional three-year research programs, are substantial and different. The sustained production of CDRs requires collaboration between experts in the climate community, data management, and software development and maintenance. It is also informed by scientific application and associated user feedback on the accessibility and usability of the produced CDRs. The CDR Program has developed a metric for assessing the maturity of CDRs with respect to data management, software, and user application and applied it to over 28 CDRs. The main/primary lesson learned over the past seven years is that a rigorous, team approach to data management, employing subject matter experts at every step, is critical to open and transparent production. This approach also makes it much easier to support the needs of users who want near-real-time production of "interim" CDRs for monitoring and users who want to use CDRs for tailored authoritative information, such as a drought index. This talk will review of the history of the CDR program, current status, and plans.

  8. Sustainable, efficient livestock production with high biodiversity and good welfare for animals

    PubMed Central

    Broom, D. M.; Galindo, F. A.; Murgueitio, E.

    2013-01-01

    What is the future for livestock agriculture in the world? Consumers have concerns about sustainability but many widely used livestock production methods do not satisfy consumers' requirements for a sustainable system. However, production can be sustainable, occurring in environments that: supply the needs of the animals resulting in good welfare, allow coexistence with a wide diversity of organisms native to the area, minimize carbon footprint and provide a fair lifestyle for the people working there. Conservation need not just involve tiny islands of natural vegetation in a barren world of agriculture, as there can be great increases in biodiversity in farmed areas. Herbivores, especially ruminants that consume materials inedible by humans, are important for human food in the future. However, their diet should not be just ground-level plants. Silvopastoral systems, pastures with shrubs and trees as well as herbage, are described which are normally more productive than pasture alone. When compared with widely used livestock production systems, silvopastoral systems can provide efficient feed conversion, higher biodiversity, enhanced connectivity between habitat patches and better animal welfare, so they can replace existing systems in many parts of the world and should be further developed. PMID:24068362

  9. Catalytic oxidation of biorefinery lignin to value-added chemicals to support sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ruoshui; Xu, Yan; Zhang, Xiao

    2015-01-01

    Transforming plant biomass to biofuel is one of the few solutions that can truly sustain mankind's long-term needs for liquid transportation fuel with minimized environmental impact. However, despite decades of effort, commercial development of biomass-to-biofuel conversion processes is still not an economically viable proposition. Identifying value-added co-products along with the production of biofuel provides a key solution to overcoming this economic barrier. Lignin is the second most abundant component next to cellulose in almost all plant biomass; the emerging biomass refinery industry will inevitably generate an enormous amount of lignin. Development of selective biorefinery lignin-to-bioproducts conversion processes will play a pivotal role in significantly improving the economic feasibility and sustainability of biofuel production from renewable biomass. The urgency and importance of this endeavor has been increasingly recognized in the last few years. This paper reviews state-of-the-art oxidative lignin depolymerization chemistries employed in the papermaking process and oxidative catalysts that can be applied to biorefinery lignin to produce platform chemicals including phenolic compounds, dicarboxylic acids, and quinones in high selectivity and yield. The potential synergies of integrating new catalysts with commercial delignification chemistries are discussed. We hope the information will build on the existing body of knowledge to provide new insights towards developing practical and commercially viable lignin conversion technologies, enabling sustainable biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass to be competitive with fossil fuel. PMID:25272962

  10. “Omics” of Maize Stress Response for Sustainable Food Production: Opportunities and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Fangping; Yang, Le; Tai, Fuju; Hu, Xiuli

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Maize originated in the highlands of Mexico approximately 8700 years ago and is one of the most commonly grown cereal crops worldwide, followed by wheat and rice. Abiotic stresses (primarily drought, salinity, and high and low temperatures), together with biotic stresses (primarily fungi, viruses, and pests), negatively affect maize growth, development, and eventually production. To understand the response of maize to abiotic and biotic stresses and its mechanism of stress tolerance, high-throughput omics approaches have been used in maize stress studies. Integrated omics approaches are crucial for dissecting the temporal and spatial system-level changes that occur in maize under various stresses. In this comprehensive analysis, we review the primary types of stresses that threaten sustainable maize production; underscore the recent advances in maize stress omics, especially proteomics; and discuss the opportunities, challenges, and future directions of maize stress omics, with a view to sustainable food production. The knowledge gained from studying maize stress omics is instrumental for improving maize to cope with various stresses and to meet the food demands of the exponentially growing global population. Omics systems science offers actionable potential solutions for sustainable food production, and we present maize as a notable case study. PMID:25401749

  11. Impact of sustaining a controlled residual growth on polyhydroxybutyrate yield and production kinetics in Cupriavidus necator.

    PubMed

    Grousseau, Estelle; Blanchet, Elise; Déléris, Stéphane; Albuquerque, Maria G E; Paul, Etienne; Uribelarrea, Jean-Louis

    2013-11-01

    In this study a complementary modeling and experimental approach was used to explore how growth controls the NADPH generation and availability, and the resulting impact on PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate) yields and kinetics. The results show that the anabolic demand allowed the NADPH production through the Entner-Doudoroff (ED) pathway, leading to a high maximal theoretical PHB production yield of 0.89 C mole C mole(-1); whereas without biomass production, NADPH regeneration is only possible via the isocitrate dehydrogenase leading to a theoretical yield of 0.67 C mole C mole(-1). Furthermore, the maximum specific rate of NADPH produced at maximal growth rate (to fulfil biomass requirement) was found to be the maximum set in every conditions, which by consequence determines the maximal PHB production rate. These results imply that sustaining a controlled residual growth improves the PHB specific production rate without altering production yield. PMID:24035890

  12. Micro-concentration Lipopolysaccharide as a Novel Stimulator of Megakaryocytopoiesis that Synergizes with IL-6 for Platelet Production

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Di; Xie, Jun; Wang, Xuejun; Zou, Bingcheng; Yu, Yin; Jing, Tao; Zhang, Songmei; Zhang, Qing

    2015-01-01

    Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induces platelet activation and enhances platelet sensitivity to aggregation, which might alter platelet counts. We found that serial doses of micro-concentration LPS significantly increased the platelet count in mice treated with kanamycin, along with increased expression of IL-6 compared with IL-3 and TPO in megakaryocytes obtained from the mouse bone morrow following LPS administration. Furthermore, LPS at lower levels ranging plus IL-6 effectively stimulated CFU-MK formation and increased CD41 expression and megakaryocyte polyploidization. Meanwhile, there was a sustained rise in the percentage of reticulated platelets in the whole blood in response to low-dosage LPS combined with IL-6. In vivo experiments also demonstrated that the administration of LPS combined with IL-6 substantially enhanced the number of circulating platelets in normal and thrombocytopenic mice. Notably, the optimal LPS concentration in combination with IL-6 might be a novel stimulator of TLR4 and IL-6R expression in Dami cell lines, which initially occurs through TLR4-IL-6R crosstalk and then involves the activation of NF-κB and phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. These data suggest a new paradigm for the regulation of megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet production via a synergistic effect of LPS and IL-6, which has the potential to be used for the design of new therapies. PMID:26330186

  13. microRNA-146a promotes mycobacterial survival in macrophages through suppressing nitric oxide production

    PubMed Central

    Li, Miao; Wang, Jinli; Fang, Yimin; Gong, Sitang; Li, Meiyu; Wu, Minhao; Lai, Xiaomin; Zeng, Gucheng; Wang, Yi; Yang, Kun; Huang, Xi

    2016-01-01

    Macrophages play a crucial role in host innate anti-mycobacterial defense, which is tightly regulated by multiple factors, including microRNAs. Our previous study showed that a panel of microRNAs was markedly up-regulated in macrophages upon mycobacterial infection. Here, we investigated the biological function of miR-146a during mycobacterial infection. miR-146a expression was induced both in vitro and in vivo after Mycobacterium bovis BCG infection. The inducible miR-146a could suppress the inducible nitric oxide (NO) synthase (iNOS) expression and NO generation, thus promoting mycobacterial survival in macrophages. Inhibition of endogenous miR-146a increased NO production and mycobacterial clearance. Moreover, miR-146a attenuated the activation of nuclear factor κB and mitogen-activated protein kinases signaling pathways during BCG infection, which in turn repressed iNOS expression. Mechanistically, miR-146a directly targeted tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) at post-transcriptional level. Silencing TRAF6 decreased iNOS expression and NO production in BCG-infected macrophages, while overexpression of TRAF6 reversed miR-146a-mediated inhibition of NO production and clearance of mycobacteria. Therefore, we demonstrated a novel role of miR-146a in the modulation of host defense against mycobacterial infection by repressing NO production via targeting TRAF6, which may provide a promising therapeutic target for tuberculosis. PMID:27025258

  14. Transgenic Hybrid Poplar for Sustainable and Scalable Production of the Commodity/Specialty Chemical, 2-Phenylethanol

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Michael A.; Marques, Joaquim V.; Dalisay, Doralyn S.; Herman, Barrington; Bedgar, Diana L.; Davin, Laurence B.; Lewis, Norman G.

    2013-01-01

    Fast growing hybrid poplar offers the means for sustainable production of specialty and commodity chemicals, in addition to rapid biomass production for lignocellulosic deconstruction. Herein we describe transformation of fast-growing transgenic hybrid poplar lines to produce 2-phenylethanol, this being an important fragrance, flavor, aroma, and commodity chemical. It is also readily converted into styrene or ethyl benzene, the latter being an important commodity aviation fuel component. Introducing this biochemical pathway into hybrid poplars marks the beginnings of developing a platform for a sustainable chemical delivery system to afford this and other valuable specialty/commodity chemicals at the scale and cost needed. These modified plant lines mainly sequester 2-phenylethanol via carbohydrate and other covalently linked derivatives, thereby providing an additional advantage of effective storage until needed. The future potential of this technology is discussed. MALDI metabolite tissue imaging also established localization of these metabolites in the leaf vasculature. PMID:24386157

  15. Transgenic hybrid poplar for sustainable and scalable production of the commodity/specialty chemical, 2-phenylethanol.

    PubMed

    Costa, Michael A; Marques, Joaquim V; Dalisay, Doralyn S; Herman, Barrington; Bedgar, Diana L; Davin, Laurence B; Lewis, Norman G

    2013-01-01

    Fast growing hybrid poplar offers the means for sustainable production of specialty and commodity chemicals, in addition to rapid biomass production for lignocellulosic deconstruction. Herein we describe transformation of fast-growing transgenic hybrid poplar lines to produce 2-phenylethanol, this being an important fragrance, flavor, aroma, and commodity chemical. It is also readily converted into styrene or ethyl benzene, the latter being an important commodity aviation fuel component. Introducing this biochemical pathway into hybrid poplars marks the beginnings of developing a platform for a sustainable chemical delivery system to afford this and other valuable specialty/commodity chemicals at the scale and cost needed. These modified plant lines mainly sequester 2-phenylethanol via carbohydrate and other covalently linked derivatives, thereby providing an additional advantage of effective storage until needed. The future potential of this technology is discussed. MALDI metabolite tissue imaging also established localization of these metabolites in the leaf vasculature. PMID:24386157

  16. Sustained H2 Production Driven by Photosynthetic Water Splitting in a Unicellular Cyanobacterium

    PubMed Central

    Melnicki, Matthew R.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Hill, Eric A.; Kucek, Leo A.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan; Beliaev, Alexander S.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT The relationship between dinitrogenase-driven H2 production and oxygenic photosynthesis was investigated in a unicellular cyanobacterium, Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142, using a novel custom-built photobioreactor equipped with advanced process control. Continuously illuminated nitrogen-deprived cells evolved H2 at rates up to 400 µmol ⋅ mg Chl−1 ⋅ h−1 in parallel with uninterrupted photosynthetic O2 production. Notably, sustained coproduction of H2 and O2 occurred over 100 h in the presence of CO2, with both gases displaying inverse oscillations which eventually dampened toward stable rates of 125 and 90 µmol ⋅ mg Chl−1 ⋅ h−1, respectively. Oscillations were not observed when CO2 was omitted, and instead H2 and O2 evolution rates were positively correlated. The sustainability of the process was further supported by stable chlorophyll content, maintenance of baseline protein and carbohydrate levels, and an enhanced capacity for linear electron transport as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence throughout the experiment. In situ light saturation analyses of H2 production displayed a strong dose dependence and lack of O2 inhibition. Inactivation of photosystem II had substantial long-term effects but did not affect short-term H2 production, indicating that the process is also supported by photosystem I activity and oxidation of endogenous glycogen. However, mass balance calculations suggest that carbohydrate consumption in the light may, at best, account for no more than 50% of the reductant required for the corresponding H2 production over that period. Collectively, our results demonstrate that uninterrupted H2 production in unicellular cyanobacteria can be fueled by water photolysis without the detrimental effects of O2 and have important implications for sustainable production of biofuels. PMID:22872781

  17. Sustained H2 Production Driven by Photosynthetic Water Splitting in a Unicellular Cyanobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Melnicki, Matthew R.; Pinchuk, Grigoriy E.; Hill, Eric A.; Kucek, Leo A.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Konopka, Allan; Beliaev, Alex S.

    2012-08-07

    Continuously illuminated nitrogen-deprived Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142 evolved H2 via dinitrogenase at rates up to 400 μmol•mg Chl-1•h-1 in parallel with photosynthetic O2 production. Notably, sustained co-production of H2 and O2 occurred over 100 h in the presence of CO2, with both gases displaying inverse oscillations which eventually dampened to stable rates. Oscillations were not observed when CO2 was omitted, while H2 and O2 evolution rates were positively correlated. In situ light saturation analyses of H2 production displayed dose-dependence and lack of O2 inhibition. Inactivation of photosystem II had substantial long-term effects but did not affect the short-term H2 production indicating that the process is also supported by photosystem I activity and oxidation of endogenous glycogen. Collectively, our results demonstrate that uninterrupted H2 production in unicellular diazotrophic cyanobacteria can be fueled by water photolysis without the detrimental effects of O2 and have important implications for sustainable production of biofuels.

  18. Concept for Sustained Plant Production on ISS Using VEGGIE Capillary Mat Rooting System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stutte, Gary W.; Newsham, Gerard; Morrow, Robert M.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2011-01-01

    Plant growth in microgravity presents unique challenges associated with maintaining appropriate conditions for seed germination, seedling establishment, maturation and harvest. They include maintaining appropriate soil moisture content, nutrient balance, atmospheric mixing and containment. Sustained production imposes additional challenges of harvesting, replanting, and safety. The VEGGIE is a deployable (collapsible) plant growth chamber developed as part of a NASA SBIR Phase II by Orbitec, Madison, WI. The intent of VEGGIE is to provide a low-resource system to produce fresh vegetables for the crew on long duration missions. The VEGGIE uses and LED array for lighting, an expandable bellows for containment, and a capillary matting system for nutrient and water delivery. The project evaluated a number of approaches to achieve sustained production, and repeated plantings, using the capillary rooting system. A number of different root media, seed containment, and nutrient delivery systems were evaluated and effects on seed germination and growth were evaluated. A number of issues limiting sustained production, such as accumulation of nutrients, uniform water, elevated vapor pressure deficit, and media containment were identified. A concept using pre-planted rooting packs shown to effectively address a number of those issues and is a promising approach for future development as a planting system for microgravity conditions.

  19. Sustainable biomass products development and evaluation, Hamakua project. Final draft report

    SciTech Connect

    1998-05-01

    The PICHTR Sustainable Biomass Energy Program was developed to evaluate the potential to cultivate crops for energy production as an alternative use of lands made available by the closing of large sugar plantations. In particular, the closing of the Hamakua Sugar Company on the island of Hawaii brought a great deal of attention to the future of agriculture in this region and in the state. Many options were proposed. Several promising alternatives had been proposed for cane lands. These included dedicated feedstock supply systems (DFSS) for electrical energy production, cultivation of sugarcane to produce ethanol and related by-products, and the production of feed and crops to support animal agriculture. Implementation of some of the options might require preservation of large tracts of land and maintenance of the sugar mills and sugar infrastructure. An analysis of the technical, financial, and other issues necessary to reach conclusions regarding the optimal use of these lands was required. At the request of the Office of State Planning and Senator Akaka`s office, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR) established and coordinated a working group composed of state, county, federal, and private sector representatives to identify sustainable energy options for the use of idle sugar lands on the island of Hawaii. The Sustainable Biomass Energy Program`s Hamakua Project was established to complete a comprehensive evaluation of the most viable alternatives and assess the options to grow crops as a source of raw materials for the production of transportation fuel and/or electricity on the island of Hawaii. The motivation for evaluating biomass to energy conversion embraced the considerations that Hawaii`s energy security would be improved by diversifying the fuels used for transportation and reducing dependency on imported fossil fuels. The use of waste products as feedstocks could divert wastes from landfills.

  20. Emergent Patterns of Forest Biomass Production from Across and within a Micro-Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pederson, N.; Martin Benito, D.; Bishop, D. A.; Dawson, A.; Dietze, M.; Druckenbrod, D.; Dye, A.; Gonzalez, A. C.; Hessl, A. E.; Martin Fernandez, J.; McLachlan, J. S.; Paciorek, C. J.; Poulter, B.; Williams, J. W.

    2014-12-01

    Many factors drive short- and long-term trends in forest biomass production. Replication at multiple scales, from within individual trees up to continental scales, is necessary to determine factors of growth and at what scale they are most important. Here we report on patterns of biomass production from within and across a micro-network of three forests in the northeastern US. Each forest has different histories and species composition, but each is within a similar climatological setting, which gives insight on important factors of short- and long-term patterns of forest production. One emergent pattern is that two forests are showing a large uptick in production over the last decade. Coincident to this uptick, late-season biomass production is showing a significant increase, even among 150-200+ year old trees. The third forest experienced a severe ice storm in the early-Aughts that paused a three-decade trend of increasing production. In the least diverse forest, the most dominant species drives most of the annual to decadal trend in production. In the most diverse forest, no one species appears to be driving landscape-level production, yet the emergent pattern of production reflects not only drought and pluvial events, but the impact of invasive species and the ice storm. Variation in annual biomass production for most species is strongly related to annual variations in soil moisture. Interestingly at the species level, coherency of growth among yellow birch is lower in the oldest forest in which is it is common versus the youngest forest. Differences in coherency suggest different drivers operating at different scales. Growth of red maple is also driven by moisture, but competition appears to be driving a long-term decline of individuals below the canopy. The decline begins soon after a severe defoliation event. In this same forest, however, significant wetting and warming over the last two decades appears to have reduced some of the climatic constraints on red

  1. Sustainable Utilization of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resources: Systematic Evaluation on Different Production Modes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xiwen; Chen, Yuning; Yang, Qing; Wang, Yitao

    2015-01-01

    The usage amount of medicinal plant rapidly increased along with the development of traditional Chinese medicine industry. The higher market demand and the shortage of wild herbal resources enforce us to carry out large-scale introduction and cultivation. Herbal cultivation can ease current contradiction between medicinal resources supply and demand while they bring new problems such as pesticide residues and plant disease and pests. Researchers have recently placed high hopes on the application of natural fostering, a new method incorporated herbal production and diversity protecting practically, which can solve the problems brought by artificial cultivation. However no modes can solve all problems existing in current herbal production. This study evaluated different production modes including cultivation, natural fostering, and wild collection to guide the traditional Chinese medicine production for sustainable utilization of herbal resources. PMID:26074987

  2. Development of Sustainable Landscape Designs for Improved Biomass Production in the U.S. Corn Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonner, Ian J.

    Demand for renewable and sustainable energy options has resulted in a significant commitment by the US Government to research pathways for fuel production from biomass. The research presented in this thesis describes one potential pathway to increase the amount of biomass available for biofuel production by integrating dedicated energy crops into agricultural fields. In the first chapter an innovative landscape design method based on subfield placement of an energy crop into row crop fields in central Iowa is used to reduce financial loss for farmers, increase and diversify biomass production, and improve soil resources. The second chapter explores how subfield management decisions may be made using high fidelity data and modeling to balance concerns of primary crop production and economics. This work provides critical forward looking support to agricultural land managers and stakeholders in the biomass and bioenergy industry for pathways to improving land stewardship and energy security.

  3. Production and supply of high-quality food protein for human consumption: sustainability, challenges, and innovations.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Fanzo, Jessica; Miller, Dennis D; Pingali, Prabhu; Post, Mark; Steiner, Jean L; Thalacker-Mercer, Anna E

    2014-08-01

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 843 million people worldwide are hungry and a greater number suffer from nutrient deficiencies. Approximately one billion people have inadequate protein intake. The challenge of preventing hunger and malnutrition will become even greater as the global population grows from the current 7.2 billion people to 9.6 billion by 2050. With increases in income, population, and demand for more nutrient-dense foods, global meat production is projected to increase by 206 million tons per year during the next 35 years. These changes in population and dietary practices have led to a tremendous rise in the demand for food protein, especially animal-source protein. Consuming the required amounts of protein is fundamental to human growth and health. Protein needs can be met through intakes of animal and plant-source foods. Increased consumption of food proteins is associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions and overutilization of water. Consequently, concerns exist regarding impacts of agricultural production, processing and distribution of food protein on the environment, ecosystem, and sustainability. To address these challenging issues, the New York Academy of Sciences organized the conference "Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability: Studying the Protein Supply Chain to Improve Dietary Quality" to explore sustainable innovations in food science and programming aimed at producing the required quality and quantity of protein through improved supply chains worldwide. This report provides an extensive discussion of these issues and summaries of the presentations from the conference. PMID:25123207

  4. Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products.

    PubMed

    Enax, Laura; Krapp, Vanessa; Piehl, Alexandra; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted-objectively identical-chocolates, presented either as "FT" or as "conventionally produced". In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as designing

  5. Effects of social sustainability signaling on neural valuation signals and taste-experience of food products

    PubMed Central

    Enax, Laura; Krapp, Vanessa; Piehl, Alexandra; Weber, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Value-based decision making occurs when individuals choose between different alternatives and place a value on each alternative and its attributes. Marketing actions frequently manipulate product attributes, by adding, e.g., health claims on the packaging. A previous imaging study found that an emblem for organic products increased willingness to pay (WTP) and activity in the ventral striatum (VS). The current study investigated neural and behavioral processes underlying the influence of Fair Trade (FT) labeling on food valuation and choice. Sustainability is an important product attribute for many consumers, with FT signals being one way to highlight ethically sustainable production. Forty participants valuated products in combination with an FT emblem or no emblem and stated their WTP in a bidding task while in an MRI scanner. After that, participants tasted—objectively identical—chocolates, presented either as “FT” or as “conventionally produced”. In the fMRI task, WTP was significantly higher for FT products. FT labeling increased activity in regions important for reward-processing and salience, that is, in the VS, anterior and posterior cingulate, as well as superior frontal gyrus. Subjective value, that is, WTP was correlated with activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). We find that the anterior cingulate, VS and superior frontal gyrus exhibit task-related increases in functional connectivity to the vmPFC when an FT product was evaluated. Effective connectivity analyses revealed a highly probable directed modulation of the vmPFC by those three regions, suggesting a network which alters valuation processes. We also found a significant taste-placebo effect, with higher experienced taste pleasantness and intensity for FT labeled chocolates. Our results reveal a possible neural mechanism underlying valuation processes of certified food products. The results are important in light of understanding current marketing trends as well as

  6. SALSA: a simulation tool to assess ecological sustainability of agricultural production.

    PubMed

    Eriksson, Ingrid Strid; Elmquist, Helena; Nybrant, Thomas

    2005-06-01

    In order to assess the ecological sustainability of agricultural production systems, there is a need for effective tools. We describe an environmental systems analysis tool called SALSA (Systems Ana/ysis for Sustainable Agriculture). It consists of substance/material flow models in which the simulation results are interpreted with life-cycle assessment methodology. The application of SALSA is demonstrated in a case study in which three different ways of producing pigs are compared with respect to energy input and the environmental impacts of global warming, eutrophication, and acidification. The scenario that combined a low-protein diet without soy meal with an improved manure-management technique with low nitrogen losses was the best for all impact categories studied. The strength of the SALSA models was their capacity to capture consequences of management options that had an influence on several processes on a farm, which enabled the type of complex studies we describe. PMID:16092274

  7. Functional significance of dinitrogen fixation in sustaining coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions.

    PubMed

    Cardini, Ulisse; Bednarz, Vanessa N; Naumann, Malik S; van Hoytema, Nanne; Rix, Laura; Foster, Rachel A; Al-Rshaidat, Mamoon M D; Wild, Christian

    2015-11-01

    Functional traits define species by their ecological role in the ecosystem. Animals themselves are host-microbe ecosystems (holobionts), and the application of ecophysiological approaches can help to understand their functioning. In hard coral holobionts, communities of dinitrogen (N2)-fixing prokaryotes (diazotrophs) may contribute a functional trait by providing bioavailable nitrogen (N) that could sustain coral productivity under oligotrophic conditions. This study quantified N2 fixation by diazotrophs associated with four genera of hermatypic corals on a northern Red Sea fringing reef exposed to high seasonality. We found N2 fixation activity to be 5- to 10-fold higher in summer, when inorganic nutrient concentrations were lowest and water temperature and light availability highest. Concurrently, coral gross primary productivity remained stable despite lower Symbiodinium densities and tissue chlorophyll a contents. In contrast, chlorophyll a content per Symbiodinium cell increased from spring to summer, suggesting that algal cells overcame limitation of N, an essential element for chlorophyll synthesis. In fact, N2 fixation was positively correlated with coral productivity in summer, when its contribution was estimated to meet 11% of the Symbiodinium N requirements. These results provide evidence of an important functional role of diazotrophs in sustaining coral productivity when alternative external N sources are scarce. PMID:26511052

  8. Overexpression of microRNAs enhances recombinant protein production in Chinese hamster ovary cells.

    PubMed

    Loh, Wan Ping; Loo, Bernard; Zhou, Lihan; Zhang, Peiqing; Lee, Dong-Yup; Yang, Yuansheng; Lam, Kong Peng

    2014-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs that can negatively regulate expression of multiple genes at post-transcriptional levels. Using miRNAs to target multiple genes and pathways is a promising cell-engineering strategy to increase recombinant protein production in mammalian cells. Here, we identified miRs-17, -19b, -20a, and -92a to be differentially expressed between high- and low- monoclonal antibody-producing Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell clones using next-generation sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR. These miRNAs were stably overexpressed individually and in combination in a high-producing clone to assess their effects on CHO cell growth, recombinant protein productivity and product quality. Stably transfected pools demonstrated 24-34% increases in specific productivity (qP) and 21-31% increases in titer relative to the parental clone, without significant alterations in proliferation rates. The highest protein-producing clones isolated from these pools exhibited 130-140% increases in qP and titer compared to the parental clone, without major changes in product aggregation and N-glycosylation profile. From our clonal data, correlations between enhanced qP/titer and increased levels of miRs-17, -19b, and -92a were observed. Our results demonstrate the potential of miRs-17, -19b, and -92a as cell-engineering targets to increase recombinant protein production in mammalian cells. PMID:24819042

  9. Expansion of Sugarcane area for Ethanol production in Brazil: a Threat to Food Production and Environmental Sustainability?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monteiro, J. M.; Coutinho, H. L.; Veiga, L. B.

    2012-12-01

    The raise in fossil fuels prices and the increase in Greenhouse Gas emissions is leading nations to adopt non-fossil fuels based energy sources. Sugarcane crops for biofuel production are expanding fast in Brazil, mainly through land use change (LUC) processes, in substitution of pasturelands and grain crops plantations. Would these changes affect negatively sustainability assessments of bioethanol production in the future? We estimate the extent of sugarcane cropland needed to produce sufficient ethanol to attend to market demands. This work presents a baseline scenario for sugarcane cropping area in Brazil in 2017, taking into account market forces (supply and demand). We also comment on a policy instrument targetting sustainable sugarcane production in Brazil. The expansion scenarios took into account the demand for ethanol from 2008-2017, produced by the Energy Research Corporation, of Brazil. In order to develop the expansion scenario, we estimated the amount of sugarcane needed to attend the ethanol demand. We then calculated the area needed to generate that amount of sugarcane. The analytical parameters were: 1) one tonne of sugarcane produces an average 81.6 liters of ethanol; 2) the average sugarcane crop productivity varied linearly from 81.4 tons/hectare in 2008 to 86.2 tons/hectare in 2017. We also assumed that sugarcane productivity in 2017 as the current average productivity of sugarcane in the State of São Paulo. The results show that the requirement for 3.5 million ha in 2007 will increase to 9 million ha in 2017. The Sugarcane Agroecologic Zoning (ZAECANA), published by Embrapa (2009), is a tool that not only informs the territory occupation and use policies, but also classifies land as qualified, restricted or non-qualified for the plantation of sugarcane crops. The ZAECANA is based on soil and climate suitability assessments, and is presented in a spatially-explicit format. Adopting the precautionary principle, a national policy was established

  10. Silicification-induced cell aggregation for the sustainable production of H2 under aerobic conditions.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Wei; Zhao, Xiaohong; Zhu, Genxing; Shao, Changyu; Li, Yaling; Ma, Weimin; Xu, Xurong; Tang, Ruikang

    2015-10-01

    Photobiological hydrogen production is of great importance because of its promise for generating clean renewable energy. In nature, green algae cannot produce hydrogen as a result of the extreme sensitivity of hydrogenase to oxygen. However, we find that silicification-induced green algae aggregates can achieve sustainable photobiological hydrogen production even under natural aerobic conditions. The core-shell structure of the green algae aggregates creates a balance between photosynthetic electron generation and hydrogenase activity, thus allowing the production of hydrogen. This finding provides a viable pathway for the solar-driven splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen to develop green energy alternatives by using rationally designed cell-material complexes. PMID:26302695

  11. Banana production systems: identification of alternative systems for more sustainable production.

    PubMed

    Bellamy, Angelina Sanderson

    2013-04-01

    Large-scale, monoculture production systems dependent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, increase yields, but are costly and have deleterious impacts on human health and the environment. This research investigates variations in banana production practices in Costa Rica, to identify alternative systems that combine high productivity and profitability, with reduced reliance on agrochemicals. Farm workers were observed during daily production activities; 39 banana producers and 8 extension workers/researchers were interviewed; and a review of field experiments conducted by the National Banana Corporation between 1997 and 2002 was made. Correspondence analysis showed that there is no structured variation in large-scale banana producers' practices, but two other banana production systems were identified: a small-scale organic system and a small-scale conventional coffee-banana intercropped system. Field-scale research may reveal ways that these practices can be scaled up to achieve a productive and profitable system producing high-quality export bananas with fewer or no pesticides. PMID:23055273

  12. Adaptation to climate change in industry: improving resource efficiency through sustainable production applications.

    PubMed

    Alkayal, Emrah; Bogurcu, Merve; Ulutas, Ferda; Demirer, Göksel Niyazi

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the climate change adaptation opportunities of six companies from different sectors through resource efficiency and sustainable production. A total of 77 sustainable production options were developed for the companies based on the audits conducted. After screening these opportunities with each company's staff, 19 options were selected and implemented. Significant water savings (849,668 m3/year) were achieved as a result of the applications that targeted reduction of water use. In addition to water savings, the energy consumption was reduced by 3,607 MWh, which decreased the CO2 emissions by 904.1 tons/year. Moreover, the consumption of 278.4 tons/year of chemicals (e.g., NaCl, CdO, NaCN) was avoided, thus the corresponding pollution load to the wastewater treatment plant was reduced. Besides the tangible improvements, other gains were achieved, such as improved product quality, improved health and safety conditions, reduced maintenance requirements, and ensured compliance with national and EU regulations. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this study is the first ever activity in Turkey devoted to climate change adaptation in the private sector. This study may serve as a building block in Turkey for the integration of climate change adaptation and mitigation approach in the industry, since water efficiency (adaptation) and carbon reduction (mitigation) are achieved simultaneously. PMID:25630123

  13. Land-based production of animal protein: impacts, efficiency, and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Wu, Guoyao; Bazer, Fuller W; Cross, H Russell

    2014-11-01

    Land-based production of high-quality protein by livestock and poultry plays an important role in improving human nutrition, growth, and health, as well as economical and social developments worldwide. With exponential growth of the global population and marked rises in meat consumption per capita, demands for animal-source protein are expected to increase by 72% between 2013 and 2050. This raises concerns about the sustainability and environmental impacts of animal agriculture. An attractive solution to meeting the increasing needs for animal products and mitigating undesired effects of agricultural practices is to enhance the efficiency of animal growth, reproduction, and lactation. Breeding techniques may help achieve this goal, but have only met with limited success. A promising, mechanism-based approach is to optimize the proportion and amounts of amino acids in diets for maximizing whole-body protein synthesis and feed efficiency. Improvements in farm animal productivity will not only decrease the contamination of soils, groundwater, and air by excessive manure, but will also help sustain animal agriculture to produce high-quality protein for the expanding population in the face of diminishing resources. PMID:25376888

  14. Integrated nutrient management (INM) for sustaining crop productivity and reducing environmental impact: a review.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Ma, Baoluo

    2015-04-15

    The increasing food demands of a growing human population and the need for an environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agricultural development require significant attention when addressing the issue of enhancing crop productivity. Here we discuss the role of integrated nutrient management (INM) in resolving these concerns, which has been proposed as a promising strategy for addressing such challenges. INM has multifaceted potential for the improvement of plant performance and resource efficiency while also enabling the protection of the environment and resource quality. This review examines the concepts, objectives, procedures and principles of INM. A comprehensive literature search revealed that INM enhances crop yields by 8-150% compared with conventional practices, increases water-use efficiency, and the economic returns to farmers, while improving grain quality and soil health and sustainability. Model simulation and fate assessment further reveal that reactive nitrogen (N) losses and GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions are reduced substantially under advanced INM practices. Lower inputs of chemical fertilizer and therefore lower human and environmental costs (such as intensity of land use, N use, reactive N losses and GHG emissions) were achieved under advanced INM practices without compromising crop yields. Various approaches and perspectives for further development of INM in the near future are also proposed and discussed. Strong and convincing evidence indicates that INM practice could be an innovative and environmentally friendly strategy for sustainable agriculture worldwide. PMID:25644838

  15. Sustainable energy crop: An analysis of ethanol production from cassava in Thailand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ubolsook, Aerwadee

    The first essay formulates a dynamic general equilibrium optimal control model of an energy crop as part of a country's planned resource use over a period of time. The model attempts to allocate consumption, production, and factors of production to achieve the country's sustainable development goal. A Cobb-Douglas specification is used for both utility and production functions in the model. We calibrate the model with Thailand data. The selected model is used to generate the stationary state solution and to simulate the optimal policy function and optimal time paths. Two methods are used: a linear approximation method and the Runke-Kutta reverse shooting method. The model provides numerical results that can be used as information for decision makers and stakeholders to devise an economic plan to achieve sustainable development goals. The second essay studies the effect of international trade and changes in labor supply, land supply, and the price of imported energy on energy crop production for bio fuel and food, as well as impacts on social welfare. We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model to describe two baseline scenarios, a closed economy and an open economy. We find that international trade increases welfare and decreases the energy price. Furthermore, resources are allocated to produce more food under the open economy scenario than the quantities produced under a closed economy assumption. An increase in labor supply and land supply result in an increase in social welfare. An increase in imported energy price leads to a welfare loss, higher energy production, and lower food production. The third essay develops a partial equilibrium econometric model to project the impacts of an increase in ethanol production on the Thai agriculture sector over the next ten years. The model is applied to three scenarios for analyzing the effect of government ethanol production targets. The results from the baseline model and scenario analysis indicate that an expansion

  16. Optimizing root system architecture in biofuel crops for sustainable energy production and soil carbon sequestration

    PubMed Central

    To, Jennifer PC; Zhu, Jinming; Benfey, Philip N

    2010-01-01

    Root system architecture (RSA) describes the dynamic spatial configuration of different types and ages of roots in a plant, which allows adaptation to different environments. Modifications in RSA enhance agronomic traits in crops and have been implicated in soil organic carbon content. Together, these fundamental properties of RSA contribute to the net carbon balance and overall sustainability of biofuels. In this article, we will review recent data supporting carbon sequestration by biofuel crops, highlight current progress in studying RSA, and discuss future opportunities for optimizing RSA for biofuel production and soil carbon sequestration. PMID:21173868

  17. Environmental Sustainability and Effects on Urban Micro Region using Agent-Based Modeling of Urbanisation in Select Major Indian Cities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aithal, B. H.

    2015-12-01

    Abstract: Urbanisation has gained momentum with globalization in India. Policy decisions to set up commercial, industrial hubs have fuelled large scale migration, added with population upsurge has contributed to the fast growing urban region that needs to be monitored in order to design sustainable urban cities. Unplanned urbanization have resulted in the growth of peri-urban region referred to as urban sprawl, are often devoid of basic amenities and infrastructure leading to large scale environmental problems that are evident. Remote sensing data acquired through space borne sensors at regular interval helps in understanding urban dynamics aided by Geoinformatics which has proved very effective in mapping and monitoring for sustainable urban planning. Cellular automata (CA) is a robust approach for the spatially explicit simulation of land-use land cover dynamics. CA uses rules, states, conditions that are vital factors in modelling urbanisation. This communication effectively introduces simulation assistances of CA with the agent based modelling supported by its fuzzy characteristics and weightages through analytical hierarchal process (AHP). This has been done considering perceived agents such as industries, natural resource etc. Respective agent's role in development of a particular regions into an urban area has been examined with weights and its influence of each of these agents based on its characteristics functions. Validation was performed obtaining a high kappa coefficient indicating the quality and the allocation performance of the model & validity of the model to predict future projections. The prediction using the proposed model was performed for 2030. Further environmental sustainability of each of these cities are explored such as water features, environment, greenhouse gas emissions, effects on human human health etc., Modeling suggests trend of various land use classes transformation with the spurt in urban expansions based on specific regions and

  18. Sustainability of egg production in the United States--the policy and market context.

    PubMed

    Mench, J A; Sumner, D A; Rosen-Molina, J T

    2011-01-01

    The US egg industry is being pressured from many directions to change its production practices, particularly to address concerns about hen welfare in conventional cage systems. Responding to similar pressures, in 1999, the European Union banned conventional laying cages starting in 2012. This now impending European ban has led to the development of several alternative housing systems. These include noncage systems like aviaries and modified (enriched or furnished) cages that include perches, areas in which the hens can forage and dustbathe, and nests. Understanding the European experience is valuable as the United States considers the future direction of the egg industry. In the United States, the proportion of eggs produced in alternative systems is small (less than 5% of output) but growing, in part due to market and political incentives for systems that provide hens with more behavioral freedom than conventional cages. Animal welfare, however, is only one element of a sustainable production system. Other elements include those related to public values, the environment, economics, worker health, and food safety and quality. Eggs are a primary source of animal protein globally, and the United States is the third largest producer of eggs in the world, behind China and the European Union. The national table egg flock comprises about 280 million hens housed in all regions but with approximately 60% of eggs produced in the 10 leading states. Adopting new housing systems will have substantial effects on costs and other aspects of egg production on both a regional and national scale, with some positive effects but also potential negative effects that need to be carefully considered. This paper discusses the US egg industry in the context of legislation and standards related to hen housing systems. It also addresses initiatives by retailers, nongovernmental organizations, and private certification organizations to shape production practices in the egg industry as well as

  19. Technology for Improving Production, Economic Efficiency, Quality and Sustainability in Peanut Production and Handling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proper crop rotation is essential to maintaining high peanut yield and quality. However, the economic considerations of maintaining or altering crop rotation sequences must incorporate the commodity prices, production costs, and yield responses of all crops in, or potentially in, the crop rotation ...

  20. Food and sustainability: do consumers recognize, understand and value on-package information on production standards?

    PubMed

    Hoogland, Carolien T; de Boer, Joop; Boersema, Jan J

    2007-07-01

    We tested how consumers recognize, understand and value on-package information about food production methods that may contribute to a more sustainable agriculture. Nine copy tests were formed, each containing one out of three products and one out of three panels of information. The products were (1) fillet of chicken, (2) semi-skimmed milk and (3) fillet of salmon. The panels of information were (a) a certified organic logo and details about the animal welfare standards of organic products, (b) just the logo, or (c) a statement in which the product was attributed to the world market. About 371 customers of a supermarket in the city of Amsterdam filled in a questionnaire, which included a subset of three copy tests. The results showed that many consumers did not realize that the organic logo already covers all the standards. They were inclined to underestimate the distinctive advantage of the logo; products with logo and details got higher ratings of positive attributes but were also considered more expensive. As a consequence, the detailed information panels enabled consumers to choose more in agreement with their personal values but the net impacts on purchase intentions were small. PMID:17303285

  1. Sustainable Systems Analysis of Production and Transportation Scenarios for Conventional and Bio-based Energy Commodities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doran, E. M.; Golden, J. S.; Nowacek, D. P.

    2013-12-01

    International commerce places unique pressures on the sustainability of water resources and marine environments. System impacts include noise, emissions, and chemical and biological pollutants like introduction of invasive species into key ecosystems. At the same time, maritime trade also enables the sustainability ambition of intragenerational equity in the economy through the global circulation of commodities and manufactured goods, including agricultural, energy and mining resources (UN Trade and Development Board 2013). This paper presents a framework to guide the analysis of the multiple dimensions of the sustainable commerce-ocean nexus. As a demonstration case, we explore the social, economic and environmental aspects of the nexus framework using scenarios for the production and transportation of conventional and bio-based energy commodities. Using coupled LCA and GIS methodologies, we are able to orient the findings spatially for additional insight. Previous work on the sustainable use of marine resources has focused on distinct aspects of the maritime environment. The framework presented here, integrates the anthropogenic use, governance and impacts on the marine and coastal environments with the natural components of the system. A similar framework has been highly effective in progressing the study of land-change science (Turner et al 2007), however modification is required for the unique context of the marine environment. This framework will enable better research integration and planning for sustainability objectives including mitigation and adaptation to climate change, sea level rise, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, protection of critical marine habitat and species, and better management of the ocean as an emerging resource base for the production and transport of commodities and energy across the globe. The framework can also be adapted for vulnerability analysis, resilience studies and to evaluate the trends in production, consumption and

  2. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D.; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L.; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I.; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R.; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J.

    2011-01-01

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873184

  3. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K Thomas; Mullen, Robert T; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M; Cahoon, Edgar B

    2016-01-01

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds. PMID:26916792

  4. Dedicated Industrial Oilseed Crops as Metabolic Engineering Platforms for Sustainable Industrial Feedstock Production

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Li-Hua; Krens, Frans; Smith, Mark A.; Li, Xueyuan; Qi, Weicong; van Loo, Eibertus N.; Iven, Tim; Feussner, Ivo; Nazarenus, Tara J.; Huai, Dongxin; Taylor, David C.; Zhou, Xue-Rong; Green, Allan G.; Shockey, Jay; Klasson, K. Thomas; Mullen, Robert T.; Huang, Bangquan; Dyer, John M.; Cahoon, Edgar B.

    2016-01-01

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemical-type functionalities. A wide array of industrial vegetable oils can be generated through biotechnology, but will likely require non-commodity oilseed platforms dedicated to specialty oil production for commercial acceptance. Here we show the feasibility of three Brassicaceae oilseeds crambe, camelina, and carinata, none of which are widely cultivated for food use, as hosts for complex metabolic engineering of wax esters for lubricant applications. Lines producing wax esters >20% of total seed oil were generated for each crop and further improved for high temperature oxidative stability by down-regulation of fatty acid polyunsaturation. Field cultivation of optimized wax ester-producing crambe demonstrated commercial utility of these engineered crops and a path for sustainable production of other industrial oils in dedicated specialty oilseeds. PMID:26916792

  5. Storage sizing for embedding of local gas production in a micro gas grid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alkano, D.; Nefkens, W. J.; Scherpen, J. M. A.; Volkerts, M.

    2014-12-01

    In this paper we study the optimal control of a micro grid of biogas producers. The paper considers the possibility to have a local storage device for each producer, who partly consumes his own production, i.e. prosumer. In addition, connected prosumers can sell stored gas to create revenue from it. An optimization model is employed to derive the size of storage device and to provide a pricing mechanism in an effort to value the stored gas. Taking into account physical grid constraints, the model is constructed in a centralized scheme of model predictive control. Case studies show that there is a relation between the demand and price profiles in terms of peaks and lows. The price profiles generally follow each other. The case studies are employed as well to to study the impacts of model parameters on deriving the storage size.

  6. Iron control in west Texas sour-gas wells provides sustained production increases

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, M.L.; Dill, W.R.; Besler, M.R.; McFatridge, D.G. )

    1991-05-01

    Permian Basin operators have recorded sustained production increases in oil wells by preventing precipitation of iron sulfide and other sulfur-containing species. This improvement has resulted largely from cleaning out tubing before acidizing and from preventing the precipitation of ferrous sulfide and the formation of elemental sulfur by simultaneous use of iron chelants and sulfide-control agents. Previously used methods gave only temporary production increases that terminated when iron dissolved by the stimulation acid reprecipitated in the pay zone and damage the formation after the stimulation acid was spent. This paper describes a method to optimize iron sulfide control, methods to minimize reprecipitation, and case histories from the Permian Basin that show improved methods to control iron in sour-well environments.

  7. Fuelling the future: microbial engineering for the production of sustainable biofuels.

    PubMed

    Liao, James C; Mi, Luo; Pontrelli, Sammy; Luo, Shanshan

    2016-04-01

    Global climate change linked to the accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels as the major energy source. To mitigate climate change while keeping energy supply sustainable, one solution is to rely on the ability of microorganisms to use renewable resources for biofuel synthesis. In this Review, we discuss how microorganisms can be explored for the production of next-generation biofuels, based on the ability of bacteria and fungi to use lignocellulose; through direct CO2 conversion by microalgae; using lithoautotrophs driven by solar electricity; or through the capacity of microorganisms to use methane generated from landfill. Furthermore, we discuss how to direct these substrates to the biosynthetic pathways of various fuel compounds and how to optimize biofuel production by engineering fuel pathways and central metabolism. PMID:27026253

  8. Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers deplete soil nitrogen: a global dilemma for sustainable cereal production.

    PubMed

    Mulvaney, R L; Khan, S A; Ellsworth, T R

    2009-01-01

    Cereal production that now sustains a world population of more than 6.5 billion has tripled during the past 40 yr, concurrent with an increase from 12 to 104 Tg yr(-1) of synthetic N applied largely in ammoniacal fertilizers. These fertilizers have been managed as a cost-effective form of insurance against low yields, without regard to the inherent effect of mineral N in promoting microbial C utilization. Such an effect is consistent with a net loss of soil organic C recently observed for the Morrow Plots, America's oldest experiment field, after 40 to 50 yr of synthetic N fertilization that substantially exceeded grain N removal. A similar decline in total soil N is reported herein for the same site and would be expected from the predominantly organic occurrence of soil N. This decline is in agreement with numerous long-term baseline data sets from chemical-based cropping systems involving a wide variety of soils, geographic regions, and tillage practices. The loss of organic N decreases soil productivity and the agronomic efficiency (kg grain kg(-1) N) of fertilizer N and has been implicated in widespread reports of yield stagnation or even decline for grain production in Asia. A major global evaluation of current cereal production systems should be undertaken, with a view toward using scientific and technological advances to increase input efficiencies. As one aspect of this strategy, the input of ammoniacal N should be more accurately matched to crop N requirement. Long-term sustainability may require agricultural diversification involving a gradual transition from intensive synthetic N inputs to legume-based crop rotations. PMID:19875786

  9. Interactions of woody biofuel feedstock production systems with water resources: Considerations for sustainability.

    SciTech Connect

    Trettin, Carl,C.; Amatya, Devendra; Coleman, Mark.

    2008-07-01

    Abstract. Water resources are important for the production of woody biofuel feedstocks. It is necessary to ensure that production systems do not adversely affect the quantity or quality of surface and ground water. The effects of woody biomass plantations on water resources are largely dependent on the prior land use and the management regime. Experience from both irrigated and non-irrigated systems has demonstrated that woody biofuel production systems do not impair water quality. Water quality actually improves from conversion of idle or degraded agricultural lands to woody biomass plantations. Site water balance may be altered by cultivation of woody biomass plantations relative to agricultural use, due to increases in evapostranspiration (ET) and storage. Incorporation of woody biomass production plantations within the landscape provides an opportunity to improve the quality of runoff water and soil conservation. Given the centrality of water resources to the sustainability of ecosystem services and other values derived, the experience with woody biofuels feedstock production systems is positive. Keywords. Short rotation woody crop, forest hydrology, water quality, hardwood plantation.

