Browse Month by June 2015
Matter and energy

Activated Carbon and Air Filters

clean_house

Activated carbon is carbon that has been treated with oxygen. After the treatment, millions of tiny pores are activated on the carbon’s surface. Amazingly, these pores are so numerous that a single pound of activated carbon may provide 60 to 150 acres of surface area to trap pollutants.

Once carbon has been activated, it can remove a bunch of airborne chemicals, for example, alcohols, organic acids, aldehydes, sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid, and phosgene. It also removes odours, whether they are from humans or animals. It also removes perfumes, other household cleaning chemicals, and is especially good at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Activated Carbon and Filters

Activated carbon filters will adsorb even a small amount of almost all vapours and they have a large capacity for removing organic molecules like solvents. They can also simultaneously adsorb many different kinds of chemicals, making these filters very efficient. Activated carbon is very durable and non-toxic, so it can work in any temperature or humidity. These make it’s safe for people to handle. As an extra bonus, activated carbon is also relatively affordable.

The trick lies on adsorption – the process by which a gas bonds to the surface of a solid. In this case, the solid is the activated carbon. Air passes through the filter where airborne gases, chemicals, and odours produce chemical reactions with the surface of the carbon, effectively sticking to it. The clean air then flows out of the filter.

Activated carbon filters is analogous to a sponge. The more activated carbon in the filter, the more pollutants it can hold and the longer the filter lasts. The best and the most efficient filters include many pounds of activated carbon to ensure a longer life before the next replacement.

Need some fresh and clean air at home? It’s time to put a good activated carbon filter at your home.

Human interrelationship

Moms-to-be, be aware of air pollution

pregnant pollution

When you’re pregnant, there are many things you’ll pay extra caution. The food you eat or the quality of your sleep. However, there’s something important but is also inconspicuous that many pregnant women may well neglect. That’s the quality of the air you breathe for you and your baby.

Air quality is important for us, and it’s particularly critical for those who are pregnant. Studies done by School of Public Health in Columbia University, New York, have shown that kids who are exposed to the highest levels of air pollution before birth have a greater risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms than their less exposed peers.

Those harmful pollutants that are hazardous to the prenatal are the products of fossil fuel combustion, and are known to damage the developing nervous system. Traffic exhaust and residential fuel oil use are the main sources of the combustion.

In response, New York City has already reduced levels of such pollution by establishing anti-idling regulations for trucks and buses, and requiring the city buses to use cleaner fuels. Meanwhile, pregnant women who are concerned about the risks of pollution exposure have their own responsibility. Eating plenty of fresh produce can give good nutrition to offset the effects of pollutants.

On the other hand, while we cannot control the outdoor air we breathe, we still can make our indoor air clean. Find a trustworthy supplier and use qualify air filters in your home. After all, we don’t spend most of the time outside, right?

Geology

Airport and Air Pollution

smokingSmoke Solution>

I am a frequent traveller and have been to many airports. Airport is the first impression of foreigners to a country. A clean and fresh airport can always give a nice start of the journey. For years, I could find myself enjoying different airports and sometimes found it even nicer to have an overnight sleep there than a local hostel. However, in recent years I witnessed some unpleasant changes.

Demand for air travel is now higher than ever, thanks to cheaper tickets and easier technology. Anyway, the growing demand has mainly led to two consequences: more flights (including those of delayed) and more passengers staying in the airports. These will in turn increase the level of air pollution at airports.

More airplanes mean more sources of pollution. And more people mean heavier ground traffic needed to support air operations: push-back trucks, passenger or staff buses, baggage load, catering vehicles, just to name a few. Most of these articles are powered by diesel engines and operate closely to the airports.

The logic here is simple: airport buildings are ventilated to provide breathing air for our comfort. Large amounts of external air are now drawn into the buildings and this air will be heavily polluted. As a result, I witnessed the overall degrading air quality in some airports.

Controlling passenger flow is not easy. The more effective solution is to equip the airport with highly efficient air filters that can control particular and molecule pollutants. Assess the extent of the problem and tackle it with respective types of air filters. Also find the airport with qualify filters that are satisfy European standards.

Airports are the first check-point of foreign guests, don’t disappoint them.

Atmosphere, climate, and weather

Polar bears and their missing homes

Bear lost

What do you think about the picture?  Polar bear doing yoga? This is not a picture for fun, but indeed, it’s a heart-breaking one that tells a big story.

