One way of removing harmful nitrate from drinking water is to catalyse its conversion to nitrogen. This process suffers from the drawback that it often produces ammonia. By using palladium nanoparticles as a catalyst, and by carefully controlling their size, this drawback can be partially eliminated. It was research conducted by Yingnan Zhao of the University of Twente’s MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology that led to this discovery.
Due to the excessive use of fertilizers, our groundwater is contaminated with nitrates, which pose a problem if they enter the mains water supply. Levels have fallen significantly in recent years, as a result of various European directives. In addition, the Integrated Approach to Nitrogen programme was launched in various Dutch nature reserves at the start of January. Tackling the problem at source is one thing, but it will still be necessary to treat the mains water supply. Read more
Is Water a Mineral?
If we compare the properties of water to the five requirements of the mineral definition we find that it fails to qualify as a mineral. Water is a liquid so it does not meet requirement #3 – being a solid.
However, at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius water becomes the solid material that we call “ice”. Read more
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) recommendations for treating water after a natural disaster or other emergencies call for more chlorine bleach than is necessary to kill disease-causing pathogens and are often impractical to carry out, a new study has found. The authors of the report, which appears in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology, suggest that the agency review and revise its guidelines.
Daniele Lantagne, who was at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the time of the study and is now at Tufts University, and colleagues note that after natural disasters such as floods, clean water can be scarce. To prevent the spread of water-borne illnesses, the EPA currently recommends “bottle, boil, bleach” in case of a water emergency. That is, people should turn to bottled water as a first resort. If that’s not an option, then they should boil available water to disinfect it. Read more
If you went up to the average person on the street today and tried to explain that most Americans drink, bathe in, and wash their dishes and clothes in an industrial waste product that is linked to causing endocrine disruption and cancer, you might be labeled a loon.
But this is exactly what millions of city-dwellers do every day without realizing it, thanks to an outdated and completely unscientific public health intervention known as artificial water fluoridation. Read more
Has been recommending water filters for years, but they are not without their issues. (Remember Beth Terry’s Take Back the Filter campaign?). They are often ugly, plastic things. I love my ZeroWater, but it is ridiculous to fill, and is seriously out of place in an architect’s kitchen.
The Soma, on the other hand, is lovely to look at. CEO Mike Del Ponte tells us that it is designed according to Dieter Ram’s principles (which inspired Jony Ives and Apple). Rams has written:
My aim is to omit everything superfluous so that the essential is shown to the best possible advantage.
And indeed, as Mike points out, they even eliminated the handle from the glass carafe. It is simple and elegant, a bit retro and would look lovely on my counter. Read more