  10. Making better maize plants for sustainable grain production in a changing climate

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Fangping; Wu, Xiaolin; Zhang, Huiyong; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Achieving grain supply security with limited arable land is a major challenge in the twenty-first century, owing to the changing climate and increasing global population. Maize plays an increasingly vital role in global grain production. As a C4 plant, maize has a high yield potential. Maize is predicted to become the number one cereal in the world by 2020. However, maize production has plateaued in many countries, and hybrid and production technologies have been fully exploited. Thus, there is an urgent need to shape maize traits and architectures for increased stress tolerance and higher yield in a changing climate. Recent achievements in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics have provided an unprecedented opportunity to make better maize. In this paper, we discuss the current challenges and potential of maize production, particularly in China. We also highlight the need for enhancing maize tolerance to drought and heat waves, summarize the elite shoot and root traits and phenotypes, and propose an ideotype for sustainable maize production in a changing climate. This will facilitate targeted maize improvement through a conventional breeding program combined with molecular techniques. PMID:26500671

  11. Progress toward evaluating the sustainability of switchgrass production as a bioenergy crop using the SWAT model

    SciTech Connect

    Baskaran, Latha Malar; Jager, Yetta; Schweizer, Peter E; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2010-01-01

    Adding bioenergy to the US energy portfolio requires long-term profitability for bioenergy producers and the long-term protection of affected ecosystems. In this study, we present steps along the path towards evaluating both sides of the sustainability equation (production and environmental) for switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). We modeled production of switchgrass and river flow using SWAT for current landscapes at a regional scale. To quantify feedstock production, we compared lowland switchgrass yields simulated by SWAT with estimates from a model based on empirical data for the eastern US. Geographic patterns were very similar. Average yields reported in field trials tended to be higher than average SWAT-predicted yields, which may nevertheless be more representative of production-scale yields. As a preliminary step toward quantifying bioenergy-related changes in water quality, we evaluated flow predictions by the SWAT model for the Arkansas-Red-White river basin. Monthly SWAT flow predictions were compared to USGS measurements from 86 subbasins across the region. Although agreement was good, analysis of residuals (functional validation) identified patterns to guide future improvements. Our next step will be to continue model improvement, after which we will forecast changes in water quality associated with incorporating bioenergy crops into future landscapes. This analysis will help us, in future, to identify areas with the highest economic and environmental potential for feedstock production.

  12. Making better maize plants for sustainable grain production in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Gong, Fangping; Wu, Xiaolin; Zhang, Huiyong; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Achieving grain supply security with limited arable land is a major challenge in the twenty-first century, owing to the changing climate and increasing global population. Maize plays an increasingly vital role in global grain production. As a C4 plant, maize has a high yield potential. Maize is predicted to become the number one cereal in the world by 2020. However, maize production has plateaued in many countries, and hybrid and production technologies have been fully exploited. Thus, there is an urgent need to shape maize traits and architectures for increased stress tolerance and higher yield in a changing climate. Recent achievements in genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics have provided an unprecedented opportunity to make better maize. In this paper, we discuss the current challenges and potential of maize production, particularly in China. We also highlight the need for enhancing maize tolerance to drought and heat waves, summarize the elite shoot and root traits and phenotypes, and propose an ideotype for sustainable maize production in a changing climate. This will facilitate targeted maize improvement through a conventional breeding program combined with molecular techniques. PMID:26500671

  13. Study of the Assessment Method for N Excretion in Sustainable Heavy Pigs Production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Kaijun; Liu, Fenghua; Xu, Xiaolong; Xu, Jianqin; Zoccarato, Ivo

    Italian heavy pigs, with an average slaughtering body weight of 150-170 kg, are world-wide famous for its Parma ham production. Because the requirement of market diversity, producers are interested in ham production following the procedure of Italian pork industry. However, with ever growing public concern about nitrogen (N) pollution in the environment, it is necessary to determine a suitable method to measure N excretion from heavy pig production. The N retention was calculated by factorial method and compared with estimations of other methods available in literature. The results showed that the N percentage of heavy pigs is 2.43% ± 0.07% on body weight basis and the percentage of N excretion was approximately 69.62% ± 0.20 of N intake. Regarding the N excretion of estimation methods, the proposal of Xiccato et al. was closer to reality of the heavy pig production than other methods and could be used as a standard way to calculate the N excretion. Besides the overall standard, it is opportune to make a N balance sheet for every individual farm under specific conditions. Only in this way, the farmers can realize their deficiencies and will voluntarily follow the Good Management Practice (GMP) indications so as to guarantee a sustainable development of pig production.

  14. Knowledge and tools to enhance resilience of beef grazing systems for sustainable animal protein production.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Jean L; Engle, David M; Xiao, Xiangming; Saleh, Ali; Tomlinson, Peter; Rice, Charles W; Cole, N Andy; Coleman, Samuel W; Osei, Edward; Basara, Jeffrey; Middendorf, Gerad; Gowda, Prasanna; Todd, Richard; Moffet, Corey; Anandhi, Aavudai; Starks, Patrick J; Ocshner, Tyson; Reuter, Ryan; Devlin, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    Ruminant livestock provides meat and dairy products that sustain health and livelihood for much of the world's population. Grazing lands that support ruminant livestock provide numerous ecosystem services, including provision of food, water, and genetic resources; climate and water regulation; support of soil formation; nutrient cycling; and cultural services. In the U.S. southern Great Plains, beef production on pastures, rangelands, and hay is a major economic activity. The region's climate is characterized by extremes of heat and cold and extremes of drought and flooding. Grazing lands occupy a large portion of the region's land, significantly affecting carbon, nitrogen, and water budgets. To understand vulnerabilities and enhance resilience of beef production, a multi-institutional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP), the "grazing CAP," was established. Integrative research and extension spanning biophysical, socioeconomic, and agricultural disciplines address management effects on productivity and environmental footprints of production systems. Knowledge and tools being developed will allow farmers and ranchers to evaluate risks and increase resilience to dynamic conditions. The knowledge and tools developed will also have relevance to grazing lands in semiarid and subhumid regions of the world. PMID:25376887

  15. Making Friends with the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hinshelwood, Emily

    2003-01-01

    A renewable energy project in South Wales was enriched by elements of the sustainable livelihood approach: people centered, holistic, and dynamic. The approach shifted the focus from technology to people and from product to process; it combined micro and macro issues. (SK)

  16. Links between surface productivity and deep ocean particle flux at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain sustained observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigstad, H.; Henson, S. A.; Hartman, S. E.; Omar, A. M.; Jeansson, E.; Cole, H.; Pebody, C.; Lampitt, R. S.

    2015-10-01

    In this study we present hydrography, biogeochemistry and sediment trap observations between 2003 and 2012 at Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) sustained observatory in the Northeast Atlantic. The time series is valuable as it allows for investigation of the link between surface productivity and deep ocean carbon flux. The region is a perennial sink for CO2, with an average uptake of around 1.5 mmol m-2 day-1. The average monthly drawdowns of inorganic carbon and nitrogen were used to quantify the net community production (NCP) and new production. Seasonal NCP and new production were found to be 4.57 ± 0.85 mol C m-2 and 0.37 ± 0.14 mol N m-2, respectively. The C : N ratio was high (12) compared to the Redfield ratio (6.6), and the production calculated from carbon was higher than production calculated from nitrogen, which is indicative of carbon overconsumption. The export ratio and transfer efficiency were 16 and 4 %, respectively, and the site thereby showed high flux attenuation. Particle tracking was used to examine the source region of material in the sediment trap, and there was large variation in source regions, both between and within years. There were higher correlations between surface productivity and export flux when using the particle-tracking approach, than by comparing with the mean productivity in a 100 km box around the PAP site. However, the differences in correlation coefficients were not significant, and a longer time series is needed to draw conclusions on applying particle tracking in sediment trap analyses.

  17. Production of Singlet Oxygen in a Non-Self-Sustained Discharge

    SciTech Connect

    Vasil'eva, A.N.; Klopovskii, K.S.; Kovalev, A.S.; Lopaev, D.V.; Mankelevich, Yu.A.; Popov, N.A.; Rakhimov, A.T.; Rakhimova, T.V.

    2005-04-15

    The production of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) singlet oxygen in non-self-sustained discharges in pure oxygen and mixtures of oxygen with noble gases (Ar or He) was studied experimentally. It is shown that the energy efficiency of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) production can be optimized with respect to the reduced electric field E/N. It is shown that the optimal E/N values correspond to electron temperatures of 1.2-1.4 eV. At these E/N values, a decrease in the oxygen percentage in the mixture leads to an increase in the excitation rate of singlet oxygen because of the increase in the specific energy deposition per O{sub 2} molecule. The onset of discharge instabilities not only greatly reduces the energy efficiency of singlet oxygen production but also makes it impossible to achieve high energy deposition in a non-self-sustained discharge. A model of a non-self-sustained discharge in pure oxygen is developed. It is shown that good agreement between the experimental and computed results for a discharge in oxygen over a wide range of reduced electric fields can be achieved only by taking into account the ion component of the discharge current. The cross section for the electron-impact excitation of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) and the kinetic scheme of the discharge processes with the participation of singlet oxygen are verified by comparing the experimental and computed data on the energy efficiency of the production of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) and the dynamics of its concentration. It is shown that, in the dynamics of O{sub 2}(a{sup 1}{delta}{sub g}) molecules in the discharge afterglow, an important role is played by their deexcitation in a three-body reaction with the participation of O({sup 3}P) atoms. At high energy depositions in a non-self-sustained discharge, this reaction can reduce the maximal attainable concentration of singlet oxygen. The effect of a hydrogen additive to an Ar : O{sub 2} mixture is analyzed based on the results

  18. Targeting the production of oncogenic microRNAs with multimodal synthetic small molecules.

    PubMed

    Vo, Duc Duy; Staedel, Cathy; Zehnacker, Laura; Benhida, Rachid; Darfeuille, Fabien; Duca, Maria

    2014-03-21

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered category of small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Accumulating evidence indicates that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in a variety of human cancers and revealed to be oncogenic and to play a pivotal role in initiation and progression of these pathologies. It is now clear that the inhibition of oncogenic miRNAs, defined as blocking their biosynthesis or their function, could find an application in the therapy of different types of cancer in which these miRNAs are implicated. Here we report the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of new small-molecule RNA ligands targeting the production of oncogenic microRNAs. In this work we focused our attention on miR-372 and miR-373 that are implicated in the tumorigenesis of different types of cancer such as gastric cancer. These two oncogenic miRNAs are overexpressed in gastric cancer cells starting from their precursors pre-miR-372 and pre-miR-373, two stem-loop structured RNAs that lead to mature miRNAs after cleavage by the enzyme Dicer. The small molecules described herein consist of the conjugation of two RNA binding motives, i.e., the aminoglycoside neomycin and different natural and artificial nucleobases, in order to obtain RNA ligands with increased affinity and selectivity compared to that of parent compounds. After the synthesis of this new series of RNA ligands, we demonstrated that they are able to inhibit the production of the oncogenic miRNA-372 and -373 by binding their pre-miRNAs and inhibiting the processing by Dicer. Moreover, we proved that some of these compounds bear anti-proliferative activity toward gastric cancer cells and that this activity is likely linked to a decrease in the production of targeted miRNAs. To date, only few examples of small molecules targeting oncogenic miRNAs have been reported, and such inhibitors could be extremely useful for the development of new anticancer therapeutic

  19. From the Academy: Colloquium perspective. Toward cropping systems that enhance productivity and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Cook, R James

    2006-12-01

    The defining features of any cropping system are (i) the crop rotation and (ii) the kind or intensity of tillage. The trend worldwide starting in the late 20th century has been (i) to specialize competitively in the production of two, three, a single, or closely related crops such as different market classes of wheat and barley, and (ii) to use direct seeding, also known as no-till, to cut costs and save soil, time, and fuel. The availability of glyphosate- and insect-resistant varieties of soybeans, corn, cotton, and canola has helped greatly to address weed and insect pest pressures favored by direct seeding these crops. However, little has been done through genetics and breeding to address diseases caused by residue- and soil-inhabiting pathogens that remain major obstacles to wider adoption of these potentially more productive and sustainable systems. Instead, the gains have been due largely to innovations in management, including enhancement of root defense by antibiotic-producing rhizosphere-inhabiting bacteria inhibitory to root pathogens. Historically, new varieties have facilitated wider adoption of new management, and changes in management have facilitated wider adoption of new varieties. Although actual yields may be lower in direct-seed compared with conventional cropping systems, largely due to diseases, the yield potential is higher because of more available water and increases in soil organic matter. Achieving the full production potential of these more-sustainable cropping systems must now await the development of varieties adapted to or resistant to the hazards shown to account for the yield depressions associated with direct seeding. PMID:17130454

  20. Effect of parity on productivity and sustainability of Lotka-Volterra food chains: bounded orbits in food chains.

    PubMed

    Massarelli, Nicole; Hoffman, Kathleen; Previte, Joseph P

    2014-12-01

    Hairston, Slobodkin, and Smith conjectured that top down forces act on food chains, which opposed the previously accepted theory that bottom up forces exclusively dictate the dynamics of populations. We model food chains using the Lotka-Volterra predation model and derive sustainability constants which determine which species will persist or go extinct. Further, we show that the productivity of a sustainable food chain with even trophic levels is predator regulated, or top down, while a sustainable food chain with odd trophic levels is resource limited, which is bottom up, which is consistent with current ecological theory. PMID:24362648

  1. SYNBIOCHEM-a SynBio foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals.

    PubMed

    Carbonell, Pablo; Currin, Andrew; Dunstan, Mark; Fellows, Donal; Jervis, Adrian; Rattray, Nicholas J W; Robinson, Christopher J; Swainston, Neil; Vinaixa, Maria; Williams, Alan; Yan, Cunyu; Barran, Perdita; Breitling, Rainer; Chen, George Guo-Qiang; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Goble, Carole; Goodacre, Royston; Kell, Douglas B; Feuvre, Rosalind Le; Micklefield, Jason; Scrutton, Nigel S; Shapira, Philip; Takano, Eriko; Turner, Nicholas J

    2016-06-15

    The Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) is a foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals. The Centre's integrated technology platforms provide a unique capability to facilitate predictable engineering of microbial bio-factories for chemicals production. An overview of these capabilities is described. PMID:27284023

  2. SYNBIOCHEM–a SynBio foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals

    PubMed Central

    Carbonell, Pablo; Currin, Andrew; Dunstan, Mark; Fellows, Donal; Jervis, Adrian; Rattray, Nicholas J.W.; Robinson, Christopher J.; Swainston, Neil; Vinaixa, Maria; Williams, Alan; Yan, Cunyu; Barran, Perdita; Breitling, Rainer; Chen, George Guo-Qiang; Faulon, Jean-Loup; Goble, Carole; Goodacre, Royston; Kell, Douglas B.; Feuvre, Rosalind Le; Micklefield, Jason; Scrutton, Nigel S.; Shapira, Philip; Takano, Eriko; Turner, Nicholas J.

    2016-01-01

    The Manchester Synthetic Biology Research Centre (SYNBIOCHEM) is a foundry for the biosynthesis and sustainable production of fine and speciality chemicals. The Centre's integrated technology platforms provide a unique capability to facilitate predictable engineering of microbial bio-factories for chemicals production. An overview of these capabilities is described. PMID:27284023

  3. Farmers' Perception of Integrated Soil Fertility and Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production: A Study of Rural Areas in Bangladesh

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farouque, Md. Golam; Takeya, Hiroyuki

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to determine farmers' perception of integrated soil fertility and nutrient management for sustainable crop production. Integrated soil fertility (ISF) and nutrient management (NM) is an advanced approach to maintain soil fertility and to enhance crop productivity. A total number of 120 farmers from eight villages in four districts…

  4. Chronic Ethanol consumption modulates growth factor release, mucosal cytokine production and microRNA expression in nonhuman primates

    PubMed Central

    Asquith, Mark; Pasala, Sumana; Engelmann, Flora; Haberthur, Kristen; Meyer, Christine; Park, Byung; Grant, Kathleen A.; Messaoudi, Ilhem

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Chronic alcohol consumption has been associated with enhanced susceptibility to both systemic and mucosal infections. However, the exact mechanisms underlying this enhanced susceptibility remain incompletely understood. METHODS Using a nonhuman primate model of ethanol self-administration, we examined the impact of chronic alcohol exposure on immune homeostasis, cytokine and growth factor production in peripheral blood, lung and intestinal mucosa following twelve months of chronic ethanol exposure. RESULTS Ethanol exposure inhibited activation-induced production of growth factors HGF, G-CSF and VEGF by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Moreover, ethanol significantly reduced the frequency of colonic Th1 and Th17 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, we did not observe differences in lymphocyte frequency or soluble factor production in the lung of ethanol-consuming animals. To uncover mechanisms underlying reduced growth factor and Th1/Th17 cytokine production, we compared expression levels of microRNAs in PBMC and intestinal mucosa. Our analysis revealed ethanol-dependent upregulation of distinct microRNAs in affected tissues (miR-181a and miR-221 in PBMC; miR-155 in colon). Moreover, we were able to detect reduced expression of the transcription factors STAT3 and ARNT, which regulate expression of VEGF, G-CSF and HGF and contain targets for these microRNAs. To confirm and extend these observations, PBMC were transfected with either mimics or antagomirs of miR181 and 221and protein levels of the transcription factors and growth factors were determined. Transfection of microRNA mimics led to a reduction in both STAT-3/ARNT as well as VEGF/HGF/G-CSF levels. The opposite outcome was observed when microRNA antagomirs were transfected CONCLUSION Chronic ethanol consumption significantly disrupts both peripheral and mucosal immune homeostasis, and this dysregulation may be mediated by changes in microRNA expression. PMID:24329418

  5. Implementation of Sustainable Soil Management Practices to Improve Crop Production in the Different Ethiopian Agro Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García Moreno, R.; Gameda, S.; Diaz Alvarez, M. C.; Selasie, Y. G.

    2012-04-01

    Agriculture in Ethiopia is one of first priority since close to 10 In this context, the Ethiopian crop production faces to the following soil management challenges: lack of updated soil data, macro and micro nutrient depletion, acidity, salinity and soil surface erosion and crusting. One of the biggest issues is the loss of arable land, above 137 T/yr, reaching during some particularly dried periods until 300 T/yr. In this context, the authors constituted a working group of experts from Spanish and Ethiopian universities, local producers and international and governmental organisms to analyse the problems related to the different agro ecological zones found in Ethiopia and the management practices of different local producers. The study produced the trends to implement in the different areas to improve soil management practices in order to contribute to increase the crop production mainly to achieve food security problems. The analyse produced different working fields for the next years for addressing soil degradation, improving land resources management practices, increasing agricultural productivity, updating the available soil data, developing an international program of education, transferring of knowledge from similar study cases and implementing economical tools to help producers to assure income after severe edapho-climatic events. The practical work and the projects developed for the next period is addressed to smallholder farms belonging to the different 34 agro ecological zones identified in Ethiopia, each of them with very specific environmental, cultural and soil management practices.

  6. Genetic engineering and sustainable production of ornamentals: current status and future directions.

    PubMed

    Lütken, Henrik; Clarke, Jihong Liu; Müller, Renate

    2012-07-01

    Through the last decades, environmentally and health-friendly production methods and conscientious use of resources have become crucial for reaching the goal of a more sustainable plant production. Protection of the environment requires careful consumption of limited resources and reduction of chemicals applied during production of ornamental plants. Numerous chemicals used in modern plant production have negative impacts on human health and are hazardous to the environment. In Europe, several compounds have lost their approval and further legal restrictions can be expected. This review presents the more recent progress of genetic engineering in ornamental breeding, delivers an overview of the biological background of the used technologies and critically evaluates the usefulness of the strategies to obtain improved ornamental plants. First, genetic engineering is addressed as alternative to growth retardants, comprising recombinant DNA approaches targeting relevant hormone pathways, e.g. the gibberellic acid (GA) pathway. A reduced content of active GAs causes compact growth and can be facilitated by either decreased anabolism, increased catabolism or altered perception. Moreover, compactness can be accomplished by using a natural transformation approach without recombinant DNA technology. Secondly, metabolic engineering approaches targeting elements of the ethylene signal transduction pathway are summarized as a possible alternative to avoid the use of chemical ethylene inhibitors. In conclusion, molecular breeding approaches are dealt with in a way allowing a critical biological assessment and enabling the scientific community and public to put genetic engineering of ornamental plants into a perspective regarding their usefulness in plant breeding. PMID:22527196

  7. Geodecision system for traceability and sustainable production of beef cattle in Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Victoria, D. D.; Andrade, R. G.; Bolfe, L.; Batistella, M.; Pires, P. P.; Vicente, L. E.; Visoli, M. C.

    2011-12-01

    Beef cattle production sustainability depends on incorporating innovative tools and technologies which are easy to comprehend, economically viable, and spatially explicit into the registration of precise, reliable data about production practices. This research developed from the needs and demands of food safety and food quality in extensive beef cattle production within the scope of the policies of Southern Cone and European Union's countries. Initially, the OTAG project (Operational Management and Geodecisional Prototype to Track and Trace Agricultural Production) focused on the development of a prototype traceability of cattle. The aim for the project's next phase is to enhance the electronic devices used in the identification and positioning of the animals, and the incorporation of more management and sanitary information. Besides, we intend to structure a database that enables the inclusion of greater amount of geospatial information linked to environmental aspects, such as water deficit, vegetation vigour, degradation indices of pasture areas, among others. For the extraction of knowledge, and the presentation of the results, we propose the development of a friendly interface to facilitate the exploration of the textual, tabular and geospatial information useful for the user.

  8. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Exploration Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.; Grieves, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Engineering Directorate, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decision-making. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful concept to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This briefing will demonstrate how the MSFC Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions and how that strategy aligns with the Agency and Center systems engineering policies and processes. Sustainable space exploration solutions demand that all lifecycle phases be optimized, and engineering the next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. Adopting PLM, which has been used by the aerospace and automotive industry for many years, for spacecraft applications provides a foundation for strong, disciplined systems engineering and accountable return on investment. PLM enables better solutions using fewer resources by making lifecycle considerations in an integrative decision-making process.

  9. Target Cultivation and Financing Parameters for Sustainable Production of Fuel and Feed from Microalgae.

    PubMed

    Gerber, Léda N; Tester, Jefferson W; Beal, Colin M; Huntley, Mark E; Sills, Deborah L

    2016-04-01

    Production of economically competitive and environmentally sustainable algal biofuel faces technical challenges that are subject to high uncertainties. Here we identify target values for algal productivity and financing conditions required to achieve a biocrude selling price of $5 per gallon and beneficial environmental impacts. A modeling framework--combining process design, techno-economic analysis, life cycle assessment, and uncertainty analysis--was applied to two conversion pathways: (1) "fuel only (HTL)", using hydrothermal liquefaction to produce biocrude, heat and power, and (2) "fuel and feed", using wet extraction to produce biocrude and lipid-extracted algae, which can substitute components of animal and aqua feeds. Our results suggest that with supporting policy incentives, the "fuel and feed" scenario will likely achieve a biocrude selling price of less than $5 per gallon at a productivity of 39 g/m(2)/day, versus 47 g/m(2)/day for the "fuel only (HTL)" scenario. Furthermore, if lipid-extracted algae are used to substitute fishmeal, the process has a 50% probability of reaching $5 per gallon with a base case productivity of 23 g/m(2)/day. Scenarios with improved economics were associated with beneficial environmental impacts for climate change, ecosystem quality, and resource depletion, but not for human health. PMID:26942694

  10. Use of the SWAT model to evaluate the sustainability of bioenergy production at a National scale

    SciTech Connect

    Baskaran, Latha Malar; Jager, Yetta; Schweizer, Peter E; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2009-01-01

    As the US begins to integrate biomass crops and residues into its mix of energy feedstocks, tools are needed to measure the long-term sustainability of these feedstocks. Two aspects of sustainability are long-term potential for profitably producing energy and protection of ecosystems influenced by energy-related activities. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is an important model used in the efforts to quantify both aspects. To quantify potential feedstock production, they used SWAT to estimate switchgrass yields at a national scale. The results from this analysis produced a map of the potential switchgrass yield along its natural eastern range. To quantify ecological protection, they are using the SWAT model to forecast changes in water quality and fish richness as a result of landscape alterations due to incorporating bioenergy crops. They have implemented the SWAT model in the Arkansas-Red-White region, which drains into the Mississippi River, and they present their methods here. They identified two sub-watersheds for sensitivity analysis and calibration of the water quality results, and then, explored ways to apply the calibration results to the whole region and validate the model setup. They also present an overview of their research in which results from the calibrated regional SWAT model were used to analyze potential changes in fish biodiversity. Only by evaluating the energy and environmental implications of landscape changes can we make informed decisions about bioenergy at the national scale, and the SWAT model will enable us to reach that goal.

  11. MicroRNA-155 potentiates the inflammatory response in hypothermia by suppressing IL-10 production.

    PubMed

    Billeter, Adrian T; Hellmann, Jason; Roberts, Henry; Druen, Devin; Gardner, Sarah A; Sarojini, Harshini; Galandiuk, Susan; Chien, Sufan; Bhatnagar, Aruni; Spite, Matthew; Polk, Hiram C

    2014-12-01

    Therapeutic hypothermia is commonly used to improve neurological outcomes in patients after cardiac arrest. However, therapeutic hypothermia increases sepsis risk and unintentional hypothermia in surgical patients increases infectious complications. Nonetheless, the molecular mechanisms by which hypothermia dysregulates innate immunity are incompletely understood. We found that exposure of human monocytes to cold (32°C) potentiated LPS-induced production of TNF and IL-6, while blunting IL-10 production. This dysregulation was associated with increased expression of microRNA-155 (miR-155), which potentiates Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling by negatively regulating Ship1 and Socs1. Indeed, Ship1 and Socs1 were suppressed at 32°C and miR-155 antagomirs increased Ship1 and Socs1 and reversed the alterations in cytokine production in cold-exposed monocytes. In contrast, miR-155 mimics phenocopied the effects of cold exposure, reducing Ship1 and Socs1 and altering TNF and IL-10 production. In a murine model of LPS-induced peritonitis, cold exposure potentiated hypothermia and decreased survival (10 vs. 50%; P < 0.05), effects that were associated with increased miR-155, suppression of Ship1 and Socs1, and alterations in TNF and IL-10. Importantly, miR-155-deficiency reduced hypothermia and improved survival (78 vs. 32%, P < 0.05), which was associated with increased Ship1, Socs1, and IL-10. These results establish a causal role of miR-155 in the dysregulation of the inflammatory response to hypothermia. PMID:25231976

  12. Sacrificial component fabrication for optimised production of micro-vascular polymer composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalton, B.; Dixon, D.; McIlhagger, A.; Archer, E.

    2015-02-01

    Smart functional materials are a viable future goal for advanced applications in aerospace, space and medical applications. In this work micro-vascular polymer composite systems have been developed using sacrificial fibres produced from catalyst loaded Poly(lactic acid). The sacrificial fibres have been produced via a published technique which treated PLA in a solvent catalyst mixture of 60% Trifluoroethanol, 40% H2O dispersed with 10 wt% tin (II) oxalate catalyst. A second process of polymer extrusion of PLA using graded fill contents of tin (II) oxalate has also been developed for the up scaled production of fibres as an alternative to solution treatment. Thermal analysis (TGA) was used to compare sacrificial fibre specimens. PLA fibres produced via the polymer extrusion method outperformed solution treated fibres displaying a lower degradation onset temperature (average 25°C lower), higher degradation rates (observed through a derivative curve comparison) and lower residual catalyst content (0.67% solvent treated fibre against 0.16% extruded fibre). The continuous extrusion process is solvent free and is suitable for high volume production. This work has been carried out to fully understand the fabrication issues with sacrificial components.

  13. Improved specific productivity in cephalexin synthesis by immobilized PGA in silica magnetic micro-particles.

    PubMed

    Bernardino, Susana M S A; Fernandes, Pedro; Fonseca, Luís P

    2010-12-01

    There is a marked trend in pharmaceutical industry towards the replacement of classical organic methods by "green" alternatives that minimize or eliminate the generation of waste and avoid, where possible, the use of toxic and/or hazardous reagents and solvents. In this work the kinetically controlled synthesis of cephalexin by soluble and penicillin G acylase immobilized in sol-gel micro-particles with magnetic properties was performed in aqueous media with PGME and 7-ADCA as substrates, at different concentrations of substrate, temperature, pH, enzyme to substrate ratio and acyl donor to nucleophile ratio. Excess acyl donor had a strong effect on cephalexin productivity. A PGME/7-ADCA ratio of 3 was considered optimum. A maximum specific productivity of 5.9 mmol h(-1), gbiocatalyst(-1) at 160 mM 7-ADCA, 480 mM PGME and low enzyme to substrate ratio at 32.5 U mmol(-1) 7-ADCA was obtained with immobilized PGA in full aqueous medium, suggesting that diffusional limitations were minimized when compared with other commercial biocatalysts. A half-life of 133 h for the immobilized biocatalyst was estimated during cephalexin synthesis in the presence of 100 mM 7-ADCA and 300 mM PGME, in 50 mM Tris/HCl at pH 7.2 and 14°C. These results compare quite favorably with those previously reported for the kinetically controlled synthesis of cephalexin. PMID:20632377

  14. Integration of microalgal cultivation system for wastewater remediation and sustainable biomass production.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Prabuddha L; Lee, Seung-Mok; Choi, Hee-Jeong

    2016-08-01

    Untreated wastewaters have been a great concern and can cause major pollution problems for environment. Conventional approaches for treating wastewater involve tremendous capital cost, have major short comings and are not sustainable. Microalgae culture offers an interesting step for wastewater treatment. Microalgae serve the dual purpose of phycoremediation along with the production of potentially valuable biomass, which can be used for several purposes. The ability of microalgae to accumulate nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals and other toxic compounds can be integrated with wastewater treatment system to offer an elegant solution towards tertiary and quaternary treatment. The current review explores possible role of microalgal based wastewater treatment and explores the current progress, key challenges, limitations and future prospects with special emphasis on strategies involved in harvesting, boosting biomass and lipid yield. PMID:27357407

  15. Engineering oilseeds for sustainable production of industrial and nutritional feedstocks: solving bottlenecks in fatty acid flux.

    PubMed

    Cahoon, Edgar B; Shockey, Jay M; Dietrich, Charles R; Gidda, Satinder K; Mullen, Robert T; Dyer, John M

    2007-06-01

    Oilseeds provide a unique platform for the production of high-value fatty acids that can replace non-sustainable petroleum and oceanic sources of specialty chemicals and aquaculture feed. However, recent efforts to engineer the seeds of crop and model plant species to produce new types of fatty acids, including hydroxy and conjugated fatty acids for industrial uses and long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for farmed fish feed, have met with only modest success. The collective results from these studies point to metabolic 'bottlenecks' in the engineered plant seeds that substantially limit the efficient or selective flux of unusual fatty acids between different substrate pools and ultimately into storage triacylglycerol. Evidence is emerging that diacylglycerol acyltransferase 2, which catalyzes the final step in triacylglycerol assembly, is an important contributor to the synthesis of unusual fatty acid-containing oils, and is likely to be a key target for future oilseed metabolic engineering efforts. PMID:17434788

  16. Improvement in the yield and quality of kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata Nees) under the sustainable production system.

    PubMed

    Verma, Rajesh Kumar; Verma, Sanjeet K; Pankaj, Umesh; Gupta, Anand K; Khan, Khushboo; Shankar, Karuna

    2015-02-01

    Andrographis paniculata Nees is an annual erect herb with wide medicinal and pharmacological applications due to the presence of andrographolide and other active chemical constituents. The large-scale cultivation of the kalmegh is not in practice. The aim of this study was to establish sustainable production systems of A. paniculata cv CIM-Megha with the application of different bioinoculants and chemical fertilisers. A. paniculata herb and andrographolide yield in the dried leaves was found to be highest (218% and 61.3%, respectively) in treatment T3 (NPK+Bacillus sp.) compared with T1 (control). The soil organic carbon, soil microbial respiration, soil enzymes activity and available nutrients improved significantly with combined application of bioinoculants and chemical fertilisers. PMID:25348874

  17. Green Net Regional Product for the San Luis Basin, Colorado: an economic measure of regional sustainability.

    PubMed

    Heberling, Matthew T; Templeton, Joshua J; Wu, Shanshan

    2012-11-30

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net Regional Product (GNRP), a green accounting approach, for the San Luis Basin (SLB). We measured the movement away from sustainability by examining the change in GNRP over time. Any attempt at green accounting requires both economic and natural capital data. However, limited data for the Basin requires a number of simplifying assumptions and requires transforming economic data at the national, state, and county levels to the level of the SLB. Given the contribution of agribusiness to the SLB, we included the depletion of both groundwater and soil as components in the depreciation of natural capital. We also captured the effect of the consumption of energy on climate change for future generations through carbon dioxide (CO(2)) emissions. In order to estimate the depreciation of natural capital, the shadow price of water for agriculture, the economic damages from soil erosion due to wind, and the social cost of carbon emissions were obtained from the literature and applied to the SLB using benefit transfer. We used Colorado's total factor productivity for agriculture to estimate the value of time (i.e., to include the effects of exogenous technological progress). We aggregated the economic data and the depreciation of natural capital for the SLB from 1980 to 2005. The results suggest that GNRP had a slight upward trend through most of this time period, despite temporary negative trends, the longest of which occurred during the period 1985-86 to 1987-88. However, given the upward trend in GNRP and the possibility of business cycles causing the temporary declines, there is no definitive evidence of moving away from sustainability. PMID:22483369

  18. Vertical Integration of Biomass Saccharification of Enzymes for Sustainable Cellulosic Biofuel Production in a Biorefinery

    SciTech Connect

    Manoj Kumar, PhD

    2011-05-09

    Lignocellulosic biomass is the most abundant, least expensive renewable natural biological resource for the production of biobased products and bioenergy is important for the sustainable development of human civilization in 21st century. For making the fermentable sugars from lignocellulosic biomass, a reduction in cellulase production cost, an improvement in cellulase performance, and an increase in sugar yields are all vital to reduce the processing costs of biorefineries. Improvements in specific cellulase activities for non-complexed cellulase mixtures can be implemented through cellulase engineering based on rational design or directed evolution for each cellulase component enzyme, as well as on the reconstitution of cellulase components. In this paper, we will provide DSM's efforts in cellulase research and developments and focus on limitations. Cellulase improvement strategies based on directed evolution using screening on relevant substrates, screening for higher thermal tolerance based on activity screening approaches such as continuous culture using insoluble cellulosic substrates as a powerful selection tool for enriching beneficial cellulase mutants from the large library. We will illustrate why and how thermostable cellulases are vital for economic delivery of bioproducts from cellulosic biomass using biochemical conversion approach.

  19. Exploration of upstream and downstream process for microwave assisted sustainable biodiesel production from microalgae Chlorella vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Amit Kumar; Sahoo, Pradeepta Kumar; Singhal, Shailey; Joshi, Girdhar

    2016-09-01

    The present study explores the integrated approach for the sustainable production of biodiesel from Chlorella vulgaris microalgae. The microalgae were cultivated in 10m(2) open raceway pond at semi-continuous mode with optimum volumetric and areal production of 28.105kg/L/y and 71.51t/h/y, respectively. Alum was used as flocculent for harvesting the microalgae and optimized at different pH. Lipid was extracted using chloroform: methanol (2:1) and having 12.39% of FFA. Effect of various reaction conditions such as effect of catalyst, methanol:lipid ratio, reaction temperature and time on biodiesel yields were studied under microwave irradiation; and 84.01% of biodiesel yield was obtained under optimized reaction conditions. A comparison was also made between the biodiesel productions under conventional heating and microwave irradiation. The synthesized biodiesel was characterized by (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR, FTIR and GC; however, fuel properties of biodiesel were also studied using specified test methods as per ASTM and EN standards. PMID:27318156

  20. Research and development of eco-sustainable solutions for the production of innovative rigid suitcases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Domenico, Acierno; Pietro, Russo; Francesco, Costa; Irma, Nedi; Salvatore, Cioffi; Simona, Giudice; Massimiliano, Fraldi

    2015-12-01

    The huge difficulty recorded in the years about the disposal of an increasing amounts of plastic items at the end of their useful life has significantly influenced the choice of new materials in almost all industrial fields favouring the development of innovative eco-friendly solutions. In light of this consideration, under a national project, funded by the Research Ministry and specifically related to the luggage field, authors focused their attention on the production of new environmentally friendly suitcases based on the use of plastic scraps from the recycling chains and the use of biodegradable resins or coming from renewable resources. In the first case, recycled polyesters from bottle flakes were adequately modified by inclusion of opportune toughening and chain extender agents to meet quantitative specifications of the reference market. Alternatively, different commercial grades of poly(lactic acid) and poly(hydroxy alkanoates) resins have been considered still including organic modifiers to improve mechanical performances of products and natural reinforcement fabrics as cotton, jute and flax. All materials, always modified by reactive extrusion and transformed in pure sheets or woven fabric reinforced laminates by compression moulding, were characterized in terms of mechanical properties under static, dynamic and impulsive conditions, highlighting good perspectives for the reference applications. Suitcase prototypes, specifically designed in order to further improve mechanical performances of products and based on some selected formulations, were produced by thermoforming and validated by specific tests. Results confirmed a significant competitiveness of new eco-sustainable rigid suitcases with respect to commercial ones.

  1. The Sense-City equipment project: insight into the prototyping and validation of environmental micro- and nanosensors for a sustainable urbanization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebental, Bérengère; Angelescu, Dan; Bourouina, Tarik; Bourquin, Frédéric; Cojocaru, Costel-Sorin; Derkx, François; Dumoulin, Jean; Ha, Thi-Lan; Robine, Enric; Van Damme, Henri

    2013-04-01

    While today's galloping urbanization weighs heavily on both People and Environment, the massive instrumentation of urban spaces appears a landmark toward sustainability. Collecting massively distributed information requires the use of high-performance communication systems as well as sensors with very small ecological footprint. Because of their high sensitivity, the wide range of their observables, their energetic self-sufficiency and their low cost, micro- and nano- sensors are particularly well suited to urban metrology. A 8 years, 9 M€ equipment project funded by the French "Programme d'Investissement d'Avenir" starting in 2012, the Sense-City project will offer a suite of high-quality facilities for the design, prototyping and performance assessment of micro- and nanosensors devoted to sustainable urbanization. The scientific program of Sense-City is built around four programs, environmental monitoring, structural health monitoring, energy performances monitoring and people health and exposure monitoring. We present the activities of the consortium partners, IFSTTAR, ESIEE-Paris, CSTB, LPICM, and the prospects brought by Sense-City equipment in terms of sensor prototyping, benchmarking and operation validation. We discuss how the various sensors developed by LPICM and ESIEE (for instance conformable chemical and gas microsensors using nanomaterials at LPICM, miniaturized gas chromatographs or microfluidic lab-on-chip for particles analysis at ESIEE-Paris) can be integrated by IFSTTAR into sensors networks tested by IFSTTAR and CSTB in both lab and urban settings. The massively distributed data are interpreted using advanced physical models and inverse methods in order to monitor water, air or soil quality, infrastructure and network safety, building energy performances as well as people health and exposure. We discuss the shortcomings of evaluating the performances of sensors only in lab conditions or directly in real, urban conditions. As a solution, Sense

  2. Participation, Value Rationality and Mutual Learning in Transdisciplinary Knowledge Production for Sustainable Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polk, Merritt; Knutsson, Per

    2008-01-01

    Given the complexity of current social structures and environmental problems, attaining a truly sustainable society seems rather improbable today. Not only has society not been planned for the complexity of the preconditions and effects that sustainability entails, sustainability is also unlikely given current individual consumption patterns,…

  3. Indirect water management through Life Cycle Assessment: Fostering sustainable production in developing countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pfister, S.; Bayer, P.; Koehler, A.; Hellweg, S.

    2009-04-01

    Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) represents a methodological framework for analyzing the total environmental impact of any product or service of our daily life. After tracking all associated emissions and the consumption of resources, this impact is expressed with respect to a few common impact categories. These are supposed to reflect major societal and environmental priorities. However, despite their central role in environmental processes, to date hydrological as well as hydrogeological aspects are only rarely considered in LCA. Compared with standard impact categories within LCA, water is special. In contrast to other abiotic resources such as crude oil, it can be replenished. Total freshwater resources are immense, but not evenly distributed and often scarce in regions of high demand. Consequently, threads to natural water bodies have immense spatial dependency. Setting up functional relationships in order to derive a generally valid and practicable evaluation is tedious due to the complex, insufficiently understood, and uncertain natural processes involved. LCA that includes the environmental effects of water consumption means global indirect water resource management. It supports goal-directed consumer behaviour that aims to reduce pressure on natural water systems. By developing a hydrologically-based assessment of potential impacts from human interaction with natural water bodies, "greener" products can be prioritised. More sustainable and environmentally friendly water management is the result. The proposed contribution presents an operational assessment method of global surface water consumption for impacts on human health and ecosystem quality within a LCA framework. A major focus is the issue of how such global assessment helps to quantify potential impacts from water-intensive production in developing countries, where the means for proper water management are often limited. We depict a compensation scheme for impacts related to water consumption that

  4. Observation of exclusive charmonium production and gammagamma --> micro;{+}micro;{-} in pp[over] collisions at sqrt[s] = 1.96 TeV.

    PubMed

    Aaltonen, T; Adelman, J; Akimoto, T; Albrow, M G; Alvarez González, B; Amerio, S; Amidei, D; Anastassov, A; Annovi, A; Antos, J; Apollinari, G; Apresyan, A; Arisawa, T; Artikov, A; Ashmanskas, W; Attal, A; Aurisano, A; Azfar, F; Azzurri, P; Badgett, W; Barbaro-Galtieri, A; Barnes, V E; Barnett, B A; Bartsch, V; Bauer, G; Beauchemin, P-H; Bedeschi, F; Beecher, D; Behari, S; Bellettini, G; Bellinger, J; Benjamin, D; Beretvas, A; Beringer, J; Bhatti, A; Binkley, M; Bisello, D; Bizjak, I; Blair, R E; Blocker, C; Blumenfeld, B; Bocci, A; Bodek, A; Boisvert, V; Bolla, G; Bortoletto, D; Boudreau, J; Boveia, A; Brau, B; Bridgeman, A; Brigliadori, L; Bromberg, C; Brubaker, E; Budagov, J; Budd, H S; Budd, S; Burke, S; Burkett, K; Busetto, G; Bussey, P; Buzatu, A; Byrum, K L; Cabrera, S; Calancha, C; Campanelli, M; Campbell, M; Canelli, F; Canepa, A; Carls, B; Carlsmith, D; Carosi, R; Carrillo, S; Carron, S; Casal, B; Casarsa, M; Castro, A; Catastini, P; Cauz, D; Cavaliere, V; Cavalli-Sforza, M; Cerri, A; Cerrito, L; Chang, S H; Chen, Y C; Chertok, M; Chiarelli, G; Chlachidze, G; Chlebana, F; Cho, K; Chokheli, D; Chou, J P; Choudalakis, G; Chuang, S H; Chung, K; Chung, W H; Chung, Y S; Chwalek, T; Ciobanu, C I; Ciocci, M A; Clark, A; Clark, D; Compostella, G; Convery, M E; Conway, J; Cordelli, M; Cortiana, G; Cox, C A; Cox, D J; Crescioli, F; Cuenca Almenar, C; Cuevas, J; Culbertson, R; Cully, J C; Dagenhart, D; Datta, M; Davies, T; de Barbaro, P; De Cecco, S; Deisher, A; De Lorenzo, G; Dell'orso, M; Deluca, C; Demortier, L; Deng, J; Deninno, M; Derwent, P F; di Giovanni, G P; Dionisi, C; Di Ruzza, B; Dittmann, J R; D'Onofrio, M; Donati, S; Dong, P; Donini, J; Dorigo, T; Dube, S; Efron, J; Elagin, A; Erbacher, R; Errede, D; Errede, S; Eusebi, R; Fang, H C; Farrington, S; Fedorko, W T; Feild, R G; Feindt, M; Fernandez, J P; Ferrazza, C; Field, R; Flanagan, G; Forrest, R; Frank, M J; Franklin, M; Freeman, J C; Furic, I; Gallinaro, M; Galyardt, J; Garberson, F; Garcia, J E; Garfinkel, A F; Genser, K; Gerberich, H; Gerdes, D; Gessler, A; Giagu, S; Giakoumopoulou, V; Giannetti, P; Gibson, K; Gimmell, J L; Ginsburg, C M; Giokaris, N; Giordani, M; Giromini, P; Giunta, M; Giurgiu, G; Glagolev, V; Glenzinski, D; Gold, M; Goldschmidt, N; Golossanov, A; Gomez, G; Gomez-Ceballos, G; Goncharov, M; González, O; Gorelov, I; Goshaw, A T; Goulianos, K; Gresele, A; Grinstein, S; Grosso-Pilcher, C; Grundler, U; Guimaraes da Costa, J; Gunay-Unalan, Z; Haber, C; Hahn, K; Hahn, S R; Halkiadakis, E; Hamilton, A; Han, B-Y; Han, J Y; Happacher, F; Hara, K; Hare, D; Hare, M; Harper, S; Harr, R F; Harris, R M; Hartz, M; Hatakeyama, K; Hays, C; Heck, M; Heijboer, A; Heinrich, J; Henderson, C; Herndon, M; Heuser, J; Hewamanage, S; Hidas, D; Hill, C S; Hirschbuehl, D; Hocker, A; Hou, S; Houlden, M; Hsu, S-C; Huffman, B T; Hughes, R E; Husemann, U; Hussein, M; Huston, J; Incandela, J; Introzzi, G; Iori, M; Ivanov, A; James, E; Jang, D; Jayatilaka, B; Jeon, E J; Jha, M K; Jindariani, S; Johnson, W; Jones, M; Joo, K K; Jun, S Y; Jung, J E; Junk, T R; Kamon, T; Kar, D; Karchin, P E; Kato, Y; Kephart, R; Keung, J; Khotilovich, V; Kilminster, B; Kim, D H; Kim, H S; Kim, H W; Kim, J E; Kim, M J; Kim, S B; Kim, S H; Kim, Y K; Kimura, N; Kirsch, L; Klimenko, S; Knuteson, B; Ko, B R; Kondo, K; Kong, D J; Konigsberg, J; Korytov, A; Kotwal, A V; Kreps, M; Kroll, J; Krop, D; Krumnack, N; Kruse, M; Krutelyov, V; Kubo, T; Kuhr, T; Kulkarni, N P; Kurata, M; Kwang, S; Laasanen, A T; Lami, S; Lammel, S; Lancaster, M; Lander, R L; Lannon, K; Lath, A; Latino, G; Lazzizzera, I; Lecompte, T; Lee, E; Lee, H S; Lee, S W; Leone, S; Lewis, J D; Lin, C-S; Linacre, J; Lindgren, M; Lipeles, E; Lister, A; Litvintsev, D O; Liu, C; Liu, T; Lockyer, N S; Loginov, A; Loreti, M; Lovas, L; Lucchesi, D; Luci, C; Lueck, J; Lujan, P; Lukens, P; Lungu, G; Lyons, L; Lys, J; Lysak, R; Macqueen, D; Madrak, R; Maeshima, K; Makhoul, K; Maki, T; Maksimovic, P; Malde, S; Malik, S; Manca, G; Manousakis-Katsikakis, A; Margaroli, F; Marino, C; Marino, C P; Martin, A; Martin, V; Martínez, M; Martínez-Ballarín, R; Maruyama, T; Mastrandrea, P; Masubuchi, T; Mathis, M; Mattson, M E; Mazzanti, P; McFarland, K S; McIntyre, P; McNulty, R; Mehta, A; Mehtala, P; Menzione, A; Merkel, P; Mesropian, C; Miao, T; Miladinovic, N; Miller, R; Mills, C; Milnik, M; Mitra, A; Mitselmakher, G; Miyake, H; Moggi, N; Moon, C S; Moore, R; Morello, M J; Morlock, J; Movilla Fernandez, P; Mülmenstädt, J; Mukherjee, A; Muller, Th; Mumford, R; Murat, P; Mussini, M; Nachtman, J; Nagai, Y; Nagano, A; Naganoma, J; Nakamura, K; Nakano, I; Napier, A; Necula, V; Nett, J; Neu, C; Neubauer, M S; Neubauer, S; Nielsen, J; Nodulman, L; Norman, M; Norniella, O; Nurse, E; Oakes, L; Oh, S H; Oh, Y D; Oksuzian, I; Okusawa, T; Orava, R; Osterberg, K; Pagan Griso, S; Palencia, E; Papadimitriou, V; Papaikonomou, A; Paramonov, A A; Parks, B; Pashapour, S; Patrick, J; Pauletta, G; Paulini, M; Paus, C; Peiffer, T; Pellett, D E; Penzo, A; Phillips, T J; Piacentino, G; Pianori, E; Pinera, L; Pinfold, J; Pitts, K; Plager, C; Pondrom, L; Poukhov, O; Pounder, N; Prakoshyn, F; Pronko, A; Proudfoot, J; Ptohos, F; Pueschel, E; Punzi, G; Pursley, J; Rademacker, J; Rahaman, A; Ramakrishnan, V; Ranjan, N; Redondo, I; Renton, P; Renz, M; Rescigno, M; Richter, S; Rimondi, F; Ristori, L; Robson, A; Rodrigo, T; Rodriguez, T; Rogers, E; Rolli, S; Roser, R; Rossi, M; Rossin, R; Roy, P; Ruiz, A; Russ, J; Rusu, V; Saarikko, H; Safonov, A; Sakumoto, W K; Saltó, O; Santi, L; Sarkar, S; Sartori, L; Sato, K; Savoy-Navarro, A; Schlabach, P; Schmidt, A; Schmidt, E E; Schmidt, M A; Schmidt, M P; Schmitt, M; Schwarz, T; Scodellaro, L; Scribano, A; Scuri, F; Sedov, A; Seidel, S; Seiya, Y; Semenov, A; Sexton-Kennedy, L; Sforza, F; Sfyrla, A; Shalhout, S Z; Shears, T; Shepard, P F; Shimojima, M; Shiraishi, S; Shochet, M; Shon, Y; Shreyber, I; Sidoti, A; Sinervo, P; Sisakyan, A; Slaughter, A J; Slaunwhite, J; Sliwa, K; Smith, J R; Snider, F D; Snihur, R; Soha, A; Somalwar, S; Sorin, V; Spalding, J; Spreitzer, T; Squillacioti, P; Stanitzki, M; St Denis, R; Stelzer, B; Stelzer-Chilton, O; Stentz, D; Strologas, J; Strycker, G L; Stuart, D; Suh, J S; Sukhanov, A; Suslov, I; Suzuki, T; Taffard, A; Takashima, R; Takeuchi, Y; Tanaka, R; Tecchio, M; Teng, P K; Terashi, K; Thom, J; Thompson, A S; Thompson, G A; Thomson, E; Tipton, P; Ttito-Guzmán, P; Tkaczyk, S; Toback, D; Tokar, S; Tollefson, K; Tomura, T; Tonelli, D; Torre, S; Torretta, D; Totaro, P; Tourneur, S; Trovato, M; Tsai, S-Y; Tu, Y; Turini, N; Ukegawa, F; Vallecorsa, S; van Remortel, N; Varganov, A; Vataga, E; Vázquez, F; Velev, G; Vellidis, C; Vidal, M; Vidal, R; Vila, I; Vilar, R; Vine, T; Vogel, M; Volobouev, I; Volpi, G; Wagner, P; Wagner, R G; Wagner, R L; Wagner, W; Wagner-Kuhr, J; Wakisaka, T; Wallny, R; Wang, S M; Warburton, A; Waters, D; Weinberger, M; Weinelt, J; Wester, W C; Whitehouse, B; Whiteson, D; Wicklund, A B; Wicklund, E; Wilbur, S; Williams, G; Williams, H H; Wilson, P; Winer, B L; Wittich, P; Wolbers, S; Wolfe, C; Wright, T; Wu, X; Würthwein, F; Xie, S; Yagil, A; Yamamoto, K; Yamaoka, J; Yang, U K; Yang, Y C; Yao, W M; Yeh, G P; Yoh, J; Yorita, K; Yoshida, T; Yu, G B; Yu, I; Yu, S S; Yun, J C; Zanello, L; Zanetti, A; Zhang, L; Zhang, X; Zheng, Y; Zucchelli, S