The seawater surrounding the bear was once a piece of huge iceberg and the homeland for polar bears. But since the recent century, the Earth’s temperature has increased 0.8%, declaring the age of global warming. Humans are the main cause of global warming. We produce excessive CO2 that traps the heat inside the atmosphere.

We cause global warming but we’re not the only species that have to bear the consequences. Hotter temperatures melt the ice. Polar bears have evolved for a life on the sea ice, which they rely on for reaching their seal prey. But the arctic sea ice is rapidly diminishing due to a warming earth, affecting the entire arctic ecosystem. For polar bears, sea ice losses doesn’t only mean higher sea level (that can increase the risk of drowning!), but also means the reduced access to food, lower cub survival rates, and the loss of their homeland! Polar bears are now forced to swim longer distances due to decreasing sea ices.

Humans have led this problem. And we are the ones who have to fix it. Time to conserve polar bears is becoming stringent. This means all of us – individuals, communities, businesses, and states – must work together and act now.

Matter and energy

The Best Solution for Your Water Problem

water drop and green leaf

Ever suspected your water quality? It looks yellowish? It happens to smell like steel? Or it even contains some “unknown” substances? Then you tired different methods to clean the water but nothing worked. What’s the problem?

Indeed, the practicalsolutions to your contaminated drinking water problem are to stop the practices causing the contamination or to change water sources. While changing water sources can be hard or even impossible sometimes, stopping the particles becomes the best solution.

Try Activated Carbon (AC). AC is not necessarily the same as carbon. AC is a black, solid substance resembling granular or powdered charcoal. It is extremely porous with a very large surface area. One ounce of AC has an estimated 30,000 square yards of surface area. Thus, AC removes far more contaminants from water than does of ordinary carbon.

Activated Carbon (AC) filters can remove many organic compounds, such as chlorinated and non-chlorinated solvents. They can also effectively remove chlorine and is moderately effective in removing some heavy metals. Meanwhile, AC can also remove taste and odours in your domestic water treatment systems.

Today, home water treatment using AC is among the best and popular optioused by people with a drinking water quality problem. Your selection of an AC filter should be based upon water analysis and a thorough assessment of your homeowner’s situation. A well-informed decision is always your best insurance for protecting health.

Ecosystems

Activated Carbon & Water Filters

Activated Carbon

Carbon is a substance that has a long history of being used to adsorb impurities and is perhaps the most powerful adsorbent known to man. One pound of carbon contains a surface area of roughly 125 acres and can adsorb literally thousands of different chemicals. Activated carbon is carbon that is electro-positively charge, making it even more attractive to chemicals and impurities. As the water passes over the positively charged carbon surface, the negative ions of the contaminants are drawn to the surface of the carbon granules.

Activated carbon filters used for home water treatment typically contain either granular activated carbon (GAC) or powdered block carbon. Although both are effective, carbon block filters generally have a higher contaminant removal ratio. The two most important factors affecting the efficiency of activated carbon filtration are the amount of carbon in the unit and the amount of time the contaminant spends in contact with it. The more carbon the better. Similarly, the lower the flow rate of the water, the more time that the contaminants will be in contact with the carbon, and the more absorption that will take place. Particle size also affects removal rates.

Activated carbon filters are usually rated by the size of the particles they are able to remove, measured in microns, and generally range from 50 microns (least effective) down to 0.5 microns (most effective).

The most common carbon types used in water filtration are bituminous, wood, and coconut shell carbons. While coconut shell carbon typically costs 20% more than the others, it is generally regarded as the most effective of the three. All of our activated carbon filters use coconut shell carbon.

Ecosystems

Using Activated Carbon in a Freshwater Aquarium

Carbon filters2
The quality of carbon is typically measured by ash content, iodine number, and molasses number. It is important to have a carbon material with a good mixture of both large and small pores to catch pollutants. If the surface has many tiny pores (micro-porous carbon) then the pores will not be large enough to let pollutants to enter them. On the other hand, if the total surface area contains mostly large pores (macro-porous carbon) then there will not be very many chemical bonding sites. >

Quality of the carbon
Make sure you buy quality activated carbon. Cheap carbon often contains a great deal of ash, and will become deactivated (meaning that it stops removing compounds) very quickly. Another important thing is if you use carbon with a lot of ashes in water, these ashes will start floating and make it look dirty.
When it comes to freshwater aquarium filtration, there are many options to choose from. One of the most popular filtration methods involves activated carbon filter media. Yet, using carbon in a freshwater aquarium is a controversial subject. Some people believe it is a waste of time and never use carbon except for special occasions. Others use a great deal of carbon and hope to polish the water and remove odours.