    2009-06-19

    In CDF we have observed the reactions p + p[over] --> p + X + p[over], with X being a centrally produced J/psi, psi(2S), or chi_{c0}, and gammagamma-->micro;{+}micro;{-} in pp[over] collisions at sqrt[s] = 1.96 TeV. The event signature requires two oppositely charged central muons, and either no other particles or one additional photon detected. Exclusive vector meson production is as expected for elastic photoproduction, gamma + p --> J/psi(psi(2S)) + p, observed here for the first time in hadron-hadron collisions. We also observe exclusive chi_{c0} --> J/psi + gamma. The cross sections dsigma/dy|_{y = 0} for J/psi, psi(2S), and chi_{c0} are 3.92 +/- 0.25(stat) +/- 0.52(syst) nb, 0.53 +/- 0.09(stat) +/- 0.10(syst) nb, and 76 +/- 10(stat) +/- 10(syst) nb, respectively, and the continuum is consistent with QED. We put an upper limit on the cross section for Odderon exchange in exclusive J/psi production. PMID:19658998

  5. A MicroRNA Network Dysregulated in Asthma Controls IL-6 Production in Bronchial Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Louafi, Fethi; Francisco-Garcia, Ana S.; Rupani, Hitasha; Bedke, Nicole; Holgate, Stephen; Howarth, Peter H.; Davies, Donna E.; Sanchez-Elsner, Tilman

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs are short non-coding single stranded RNAs that regulate gene expression. While much is known about the effects of individual microRNAs, there is now growing evidence that they can work in co-operative networks. MicroRNAs are known to be dysregulated in many diseases and affect pathways involved in the pathology. We investigated dysregulation of microRNA networks using asthma as the disease model. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airway remodelling. The airway epithelium is a major contributor to asthma pathology and has been shown to produce an excess of inflammatory and pro-remodelling cytokines such as TGF-β, IL-6 and IL-8 as well as deficient amounts of anti-viral interferons. After performing microRNA arrays, we found that microRNAs -18a, -27a, -128 and -155 are down-regulated in asthmatic bronchial epithelial cells, compared to cells from healthy donors. Interestingly, these microRNAs are predicted in silico to target several components of the TGF-β, IL-6, IL-8 and interferons pathways. Manipulation of the levels of individual microRNAs in bronchial epithelial cells did not have an effect on any of these pathways. Importantly, knock-down of the network of microRNAs miR-18a, -27a, -128 and -155 led to a significant increase of IL-8 and IL-6 expression. Interestingly, despite strong in silico predictions, down-regulation of the pool of microRNAs did not have an effect on the TGF-β and Interferon pathways. In conclusion, using both bioinformatics and experimental tools we found a highly relevant potential role for microRNA dysregulation in the control of IL-6 and IL-8 expression in asthma. Our results suggest that microRNAs may have different roles depending on the presence of other microRNAs. Thus, interpretation of in silico analysis of microRNA function should be confirmed experimentally in the relevant cellular context taking into account interactions with other micro

  6. Evaluating the composition and processing potential of novel sources of Brazilian biomass for sustainable biorenewables production

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The search for promising and renewable sources of carbohydrates for the production of biofuels and other biorenewables has been stimulated by an increase in global energy demand in the face of growing concern over greenhouse gas emissions and fuel security. In particular, interest has focused on non-food lignocellulosic biomass as a potential source of abundant and sustainable feedstock for biorefineries. Here we investigate the potential of three Brazilian grasses (Panicum maximum, Pennisetum purpureum and Brachiaria brizantha), as well as bark residues from the harvesting of two commercial Eucalyptus clones (E. grandis and E. grandis x urophylla) for biofuel production, and compare these to sugarcane bagasse. The effects of hot water, acid, alkaline and sulfite pretreatments (at increasing temperatures) on the chemical composition, morphology and saccharification yields of these different biomass types were evaluated. Results The average yield (per hectare), availability and general composition of all five biomasses were compared. Compositional analyses indicate a high level of hemicellulose and lignin removal in all grass varieties (including sugarcane bagasse) after acid and alkaline pretreatment with increasing temperatures, whilst the biomasses pretreated with hot water or sulfite showed little variation from the control. For all biomasses, higher cellulose enrichment resulted from treatment with sodium hydroxide at 130°C. At 180°C, a decrease in cellulose content was observed, which is associated with high amorphous cellulose removal and 5-hydroxymethyl-furaldehyde production. Morphological analysis showed the effects of different pretreatments on the biomass surface, revealing a high production of microfibrillated cellulose on grass surfaces, after treatment with 1% sodium hydroxide at 130°C for 30 minutes. This may explain the higher hydrolysis yields resulting from these pretreatments, since these cellulosic nanoparticles can be easily

  7. Fabrication of Hierarchically Micro- and Nano-structured Mold Surfaces Using Laser Ablation for Mass Production of Superhydrophobic Surfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noh, Jiwhan; Lee, Jae-Hoon; Na, Suckjoo; Lim, Hyuneui; Jung, Dae-Hwan

    2010-10-01

    Many studies have examined the formation of surfaces with mixed patterns of micro- and nano-sized lotus leaves that have hydrophobic properties. In this study, micro- and nano-shapes such as lotus leaves were fabricated on a metal mold surface using laser ablation and ripple formation. A microstructure on the mold surface was replicated onto poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) using the polymer casting method to manufacture low-cost hydrophobic surfaces. A PDMS surface with micro- and nano-structures that were the inverse image of a lotus leaf showed hydrophobic characteristics (water contact angle: 157°). From these results, we deduced that portions of the microstructures were wet and that air gaps existed between the microstructures and the water drops. In this paper we suggest the possibility of the mass production of hydrophobic plastic surfaces and the development of a methodology for the hydrophobic texturing of various polymer surfaces, using the polymer casting method with laser-processed molds.

  8. Considerations for Sustainable Biomass Production in Quercus-Dominated Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruckman, Viktor; Yan, Shuai; Hochbichler, Eduard

    2013-04-01

    Our current energy system is mainly based on carbon (C) intensive metabolisms, resulting in great effects on the earth's biosphere. The majority of the energy sources are fossil (crude oil, coal, natural gas) and release CO2 in the combustion (oxidation) process which takes place during utilization of the energy. C released to the atmosphere was once sequestered by biomass over a time span of millions of years and is now being released back into the atmosphere within a period of just decades. In the context of green and CO2 neutral Energy, there is an on-going debate regarding the potentials of obtaining biomass from forests on multiple scales, from stand to international levels. Especially in the context of energy, it is highlighted that biomass is an entirely CO2 neutral feedstock since the carbon stored in wood originates from the atmospheric CO2 pool and it was taken up during plant growth. It needs systems approaches in order to justify this statement and ensure sustainability covering the whole life-cycle from biomass production to (bio)energy consumption. There are a number of Quercus woodland management systems focussing solely on woody biomass production for energetic utilization or a combination with traditional forestry and high quality timber production for trades and industry. They have often developed regionally as a consequence of specific demands and local production capacities, which are mainly driven by environmental factors such as climate and soil properties. We assessed the nutritional status of a common Quercus-dominated forest ecosystem in northern Austria, where we compared biomass- with belowground C and nutrient pools in order to identify potential site limits if the management shifts towards systems with a higher level of nutrient extraction. Heterogeneity of soils, and soil processes are considered, as well as other, growth-limiting factors (e.g. precipitation) and species-specific metabolisms and element translocation.

  9. Activated human valvular interstitial cells sustain interleukin-17 production to recruit neutrophils in infective endocarditis.

    PubMed

    Yeh, Chiou-Yueh; Shun, Chia-Tung; Kuo, Yu-Min; Jung, Chiau-Jing; Hsieh, Song-Chou; Chiu, Yen-Ling; Chen, Jeng-Wei; Hsu, Ron-Bin; Yang, Chia-Ju; Chia, Jean-San

    2015-06-01

    The mechanisms that underlie valvular inflammation in streptococcus-induced infective endocarditis (IE) remain unclear. We previously demonstrated that streptococcal glucosyltransferases (GTFs) can activate human heart valvular interstitial cells (VIC) to secrete interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine involved in T helper 17 (Th17) cell differentiation. Here, we tested the hypothesis that activated VIC can enhance neutrophil infiltration through sustained IL-17 production, leading to valvular damage. To monitor cytokine and chemokine production, leukocyte recruitment, and the induction or expansion of CD4(+) CD45RA(-) CD25(-) CCR6(+) Th17 cells, primary human VIC were cultured in vitro and activated by GTFs. Serum cytokine levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and neutrophils and Th17 cells were detected by immunohistochemistry in infected valves from patients with IE. The expression of IL-21, IL-23, IL-17, and retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor C (Rorc) was upregulated in GTF-activated VIC, which may enhance the proliferation of memory Th17 cells in an IL-6-dependent manner. Many chemokines, including chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), were upregulated in GTF-activated VIC, which might recruit neutrophils and CD4(+) T cells. Moreover, CXCL1 production in VIC was induced in a dose-dependent manner by IL-17 to enhance neutrophil chemotaxis. CXCL1-expressing VIC and infiltrating neutrophils could be detected in infected valves, and serum concentrations of IL-17, IL-21, and IL-23 were increased in patients with IE compared to healthy donors. Furthermore, elevated serum IL-21 levels have been significantly associated with severe valvular damage, including rupture of chordae tendineae, in IE patients. Our findings suggest that VIC are activated by bacterial modulins to recruit neutrophils and that such activities might be further enhanced by the production of Th17-associated cytokines. Together, these factors can amplify

  10. Biosynthesis of hydroxycinnamate conjugates: Implications for sustainable biomass and biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Liu C. J.

    2010-09-01

    Hydroxycinnamic acids constitute a large class of phenylpropanoid metabolites that are distributed ubiquitously in terrestrial plants. They occur most frequently as esters, amides or glycosides within the cytosol, the particular subcellular compartments such as the vacuole or the cell wall. Hydroxycinnamate conjugates play a vital role in the plant's growth and development and in its defense responses against biotic- and abiotic-stresses. Furthermore, the incorporation of hydroxycinnamate conjugates into the cell wall is a major factor attenuating the wall's biodegradability. Understanding the biosyntheses of hydroxycinnamate conjugates and its molecular regulation may well facilitate the sustainable production of cell wall biomass, and the efficient conversion of lignocellulosic materials. This paper reviews our current molecular and biochemical understandings on the formation of several classes of hydroxycinnamate esters and amides, including the soluble conjugates and the 'wall-bound' phenolics. It also discusses the emerging biotechnological applications in manipulating hydroxycinnamates to improve the degradability of the cell wall biomass and enhance the production of valuable chemicals and biomaterials.

  11. The Sustainable Release of Vancomycin and Its Degradation Products From Nanostructured Collagen/Hydroxyapatite Composite Layers.

    PubMed

    Suchý, Tomáš; Šupová, Monika; Klapková, Eva; Horný, Lukáš; Rýglová, Šárka; Žaloudková, Margit; Braun, Martin; Sucharda, Zbyněk; Ballay, Rastislav; Veselý, Jan; Chlup, Hynek; Denk, František

    2016-03-01

    Infections of the musculoskeletal system present a serious problem with regard to the field of orthopedic and trauma medicine. The aim of the experiment described in this study was to develop a resorbable nanostructured composite layer with the controlled elution of antibiotics. The layer is composed of collagen, hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, and vancomycin hydrochloride (10 wt%). The stability of the collagen was enhanced by means of cross-linking. Four cross-linking agents were studied, namely an ethanol solution, a phosphate buffer solution of N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride/N-hydroxysuccinimide, genipin, and nordihydroguaiaretic acid. High performance liquid chromatography was used so as to characterize the in vitro release rates of the vancomycin and its crystalline degradation antibiotically inactive products over a 21-day period. The maximum concentration of the released active form of vancomycin (approximately 265 mg/L) exceeded the minimum inhibitory concentration up to an order of 17 times without triggering the burst releasing effect. At the end of the experiment, the minimum inhibitory concentration was exceeded by up to 6 times (approximately 100 mg/L). It was determined that the modification of collagen with hydroxyapatite nanoparticles does not negatively influence the sustainable release of vancomycin. The balance of vancomycin and its degradation products was observed after 14 days of incubation. PMID:26886321

  12. A novel framework to classify marginal land for sustainable biomass feedstock production.

    PubMed

    Gopalakrishnan, Gayathri; Cristina Negri, M; Snyder, Seth W

    2011-01-01

    To achieve food and energy security, sustainable bioenergy has become an important goal for many countries. The use of marginal lands to produce energy crops is one strategy for achieving this goal, but what is marginal land? Current definitions generally focus on a single criterion, primarily agroeconomic profitability. Herein, we present a framework that incorporates multiple criteria including profitability of current land use, soil health indicators (erosion, flooding, drainage, or high slopes), and environmental degradation resulting from contamination of surface water or groundwater resources. We tested this framework for classifying marginal land in the state of Nebraska and estimated the potential for using marginal land to produce biofuel crops. Our results indicate that approximately 1.6 million ha, or 4 million acres, of land (approximately 8% of total land area) could be classified as marginal on the basis of at least two criteria. Second-generation lignocellulosic bioenergy crops such as switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum L.), miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), native prairie grasses, and short-rotation woody crops could be grown on this land in redesigned landscapes that meet energy and environmental needs, without significant impacts on food or feed production. Calculating tradeoffs between the economics of redesigned landscapes and current practices at the field scale is the next step for determining functional designs for integrating biofuel feedstock production into current land management practices. PMID:21869522

  13. Conceptual design of an integrated hydrothermal liquefaction and biogas plant for sustainable bioenergy production.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Jessica; Rudra, Souman; Toor, Saqib S; Holm-Nielsen, Jens Bo; Rosendahl, Lasse A

    2013-02-01

    Initial process studies carried out in Aspen Plus on an integrated thermochemical conversion process are presented herein. In the simulations, a hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) plant is combined with a biogas plant (BP), such that the digestate from the BP is converted to a biocrude in the HTL process. This biorefinery concept offers a sophisticated and sustainable way of converting organic residuals into a range of high-value biofuel streams in addition to combined heat and power (CHP) production. The primary goal of this study is to provide an initial estimate of the feasibility of such a process. By adding a diesel-quality-fuel output to the process, the product value is increased significantly compared to a conventional BP. An input of 1000 kg h(-1) manure delivers approximately 30-38 kg h(-1) fuel and 38-61 kg h(-1) biogas. The biogas can be used to upgrade the biocrude, to supply the gas grid or for CHP. An estimated 62-84% of the biomass energy can be recovered in the biofuels. PMID:23262018

  14. Application of Biotechnology to Construct a Sustainable Biodiesel Production System on Wastewater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaodan; Liu, Yuhuan; Xu, Erni; Liu, Jianqiang; Ruan, Roger; Fu, Guiming

    2010-11-01

    The potential of microalgae biodiesel is unlimited. The ingenious combination of microalgae biomass exploitation, decontamination of municipal wastewater, and CO2 fixation may gestate the ultimate hope for solving the problem of liquid alternative fuel. However, the municipal wastewater has some characteristics, such as high content of nitrogen and phosphorus, low C/N ratio, fluctuation of loading rate, toxicity of heavy metal, etc. To overcome these problems, studies are currently underway in our laboratory. In this paper, an idea of constructing a sustainable biodiesel production system from microalgae on wastewater is assumed. The system could realize CO2 fixation, decontamination of municipal wastewater, and production of high value-added biodiesel by microalgae. Firstly, municipal wastewater is used as the cultivation media and CO2 as gaseous fertilizer for mass culture of Shuihua microalgae. So with the harvest of large quantities of low-price Shuihua microalgae, the nitrogen, phosphorus and heavy metals can be removed from the wastewater, and the emission of greenhouse gas can be reduced. Secondly, try to breed a high-oil content engineering microalgae by heterotrophic cultivation which could realize high-density growth through the conjunction of the advanced methods of fermentation engineering with the microalgae breeding technology. Finally, make the high-oil content engineering microalgae cultivated on the decomposed Shuihua microalgae cells, and try to make the high-oil content engineering microalgae grow rapidly in the initial stage and start oil accumulation when nitrogen is exhausted by controlling the conditions of fermentation.

  15. Immunoadjuvant and anti-inflammatory plant saponins: characteristics and biotechnological approaches towards sustainable production.

    PubMed

    de Costa, F; Yendo, A C A; Fleck, J D; Gosmann, G; Fett-Neto, A G

    2011-09-01

    Saponins can be classified as triterpenoid (C30) or steroidal (C27), based on their carbon nucleus (aglycone). Sugar residues are linked to the aglycone, conferring an amphiphilic nature on these molecules, which is relevant for their biological activities. Saponins include a large variety of molecules that find several applications in pharmacology. Saponins have been shown to display immunoadjuvant, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, hypocholesterolemic, antitumoral, anti-HIV, antibacterial, insecticide, fungicide and anti-leishmanial activities. Anti-inflammatory medicines are increasingly demanded to treat various forms of arthritis in aging and obese populations and to help reduce the doses and duration of conventional corticotherapy with less side effects and without immunosuppression. The vaccine market for both human and veterinary uses is close to US$ 15 billion, progressively inflated by the recurrent threat of global pandemics.This paper provides an overview of recent advances (main focus on the last five years) on plant saponins that show anti-inflammatory and/or immunoadjuvant activities: source plants, isolation procedures, mechanism of action and biotechnological approaches towards sustainable production of bioactive saponins. Special attention is given to ginseng and Quillaja saponins. Strategies based on plant cultivation, cell and tissue culture, elicitation, and metabolic engineering for improved production of saponins are described. Future directions for research in the field and strategies to overcome bottlenecks are also discussed. PMID:21762102

  16. Sustainable design for automotive products: dismantling and recycling of end-of-life vehicles.

    PubMed

    Tian, Jin; Chen, Ming

    2014-02-01

    The growth in automotive production has increased the number of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) annually. The traditional approach ELV processing involves dismantling, shredding, and landfill disposal. The "3R" (i.e., reduce, reuse, and recycle) principle has been increasingly employed in processing ELVs, particularly ELV parts, to promote sustainable development. The first step in processing ELVs is dismantling. However, certain parts of the vehicle are difficult to disassemble and use in practice. The extended producer responsibility policy requires carmakers to contribute in the processing of scrap cars either for their own developmental needs or for social responsibility. The design for dismantling approach can be an effective solution to the existing difficulties in dismantling ELVs. This approach can also provide guidelines in the design of automotive products. This paper illustrates the difficulty of handling polymers in dashboards. The physical properties of polymers prevent easy separation and recycling by using mechanical methods. Thus, dealers have to rely on chemical methods such as pyrolysis. Therefore, car designers should use a single material to benefit dealers. The use of materials for effective end-of-life processing without sacrificing the original performance requirements of the vehicle should be explored. PMID:24326159

  17. Combined Sustainability Assessment and Techno-Economic Analysis for the Production of Biomass-Derived High-Octane Gasoline Blendstock

    SciTech Connect

    Tan, Eric C. D.; Talmadge, Michael; Dutta, Abhijit

    2015-11-13

    Conversion technologies for biomass to liquid hydrocarbon fuels are being actively developed. Converting biomass into advanced hydrocarbon fuels requires detailed assessments to help prioritize research; techno-economic analysis (TEA) is a long established tool used to assess feasibility and progress. TEA provides information needed to make informed judgments about the viability of any given conceptual conversion process; it is particularly useful to identify technical barriers and measure progress toward overcoming those barriers. Expansion of the cellulosic biofuels industry at the scale needed to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard goals is also expected to have environmental impacts. Hence, the success of the biofuels industry depends not only on economic viability, but also on environmental sustainability. A biorefinery process that is economically feasible but suffers from key sustainability drawbacks is not likely to represent a long-term solution to replace fossil-derived fuels. Overarching concerns like environmental sustainability need to be addressed for biofuels production. Combined TEA and environmental sustainability assessment of emerging pathways helps facilitate biorefinery designs that are both economically feasible and minimally impactful to the environment. This study focuses on environmental sustainability assessment and techno-economic analysis for the production of high-octane gasoline blendstock via gasification and methanol/dimethyl ether intermediates. Results from the conceptual process design with economic analysis, along with the quantification and assessment of the environmental sustainability, are presented and discussed. Sustainability metrics associated with the production of high-octane gasoline include carbon conversion efficiency, consumptive water use, life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, fossil energy consumption, energy return on investment and net energy value.

  18. Application of micro X-ray diffraction to investigate the reaction products formed by the alkali silica reaction in concrete structures

    SciTech Connect

    Dähn, R.; Arakcheeva, A.; Schaub, Ph.; Pattison, P.; Chapuis, G.; Grolimund, D.; Wieland, E.; Leemann, A.

    2015-12-21

    Alkali–silica reaction (ASR) is one of the most important deterioration mechanisms in concrete leading to substantial damages of structures worldwide. Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray diffraction (micro-XRD) was employed to characterize the mineral phases formed in micro-cracks of concrete aggregates as a consequence of ASR. This particular high spatial resolution technique enables to directly gain structural information on ASR products formed in a 40-year old motorway bridge damaged due to ASR. Micro-X-ray-fluorescence was applied on thin sections to locate the reaction products formed in veins within concrete aggregates. Micro-XRD pattern were collected at selected points of interest along a vein by rotating the sample. Rietveld refinement determined the structure of the ASR product consisting of a new layered framework similar to mountainite and rhodesite. Furthermore, it is conceivable that understanding the structure of the ASR product may help developing new technical treatments inhibiting ASR.

  19. Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting: A Green and Clean Alternative for Sustained Power Production

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cook-Chennault, Kimberly Ann; Thambi, Nithya; Bitetto, Mary Anne; Hameyie, E. B.

    2008-01-01

    Providing efficient and clean power is a challenge for devices that range from the micro to macro in scale. Although there has been significant progress in the development of micro-, meso-, and macro-scale power supplies and technologies, realization of many devices is limited by the inability of power supplies to scale with the diminishing sizes…

  20. Forest Productivity and Diversity: Using Ecological Theory and Landscape Models to Guide Sustainable Forest Management

    SciTech Connect

    Huston, M.A.

    1998-11-01

    Sustainable forest management requires maintaining or increasing ecosystem productivity, while preserving or restoring natural levels of biodiversity. Application of general concepts from ecological theory, along with use of mechanistic, landscape-based computer models, can contribute to the successful achievement of both of these objectives. Ecological theories based on the energetics and dynamics of populations can be used to predict the general distribution of individual species, the diversity of different types of species, ecosystem process rates and pool sizes, and patterns of spatial and temporal heterogeneity over a broad range of environmental conditions. This approach requires subdivision of total biodiversity into functional types of organisms, primarily because different types of organisms respond very differently to the spatial and temporal variation of environmental conditions on landscapes. The diversity of species of the same functional type (particularly among plants) tends to be highest at relatively low levels of net primary productivity, while the total number of different functional types (particularly among animals) tends to be highest at high levels of productivity (e.g., site index or potential net primary productivity). In general, the diversity of animals at higher trophic levels (e.g., predators) reaches its maximum at much higher levels of productivity than the diversity of lower trophic levels (e.g., plants). This means that a single environment cannot support high diversity of all types of organisms. Within the framework of the general patterns described above, the distributions, population dynamics, and diversity of organisms in specific regions can be predicted more precisely using a combination of computer simulation models and GIS data based on satellite information and ground surveys. Biophysical models that use information on soil properties, climate, and hydrology have been developed to predict how the abundance and spatial

  1. Commercialization of bacterial cell factories for the sustainable production of polyhydroxyalkanoate thermoplastics: progress and prospects.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Abhishek; Srivastava, Janmejai K; Mallick, Nirupama; Singh, Akhilesh K

    2015-01-01

    Ubiquitous conventional plastics, generally manufactured from finite, nonsustainable fossil fuels are non-biodegradable wonder entities but their ill effect on Mother Nature has subsequently raised major environmental concerns like their safe disposal, solid waste management and several potential hazards. Such concerns have fuelled initiatives for research globally towards development of sustainable and eco-friendly bioplastics. The new generation of plastics called 'bioplastics' are polymers of long chain of repeating monomer units that are classified as photodegradable, semi-biodegradable, chemically synthesized and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). The commonly emerged novel bioplastics are polyesters of hydroxyalkanoates (HAs) called PHAs, which are lipoidic storage materials found in the cytosol of vast and diverse forms of bacteria. Among 150 different PHAs known so far, poly- 3-hydroxybutyrate is the most common and comprehensively characterized PHA. Interestingly, PHAs are only completely biodegradable plastics with material properties comparable to conventional plastics that can be achieved by regulating the co-monomers incorporation into PHAs backbone. PHA bioplastics are exploited in the form of user-friendly goods viz. films, absorbable sutures, bone plates, drug carriers, etc. Besides advantages, such useful entity(s) has major shortcomings as well like high production cost compared to conventional plastics. Precisely, in PHAs production, about fifty percent of the overall price is due to the carbon substrates. Consequently, exploring novel cost-effective substrates is a major compulsion for successful commercialization of this bioplastic, which is anticipated to reduce the cost of production as a result of advancing and intensifying research work. This review presents an insight and patent developments in the field of PHAs bioplastics. PMID:26073514

  2. Micro-chemical and micro-structural investigation of the corrosion products on `` The Dancing Satyr'' (Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingo, G. M.; Riccucci, C.; Faraldi, F.; Casaletto, M. P.; Guida, G.

    2010-09-01

    The “ Dancing Satyr”, a bronze statue measuring more than 2 metres in height and weighting 108 kg, represents one of the most important recent archaeological finds in Italy. The statue was discovered on the floor of the Sicilian channel (the portion of the Mediterranean sea between Sicily and Tunisia), not far from the south-western Sicilian coast, under 500 metres of seawater in 1998. The bronze statue depicts a nude satyr captured in a frenzied whirling movement during a dance in honour of Dionysus, the God of wine. Though some scholars dated it to the IV century B.C. as an original Praxiteles work or a copy thereof, it could be also dated either back to the Hellenistic period (III or II century B.C.) or possibly to the Roman Empire age (early II century A.D.). The nature and structure of the corrosion products grown on the Dancing Satyr surface and the metallurgical features of the statue were investigated taking into account the nature of the marine environment of provenance. A detailed micro-chemical and micro-structural characterisation was performed by means of the combined use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and optical microscopy (OM). Results provided good insight into the different corrosion layers and a tentative correlation of the patina nature and the chemical composition of the statue and the marine context is proposed.

  3. Recycling of quarry waste as part of sustainable aggregate production: Norwegian and Italian point of view

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonella Dino, Giovanna; Willy Danielsen, Svein; Chiappino, Claudia; Primavori, Piero; Engelsen, Christian John

    2016-04-01

    Resource preservation is one of the main challenges in Europe, together with waste management and recycling; recently several researchers are interested in the recovering of critical raw materials and secondary raw materials from landfill. Aggregate supply, even if it is not "critical" sensus stricto (s.s.), is one of the European priorities (low value but high volume needs). On the other side, the management of quarry waste , mainly from dimension stones, but also as fines from aggregate crushing, is still a matter of concern. Such materials are managed in different ways both locally and nationwide, and often they are landfilled, because of an unclear legislation and a general lack of data. Most of time the local authorities adopt the maximum precaution principle or the enterprises find it little profitable to recover them, so that the sustainable recycling of such material is not valued. Several studies have shown, depending on the material specific characteristics, the viability of recycling quarry waste into new raw materials used in glass and ceramic industries, precast concrete production, infrastructures etc. (Loudes et al. 2012, Dino&Marian 2015, Bozzola et al 2012, Dino et al. 2012, etc.). Thus, aggregate production may be one of the profitable ways to use quarry waste and is falling under the priority of EU (aggregate supply). Positive economic and environmental effects are likely to be achieved by systematic recycling of quarry waste planned by industries (industrial planning) and public authorities (national and local planning of aggregate exploitation). Today, the recycling level varies to a great extent and systematic recovery is not common among European Countries. In Italy and Norway no significant incentives on recycling or systematic approaches for local aggregate exploitation exist. The environmental consequences can be overexploitation of the natural resources, land take for the landfills, environmental contamination and landscape alteration by

  4. One-step electrohydrodynamic production of drug-loaded micro- and nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Enayati, Marjan; Ahmad, Zeeshan; Stride, Eleanor; Edirisinghe, Mohan

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this work was to produce drug-loaded nanometre- and micrometre-scale particles using a single-step process that provides control over particle size and size distribution. Co-axial electrohydrodynamic processing was used, at ambient temperature and pressure, with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) as the polymeric coating material and oestradiol as the encapsulated drug. The particle diameter was varied from less than 120 nm to a few micrometres, by simple methodical adjustments in the processing parameters (polymer concentration and applied voltage). In vitro studies were performed to determine the drug release profile from the particles during unassisted and ultrasound-stimulated degradation in simulated body fluid. An encapsulation efficiency of approximately 70% was achieved and release of the drug was sustained for a period of over 20 days. Exposing the particles to ultrasound (22.5 kHz) increased the rate of release by approximately 8 per cent. This processing method offers several advantages over conventional emulsification techniques for the preparation of drug-loaded particles. Most significantly, process efficiency and the drug's functionality are preserved, as complex multistep processing involving harsh solvents, other additives and elevated temperatures or pressures are avoided. Production rates of 1012 particles min−1 can be achieved with a single pair of co-axial needles and the process is amenable to being scaled up by using multiple sets. PMID:19828501

  5. Strong Inverse Correlation Between MicroRNA-125b and Human Papillomavirus DNA in Productive Infection

    PubMed Central

    Nuovo, Gerard J.; Wu, Xin; Volinia, Stefano; Yan, Fengting; di Leva, Gianpiero; Chin, Nena; Nicol, Alcina F.; Jiang, Jinmai; Otterson, Gregory; Schmittgen, Thomas D.; Croce, Carlo

    2014-01-01

    Infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV) is a cause of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer. microRNA (miRNA) in situ analysis of the transformation zone epithelia, the site of initial cervical HPV infection, showed that miRNAs let-7c, — 99a, 26a, and 125b were the most abundantly expressed. In situ testing of CIN 1 showed a dramatic reduction in miR-125b expression in the koilocytes, the cytologic marker of productive HPV infection. A marked reduction in miR-125b was likewise observed in the HPV-infected cells of the condyloma acuminatum, verruca vulgaris, and epidermodysplasia verruciformis. Reverse transcriptase in situ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that the pre-miRNA 125b was present in the koilocyte, suggesting direct inactivation of the mature miRNA. HEK cells transfected with only the antimiR-125b showed perinuclear halos equivalent to HPV-infected koilocytes. NIH 3T3 cells transfected with the HPV 16 full-length genome and mimetic miR-125b showed a marked reduction in viral DNA and protein synthesis by quantitative PCR and in situ-based analyses, respectively (P=0.002). Alternatively, cotransfection with anti-miR-125b and HPV 16 markedly increased HPV DNA (P=0.002). Sequence analyses showed strong homology between L2 of different HPV genotypes and miR-125b. Transfection with HPV 16 L2 resulted in a marked reduction in miR-125b levels in the NIH 3T3 cells. HPV L2-induced inactivation of miR-125b is associated with the classic cytologic changes of the koilocyte, and the exogenous application of mimetic miR-125b markedly inhibits HPV DNA synthesis. PMID:20736742

  6. Precision glass molding: an integrative approach for the production of high precision micro-optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hünten, Martin; Klocke, Fritz; Dambon, Olaf

    2010-02-01

    Miniaturization and integration are the dominating factors for the success of numerous optical devices. Conventional manufacturing processes for the fabrication of precise glass optics by means of grinding and polishing cannot cope the increasing demands in terms of precision, volume and costs. Here, precision glass molding is the enabling technology to meet these demands of the future optical products and applications. Since the market requests further miniaturization and integration of the micro optical components the possession of the entire sequence of processes is absolutely essential. With the accomplished and ongoing developments at the Fraunhofer IPT, the replication of double-sided (a)spherical and (a)cylindrical glass lenses with form accuracies of < 150 nm as well as lens arrays and even freeform optics could be realized. Therefore, a sequence of processes needs to be passed. The FEM-simulation of the molding process which was driven to a point capable to simulate even the molding of freeform optics is the first process step. Further on, new mold design concepts were generated to enable the replication of free formed optics. The research works focusing on the mold manufacturing led to sophisticated grinding process strategies able to realized complex mold geometries such as lens arrays. With regard to the coating of the molds, proceedings were developed assuring a defect free and uniform coating which enables the longevity of the molds and therewith helps reducing the final costs per lens. Thus, the precision glass molding becomes more and more interesting even for highly complex mid volume lots, characteristic for European or US optics manufacturer.

  7. The generation of aerosols by accidents which may occur during plant-scale production of micro-organisms.

    PubMed Central

    Ashcroft, J.; Pomeroy, N. P.

    1983-01-01

    Experiments have been performed to simulate accidents which may occur during large-scale production of micro-organisms. Four types of accident, which were considered to be the most likely to result in the greatest hazard to health, were simulated using a bacterial model. The accidents were all concerned with faults occurring in the operation of the microbial fermenter. Gross contamination of surfaces occurred in all experiments, but only three types of accident produced a measurable aerosol. PMID:6350448

  8. Hyperglycemia Determines Increased Specific MicroRNAs Levels in Sera and HDL of Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients and Stimulates MicroRNAs Production in Human Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Carnuta, Mihaela G.; Sanda, Gabriela M.; Stancu, Camelia S.; Popescu, Andreea C.; Popescu, Mihaela R.; Vlad, Adelina; Dimulescu, Doina R.; Simionescu, Maya; Sima, Anca V.

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to determine the levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) in sera and HDL of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) compared to stable angina (SA) patients with/without hyperglycemia, and evaluate comparatively the functional effect of these sera on the processing machinery proteins (Drosha, DGCR8, Dicer) and miRNAs production in human macrophages. MiRNAs levels in sera and HDL from 35 SA and 72 ACS patients and 30 healthy subjects were measured by using microRNA TaqMan assays. MiR-223, miR-92a, miR-486, miR-122, miR-125a and miR-146a levels were higher in the hyperglycemic ACS compared to normoglycemic sera. MiR-223 and miR-486 prevailed in HDL2, while miR-92a predominated in HDL3, all three miRNAs discriminating between ACS and SA patients; their levels were increased in HDL from hyperglycemic ACS patients versus normoglycemic ones. The incubation of human macrophages with sera from ACS and SA patients showed that all patients’ sera induced an increase of Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer expressions and of selected miRNAs levels compared to control sera, the effect being higher in the case of hyperglycemic versus normoglycemic ACS sera. The addition of glucose to SA and ACS sera increased Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer expression and miRNAs levels in the exposed macrophages. In conclusion, hyperglycemia is associated with increased miR-223, miR-92a, miR-486 levels in HDL, which discriminate between ACS and SA patients. Exposure of human macrophages to ACS compared to SA sera determines the upregulation of Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer expression and the increase of selected miRNAs production, the effect being augmented by an increased glucose concentration. PMID:27519051

  9. Hyperglycemia Determines Increased Specific MicroRNAs Levels in Sera and HDL of Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients and Stimulates MicroRNAs Production in Human Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Simionescu, Natalia; Niculescu, Loredan S; Carnuta, Mihaela G; Sanda, Gabriela M; Stancu, Camelia S; Popescu, Andreea C; Popescu, Mihaela R; Vlad, Adelina; Dimulescu, Doina R; Simionescu, Maya; Sima, Anca V

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to determine the levels of microRNAs (miRNAs) in sera and HDL of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) compared to stable angina (SA) patients with/without hyperglycemia, and evaluate comparatively the functional effect of these sera on the processing machinery proteins (Drosha, DGCR8, Dicer) and miRNAs production in human macrophages. MiRNAs levels in sera and HDL from 35 SA and 72 ACS patients and 30 healthy subjects were measured by using microRNA TaqMan assays. MiR-223, miR-92a, miR-486, miR-122, miR-125a and miR-146a levels were higher in the hyperglycemic ACS compared to normoglycemic sera. MiR-223 and miR-486 prevailed in HDL2, while miR-92a predominated in HDL3, all three miRNAs discriminating between ACS and SA patients; their levels were increased in HDL from hyperglycemic ACS patients versus normoglycemic ones. The incubation of human macrophages with sera from ACS and SA patients showed that all patients' sera induced an increase of Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer expressions and of selected miRNAs levels compared to control sera, the effect being higher in the case of hyperglycemic versus normoglycemic ACS sera. The addition of glucose to SA and ACS sera increased Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer expression and miRNAs levels in the exposed macrophages. In conclusion, hyperglycemia is associated with increased miR-223, miR-92a, miR-486 levels in HDL, which discriminate between ACS and SA patients. Exposure of human macrophages to ACS compared to SA sera determines the upregulation of Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer expression and the increase of selected miRNAs production, the effect being augmented by an increased glucose concentration. PMID:27519051

  10. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    ScienceCinema

    Danuso, Francesco [University of Udine, Italy

    2010-01-08

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  11. Unrecognized delayed toxic lithium peak concentration in an acute poisoning with sustained release lithium product.

    PubMed

    Borrás-Blasco, Joaquín; Sirvent, Ana Esther; Navarro-Ruiz, Andrés; Murcia-López, Ana; Romero-Crespo, Isabel; Enriquez, Ricardo

    2007-03-01

    A 32-year-old female with a history of bipolar disorder was admitted after taking approximately 16 g of an extended-release lithium carbonate formulation in an attempted suicide. Five hours after consumption, the lithium serum level was 3.2 mEq/L. Fourteen hours after consumption, the lithium level was 5.1 mEq/L and the patient was asymptomatic. Due to a level > 4 mEq/L, the patient was transferred to a renal medicine service for hemodialysis. The lithium concentration 6 hours after the hemodialysis was 2.54 mEq/L. Thirty seven hours after the consumption (15 hours after hemodialysis), lithium levels increased up to 6.09 mEq/L. A second hemodialysis session was performed, which successfully reduced the serum lithium concentration to 1.86 mEq/L. Lithium levels 85 hours after the consumption were 0.61 mEq/L and the patient was transferred to the Psychiatry Department. Unrecognized delayed toxic peak lithium concentration may appear in an acute poisoning with a sustained release lithium product. Therefore, patients presenting with acute intoxication with extended release formulations should be managed with caution, and continued drug monitoring is suggested. PMID:17396741

  12. Phyto-products may be essential for sustainability and implementation of phytoremediation.

    PubMed

    Bañuelos, G S

    2006-11-01

    Interest in selenium pollution and remediation technology has escalated during the past two decades. Although not known to be essential for plants, selenium is essential but could be toxic for humans and animals, depending on its concentration. A major selenium controversy in the 1980's emerged in California when the general public and scientific community became aware of selenium's potential as an environmental contaminant. After extensive research on several strategies to reduce loads of mobile Se for entering the agricultural ecosystem a plant-based technology, defined as 'phytoremediation' received increasing recognition, as a low-cost environmentally friendly approach for managing soluble Se in the soil and water environment. Successful long-term field remediation of Se by plants is, however, dependent upon acceptance and widespread use by growers, who are also concerned about potential commercial value from using the plant-based technology. Obtaining products with economic value from plants used in the cleanup of soil would certainly be an additional benefit to phytoremediation, which could help sustain its long-term use. PMID:16519976

  13. Food system advances towards more nutritious and sustainable mantou production in China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xinzhong; Sheng, Xialu; Liu, Liu; Ma, Zhen; Li, Xiaoping; Zhao, Wuqi

    2015-01-01

    Mantou, a traditional Chinese food, is widely consumed in the North China due to its nutritional value and good mouth-feel. However, its current family-style production is impeded due to short shelf-life caused by mold and starch retrogradation. The current packaging and storage methods are not efficient enough for mantou preservation. Recently, a novel, hot online package technology has attracted attention due to its high processing efficiency and low cost. Most importantly, by using this methodology, secondary contamination by microbes can be avoided and starch retrogradation can be markedly delayed, with mantou shelf-life under room temperature extended from a few to at least 90 days without any additives. In this review, the mechanisms of mantou quality deterioration are explained and the advantages of hot package technology addressed and compared with other packaging methods, such as frozen chain storage. In this way, not only wheat, but also other grains (including whole-grains) and ingredients may be mantou constituents, to enhance nutrition of traditional mantou. There is now a technological opportunity for mantou to become a more nutritious, sustainable and affordable foodstuff in local communities. PMID:26078235

  14. Land-Use Analysis of Croplands for Sustainable Food and Energy Production in the United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zumkehr, Andrew Lee

    Energy security and environmental sustainability are major concerns to many in the U.S. Energy from biomass has been proposed as a strategy to help meet future energy needs; however, widespread cultivation for biofuels could have significant impacts on food security and the environment. One solution to minimizing the impacts of biofuel cultivation is to limit production to abandoned croplands where competition from food crops and environmental degradation will be minimized. Here I estimate the spatial distribution of historical U.S. cropland areas from 1850 to 2000 and subsequently calculate abandoned cropland areas for the year 2000. From this data I estimate the potential biomass energy that could be obtained from abandoned croplands. I also estimate the potential for biomass energy to contribute to a renewable energy system consisting of wind and solar power by meeting seasonal energy storage needs that are a result of the intermittent nature of renewable energy sources. Lastly, I use the historical cropland areas result to estimate the ability of U.S. croplands to supply food to local populations at the county level.

  15. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Danuso, Francesco

    2008-06-18

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed. SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Joergensen, 1994) in which systems are modeled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  16. Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

    SciTech Connect

    Danuso, Francesco

    2008-06-18

    A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.

  17. Management of the four waters at micro level by considering the social and economic backwardness for sustainable development using remote sensing & gis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perni, Venkateswarlu

    As we enter the third millennium, we are witnessing a gale of bewildering change and transformation. Communication is well on its way to becoming instant. Knowledge based processes and an electronic network blankets the globe. And yet, there are certain things that never change, like for instance, the basic needs, of which water is most important. While in the past wars were fought over territory, markets and access to resources, future wars in the new millennium are likely to be fought over access to water for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes. Water that most abundant of natural resources, is also very scarce in its usable form in most places on earth. The critical challenge facing arid and semi-arid areas will be to provide enough water for domestic and sustainable agricultural purposes. Already 22 countries have renewable water resources of less than one thousand cubic meters per capita, dangerously little in years of rain scarcity. With ever increasing pressure of human population, there is severe stress on water resources. This dangerous situation can still be reversed through efficient rainwater harvesting and judicious utilization by the local community. And the best socio-physical unit for such resource management is the watershed. The present study deals with the application of Remote sensing and Geographical Information systems techniques for the generation of an alternative land use/land cover practice with due consideration to the social and economic backwardness of the different ethnic groups besides protecting the long term carrying capacity of the eco-system through the integrated micro-level management of the four waters concept. The Remote sensing data used is IRS-IC-LISS-III imagery and ERDAS / IMAGINE 8.3 GIS software. Landuse/Landcover, Hydro-geomorphology, Soil map etc are generated by interpreting the satellite data and with necessary ground check. The slope map and drainage maps are generated with the help of 1:50,000 scale

  18. Management of the four waters at micro level by considering the social and economic backwardness for sustainable development using remote sensing & gis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perni, Venkateswarlu

    As we enter the third millennium, we are witnessing a gale of bewildering change and transformation. Communication is well on its way to becoming instant. Knowledge based processes and an electronic network blankets the globe. And yet, there are certain things that never change, like for instance, the basic needs, of which water is most important. While in the past wars were fought over territory, markets and access to resources, future wars in the new millennium are likely to be fought over access to water for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes. Water that most abundant of natural resources, is also very scarce in its usable form in most places on earth. The critical challenge facing arid and semi-arid areas will be to provide enough water for domestic and sustainable agricultural purposes. Already 22 countries have renewable water resources of less than one thousand cubic meters per capita, dangerously little in years of rain scarcity. With ever increasing pressure of human population, there is severe stress on water resources. This dangerous situation can still be reversed through efficient rainwater harvesting and judicious utilization by the local community. And the best socio-physical unit for such resource management is the watershed. The present study deals with the application of Remote sensing and Geographical Information systems techniques for the generation of an alternative land use/land cover practice with due consideration to the social and economic backwardness of the different ethnic groups besides protecting the long term carrying capacity of the eco-system through the integrated micro-level management of the four waters concept. The Remote sensing data used is IRS-IC-LISS-III imagery and ERDAS / IMAGINE 8.3 GIS software. Landuse/Landcover, Hydro-geomorphology, Soil map etc are generated by interpreting the satellite data and with necessary ground check. The slope map and drainage maps are generated with the help of 1:50,000 scale

  19. Micro Navigator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaes, B. R.; Kia, T.; Chau, S. N.

    2001-01-01

    Miniature high-performance low-mass space avionics systems are desired for planned future outer planetary exploration missions (i.e. Europa Orbiter/Lander, Pluto-Kuiper Express). The spacecraft fuel and mass requirements enabling orbit insertion is the driving requirement. The Micro Navigator is an integrated autonomous Guidance, Navigation & Control (GN&C)micro-system that would provide the critical avionics function for navigation, pointing, and precision landing. The Micro Navigator hardware and software allow fusion of data from multiple sensors to provide a single integrated vehicle state vector necessary for six degrees of freedom GN&C. The benefits of this MicroNavigator include: 1) The Micro Navigator employs MEMS devices that promise orders of magnitude reductions in mass power and volume of inertial sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes), celestial sensing devices (startracker, sun sensor), and computing element; 2) The highly integrated nature of the unit will reduce the cost of flight missions. a) The advanced miniaturization technologies employed by the Micro Navigator lend themselves to mass production, and therefore will reduce production cost of spacecraft. b) The integral approach simplifies interface issues associated with discrete components and reduces cost associated with integration and test of multiple components; and 3) The integration of sensors and processing elements into a single unit will allow the Micro Navigator to encapsulate attitude information and determination functions into a single object. This is particularly beneficial for object-oriented software architectures that are used in advanced spacecraft. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  20. Product Lifecycle Management and the Quest for Sustainable Space Exploration Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caruso, Pamela W.; Dumbacher, Daniel L.

    2010-01-01

    Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is an outcome of lean thinking to eliminate waste and increase productivity. PLM is inextricably tied to the systems engineering business philosophy, coupled with a methodology by which personnel, processes and practices, and information technology combine to form an architecture platform for product design, development, manufacturing, operations, and decommissioning. In this model, which is being implemented by the Engineering Directorate at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Marshall Space Flight Center, total lifecycle costs are important variables for critical decisionmaking. With the ultimate goal to deliver quality products that meet or exceed requirements on time and within budget, PLM is a powerful tool to shape everything from engineering trade studies and testing goals, to integrated vehicle operations and retirement scenarios. This paper will demonstrate how the Engineering Directorate is implementing PLM as part of an overall strategy to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable space exploration solutions. It has been 30 years since the United States fielded the Space Shuttle. The next generation space transportation system requires a paradigm shift such that digital tools and knowledge management, which are central elements of PLM, are used consistently to maximum effect. The outcome is a better use of scarce resources, along with more focus on stakeholder and customer requirements, as a new portfolio of enabling tools becomes second nature to the workforce. This paper will use the design and manufacturing processes, which have transitioned to digital-based activities, to show how PLM supports the comprehensive systems engineering and integration function. It also will go through a launch countdown scenario where an anomaly is detected to show how the virtual vehicle created from paperless processes will help solve technical challenges and improve the likelihood of launching on schedule, with

  1. Exploring the sustainability of industrial production and energy generation with a model system

    EPA Science Inventory

    The importance and complexity of sustainability has been well recognized and a formal study of sustainability based on system theory approaches is imperative as many of the relationships between the various components of the system could be non-linear, intertwined, and non-intuit...

  2. Sustainable clinical research, health economic aspects and medical marketing: drivers of product innovation.

    PubMed

    Haschke, Ferdinand; Klassen-Wigger, Petra

    2010-01-01

    Marketing-driven innovation in the field of pediatric nutrition, in particular in the infant formula segment is not sustainable. New benefits of products must be scientifically proven and safety and efficacy of new formulae established in clinical trials. The scientific innovation process of three infant formulae is described. Improvement in protein quality allowed to reduce the protein concentration in whey-based infant formula. Weight gain and BMI of infants fed those formulae corresponds to breastfed infants and is lower than in infants fed traditional formulae with higher protein concentration. A meta-analysis indicates associations between rapid weight gain in infancy and obesity later in life. If infants cannot be exclusively breastfed until 4-6 months of age, feeding low-protein formulae may contribute to positive long-term health outcome with potentially important health economic effects. A partially hydrolyzed whey based formula for prevention of allergic symptoms in children with hereditary risk for allergic diseases was developed more than 25 years ago. The most recent meta-analysis which included 15 randomized clinical trials indicates that the risk of all allergic diseases and atopic dermatitis/eczema is significantly reduced in infants at risk when the partially hydrolyzed formula is fed. The partially hydrolyzed formula had the same protective effect as casein-based high-degree extensively hydrolyzed formula. Because of substantial price differences between the two formulae, feeding the partially hydrolyzed whey formula is cost saving. Hypoallergenic claims can be made in many countries, and international nutrition committees have positively commented the preventive effect of those formulae. Acidified formulae have been widely used during the last decade in replacement feeding programs for infants whose mothers are HIV positive. The formula was innovated by improving whey protein quality and lowering protein concentration. The bacteriostatic

  3. MicroRNA-146a and microRNA-146b regulate human dendritic cell apoptosis and cytokine production by targeting TRAF6 and IRAK1 proteins.

    PubMed

    Park, Haein; Huang, Xin; Lu, Changming; Cairo, Mitchell S; Zhou, Xianzheng

    2015-01-30

    We have previously reported 27 differentially expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) during human monocyte differentiation into immature dendritic cells (imDCs) and mature DCs (mDCs). However, their roles in DC differentiation and function remain largely elusive. Here, we report that microRNA (miR)-146a and miR-146b modulate DC apoptosis and cytokine production. Expression of miR-146a and miR-146b was significantly increased upon monocyte differentiation into imDCs and mDCs. Silencing of miR-146a and/or miR-146b in imDCs and mDCs significantly prevented DC apoptosis, whereas overexpressing miR-146a and/or miR-146b increased DC apoptosis. miR-146a and miR-146b expression in imDCs and mDCs was inversely correlated with TRAF6 and IRAK1 expression. Furthermore, siRNA silencing of TRAF6 and/or IRAK1 in imDCs and mDCs enhanced DC apoptosis. By contrast, lentivirus overexpression of TRAF6 and/or IRAK1 promoted DC survival. Moreover, silencing of miR-146a and miR-146b expression had little effect on DC maturation but enhanced IL-12p70, IL-6, and TNF-α production as well as IFN-γ production by IL-12p70-mediated activation of natural killer cells, whereas miR-146a and miR-146b overexpression in mDCs reduced cytokine production. Silencing of miR-146a and miR-146b in DCs also down-regulated NF-κB inhibitor IκBα and increased Bcl-2 expression. Our results identify a new negative feedback mechanism involving the miR-146a/b-TRAF6/IRAK1-NF-κB axis in promoting DC apoptosis. PMID:25505246

  4. Renewable energy from biomass: a sustainable option? - Hydrogen production from alcohols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balla, Zoltán; Kith, Károly; Tamás, András; Nagy, Orsolya

    2015-04-01

    Sustainable development requires us to find new energy sources instead of fossil fuels. One possibility is the hydrogen fuel cell, which uses significantly more efficient than the current combustion engines. The task of the hydrogen is clean, carbon-free renewable energy sources to choose in the future by growing degree. Hungary can play a role in the renewable energy sources of biomass as a renewable biomass annually mass of about 350 to 360 million tons. The biomass is only a very small proportion of fossil turn carbonaceous materials substitution, while we may utilize alternative energy sources as well. To the hydrogen production from biomass, the first step of the chemical transformations of chemical bonds are broken, which is always activation energy investment needs. The methanol and ethanol by fermentation from different agricultural products is relatively easy to produce, so these can be regarded as renewable energy carriers of. The ethanol can be used directly, and used in several places in the world are mixed with the petrol additive. This method is the disadvantage that the anhydrous alcohol is to be used in the combustion process in the engine more undesired by-products may be formed, and the fuel efficiency of the engine is significantly lower than the efficiency of the fuel cells. More useful to produce hydrogen from the alcohol and is used in a fuel cell electric power generation. Particularly attractive option for the so-called on-board reforming of alcohols, that happens immediately when the vehicle hydrogen production. It does not need a large tank of hydrogen, because the hydrogen produced would be directly to the fuel cell. The H2 tank limit use of its high cost, the significant loss evaporation, the rare-station network, production capacity and service background and lack of opportunity to refuel problems. These can be overcome, if the hydrogen in the vehicle is prepared. As volume even 700 bar only about half the H2 pressure gas can be stored

  5. Sustainable Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Auerbach, Raymond

    1994-01-01

    Discusses South African national development priorities, sustainable development, and the future of agriculture and presents three scenarios of possible national action: production for sale and export, household food security, and conservation of natural resources. (MKR)

  6. Local Sustained Delivery of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 for Production of Antimicrobial Peptides

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jiang; Chen, Guojun; Shuler, Franklin D.; Wang, Chi-Hwa; Xie, Jingwei

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study seeks to develop fiber membranes for local sustained delivery of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 to induce the expression and secretion of LL-37 at or near the surgical site, which provides a novel therapeutic approach to minimize the risk of infections. Methods 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 loaded poly(L-lactide) (PLA) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers were produced by electrospinning. The morphology of obtained fibers was characterized using atomic force microscope (AFM) and scanning electron microscope (SEM). 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 releasing kinetics were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. The expression of cathelicidin (hCAP 18) and LL-37 was analyzed by immunofluorescence staining and ELISA kit. The antibacterial activity test was conducted by incubating pseudomonas aeruginosa in a monocytes’ lysis solution. Results AFM images suggest that the surface of PCL fibers is smooth, however, the surface of PLA fibers is relatively rough, in particular, after encapsulation of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. The duration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 release can last more than 4 weeks for all the tested samples. Plasma treatment can promote the release rate of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3. Human keratinocytes and monocytes express significantly higher levels of hCAP18/LL-37 after incubation with plasma treated and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 loaded PCL fibers than the cells incubated with around 10 times amount of free drug. After incubation with this fiber formulation for 5 days LL-37 in the lysis solutions of U937 cells can effectively kill the bacteria. Conclusions plasma treated and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 loaded PCL fibers induce significantly higher levels of antimicrobial peptide production in human keratinocytes and monocytes without producing cytotoxicity. PMID:25773720

  7. Rainbow smelt: the unusual case of cryoprotection by sustained glycerol production in an aquatic animal.

    PubMed

    Driedzic, William R

    2015-07-01

    Rainbow smelt flourish at -1.8 °C, the freezing point of sea water. An antifreeze protein contributes to freeze point depression but, more importantly, cryoprotection is due to an elevation in osmotic pressure, by the accumulation of glycerol. The lower the water temperature, the higher the plasma glycerol with levels recorded as high as 400 mmol l(-1). Glycerol freely diffuses out in direct relation to the glycerol concentration and fish may lose as much as 15% of their glycerol reserve per day. Glycerol levels decrease from a maximum in February/March while water temperature is still sub-zero. The decrease in glycerol may respond to a photoperiod signal as opposed to initiation which is triggered by low temperature. The initial increase in glycerol level is supported by liver glycogen but high sustained glycerol level is dependent upon dietary carbohydrate and protein. The metabolic pathways leading to glycerol involve flux from glycogen/glucose to the level of dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) via the initial part of glycolysis and from amino acids via a truncated gluconeogenesis again to the level of DHAP. DHAP in turn is converted to glycerol 3-phosphate (G3P) and then directly to glycerol. The key to directing DHAP to G3P is a highly active glycerol 3-P dehydrogenase. G3P is converted directly to glycerol via G3P phosphatase, the rate-limiting step in the process. The transition to glycerol production is associated with increased activities of enzymes at key loci in the top part of glycogenolysis/glycolysis. Curtailment of the final section of glycolysis may reside at the level of pyruvate oxidation with an inactivation of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) driven by increased levels of PDH kinase. Enzymes associated with amino acid trafficking are elevated as is the pivotal enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. PMID:25921795

  8. Good policy follows good science: using criteria and indicators for assessing sustainable biofuel production

    SciTech Connect

    Hecht, Alan D; Shaw, Denice; Bruins, Randy; Dale, Virginia H; Kline, Keith L; Chen, Alice

    2009-01-01

    Developing scientific criteria and indicators should play a critical role in charting a sustainable path for the rapidly developing biofuel industry. The challenge ahead in developing such criteria and indicators is to address the limitations on data and modeling.

  9. Effects of harvest on the sustainability and leaf productivity of populations of two palm species in Maya homegardens.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Ballesté, Andrea; Martorell, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Traditional management practices are usually thought to be sustainable. The Maya manage Sabal (Arecaceae) palms in homegardens, using their leaves for thatching. The sustainability of such production systems depends on the long-term persistence of palm populations, whereas resource availability also depends on the number of leaves on individual palms. We examined how leaf harvest affects Sabal yapa and S. mexicana population growth rates (λ) and leaf production, comparing traditional and alternative harvest regimes in terms of sustainability and productivity. Demographic, harvest and leaf production data were recorded for three years in two homegardens. We used general integral projection models linked to leaf-production models to describe population dynamics and productivity. Harvest had no effect on S. yapa's vital rates or on λ, but it changed the growth rate of individuals of S. mexicana, with a negligible impact on λ. Homegardens affected λ values, reflecting the species' ecological affinities. S. mexicana, introduced from mesic forests, required watering and shade; therefore, its population declined rapidly in the homegarden that lacked both water and shade. The λ of the xerophilic S. yapa was slightly larger without watering than with watering. Palms usually compensated for leaf extraction, causing the number of leaves harvested per individual to increase with harvest intensity. Nevertheless, traditional management is relatively mild, allowing standing leaves to accumulate but reducing the homegarden's yield. Apparently, the Maya do not seek to maximize annual production but to ensure the availability of large numbers of leaves in homegardens. These leaves may then be used when the entire roof of a hut needs to be replaced every few years. PMID:25803029

  10. Effects of Harvest on the Sustainability and Leaf Productivity of Populations of Two Palm Species in Maya Homegardens

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Ballesté, Andrea; Martorell, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Traditional management practices are usually thought to be sustainable. The Maya manage Sabal (Arecaceae) palms in homegardens, using their leaves for thatching. The sustainability of such production systems depends on the long-term persistence of palm populations, whereas resource availability also depends on the number of leaves on individual palms. We examined how leaf harvest affects Sabal yapa and S. mexicana population growth rates (λ) and leaf production, comparing traditional and alternative harvest regimes in terms of sustainability and productivity. Demographic, harvest and leaf production data were recorded for three years in two homegardens. We used general integral projection models linked to leaf-production models to describe population dynamics and productivity. Harvest had no effect on S. yapa’s vital rates or on λ, but it changed the growth rate of individuals of S. mexicana, with a negligible impact on λ. Homegardens affected λ values, reflecting the species’ ecological affinities. S. mexicana, introduced from mesic forests, required watering and shade; therefore, its population declined rapidly in the homegarden that lacked both water and shade. The λ of the xerophilic S. yapa was slightly larger without watering than with watering. Palms usually compensated for leaf extraction, causing the number of leaves harvested per individual to increase with harvest intensity. Nevertheless, traditional management is relatively mild, allowing standing leaves to accumulate but reducing the homegarden’s yield. Apparently, the Maya do not seek to maximize annual production but to ensure the availability of large numbers of leaves in homegardens. These leaves may then be used when the entire roof of a hut needs to be replaced every few years. PMID:25803029

  11. Sustainability Impact Assessment of two forest-based bioenergy production systems related to mitigation and adaption to Climate Change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gartzia-Bengoetxea, Nahia; Arias-González, Ander; Tuomasjukka, Diana

    2016-04-01

    New forest management strategies are necessary to resist and adapt to Climate Change (CC) and to maintain ecosystem functions such as forest productivity, water storage and biomass production. The increased use of forest-based biomass for energy generation as well as the application of combustion or pyrolysis co-products such as ash or biochar back into forest soils is being suggested as a CC mitigation and adaptation strategy while trying to fulfil the targets of both: (i) Europe 2020 growth strategy in relation to CC and energy sustainability and (ii) EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy. The energy stored in harvested biomass can be released through combustion and used for energy generation to enable national energy security (reduced oil dependence) and the substitution of fossil fuel by renewable biomass can decrease the emission of greenhouse gases.In the end, the wood-ash produced in the process can return to the forest soil to replace the nutrients exported by harvesting. Another way to use biomass in this green circular framework is to pyrolyse it. Pyrolysis of the biomass produce a carbon-rich product (biochar) that can increase carbon sequestration in the soils and liquid and gas co-products of biomass pyrolysis can be used for energy generation or other fuel use thereby offsetting fossil fuel consumption and so avoiding greenhouse gas emissions. Both biomass based energy systems differ in the amount of energy produced, in the co-product (biochar or wood ash) returned to the field, and in societal impacts they have. The Tool for Sustainability Impact Assessment (ToSIA) was used for modelling both energy production systems. ToSIA integrates several different methods, and allows a quantification and objective comparison of economic, environmental and social impacts in a sustainability impact assessment for different decision alternatives/scenarios. We will interpret the results in order to support the bioenergy planning in temperate forests under the

  12. Bioaugmentation of Mesorhizobium cicer, Pseudomonas spp. and Piriformospora indica for Sustainable Chickpea Production.

    PubMed

    Mansotra, Pallavi; Sharma, Poonam; Sharma, Sunita

    2015-07-01

    Chickpea establishes symbiotic association with Mesorhizobium to fulfill its nitrogen (N) requirement. Integrating chickpea rhizosphere with potential native mesorhizobia and other plant growth promoting microorganisms can contribute multiple benefits to plants. The present investigation was undertaken to study interactions among Piriformospora indica (PI) with potential plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) viz. Pseudomonas argentinensis (LPGPR1), Pseudomonas sp. (LPGPR2) along with national check Pseudomons sp. (LK884) and Mesorhizobium cicer (LGR33, MR) to examine the synergistic effect of consortium for improving growth, symbiotic efficiency, nutrient acquisition and yield in two chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) varieties viz. desi PBG1 and kabuli BG1053. In-vitro, seed germination with consortium MR + PI + LPGPR1 was the best compatible treatment followed by MR + PI + LK884 and MR + PI + LPGPR2. Significant improvement in the growth, symbiotic parameters and grain yield was observed with MR + PI + LPGPR1 and MR + PI + LK884 treatments. Significantly high chlorophyll and leghaemoglobin content was recorded with MR + PI + LPGPR1 (1.57 and 1.64 mg g(-1) fresh weight of leaves and 5.19 and 4.39 mg/g(-1) fresh weight of nodules) in desi PBG1 and kabuli BG1053 chickpea varieties, respectively. At 90 DAS, MR + PI + LPGPR1 treatment significantly improved nodule dry weight (ranged between 84.0 and 141.7 mg plant(-1)) as compared to MR alone treatment (ranged between 62.3 and 123.3 mg plant(-1)). Data revealed significant increase in total nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) content of shoot with MR + PI + LPGPR1 by 1.2 and 1.5 fold, respectively over MR alone treatment. On the basis of overall mean, MR + PI + LPGPR1 significantly improved the yield by 8.2 % over Mesorhizobium alone application. It seems from foregoing study that tripartite combination of different micro-organisms can be

  13. Development of a Low Input and sustainable Switchgrass Feedstock Production System Utilizing Beneficial Bacterial Endophytes

    SciTech Connect

    Mei, Chuansheng; Nowak, Jerzy; Seiler, John

    2014-10-24

    Switchgrass represents a promising feedstock crop for US energy sustainability. However, its broad utilization for bioenergy requires improvements of biomass yields and stress tolerance. In this DOE funded project, we have been working on harnessing beneficial bacterial endophytes to enhance switchgrass performance and to develop a low input feedstock production system for marginal lands that do not compete with the production of food crops. We have demonstrated that one of most promising plant growth-promoting bacterial endophytes, Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN, is able to colonize roots and significantly promote growth of switchgrass cv. Alamo under in vitro, growth chamber, greenhouse, as well as field conditions. Furthermore, PsJN bacterization improved growth and development of switchgrass seedlings, significantly stimulated plant root and shoot growth, and tiller number in the field, and enhanced biomass accumulation on both poor (p<0.001) and rich (p<0.05) soils, with more effective stimulation of plant growth in low fertility soil. Plant physiology measurements showed that PsJN inoculated Alamo had consistently lower transpiration, lower stomatal conductance, and higher water use efficiency in greenhouse conditions. These physiological changes may significantly contribute to the recorded growth enhancement. PsJN inoculation rapidly results in an increase in photosynthetic rates which contributes to the advanced growth and development. Some evidence suggests that this initial growth advantage decreases with time when resources are not limited such as in greenhouse studies. Additionally, better drought resistance and drought hardening were observed in PsJN inoculated switchgrass. Using the DOE-funded switchgrass EST microarray, in a collaboration with the Genomics Core Facility at the Noble Foundation, we have determined gene expression profile changes in both responsive switchgrass cv. Alamo and non-responsive cv. Cave-in-Rock (CR) following Ps

  14. Stepping stone or stumbling block? Mode 2 knowledge production in sustainability science.

    PubMed

    Thorén, Henrik; Breian, Line

    2016-04-01

    The concept of Mode 2 has often been seen as especially applicable to fields addressing grand challenges, such as climate change. Being a relatively new field-interdisciplinary in its approach, and focused on addressing such issues-sustainability science would appear to be a case in point. The aim of this paper is twofold: 1) to explore the perceived relation between Mode 2 and sustainability science, and 2) to advance the discussion of Mode 2 from a philosophical perspective. To address these questions we focus on three characteristic features of Mode 2: the notion of a distinct, but evolving framework; boundary crossing; and a problem solving capacity "on the move". We report the results of a survey carried out amongst leading sustainability scientists. The survey gives insight into the scientists' perception of Mode 2, their perception of their own field of sustainability science and the relation between the two. The free text answers reveal a tension within the field of sustainability science: with developments both towards Mode 1 and Mode 2 science. We conclude that the implementation of inter- and trans-disciplinarity is challenged by institutional and conceptual factors alike. PMID:26686900

  15. Quantification of Plasmodiophora brassicae Using a DNA-Based Soil Test Facilitates Sustainable Oilseed Rape Production

    PubMed Central

    Wallenhammar, Ann-Charlotte; Gunnarson, Albin; Hansson, Fredrik; Jonsson, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Outbreaks of clubroot disease caused by the soil-borne obligate parasite Plasmodiophora brassicae are common in oilseed rape (OSR) in Sweden. A DNA-based soil testing service that identifies fields where P. brassicae poses a significant risk of clubroot infection is now commercially available. It was applied here in field surveys to monitor the prevalence of P. brassicae DNA in field soils intended for winter OSR production and winter OSR field experiments. In 2013 in Scania, prior to planting, P. brassicae DNA was detected in 60% of 45 fields on 10 of 18 farms. In 2014, P. brassicae DNA was detected in 44% of 59 fields in 14 of 36 farms, in the main winter OSR producing region in southern Sweden. P. brassicae was present indicative of a risk for >10% yield loss with susceptible cultivars (>1300 DNA copies g soil−1) in 47% and 44% of fields in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Furthermore, P. brassicae DNA was indicative of sites at risk of complete crop failure if susceptible cultivars were grown (>50 000 copies g−1 soil) in 14% and 8% of fields in 2013 and 2014, respectively. A survey of all fields at Lanna research station in western Sweden showed that P. brassicae was spread throughout the farm, as only three of the fields (20%) showed infection levels below the detection limit for P.brassicae DNA, while the level was >50,000 DNA copies g−1 soil in 20% of the fields. Soil-borne spread is of critical importance and soil scraped off footwear showed levels of up to 682 million spores g−1 soil. Soil testing is an important tool for determining the presence of P. brassicae and providing an indication of potential yield loss, e.g., in advisory work on planning for a sustainable OSR crop rotation. This soil test is gaining acceptance as a tool that increases the likelihood of success in precision agriculture and in applied research conducted in commercial oilseed fields and at research stations. The present application highlights the importance of prevention of

  16. Quantification of Plasmodiophora brassicae Using a DNA-Based Soil Test Facilitates Sustainable Oilseed Rape Production.

    PubMed

    Wallenhammar, Ann-Charlotte; Gunnarson, Albin; Hansson, Fredrik; Jonsson, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Outbreaks of clubroot disease caused by the soil-borne obligate parasite Plasmodiophora brassicae are common in oilseed rape (OSR) in Sweden. A DNA-based soil testing service that identifies fields where P. brassicae poses a significant risk of clubroot infection is now commercially available. It was applied here in field surveys to monitor the prevalence of P. brassicae DNA in field soils intended for winter OSR production and winter OSR field experiments. In 2013 in Scania, prior to planting, P. brassicae DNA was detected in 60% of 45 fields on 10 of 18 farms. In 2014, P. brassicae DNA was detected in 44% of 59 fields in 14 of 36 farms, in the main winter OSR producing region in southern Sweden. P. brassicae was present indicative of a risk for >10% yield loss with susceptible cultivars (>1300 DNA copies g soil(-1)) in 47% and 44% of fields in 2013 and 2014 respectively. Furthermore, P. brassicae DNA was indicative of sites at risk of complete crop failure if susceptible cultivars were grown (>50 000 copies g(-1) soil) in 14% and 8% of fields in 2013 and 2014, respectively. A survey of all fields at Lanna research station in western Sweden showed that P. brassicae was spread throughout the farm, as only three of the fields (20%) showed infection levels below the detection limit for P.brassicae DNA, while the level was >50,000 DNA copies g(-1) soil in 20% of the fields. Soil-borne spread is of critical importance and soil scraped off footwear showed levels of up to 682 million spores g(-1) soil. Soil testing is an important tool for determining the presence of P. brassicae and providing an indication of potential yield loss, e.g., in advisory work on planning for a sustainable OSR crop rotation. This soil test is gaining acceptance as a tool that increases the likelihood of success in precision agriculture and in applied research conducted in commercial oilseed fields and at research stations. The present application highlights the importance of prevention of

  17. Identification of conserved microRNAs in Bombyx mori (silkworm) and regulation of fibroin L chain production by microRNAs in heterologous system.

    PubMed

    Cao, Jun; Tong, Chuanzhou; Wu, Xiaojie; Lv, Jianning; Yang, Zhaolin; Jin, Yongfeng

    2008-12-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an extensive class of small non-coding RNAs with important roles in the regulation of gene expression. Little study has been performed on identifying miRNAs in Bombyx mori (silkworm). Here, 41 conserved miRNAs were identified by a computational homology search approach and some of them were selected and confirmed experimentally. Some characteristics such as position-specific nucleotide distribution, evolutionary conservation and clustered organization have been described. Through general method of miRNA target identification, we also find that at least 4 miRNAs (miR-33/-190/-276/-7) target fibroin L chain transcripts, suggesting that miRNAs might play an important role in the regulation of silk protein production. In order to validate this, 3'-UTR of fibroin L chain mRNA was cloned and several expression vectors were constructed. Assays of semi-RT-PCR, histochemical and biochemical assays after agroinfiltration indicated that miRNAs can repress reporter gene (GUS) expression with sequence complement. Clearly, agroinfiltration proved a highly efficient method to identify the function of miRNAs inhibiting their targets mRNA in heterologous system. PMID:18977439

  18. Projecting future grassland productivity to assess the sustainability of potential biofuel feedstock areas in the Greater Platte River Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Boyte, Stephen; Phyual, Khem

    2014-01-01

    This study projects future (e.g., 2050 and 2099) grassland productivities in the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB) using ecosystem performance (EP, a surrogate for measuring ecosystem productivity) models and future climate projections. The EP models developed from a previous study were based on the satellite vegetation index, site geophysical and biophysical features, and weather and climate drivers. The future climate data used in this study were derived from the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model 3.0 ‘SRES A1B’ (a ‘middle’ emissions path). The main objective of this study is to assess the future sustainability of the potential biofuel feedstock areas identified in a previous study. Results show that the potential biofuel feedstock areas (the more mesic eastern part of the GPRB) will remain productive (i.e., aboveground grassland biomass productivity >2750 kg ha−1 year−1) with a slight increasing trend in the future. The spatially averaged EPs for these areas are 3519, 3432, 3557, 3605, 3752, and 3583 kg ha−1 year−1 for current site potential (2000–2008 average), 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099, respectively. Therefore, the identified potential biofuel feedstock areas will likely continue to be sustainable for future biofuel development. On the other hand, grasslands identified as having no biofuel potential in the drier western part of the GPRB would be expected to stay unproductive in the future (spatially averaged EPs are 1822, 1691, 1896, 2306, 1994, and 2169 kg ha−1 year−1 for site potential, 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050, and 2099). These areas should continue to be unsuitable for biofuel feedstock development in the future. These future grassland productivity estimation maps can help land managers to understand and adapt to the expected changes in future EP in the GPRB and to assess the future sustainability and feasibility of potential biofuel feedstock areas.

  19. Efforts to improve and sustain the productive utilization of dry grasslands in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mezhunts, Bagrat; Navasardyan, Marine

    2014-05-01

    Armenia is a small mountainous country (29,743 km2) located in the South Caucasus. It lies in the sub-tropical zone and has a continental climate with hot summers (av. +250C) and cold winters (av. -60C). The average precipitation is 550 mm; in the dry-steppe zone it amounts to only 250 mm and with a rainy season in spring-early summer. Altitudinal variation (390-4,095 m) gives rise to a range of climatic zones (from semi-desert to alpine), soil types and plant communities. Besides, Armenia is situated on the crossroads of Caucasian - mesophyllous (humid) and Armeno-Iranian - xerophyllous (arid) floristic provinces, which has made it to a "biodiversity hotspot". Agriculture is important as a source of employment and for domestic food supply. The rural population (ca. 1.2 million) is largely dependent on livestock for their livelihood. The principal feed resource is extensive grasslands (60% of total agricultural lands), but past practices of uncontrolled grazing management has led to low grassland productivity and low proportion of valuable legume forages. Improvement of natural grasslands, enhancement of feed quality, prevention of soil erosion and re-establishment of vegetation cover are key socio-economic challenges and are needed to raise the livelihood of rural population in Armenia. This presentation focuses on present status and trends of dry pastureland degradation, exposed to intensive grazing, and on results from case studies to increase productivity and restore valuable forage species for sustainable use in agriculture. Three different conventional approaches have been applied in these studies including: fertilization with moderate doses of ammonium and potassium nitrate and superphosphate, over-sowing by local legume seeds and implementation of a 2-year rest period in overgrazed areas. From 1986 to 2007, the total yield (TY) in studied dry-steppe pastures decreased by 40%, while at the same time, the proportion of grasses in total yield decreased by 50

  20. Sustainable rice production and its impact on the rice value chain: A case study of rural paddy farm in Kedah

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Othman, Siti Norezam; Othman, Zakirah; Yaacob, Noorulsadiqin Azbiya; Hamid, Kamal Ab

    2016-08-01

    System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method had contributed towards environmental sustainability through improving paddy ecosystem, better sustainable economic due to improving paddy production and sales and social sustainability through local community development through community activity and health. This study aimed to find out whether the innovative practices of SRI affect the rice value chain and to determine the roles, activities of the actors in the value chain as well as challenges that impacted the value chain. Using interview as data collection method, case samples were selected from various SRI paddy site in Kedah. The findings indicated that implementing SRI practices in organic paddy cultivation had caused the value chain to be different from conventional paddy value chain in terms of actor and effect of middle man subject to the small scale paddy production. For organic rice value chain to become competitive, roles, activities and challenges were identified so that supports could be provided to the farmers and other related parties in the value chain.

  1. ARM Best Estimate Data (ARMBE) Products for Climate Science for a Sustainable Energy Future (CSSEF)

    DOE Data Explorer

    Riihimaki, Laura; Gaustad, Krista; McFarlane, Sally

    2014-06-12

    This data set was created for the Climate Science for a Sustainable Energy Future (CSSEF) model testbed project and is an extension of the hourly average ARMBE dataset to other extended facility sites and to include uncertainty estimates. Uncertainty estimates were needed in order to use uncertainty quantification (UQ) techniques with the data.

  2. AWARE: FACILITATING INFORMED CONSUMER PURCHASING DECISIONS THROUGH POINT-OF-SALE ACCESS TO PRODUCT SUSTAINABILITY INFORMATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is a fundamental challenge to sustainability in designing an appropriate, practical, and flexible information system through which consumers can obtain and consider relevant environmental ramifications of the goods they purchase every day. Hence, the Aware concept is pr...

  3. Crop residue is key for sustaining maximum food production and for conservation of our biosphere

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop residue is key in our efforts to move towards agricultural sustainability. This paper provides a quick overview of some selected references and looks at some of the newest advances related to cover crops. Several authors have described in detail the benefits derived from improving soil quality ...

  4. Energy issues affecting corn/soybean systems: Challenges for sustainable production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Quantifying energy issues associated with agricultural systems, even for a simple two-crop corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) rotation, is not a simple task. It becomes even more complicated if the goal is to include all aspects of sustainability (i.e., economic, environmental, ...

  5. Dedicated industrial oilseed crops as metabolic engineering platforms for sustainable industrial feedstock production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feedstocks for industrial applications ranging from polymers to lubricants are largely derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource. Vegetable oils with fatty acid structures and storage forms tailored for specific industrial uses offer renewable and potentially sustainable sources of petrochemi...

  6. Laser sustained discharge nozzle apparatus for the production of an intense beam of high kinetic energy atomic species

    DOEpatents

    Cross, Jon B.; Cremers, David A.

    1988-01-01

    Laser sustained discharge apparatus for the production of intense beams of high kinetic energy atomic species. A portion of the plasma resulting from a laser sustained continuous optical discharge which generates energetic atomic species from a gaseous source thereof is expanded through a nozzle into a region of low pressure. The expanded plasma contains a significant concentration of the high kinetic energy atomic species which may be used to investigate the interaction of surfaces therewith. In particular, O-atoms having velocities in excess of 3.5 km/s can be generated for the purpose of studying their interaction with materials in order to develop protective materials for spacecraft which are exposed to such energetic O-atoms during operation in low earth orbit.

  7. Laser sustained discharge nozzle apparatus for the production of an intense beam of high kinetic energy atomic species

    DOEpatents

    Cross, J.B.; Cremers, D.A.

    1986-01-10

    Laser sustained discharge apparatus for the production of intense beams of high kinetic energy atomic species is described. A portion of the plasma resulting from a laser sustained continuous optical discharge which generates energetic atomic species from a gaseous source thereof is expanded through a nozzle into a region of low pressure. The expanded plasma contains a significant concentration of the high kinetic energy atomic species which may be used to investigate the interaction of surfaces therewith. In particular, O-atoms having velocities in excess of 3.5 km/s can be generated for the purpose of studying their interaction with materials in order to develop protective materials for spacecraft which are exposed to such energetic O-atoms during operation in low earth orbit.

  8. New risk indicator approach for Operators, Workers, Bystanders and Residents for a sustainable use of plant protection products.

    PubMed

    Sacchettini, Gabriele; Calliera, Maura; Marchis, Alexandru; Glass, Richard; Ellis, Clare Butler; Machera, Kyriaki; Gerritsen-Ebben, Rianda; Spanoghe, Pieter; Capri, Ettore

    2015-11-01

    In 2009, the European Union adopted the Directive on Sustainable Use of pesticides (SUD, Directive 2009/128/EC) establishing a framework for achieving a sustainable use of Plant Protection Products (PPPs) through reducing the risks and impacts of PPP use on human health and the environment, promoting integrated pest management and stimulating effective non-chemical alternatives. The core idea of the SUD is that it is necessary to monitor the use of PPPs through the implementation of an appropriate set of risk indicators to monitor progress and trends in risk reduction within the Member States. To contribute to this direction, following a comprehensive analysis of the risk (including procedures of risk assessment and risk management) and involving stakeholders in the decision process, specific toolboxes of practical indirect risk indicators of exposure of Operators, Workers, Bystanders and Residents were developed and are now available to be used by Member States (MSs) based on their specific context. PMID:26143544

  9. Renewable and sustainable bioenergies production from palm oil mill effluent (POME): win-win strategies toward better environmental protection.

    PubMed

    Lam, Man Kee; Lee, Keat Teong

    2011-01-01

    Palm oil industry is one of the leading agricultural industries in Malaysia with average crude palm oil production of more than 13 million tonne per year. However, production of such huge amount of crude palm oil has consequently resulted to even larger amount of palm oil mill effluent (POME). POME is a highly polluting wastewater with high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) in which can caused severe pollution to the environment, typically pollution to water resources. On the other hand, POME was identified as a potential source to generate renewable bioenergies such as biomethane and biohydrogen through anaerobic digestion. In other words, a combination of wastewater treatment and renewable bioenergies production would be an added advantage to the palm oil industry. In line with the world's focus on sustainability concept, such strategy should be implemented immediately to ensure palm oil is produced in an environmental friendly and sustainable manner. This review aims to discuss various technologies to convert POME to biomethane and biohydrogen in a commercial scale. Furthermore, discussion on using POME to culture microalgae for biodiesel and bioethanol production was included in the present paper as a new remedy to utilize POME with a greater beneficial return. PMID:20940036

  10. Regulation of Vapor Pressure Deficit by Greenhouse Micro-Fog Systems Improved Growth and Productivity of Tomato via Enhancing Photosynthesis during Summer Season.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Dalong; Zhang, Zhongdian; Li, Jianming; Chang, Yibo; Du, Qingjie; Pan, Tonghua

    2015-01-01

    The role of a proposed micro-fog system in regulating greenhouse environments and enhancing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) productivity during summer season was studied. Experiments were carried out in a multi-span glass greenhouse, which was divided into two identical compartments involving different environments: (1) without environment control and (2) with a micro-fog system operating when the air vapor pressure deficit (VPD) of greenhouse was higher than 0.5 KPa. The micro-fog system effectively alleviated heat stress and evaporative demand in the greenhouse during summer season. The physiologically favourable environment maintained by micro-fog treatment significantly enhanced elongation of leaf and stem, which contributed to a substantial elevation of final leaf area and shoot biomass. These improvements in physiological and morphological traits resulted in around 12.3% increase of marketable tomato yield per plant. Relative growth rate (RGR) of micro-fog treatment was also significantly higher than control plants, which was mainly determined by the substantial elevation in net assimilation rate (NAR), and to a lesser extent caused by leaf area ratio (LAR). Measurement of leaf gas exchange parameters also demonstrated that micro-fog treatment significantly enhanced leaf photosynthesis capacity. Taken together, manipulation of VPD in greenhouses by micro-fog systems effectively enhanced tomato growth and productivity via improving photosynthesis during summer season. PMID:26221726

  11. Regulation of Vapor Pressure Deficit by Greenhouse Micro-Fog Systems Improved Growth and Productivity of Tomato via Enhancing Photosynthesis during Summer Season

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dalong; Zhang, Zhongdian; Li, Jianming; Chang, Yibo; Du, Qingjie; Pan, Tonghua

    2015-01-01

    The role of a proposed micro-fog system in regulating greenhouse environments and enhancing tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) productivity during summer season was studied. Experiments were carried out in a multi-span glass greenhouse, which was divided into two identical compartments involving different environments: (1) without environment control and (2) with a micro-fog system operating when the air vapor pressure deficit (VPD) of greenhouse was higher than 0.5 KPa. The micro-fog system effectively alleviated heat stress and evaporative demand in the greenhouse during summer season. The physiologically favourable environment maintained by micro-fog treatment significantly enhanced elongation of leaf and stem, which contributed to a substantial elevation of final leaf area and shoot biomass. These improvements in physiological and morphological traits resulted in around 12.3% increase of marketable tomato yield per plant. Relative growth rate (RGR) of micro-fog treatment was also significantly higher than control plants, which was mainly determined by the substantial elevation in net assimilation rate (NAR), and to a lesser extent caused by leaf area ratio (LAR). Measurement of leaf gas exchange parameters also demonstrated that micro-fog treatment significantly enhanced leaf photosynthesis capacity. Taken together, manipulation of VPD in greenhouses by micro-fog systems effectively enhanced tomato growth and productivity via improving photosynthesis during summer season. PMID:26221726

  12. Links between surface productivity and deep ocean particle flux at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) sustained observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frigstad, H.; Henson, S. A.; Hartman, S. E.; Omar, A. M.; Jeansson, E.; Cole, H.; Pebody, C.; Lampitt, R. S.

    2015-04-01

    In this study we present hydrography, biogeochemistry and sediment trap observations between 2003 and 2012 at Porcupine Abyssal Plain (PAP) sustained observatory in the northeast Atlantic. The time series is valuable as it allows for investigation of the link between surface productivity and deep ocean carbon flux. The region is a perennial sink for CO2, with an average uptake of around 1.5 mmol m-2 d-1. The average monthly drawdowns of inorganic carbon and nitrogen were used to quantify the net community production (NCP) and new production, respectively. Seasonal NCP and new production were found to be 4.57 ± 0.27 mol C m-2 and 0.37 ± 0.14 mol N m-2. The Redfield ratio was high (12), and the production calculated from carbon was higher than production calculated from nitrogen, which is indicative of carbon overconsumption. The export ratio and transfer efficiency were 16 and 4%, respectively, and the site thereby showed high flux attenuation. Particle tracking was used to examine the source region of material in the sediment trap, and there was large variation in source regions, both between and within years. There were higher correlations between surface productivity and export flux when using the particle-tracking approach, than by comparing with the mean productivity in a 100 km box around the PAP site. However, the differences in correlation coefficients were not significant, and a longer time series is needed to draw conclusions on applying particle tracking in sediment trap analyses.

  13. Sustainable approaches for minimizing biosolids production and maximizing reuse options in sludge management: A review.

    PubMed

    Joo, Sung Hee; Dello Monaco, Francesca; Antmann, Eric; Chorath, Philip

    2015-08-01

    Sludge generation during wastewater treatment is inevitable even with proper management and treatment. Yet proper handling and disposal of sludge are still challenging in terms of treatment cost, presence of recalcitrant contaminants of concern, sanitary issues, and public acceptance. Conventional disposal methods (i.e. landfilling, incineration) have created concerns in terms of legislative restrictions and community perception, incentivizing consideration of substitute sludge management options. Furthermore, with proper treatment, biosolids from sludge, rich in organic materials and nutrients, could be utilizable as fertilizer. Despite the challenges of dealing with sludge, no review has dealt with integrated source reduction and reuse as the best sustainable management practices for sludge treatment. In this review, we present two main approaches as potentially sustainable controls: (i) pretreatment for minimizing extensive sludge treatment, and (ii) recycling and reuse of residual sludge. Drawing on these approaches, we also suggest strategies for efficient pretreatment mechanisms and residual reuse, presenting ideas for prospective future research. PMID:26001503

  14. Micro-Raman study of copper hydroxychlorides and other corrosion products of bronze samples mimicking archaeological coins.

    PubMed

    Bertolotti, Giulia; Bersani, Danilo; Lottici, Pier Paolo; Alesiani, Marcella; Malcherek, Thomas; Schlüter, Jochen

    2012-02-01

    Three bronze samples created by CNR-ISMN (National Research Council-Institute of Nanostructured Materials) to be similar to Punic and Roman coins found in Tharros (OR, Sardinia, Italy) were studied to identify the corrosion products on their surfaces and to evaluate the reliability of the reproduction process. Micro-Raman spectroscopy was chosen to investigate the corroded surfaces because it is a non-destructive technique, it has high spatial resolution, and it gives the opportunity to discriminate between polymorphs and to correlate colour and chemical composition. A significant amount of green copper hydroxychlorides (Cu(2)(OH)(3)Cl) was detected on all the coins. Their discrimination by Raman spectroscopy was challenging because the literature on the topic is currently confusing. Thus, it was necessary to determine the characteristic peaks of atacamite, clinoatacamite, and the recently discovered anatacamite by acquiring Raman spectra of comparable natural mineral samples. Clinoatacamite, with different degrees of order in its structure, was the major component identified on the three coins. The most widespread corrosion product, besides hydroxychlorides, was the red copper oxide cuprite (Cu(2)O). Other corrosion products of the elements of the alloy (laurionite, plumbonacrite, zinc carbonate) and those resulting from burial in the soil (anatase, calcite, hematite) were also found. This study shows that identification of corrosion products, including discrimination of copper hydroxychlorides, could be accomplished by micro-Raman on valuable objects, for example archaeological findings or works of art, avoiding any damage because of extraction of samples or the use of a destructive analytical technique. PMID:21805316

  15. A microRNA switch regulates the rise in hypothalamic GnRH production before puberty.

    PubMed

    Messina, Andrea; Langlet, Fanny; Chachlaki, Konstantina; Roa, Juan; Rasika, Sowmyalakshmi; Jouy, Nathalie; Gallet, Sarah; Gaytan, Francisco; Parkash, Jyoti; Tena-Sempere, Manuel; Giacobini, Paolo; Prevot, Vincent

    2016-06-01

    A sparse population of a few hundred primarily hypothalamic neurons forms the hub of a complex neuroglial network that controls reproduction in mammals by secreting the 'master molecule' gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Timely postnatal changes in GnRH expression are essential for puberty and adult fertility. Here we report that a multilayered microRNA-operated switch with built-in feedback governs increased GnRH expression during the infantile-to-juvenile transition and that impairing microRNA synthesis in GnRH neurons leads to hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and infertility in mice. Two essential components of this switch, miR-200 and miR-155, respectively regulate Zeb1, a repressor of Gnrh transcriptional activators and Gnrh itself, and Cebpb, a nitric oxide-mediated repressor of Gnrh that acts both directly and through Zeb1, in GnRH neurons. This alteration in the delicate balance between inductive and repressive signals induces the normal GnRH-fuelled run-up to correct puberty initiation, and interfering with this process disrupts the neuroendocrine control of reproduction. PMID:27135215

  16. Toward Sustainable and Affordable Space Exploration: The Role of NASA's Space Product Development Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schowengerdt, Franklin D.

    2005-02-01

    The National Vision for Space Exploration calls for sustainable and affordable human and robotic missions to explore the solar system. Sustainability requires that the program produce visible benefits to the public, along with scientific and technological advances in support of exploration that would be expected from a program of this magnitude. Affordability requires that the private sector be heavily involved, not just as contractors to NASA, but as sources of investment and direct beneficiaries of returns; in short, full participants in a long-term program that can transform the future of mankind. In order to make the vision both sustainable and affordable, true partnerships involving industry, academia and government must exist to create Earth benefits while working on needed exploration technologies and, at the same time, provide the added investments that will inevitably be required in extended periods of fiscal restraint. Such partnership programs, embodied in the Research Partnership Centers, have long existed within NASA. They have recently been realigned to more fully support the exploration vision and brought into the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. This program and its past and potential contributions to the exploration vision will be described in detail at the conference.

  17. Sustainability of meat production beyond carbon footprint: a synthesis of case studies from grazing systems in Uruguay.

    PubMed

    Picasso, Valentín D; Modernel, Pablo D; Becoña, Gonzalo; Salvo, Lucía; Gutiérrez, Lucía; Astigarraga, Laura

    2014-11-01

    Livestock production has been challenged as a large contributor to climate change, and carbon footprint has become a widely used measure of cattle environmental impact. This analysis of fifteen beef grazing systems in Uruguay quantifies the range of variation of carbon footprint, and the trade-offs with other relevant environmental variables, using a partial life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Using carbon footprint as the primary environmental indicator has several limitations: different metrics (GWP vs. GTP) may lead to different conclusions, carbon sequestration from soils may drastically affect the results, and systems with lower carbon footprint may have higher energy use, soil erosion, nutrient imbalance, pesticide ecotoxicity, and impact on biodiversity. A multidimensional assessment of sustainability of meat production is therefore needed to inform decision makers. There is great potential to improve grazing livestock systems productivity while reducing carbon footprint and other environmental impacts, and conserving biodiversity. PMID:25048094

  18. A self-sustaining advanced lignocellulosic biofuel production by integration of anaerobic digestion and aerobic fungal fermentation.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Yuan; Ruan, Zhenhua; Zhong, Yingkui; Archer, Steven; Liu, Yan; Liao, Wei

    2015-03-01

    High energy demand hinders the development and application of aerobic microbial biofuel production from lignocellulosic materials. In order to address this issue, this study focused on developing an integrated system including anaerobic digestion and aerobic fungal fermentation to convert corn stover, animal manure and food wastes into microbial lipids for biodiesel production. Dairy manure and food waste were first anaerobically digested to produce energy and solid digestate (AD fiber). AD fiber and corn stover were then processed by a combined alkali and acid hydrolysis, followed by fungal lipid accumulation. The integrated process can generate 1L biodiesel and 1.9 kg methane from 12.8 kg dry dairy manure, 3.1 kg dry food wastes and 12.2 kg dry corn stover with a positive net energy of 57 MJ, which concludes a self-sustaining lignocellulosic biodiesel process and provides a new route to co-utilize corn stover and organic wastes for advanced biofuel production. PMID:25543542

  19. In vitro conservation and sustained production of breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): modern technologies for a traditional tropical crop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murch, Susan J.; Ragone, Diane; Shi, Wendy Lei; Alan, Ali R.; Saxena, Praveen K.

    2008-02-01

    Breadfruit ( Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) is a traditionally cultivated, high-energy, high-yield crop, but widespread use of the plant for food is limited by poor quality and poor storage properties of the fruit. A unique field genebank of breadfruit species and cultivars exists at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hawaiian Islands and is an important global resource for conservation and sustainable use of breadfruit. However, this plant collection could be damaged by a random natural disaster such as a hurricane. We have developed a highly efficient in vitro plant propagation system to maintain, conserve, mass propagate, and distribute elite varieties of this important tree species. Mature axillary shoot buds were collected from three different cultivars of breadfruit and proliferated using a cytokinin-supplemented medium. The multiple shoots were maintained as stock cultures and repeatedly used to develop whole plants after root differentiation on a basal or an auxin-containing medium. The plantlets were successfully grown under greenhouse conditions and were reused to initiate additional shoot cultures for sustained production of plants. Flow cytometry was used to determine the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid content and the ploidy status of the in vitro grown population. The efficacy of the micropropagation protocols developed in this study represents a significant advancement in the conservation and sustained mass propagation of breadfruit germplasm in a controlled environment free from contamination.

  20. In vitro conservation and sustained production of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): modern technologies for a traditional tropical crop.

    PubMed

    Murch, Susan J; Ragone, Diane; Shi, Wendy Lei; Alan, Ali R; Saxena, Praveen K

    2008-02-01

    Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) is a traditionally cultivated, high-energy, high-yield crop, but widespread use of the plant for food is limited by poor quality and poor storage properties of the fruit. A unique field genebank of breadfruit species and cultivars exists at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in the Hawaiian Islands and is an important global resource for conservation and sustainable use of breadfruit. However, this plant collection could be damaged by a random natural disaster such as a hurricane. We have developed a highly efficient in vitro plant propagation system to maintain, conserve, mass propagate, and distribute elite varieties of this important tree species. Mature axillary shoot buds were collected from three different cultivars of breadfruit and proliferated using a cytokinin-supplemented medium. The multiple shoots were maintained as stock cultures and repeatedly used to develop whole plants after root differentiation on a basal or an auxin-containing medium. The plantlets were successfully grown under greenhouse conditions and were reused to initiate additional shoot cultures for sustained production of plants. Flow cytometry was used to determine the nuclear deoxyribonucleic acid content and the ploidy status of the in vitro grown population. The efficacy of the micropropagation protocols developed in this study represents a significant advancement in the conservation and sustained mass propagation of breadfruit germplasm in a controlled environment free from contamination. PMID:17710379

  1. MicroCameras and Photometers (MCP) instrument on board TARANIS satellite: scientific objectives, design, characterization results and products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farges, T.; Hébert, P.; Le Mer-Dachard, F.; Cansot, E.; Offroy, M.; Ravel, K.; Gaillac, S.; Sato, M.; Blanc, E.