As a fish lover, I always do the best to keep my tank as clean as possible. I tried both ways, with or without activated carbon. After failures and trails, I can say if use properly, carbondoes polish the water and remove odours effectively. Sure, you may continue to insist the anti-carbon point of view,butif you decide to use carbon, there are several things you need to know in order to achieve the optimal aquarium.

Read next for more tips to perfect your aquarium setup.

Matter and energy

The Best Water Filter Options

Carbon filters3

Then, Distilled Water?
Recognized by the EPA as the best option for removing chemicals, quality carbon filters remove VOCs, pesticides, bacteria, fluoride, heavy metals, and parasites. Most can safely transform any type of water into safe drinking water.

A big plus for carbon filters is that they seem to be the least expensive in the long run and require the fewest filter replacements. They also hold naturally occurring minerals from the water, making it the best tasting filtered water option, in my opinion.

Conclusion: This is what I personally use now.Amazingly, carbon filters are very inexpensive per gallon cost and need infrequent filter replacement. Portable options can even be used while traveling.From my research, this is the best option for removing contaminants without removing necessary minerals, while keeping a good taste.

Then, Distilled Water?
The distillation process heats the water to become steam. The steam is then cooled toturn back into liquid, leaving behind many contaminants. Distillation reduces large particles like heavy metals but does not remove some other contaminants like VOCs or chemicals that disrupt hormones.
<>bConclusion: It removes a large amount of contaminants, and heavy metals. But it does not reduce VOCs and other hormone disruptors. Home distillation systems are also expensive and consume too much electricity. Overall, it’s better than bottled water but definitely not the best option out there.

I got a lot of emails and questions about the healthiest options for drinking water and best water filters. To be honest, this is something I’ve also been researching for quite a while, and am only now sharing with you since I’ve finally been able to understand all of the options.

Finding the healthiest food is very important, but finding the best water options can be even more important! Some sources of water can contain hundreds of chemicals and many of these chemicals can be more easily absorbed from water than from food.

How About Bottled Water?
Bottled water has gained some popularity these days, thanks for its successful marketing. But it is not a good option for several seasons:
• Chemicals from the plastic bottle itself can leak into the water
• In most cases, the water itself is no different than tap water
• Bottled water costs more than drinking tap water
• Water bottles are not environmentally-friendly!
Conclusion: Not the best option on price, taste, or health so I skip it. Don’t be baffled by its convenience. carbon filters

So, Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis filtration uses a membrane to remove many contaminants from water. The membrane is semipermeable separates many large size particles from the water. Unluckily, the filtration process wastes a large amount of water. Not to forget many naturally occurring minerals (e.g. calcium and magnesium) are also removed.
Conclusion: Reverse osmosis does remove a large amount of contaminants but it wastes more water than it produces. Just like its distillation counterpart, reverse osmosis cannot remove VOCs and other hormone disruptors. So it’s still not the best water solution.

Earth

Charcoal Grill. Gas grill. Which one is Earth Lover?

Charcoal-Briquttes

Summer is coming soon. Many of us are ready for a little fire cooking. You may consider what fuel to grill: gas or charcoal? The question is not simply which produces a tastier burger, but which is better for the planet? If you want to do it in the greenest way, the step 1 is to choose the greenest fuel.

The straight part of the issue is that the briquettes emit more carbon dioxide when they’re burned. So if you’re only concerned with the carbon dioxide that comes out from your grill, then gas is the easy choice.

But let’s step back. Consider the whole production cycle. There are certain types of charcoal deserve to be the greener cooking fuel. The trick behind is to select the charcoal that’s been produced with sustainability. Gas emits less carbon dioxide, but is made from non-renewable fossil fuels. While charcoal sounds dirtier at the first glance, but can come from renewable resources such as trees, so it is actually carbon neutral in the end. Gas, on the other hand, can’t be replenished – or at least not for the millions of years.

On top of that, briquettes are made primarily from plant waste, which would otherwise be thrown away. So, it’s not as if we’re cutting down trees just to make briquettes – they are, instead, smart and green products!

OK. It’s time to prepare the barbecue. I will grill the best not only for my stomach, but also for the Earth. How about you?