    2015-12-01

    TARANIS (Tool for the Analysis of Radiations from lightNings and Sprites) is a CNES micro satellite. Its main objective is to study impulsive transfers of energy between the Earth atmosphere and the space environment. It will be sun-synchronous at an altitude of 700 km. It will be launched from late 2017 for at least 2 years. Its payload is composed of several electromagnetic instruments in different wavelengths (from gamma-rays to radio waves including optical). TARANIS instruments are currently in calibration and qualification phase. The purpose of this poster is to present the MicroCameras and Photometers (MCP) scientific objectives and the sensor design, to show the performances of this instrument using the recent characterization, and at last to promote its products. The MicroCameras, developed by Sodern, are dedicated to the spatial description of TLEs and their parent lightning. They are able to differentiate sprite and lightning thanks to two narrow bands ([757-767 nm] and [772-782 nm]) that provide simultaneous pairs of images of an Event. The calibration results will be detailed. Simulation results of the differentiation method will be shown. Photometers, developed by Bertin Technologies, will provide temporal measurements and spectral characteristics of TLEs and lightning. It is a key instrument because of its on-board detection of the TLEs which can trigger the whole payload. Photometers use four spectral bands in the [170-260 nm], [332-342 nm], [757-767 nm] and [600-900 nm] and have the same field of view as cameras. The calibration results will also be detailed. The on-board TLE detection algorithm remote-controlled parameters will be tuned before launch using the electronic board and simulated or real events waveforms. Automatic classification tools are now tested to produce for the Scientific Mission Center some lists of elves, sprites or lightning without TLE following the recent work of Offroy et al. [2015] using ISUAL spectrophotometer data.

  2. Production of micro- and nanosilica from soil inhabiting Folsomia candida fed with treated rice husk.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Murguía, Barbara; Soto-Mercado, Jorge R; Morales-Malacara, Juan B; Castaño, Victor M

    2015-08-01

    Rice husk was employed as a source for producing silica micro- and nanoparticles through its digestion by soil fauna. Although many physicochemical methods for producing nanostructures have been studied, the biological processes remain mostly unexplored. Alkaline hydrogen peroxide with continuous control of reaction pH allowed removal of lignin bonds while preserving most of the cell wall and the silica present in the rice husk. The accessibility of lignocellulose was achieved without removing appreciable amounts of lignin, so this agricultural byproduct can be employed as feeding material for microarthropods Folsomia candida (Collembola). When these microarthropods are placed on a substrate of treated rice husk, more than 85% of degraded material is obtained, as compared to the untreated rice husk substrate, while the silica particles obtained show a slight decrease in average size. PMID:26224351

  3. Inside HOLMES experiment: 163Ho metallic target production for the micro-calorimeter absorber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pizzigoni, G.; Alpert, B.; Balata, M.; Bennett, D.; Biasotti, M.; Boragno, C.; Brofferio, C.; De Gerone, M.; Dressler, R.; Faverazani, M.; Ferri, E.; Folwer, J.; Gatti, F.; Giachero, A.; Heinitz, S.; Hilton, G.; Köster, U.; Lusignoli, M.; Maino, M.; Mates, J.; Nisi, S.; Nizzolo, R.; Nucciotti, A.; Pessina, G.; Puiu, A.; Ragazzi, S.; Reintsema, C.; Ribeiro Gomes, M.; Shmidt, D.; Schumann, D.; Sisti, M.; Swetz, D.; Terranova, F.; Ullom, J.; Day, P. K.

    2016-07-01

    The main goal in the HOLMES experiment is the neutrino mass measurement using an array of 1000 micro-calorimeters with standard metallic absorber. A good isotope for such measurement is the 163Ho, those isotopes embedded in the metallic absorber will be 1011-1013. Since 163Ho is not available in nature, a dedicated process must be set up to produce the amount needed for this neutrino mass experiment. The process with the highest born-up cross-section is the neutron irradiation of Er2O3 enriched in 162Er: 162Er(n,γ)163Er →163Ho+νe, where the decay is an EC with half-life of about 75 min and the (n,γ) is about 20 barns for thermal neutron. After the neutron irradiation in the oxide powder there are several radioactive isotopes which are potentially disturbing because of the background that they cause below 5 keV. The chemical separation of holmium from the irradiation enriched Er2O3 powder is therefore mandatory and will be performed by means of ion exchange chromatography. On the end of those processes the oxide powder enriched in 162Er will have the 163Ho isotope number required. The holmium chemical state influences the end point of the EC spectrum, in order to avoid such effect it is necessary to embed in the absorber only the metallic isotope. Reduction and distillation technique allowed us to obtain a pure metallic holmium, starting from natural oxide holmium. This technique will be applied on the irradiated oxide powder to obtain the metallic 163Ho, ready to be embedded in the micro-calorimeter absorber.

  4. MicroRNA-124 negatively regulates LPS-induced TNF-α production in mouse macrophages by decreasing protein stability

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yang; Qin, Zhen; Li, Qi; Wan, Jing-jing; Cheng, Ming-he; Wang, Peng-yuan; Su, Ding-feng; Yu, Jian-guang; Liu, Xia

    2016-01-01

    Aim: MicroRNAs play pivotal roles in regulation of both innate and adaptive immune responses. In the present study, we investigated the effects of microRNA-124 (miR-124) on production of the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated mouse macrophages. Methods: Mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7 was stimulated with LPS (100 ng/mL). The levels of miR-124 and TNF-α mRNA were evaluated using q-PCR. ELISA and Western blotting were used to detect TNF-α protein level in cell supernatants and cells, respectively. 3′-UTR luciferase reporter assays were used to analyze the targets of miR-124. For in vivo experiments, mice were injected with LPS (30 mg/kg, ip). Results: LPS stimulation significantly increased the mRNA level of miR-124 in RAW264.7 macrophages in vitro and mice in vivo. In RAW264.7 macrophages, knockdown of miR-124 with miR-124 inhibitor dose-dependently increased LPS-stimulated production of TNF-α protein and prolonged the half-life of TNF-α protein, but did not change TNF-α mRNA levels, whereas overexpression of miR-124 with miR-124 mimic produced the opposite effects. Furthermore, miR-124 was found to directly target two components of deubiquitinating enzymes: ubiquitin-specific proteases (USP) 2 and 14. Knockdown of USP2 or USP14 accelerated protein degradation of TNF-α, and abolished the effect of miR-124 on TNF-α protein stability. Conclusion: miR-124, targeting USP2 and USP14, negatively regulates LPS-induced TNF-α production in mouse macrophages, suggesting miR-124 as a new therapeutic target in inflammation-related diseases. PMID:27063215

  5. Production of hydrogen, ethanol and volatile fatty acids through co-fermentation of macro- and micro-algae.

    PubMed

    Xia, Ao; Jacob, Amita; Tabassum, Muhammad Rizwan; Herrmann, Christiane; Murphy, Jerry D

    2016-04-01

    Algae may be fermented to produce hydrogen. However micro-algae (such as Arthrospira platensis) are rich in proteins and have a low carbon/nitrogen (C/N) ratio, which is not ideal for hydrogen fermentation. Co-fermentation with macro-algae (such as Laminaria digitata), which are rich in carbohydrates with a high (C/N) ratio, improves the performance of hydrogen production. Algal biomass, pre-treated with 2.5% dilute H2SO4 at 135°C for 15min, effected a total yield of carbohydrate monomers (CMs) of 0.268g/g volatile solids (VS). The CMs were dominating by glucose and mannitol and most (ca. 95%) were consumed by anaerobic fermentative micro-organisms during subsequent fermentation. An optimal specific hydrogen yield (SHY) of 85.0mL/g VS was obtained at an algal C/N ratio of 26.2 and an algal concentration of 20g VS/L. The overall energy conversion efficiency increased from 31.3% to 54.5% with decreasing algal concentration from 40 to 5 VS g/L. PMID:26820925

  6. Recent strategies for efficient production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by micro-organisms.

    PubMed

    Liu, C-C; Zhang, L-L; An, J; Chen, B; Yang, H

    2016-01-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are polyesters accumulated by many bacteria under unbalanced growth conditions, and have been used to meet the various demands in areas of agriculture, medicine, and materials especially belong to a rapidly expanding area of biomedical research. Unfortunately, the high production cost than the traditional synthetic materials has greatly limited the wide application of PHA. Here, we systematically summarized recent progress in production of PHAs and a series of optimization strategies such as supplying renewable carbon substrates, developing better bacterial strains, optimization of fermentation processes, engineering new pathways and etc., were applied to reduce production cost, therefore providing many new ideas and methods for the production of PHAs in economically viable processes. This is believed to be a comprehensive report to show different strategies and methods for low-cost production of PHAs. Further studies are still needed to make PHAs more and more economically viable to meet a wide range of applicability. PMID:26482840

  7. Generation of Triple-Transgenic Forsythia Cell Cultures as a Platform for the Efficient, Stable, and Sustainable Production of Lignans

    PubMed Central

    Murata, Jun; Matsumoto, Erika; Morimoto, Kinuyo; Koyama, Tomotsugu; Satake, Honoo

    2015-01-01

    Sesamin is a furofuran lignan biosynthesized from the precursor lignan pinoresinol specifically in sesame seeds. This lignan is shown to exhibit anti-hypertensive activity, protect the liver from damages by ethanol and lipid oxidation, and reduce lung tumor growth. Despite rapidly elevating demand, plant sources of lignans are frequently limited because of the high cost of locating and collecting plants. Indeed, the acquisition of sesamin exclusively depends on the conventional extraction of particular Sesamum seeds. In this study, we have created the efficient, stable and sustainable sesamin production system using triple-transgenic Forsythia koreana cell suspension cultures, U18i-CPi-Fk. These transgenic cell cultures were generated by stably introducing an RNAi sequence against the pinoresinol-glucosylating enzyme, UGT71A18, into existing CPi-Fk cells, which had been created by introducing Sesamum indicum sesamin synthase (CYP81Q1) and an RNA interference (RNAi) sequence against pinoresinol/lariciresinol reductase (PLR) into F. koreanna cells. Compared to its transgenic prototype, U18i-CPi-Fk displayed 5-fold higher production of pinoresinol aglycone and 1.4-fold higher production of sesamin, respectively, while the wildtype cannot produce sesamin due to a lack of any intrinsic sesamin synthase. Moreover, red LED irradiation of U18i-CPi-Fk specifically resulted in 3.0-fold greater production in both pinoresinol aglycone and sesamin than production of these lignans under the dark condition, whereas pinoresinol production was decreased in the wildtype under red LED. Moreover, we developed a procedure for sodium alginate-based long-term storage of U18i-CPi-Fk in liquid nitrogen. Production of sesamin in U18i-CPi-Fk re-thawed after six-month cryopreservation was equivalent to that of non-cryopreserved U18i-CPi-Fk. These data warrant on-demand production of sesamin anytime and anywhere. Collectively, the present study provides evidence that U18i-CP-Fk is an

  8. Mediating effect of sustainable product development on relationship between quality management practices and organizational performance: Empirical study of Malaysian automotive industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Mohd Akhir; Asaad, Mohd Norhasni; Saad, Rohaizah; Iteng, Rosman; Rahim, Mohd Kamarul Irwan Abdul

    2016-08-01

    Global competition in the automotive industry has encouraged companies to implement quality management practices in all managerial aspects to ensure customer satisfaction in products and reduce costs. Therefore, guaranteeing only product quality is insufficient without considering product sustainability, which involves economic, environment, and social elements. Companies that meet both objectives gain advantages in the modern business environment. This study addresses the issues regarding product quality and sustainability in small and medium-sized enterprises in the Malaysian automotive industry. A research was carried out in 91 SMEs automotive suppliers in throughout Malaysia. The analyzed using SPSS ver.23 has been proposed in correlation study. Specifically, this study investigates the relationship between quality management practices and organizational performance as well as the mediating effect of sustainable product development on this relationship.

  9. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  10. Biofertilizers function as key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil fertility, plant tolerance and crop productivity.

    PubMed

    Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra

    2014-01-01

    Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352

  11. Forest products industry of the future: Building a sustainable technology advantage for America`s forest products industry

    SciTech Connect

    1999-02-01

    The US forest, wood, and paper industry ranks as one of the most competitive forest products industries in the world. With annual shipments valued at nearly $267 billion, it employs over 1.3 million people and is currently among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 46 out of 50 states. Retaining this leadership position will depend largely on the industry`s success in developing and using advanced technologies. These technologies will enable manufacturing plants and forestry enterprises to maximize energy and materials efficiency and reduce waste and emissions, while producing high-quality, competitively priced wood and paper products. In a unique partnership, leaders in the forest products industry have teamed with the US Department of Energy`s Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT) to encourage cooperative research efforts that will help position the US forest products industry for continuing prosperity while advancing national energy efficiency and environmental goals.

  12. Characterization of U(VI)-phases in corroded cement products by micro(μ)-spectroscopic methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rothe, J.; Brendebach, B.; Bube, C.; Dardenne, K.; Denecke, M. A.; Kienzler, B.; Metz, V.; Prüßmann, T.; Rickers-Appel, K.; Schild, D.; Soballa, E.; Vitova, T.

    2013-04-01

    Cementation is an industrial scale conditioning method applied to fix and solidify liquid low and intermediate level radioactive wastes (LLW/ILW) prior to underground disposal in geological formations.To assist prognosis of the long-term safety of cemented waste, alteration of uranium doped cement productswas studied in chloride-rich solutions relevant for final LLW/ILW disposal in rock salt. After long-time exposure of the full-scale LLW/ILW simulates to concentrated NaCl and MgCl2 brines, solid samples were retrieved for chemical and mineralogical analysis with an emphasis on uranium speciation in the corroded cement matrix.Bulk and recent spatially resolved micro(μ) U L3-XAFS measurements point to the occurrence of a diuranate type U(VI) phase forming throughout the corroded cement monoliths. U-enriched hot spots with dimensions up to several tens of μm turn out to be generally X-ray amorphous.

  13. Micro-Machining In High Volume Production Example: Ball Pen Writing Points

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaechter, Friedrich

    1987-01-01

    The writing performance of ball pens can be further improved. New or refined testing and measuring techniques have clearly shown that substantial benefits can be derived from mechanical perfection. This involves developing single-purpose machines for ultraprecision forming of cutting tools, for high speed production machinery capable of producing ball pen writing points with a minimum of uncertainties. It also involves testing equipment for the materials. However, the aim is to reduce manufacturing costs and simplify production.

  14. Integrated approaches for improving efficiency and sustainability of low-salinity marine aquaculture production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aquaculture in the U.S. must expand to meet the needs of a growing demand for seafood when productivity of capture fisheries is declining. In the U.S., production of marine finfish is underrepresented in the overall aquaculture industry output. Several factors challenge the large-scale adoption of...

  15. Sustainable multipurpose biorefineries for third-generation biofuels and value-added co-products

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Modern biorefinery facilities conduct many types of processes, including those producing advanced biofuels, commodity chemicals, biodiesel, and value-added co-products such as sweeteners and bioinsecticides, with many more co-products, chemicals and biofuels on the horizon. Most of these processes ...

  16. Evaluation of sweet sorghum as a feedstock by multiple harvests for sustainable bioenergy production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sweet sorghum has become an important feedstock for bioethanol production. Total sugar yield and multiple harvests can directly affect ethanol production cost. Little is known about stem traits and multiple harvests that contribute to sugar yield in sweet sorghum. Stem traits were evaluated from 25 ...

  17. DO BIO-BASED PRODUCTS MOVE US TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY? A LOOK AT THREE CASE STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The movement to buy "environmentally-friendly" products was recently reinvigorated by the signing of the 2002 Farm Act that requires all federal agencies to give preference to products that are made (in whole or significant part) from bio-based material. This paper add...

  18. Nitrogen balance as an indicator of the environmental impact: towards sustainable agricultural production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Economics is a principle driver impacting management decisions in agricultural production systems. While increasing concern has focused on preserving the natural resource base to ensure continued support for future production, little emphasis has been placed on examining how drivers alter management...

  19. A ROADMAP FOR SUSTAINABLE ADVANCED BIOFUEL FEEDSTOCK PRODUCTION IN THE MID-SOUTH

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although various studies exist that deal with the production of bioenergy crops, a number of aspects of bioenergy feedstock production (feedstock choice, natural resource availability, available infrastructure, etc.) are strongly influenced by the region in which the feedstock is produced and proces...

  20. Toward agricultural sustainability through integrated crop–livestock systems. II. Production responses

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Intensification of cropping and animal production as two separately specialized agricultural systems has led to unacceptable deterioration of the environment due to (i) excessive concentration of nutrients and pathogens in livestock production systems and (ii) loss of natural biodiversity and excess...

  1. Sustainability: The capacity of smokeless biomass pyrolysis for energy production, global carbon capture and sequestration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Application of modern smokeless biomass pyrolysis for biochar and biofuel production is potentially a revolutionary approach for global carbon capture and sequestration at gigatons of carbon (GtC) scales. A conversion of about 7% of the annual terrestrial gross photosynthetic product (120 GtC y-1) i...

  2. The National Biofuels Strategy - Importance of sustainable feedstock production systems in regional-based supply chains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Region-based production systems are needed to produce the feedstocks that will be turned into the biofuels required to meet Federal mandated targets. Executive and Legislative actions have put into motion significant government responses designed to advance the development and production of domestic...

  3. Soil memory as a potential mechanism for encouraging sustainable plant health and productivity.

    PubMed

    Lapsansky, Erin R; Milroy, Arwen M; Andales, Marie J; Vivanco, Jorge M

    2016-04-01

    The unspecified components of plant-microbe and plant-microbiome associations in the rhizosphere are complex, but recent research is simplifying our understanding of these relationships. We propose that the strong association between hosts, symbionts, and pathogens could be simplified by the concept of soil memory, which explains how a plant could promote their fecundity and protect their offspring through tightly associated relationships with the soil. Although there are many questions surrounding the mechanisms of this phenomenon, recent research has exposed evidence of its existence. Along with evidence from observations and mechanisms related to soil memory, we report means to utilize our understanding as sustainable protection for agricultural crops and propose future research questions. PMID:26897653

  4. Sustaining the Productivity and Function of Intensively Managed Forests - Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, James A.; Xu, Yi-Jun

    2001-03-23

    The main goal of this study is to ensure sustainable management of wetland forests in the southeastern United States. The study is projected to measure soil, hydrology, and forest responses to several management scenarios across a complete forest cycle. From August 1997 to August 2000 the study has received funding as one of the Agenda 2020 projects, from the U.S. Department of Energy (Cooperative Agreement Number DE-FC07-97ID13551), the National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, and Westvac Corporation. Quarterly progress reports were submitted regularly to the Department and all project participants. This final report summarizes the project results and progress achieved during this 3-year period. Over the past three years all research objectives planned for this project were completed.

  5. Comparing Kaolin and Pinolene to Improve Sustainable Grapevine Production during Drought.

    PubMed

    Brillante, Luca; Belfiore, Nicola; Gaiotti, Federica; Lovat, Lorenzo; Sansone, Luigi; Poni, Stefano; Tomasi, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Viticulture is widely practiced in dry regions, where the grapevine is greatly exposed to water stress. Optimizing plant water use efficiency (WUE) without affecting crop yield, grape and wine quality is crucial to limiting use of water for irrigation and to significantly improving viticulture sustainability. This study examines the use in vineyards of particle film technology (engineered kaolin) and compares it to a film-forming antitranspirant (pinolene), traditionally used to limit leaf water loss, and to an untreated control. The trial was carried out under field conditions over three growing seasons, during which moderate to very severe plant water stress (down to -1.9 MPa) was measured through stem water potential. Leaf stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthesis rate (An) were measured during the seasons and used to compute intrinsic WUE (WUEi, defined as An/gs ratio). Leaf temperature was also recorded and compared between treatments. Bunch quantity, bunch and berry weight, sugar accumulation, anthocyanin and flavonoid contents were measured. Finally, microvinifications were performed and resultant wines subjected to sensory evaluation.Results showed that the use of kaolin increased grapevine intrinsic WUE (+18% on average as compared to unsprayed vines) without affecting berry and bunch weight and quantity, or sugar level. Anthocyanin content increased (+35%) in kaolin treatment, and the wine was judged more attractive (p-value <0.05) and slightly more appreciated (p-value < 0.1) than control. Pinolene did not increase WUEi, limiting An more than gs; grapes with this treatment contained lower sugar and anthocyanin content than control, and the obtained wine was the least appreciated. This study demonstrates that particle film technology can improve vine WUEi and wine quality at the same time, while traditional antitranspirants were not as effective for these purposes. This positive effect can be used in interaction with other already-demonstrated uses of

  6. Comparing Kaolin and Pinolene to Improve Sustainable Grapevine Production during Drought

    PubMed Central

    Belfiore, Nicola; Gaiotti, Federica; Lovat, Lorenzo; Sansone, Luigi; Poni, Stefano; Tomasi, Diego

    2016-01-01

    Viticulture is widely practiced in dry regions, where the grapevine is greatly exposed to water stress. Optimizing plant water use efficiency (WUE) without affecting crop yield, grape and wine quality is crucial to limiting use of water for irrigation and to significantly improving viticulture sustainability. This study examines the use in vineyards of particle film technology (engineered kaolin) and compares it to a film-forming antitranspirant (pinolene), traditionally used to limit leaf water loss, and to an untreated control. The trial was carried out under field conditions over three growing seasons, during which moderate to very severe plant water stress (down to -1.9 MPa) was measured through stem water potential. Leaf stomatal conductance (gs) and photosynthesis rate (An) were measured during the seasons and used to compute intrinsic WUE (WUEi, defined as An/gs ratio). Leaf temperature was also recorded and compared between treatments. Bunch quantity, bunch and berry weight, sugar accumulation, anthocyanin and flavonoid contents were measured. Finally, microvinifications were performed and resultant wines subjected to sensory evaluation.Results showed that the use of kaolin increased grapevine intrinsic WUE (+18% on average as compared to unsprayed vines) without affecting berry and bunch weight and quantity, or sugar level. Anthocyanin content increased (+35%) in kaolin treatment, and the wine was judged more attractive (p-value <0.05) and slightly more appreciated (p-value < 0.1) than control. Pinolene did not increase WUEi, limiting An more than gs; grapes with this treatment contained lower sugar and anthocyanin content than control, and the obtained wine was the least appreciated. This study demonstrates that particle film technology can improve vine WUEi and wine quality at the same time, while traditional antitranspirants were not as effective for these purposes. This positive effect can be used in interaction with other already-demonstrated uses of

  7. Is Sustainability Sustainable?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bonevac, Daniel

    2010-01-01

    The most important concept in current environmental thinking is "sustainability". Environmental policies, economic policies, development, resource use--all of these things, according to the consensus, ought to be sustainable. But what is sustainability? What is its ethical foundation? There is little consensus about how these questions ought to be…

  8. Effects of Mountain Ultra-Marathon Running on ROS Production and Oxidative Damage by Micro-Invasive Analytic Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Mrakic-Sposta, Simona; Gussoni, Maristella; Moretti, Sarah; Pratali, Lorenza; Giardini, Guido; Tacchini, Philippe; Dellanoce, Cinzia; Tonacci, Alessandro; Mastorci, Francesca; Borghini, Andrea; Montorsi, Michela; Vezzoli, Alessandra

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Aiming to gain a detailed insight into the physiological mechanisms involved under extreme conditions, a group of experienced ultra-marathon runners, performing the mountain Tor des Géants® ultra-marathon: 330 km trail-run in Valle d’Aosta, 24000 m of positive and negative elevation changes, was monitored. ROS production rate, antioxidant capacity, oxidative damage and inflammation markers were assessed, adopting micro-invasive analytic techniques. Methods Forty-six male athletes (45.04±8.75 yr, 72.6±8.4 kg, 1.76±0.05 m) were tested. Capillary blood and urine were collected before (Pre-), in the middle (Middle-) and immediately after (Post-) Race. Samples were analyzed for: Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance; Antioxidant Capacity by Electrochemistry; oxidative damage (8-hydroxy-2-deoxy Guanosine: 8-OH-dG; 8-isoprostane: 8-isoPGF2α) and nitric oxide metabolites by enzymatic assays; inflammatory biomarkers (plasma and urine interleukin-6: IL-6-P and IL-6-U) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA); Creatinine and Neopterin by HPLC, hematologic (lactate, glucose and hematocrit) and urine parameters by standard analyses. Results Twenty-five athletes finished the race, while twenty-one dropped out of it. A significant increase (Post-Race vs Pre) of the ROS production rate (2.20±0.27 vs 1.65±0.22 μmol.min-1), oxidative damage biomarkers (8-OH-dG: 6.32±2.38 vs 4.16±1.25 ng.mg-1 Creatinine and 8-isoPGF2α: 1404.0±518.30 vs 822.51±448.91 pg.mg-1Creatinine), inflammatory state (IL-6-P: 66.42±36.92 vs 1.29±0.54 pg.mL-1 and IL-6-U: 1.33±0.56 vs 0.71±0.17 pg.mL1) and lactate production (+190%), associated with a decrease of both antioxidant capacity (-7%) and renal function (i.e. Creatinine level +76%) was found. Conclusions The used micro-invasive analytic methods allowed us to perform most of them before, during and immediately after the race directly in the field, by passing the need of storing and

  9. 3 CFR - Driving Innovation and Creating Jobs in Rural America Through Biobased and Sustainable Product...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ..., but excluding biofuels; (c) a forecast for biobased job creation potential over the next 10 years; (d... biofuels and biobased products, but shall generate separate data for each category. Sec. 7. Education...

  10. Net mineralization of N at deeper soil depths as a potential mechanism for sustained forest production under elevated [CO2

    SciTech Connect

    Iversen, Colleen M; Hooker, Toby; Classen, Aimee T; Norby, Richard J

    2011-01-01

    Elevated atmospheric [CO2] is projected to increase forest production, which could increase ecosystem carbon (C) storage. However, sustained forest production will depend on the nutrient balance of the forested ecosystem. Our aim was to examine the causes and consequences of increased fine-root production and mortality throughout the soil profile under elevated CO2 with respect to potential gross nitrogen (N) cycling rates. Our study was conducted in a CO2-enriched sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) plantation in Oak Ridge, TN, USA. We used isotope pool dilution methodology to measure potential gross N cycling rates in laboratory incubations of soil from four depth increments to 60 cm. Our objectives were two-fold: (1) determine whether N is available for root acquisition in deeper soil, and (2) determine whether increased inputs of labile C from greater fine-root mortality at depth under elevated [CO2] had altered N cycling rates. While gross N fluxes declined with soil depth, we found that N is potentially available for roots to access, especially below 15 cm depth where microbial consumption of mineral N was reduced. Overall, up to 60% of potential gross N mineralization, and 100% of potential net N mineralization, occurred below 15-cm depth at this site. This finding was supported by in situ measurements from ion-exchange resins, where total inorganic N availability at 55 cm depth was equal to or greater than N availability at 15 cm depth. While it is likely that trees grown under elevated [CO2] are accessing a larger pool of inorganic N by mining deeper soil, we found no effect of elevated [CO2] on potential gross or net N cycling rates. Thus, increased root exploration of the soil volume under elevated [CO2] may be more important than changes in potential gross N cycling rates in sustaining forest responses to rising atmospheric CO2.

  11. Sustainable biomass energy production and rural economic development using alfalfa as feedstock

    SciTech Connect

    DeLong, M.M.; Swanberg, D.R.; Oelke, E.A.

    1995-11-01

    Alfalfa is a well-known and widely-planted crop that offers environmental and soil conservation advantages when grown as a 4-year segment in a 7-year rotation with corn and soybeans. Alfalfa fixes nitrogen from the air, thereby enhancing soil nitrogen and decreasing the need for manufactured nitrogen fertilizer. With alfalfa yields of 4 dry tons per acre per year and with separate alfalfa leaves being sold as a high-value animal feed, separated alfalfa stems can be economically viable fuel feedstock for a gasifier combined cycle power plant. This paper reports on a feasibility study for an integrated biomass power system, where an energy crop (alfalfa) is coupled to a processing plant and a power plant (integrated gasification combined cycle with hot gas cleanup) in a way that benefits the joint venture of an alfalfa producers cooperative and a utility entity. The sale of a mid-level protein animal feed co-product and electricity both support the production cost of alfalfa. The co-product/fuel processing operation uses a common train of equipment, thereby requiring neither product to carry the total cost. The power plant provides an important continuous demand for the feedstock and results in continuous supply of leaf product to provide a reliable supply needed for the leaf meal product.

  12. Software for Teaching about AIDS & Sex: A Critical Review of Products. A MicroSIFT Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Dave

    This document contains critical reviews of 10 microcomputer software packages and two interactive videodisc products designed for use in teaching about Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and sex at the secondary school level and above. Each package was reviewed by one or two secondary school health teachers and by a staff member from the…

  13. Differentiated Products Demand Systems from a Combination of Micro and Macro Data: The New Car Market

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Steven; Levinsohn, James; Pakes, Ariel

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, we consider how rich sources of information on consumer choice can help to identify demand parameters in a widely used class of differentiated products demand models. Most important, we show how to use "second-choice" data on automotive purchases to obtain good estimates of substitution patterns in the automobile industry. We use…

  14. Autophagy Inhibition by Sustained Over-production of IL-6 Contributes to Arsenic Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Yuanlin; Zhang, Mingfang; Li, Hui; Frank, Jacqueline A.; Dai, Lu; Liu, Huijuan; Zhang, Zhuo; Wang, Chi; Chen, Gang

    2014-01-01

    Chronic inflammation has been implicated as an etiological factor in cancer, whereas autophagy may help preserve cancer cell survival but exert anti-inflammatory effects. How these phenomena interact during carcinogenesis remains unclear. We explored this question in a human bronchial epithelial cell-based model of lung carcinogenesis that is mediated by sub-chronic exposure to arsenic. We found that sustained overexpression of the pro-inflammatory interleukin IL-6 promoted arsenic-induced cell transformation by inhibiting autophagy. Conversely, strategies to enhance autophagy counteracted the effect of IL-6 in the model. These findings were confirmed and extended in a mouse model of arsenic-induced lung cancer. Mechanistic investigations suggested that mTOR inhibition contributed to the activation of autophagy, whereas IL-6 overexpression was sufficient to block autophagy by supporting Beclin-1/Mcl-1 interaction. Overall, our findings argued that chronic inflammatory states driven by IL-6 could antagonize autophagic states that may help preserve cancer cell survival and promote malignant progression, suggesting a need to uncouple inflammation and autophagy controls to enable tumor progression. PMID:24830721

  15. Capacity Takes Flight: A Vehicle-Centered Approach to Sustainable Airspace Productivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wing, David J.; Ballin, Mark G.; Barmore, Bryan E.

    2005-01-01

    The National Airspace System (NAS) faces a significant challenge. With the nation's economy growing stronger, and passengers returning to the skies, the demand for air transportation is steadily rising once again. The capacity of the current airspace system will struggle to keep pace in the near term, and with demand expected to double within a decade, air traffic delays are likely to escalate, soon becoming intolerable for aviation businesses. Recognition in the aviation community is forming that retaining a growing, thriving air transportation system for the benefit of the traveling public and the world economy will likely require implementing transformational ideas in air traffic management. This video illustrates an approach NASA is pursuing to this end: the notion that a major untapped resource available to air traffic management can be leveraged, the aircraft itself. The thesis presented is that implementation of vehicle-centric air traffic management capabilities into the NAS could have a profound, positive, and sustainable impact on system capacity, individual aircraft operators, and the economy through its dependency on air.

  16. Fungal Enzymes for Bio-Products from Sustainable and Waste Biomass.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Vijai K; Kubicek, Christian P; Berrin, Jean-Guy; Wilson, David W; Couturier, Marie; Berlin, Alex; Filho, Edivaldo X F; Ezeji, Thaddeus

    2016-07-01

    Lignocellulose, the most abundant renewable carbon source on earth, is the logical candidate to replace fossil carbon as the major biofuel raw material. Nevertheless, the technologies needed to convert lignocellulose into soluble products that can then be utilized by the chemical or fuel industries face several challenges. Enzymatic hydrolysis is of major importance, and we review the progress made in fungal enzyme technology over the past few years with major emphasis on (i) the enzymes needed for the conversion of polysaccharides (cellulose and hemicellulose) into soluble products, (ii) the potential uses of lignin degradation products, and (iii) current progress and bottlenecks for the use of the soluble lignocellulose derivatives in emerging biorefineries. PMID:27211037

  17. Standalone ethanol micro-reformer integrated on silicon technology for onboard production of hydrogen-rich gas.

    PubMed

    Pla, D; Salleras, M; Morata, A; Garbayo, I; Gerbolés, M; Sabaté, N; Divins, N J; Casanovas, A; Llorca, J; Tarancón, A

    2016-08-01

    A novel design of a silicon-based micro-reformer for onboard hydrogen generation from ethanol is presented in this work. The micro-reactor is fully fabricated with mainstream MEMS technology and consists of an active low-thermal-mass structure suspended by an insulating membrane. The suspended structure includes an embedded resistive metal heater and an array of ca. 20k vertically aligned through-silicon micro-channels per square centimetre. Each micro-channel is 500 μm in length and 50 μm in diameter allowing a unique micro-reformer configuration that presents a total surface per projected area of 16 cm(2) cm(-2) and per volume of 320 cm(2) cm(-3). The walls of the micro-channels become the active surface of the micro-reformer when coated with a homogenous thin film of Rh-Pd/CeO2 catalyst. The steam reforming of ethanol under controlled temperature conditions (using the embedded heater) and using the micro-reformer as a standalone device are evaluated. Fuel conversion rates above 94% and hydrogen selectivity values of ca. 70% were obtained when using operation conditions suitable for application in micro-solid oxide fuel cells (micro-SOFCs), i.e. 750 °C and fuel flows of 0.02 mlL min(-1) (enough to feed a one watt power source). PMID:27378399

  18. Biohydrogen and biomethane production sustained by untreated matrices and alternative application of compost waste.

    PubMed

    Arizzi, Mariaconcetta; Morra, Simone; Pugliese, Massimo; Gullino, Maria Lodovica; Gilardi, Gianfranco; Valetti, Francesca

    2016-10-01

    Biohydrogen and biomethane production offers many advantages for environmental protection over the fossil fuels or the existing physical-chemical methods for hydrogen and methane synthesis. The aim of this study is focused on the exploitation of several samples from the composting process: (1) a mixture of waste vegetable materials ("Mix"); (2) an unmatured compost sample (ACV15); and (3) three types of green compost with different properties and soil improver quality (ACV1, ACV2 and ACV3). These samples were tested for biohydrogen and biomethane production, thus obtaining second generation biofuels and resulting in a novel possibility to manage renewable waste biomasses. The ability of these substrates as original feed during dark fermentation was assayed anaerobically in batch, in glass bottles, in order to determine the optimal operating conditions for hydrogen and/or methane production using "Mix" or ACV1, ACV2 or ACV3 green compost and a limited amount of water. Hydrogen could be produced with a fast kinetic in the range 0.02-2.45mLH2g(-1)VS, while methane was produced with a slower kinetic in the range 0.5-8mLCH4g(-1)VS. It was observed that the composition of each sample influenced significantly the gas production. It was also observed that the addition of different water amounts play a crucial role in the development of hydrogen or methane. This parameter can be used to push towards the alternative production of one or another gas. Hydrogen and methane production was detected spontaneously from these matrices, without additional sources of nutrients or any pre-treatment, suggesting that they can be used as an additional inoculum or feed into single or two-stage plants. This might allow the use of compost with low quality as soil improver for alternative and further applications. PMID:27422046

  19. Ultraclean Fuels Production and Utilization for the Twenty-First Century: Advances toward Sustainable Transportation Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, Elise B.; Liu, Zhong-Wen; Liu, Zhao-Tie

    2013-11-21

    Ultraclean fuels production has become increasingly important as a method to help decrease emissions and allow the introduction of alternative feed stocks for transportation fuels. Established methods, such as Fischer-Tropsch, have seen a resurgence of interest as natural gas prices drop and existing petroleum resources require more intensive clean-up and purification to meet stringent environmental standards. This review covers some of the advances in deep desulfurization, synthesis gas conversion into fuels and feed stocks that were presented at the 245th American Chemical Society Spring Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA in the Division of Energy and Fuels symposium on "Ultraclean Fuels Production and Utilization".

  20. Sophorolipids production from rice straw via SO3 micro-thermal explosion by Wickerhamiella domercqiae var. sophorolipid CGMCC 1576.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xin-Ge; Ma, Xiao-Jing; Yao, Ri-Sheng; Pan, Chun-Yu; He, Hua-Bing

    2016-12-01

    A novel lignocellulose material, holocellulose from rice straw via the pretreatment of SO3 micro-thermal explosion, was developed to produce sophorolipids (SLs) with Wickerhamiella domercqiae var. sophorolipid CGMCC 1576. The influence factors of inoculum dose, yeast extract concentration and pH regulators (chemical regents used for adjusting/influencing pH) was investigated and discussed. Results showed that W. domercqiae can grow in the rice straw holocellulose hydrolysate, and acquire relative high SL yield of 53.70 ± 2.61 g/L in shake flask culture. Inoculum dose, yeast extract concentration and pH regulator made obvious influence on fermentation parameters, especially on final broth pH and SLs production. Furthermore, there is a strong negative linear correlation existing between final broth pH and lactonic SL or ratio of lac SL/tot SL. Additionally, comparison between SL production and non-glucose carbon sources, culture methods, microbes in previous reports was carried out. These results will be benefit for acquiring SL mixture with suitable lac SL/tot SL ratio for specific purpose and scope economically. PMID:27568226

  1. On-farm research in Western Siberia: Potential of adapted management practices for sustainable intensification of crop production systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kühling, Insa; Trautz, Dieter

    2015-04-01

    Western Siberia is of global significance in terms of agricultural production, carbon sequestration and biodiversity preservation. Abandonment of arable land and changes in the use of permanent grasslands were triggered by the dissolution of the Soviet Union in and the following collapse of the state farm system. The peatlands, forests and steppe soils of Western Siberia are one of the most important carbon sinks worldwide. These carbon stocks are, if deteriorated, an important source of radiative forcing even in comparison to anthropogenic emissions. This situation is aggravated by recent and future developments in agricultural land use in the southern part of Western Siberia, in particular in Tyumen province. The increase of drought risk caused by climate change will led to more challenges in these water-limited agricultural production systems. The German-Russian interdisciplinary research project "SASCHA" aims to provide sustainable land management practices to cope with these far-reaching changes for Tyumen province. In particular, on farm scale agricultural strategies are being developed for increased efficiencies in crop production systems. Therefore a 3-factorial field trial with different tillage and seeding operations was installed with spring wheat on 10 ha under practical conditions in 2013. Within all combinations of tillage (no-till/conventional), seed rate (usual/reduced) and seed depth (usual/shallower) various soil parameters as well as plant development and yield components were intensively monitored during the growing seasons. Results after 2-years show significant impacts of the tillage operation on soil moisture and soil temperature. Also a higher trend in nitrogen mineralization could be observed without tillage. Plant development in terms of phenological growth stages took place simultaneously in all variants. Under no-till regime we measured slightly higher grain yields and significant advantages in protein yields. In conjunction with

  2. Dynamics of production of iodine atoms by dissociation of iodides in a pulsed self-sustained discharge

    SciTech Connect

    Vagin, Nikolai P; Kochetov, Igor' V; Napartovich, A P; Yuryshev, Nikolai N

    2013-07-31

    Absorption at the laser transition has been used for the first time to assess the evolution of concentration of iodine atoms in a pulsed self-sustained discharge in mixtures of iodides with a buffer gas such as molecular nitrogen and helium. Dynamics of the iodine atom production is studied by the method of absorption spectroscopy. The dissociation of C{sub n}F{sub 2n+1}I and CnH{sub 2n+1}I (n = 1, 2) iodides is investigated. The energy required to produce atomic iodine is evaluated. The experimental data obtained for CF{sub 3}I are compared with the results of numerical simulations, their reasonable agreement being demonstrated. (active media)

  3. Sustainable Production of Crop Residue as a Cellulosic Ethanol Feedstock: REAP – Renewable Energy Assessment Project

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Domestic ethanol production is a strategy for reducing dependence on imported energy and release of greenhouse gases from use of fossil-energy-derived motor vehicle fuel. Federal and state governments are encouraging the use of ethanol. Initially energy crops, such as switchgrass, willow, and poplar...

  4. INNOVATIVE BIODIESEL PRODUCTION: A SOLUTION TO THE SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL, AND EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF SUSTAINABILITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Loyola's STEP students completed over 20 team projects: Developed a business plan for biodiesel production, created the LUC biodiesel website, created the Bio­shorts documentaries, tabled at environmental events, publicized and put on two Biodiesel Forums (2nd one pending,...

  5. Fluid fertilizer's role in sustaining soils used for bio-energy feedstock production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of corn (Zea mays L.) as a bio-energy feedstock has attracted the attention of many producers. Recently, the focus has shifted from grain-based to cellulose-based ethanol production. In addition to biological conversion of corn stover to ethanol, thermal conversion (pyrolysis) of stover is b...

  6. SUSTAINABILITY IN SEED PRODUCTION ENTERPRISES – WHAT WE’VE LEARNED

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over 18 years of field studies comparing water and soil quality along with seed yield in conservation and conventional grass seed production systems is described. In many cases, minimum tillage and direct seeding approaches could be successfully implemented in these systems, and that their implemen...

  7. Sustainability and Productivity Indicators with Sensitivity Truth Table for Unskilled Thai Labour Reverse Migration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Panaingvait, Poj; Chakpitak, Nopasit; Yodmongkol, Pitipong; Sureephong, Paradorn; Nimmonrat, Acrapol

    2014-01-01

    Thailand, a developing country, had labours migrating from the agriculture into the industrial due to higher pay in the past. However the economic force has made the government policy to focus on creativity and developing technology towards automatic production. Unskilled Thai labours are facing a big challenge after retirement, which is called…

  8. Green Net Regional Product for the San Luis Basin, Colorado: An Economic Measure of Regional Sustainability

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper presents the data sources and methodology used to estimate Green Net Regional Product (GNRP), a green accounting approach, for the San Luis Basin (SLB). GNRP is equal to aggregate consumption minus the depreciation of man-made and natural capital. We measure the move...

  9. A Response to Sustainable Crop Production in a Region Facing a Decline in Groundwater Aquifer Levels

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change has resulted in a steady decline of the unconfined groundwater aquifer in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Growers face limited water supply for potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production. An alternative and more efficient system of irrigating potato is needed. Drip irrigation supplies ...

  10. Fluid Fertilizer's Role in Sustaining Soils Used for Bio-fuels Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The short- and long-term effects on soil nutrient cycling, physical properties, and biological activity of striving for higher grain yields and removing crop residues for bio-fuels production must be understood to provide more quantitative crop and soil management guidelines. This study focuses prim...

  11. Sustainable bioenergy production in the Chesapeake Bay agricultural landscape: potential and peril

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The current focus on corn-based ethanol production, while it has stimulated the farm economy through increased prices for grain crops, risks unsustainable side effects associated with increased pollution by nutrients, sediments, and pesticides, increased irrigation demands, and conversion of critica...

  12. Fluid Fertilizer’s Role in Sustaining Soils Used for Bio-fuel Feedstock Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The short- and long-term effects on soil nutrient cycling, physical properties, and biological activity of striving for higher grain yields and removing crop residues for bio-fuels production must be understood to provide more quantitative crop and soil management guidelines. This study focuses on p...

  13. Fast-growing species and sustainability (productivity and site dynamics of three fast-growing species)

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, A.N.; Sugur, G.V.

    1992-12-31

    Growth of three fast-growing species, raised in a high rainfall zone (2000-2500 mm per annum) has been compared, and the associated site dynamics studies in the Western Ghat area of Karnataka State. Two fast-growing exotics, Acacia auriculiformis and Castuarina equisitifolia, were planted on degraded, open sites at high planting densities (5000 plants ha{sup {minus}1}), and one native fast-growing species. Dendrocalamus strictus, was planted on a good site under seasonal irrigation and wider spacing (500 plants ha{sup {minus}1}). These were studies at the age of 5 years for their comparative productivity, quantity of litter fall and changes in nutrient and microbial status. Among these species, A. auriculiformis recorded the highest total productivity closely followed by D. strictus. However, the MAI after 5 years indicated a higher productivity for D. strictus, when culm production attained harvestable size. C. equisitifolia was a close third. It was also found that D. strictus produced higher biomass at lower planting densities, under better sites and management. The litter fall and changes in nutrient status indicated the highest efficiency in A. auriculiformis, followed by C. equisitifolia. It was concluded that the higher planting density was the major contributing factor; the values were comparatively low for D. strictus mainly owing to a lower stocking density of plants.

  14. Agroecology and the Sustainable Production of Food and Fiber: Emergy Evaluation of Agriculture in the Montado

    EPA Science Inventory

    The silvopastoral, agricultural system of the montado in Southern Portugal is an example of the self-organization of an agroecological system adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the Mediterranean basin. This system with its consistent production of food, fiber, and ecos...

  15. Water productivity, yield, and berry composition in sustained versus regulated deficit irrigation of Merlot grapevines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The wine grape cultivar Merlot (Vitis vinifera L.) was irrigated at incremental fractions of estimated crop evapotranspiration or a regulated deficit (RDI) regime to identify which practice best optimized water productivity and berry composition without compromising yield. Three severities of susta...

  16. Environmentally sustainable production of food, feed and fuel from natural resources in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Preston, T Reg

    2009-10-01

    Responding to the challenges posed by global warming, peak oil and biofuels will require a paradigm shift in the practice of agriculture and in the role of live stock within the farming system. Farming systems should aim at maximizing plant biomass production from locally available diversified resources, processing of the biomass on farm to provide food, feed and energy and recycling of all waste materials. The approach that is the subject of this paper is that the generation of electricity can be a by-product of food/feed production. The concept is the fractionation of biomass into inedible cell wall material that can be converted to an inflammable gas by gasification, the gas in turn being the source of fuel for internal combustion engines driving electrical generators. The cell contents and related structures such as tree leaves are used as human food or animal feed. As well as providing food and feed the model is highly appropriate for decentralized small scale production of electricity in rural areas. It also offers opportunities for sequestration of carbon in the form of biochar the solid residue remaining after gasification of the biomass. PMID:19728132

  17. Environmentally sustainable production of food, feed and fuel from natural resources in the tropics.

    PubMed

    Preston, T Reg

    2009-08-01

    Responding to the challenges posed by global warming, peak oil and biofuels will require a paradigm shift in the practice of agriculture and in the role of live stock within the farming system. Farming systems should aim at maximizing plant biomass production from locally available diversified resources, processing of the biomass on farm to provide food, feed and energy and recycling of all waste materials. The approach that is the subject of this paper is that the generation of electricity can be a by-product of food/feed production. The concept is the fractionation of biomass into inedible cell wall material that can be converted to an inflammable gas by gasification, the gas in turn being the source of fuel for internal combustion engines driving electrical generators. The cell contents and related structures such as tree leaves are used as human food or animal feed. As well as providing food and feed the model is highly appropriate for decentralized small scale production of electricity in rural areas. It also offers opportunities for sequestration of carbon in the form of biochar the solid residue remaining after gasification of the biomass. PMID:19011987

  18. Sustainability of US organic beef and dairy production systems: soil, plant and cattle interactions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2010, the National Organic Program implemented a rule stating that pasture must be a significant source of feed in organic ruminant systems. This article will focus on how this rule has impacted the management, economics and nutritional value of products derived from organic ruminant systems and ...

  19. Ameliorating soil acidity of tropical Oxisols by liming for sustainable crop production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The greatest potential for expanding the world’s agricultural frontier lies in the savanna regions of the tropics, which are dominated by Oxisols. Soil acidity and low native fertility, however, are major constraints for crop production on tropical Oxisols. Soil acidification is an ongoing natural p...

  20. Utilization of oil extracted from spent coffee grounds for sustainable production of polyhydroxyalkanoates.

    PubMed

    Obruca, Stanislav; Petrik, Sinisa; Benesova, Pavla; Svoboda, Zdenek; Eremka, Libor; Marova, Ivana

    2014-07-01

    Spent coffee grounds (SCG), an important waste product of the coffee industry, contain approximately 15 wt% of coffee oil. The aim of this work was to investigate the utilization of oil extracted from SCG as a substrate for the production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) by Cupriavidus necator H16. When compared to other waste/inexpensive oils, the utilization of coffee oil resulted in the highest biomass as well as PHB yields. Since the correlation of PHB yields and the acid value of oil indicated a positive effect of the presence of free fatty acids in oil on PHB production (correlation coefficient R (2) = 0.9058), superior properties of coffee oil can be probably attributed to the high content of free fatty acids which can be simply utilized by the bacteria culture. Employing the fed-batch mode of cultivation, the PHB yields, the PHB content in biomass, the volumetric productivity, and the Y P/S yield coefficient reached 49.4 g/l, 89.1 wt%, 1.33 g/(l h), and 0.82 g per g of oil, respectively. SCG are annually produced worldwide in extensive amounts and are disposed as solid waste. Hence, the utilization of coffee oil extracted from SCG is likely to improve significantly the economic aspects of PHB production. Moreover, since oil extraction decreased the calorific value of SCG by only about 9 % (from 19.61 to 17.86 MJ/kg), residual SCG after oil extraction can be used as fuel to at least partially cover heat and energy demands of fermentation, which should even improve the economic feasibility of the process. PMID:24652066

  1. Examining the ecosystem health and sustainability of the world's largest mangrove forest using multi-temporal MODIS products.

    PubMed

    Ishtiaque, Asif; Myint, Soe W; Wang, Chuyuan

    2016-11-01

    Sweeping across Bangladesh and India, the Sundarbans forest is the world's largest contiguous mangrove forest. Although the human population density is high at the edge, Sundarbans has not encountered significant areal transformation in the last four decades. However, we argue that forest degradation can occur discontinuously within the forest without alteration of the entire forest area. In this paper, we used MODIS land products to compare the spatiotemporal ecological dynamics of the Bangladesh and Indian part of this mangrove forest between 2000 and 2010. We used the following 5 ecological parameters for our analysis: the Percent Tree Cover (PTC), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), Net Primary Productivity (NPP), Leaf Area Index (LAI), and Evapotranspiration (ET). Our pixel-based time-series trend analysis for each MODIS image stack, using an ordinary least square (OLS) regression method, showed that forest degradation is happening in fragmented parcels within the forest. The degradation rate is comparatively higher in the Bangladesh part than in the Indian part of Sundarbans. Compartments 8, 10, 12, and 15 in the Bangladesh part, in particular, show high degradation, while compartment 48 and the southern edge of 45 show slight increases in PTC or EVI. Forest degradation in the Indian part of the forest is evident in the National Park and Reserve Forest blocks; however, no substantial degradation is evident in the western section. We have identified certain anthropogenic stressors (i.e., oil pollution, shrimp farming) and natural stressors (i.e., increased salinity, cyclones, forest fire) which might be responsible for the observed degradation. We have provided sustainable planning options and policy transformation alternatives for those areas under pressure from these stressors. We anticipate that our analysis of forest degradation will help management agencies, conservators, and policy makers achieve better management of this world's largest mangrove forest for

  2. Sustainability and energy development: influences of greenhouse gas emission reduction options on water use in energy production.

    PubMed

    Cooper, D Craig; Sehlke, Gerald

    2012-03-20

    Climate change mitigation strategies cannot be evaluated solely in terms of energy cost and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential. Maintaining GHGs at a "safe" level will require fundamental change in the way we approach energy production, and a number of environmental, economic, and societal factors will come into play. Water is an essential component of energy production, and water resource constraints will limit our options for meeting society's growing demand for energy while also reducing GHG emissions. This study evaluates these potential constraints from a global perspective by revisiting the climate wedges proposal of Pacala and Socolow (Science2004, 305 (5686), 968-972) and evaluating the potential water-use impacts of the wedges associated with energy production. GHG mitigation options that improve energy conversion or use efficiency can simultaneously reduce GHG emissions, lower energy costs, and reduce energy impacts on water resources. Other GHG mitigation options (e.g., carbon capture and sequestration, traditional nuclear, and biofuels from dedicated energy crops) increase water requirements for energy. Achieving energy sustainability requires deployment of alternatives that can reduce GHG emissions, water resource impacts, and energy costs. PMID:22283709

  3. Size effect of anaerobic granular sludge on biogas production: A micro scale study.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jing; Afridi, Zohaib Ur Rehman; Cao, Zhi Ping; Zhang, Zhong Liang; Poncin, Souhila; Li, Huai Zhi; Zuo, Jian E; Wang, Kai Jun

    2016-02-01

    This study investigated the influence of anaerobic granular sludge size on its bioactivity at COD concentration of 1000, 3000 and 6000 mg/L. Based on size, granules were categorized as large (3-3.5 mm), medium (1.5-2 mm) and small (0.5-1 mm). A positive relationship was obtained between granule size and biogas production rate. For instance, at COD 6000 mg/L, large granules had highest biogas production rate of 0.031 m(3)/kgVSS/d while medium and small granules had 0.016 and 0.006 m(3)/kgVSS/d respectively. The results were reaffirmed by applying modified Fick's law of diffusion. Diffusion rates of substrate for large, medium and small granules were 1.67×10(-3), 6.1×10(-4)and 1.8×10(-4) mg/s respectively at that COD. Large granules were highly bio-active due to their internal structure, i.e. big pore size, high porosity and short diffusion distance as compared to medium and small granules, thus large granules could improve the performance of reactor. PMID:26708484

  4. Can the U. S. oil and gas resource base support sustained production

    SciTech Connect

    Fisher, W.L.

    1987-01-01

    The author notes that the U.S. is a maturely explored and developed oil and gas province, but that aggressive drilling in the lower 48 states in the past decade resulted in reserve additions sufficient to arrest decline and to stabilize levels of production. The author states that the remaining resources of oil and gas in the U.S. are substantial. Exploration of new fields at current rates of finding can be pursued at the levels of the past few years for at least 30 more years. Reserve growth from conventional but geologically targeted development techniques can maintain recent production-stabilizing levels of additions for 25 years, with half the remaining volumes recovered.

  5. Cyanobacteria: Photoautotrophic Microbial Factories for the Sustainable Synthesis of Industrial Products.

    PubMed

    Lau, Nyok-Sean; Matsui, Minami; Abdullah, Amirul Al-Ashraf

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are widely distributed Gram-negative bacteria with a long evolutionary history and the only prokaryotes that perform plant-like oxygenic photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria possess several advantages as hosts for biotechnological applications, including simple growth requirements, ease of genetic manipulation, and attractive platforms for carbon neutral production process. The use of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to directly convert carbon dioxide to biofuels is an emerging area of interest. Equipped with the ability to degrade environmental pollutants and remove heavy metals, cyanobacteria are promising tools for bioremediation and wastewater treatment. Cyanobacteria are characterized by the ability to produce a spectrum of bioactive compounds with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antialgal properties that are of pharmaceutical and agricultural significance. Several strains of cyanobacteria are also sources of high-value chemicals, for example, pigments, vitamins, and enzymes. Recent advances in biotechnological approaches have facilitated researches directed towards maximizing the production of desired products in cyanobacteria and realizing the potential of these bacteria for various industrial applications. In this review, the potential of cyanobacteria as sources of energy, bioactive compounds, high-value chemicals, and tools for aquatic bioremediation and recent progress in engineering cyanobacteria for these bioindustrial applications are discussed. PMID:26199945

  6. Cyanobacteria: Photoautotrophic Microbial Factories for the Sustainable Synthesis of Industrial Products

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Nyok-Sean; Matsui, Minami; Abdullah, Amirul Al-Ashraf

    2015-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are widely distributed Gram-negative bacteria with a long evolutionary history and the only prokaryotes that perform plant-like oxygenic photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria possess several advantages as hosts for biotechnological applications, including simple growth requirements, ease of genetic manipulation, and attractive platforms for carbon neutral production process. The use of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to directly convert carbon dioxide to biofuels is an emerging area of interest. Equipped with the ability to degrade environmental pollutants and remove heavy metals, cyanobacteria are promising tools for bioremediation and wastewater treatment. Cyanobacteria are characterized by the ability to produce a spectrum of bioactive compounds with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antialgal properties that are of pharmaceutical and agricultural significance. Several strains of cyanobacteria are also sources of high-value chemicals, for example, pigments, vitamins, and enzymes. Recent advances in biotechnological approaches have facilitated researches directed towards maximizing the production of desired products in cyanobacteria and realizing the potential of these bacteria for various industrial applications. In this review, the potential of cyanobacteria as sources of energy, bioactive compounds, high-value chemicals, and tools for aquatic bioremediation and recent progress in engineering cyanobacteria for these bioindustrial applications are discussed. PMID:26199945

  7. The central role of agricultural water-use productivity in sustainable water management (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gleick, P. H.

    2013-12-01

    As global and regional populations continue to rise for the next several decades, the need to grow more food will worsen old -- and produce new -- challenges for water resources. Expansion of irrigated agriculture is slowing due to constraints on land and water, and as a result, some have argued that future new food demands will only be met through improvements in agricultural productivity on existing irrigated and rainfed cropland, reductions in field losses and food waste, and social changes such as dietary preferences. This talk will address the central role that improvements in water-use productivity can play in the food/water/population nexus. In particular, the ability to grow more food with less water will have a great influence on whether future food demands will be met successfully. Such improvements can come about through changes in technology, regulatory systems, economic incentives and disincentives, and education of water users. Example of potential savings from three different strategies to improve agricultural water productivity in California. (From Pacific Institute).

  8. microRNA-132/212 deficiency enhances Aβ production and senile plaque deposition in Alzheimer's disease triple transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Rapp, Julia; Rainone, Sara; Goupil, Claudia; Dorval, Véronique; Smith, Pascal Y; Saint-Pierre, Martine; Vallée, Maxime; Planel, Emmanuel; Droit, Arnaud; Calon, Frédéric; Cicchetti, Francesca; Hébert, Sébastien S

    2016-01-01

    The abnormal regulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) metabolism (e.g., production, cleavage, clearance) plays a central role in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Among endogenous factors believed to participate in AD progression are the small regulatory non-coding microRNAs (miRs). In particular, the miR-132/212 cluster is severely reduced in the AD brain. In previous studies we have shown that miR-132/212 deficiency in mice leads to impaired memory and enhanced Tau pathology as seen in AD patients. Here we demonstrate that the genetic deletion of miR-132/212 promotes Aβ production and amyloid (senile) plaque formation in triple transgenic AD (3xTg-AD) mice. Using RNA-Seq and bioinformatics, we identified genes of the miR-132/212 network with documented roles in the regulation of Aβ metabolism, including Tau, Mapk, and Sirt1. Consistent with these findings, we show that the modulation of miR-132, or its target Sirt1, can directly regulate Aβ production in cells. Finally, both miR-132 and Sirt1 levels correlated with Aβ load in humans. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that the miR-132/212 network, including Sirt1 and likely other target genes, contributes to abnormal Aβ metabolism and senile plaque deposition in AD. This study strengthens the importance of miR-dependent networks in neurodegenerative disorders, and opens the door to multifactorial drug targets of AD by targeting Aβ and Tau. PMID:27484949

  9. Micro hydrogel tubes for culture of oil production microbes in an open environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mikami, K.; Onoe, H.; Miki, N.

    2014-11-01

    This paper proposes a microbe culture technology in an open environment using hydrogel microtubes. Oil production microbes, such as Aurantiochytrium, have been discovered and are currently studied to produce fuels instead of fossil fuels. Scale-up of the culture systems of such microbes is critical for practical applications. The microbe culture in a nutrition-rich open environment, such as lakes and sewage plants, is preferable in terms of scales and cost, however, contamination of other native microbes is often fatal to the target microbes. Hydrogel microtubes that can be manufactured by microfluidic devices can encapsulate the microbes and allow oxygen and nutrition to diffuse through the tube walls while preventing other microbes from intruding inside. Therefore, the microbes can be cultured in any environments and scale-up is also possible. In this paper, we demonstrate that the contamination of microbes was prevented and target microbes were successfully cultured inside the microtube.

  10. Exergy sustainability.

    SciTech Connect

    Robinett, Rush D. III; Wilson, David Gerald; Reed, Alfred W.

    2006-05-01

    Exergy is the elixir of life. Exergy is that portion of energy available to do work. Elixir is defined as a substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely, which implies sustainability of life. In terms of mathematics and engineering, exergy sustainability is defined as the continuous compensation of irreversible entropy production in an open system with an impedance and capacity-matched persistent exergy source. Irreversible and nonequilibrium thermodynamic concepts are combined with self-organizing systems theories as well as nonlinear control and stability analyses to explain this definition. In particular, this paper provides a missing link in the analysis of self-organizing systems: a tie between irreversible thermodynamics and Hamiltonian systems. As a result of this work, the concept of ''on the edge of chaos'' is formulated as a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for stability and performance of sustainable systems. This interplay between exergy rate and irreversible entropy production rate can be described as Yin and Yang control: the dialectic synthesis of opposing power flows. In addition, exergy is shown to be a fundamental driver and necessary input for sustainable systems, since exergy input in the form of power is a single point of failure for self-organizing, adaptable systems.

  11. Algal Photosynthesis as the Primary Driver for a Sustainable Development in Energy, Feed, and Food Production

    PubMed Central

    Anemaet, Ida G.; Bekker, Martijn

    2010-01-01

    High oil prices and global warming that accompany the use of fossil fuels are an incentive to find alternative forms of energy supply. Photosynthetic biofuel production represents one of these since for this, one uses renewable resources. Sunlight is used for the conversion of water and CO2 into biomass. Two strategies are used in parallel: plant-based production via sugar fermentation into ethanol and biodiesel production through transesterification. Both, however, exacerbate other problems, including regional nutrient balancing and the world's food supply, and suffer from the modest efficiency of photosynthesis. Maximizing the efficiency of natural and engineered photosynthesis is therefore of utmost importance. Algal photosynthesis is the system of choice for this particularly for energy applications. Complete conversion of CO2 into biomass is not necessary for this. Innovative methods of synthetic biology allow one to combine photosynthetic and fermentative metabolism via the so-called Photanol approach to form biofuel directly from Calvin cycle intermediates through use of the naturally transformable cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Beyond providing transport energy and chemical feedstocks, photosynthesis will continue to be used for food and feed applications. Also for this application, arguments of efficiency will become more and more important as the size of the world population continues to increase. Photosynthetic cells can be used for food applications in various innovative forms, e.g., as a substitute for the fish proteins in the diet supplied to carnivorous fish or perhaps—after acid hydrolysis—as a complex, animal-free serum for growth of mammalian cells in vitro. PMID:20640935

  12. New Acid Stimulation Treatment to Sustain Production - Los Angeles Downtown Oil Field

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, Richard C.

    2003-03-10

    Hydrochloric acid stimulation was successfully used on several wells in the Los Angeles Downtown Field, in the past. The decline rates after stimulation were relatively high and generally within six months to a year, production rates have returned to their prestimulation rates. The wells in Los Angeles Downtown Field have strong scale producing tendencies and many wells are treated for scale control. Four wells were carefully selected that are representative of wells that had a tendency to form calcium carbonate scale and had shown substantial decline over the last few years.

  13. METHOD OF INITIATING AND SUSTAINING AN ENERGETIC PLASMA FOR NEUTRON PRODUCTION

    DOEpatents

    Bell, P.R.; Mackin, R.J. Jr.; Simon, A.

    1961-08-22

    A method for producing an energetic plasma for neutron production and for faeling this plasma once it is formed is described. The plasma is initially fonmed as set forth in U. S. Patent No. 2,969,308. After the plasma is formed, cold neutral particles with an energy of at least 1 Kev are injected in a radial directinn and transverse to the axis of the device. These cold particles are substituted for the molecular ion injection and are used for fueling the plasma device on a continuous regulated basis in order to maintain a reaction temperature of about 60 Kev for producing neutrons. (AE C)

  14. Self-assembly synthesis of precious-metal-free 3D ZnO nano/micro spheres with excellent photocatalytic hydrogen production from solar water splitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Si-yao; Zhao, Tie-jun; Jin, Zu-quan; Wan, Xiao-mei; Wang, Peng-gang; Shang, Jun; Han, Song

    2015-10-01

    A simple and straightforward solution growth routine is developed to prepare microporous 3D nano/micro ZnO microsphere with a large BET surface area of 288 m2 g-1 at room temperature. The formation mechanism of the hierarchical 3D nano/micro ZnO microsphere and its corresponding hydrogen evolution performance has been deeply discussed. In particular, this novel hierarchical 3D ZnO microspheres performs undiminished hydrogen evolution for at least 24 h under simulated solar light illumination, even under the condition of no precious metal as cocatalyst. Since the complex production process of photocatalysts and high cost of precious metal cocatalyst remains a major constraint that hinders the application of solar water splitting, this 3D nano/micro ZnO microspheres could be expected to be applicable in the precious-metal-free solar water splitting system due to its merits of low cost, simple procedure and high catalytic activity.

  15. Bioprospecting for hyper-lipid producing microalgal strains for sustainable biofuel production.

    PubMed

    Mutanda, T; Ramesh, D; Karthikeyan, S; Kumari, S; Anandraj, A; Bux, F

    2011-01-01

    Global petroleum reserves are shrinking at a fast pace, increasing the demand for alternate fuels. Microalgae have the ability to grow rapidly, and synthesize and accumulate large amounts (approximately 20-50% of dry weight) of neutral lipid stored in cytosolic lipid bodies. A successful and economically viable algae based biofuel industry mainly depends on the selection of appropriate algal strains. The main focus of bioprospecting for microalgae is to identify unique high lipid producing microalgae from different habitats. Indigenous species of microalgae with high lipid yields are especially valuable in the biofuel industry. Isolation, purification and identification of natural microalgal assemblages using conventional techniques is generally time consuming. However, the recent use of micromanipulation as a rapid isolating tool allows for a higher screening throughput. The appropriate media and growth conditions are also important for successful microalgal proliferation. Environmental parameters recorded at the sampling site are necessary to optimize in vitro growth. Identification of species generally requires a combination of morphological and genetic characterization. The selected microalgal strains are grown in upscale systems such as raceway ponds or photobireactors for biomass and lipid production. This paper reviews the recent methodologies adopted for site selection, sampling, strain selection and identification, optimization of cultural conditions for superior lipid yield for biofuel production. Energy generation routes of microalgal lipids and biomass are discussed in detail. PMID:20624676

  16. Medspiration: Toward the Sustained Delivery of Satellite SST Products and Services over Regional Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piolle, Jean-Francois; Autret, E.; Arino, O.; Robinson, Ian S.; Le Borgne, P.

    2010-12-01

    Medspiration is an ESA/DUE project initiated in 2004 and led by major European institutions in the field of the satellite remote-sensing of the sea surface temperature (NOCS, Meteo-France, Ifremer,...). It was the first operational node of the GHRSST project, an international consortium of all major space and meteorological agencies which specifies and implements common standards for SST products and dissemination or archiving services. Medspiration has been delivering since 2005 innovative products from level 2 (swath observation) to gap-free gridded maps (level 4) using advanced optimal interpolation and multi-sensor data merging methodologies, and has implemented some of the GHRSST reference services for the validation and monitoring of satellite data, such as a satellite to in situ match-up database (MDB) or the high-resolution diagnostic datasets (HR-DDS) widely used and extended since in the context of operational oceanography. It has also targeted general public interest by providing to anybody in near real-time an estimation of beach and sea shore temperature along West European coasts through TV5 worldwide channel. New improvements are continuously achieved : in 2010, a complete reprocessing over Medspiration era of high resolution gap free SST maps over Mediterannean will be made available to users providing a high-quality homegeneous and consistent time series of data. New high-resolution maps will also be delivered daily over Brazil (in support to ESA/SMOS validation campaign), South-Africa and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

  17. Stoichiometrically controlled production of bimetallic Gold-Silver alloy colloids using micro-alga cultures.

    PubMed

    Dahoumane, Si Amar; Wijesekera, Kushlani; Filipe, Carlos D M; Brennan, John D

    2014-02-15

    This paper reports the production of well-defined, highly stable Ag-Au alloy nanoparticles (NPs) using living cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, with the composition of the bimetallic alloys being solely determined by the stoichiometric ratio in which the metal salts were added to the cultures. The NPs exhibited a single, well-defined surface plasmon resonance (SPR) band confirming that they were made of a homogeneous population of bimetallic alloys. Particle creation by the cells occurred in three stages: (1) internalization of the noble metals by the cells and their reduction resulting in the formation of the NPs; (2) entrapment of the NPs in the extracellular matrix (ECM) surrounding the cells, where they are colloidally stabilized; and (3) release of the NPs from the ECM to the culture medium. We also investigated the effect of the addition of the metals salts on cell viability and the impact on characteristics of the NPs formed. When silver was added to the cultures, cell viability was decreased and this resulted in a ~30nm red shift on the SPR band due to changes in the surrounding environment into which the NPs were released. The same observations (in SPR and cell viability) was made when gold was added to a final concentration of 2 × 10(-4)M, but not when the concentration was equal to 10(-4)M, where cell viability was high and the red shift was negligible. PMID:24370403

  18. The role of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in sustainable production of biofuels.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Bandana; Gresshoff, Peter M

    2014-01-01

    With the ever-increasing population of the world (expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050), and altered life style, comes an increased demand for food, fuel and fiber. However, scarcity of land, water and energy accompanied by climate change means that to produce enough to meet the demands is getting increasingly challenging. Today we must use every avenue from science and technology available to address these challenges. The natural process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation, whereby plants such as legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen gas to ammonia, usable by plants can have a substantial impact as it is found in nature, has low environmental and economic costs and is broadly established. Here we look at the importance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the production of biofuel feedstocks; how this process can address major challenges, how improving nitrogen fixation is essential, and what we can do about it. PMID:24786096

  19. The Role of Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Sustainable Production of Biofuels

    PubMed Central

    Biswas, Bandana; Gresshoff, Peter M.

    2014-01-01

    With the ever-increasing population of the world (expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050), and altered life style, comes an increased demand for food, fuel and fiber. However, scarcity of land, water and energy accompanied by climate change means that to produce enough to meet the demands is getting increasingly challenging. Today we must use every avenue from science and technology available to address these challenges. The natural process of symbiotic nitrogen fixation, whereby plants such as legumes fix atmospheric nitrogen gas to ammonia, usable by plants can have a substantial impact as it is found in nature, has low environmental and economic costs and is broadly established. Here we look at the importance of symbiotic nitrogen fixation in the production of biofuel feedstocks; how this process can address major challenges, how improving nitrogen fixation is essential, and what we can do about it. PMID:24786096

  20. Phytostabilization of semiarid soils residually contaminated with trace elements using by-products: sustainability and risks.

    PubMed

    Pérez-de-Mora, Alfredo; Madejón, Paula; Burgos, Pilar; Cabrera, Francisco; Lepp, Nicholas W; Madejón, Engracia

    2011-10-01

    We investigated the efficiency of various by-products (sugarbeet lime, biosolid compost and leonardite), based on single or repeated applications to field plots, on the establishment of a vegetation cover compatible with a stabilization strategy on a multi-element (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) contaminated soil 4-6 years after initial amendment applications. Results indicate that the need for re-treatment is amendment- and element-dependent; in some cases, a single application may reduce trace element concentrations in above-ground biomass and enhance the establishment of a healthy vegetation cover. Amendment performance as evaluated by % cover, biomass and number of colonizing taxa differs; however, changes in plant community composition are not necessarily amendment-specific. Although the translocation of trace elements to the plant biotic compartment is greater in re-vegetated areas, overall loss of trace elements due to soil erosion and plant uptake is usually smaller compared to that in bare soil. PMID:21561696

  1. Potential Health Impact of Environmentally Released Micro- and Nanoplastics in the Human Food Production Chain: Experiences from Nanotoxicology.

    PubMed

    Bouwmeester, Hans; Hollman, Peter C H; Peters, Ruud J B

    2015-08-01

    High concentrations of plastic debris have been observed in the oceans. Much of the recent concern has focused on microplastics in the marine environment. Recent studies of the size distribution of the plastic debris suggested that continued fragmenting of microplastics into nanosized particles may occur. In this review we assess the current literature on the occurrence of environmentally released micro- and nanoplastics in the human food production chain and their potential health impact. The currently used analytical techniques introduce a great bias in the knowledge, since they are only able to detect plastic particles well above the nanorange. We discuss the potential use of the very sensitive analytical techniques that have been developed for the detection and quantification of engineered nanoparticles. We recognize three possible toxic effects of plastic particles: first due to the plastic particles themselves, second to the release of persistent organic pollutant adsorbed to the plastics, and third to the leaching of additives of the plastics. The limited data on microplastics in foods do not predict adverse effect of these pollutants or additives. Potential toxic effects of microplastic particles will be confined to the gut. The potential human toxicity of nanoplastics is poorly studied. Based on our experiences in nanotoxicology we prioritized future research questions. PMID:26130306

  2. Sulfonated nanocellulose for the efficient dispersive micro solid-phase extraction and determination of silver nanoparticles in food products.

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Palomero, Celia; Soriano, M Laura; Valcárcel, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    This paper reports a simple approach to Analytical Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (AN&N) that integrates the nanotool, sulfonated nanocellulose (s-NC), and nanoanalyte, silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), in the same analytical process by using an efficient, environmentally friendly dispersive micro solid-phase extraction (D-μSPE) capillary electrophoresis (CE) method with s-NC as sorbent material. Introducing negatively charged sulfate groups onto the surface of cellulose enhances its surface chemistry and enables the extraction and preconcentration of AgNPs of variable diameter (10, 20 and 60nm) and shell composition (citrate and polyvinylpyrrolidone coatings) from complex matrices into a cationic surfactant. In this way, AgNPs of diverse nature were successfully extracted onto the s-NC sorbent and then desorbed into an aqueous solution containing thiotic acid (TA) prior to CE without the need for any labor-intensive cleanup. The ensuing eco-friendly D-μSPE method exhibited a linear response to AgNPs with a limit of detection (LOD) of 20μg/L. Its ability to specifically recognize AgNPs of different sizes was checked in orange juice and mussels, which afforded recoveries of 70.9-108.4%. The repeatability of the method at the limit of quantitation (LOQ) level was 5.6%. Based on the results, sulfonated nanocellulose provides an efficient, cost-effective analytical nanotool for the extraction of AgNPs from food products. PMID:26116191

  3. Technology targeting for sustainable intensification of crop production in the Delta region of Bangladesh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulthess, U.; Krupnik, T. J.; Ahmed, Z. U.; McDonald, A. J.

    2015-04-01

    Remote sensing data are nowadays being acquired within short intervals and made available at a low cost or for free. This opens up opportunities for new remote sensing applications, such as the characterization of entire regions to identify most suitable areas for technology targeting. Increasing population growth and changing dietary habits in South Asia call for higher cereal production to ensure future food security. In the Delta area of Bangladesh, surface water is considered to be available in quantities large enough to support intensification by adding an irrigated dry season crop. Fuel-efficient, low lift axial flow pumps have shown to be suitable to carry water to fields that are within a buffer of four hundred meters of the rivers. However, information on how and where to target surface water irrigation efforts is currently lacking. We describe the opportunities and constraints encountered in developing a procedure to identify cropland for which axial flow pumps could be successfully deployed upon in a 43'000 km2 area. First, we isolated cropland and waterways using Landsat 5 and 7 scenes using image segmentation followed by classification with the random forest algorithm. Based on Landsat 7 and 8 scenes, we extracted maximum dry season enhanced vegetation index (EVI) values, which we classified into fallow, low-, and high-intensity cropland for the last three years. Last, we investigated the potential for surface water irrigation on fallow and low-intensity land by applying a cropping risk matrix to address the twin threats of soil and water salinity. Our analysis indicates that there are at least 20,000 ha of fallow land under the low-risk category, while more than 100,000 ha of low-intensity cropland can be brought into intensified production. This information will aid in technology targeting for the efficient deployment of surface water irrigation as a tool for intensification.

  4. Participatory approach: from problem identification to setting strategies for increased productivity and sustainability in small scale irrigated agriculture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habtu, Solomon; Ludi, Eva; Jamin, Jean Yves; Oates, Naomi; Fissahaye Yohannes, Degol

    2014-05-01

    Practicing various innovations pertinent to irrigated farming at local field scale is instrumental to increase productivity and yield for small holder farmers in Africa. However the translation of innovations from local scale to the scale of a jointly operated irrigation scheme is far from trivial. It requires insight on the drivers for adoption of local innovations within the wider farmer communities. Participatory methods are expected to improve not only the acceptance of locally developed innovations within the wider farmer communities, but to allow also an estimation to which extend changes will occur within the entire irrigation scheme. On such a base, more realistic scenarios of future water productivity within an irrigation scheme, which is operated by small holder farmers, can be estimated. Initial participatory problem and innovation appraisal was conducted in Gumselassa small scale irrigation scheme, Ethiopia, from Feb 27 to March 3, 2012 as part of the EAU4FOOD project funded by EC. The objective was to identify and appraise problems which hinder sustainable water management to enhance production and productivity and to identify future research strategies. Workshops were conducted both at local (Community of Practices) and regional (Learning Practice Alliance) level. At local levels, intensive collaboration with farmers using participatory methods produced problem trees and a "Photo Safari" documented a range of problems that negatively impact on productive irrigated farming. A range of participatory methods were also used to identify local innovations. At regional level a Learning Platform was established that includes a wide range of stakeholders (technical experts from various government ministries, policy makers, farmers, extension agents, researchers). This stakeholder group did a range of exercise as well to identify major problems related to irrigated smallholder farming and already identified innovations. Both groups identified similar problems

  5. Seed coating with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi as an ecotechnologicalapproach for sustainable agricultural production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Rui S; Rocha, Inês; Ma, Ying; Vosátka, Miroslav; Freitas, Helena

    2016-01-01

    The exploitation of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi has become of great interest in agriculture due to their potential roles in reducing the need for agrochemicals, while improving plant growth and nutrition. Nevertheless, the application of AM fungi by dispersing inocula in granular form to open agricultural fields is not feasible because nontargeted spreading of inocula over large surface areas results in high cost per plant. Seed coating has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of inoculum needed, resulting in cost reduction and increased efficiency. The aim of this study was to assess whether seed coating with AM fungal inoculum is a feasible delivery system for production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Wheat seeds were coated with inoculum of Rhizophagus irregularis BEG140 and grown under different fertilization conditions: (1) none, (2) partial, or (3) complete. Data indicated that mycorrhizal inoculation via seed coating significantly increased the dry weight of shoot and seed spikes of wheat associated with reduced fertilization. Assessment of nutritional status of wheat showed that plants inoculated with R. irregularis via seed coating displayed enhanced stem concentrations of potassium (K), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn). There were no significant differences in root colonization between plants conventionally inoculated with R. irregularis in soil and those inoculated via seed coating. Seed coating with AM fungi may be as effective as conventional soil inoculation and may contribute to reduce the utilization of chemical fertilizers. The application of AM via seed coating is proposed as an ecotechnological approach for sustainable agricultural wheat production. PMID:27077274

  6. Do You See What I See? Examining the Epistemic Barriers to Sustainable Agriculture

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carolan, Michael S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper examines the epistemic barriers to sustainable agriculture, which are those aspects of food production that are not readily revealed by direct perception: such as decreases in rates of soil and nutrient loss, increases in levels of beneficial soil micro-organisms, and reductions in the amount of chemicals leaching into the water table.…

  7. Using TRACI for Sustainability Metrics

    EPA Science Inventory

    TRACI, the Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and other environmental Impacts, has been developed for sustainability metrics, life cycle impact assessment, and product and process design impact assessment for developing increasingly sustainable products, processes,...

  8. p47phox and reactive oxygen species production modulate expression of microRNA-451 in macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Ranjan, R.; Lee, Y. G.; Karpurapu, M.; Syed, M. A.; Chung, S.; Deng, J.; Jeong, J. J.; Zhao, G.; Xiao, L.; Sadikot, R. T.; Weiss, M. J.; Christman, J. W.; Park, G. Y.

    2015-01-01

    The production of microRNAs (miRNA) is influenced by various stimuli, including environmental stresses. We hypothesized that reactive oxygen species (ROS)-associated stress could regulate macrophage miRNA synthesis. miRNAs undergo unique steps of maturation processing through either one of two pathways of cytoplasmic processing. Unlike the canonical pathway, the regulation of alternative cytoplasmic processing of miRNA has not been fully elucidated yet. We cultured bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM) from wild type (WT) and p47phox−/− mice and profiled miRNA expression using microarrays. We analyzed 375 miRNAs including four endogenous controls to normalize the data. At resting state, p47phox−/− BMDM has the markedly reduced expression of miR-451 compared to WT BMDM, without other significant differences. Unlike majority of miRNAs, miR-451 goes through the unique alternative processing pathway, in which Ago2 plays a key role. In spite of significant reduction of mature miR-451, however, its precursor form, pre-mir-451, was similar in both BMDMs, suggesting that the processing of pre-mir-451 is impaired in p47phox−/− BMDM. Moreover, p47phox−/− BMDM expressed significantly reduced level of Ago2. In contrast, Ago2 mRNA levels were similar in WT and p47phox−/− BMDM, suggesting a post-transcriptional defect of Ago2 production in p47phox−/− macrophages, which resulted in impaired processing of pre-miR-451. In order to examine the functional significance of miR-451 in macrophages, we cultured BMDMs from miR-451 knock-out mice. Of interest, miR-451-deficient BMDM exhibited reduced ROS generation upon zymosan stimulation, compared to WT BMDM. Our studies suggest functional crosstalk between ROS and miR-451 in the regulation of macrophage oxidant stress. PMID:25287330

  9. Biochemical conversions of lignocellulosic biomass for sustainable fuel-ethanol production in the upper Midwest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brodeur-Campbell, Michael J.

    Biofuels are an increasingly important component of worldwide energy supply. This research aims to understand the pathways and impacts of biofuels production, and to improve these processes to make them more efficient. In Chapter 2, a life cycle assessment (LCA) is presented for cellulosic ethanol production from five potential feedstocks of regional importance to the upper Midwest — hybrid poplar, hybrid willow, switchgrass, diverse prairie grasses, and logging residues — according to the requirements of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Direct land use change emissions are included for the conversion of abandoned agricultural land to feedstock production, and computer models of the conversion process are used in order to determine the effect of varying biomass composition on overall life cycle impacts. All scenarios analyzed here result in greater than 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum gasoline. Land use change effects were found to contribute significantly to the overall emissions for the first 20 years after plantation establishment. Chapter 3 is an investigation of the effects of biomass mixtures on overall sugar recovery from the combined processes of dilute acid pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Biomass mixtures studied were aspen, a hardwood species well suited to biochemical processing; balsam, a high-lignin softwood species, and switchgrass, an herbaceous energy crop with high ash content. A matrix of three different dilute acid pretreatment severities and three different enzyme loading levels was used to characterize interactions between pretreatment and enzymatic hydrolysis. Maximum glucose yield for any species was 70% of theoretical for switchgrass, and maximum xylose yield was 99.7% of theoretical for aspen. Supplemental β-glucosidase increased glucose yield from enzymatic hydrolysis by an average of 15%, and total sugar recoveries for mixtures could be predicted to within 4% by linear interpolation of the pure

  10. Microphytobenthos sustain intertidal fish production in the Persian Gulf (Northern Indian Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shahraki, Maryam; Krumme, Uwe; Rixen, Tim

    2014-05-01

    In order to better understand the role of mangroves for fish production, we assessed the relative importance of potential food sources to fish diet in the mangrove-lined and un-vegetated intertidal creeks of Qeshm Island at the Strait of Hormuz, Persian Gulf, Northern Indian Ocean (26° N). The most abundant feeding guilds, stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopic ratios of food sources and fishes as well as nutrient concentrations were determined in both sites. Detritivores were the most abundant feeding guild in both the mangrove and un-vegetated sites (41% and 81% relative abundance, respectively), followed by zooplanktivores (32%; 8%) and macrobenthivores (18%; 7%). At both sites, organic matter formed by mangrove trees contributed only up to 20% to the fish diet whereas organic carbon produced by microphytobenthos and plankton played a major role in the diet of the dominant fish species. Compared to the mangrove-lined creek, the pelagic and benthic food webs of the un-vegetated creeks were enriched in the heavier 13C and lighter 14N indicating an enhanced proportion of organic matter originally produced by benthic nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria within food web of the un-vegetated creeks. The dominant role of cyanobacteria was also reflected in the nutrient concentrations. Relatively high nitrate and low phosphate concentrations showed the preferential capturing of phosphates that is leached from the sediments by the cyanobacteria mats leading to phosphate-limiting conditions in the un-vegetated intertidal creeks. Higher phosphate and lower nitrate concentrations suggest in turn that nitrate is, as in many other ecosystems, the factor limiting productivity of the pelagic food web in the mangrove-lined creek. Since the species richness in mangrove creeks was higher than in un-vegetated site, it is furthermore assumed that mangrove trees play an indirect role in the food web by providing a more heterogeneous substrate for associated biota, besides

  11. Rapid analysis of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in fish plasma micro-aliquots using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fangfang; Gong, Zhiyuan; Kelly, Barry C

    2015-02-27

    A sensitive analytical method based on liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) was developed for rapid analysis of 11 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in fish plasma micro-aliquots (∼20μL). Target PPCPs included, bisphenol A, carbamazepine, diclofenac, fluoxetine, gemfibrozil, ibuprofen, naproxen, risperidone, sertraline, simvastatin and triclosan. A relatively quicker and cheaper LLE procedure exhibited comparable analyte recoveries with solid-phase extraction. Rapid separation and analysis of target compounds in fish plasma extracts was achieved by employing a high efficiency C-18 HPLC column (Agilent Poroshell 120 SB-C18, 2.1mm×50mm, 2.7μm) and fast polarity switching, enabling effective monitoring of positive and negative ions in a single 9min run. With the exception of bisphenol A, which exhibited relatively high background contamination, method detection limits of individual PPCPs ranged between 0.15 and 0.69pg/μL, while method quantification limits were between 0.05 and 2.3pg/μL. Mean matrix effect (ME) values ranged between 65 and 156% for the various target analytes. Isotope dilution quantification using isotopically labelled internal surrogates was utilized to correct for signal suppression or enhancement and analyte losses during sample preparation. The method was evaluated by analysis of 20μL plasma micro-aliquots collected from zebrafish (Danio rerio) from a laboratory bioaccumulation study, which included control group fish (no exposure), as well as fish exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of PPCPs. Using the developed LC-MS/MS based method, concentrations of the studied PPCPs were consistently detected in the low pg/μL (ppb) range. The method may be useful for investigations requiring fast, reliable concentration measurements of PPCPs in fish plasma. In particular, the method may be applicable for in situ contaminant biomonitoring, as well as

  12. Sustainable Use Of Macro-Algae For Biogas Production In Latvian Conditions: A Preliminary Study Through An Integrated Mca And Lca Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pastare, Laura; Romagnoli, Francesco; Lauka, Dace; Dzene, Ilze; Kuznecova, Tatjana

    2014-12-01

    The study focuses on sustainability evaluation of an algae-based energy system in Latvia with a holistic and integrated approach of multi-criteria analysis combined with life cycle assessment (including a practical side - biogas yield experiments of locally available algae). The study shows potential for sustainable use of algae in Latvian conditions and thus that algal biomass can be utilized for the production of biogas. The most sustainable and feasible scenario of using algae for biogas energy production foresees the collection of algae biomass from natural water bodies. Important beneficial effects through the use of algae are related to avoiding global warming potential (GWP) and eutrophication impacts. Biogas batch experiments carried out with the local macrophyte C.demersum have shown a methane yield of 554 l CH4/kg VS.

  13. Microalgal biofactories: a promising approach towards sustainable omega-3 fatty acid production

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) provide significant health benefits and this has led to an increased consumption as dietary supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in animals, transgenic plants, fungi and many microorganisms but are typically extracted from fatty fish, putting additional pressures on global fish stocks. As primary producers, many marine microalgae are rich in EPA (C20:5) and DHA (C22:6) and present a promising source of omega-3 fatty acids. Several heterotrophic microalgae have been used as biofactories for omega-3 fatty acids commercially, but a strong interest in autotrophic microalgae has emerged in recent years as microalgae are being developed as biofuel crops. This paper provides an overview of microalgal biotechnology and production platforms for the development of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. It refers to implications in current biotechnological uses of microalgae as aquaculture feed and future biofuel crops and explores potential applications of metabolic engineering and selective breeding to accumulate large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in autotrophic microalgae. PMID:22830315

  14. Regeneration of Aqueous Periodate Solutions by Ozone Treatment: A Sustainable Approach for Dialdehyde Cellulose Production.

    PubMed

    Koprivica, Slavica; Siller, Martin; Hosoya, Takashi; Roggenstein, Walter; Rosenau, Thomas; Potthast, Antje

    2016-04-21

    A method for easy and fast regeneration of aqueous periodate solutions from dialdehyde cellulose (DAC) production by ozone treatment is presented, along with a direct and reliable simultaneous quantification of iodate and periodate by reversed-phase HPLC. The influence of iodate and ozone concentration, solution pH, and reaction time on the regeneration efficiency was studied, as well as the reaction kinetics. Regeneration of spent periodate solutions by ozone was successfully performed in alkaline medium, which favors the formation of free (.) OH radicals, as supported by the addition of radical scavengers and quantum mechanical calculations. At pH 13 and an ozone concentration of approximately 150 mg L(-1) , periodate was completely regenerated from a 100 mm solution of iodate within 1 h at room temperature. A cyclic process of cellulose oxidation and subsequent regeneration of spent periodate with 90 % efficiency has been developed. So far, commercial applications of DAC have been hampered by difficulties in reusing the costly periodate. This work overcomes this hurdle and presents a highly efficient, clean, and low-cost protocol for the preparation of DAC with integrated periodate recycling, with the possibility of scaling the process up. PMID:26990816

  15. Nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization in plants: challenges for sustainable and productive agriculture

    PubMed Central

    Masclaux-Daubresse, Céline; Daniel-Vedele, Françoise; Dechorgnat, Julie; Chardon, Fabien; Gaufichon, Laure; Suzuki, Akira

    2010-01-01

    Background Productive agriculture needs a large amount of expensive nitrogenous fertilizers. Improving nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of crop plants is thus of key importance. NUE definitions differ depending on whether plants are cultivated to produce biomass or grain yields. However, for most plant species, NUE mainly depends on how plants extract inorganic nitrogen from the soil, assimilate nitrate and ammonium, and recycle organic nitrogen. Efforts have been made to study the genetic basis as well as the biochemical and enzymatic mechanisms involved in nitrogen uptake, assimilation, and remobilization in crops and model plants. The detection of the limiting factors that could be manipulated to increase NUE is the major goal of such research. Scope An overall examination of the physiological, metabolic, and genetic aspects of nitrogen uptake, assimilation and remobilization is presented in this review. The enzymes and regulatory processes manipulated to improve NUE components are presented. Results obtained from natural variation and quantitative trait loci studies are also discussed. Conclusions This review presents the complexity of NUE and supports the idea that the integration of the numerous data coming from transcriptome studies, functional genomics, quantitative genetics, ecophysiology and soil science into explanatory models of whole-plant behaviour will be promising. PMID:20299346

  16. Recycled tire crumb rubber anodes for sustainable power production in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Heming; Davidson, Matthew; Zuo, Yi; Ren, Zhiyong

    One of the greatest challenges facing microbial fuel cells (MFCs) in large scale applications is the high cost of electrode material. We demonstrate here that recycled tire crumb rubber coated with graphite paint can be used instead of fine carbon materials as the MFC anode. The tire particles showed satisfactory conductivity after 2-4 layers of coating. The specific surface area of the coated rubber was over an order of magnitude greater than similar sized graphite granules. Power production in single chamber tire-anode air-cathode MFCs reached a maximum power density of 421 mW m -2, with a coulombic efficiency (CE) of 25.1%. The control graphite granule MFC achieved higher power density (528 mW m -2) but lower CE (15.6%). The light weight of tire particle could reduce clogging and maintenance cost but posts challenges in conductive connection. The use of recycled material as the MFC anodes brings a new perspective to MFC design and application and carries significant economic and environmental benefit potentials.

  17. Efficacy of mosquito netting for sustainable small holders' cabbage production in Africa.

    PubMed

    Martin, T; Assogba-Komlan, F; Houndete, T; Hougard, J M; Chandre, F

    2006-04-01

    The efficacy of a mosquito netting to protect cabbages, Brassica oleracea L., against pests was investigated in field trials in Benin, West Africa. A polyester net covered the plants at night by using a wood armature. The net was removed during the day to prevent overheating and excessive shade, both problems of insect-proof screens used under tropical conditions. The number of all lepidopteran larvae with netting protection and foliar insecticide sprays was significantly lower than the unprotected control. The number of diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.), was significantly lower with netting protection compared with foliar insecticide sprays and control. Netting treated with deltamethrin gave total protection of young plants against the aphid Lipaphis erysimi (Kaltenbach). At harvest, the number of marketable cabbages protected with untreated netting was significantly higher compared with the production with foliar insecticide sprays. The protection of cabbages with netting can be an economically viable method. Considering the price of cabbages on local markets (US dollars 1/unit), the net returns per 100 m2 were US dollars 247 by using netting, US dollars 149 by using insecticides, and US dollars 117 for controls. The net returns for using netting are based on replacing the netting each crop cycle. But netting can be reused several times, depending upon conditions, increasing the profit margin. The netting protection may be an alternative to the growing unsustainable practices of vegetable cropping in peri-urban areas of tropical countries. PMID:16686146

  18. Splenic RNA and MicroRNA Mimics Promote Complement Factor B Production and Alternative Pathway Activation via Innate Immune Signaling.

    PubMed

    Zou, Lin; Feng, Yan; Xu, Ganqiong; Jian, Wenling; Chao, Wei

    2016-03-15

    Complement factor B (cfB) is an essential component of the alternative pathway (AP) and plays an important role in the pathogenesis of polymicrobial sepsis. However, the mechanism leading to cfB production and AP activation during sepsis remains poorly understood. In this study, we found that plasma cell-free RNA was significantly increased following cecal ligation and puncture (CLP), an animal model of polymicrobial sepsis, and was closely associated with sepsis severity. Quantitative RT-PCR and microRNA (miRNA) array analysis revealed an increase in bacterial RNA and multiple host miRNAs (miR-145, miR-146a, miR-122, miR-210) in the blood following CLP. Treatment with tissue RNA or synthetic miRNA mimics (miR-145, miR-146a, miR-122, miR-34a) induced a marked increase in cfB production in cardiomyocytes or macrophages. The newly synthesized cfB released into medium was biologically active because it participated in AP activation initiated by cobra venom factor. Genetic deletion of TLR7 or MyD88, but not TLR3, and inhibition of the MAPKs (JNK and p38) or NF-κB abolished miR-146a-induced cfB production. In vivo, CLP led to a significant increase in splenic cfB expression that correlated with the plasma RNA or miRNA levels. Peritoneal injection of RNA or miR-146a led to an increase in cfB expression in the peritoneal space that was attenuated in MyD88-knockout or TLR7-knockout mice, respectively. These findings demonstrate that host cellular RNA and specific miRNAs are released into the circulation during polymicrobial sepsis and may function as extracellular mediators capable of promoting cfB production and AP activation through specific TLR7 and MyD88 signaling. PMID:26889043

  19. Two Mutations in the Caprine MTHFR 3'UTR Regulated by MicroRNAs Are Associated with Milk Production Traits

    PubMed Central

    Song, Yuxuan; Gao, Teyang; Lei, Yingnan; Cao, Binyun

    2015-01-01

    Background 5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) plays a central role in folate metabolism by irreversibly converting 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methylenetetrahydrofolate, a predominant circulating form of folate. Folate is reportedly important for milk protein synthesis, and MTHFR may be a key regulatory point of folate metabolism for milk protein synthesis in mammary epithelial cells. Prior to this study, polymorphisms of the MTHFR gene were not associated with milk production traits from a breeding perspective. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at microRNA (miRNA) binding sites (miR-SNPs) can affect gene expression. This study aimed to identify the effects of miR-SNPs (g.2244A>G and g.2264A>G) in the caprine MTHFR 3' UTR on the milk production traits of dairy goats. Results Guanzhong dairy (GD, n = 325) goats were used to detect SNPs in the caprine MTHFR 3' UTR by DNA sequencing. Two novel SNPs (g.2244A>G and g.2264A>G) were identified in the said region. The homozygous haplotype A-G of the SNPs g.2244A>G and g.2264A>G was significantly associated with milk yield and milk protein levels in GD goats (P < 0.05). Functional assays indicated that the MTHFR 2244 A → G substitution could increase the binding activity of hsa-miR-1266 with the MTHFR 3' UTR. The MTHFR 2264 A → G substitution could decrease the binding activity of hsa-miR-616 with the MTHFR 3' UTR. In addition, we observed a significant increase in the MTHFR mRNA levels of homozygous haplotype A-G carriers relative to those of homozygous haplotype G-A carriers. These results indicated that both SNPs altered the MTHFR mRNA levels. These altered levels of MTHFR mRNA may account for the association of SNPs with milk production traits. Conclusions This study is the first to report that the g.2244A>G and g.2264A>G polymorphisms were associated with milk production traits in GD goats. Further investigations should explore the underlying miRNA-mediated mechanisms that are modified by

  20. Sustained lentiviral-mediated overexpression of microRNA124a in the dentate gyrus exacerbates anxiety- and autism-like behaviors associated with neonatal isolation in rats.

    PubMed

    Bahi, Amine

    2016-09-15

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are highly disabling psychiatric disorders. Despite a strong genetic etiology, there are no efficient therapeutic interventions that target the core symptoms of ASD. Emerging evidence suggests that dysfunction of microRNA (miR) machinery may contribute to the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in ASD. Here, we report a stress model demonstrating that neonatal isolation-induced long-lasting hippocampal elevation of miR124a was associated with reduced expression of its target BDNF mRNA. In addition, we investigated the impact of lentiviral-mediated overexpression of miR124a into the dentate gyrus (DG) on social interaction, repetitive- and anxiety-like behaviors in the neonatal isolation (Iso) model of autism. Rats isolated from the dams on PND 1 to PND 11 were assessed for their social interaction, marble burying test (MBT) and repetitive self-grooming behaviors as adults following miR124a overexpression. Also, anxiety-like behavior and locomotion were evaluated in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open-field (OF) tests. Results show that, consistent with previously published reports, Iso rats displayed decreased social interaction contacts but increased repetitive- and anxiety-like behaviors. Interestingly, across both autism- and anxiety-like behavioral assays, miR124a overexpression in the DG significantly exacerbated repetitive behaviors, social impairments and anxiety with no effect on locomotor activity. Our novel findings attribute neonatal isolation-inducible cognitive impairments to induction of miR124a and consequently suppressed BDNF mRNA, opening venues for intercepting these miR124a-mediated damages. They also highlight the importance of studying microRNAs in the context of ASD and identify miR124a as a novel potential therapeutic target for improving mood disorders. PMID:27211062

  1. RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY USING BIOMASS FROM DAIRY AND BEEF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeten, John; Annamalai, Kalyan; Auvermann, Brent; Mukhtar, Saqib; Capareda, Sergio C; Engler, Cady; Harman, Wyatte; Reddy, J N; DeOtte, Robert; Parker, David B; Stewart, B A

    2012-05-02

    The Texas Panhandle is regarded as the "Cattle Feeding Capital of the World", producing 42% of the fed beef cattle in the United States within a 200-mile radius of Amarillo generating more than 5 million tons of feedlot manure /year. Apart from feedlots, the Bosque River Region in Erath County, just north of Waco, Texas with about 110,000 dairy cattle in over 250 dairies, produces 1.8 million tons of manure biomass (excreted plus bedding) per year. While the feedlot manure has been used extensively for irrigated and dry land crop production, most dairies, as well as other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's), the dairy farms utilize large lagoon areas to store wet animal biomass. Water runoff from these lagoons has been held responsible for the increased concentration of phosphorus and other contaminates in the Bosque River which drains into Lake Waco—the primary source of potable water for Waco's 108,500 people. The concentrated animal feeding operations may lead to land, water, and air pollution if waste handling systems and storage and treatment structures are not properly managed. Manure-based biomass (MBB) has the potential to be a source of green energy at large coal-fired power plants and on smaller-scale combustion systems at or near confined animal feeding operations. Although MBB particularly cattle biomass (CB) is a low quality fuel with an inferior heat value compared to coal and other fossil fuels, the concentration of it at large animal feeding operations can make it a viable source of fuel. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary proposal is to develop environmentally benign technologies to convert low-value inventories of dairy and beef cattle biomass into renewable energy. Current research expands the suite of technologies by which cattle biomass (CB: manure, and premature mortalities) could serve as a renewable alternative to fossil fuel. The work falls into two broad categories of research and development. Category 1

  2. RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY USING BIOMASS FROM DAIRY AND BEEF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    John M. Sweeten, Kalyan Annamalai Brent Auvermann Saqib Mukhtar Sergio C. Capareda Cady Engler Wyatte Harman J.N. Reddy, Robert DeOtte David B. Parker Dr. B.A. Stewart

    2012-05-03

    The Texas Panhandle is regarded as the 'Cattle Feeding Capital of the World', producing 42% of the fed beef cattle in the United States within a 200-mile radius of Amarillo generating more than 5 million tons of feedlot manure/year. Apart from feedlots, the Bosque River Region in Erath County, just north of Waco, Texas with about 110,000 dairy cattle in over 250 dairies, produces 1.8 million tons of manure biomass (excreted plus bedding) per year. While the feedlot manure has been used extensively for irrigated and dry land crop production, most dairies, as well as other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's), the dairy farms utilize large lagoon areas to store wet animal biomass. Water runoff from these lagoons has been held responsible for the increased concentration of phosphorus and other contaminates in the Bosque River which drains into Lake Waco - the primary source of potable water for Waco's 108,500 people. The concentrated animal feeding operations may lead to land, water, and air pollution if waste handling systems and storage and treatment structures are not properly managed. Manure-based biomass (MBB) has the potential to be a source of green energy at large coal-fired power plants and on smaller-scale combustion systems at or near confined animal feeding operations. Although MBB particularly cattle biomass (CB) is a low quality fuel with an inferior heat value compared to coal and other fossil fuels, the concentration of it at large animal feeding operations can make it a viable source of fuel. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary proposal is to develop environmentally benign technologies to convert low-value inventories of dairy and beef cattle biomass into renewable energy. Current research expands the suite of technologies by which cattle biomass (CB: manure, and premature mortalities) could serve as a renewable alternative to fossil fuel. The work falls into two broad categories of research and development. Category 1

  3. RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY USING BIOMASS FROM DAIRY AND BEEF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Sweeten, John M; Annamalai, Kalyan; Auvermann, Brent; Mukhtar, Saqib; Capareda, Sergio C.; Engler, Cady; Harman, Wyatte; Reddy, J N; DeOtte, Robert; Parker, David B.; Stewart, B. A.

    2012-05-03

    The Texas Panhandle is regarded as the "Cattle Feeding Capital of the World", producing 42% of the fed beef cattle in the United States within a 200-mile radius of Amarillo generating more than 5 million tons of feedlot manure/year. Apart from feedlots, the Bosque River Region in Erath County, just north of Waco, Texas with about 110,000 dairy cattle in over 250 dairies, produces 1.8 million tons of manure biomass (excreted plus bedding) per year. While the feedlot manure has been used extensively for irrigated and dry land crop production, most dairies, as well as other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's), the dairy farms utilize large lagoon areas to store wet animal biomass. Water runoff from these lagoons has been held responsible for the increased concentration of phosphorus and other contaminates in the Bosque River which drains into Lake Waco -- the primary source of potable water for Waco's 108,500 people. The concentrated animal feeding operations may lead to land, water, and air pollution if waste handling systems and storage and treatment structures are not properly managed. Manure-based biomass (MBB) has the potential to be a source of green energy at large coal-fired power plants and on smaller-scale combustion systems at or near confined animal feeding operations. Although MBB particularly cattle biomass (CB) is a low quality fuel with an inferior heat value compared to coal and other fossil fuels, the concentration of it at large animal feeding operations can make it a viable source of fuel. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary proposal is to develop environmentally benign technologies to convert low-value inventories of dairy and beef cattle biomass into renewable energy. Current research expands the suite of technologies by which cattle biomass (CB: manure, and premature mortalities) could serve as a renewable alternative to fossil fuel. The work falls into two broad categories of research and development. Category 1

  4. Sustainable source of omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid from metabolically engineered Yarrowia lipolytica: from fundamental research to commercial production.

    PubMed

    Xie, Dongming; Jackson, Ethel N; Zhu, Quinn

    2015-02-01

    The omega-3 fatty acids, cis-5, 8, 11, 14, and 17-eicosapentaenoic acid (C20:5; EPA) and cis-4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19-docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6; DHA), have wide-ranging benefits in improving heart health, immune function, mental health, and infant cognitive development. Currently, the major source for EPA and DHA is from fish oil, and a minor source of DHA is from microalgae. With the increased demand for EPA and DHA, DuPont has developed a clean and sustainable source of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA through fermentation using metabolically engineered strains of Yarrowia lipolytica. In this mini-review, we will focus on DuPont's technology for EPA production. Specifically, EPA biosynthetic and supporting pathways have been introduced into the oleaginous yeast to synthesize and accumulate EPA under fermentation conditions. This Yarrowia platform can also produce tailored omega-3 (EPA, DHA) and/or omega-6 (ARA, GLA) fatty acid mixtures in the cellular lipid profiles. Fundamental research such as metabolic engineering for strain construction, high-throughput screening for strain selection, fermentation process development, and process scale-up were all needed to achieve the high levels of EPA titer, rate, and yield required for commercial application. Here, we summarize how we have combined the fundamental bioscience and the industrial engineering skills to achieve large-scale production of Yarrowia biomass containing high amounts of EPA, which led to two commercial products, New Harvest™ EPA oil and Verlasso® salmon. PMID:25567511

  5. Sustainable bioethanol production combining biorefinery principles using combined raw materials from wheat undersown with clover-grass.

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Mette Hedegaard; Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Haugaard-Nielsen, Henrik

    2008-05-01

    To obtain the best possible net energy balance of the bioethanol production the biomass raw materials used need to be produced with limited use of non-renewable fossil fuels. Intercropping strategies are known to maximize growth and productivity by including more than one species in the crop stand, very often with legumes as one of the components. In the present study clover-grass is undersown in a traditional wheat crop. Thereby, it is possible to increase input of symbiotic fixation of atmospheric nitrogen into the cropping systems and reduce the need for fertilizer applications. Furthermore, when using such wheat and clover-grass mixtures as raw material, addition of urea and other fermentation nutrients produced from fossil fuels can be reduced in the whole ethanol manufacturing chain. Using second generation ethanol technology mixtures of relative proportions of wheat straw and clover-grass (15:85, 50:50, and 85:15) were pretreated by wet oxidation. The results showed that supplementing wheat straw with clover-grass had a positive effect on the ethanol yield in simultaneous saccharification and fermentation experiments, and the effect was more pronounced in inhibitory substrates. The highest ethanol yield (80% of theoretical) was obtained in the experiment with high fraction (85%) of clover-grass. In order to improve the sugar recovery of clover-grass, it should be separated into a green juice (containing free sugars, fructan, amino acids, vitamins and soluble minerals) for direct fermentation and a fibre pulp for pretreatment together with wheat straw. Based on the obtained results a decentralized biorefinery concept for production of biofuel is suggested emphasizing sustainability, localness, and recycling principles. PMID:18338188

  6. Identification of unwanted photoproducts of cosmetic preservatives in personal care products under ultraviolet-light using solid-phase microextraction and micro-matrix solid-phase dispersion.

    PubMed

    Alvarez-Rivera, Gerardo; Llompart, Maria; Garcia-Jares, Carmen; Lores, Marta

    2015-04-17

    The photochemical transformation of widely used cosmetic preservatives including benzoates, parabens, BHA, BHT and triclosan has been investigated in this work applying an innovative double-approach strategy: identification of transformation products in aqueous photodegradation experiments (UV-light, 254nm), followed by targeted screening analysis of such photoproducts in UV-irradiated cosmetic samples. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) was applied, using different fiber coatings, in order to widen the range of detectable photoproducts in water, whereas UV-irradiated personal care products (PCPs) containing the target preservatives were extracted by micro-matrix solid-phase dispersion (micro-MSPD). Both SPME and micro-MSPD-based methodologies were successfully optimized and validated. Degradation kinetics of parent species, and photoformation of their transformation by-products were monitored by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Thirty nine photoproducts were detected in aqueous photodegradation experiments, being tentatively identified based on their mass spectra. Transformation pathways between structurally related by-products, consistent with their kinetic behavior were postulated. The photoformation of unexpected photoproducts such as 2- and 4-hydroxybenzophenones, and 2,8-dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in PCPs are reported in this work for the first time. PMID:25757820

  7. Role of biochar in low carbon sustainable crop production of China: a synthesizing analysis of field studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Jufeng; Liu, Xiaoyu; Zhang, Afeng; Wu, Gang; Zhang, Bin; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Liu, Yuming; Qu, Jingjing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Kubie, Grace; Muhanmud, Siddie; Pan, Genxing

    2013-04-01

    BSA (BSA) has been proposed as a measure to enhance soil organic C sequestration and mitigate greenhouse gas emission from world croplands. In this study, results of BSA field experiments with rice paddy and dry croplands in 7 sites over China were synthesized for addressing an overall role of biochar in low carbon sustainable crop production. Soil amendment at rates of 0, 20 t ha-1 and 40 t ha-1 of biochar via pyrolysis from wheat straw at 35o-550°was performed consistently across the sites with local conventional fertilization and crop managements. Soil emission monitoring of non-CO2 greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) was conducted at 1 week interval during crop growing season in the year of BSA all sites and the subsequent year after BSA in some sites. Yield and properties, greenhouse gases (CH4 and N2O) and C intensity were assessed. The results from single experiments were synthesized for quantifying the relative changes in yield and GWP with BSA as well as changes in soil properties. BSA increased significantly soil pH, TN, SOC and decrease soil bulk density. On average, crop yield was significantly increased (~6% for rice and 10%~18% for maize) at an extent higher in croplands than in rice paddies. While BSA reduced slightly CH4 uptake in dry cropland, increases in CH4 emission showed a large uncertainty related to soil and climate condition as well as water regime from rice paddies. However,N2O emission from treated croplands were significantly reduced with BSA by 37~48% across sites. As the integration effect, global warming potential (GWP) and C intensity were decreased averagely by over 30% agriculture production (38% ~ 44% in dry cropland and 22% ~ 42% in paddy soil) with BSA, which was a great contribution to mitigation of CO2 in Chinese agriculture. The results further implicated BSA to cropland may to develop sustainable low carbon agriculture as a feasible measure. Key words: Biochar soil application, soil properties, C sequestration, CH4 and N2O

  8. GROWING ALTERNATIVE SUSTAINABLE BUILDINGS: BIO-COMPOSITE PRODUCTS FROM NATURAL FIBER, BIODEGRADABLE AND RECYCLABLE POLYMER MATERIALS FOR LOAD-BEARING CONSTRUCTION COMPONENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The project is an integrative educational and research project that will revolutionize design and construction methods towards more sustainable buildings. The project will develop and test new product design concepts using bio-composite materials in load-bearing and fa&cced...

  9. Modeling a sustainable salt tolerant grass-livestock production system under saline conditions in the western San Joaquin Valley of California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Salinity and trace mineral accumulation threaten the sustainability of crop production in many semi-arid parts of the world, including California’s western San Joaquin Valley (WSJV). We used data from a multi-year field-scale trial in Kings County and related container trials to simulate a forage-gr...

  10. Development of synthetic chromosomes and improved microbial strains to utilize cellulosic feedstocks and express valuable coproducts for sustainable production of biofuels from corn

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A sustainable biorefinery must convert a broad range of renewable feedstocks into a variety of product streams, including fuels, power, and value-added bioproducts. To accomplish this, microbial-based technologies that enable new commercially viable coproducts from corn-to-ethanol biofuel fermentati...

  11. RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY USING BIOMASS FROM DAIRY AND BEEF ANIMAL PRODUCTION

    SciTech Connect

    Kalyan Annamalai, John M. Sweeten, Brent W. Auvermann, Saqib Mukhtar, Sergio Caperada Cady R. Engler, Wyatte Harman Reddy JN Robert Deotte

    2012-05-03

    The Texas Panhandle is regarded as the 'Cattle Feeding Capital of the World', producing 42% of the fed beef cattle in the United States within a 200-mile radius of Amarillo generating more than 5 million tons of feedlot manure/year. Apart from feedlots, the Bosque River Region in Erath County, just north of Waco, Texas with about 110,000 dairy cattle in over 250 dairies, produces 1.8 million tons of manure biomass (excreted plus bedding) per year. While the feedlot manure has been used extensively for irrigated and dry land crop production, most dairies, as well as other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO's), the dairy farms utilize large lagoon areas to store wet animal biomass. Water runoff from these lagoons has been held responsible for the increased concentration of phosphorus and other contaminates in the Bosque River which drains into Lake Waco - the primary source of potable water for Waco's 108,500 people. The concentrated animal feeding operations may lead to land, water, and air pollution if waste handling systems and storage and treatment structures are not properly managed. Manure-based biomass (MBB) has the potential to be a source of green energy at large coal-fired power plants and on smaller-scale combustion systems at or near confined animal feeding operations. Although MBB particularly cattle biomass (CB) is a low quality fuel with an inferior heat value compared to coal and other fossil fuels, the concentration of it at large animal feeding operations can make it a viable source of fuel. The overall objective of this interdisciplinary proposal is to develop environmentally benign technologies to convert low-value inventories of dairy and beef cattle biomass into renewable energy. Current research expands the suite of technologies by which cattle biomass (CB: manure, and premature mortalities) could serve as a renewable alternative to fossil fuel. The work falls into two broad categories of research and development. Category 1

  12. Local Production of a Liquid Direct Agglutination Test as a Sustainable Measure for Control of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Sudan.

    PubMed

    Osman, Hussam Ali; Mahamoud, Abdelhafeiz; Abass, Elfadil Mustafa; Madi, Rubens Riscala; Semiao-Santos, Saul J; El Harith, Abdallah

    2016-05-01

    A prerequisite for the control of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the accessibility to reference diagnostics. The high price of the freeze-dried direct agglutination test (FD-DAT) and the short shelf-life time of the rK39 strip test (rK39) have limited the application of these tests in Sudan. An original liquid DAT (LQ-DAT) with high reproducibility compared with the FD-DAT and rK39 has been routinely produced in our laboratory since 1999. In this study, a 3.4-year-old batch (of more than 90 test batches produced to date) was chosen to validate the diagnostic performance of this test against microscopy, FD-DAT, and rK39 in 96 VL and 42 non-VL serum samples. Relatively higher sensitivity (95/96, 99.0%) was recorded for the LQ-DAT than for the FD-DAT (92/96, 95.8%) and rK39 (76/96, 79.2%), probably because of the use of the endemic autochthonous Leishmania donovani isolate as the antigen. Experience with the LQ-DAT, its low cost of production, ease of providing this test, and diagnostic reliability compared with the FD-DAT suggest that widescale implementation of the LQ-DAT can contribute to sustainable VL control in Sudan. PMID:26976890

  13. MicroRNA-487b Is a Negative Regulator of Macrophage Activation by Targeting IL-33 Production.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Yang; Eyers, Fiona; Herbert, Cristan; Tay, Hock L; Foster, Paul S; Yang, Ming

    2016-04-15

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that regulate a broad spectrum of biological processes, including immune responses. Although the contributions of miRNAs to the function of immune cells are beginning to emerge, their specific roles remain largely unknown. IL-33 plays an important role in macrophage activation for innate host defense and proinflammatory responses. In this study, we report that miR-487b can suppress the levels of mRNA and protein for IL-33 during the differentiation of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). This results in inhibition of IL-33-induced expression of Ag-presenting and costimulatory molecules and proinflammatory mediators. A luciferase assay showed that miR-487b binds to the IL-33 3'-untranslated region. We also confirmed that IL-33 directly promotes the activation of BMDMs by increasing the expression of MHC class I, MHC class II, CD80/CD86, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in a dose-dependent manner. Exposure of BMDMs to the TLR4 ligand, LPS, decreased miR-487b expression, increased IL-33 transcript levels, and induced the production of proinflammatory mediators (e.g., iNOS, IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α). Treatment with a specific inhibitor of miR-487b function also resulted in increased levels of IL-33 mRNA, which augmented LPS-induced expression of these inflammatory mediators in macrophages. Collectively, our results indicate that miR-487b plays a negative regulatory role in macrophages by controlling the levels of IL-33 transcript and protein to fine-tune innate immune host defense and proinflammatory responses of these cells. Thus, miR-487b plays an important role in the regulation of macrophage homeostasis and activation by targeting IL-33 transcripts. PMID:26936882

  14. An insect-inspired flapping wing micro air vehicle with double wing clap-fling effects and capability of sustained hovering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nguyen, Quoc-Viet; Chan, Woei Leong; Debiasi, Marco

    2015-03-01

    We present our recent flying insect-inspired Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicle (FW-MAV) capable of hovering flight which we have recently achieved. The FW-MAV has wing span of 22 cm (wing tip-to-wing tip), weighs about 16.6 grams with onboard integration of radio control system including a radio receiver, an electronic speed control (ESC) for brushless motor, three servos for attitude flight controls of roll, pitch, and yaw, and a single cell lithium-polymer (LiPo) battery (3.7 V). The proposed gear box enables the FW-MAV to use one DC brushless motor to synchronously drive four wings and take advantage of the double clap-and-fling effects during one flapping cycle. Moreover, passive wing rotation is utilized to simplify the design, in addition to passive stabilizing surfaces for flight stability. Powered by a single cell LiPo battery (3.7 V), the FW-MAV flaps at 13.7 Hz and produces an average vertical force or thrust of about 28 grams, which is sufficient for take-off and hovering flight. Finally, free flight tests in terms of vertical take-off, hovering, and manual attitude control flight have been conducted to verify the performance of the FW-MAV.

  15. Microbial conversion of pyrolytic products to biofuels: a novel and sustainable approach toward second-generation biofuels.

    PubMed

    Islam, Zia Ul; Zhisheng, Yu; Hassan, El Barbary; Dongdong, Chang; Hongxun, Zhang

    2015-12-01

    This review highlights the potential of the pyrolysis-based biofuels production, bio-ethanol in particular, and lipid in general as an alternative and sustainable solution for the rising environmental concerns and rapidly depleting natural fuel resources. Levoglucosan (1,6-anhydrous-β-D-glucopyranose) is the major anhydrosugar compound resulting from the degradation of cellulose during the fast pyrolysis process of biomass and thus the most attractive fermentation substrate in the bio-oil. The challenges for pyrolysis-based biorefineries are the inefficient detoxification strategies, and the lack of naturally available efficient and suitable fermentation organisms that could ferment the levoglucosan directly into bio-ethanol. In case of indirect fermentation, acid hydrolysis is used to convert levoglucosan into glucose and subsequently to ethanol and lipids via fermentation biocatalysts, however the presence of fermentation inhibitors poses a big hurdle to successful fermentation relative to pure glucose. Among the detoxification strategies studied so far, over-liming, extraction with solvents like (n-butanol, ethyl acetate), and activated carbon seem very promising, but still further research is required for the optimization of existing detoxification strategies as well as developing new ones. In order to make the pyrolysis-based biofuel production a more efficient as well as cost-effective process, direct fermentation of pyrolysis oil-associated fermentable sugars, especially levoglucosan is highlly desirable. This can be achieved either by expanding the search to identify naturally available direct levoglusoan utilizers or modify the existing fermentation biocatalysts (yeasts and bacteria) with direct levoglucosan pathway coupled with tolerance engineering could significantly improve the overall performance of these microorganisms. PMID:26433384

  16. Identification of MicroRNAs Inhibiting TGF-β-Induced IL-11 Production in Bone Metastatic Breast Cancer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Pollari, Sirkku; Leivonen, Suvi-Katri; Perälä, Merja; Fey, Vidal; Käkönen, Sanna-Maria; Kallioniemi, Olli

    2012-01-01

    Development of bone metastases is dependent on the cancer cell-bone cell interactions in the bone microenvironment. Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) is released from bone during osteoclastic bone resorption and induces production of osteolytic factors, such as interleukin 11 (IL-11), in breast cancer cells. IL-11 in turn increases osteolysis by stimulating osteoclast function, launching a vicious cycle of cancer growth and bone destruction. We aimed to identify and functionally characterize microRNAs (miRNAs) that mediate the bone metastatic process, focusing on miRNAs that regulate the TGF-β induction of IL-11. First, we profiled the expression of 455 miRNAs in a highly bone metastatic MDA-MB-231(SA) variant as compared to the parental MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line and found 16 miRNAs (3.5%) having a >3-fold expression difference between the two cell types. We then applied a cell-based overexpression screen with Pre-miRNA constructs to functionally identify miRNAs regulating TGF-β-induced IL-11 production. This analysis pinpointed miR-204, miR-211, and miR-379 as such key regulators. These miRNAs were shown to directly target IL11 by binding to its 3′ UTR. MiR-379 also inhibited Smad2/3/4-mediated transcriptional activity. Gene expression analysis of miR-204 and miR-379-transfected cells indicated that these miRNAs downregulated the expression of several genes involved in TGF-β signaling, including prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2). In addition, there was a significant correlation between the genes downregulated by miR-379 and a set of genes upregulated in basal subtype of breast cancer. Taken together, the functional evidence and clinical correlations imply novel mechanistic links between miRNAs and the key steps in the bone metastatic process in breast cancer, with potential clinical relevance. PMID:22629385

  17. Beyond the use of modifiers in selective alkyne hydrogenation: silver and gold nanocatalysts in flow mode for sustainable alkene production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vilé, Gianvito; Pérez-Ramírez, Javier

    2014-10-01

    We report on the excellent stereo and chemoselectivity of nanosized silver and gold catalysts in the three-phase hydrogenation of acetylenic compounds under flow chemistry conditions. The materials featuring metal nanoparticles in the range of 2-21 nm were prepared by spray deposition or incipient wetness impregnation of silver nitrate and sol immobilisation of gold chloride on different carriers (Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2, and carbon), followed by activation in various atmospheres. The samples were characterised by ICP-OES, N2 sorption, XPS, HAADF-STEM, and HRTEM, and evaluated in a continuous-flow flooded-bed micro-reactor. Both metals display optimal activities for particles below 5 nm, enabling stable operation at T = 373 K and P = 10 bar. While the performance of the silver catalysts is less influenced by the support, the gold nanoparticles exhibit significant activity only when deposited on TiO2, likely due to the strong metal-support interaction. Hydrogenations of functionalised alkynes reveal that silver and gold match, and in some cases exceed, the selectivity of benchmark palladium-based catalysts. Furthermore, in contrast to Pd, the Ag and Au samples require no modifiers, which brings fundamental and practical simplifications for their understanding and large scale manufacture. Therefore, these materials could be advantageously used for the continuous production of olefinic intermediates in the fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries.We report on the excellent stereo and chemoselectivity of nanosized silver and gold catalysts in the three-phase hydrogenation of acetylenic compounds under flow chemistry conditions. The materials featuring metal nanoparticles in the range of 2-21 nm were prepared by spray deposition or incipient wetness impregnation of silver nitrate and sol immobilisation of gold chloride on different carriers (Al2O3, SiO2, TiO2, and carbon), followed by activation in various atmospheres. The samples were characterised by ICP-OES, N2 sorption

  18. Catalysis for biomass and CO2 use through solar energy: opening new scenarios for a sustainable and low-carbon chemical production.

    PubMed

    Lanzafame, Paola; Centi, Gabriele; Perathoner, Siglinda

    2014-11-21

    The use of biomass, bio-waste and CO2 derived raw materials, the latter synthesized using H2 produced using renewable energy sources, opens new scenarios to develop a sustainable and low carbon chemical production, particularly in regions such as Europe lacking in other resources. This tutorial review discusses first this new scenario with the aim to point out, between the different possible options, those more relevant to enable this new future scenario for the chemical production, commenting in particular the different drivers (economic, technological and strategic, environmental and sustainability and socio-political) which guide the selection. The case of the use of non-fossil fuel based raw materials for the sustainable production of light olefins is discussed in more detail, but the production of other olefins and polyolefins, of drop-in intermediates and other platform molecules are also analysed. The final part discusses the role of catalysis in establishing this new scenario, summarizing the development of catalysts with respect to industrial targets, for (i) the production of light olefins by catalytic dehydration of ethanol and by CO2 conversion via FTO process, (ii) the catalytic synthesis of butadiene from ethanol, butanol and butanediols, and (iii) the catalytic synthesis of HMF and its conversion to 2,5-FDCA, adipic acid, caprolactam and 1,6-hexanediol. PMID:24577063

  19. Sustainable Energy Crop Production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biofuels currently supply a small portion of the world’s energy needs but this is increasing due to mandates intended to reduce use of fossil fuels and the associated environmental impacts. However, the potentials of plant based feedstocks to substitute for fossil fuels and mitigate environmental im...

  20. Biodegradable nano-micro carrier systems for sustained pulmonary drug delivery: (I) Self-assembled nanoparticles encapsulated in respirable/swellable semi-IPN microspheres

    PubMed Central

    El-Sherbiny, I. M.; Smyth, H. D. C.

    2012-01-01

    Design of appropriate inhaled carriers with adequate aerodynamic properties, drug release, biodegradation and evasion of macrophage uptake is a major challenge for controlled release pulmonary drug delivery. In this study, PEG graft copolymerized onto N-phthaloyl chitosan (NPHCs) was synthesized then characterized using FTIR, EA, DSC and 2D-XRD. The resulting PEG-g-NPHCs copolymers were self-assembled into drug loaded nanoparticles and encapsulated in respirable/swellable sodium alginate semi-IPN hydrogel microspheres as novel biodegradable carriers for controlled release pulmonary drug delivery. The developed nano-/microspheres carrier systems were formed via spray drying followed by ionotropic crosslinking in mild aqueous medium. The size of the developed self-assembled nanoparticles and the microspheres was measured using dynamic light scattering and laser diffraction, respectively. Morphology, moisture content, in-vitro biodegradation and dynamic swelling studies were also investigated for the developed carriers. A model protein was entrapped and the in-vitro release profiles were determined in PBS, pH 7.4 at 37°C. A dry powder aerosolization study was conducted using a Next Generation Impactor (NGI). The developed microspheres had suitable aerodynamic diameters (1.02–2.63 μm) and an excellent fine particle fraction, FPF of 31.52%. The microspheres showed also a very fast initial swelling within the first 2 min and started to enzymatically degrade within the first two hours. Moreover, the microspheres entrapped up 90% of the model drug and showed promising in-vitro sustained release profiles as compared to the control formulation. PMID:20580794

  1. Identifying inhibitory effects of lignocellulosic by-products on growth of lactic acid producing micro-organisms using a rapid small-scale screening method.

    PubMed

    van der Pol, Edwin C; Vaessen, Evelien; Weusthuis, Ruud A; Eggink, Gerrit

    2016-06-01

    Sugars obtained from pretreated lignocellulose are interesting as substrate for the production of lactic acid in fermentation processes. However, by-products formed during pretreatment of lignocellulose can inhibit microbial growth. In this study, a small-scale rapid screening method was used to identify inhibitory effects of single and combined by-products on growth of lactic acid producing micro-organisms. The small-scale screening was performed in 48-well plates using 5 bacterial species and 12 by-products. Large differences were observed in inhibitory effects of by-products between different species. Predictions can be made for growth behaviour of different micro-organisms on acid pretreated or alkaline pretreated bagasse substrates using data from the small-scale screening. Both individual and combined inhibition effects were shown to be important parameters to predict growth. Synergy between coumaric acid, formic acid and acetic acid is a key inhibitory parameter in alkaline pretreated lignocellulose, while furfural is a key inhibitor in acid pretreated lignocellulose. PMID:26990397

  2. Analyzing the Effect of Variations in Soil and Management Practices on the Sustainability of Corn Stover-Based Bioethanol Production in Mississippi

    SciTech Connect

    Woli, Prem; Paz, Joel

    2011-08-07

    The inherent variability in corn stover productivity due to variations in soils and crop management practices might contribute to a variation in corn stover-based bioethanol sustainability. This study was carried out to examine how changes in soil types and crop management options would affect corn stover yield (CSY) and the sustainability of the stover-based ethanol production in the Delta region of Mississippi. Based on potential acreage and geographical representation, three locations were selected. Using CERES-Maize model, stover yields were simulated for several scenarios of soils and crop management options. Based on 'net energy value (NEV)' computed from CSYs, a sustainability indicator for stover-based bioethanol production was established. The effects of soils and crop management options on CSY and NEV were determined using ANOVA tests and regression analyses. Both CSY and NEV were significantly different across sandy loam, silt loam, and silty clay loam soils and also across high-, mid-, and low-yielding cultivars. With an increase in irrigation level, both CSY and NEV increased initially and decreased after reaching a peak. A third-degree polynomial relationship was found between planting date and CSY and NEV each. By moving from the lowest to the highest production scenario, values of CSY and NEV could be increased by 86 to 553%, depending on location and weather condition. The effects of variations in soils and crop management options on NEV were the same as on CSY. The NEV was positive for all scenarios, indicating that corn stover-based ethanol production system in the Delta region is sustainable.

  3. Sustainable access to data, products, services and software from the European seismological Research Infrastructures: the EPOS TCS Seismology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haslinger, Florian; Dupont, Aurelien; Michelini, Alberto; Rietbrock, Andreas; Sleeman, Reinoud; Wiemer, Stefan; Basili, Roberto; Bossu, Rémy; Cakti, Eser; Cotton, Fabrice; Crawford, Wayne; Diaz, Jordi; Garth, Tom; Locati, Mario; Luzi, Lucia; Pinho, Rui; Pitilakis, Kyriazis; Strollo, Angelo

    2016-04-01

    Easy, efficient and comprehensive access to data, data products, scientific services and scientific software is a key ingredient in enabling research at the frontiers of science. Organizing this access across the European Research Infrastructures in the field of seismology, so that it best serves user needs, takes advantage of state-of-the-art ICT solutions, provides cross-domain interoperability, and is organizationally and financially sustainable in the long term, is the core challenge of the implementation phase of the Thematic Core Service (TCS) Seismology within the EPOS-IP project. Building upon the existing European-level infrastructures ORFEUS for seismological waveforms, EMSC for seismological products, and EFEHR for seismological hazard and risk information, and implementing a pilot Computational Earth Science service starting from the results of the VERCE project, the work within the EPOS-IP project focuses on improving and extending the existing services, aligning them with global developments, to at the end produce a well coordinated framework that is technically, organizationally, and financially integrated with the EPOS architecture. This framework needs to respect the roles and responsibilities of the underlying national research infrastructures that are the data owners and main providers of data and products, and allow for active input and feedback from the (scientific) user community. At the same time, it needs to remain flexible enough to cope with unavoidable challenges in the availability of resources and dynamics of contributors. The technical work during the next years is organized in four areas: - constructing the next generation software architecture for the European Integrated (waveform) Data Archive EIDA, developing advanced metadata and station information services, fully integrate strong motion waveforms and derived parametric engineering-domain data, and advancing the integration of mobile (temporary) networks and OBS deployments in

  4. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN KAZAKHASTAN: USING OIL AND GAS PRODUCTION BY-PRODUCT SULFUR FOR COST-EFFECTIVE SECONDARY END-USE PRODUCTS.

    SciTech Connect

    KALB, P.D.; VAGIN, S.; BEALL, P.W.; LEVINTOV, B.L.

    2004-09-25

    The Republic of Kazakhstan is continuing to develop its extensive petroleum reserves in the Tengiz region of the northeastern part of the Caspian Sea. Large quantities of by-product sulfur are being produced as a result of the removal of hydrogen sulfide from the oil and gas produced in the region. Lack of local markets and economic considerations limit the traditional outlets for by-product sulfur and the buildup of excess sulfur is a becoming a potential economic and environmental liability. Thus, new applications for re-use of by-product sulfur that will benefit regional economies including construction, paving and waste treatment are being developed. One promising application involves the cleanup and treatment of mercury at a Kazakhstan chemical plant. During 19 years of operation at the Pavlodar Khimprom chlor-alkali production facility, over 900 tons of mercury was lost to the soil surrounding and beneath the buildings. The Institute of Metallurgy and Ore Benefication (Almaty) is leading a team to develop and demonstrate a vacuum-assisted thermal process to extract the mercury from the soil and concentrate it as pure, elemental mercury, which will then be treated using the Sulfur Polymer Stabilization/Solidification (SPSS) process. The use of locally produced sulfur will recycle a low-value industrial by-product to treat hazardous waste and render it safe for return to the environment, thereby helping to solve two problems at once. SPSS chemically stabilizes mercury to mercuric sulfide, which has a low vapor pressure and low solubility, and then physically encapsulates the material in a durable, monolithic solid sulfur polymer matrix. Thus, mercury is placed in a solid form very much like stable cinnabar, the form in which it is found in nature. Previous research and development has shown that the process can successfully encapsulate up to 33 wt% mercury in the solid form, while still meeting very strict regulatory standards for leachable mercury (0.025 mg

  5. The watershed-scale optimized and rearranged landscape design (WORLD) model and local biomass processing depots for sustainable biofuel production: Integrated life cycle assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Eranki, Pragnya L.; Manowitz, David H.; Bals, Bryan D.; Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

    2013-07-23

    An array of feedstock is being evaluated as potential raw material for cellulosic biofuel production. Thorough assessments are required in regional landscape settings before these feedstocks can be cultivated and sustainable management practices can be implemented. On the processing side, a potential solution to the logistical challenges of large biorefi neries is provided by a network of distributed processing facilities called local biomass processing depots. A large-scale cellulosic ethanol industry is likely to emerge soon in the United States. We have the opportunity to influence the sustainability of this emerging industry. The watershed-scale optimized and rearranged landscape design (WORLD) model estimates land allocations for different cellulosic feedstocks at biorefinery scale without displacing current animal nutrition requirements. This model also incorporates a network of the aforementioned depots. An integrated life cycle assessment is then conducted over the unified system of optimized feedstock production, processing, and associated transport operations to evaluate net energy yields (NEYs) and environmental impacts.

  6. "Skills for Productive Citizenship for All": The Place of Skills Development for Micro and Small Enterprises in South Africa

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGrath, Simon

    2005-01-01

    Three important elements of a South African vision for high skills must be spreading skills improvements across the population in general, creating policy coherence and constructing new institutions. This article examines these issues through an investigation of the micro and small enterprise (MSE) sector and, in particular, through an analysis of…

  7. Extremophilic micro-algae and their potential contribution in biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Varshney, Prachi; Mikulic, Paulina; Vonshak, Avigad; Beardall, John; Wangikar, Pramod P

    2015-05-01

    Micro-algae have potential as sustainable sources of energy and products and alternative mode of agriculture. However, their mass cultivation is challenging due to low survival under harsh outdoor conditions and competition from other, undesired, species. Extremophilic micro-algae have a role to play by virtue of their ability to grow under acidic or alkaline pH, high temperature, light, CO2 level and metal concentration. In this review, we provide several examples of potential biotechnological applications of extremophilic micro-algae and the ranges of tolerated extremes. We also discuss the adaptive mechanisms of tolerance to these extremes. Analysis of phylogenetic relationship of the reported extremophiles suggests certain groups of the Kingdom Protista to be more tolerant to extremophilic conditions than other taxa. While extremophilic microalgae are beginning to be explored, much needs to be done in terms of the physiology, molecular biology, metabolic engineering and outdoor cultivation trials before their true potential is realized. PMID:25443670

  8. Distribution, abundance and traditional management of Agave potatorum in the Tehuacán Valley, Mexico: bases for sustainable use of non-timber forest products

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Agave species have been used for thousands of years in the Tehuacán Valley, but the current mescal production has great impact on populations of the most used species. Harvesting of A. potatorum takes place before sexual reproduction and the over-extraction put local populations at high risk. In the community of San Luis Atolotilán (SLA), mescal has been produced for one century but the growing mescal trade is leading to intensified agave extraction. Our study evaluated distribution and abundance of A. potatorum, extraction rates, management practices and economic importance for SLA households. The unbalanced relation between availability and extraction rates would be an indicator of risk requiring sustainable management strategies. Our case study aspires contributing to analyze general patterns for sustainable use for this and other forest products highly extracted. Methods We used bioclimatic modeling to project a map of potential distribution of the species, and ecological sampling to estimate the total availability of harvestable agaves within the territory of SLA. We used participant observation, surveys and semi-structured interviews with producers and households of SLA to document agave uses, technological and socio-economic aspects of mescal production, and to estimate extraction rates of agaves. Results Mescal production, medicine and fodder are the most important uses of A. potatorum. Its distribution area is nearly 608 ha where annually occur on average 7,296 harvestable plants, nearly 54 to 87% of them being harvested. Mescal production currently is a non-sustainable activity, requiring great changes in patterns of extraction and management adopting sustainable criteria. Local people started management planning to ensure the future availability of agaves, and the ecological information of this study has been helpful in constructing their decisions. Technical support for improving local experiences for managing populations’ recovering is

  9. Sustainability at BPA 2012

    SciTech Connect

    2012-12-01

    BPA’s Sustainability Action Plan is grounded in our commitment to environmental stewardship and Executive Order 13514 that calls on the federal agencies to “lead by example” by setting a 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target, increasing energy efficiency; reducing fleet petroleum consumption; conserving water; reducing waste; supporting sustainable communities; and leveraging federal purchasing power to promoting environmentally responsible products and technologies.

  10. Study of the reaction products of SF6 and C in the laser heated diamond anvil cell by pair distribution function analysis and micro-Raman spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rademacher, N.; Bayarjargal, L.; Morgenroth, W.; Bauer, J. D.; Milman, V.; Winkler, B.

    2015-05-01

    The decomposition of SF6 in the presence of glassy carbon was induced in laser heated diamond anvil cells at 10-11 GPa and 2000-2500 K. The reaction products were characterised by synchrotron X-ray diffraction, including high pressure pair distribution function analysis, and micro-Raman spectroscopy combined with atomistic model calculations. The decomposition leads to elemental amorphous helical sulfur and crystalline CF4-III. Two different sulfur phases, namely helical Sμ and crystalline α-S8, were observed after recovering the laser heated samples of different experiments at ambient conditions.

  11. A new method to integrate ZnO nano-tetrapods on MEMS micro-hotplates for large scale gas sensor production.

    PubMed

    Marasso, S L; Tommasi, A; Perrone, D; Cocuzza, M; Mosca, R; Villani, M; Zappettini, A; Calestani, D

    2016-09-23

    A new method, which is easily scalable to large scale production, has been developed to obtain gas sensor devices based on zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures with a 'tetrapod' shape. The method can be easily extended to other kinds of nanostructures and is based on the deposition of ZnO nanostructures through polymeric masks by centrifugation, directly onto properly designed MEMS micro-hotplates. The micromachined devices, after the mask is peeled off, are ready for electrical bonding and sensing test. Sensor response has been successfully measured for some gases and volatile organic compounds with different chemical properties (ethanol, methane, nitrogen dioxide, hydrogen sulfide). PMID:27532770

  12. Role of different additives and metallic micro minerals on the enhanced citric acid production by Aspergillus niger MNNG-115 using different carbohydrate materials.

    PubMed

    Ali, Sikander; Haq, Ikram-ul

    2005-01-01

    The present investigation deals with the promotry effect of different additives and metallic micro minerals on citric acid production by Aspergillus niger MNNG-115 using different carbohydrate materials. For this, sugar cane bagasse was fortified with sucrose salt medium. Ethanol and coconut oil at 3.0% (v/w) level increased citric acid productivity. Fluoroacetate at a concentration of 1.0 mg/ml bagasse enhanced the yield of citric acid significantly. However, the addition of ethanol and fluoroacetate after 6 h of growth gave the maximum conversion of available sugar to citric acid. In another study, influence of some metallic micro-minerals viz. copper sulphate, molybdenum sulphate, zinc sulphate and cobalt sulphate on microbial synthesis of citric acid using molasses medium was also carried out. It was found that copper sulphate and molybdenum sulphate remarkably enhanced the production of citric acid while zinc sulphate was not so effective. However, cobalt sulphate was the least effective for microbial biosynthesis of citric acid under the same experimental conditions. In case of CuSO(4), the strain of Aspergillus niger MNNG-115 showed enhanced citric productivity with experimental (9.80%) over the control (7.54%). In addition, the specific productivity of the culture at 30 ppm CuSO(4) (Q(p) = 0.012a g/g cells/h) was several folds higher than other all other concentrations. All kinetic parameters including yield coefficients and volumetric rates revealed the hyper productivity of citric acid by CuSO(4) using blackstrap molasses as the basal carbon source. PMID:15678560

  13. Health and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Kjӕrgård, Bente; Land, Birgit; Bransholm Pedersen, Kirsten

    2014-09-01

    In the present article, we explore how sustainable development strategies and health promotion strategies can be bridged. The concept of the 'duality of structure' is taken as our starting point for understanding the linkages between health promotion and sustainable development, and for uncovering the structural properties or conditions which either enable or constrain sustainable public health initiatives. We argue that strategies towards health promotion are not sufficiently integrated with strategies for sustainable development, and thus political strategies aimed at solving health problems or sustainability problems may cause new, undesired and unforeseen environmental or health problems. First, we explore how the relation between health and sustainability is articulated in international policy documents. Next, we develop a model for understanding the relation between health promotion and sustainability. Third, we use examples from agriculture and food production to illustrate that health and sustainability are mutually enabling and constraining. We conclude that while the renewed focus on food security and food inequalities has brought the health and sustainability dimensions of the food system onto the political agenda, the conceptualization of duality between health and sustainability could be a new platform for a critical and theoretical stance towards the market-oriented food system strategy. Thinking along the lines of duality means that the integration of health promotion strategies and sustainable development strategies cannot be based on an approach to integration in which either health or sustainability is given precedence over the other. From a duality perspective, integration means conceiving sustainability from a health perspective and health from a sustainability perspective. PMID:23300191

  14. Development of knowledge and tools to enhance resilience of beef grazing systems for sustainable animal protein production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ruminant livestock provide an important source of meat and dairy protein that sustain the health and livelihoods for much of the world’s population. Grazinglands that support ruminant livestock provide numerous other ecosystem services, including provision of food, water, and genetic resources; regu...

  15. Biosolids and dredged materials: alternative sources of nutrients for crop productivity and sustainability of pasture-based agroecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Domestic sewage sludge or “biosolids” and lake-dredged materials are examples of materials that can be used to cut fertilizer costs in pasture-based animal agriculture. Sustainable biosolids and lake-dredged materials management is based upon controlling and influencing the quantity, quality and cha...

  16. Microbiological and clinical effects of enamel matrix derivative and sustained-release micro-spherical minocycline application as an adjunct to non-surgical therapy in peri-implant mucosal inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Goharfar, Zahra; Pourabbas, Reza; Kashefimehr, Atabak; Shirmohmmadi, Adileh

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The purpose of this study was to compare the microbial and clinical effects of mechanical debridement (MD) alone or in combination with the application of enamel matrix derivative (EMD) and sustained-release micro-spherical minocycline (MSM) for treatment of peri-implant mucosal infl ammation (PIMI). Materials and Methods Subjects with at least one implant with PIMI were included and divided into control and two different test groups. In all three groups, MD was performed. In the MSM group, following MD, MSM was placed subgingivally around the implants. In the EMD group, after MD, EMD was placed in the sulcus around the implants. Sampling of peri-implant crevicular fl uid for microbial analysis with real-time polymerase chain reaction and recording of probing depth (PD) and bleeding on probing (BOP) were performed prior to as well as two weeks and three months after treatment. Median values and interquartile range were estimated for each variable during the various assessment intervals of the study. Results In all groups, at two weeks and three months, the counts of Porphyromonas gingivalis decreased significantly compared to baseline. Levels of P. gingivalis were significantly reduced in MSM (P<0.001) and EMD (P=0.026) groups compared to the control group. Also, clinical parameters improved significantly at two weeks and three months. Reduction of PD was significant in MSM (P<0.001) and EMD (P<0.001) groups. The decrease in BOP in the MSM, EMD, and control groups was 60%, 50%, and 20%, respectively. Conclusion The use of MSM and EMD can be an adjunctive treatment for management of PIMI and improves clinical parameters and reduces P. gingivalis burden three months after treatment. PMID:26339576

  17. Drivers Impacting the Adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Management Practices and Production Systems of the Northeast and Southeast U.S

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agricultural production responds to economic, social, environmental, and technological drivers operating both internal and external to the production system. These drivers influence producers’ decision making processes, and act to shape the individual production systems through modification of produ...

  18. Characterization of morphology and hydration products of high-volume fly ash paste by monochromatic scanning x-ray micro-diffraction (μ-SXRD)

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Sungchul; Meral, Cagla; Oh, Jae-eun; Moon, Juhyuk; Kunz, Martin; Monteiro, Paulo J.M.

    2014-05-01

    The present study focuses on identification and micro-structural characterization of the hydration products formed in high-volume fly ash (HVFA)/portland cement (PC) systems using monochromatic scanning x-ray micro-diffraction (μ-SXRD) and SEM-EDS. Pastes with up to 80% fly ash replacement were studied. Phase maps for HVFA samples using μ-SXRD patterns prove that μ-SXRD is an effective method to identify and visualize the distribution of phases in the matrix. μ-SXRD and SEM-EDS analysis shows that the C-S-H formed in HVFA system containing 50% or more of fly ash has a similar structure as C-S-H(I) with comparatively lower Ca/Si ratio than the one produced in PC system. Moreover, coexistence of C-S-H(I) and strätlingite is observed in the system containing 80% of fly ash, confirming that the amount of alumina and silicate phases provided by the fly ash is a major factor for the formation of C-S-H(I) and strätlingite in HVFA system. - Highlights: • High-volume fly ash (HVFA) paste was studied by scanning x-ray micro-diffraction. • Coexistence of C-S-H(I) and strätlingite in the HVFA system is clearly shown. • The distribution of minor phases in the HVFA system is shown. • Differences between inner and outer products of fly ash are observed by SEM-EDS.

  19. Sustained employability of workers in a production environment: design of a stepped wedge trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost-benefit of the POSE program

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Sustained employability and health are generating awareness of employers in an aging and more complex work force. To meet these needs, employers may offer their employees health surveillance programs, to increase opportunities to work on health and sustained employability. However, evidence for these health surveillance programs is lacking. The FLESH study (Functional Labour Evaluation for Sustained Health and employment) was developed to evaluate a comprehensive workers’ health promotion program on its effectiveness, cost-benefit, and process of the intervention. Methods The study is designed as a cluster randomised stepped wedge trial with randomisation at company plant level and is carried out in a large meat processing company. Every contracted employee is offered the opportunity to participate in the POSE program (Promotion Of Sustained Employability). The main goals of the POSE program are 1) providing employee’s insight into their current employability and health status, 2) offering opportunities to improve employability and decrease health risks and 3) improving employability and health sustainably in order to keep them healthy at work. The program consists of a broad assessment followed by a counselling session and, if needed, a tailored intervention. Measurements will be performed at baseline and will be followed up at 20, 40, 60, 80, 106 and 132 weeks. The primary outcome measures are work ability, productivity and absenteeism. Secondary outcomes include health status, vitality, and psychosocial workload. A cost-benefit study will be conducted from the employers’ perspective. A process evaluation will be conducted and the satisfaction of employer and employees with the program will be assessed. Discussion This study provides information on the effectiveness of the POSE program on sustained employment. When the program proves to be effective, employees benefit by improved work ability, and health. Employers benefit from healthier

  20. A novel technique for the production of electrospun scaffolds with tailored three-dimensional micro-patterns employing additive manufacturing.

    PubMed

    Rogers, Catherine M; Morris, Gavin E; Gould, Toby W A; Bail, Robert; Toumpaniari, Sotiria; Harrington, Helen; Dixon, James E; Shakesheff, Kevin M; Segal, Joel; Rose, Felicity R A J

    2014-09-01

    Electrospinning is a common technique used to fabricate fibrous scaffolds for tissue engineering applications. There is now growing interest in assessing the ability of collector plate design to influence the patterning of the fibres during the electrospinning process. In this study, we investigate a novel method to generate hybrid electrospun scaffolds consisting of both random fibres and a defined three-dimensional (3D) micro-topography at the surface, using patterned resin formers produced by rapid prototyping (RP). Poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) was electrospun onto the engineered RP surfaces and the ability of these formers to influence microfibre patterning in the resulting scaffolds visualized by scanning electron microscopy. Electrospun scaffolds with patterns mirroring the microstructures of the formers were successfully fabricated. The effect of the resulting fibre patterns and 3D geometries on mammalian cell adhesion and proliferation was investigated by seeding enhanced green fluorescent protein labelled 3T3 fibroblasts onto the scaffolds. Following 24 h and four days of culture, the seeded scaffolds were visually assessed by confocal macro- and microscopy. The patterning of the fibres guided initial cell adhesion to the scaffold with subsequent proliferation over the geometry resulting in the cells being held in a 3D micro-topography. Such patterning could be designed to replicate a specific in vivo structure; we use the dermal papillae as an exemplar here. In conclusion, a novel, versatile and scalable method to produce hybrid electrospun scaffolds has been developed. The 3D directional cues of the patterned fibres have been shown to influence cell behaviour and could be used to culture cells within a similar 3D micro-topography as experienced in vivo. PMID:24722371

  1. Analysis of the reaction products from micro-vial pyrolysis of the mixture glucose/proline and of a tobacco leaf extract:Search for Amadori intermediates.

    PubMed

    Mitsui, Kazuhisa; David, Frank; Tienpont, Bart; Sandra, Koen; Ochiai, Nobuo; Tamura, Hirotoshi; Sandra, Pat

    2015-11-27

    Micro-vial pyrolysis (PyroVial) was used to study the production of compounds important for the aroma of heat-treated natural products such as tobacco. Firstly, a mixture of glucose and proline was pyrolyzed as model, as this sugar and amino acid are also abundant in tobacco leaf (Nicotiana tobacum L.). The pyrolysate was analyzed using headspace-GC–MS, liquid injection GC–MS and LC–MS. Next, micro-vial pyrolysis in combination with LC–MS was applied to tobacco leaf extract. Using MS deconvolution, molecular feature extraction and differential analysis it was possible to identify Amadori intermediates of the Maillard reaction in the tobacco leaf extract. The intermediate disappeared as was the case for 1-deoxy-1-prolino-β-d-fructose or the concentration decreased in the pyrolysate compared to the original extract such as for the 1-deoxy-1-[2-(3-pyridyl)-1-pyrrolidinyl]-β-d-fructose isomers indicating that Amadori intermediates are important precursors for aroma compound formation. PMID:26602543

  2. Identification of sulforhodamine B photodegradation products present in nonpermanent tattoos by micro liquid chromatography coupled with tandem high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gosetti, Fabio; Bolfi, Bianca; Marengo, Emilio

    2015-06-01

    This article deals with the photodegradation of sulforhodamine B, a dye widely used in nonpermanent tattoos. Degradation evidence was obtained from both aqueous and sweat-simulating solutions of the dye after 9 days of Solarbox irradiation. The identification of the degradation products was achieved using a nontarget approach. For this purpose, a micro liquid chromatography method coupled with tandem high-resolution mass spectrometry was developed. In addition, the chemical structures of five degradation products and two dye impurities were elucidated. The degradation products were the same for both types of solution, whereas the degradation rate of the dye in sweat-simulating solution was slightly faster than that in aqueous solution. The method was also applied to samples of tattooed pigskin subjected to irradiation, in order to better simulate the irradiation effects on the dye used on the skin. None of the degradation products found in the sulforhodamine B solutions were identified in the degraded tattooed pigskin samples, but a new signal at m/z 637.3051 (positive ionization) was found, and the structure of the corresponding molecule was elucidated. The mutagenicity of the photodegradation products was evaluated using a quantitative structure-activity relationship approach, which gave negative results for all the structures elucidated. Graphical Abstract Comparison between tattoed pigskin before and after photodegration process. Strategies for the identification of sulforhodamine B degradation products. PMID:25939426

  3. Biofuels and sustainability.

    PubMed

    Solomon, Barry D

    2010-01-01

    Interest in liquid biofuels production and use has increased worldwide as part of government policies to address the growing scarcity and riskiness of petroleum use, and, at least in theory, to help mitigate adverse global climate change. The existing biofuels markets are dominated by U.S. ethanol production based on cornstarch, Brazilian ethanol production based on sugarcane, and European biodiesel production based on rapeseed oil. Other promising efforts have included programs to shift toward the production and use of biofuels based on residues and waste materials from the agricultural and forestry sectors, and perennial grasses, such as switchgrass and miscanthus--so-called cellulosic ethanol. This article reviews these efforts and the recent literature in the context of ecological economics and sustainability science. Several common dimensions for sustainable biofuels are discussed: scale (resource assessment, land availability, and land use practices); efficiency (economic and energy); equity (geographic distribution of resources and the "food versus fuel" debate); socio-economic issues; and environmental effects and emissions. Recent proposals have been made for the development of sustainable biofuels criteria, culminating in standards released in Sweden in 2008 and a draft report from the international Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels. These criteria hold promise for accelerating a shift away from unsustainable biofuels based on grain, such as corn, and toward possible sustainable feedstock and production practices that may be able to meet a variety of social, economic, and environmental sustainability criteria. PMID:20146765

  4. Product Descriptions; Word Processors and Writing Activities for the Elementary Grades. A MicroSIFT Quarterly Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batey, Anne; Ricketts, Dick

    Intended to help educators choose the most appropriate word processing products for elementary school writing instruction, this report provides extensive information on 12 word processor and 13 writing activity software products. A list of components, general descriptions, comments and evaluations are included for each product. The products…

  5. Sustainability Frontiers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Selby, David

    2010-01-01

    This article introduces Sustainability Frontiers, a newly formed, international, not-for-profit alliance of sustainability and global educators dedicated to challenging and laying bare the assumptions, exposing the blind spots, and transgressing the boundaries of mainstream understandings of sustainability-related education. Among the orthodoxies…

  6. Micro-CHP Systems for Residential Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Timothy DeValve; Benoit Olsommer

    2007-09-30

    Integrated micro-CHP (Cooling, Heating and Power) system solutions represent an opportunity to address all of the following requirements at once: conservation of scarce energy resources, moderation of pollutant release into our environment, and assured comfort for home-owners. The objective of this effort was to establish strategies for development, demonstration, and sustainable commercialization of cost-effective integrated CHP systems for residential applications. A unified approach to market and opportunity identification, technology assessment, specific system designs, adaptation to modular product platform component conceptual designs was employed. UTRC's recommendation to U.S. Department of Energy is to go ahead with the execution of the proposed product development and commercialization strategy plan under Phase II of this effort. Recent indicators show the emergence of micro-CHP. More than 12,000 micro-CHP systems have been sold worldwide so far, around 7,500 in 2004. Market projections predict a world-wide market growth over 35% per year. In 2004 the installations were mainly in Europe (73.5%) and in Japan (26.4%). The market in North-America is almost non-existent (0.1%). High energy consumption, high energy expenditure, large spark-spread (i.e., difference between electricity and fuel costs), big square footage, and high income are the key conditions for market acceptance. Today, these conditions are best found in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New England states. A multiple stage development plan is proposed to address risk mitigation. These stages include concept development and supplier engagement, component development, system integration, system demonstration, and field trials. A two stage commercialization strategy is suggested based on two product versions. The first version--a heat and power system named Micro-Cogen, provides the heat and essential electrical power to the homeowner

  7. Micro-tidal Disruption Events by Stellar Compact Objects and the Production of Ultra-long GRBs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perets, Hagai B.; Li, Zhuo; Lombardi, James C., Jr.; Milcarek, Stephen R., Jr.

    2016-06-01

    We explore full/partial tidal disruption events (TDEs) of stars/planets by stellar compact objects (black holes (BHs) or neutron stars (NSs)), which we term micro-TDEs. Disruption of a star/planet with mass M ⋆ may lead to the formation of a debris disk around the BH/NS. Efficient accretion of a fraction ({f}{acc}=0.1 of the debris may then give rise to bright, energetic, long (103–104 s), X-ray/gamma-ray flares, with total energies of up to ({f}{acc}/0.1)× {10}52 ({M}\\star /0.6 {M}ȯ ) erg, possibly resembling ultra-long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs)/X-ray flashes (XRFs). The energy of such flares depends on the poorly constrained accretion processes. Significantly fainter flares might be produced if most of the disk mass is blown away through strong outflows. We suggest three dynamical origins for such disruptions. In the first, a star/planet is tidally disrupted following a close random encounter with a BH/NS in a dense cluster. We estimate the BH (NS) micro-TDE rates from this scenario to be a few × {10}-6 (a few × {10}-7) {{{yr}}}-1 per Milky Way galaxy. Another scenario involves the interaction of wide companions due to perturbations by stars in the field, likely producing comparable but lower rates. Finally, a third scenario involves a BH/NS that gains a natal velocity kick at birth, leading to a close encounter with a binary companion and the tidal disruption of that companion. Such events could be associated with a supernova, or even with a preceding GRB/XRF event, and would likely occur hours to days after the prompt explosion; the rates of such events could be larger than those obtained from the other scenarios, depending on the preceding complex binary stellar evolution.

  8. Novel technology development through thermal drying of encapsulated Kluyveromyces marxianus in micro- and nano-tubular cellulose in lactose fermentation and its evaluation for food production.

    PubMed

    Papapostolou, Harris; Servetas, Yiannis; Bosnea, Loulouda A; Kanellaki, Maria; Koutinas, Athanasios A

    2012-12-01

    A novel technology development based on the production of a low-cost starter culture for ripening of cheeses and baking is reported in the present study. The starter culture comprises thermally dried cells of Kluyveromyces marxianus encapsulated in micro- and nano-tubular cellulose. For production of a low-cost and effective biocatalyst, whey was used as raw material for biomass production and thermal drying methods (convective, conventional, and vacuum) were applied and evaluated at drying temperatures ranging from 35 to 60 °C. The effect of drying temperature of biocatalysts on fermentability of lactose and whey was evaluated. Storage stability and suitability of biocatalysts as a commercial starter cultures was also assessed and evaluated. All thermally dried biocatalysts were found to be active in lactose and whey fermentation. In all cases, there was sugar conversion ranging from 92 to 100 %, ethanol concentration of up to 1.47 % (v/v), and lactic acid concentrations ranged from 4.1 to 5.5 g/l. However, convective drying of the encapsulated cells of K. marxianus in micro- and nano-tubular cellulose was faster and a more effective drying method while drying at 42 °C appear to be the best drying temperature in terms of cell activity, ethanol, and lactic acid formation. Storage of the biocatalysts for 3 months at 4 °C proved maintenance of its activity even though fermentation times increased by 50-100 % compared with the fresh dried ones. PMID:23111921

  9. Evaluation of the sustainability of contrasted pig farming systems: development of a market conformity tool for pork products based on technological quality traits.

    PubMed

    Gonzàlez, J; Gispert, M; Gil, M; Hviid, M; Dourmad, J Y; de Greef, K H; Zimmer, C; Fàbrega, E

    2014-12-01

    A market conformity tool, based on technological meat quality parameters, was developed within the Q-PorkChains project, to be included in a global sustainability evaluation of pig farming systems. The specific objective of the market conformity tool was to define a scoring system based on the suitability of meat to elaborate the main pork products, according to their market shares based on industry requirements, in different pig farming systems. The tool was based on carcass and meat quality parameters that are commonly used for the assessment of technological quality, which provide representative and repeatable data and are easily measurable. They were the following: cold carcass weight; lean meat percentage; minimum subcutaneous back fat depth at m. gluteus medius level, 45 postmortem and ultimate pH (measured at 24-h postmortem) in m. longissimus lumborum and semimembranosus; meat colour; drip losses and intramuscular fat content in a m. longissimus sample. Five categories of pork products produced at large scale in Europe were considered in the study: fresh meat, cooked products, dry products, specialties and other meat products. For each of the studied farming systems, the technological meat quality requirements, as well as the market shares for each product category within farming system, were obtained from the literature and personal communications from experts. The tool resulted in an overall conformity score that enabled to discriminate among systems according to the degree of matching of the achieved carcass and meat quality with the requirements of the targeted market. In order to improve feasibility, the tool was simplified by selecting ultimate pH at m. longissimus or semimembranosus, minimum fat thickness measured at the left half carcass over m. gluteus medius and intramuscular fat content in a m. longissimus sample as iceberg indicators. The overall suitability scores calculated by using both the complete and the reduced tools presented good

  10. Development of a bar adsorptive micro-extraction-large-volume injection-gas chromatography-mass spectrometric method for pharmaceuticals and personal care products in environmental water matrices.

    PubMed

    Neng, N R; Nogueira, J M F

    2012-01-01

    The combination of bar adsorptive micro-extraction using activated carbon (AC) and polystyrene-divinylbenzene copolymer (PS-DVB) sorbent phases, followed by liquid desorption and large-volume injection gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, under selected ion monitoring mode acquisition, was developed for the first time to monitor pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in environmental water matrices. Assays performed on 25 mL water samples spiked (100 ng L(-1)) with caffeine, gemfibrozil, triclosan, propranolol, carbamazepine and diazepam, selected as model compounds, yielded recoveries ranging from 74% to 99% under optimised experimental conditions (equilibrium time, 16 h (1,000 rpm); matrix characteristics: pH 5, 5% NaCl for AC phase; LD: methanol/acetonitrile (1:1), 45 min). The analytical performance showed good precision (RSD < 18%), convenient detection limits (5-20 ng L(-1)) and excellent linear dynamic range (20-800 ng L(-1)) with remarkable determination coefficients (r(2) > 0.99), where the PS-DVB sorbent phase showed a much better efficiency. By using the standard addition methodology, the application of the present analytical approach on tap, ground, sea, estuary and wastewater samples allowed very good performance at the trace level. The proposed method proved to be a suitable sorption-based micro-extraction alternative for the analysis of priority pollutants with medium-polar to polar characteristics, showing to be easy to implement, reliable, sensitive and requiring a low sample volume to monitor PPCPs in water matrices. PMID:22076312

  11. Using Phenotype MicroArrays to Determine Culture Conditions That Induce or Repress Toxin Production by Clostridium difficile and Other Microorganisms

    PubMed Central

    Lei, Xiang-He; Bochner, Barry R.

    2013-01-01

    Toxin production is a central issue in the pathogenesis of Clostridium difficile and many other pathogenic microorganisms. Toxin synthesis is influenced by a variety of known and unknown factors of genetics, physiology, and environment. To facilitate the study of toxin production by C. difficile, we have developed a new, reliable, quantitative, and robust cell-based cytotoxicity assay. Then we combined this new assay with Phenotype MicroArrays (PM) technology which provides high throughput testing of culture conditions. This allowed us to quantitatively measure toxin production by C. difficile type strain ATCC 9689 under 768 culture conditions. The culture conditions include different carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur sources. Among these, 89 conditions produced strong toxin induction and 31 produced strong toxin repression. Strong toxin inducers included adenine, guanosine, arginine dipeptides, γ-D-Glu-Gly, methylamine, and others. Some leucine dipeptides and the triple-leucine tripeptide were among the strongest toxin repressors. While some results are consistent with previous observations, others are new observations that provide insights into toxin regulation and pathogenesis of C. difficile. Additionally, we have demonstrated that this combined assay technology can be applied broadly to a wide range of toxin producing microorganisms. This study is the first demonstration of simultaneous assessment of a large number of culture conditions influencing bacterial toxin production. The new functional cytotoxin quantitation method developed provides a valuable tool for studying toxigenic microorganisms and may also find applications in clinical and epidemiological research. PMID:23437164

  12. Productivity of sustained research funded by the Medical Research Council of New Zealand during the period 1973-84.

    PubMed

    Lee, D

    1988-02-10

    From 1973-81, Medical Research Council funding for sustained research rose from $1.6 to $4.4 million per year but, during 1982-84 fell to $3.8 million. Corrected for inflation, this funding was constant until 1982-84 when it fell by one-third. Publications increased from about 190 in 1974 to a peak of about 310 in 1980 but fell to 200 during 1982-4. Grantees who failed to publish took about 16% of sustained project grants and 10% of such funding. The average cost of an article rose from $5500 in 1973 to $20,000 in 1983/4 but, in real terms, the cost in 1984 was two-thirds of that in the mid-1970's. Cost of publications from Auckland increased steadily from 1973-84. Those for Dunedin remained constant from 1974-80, but increased to exceed $20,000 in 1982-84. From 1973-78, articles from Wellington cost $12,000 but this rose to $20,000 thereafter. Costs in Christchurch increased from $2500 in 1973 to $12,000 in 1984. Inflation-corrected costs per publication from Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin have shown a downward trend while those from Christchurch showed a slight increase. PMID:3380427

  13. Early and sustained expression of latent and host modulating genes in coordinated transcriptional program of KSHV productive primary infection of human primary endothelial cells

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung Min; Zhou, Fu-Chun; Ye, Feng-Chun; Pan, Hong-Yi; Gao, Shou-Jiang

    2009-01-01

    Coordinated expression of viral genes in primary infection is essential for successful infection of host cells. We examined the expression profiles of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) transcripts in productive primary infection of primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells by whole-genome reverse-transcription real-time quantitative PCR. The latent transcripts were expressed early and sustained at high levels throughout the infection while the lytic transcripts were expressed in the order of immediate early, early, and lytic transcripts, all of which culminated before the production of infectious virions. Significantly, transcripts encoding genes with host modulating functions, including mitogenic and cell cycle-regulatory, immune-modulating, and anti-apoptotic genes, were expressed before those encoding viral structure and replication genes, and sustained at high levels throughout the infection, suggesting KSHV manipulation of host environment to facilitate infection. The KSHV transcriptional program in a primary infection defined in this study should provide a basis for further investigation of virus–cell interactions. PMID:16154170

  14. Computational Prediction of Cryogenic Micro-nano Solid Nitrogen Particle Production Using Laval Nozzle for Physical Photo Resist Removal-cleaning Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishimoto, Jun; Abe, Haruto; Ochiai, Naoya

    The fundamental characteristics of the cryogenic single-component micro-nano solid nitrogen (SN2) particle production using super adiabatic Laval nozzle and its application to the physical photo resist removal-cleaning technology are investigated by a new type of integrated measurement coupled computational technique. As a result of present computation, it is found that high-speed ultra-fine SN2 particles are continuously generated due to the freezing of liquid nitrogen (LN2) droplets induced by rapid adiabatic expansion of transonic subcooled two-phase nitrogen flow passing through the Laval nozzle. Furthermore, the effect of SN2 particle diameter, injection velocity, and attack angle to the wafer substrate on resist removal-cleaning performance is investigated in detail by integrated measurement coupled computational technique.

  15. A roadmap for research on crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to enhance sustainable food and bioenergy production in a hotter, drier world

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Xiaohan; Cushman, John C.; Borland, Anne M.; Edwards, Erika; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Owen, Nick; Griffiths, Howard; Smith, J. Andrew C.; Cestari De Paoli, Henrique; Weston, David; Cottingham, Robert; Hartwell, James; Davis, Sarah C.; Silvera, Katia; Ming, Ray; Schlauch, Karen; Abraham, Paul E.; Stewart, J. Ryan; Guo, Hao -Bo; Nair, Sujithkumar S.; Ranjan, Priya; Palla, Kaitlin J.; Yin, Hengfu; Albion, Rebecca; Ha, Jungmin; Lim, Sung Don; Wone, Bernard W. M.; Yim, Won Cheol; Garcia, Travis; Mayer, Jesse A.; Petereit, Juli; Casey, Erin; Hettich, Robert L.; Ceusters, John; Ranjan, Priya; Palla, Kaitlin J.; Yin, Hengfu; Reyes-Garcia, Casandra; Andrade, Jose Luis; Freschi, Luciano; Beltran, Juan D.; Dever, Louisa V.; Boxall, Susanna F.; Waller, Jade; Davies, Jack; Bupphada, Phaitun; Kadu, Nirja; Winter, Klaus; Sage, Rowan F.; Aguilar, Cristobal N.; Schmutz, Jeremy; Jenkins, Jerry; Holtum, Joseph A.M.

    2015-01-01

    Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a specialized mode of photosynthesis that features nocturnal CO₂ uptake, facilitates increased water-use efficiency (WUE), and enables CAM plants to inhabit water-limited environments such as semi-arid deserts or seasonally dry forests. Human population growth and global climate change now present challenges for agricultural production systems to increase food, feed, forage, fiber, and fuel production. One approach to meet these challenges is to increase reliance on CAM crops, such as Agave and Opuntia, for biomass production on semi-arid, abandoned, marginal, or degraded agricultural lands. Major research efforts are now underway to assess the productivity of CAM crop species and to harness the WUE of CAM by engineering this pathway into existing food and bioenergy crops. An improved understanding of CAM gained through intensive and expanded research efforts has potential for high returns on research investment in the foreseeable future. To help realize the potential of sustainable dryland agricultural systems, it is necessary to address scientific questions related to the genomic features, regulatory mechanisms, and evolution of CAM; CAM-into-C3 engineering; and the production of CAM crops. Answering these questions requires collaborative efforts to build infrastructure for CAM model systems, field trials, mutant collections, and data management.

  16. A roadmap for research on crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) to enhance sustainable food and bioenergy production in a hotter, drier world

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yang, Xiaohan; Cushman, John C.; Borland, Anne M.; Edwards, Erika; Wullschleger, Stan D.; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Owen, Nick; Griffiths, Howard; Smith, J. Andrew C.; Cestari De Paoli, Henrique; et al

    2015-01-01

    Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a specialized mode of photosynthesis that features nocturnal CO₂ uptake, facilitates increased water-use efficiency (WUE), and enables CAM plants to inhabit water-limited environments such as semi-arid deserts or seasonally dry forests. Human population growth and global climate change now present challenges for agricultural production systems to increase food, feed, forage, fiber, and fuel production. One approach to meet these challenges is to increase reliance on CAM crops, such as Agave and Opuntia, for biomass production on semi-arid, abandoned, marginal, or degraded agricultural lands. Major research efforts are now underway to assess the productivity of CAMmore » crop species and to harness the WUE of CAM by engineering this pathway into existing food and bioenergy crops. An improved understanding of CAM gained through intensive and expanded research efforts has potential for high returns on research investment in the foreseeable future. To help realize the potential of sustainable dryland agricultural systems, it is necessary to address scientific questions related to the genomic features, regulatory mechanisms, and evolution of CAM; CAM-into-C3 engineering; and the production of CAM crops. Answering these questions requires collaborative efforts to build infrastructure for CAM model systems, field trials, mutant collections, and data management.« less

  17. Solvents and sustainable chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Welton, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Solvents are widely recognized to be of great environmental concern. The reduction of their use is one of the most important aims of green chemistry. In addition to this, the appropriate selection of solvent for a process can greatly improve the sustainability of a chemical production process. There has also been extensive research into the application of so-called green solvents, such as ionic liquids and supercritical fluids. However, most examples of solvent technologies that give improved sustainability come from the application of well-established solvents. It is also apparent that the successful implementation of environmentally sustainable processes must be accompanied by improvements in commercial performance. PMID:26730217

  18. microRNA-17–92 Regulates IL-10 Production by Regulatory T Cells and Control of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

    PubMed Central

    de Kouchkovsky, Dimitri; Esensten, Jonathan H.; Rosenthal, Wendy L.; Morar, Malika M.; Bluestone, Jeffrey A.; Jeker, Lukas T.

    2014-01-01

    microRNAs (miRNA) are essential for regulatory T cell (Treg) function but little is known about the functional relevance of individual miRNA loci. We identified the miR-17–92 cluster as CD28 costimulation dependent, suggesting that it may be key for Treg development and function. Although overall immune homeostasis was maintained in mice with miR-17–92–deficient Tregs, expression of the miR-17–92 miRNA cluster was critical for Treg accumulation and function during an acute organ-specific autoimmune disease in vivo. Treg-specific loss of miR-17–92 expression resulted in exacerbated experimental autoimmune encephalitis and failure to establish clinical remission. Using peptide-MHC tetramers, we demonstrate that the miR-17–92 cluster was specifically required for the accumulation of activated Ag-specific Treg and for differentiation into IL-10–producing effector Treg. PMID:23858035

  19. Advances in microRNA experimental approaches to study physiological regulation of gene products implicated in CNS disorders

    PubMed Central

    Long, Justin M.; Lahiri, Debomoy K.

    2013-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) is a remarkably complex organ system, requiring an equally complex network of molecular pathways controlling the multitude of diverse, cellular activities. Gene expression is a critical node at which regulatory control of molecular networks is implemented. As such, elucidating the various mechanisms employed in the physiological regulation of gene expression in the CNS is important both for establishing a reference for comparison to the diseased state and for expanding the set of validated drug targets available for disease intervention. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an abundant class of small RNA that mediates potent inhibitory effects on global gene expression. Recent advances have been made in methods employed to study the contribution of these miRNAs to gene expression. Here we review these latest advances and present a methodological workflow from the perspective of an investigator studying the physiological regulation of a gene of interest. We discuss methods for identifying putative miRNA target sites in a transcript of interest, strategies for validating predicted target sites, assays for detecting miRNA expression, and approaches for disrupting endogenous miRNA function. We consider both advantages and limitations, highlighting certain caveats that inform the suitability of a given method for a specific application. Through careful implementation of the appropriate methodologies discussed herein, we are optimistic that important discoveries related to miRNA participation in CNS physiology and dysfunction are on the horizon. PMID:22245616

  20. Matching forage systems with cow size and environment for sustainable cow-calf production in the southern region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There has been increased interest in intensification of cow-calf production due to an increasing world population and red meat demand along with reductions in available grazing lands. Intensified production can come about by increasing fertilization, supplementation, or feeding of stored forages, bu...

  1. Fabrication of a Flexible Micro Temperature Sensor for Micro Reformer Applications

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chi-Yuan; Lin, Chien-Hen; Lo, Yi-Man

    2011-01-01

    Micro reformers still face obstacles in minimizing their size, decreasing the concentration of CO, conversion efficiency and the feasibility of integrated fabrication with fuel cells. By using a micro temperature sensor fabricated on a stainless steel-based micro reformer, this work attempts to measure the inner temperature and increase the conversion efficiency. Micro temperature sensors on a stainless steel substrate are fabricated using micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and then placed separately inside the micro reformer. Micro temperature sensors are characterized by their higher accuracy and sensitivity than those of a conventional thermocouple. To the best of our knowledge, micro temperature sensors have not been embedded before in micro reformers and commercial products, therefore, this work presents a novel approach to integrating micro temperature sensors in a stainless steel-based micro reformer in order to evaluate inner local temperature distributions and enhance reformer performance. PMID:22163817

  2. Sustainable Biofuels Development Center

    SciTech Connect

    Reardon, Kenneth F.

    2015-03-01

    The mission of the Sustainable Bioenergy Development Center (SBDC) is to enhance the capability of America’s bioenergy industry to produce transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks on a large scale, with significant energy yields, at competitive cost, through sustainable production techniques. Research within the SBDC is organized in five areas: (1) Development of Sustainable Crops and Agricultural Strategies, (2) Improvement of Biomass Processing Technologies, (3) Biofuel Characterization and Engine Adaptation, (4) Production of Byproducts for Sustainable Biorefining, and (5) Sustainability Assessment, including evaluation of the ecosystem/climate change implication of center research and evaluation of the policy implications of widespread production and utilization of bioenergy. The overall goal of this project is to develop new sustainable bioenergy-related technologies. To achieve that goal, three specific activities were supported with DOE funds: bioenergy-related research initiation projects, bioenergy research and education via support of undergraduate and graduate students, and Research Support Activities (equipment purchases, travel to attend bioenergy conferences, and seminars). Numerous research findings in diverse fields related to bioenergy were produced from these activities and are summarized in this report.

  3. Building blocks for actively-aligned micro-optical systems in rapid prototyping and small series production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Böttger, Gunnar; Queisser, Marco; Arndt-Staufenbiel, Norbert; Schröder, Henning; Lang, K.-D.

    2015-03-01

    In recent years there has been considerable progress in utilizing fully automated machines for the assembly of microoptical systems. Such systems integrate laser sources, optical elements and detectors into tight packages, and efficiently couple light to free space beams, waveguides in optical backplanes, or optical fibers for longer reach transmission. The required electrical-optical and optical components are placed and aligned actively in more than one respect. For one, all active components are actually operated in the alignment process, and, more importantly, the placing of all components is controlled actively by camera systems and power detectors with live feedback for an optimal coupling efficiency. The total number of optical components typically is in the range of 5 to 50, whereas the number of actors with gripping tools for the actual handling and aligning is limited, with little flexibility in the gripping width. The assembly process therefore is strictly sequential and, given that an automated tool changing has not been established in this class of machines yet, there are either limitations in the geometries of components that may be used, or time-consuming interaction by human operators is needed. As a solution we propose and present lasered glass building blocks with standardized gripping geometries that enclose optical elements of various shapes and functionalities. These are cut as free form geometries with green short pulse and CO2 lasers. What seems to add cost at first rather increases freedom of design and adds an economical flexibility to create very hybrid assemblies of various micro-optical assemblies also in small numbers.

  4. Role of self-sufficiency, productivity and diversification on the economic sustainability of farming systems with autochthonous sheep breeds in less favoured areas in Southern Europe.

    PubMed

    Ripoll-Bosch, R; Joy, M; Bernués, A

    2014-08-01

    Traditional mixed livestock cereal- and pasture-based sheep farming systems in Europe are threatened by intensification and specialisation processes. However, the intensification process does not always yield improved economic results or efficiency. This study involved a group of farmers that raised an autochthonous sheep breed (Ojinegra de Teruel) in an unfavourable area of North-East Spain. This study aimed to typify the farms and elucidate the existing links between economic performance and certain sustainability indicators (i.e. productivity, self-sufficiency and diversification). Information was obtained through direct interviews with 30 farms (73% of the farmers belonging to the breeders association). Interviews were conducted in 2009 and involved 32 indicators regarding farm structure, management and economic performance. With a principal component analysis, three factors were obtained explaining 77.9% of the original variance. This factors were named as inputs/self-sufficiency, which included the use of on-farm feeds, the amount of variable costs per ewe and economic performance; productivity, which included lamb productivity and economic autonomy; and productive orientation, which included the degree of specialisation in production. A cluster analysis identified the following four groups of farms: high-input intensive system; low-input self-sufficient system; specialised livestock system; and diversified crops-livestock system. In conclusion, despite the large variability between and within groups, the following factors that explain the economic profitability of farms were identified: (i) high feed self-sufficiency and low variable costs enhance the economic performance (per labour unit) of the farms; (ii) animal productivity reduces subsidy dependence, but does not necessarily imply better economic performance; and (iii) diversity of production enhances farm flexibility, but is not related to economic performance. PMID:23552287

  5. Diffusion of innovative agricultural production systems for sustainable development of small islands: A methodological approach based on the science of complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbera, Guiseppe; Butera, Federico M.

    1992-09-01

    In order to develop small islands, not only must a vital agricultural system be maintained, but the range of opportunities for tourism must be increased with respect to both the seaside and the environmental features of the rural landscape. As an alternative to the traditional and economically declining ones, many innovative production processes can be identified, but their success depends on their interaction with the physical, biological, economic and social environment. In order to identify the main nodes and the most critical interactions, so as to increase the probability of success of a new productive process, a methodological approach based on the science of complexity is proposed for the cultivation of capers ( Capparis spinosa L.) on the island of Pantelleria. The methodology encompasses the identification of actors and factors involved. the quantitative evaluation of their interactions with the different stages of the productive process, and a quasiquantitative evaluation of the probability that the particular action will be performed successfully. The study of “traditional,” “modernized,” and “modernized-sustainable” processes, shows that the modernized-sustainable process offers mutually reinforcing opportunities in terms of an integrated development of high-quality agricultural products and the enhancement of environmental features, in conjunction with high-efficiency production techniques, in conjunction with high-efficiency production techniques, in a way that suits the development of Pantelleria. There is a high probability of failure, however, as a result of the large number of critical factors. Nevertheless, the present study indicates which activities will enhance the probability of successful innovation in the production process.

  6. Crude glycerol as feedstock for the sustainable production of p-hydroxybenzoate by Pseudomonas putida S12.

    PubMed

    Verhoef, Suzanne; Gao, Nisi; Ruijssenaars, Harald J; de Winde, Johannes H

    2014-01-25

    Crude glycerol is a promising renewable feedstock in bioconversion processes for the production of fuels and chemicals. Impurities present in crude glycerol can however, negatively impact the fermentation process. Successful crude glycerol utilization requires robust microbial production hosts that tolerate and preferably, can utilize such impurities. We investigated utilization of crude, unpurified glycerol as a substrate for the production of aromatic compounds by solvent tolerant Pseudomonas putida S12. In high-cell density fed-batch fermentations, P. putida S12 surprisingly performed better on crude glycerol than on purified glycerol. By contrast, growth of Escherichia coli was severely compromised under these high cell density cultivation conditions on crude glycerol. For P. putida S12 the biomass-to-substrate yield, maximum biomass production rate and substrate uptake rate were consistently higher on crude glycerol. Moreover, production of p-hydroxybenzoate by engineered P. putida S12palB5 on crude glycerol showed a 10% yield improvement over production on purified glycerol. P. putida S12 is a favorable host for bioconversion processes utilizing crude glycerol as a substrate. Its intrinsic stress-tolerance properties provide the robustness required for efficient growth and metabolism on this renewable substrate. PMID:23999132

  7. Homofermentative Lactate Production Cannot Sustain Anaerobic Growth of Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Possible Consequence of Energy-Dependent Lactate Export

    PubMed Central

    van Maris, Antonius J. A.; Winkler, Aaron A.; Porro, Danilo; van Dijken, Johannes P.; Pronk, Jack T.

    2004-01-01

    Due to a growing market for the biodegradable and renewable polymer polylactic acid, the world demand for lactic acid is rapidly increasing. The tolerance of yeasts to low pH can benefit the process economy of lactic acid production by minimizing the need for neutralizing agents. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (CEN.PK background) was engineered to a homofermentative lactate-producing yeast via deletion of the three genes encoding pyruvate decarboxylase and the introduction of a heterologous lactate dehydrogenase (EC 1.1.1.27). Like all pyruvate decarboxylase-negative S. cerevisiae strains, the engineered strain required small amounts of acetate for the synthesis of cytosolic acetyl-coenzyme A. Exposure of aerobic glucose-limited chemostat cultures to excess glucose resulted in the immediate appearance of lactate as the major fermentation product. Ethanol formation was absent. However, the engineered strain could not grow anaerobically, and lactate production was strongly stimulated by oxygen. In addition, under all conditions examined, lactate production by the engineered strain was slower than alcoholic fermentation by the wild type. Despite the equivalence of alcoholic fermentation and lactate fermentation with respect to redox balance and ATP generation, studies on oxygen-limited chemostat cultures showed that lactate production does not contribute to the ATP economy of the engineered yeast. This absence of net ATP production is probably due to a metabolic energy requirement (directly or indirectly in the form of ATP) for lactate export. PMID:15128549

  8. Determinants of business sustainability: an ergonomics perspective.

    PubMed

    Genaidy, Ash M; Sequeira, Reynold; Rinder, Magda M; A-Rehim, Amal D

    2009-03-01

    There is a need to integrate both macro- and micro-ergonomic approaches for the effective implementation of interventions designed to improve the root causes of problems such as work safety, quality and productivity in the enterprise system. The objective of this study was to explore from an ergonomics perspective the concept of business sustainability through optimising the worker-work environment interface. The specific aims were: (a) to assess the working conditions of a production department work process with the goal to jointly optimise work safety, quality and quantity; (b) to evaluate the enterprise-wide work process at the system level as a social entity in an attempt to trace the root causes of ergonomic issues impacting employees throughout the work process. The Work Compatibility Model was deployed to examine the experiences of workers (that is, effort, perceived risk/benefit, performance and satisfaction/dissatisfaction or psychological impact) and their associations with the complex domains of the work environment (task content, physical and non-physical work environment and conditions for learning/growth/development). This was followed by assessment of the enterprise system through detailed interviews with department managers and lead workers. A system diagnostic instrument was also constructed from information derived from the published literature to evaluate the enterprise system performance. The investigation of the production department indicated that the stress and musculoskeletal pain experienced by workers (particularly on the day shift) were derived from sources elsewhere in the work process. The enterprise system evaluation and detailed interviews allowed the research team to chart the feed-forward and feedback stress propagation loops in the work system. System improvement strategies were extracted on the basis of tacit/explicit knowledge obtained from department managers and lead workers. In certain situations concerning workplace human

  9. The effect of using prebiotic and probiotic products on intestinal micro-flora of the honeybee (Apis mellifera carpatica).

    PubMed

    Pătruică, S; Mot, D

    2012-12-01

    Maintaining bee colonies in a healthy state throughout the year is one of the main concerns of apiculture researchers. The phenomenon of disappearance of bee colonies is determined by several factors, one of which is bee disease. Due to the organizational structure of the bee colony, disease transmission is rapid, especially through infected food or via the nurse worker bees that feed the brood bees of the colony concerned. The practice of stimulating the bee colonies in spring using sugar syrup feeds with added prebiotic products (lactic acid or acetic acid) and probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-14 and Bifidobacterium lactis BI-04) by using an Enterobiotic product (Lactobacillus casei), marketed as Enterolactis Plus, for three weeks, resulted in a significant reduction of the total number of bacteria in the digestive tracts of the bees, compared with the control group. By contrast, intestinal colonization with beneficial bacteria contained in probiotics products administered to the bees was observed. This resulted in an improved health status and bio productive index of the bee colonies studied. PMID:22459313

  10. DOES MICRO LC/MS OFFER ADVANTAGES OVER CONVENTIONAL LC/MS IN IDENTIFYING DISINFECTION BY-PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Lower maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of disinfection by-products were set for drinking water municipalities by the Stage 1 DBP Rule in November, 1998. With these new regulations, additional water treatment plants are expected to choose alternative disinfectants to chlorine. Al...

  11. Sustainability 101

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shi, David

    2008-01-01

    Sustainability is one of the leading issues of this time. Climate change is real, and widespread commitment and creativity are needed to combat its negative effects. Higher education is the seedbed of the sustainability movement. Much climate research and environmental science takes place on college and university campuses, which are, by their…

  12. Sustainable Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cadwell, Louise; Dillon, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Green schools have moved into a new era that focuses on building a culture of sustainability in every aspect of learning in schools. In the early stages of sustainability education, the focus was on recycling and turning off the lights. Now, students and adults together are moving into the areas of advocacy and action that are based on a deep…

  13. Productivity and sustainability of rainfed wheat-soybean system in the North China Plain: results from a long-term experiment and crop modelling

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Wei; Wang, Daozhong; Guo, Xisheng; Yang, Taiming; Oenema, Oene

    2015-01-01

    A quantitative understanding of yield response to water and nutrients is key to improving the productivity and sustainability of rainfed cropping systems. Here, we quantified the effects of rainfall, fertilization (NPK) and soil organic amendments (with straw and manure) on yields of a rainfed wheat-soybean system in the North China Plain (NCP), using 30-years’ field experimental data (1982–2012) and the simulation model-AquaCrop. On average, wheat and soybean yields were 5 and 2.5 times higher in the fertilized treatments than in the unfertilized control (CK), respectively. Yields of fertilized treatments increased and yields of CK decreased over time. NPK + manure increased yields more than NPK alone or NPK + straw. The additional effect of manure is likely due to increased availability of K and micronutrients. Wheat yields were limited by rainfall and can be increased through soil mulching (15%) or irrigation (35%). In conclusion, combined applications of fertilizer NPK and manure were more effective in sustaining high crop yields than recommended fertilizer NPK applications. Manure applications led to strong accumulation of NPK and relatively low NPK use efficiencies. Water deficiency in wheat increased over time due to the steady increase in yields, suggesting that the need for soil mulching increases. PMID:26627707

  14. Productivity and sustainability of rainfed wheat-soybean system in the North China Plain: results from a long-term experiment and crop modelling.

    PubMed

    Qin, Wei; Wang, Daozhong; Guo, Xisheng; Yang, Taiming; Oenema, Oene

    2015-01-01

    A quantitative understanding of yield response to water and nutrients is key to improving the productivity and sustainability of rainfed cropping systems. Here, we quantified the effects of rainfall, fertilization (NPK) and soil organic amendments (with straw and manure) on yields of a rainfed wheat-soybean system in the North China Plain (NCP), using 30-years' field experimental data (1982-2012) and the simulation model-AquaCrop. On average, wheat and soybean yields were 5 and 2.5 times higher in the fertilized treatments than in the unfertilized control (CK), respectively. Yields of fertilized treatments increased and yields of CK decreased over time. NPK + manure increased yields more than NPK alone or NPK + straw. The additional effect of manure is likely due to increased availability of K and micronutrients. Wheat yields were limited by rainfall and can be increased through soil mulching (15%) or irrigation (35%). In conclusion, combined applications of fertilizer NPK and manure were more effective in sustaining high crop yields than recommended fertilizer NPK applications. Manure applications led to strong accumulation of NPK and relatively low NPK use efficiencies. Water deficiency in wheat increased over time due to the steady increase in yields, suggesting that the need for soil mulching increases. PMID:26627707

  15. Sustainable MSD prevention: management for continuous improvement between prevention and production. Ergonomic intervention in two assembly line companies.

    PubMed

    Caroly, S; Coutarel, F; Landry, A; Mary-Cheray, I

    2010-07-01

    To increase output and meet customers' needs, companies have turned to the development of production management systems: Kaizen, one piece flow, Kanban, etc. The aim of such systems is to accelerate decisions, react to environmental issues and manage various productions. In the main, this type of management system has led to the continuous improvement of production performance. Consequently, such production management systems can have unexpected negative effects on operators' health and safety. Conversely, regulation and control systems focusing on work-related risks have obliged firms to implement health and safety management systems such as OHSAS 18001. The purpose of this type of system, also based on continuous improvement, is to reduce risks, facilitate work-related activities and identify solutions in terms of equipment and tools. However, the prevention actions introduced through health and safety systems often result in other unexpected and unwanted effects on production. This paper shows how companies can improve the way they are run by taking into account both types of management system. PMID:20097327

  16. Downregulation of microRNA-451 in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis inhibits fatty acid-induced proinflammatory cytokine production through the AMPK/AKT pathway.

    PubMed

    Hur, Wonhee; Lee, Joon Ho; Kim, Sung Woo; Kim, Jung-Hee; Bae, Si Hyun; Kim, Minhyung; Hwang, Daehee; Kim, Young Seok; Park, Taesun; Um, Soo-Jong; Song, Byoung-Joon; Yoon, Seung Kew

    2015-07-01

    Mechanisms associated with the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remain unclear. We attempted to identify the pattern of altered gene expression at different time points in a high fat diet (HFD)-induced NAFLD mouse model. The early up-regulated genes are mainly involved in the innate immune responses, while the late up-regulated genes represent the inflammation processes. Although recent studies have shown that microRNAs play important roles in hepatic metabolic functions, the pivotal role of microRNAs in the progression of NAFLD is not fully understood. We investigated the functions of miR-451, which was identified as a target gene in the inflammatory process in NAFLD. miR-451 expression was significantly decreased in the palmitate (PA)-exposed HepG2 cells and in liver tissues of HFD-induced non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) mice. Its decreased expressions were also observed in liver specimens of NASH patients. In vitro analysis of the effect of miR-451 on proinflammatory cytokine provided evidence for negative regulation of PA-induced interleukin (IL)-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) production. Furthermore, miR-451 over-expression inhibited translocation of the PA-induced NF-κB p65 subunit into the nucleus. Our result showed that Cab39 is a direct target of miRNA-451 in steatotic cells. Further study showed that AMPK activated through Cab39 inhibits NF-κB transactivation induced in steatotic HepG2 cells. miR-451 over-expression in steatotic cells significantly suppressed PA-induced inflammatory cytokine. These results provide new insights into the negative regulation of miR-451 in fatty acid-induced inflammation via the AMPK/AKT pathway and demonstrate potential therapeutic applications for miR-451 in preventing the progression from simple steatosis to severely advanced liver disease. PMID:25957914

  17. Phenotypic and genotypic screening of human-originated lactobacilli for vitamin B12 production potential: process validation by micro-assay and UFLC.

    PubMed

    Bhushan, Bharat; Tomar, S K; Mandal, Surajit

    2016-08-01

    Vitamin B12 (B12) production is a strain specific, rare and hidden functional attribute of lactobacilli and a cogent protocol for selection of such isolates from the herd of lactobacilli is required. The present study included isolation of lactobacilli from human samples (milk and fecal), screening them by a polyphasic (three-phase) methodology for probable B12 production potential and validating the screening protocol by exploring selected strains for in vitro vitamin production (two-phase fermentation) and quantification [micro-assay and ultra fast liquid chromatography (UFLC)]. Fifty-nine Lactobacillus strains were recovered from tested biological samples. Contrary to screening inapplicabilities of first [growth potential (GP) in B12-free medium] and second phases (GP in B12-free and cobalt chloride-supplemented conditions), third phase (cbiK gene detection on genomic DNA) alone was revealed as a validated strategy for selection of two probable B12-producing lactobacilli. Microbiological assay confirmed production and bioavailability of produced vitamin, while UFLC testing validated the results by precisely quantifying the cyanocobalamin (industrially produced bio-available form of B12) in cell extracts of both possible B12 producers [BHM10 (10.91 ± 1.55 μg/l) and BCF20 (23.90 ± 1.73 μg/l)] and positive standard [Lactobacillus reuteri DSM20016 (20.03 ± 4.17 μg/l)]. Moreover, this study generates a novel report for genomic detection, partial amplification and sequencing of cbiK gene in Lactobacillus plantarum species (both BHM10 and BCF20). In conclusion, contrary to first two phases, cbiK gene detection strategy successfully selects B12-producing strains from a group of human-originated lactobacilli and can be used in the future for similar screening studies. PMID:27234139

  18. MicroRNA-124 mediates the cholinergic anti-inflammatory action through inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yang; Li, Qi; Gui, Huan; Xu, Dong-Ping; Yang, Yi-Li; Su, Ding-Feng; Liu, Xia

    2013-01-01

    The vagus nerve can control inflammatory response through a 'cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway', which is mediated by the α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) on macrophages. However, the intracellular mechanisms that link α7nAChR activation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production remain not well understood. In this study, we found that miR-124 is upregulated by cholinergic agonists in LPS-exposed cells and mice. Utilizing miR-124 mimic and siRNA knockdown, we demonstrated that miR-124 is a critical mediator for the cholinergic anti-inflammatory action. Furthermore, our data indicated that miR-124 modulates LPS-induced cytokine production by targeting signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) to decrease IL-6 production and TNF-α converting enzyme (TACE) to reduce TNF-α release. These results also indicate that miR-124 is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. PMID:23979021

  19. Determination of dyes in cosmetic products by micro-matrix solid phase dispersion and liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Eugenia; Celeiro, Maria; Lamas, J Pablo; Llompart, Maria; Garcia-Jares, Carmen

    2015-10-01

    A simple method based on micro-matrix solid phase dispersion (MSPD) followed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has been developed for the rapid and simultaneous determination of nine regulated water-soluble dyes in personal care and decorative products. The proposed miniaturized extraction procedure was optimized by means of experimental designs in order to obtain the highest extraction efficiency. Under the optimal selected conditions, the method was validated showing satisfactory performance in terms of linearity, sensitivity, and intra-day and inter-day precision. Recoveries were evaluated in different cosmetic matrices and they can be considered quantitative with average values between 70 and 120% with relative standard deviations (RSD) lower than 15%. Finally, the validated method was applied to 24 samples of cosmetic and personal care products, including decorative makeup, lipsticks, lip gloss, toothpastes, regenerating creams, shampoos, and eye shadows, among others, to cover a broad range of commercial real samples. Seven of the analyzed dyes were detected, being declared all of them in the label list of ingredients. More than 50% of the samples contained at least two dyes. Tartrazine was the most frequently found (50% of the samples) at concentration levels of 0.243-79.9μgg(-1). Other targets were found in 1-9 samples, highlighting the presence of Quinoline at high concentration (>500μgg(-1)) in a toothpaste sample. PMID:26363949

  20. MicroRNA-122 Inhibits the Production of Inflammatory Cytokines by Targeting the PKR Activator PACT in Human Hepatic Stellate Cells

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Masato; Kanda, Tatsuo; Sasaki, Reina; Haga, Yuki; Jiang, Xia; Wu, Shuang; Nakamoto, Shingo; Yokosuka, Osamu

    2015-01-01

    MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) is one of the most abundant miRs in the liver. Previous studies have demonstrated that miR-122 plays a role in inflammation in the liver and functions in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which reside in the space of Disse. Here, we showed that the transient inhibition of PKR-activating protein (PACT) expression, by miR-122 or siRNA targeting of PACT, suppressed the production of proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and IL-1β, in human HSC LX-2. Sequence and functional analyses confirmed that miR-122 directly targeted the 3′-untranslated region of PACT. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that miR-122 blocked NF-κB-nuclear translocation in LX-2 cells. We also showed that conditioned medium from miR-122-transfected LX-2 cells suppressed human monocyte-derived THP-1 cell migration. Taken together, our study indicates that miR-122 may downregulate cytokine production in HSCs and macrophage chemotaxis and that the targeting of miR-122 may have therapeutic potential for preventing the progression of liver diseases. PMID:26636761