Nano Filtration

Science, Technology and Health

Nano filtration is a pressure driven filtration process where mixture water passes through a membrane by the application of a gravity or pressure. High removal of divalent ions (calcium, magnesium, arsenic, iron, sulphate) and low removal of monovalent ions (sodium, potassium, chloride) can be achieved in Nano filtration process.  Nano filtration membranes can be used in desalination, organic matter and iron removal from surface water (Bartels et. al., 2007).

A number of problems such as membrane fouling, corrosion and scaling are caused by suspended solids, organic and inorganic materials in the feed water. Membrane fouling due to high levels of organic compounds in water can change permeability of Nano filtration membrane affecting water quality and operating cost (Bartels, et. al., 2007). Membrane bio fouling, growth of micro-organisms on a membrane, is a serious challenge causing technical problems (Ivnitsky et. al., 2005). According to Ivnitsky et. al. (2005) microbes such as Flavobacterium species,

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Water Stewardship

Science, Technology and Health

Water stewardship is the accountability of individual, family, community and organization for the management of the resources of water. Water stewardship progress can be achieved by joint actions from businesses, governments and communities (AWS, 2010). EWP (2013) recognized access to water supply and sanitation as a human right and claimed ‘water democracy’ through the application of the principles of transparency, integrity, solidarity and equity. Stakeholders must be aware of their water rights and responsibilities toward water resources for a better water stewardship.

WWF (n.d.) formulated water stewardship strategy steps in the increasing order of watershed sustainability as water awareness, knowledge of impact, internal action, stakeholder engagement and influence governance.  Active involvement of the stakeholders in the decision making process assists water governance. Pinero (2012) suggested the use of water foot printing methodology to enhance knowledge about human-water interaction. Businesses are being committed to improve water efficiency, recycle water and minimize…

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Life Cycle Assessment: Introduction

Science, Technology and Health

According to ISO (1997 cited in Hendrickson, 2006) life cycle assessment “studies the environmental aspects and potential impacts throughout a product’s life from raw material acquisition through production, use, and disposal”. LCA helps to understand true and total cost associated with the manufacture of a product, its use and disposal. Environmental releases to air, water and land from each life cycle stage of a product can be quantified from life cycle assessment (ALCAS, n.d.; Environment Agency, 2011; RSC, n.d.). LCA contains three components: an inventory analysis, impact analysis, and an improvement analysis (Hendrickson, 2006; Svoboda, 1995).

Inventory is the data collection stage which assesses energy and raw material requirements and environmental pollution such as air emissions, solid waste disposal and waste water discharges throughout the life cycle of the product (ALCAS, n.d.; Svoboda, 1995). The stage involves construction of process maps or flow charts and establishing material and energy balance…

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Membrane Bioreactor

Science, Technology and Health

Pressure has been increased on authorities for efficient waste water treatment with environmental consideration due to rapid growth and urbanisation (EU, 2010). Various physical, mechanical, biological and chemical methods of water treatment have been used to remove suspended solids, organic matter and dissolved pollutants or toxins. Membrane bioreactor (MBR) has been regarded as one of the processes in the treatment of waste liquids.

Membrane bioreactor is a combination of biological treatment process and membrane filtration. Membrane is a thin material with a narrow range of pore size and high surface porosity that resist the transfer of different constituents of a fluid (Visvanathan and Aim, 2000). The membrane filters suspended solids and is an alternative for conventional filtration and sand filtration in the treatment of industrial wastewater and municipal sewage (EU, 2010).

Membrane filtration processes are classified according to the membrane pore sizes: microfiltration (0.1 to 10 microns), ultrafiltration (0.003 to…

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Climate Change Adaptation-II

Science, Technology and Health

Policies and strategies to balance climate change consequences are formulated and implemented in adaptation process. The process involves appraisal of climate impacts, preparation for adaptation, application of appropriate actions and evaluation of the acts (UNFCC, 2011). A number of methods and approaches can be found for adaptation planning.Adaptation policies should be holistic and realistic in the real-world situations in which policies are implemented (Mathys, et. al., 2010).

Approaches based on the analysis of existing socio-economic conditions are appropriate for tackling present susceptibilities and adaptive capacity. While scenario and model driven approaches are more suited for estimating climate change impacts, particularly on a large scale. Hazard based approaches assesses existing climate hazards and future climatic risks over time and space using climatic projections. Adaptive capacity approaches assesses the existing adaptive capacity and proposes to increase the strength of adaptive capacity to contest future extremes.

Economic diversification at the national level and…

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Climate Change Adaptation

Science, Technology and Health

Freshwater resource has been recognized as an economic good.  Observed and projected climatic changes are likely to increase water stress in the future. Individuals and communities need to be prepared to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the benefits from changes. Autonomous adaptation such as maintaining water supply practices and restoring default or poorly maintained water facilities is supportive to increase adaptive capacity.

Insight of climate probabilities and knowledge of environmental consequences help building long term resilience to impacts. Continuation of research and assessment helps generating scientific knowledge which facilitates decision making for adaptation options.  Development of human capital, strengthening institutional system and good management of public finances and natural resources are necessities for adaptation to future climatic changes.

Individuals and societies are already stressed by globalisation, urbanisation, environmental degradation, disease outbreaks and market uncertainties.  Projected climatic changes and resulting water stress will intensify the condition.  Increasing water supply, expansion…

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Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic Heart Disease, also known as coronary heart disease has drawn significant attention worldwide. According to NHS (2012), Coronary heart disease is killing 80,000 people each year in UK. Ischemic Heart Disease is a condition where blood supply is reduced to the heart, commonly when fatty deposits build up in the linings of the coronary arteries. Coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscles. Narrowing of coronary arteries causes coronary heart diseases leading to heart attack (AHA, 2012; IHD, 2010).

Smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, age and hypertension are identified risk factors. According to British Heart Foundation (BHF) (n.d.), smokers have double risk of coronary heart disease than non-smokers, low density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood increases the risk of heart diseases and higher risks are associated with older ages.

The prevalence of heart diseases and its effects are different among male and female. Wake and Yoshiyama (2009) discussed on the gender differences in coronary artery disease, female having lower risk than man until the age of 70 and men have more sudden coronary deaths and plaque rupture than women. Risk factors such as smoking and cholesterol have more impacts in women than men. A study conducted by Castanho et. al., (2001) found that women mortality rate  due to coronary heart disease increased from 10 to 25% from the sixties to the seventies of their age, women have more complications from hypertension than men and tobacco use triples the risk of heart attack in women in Brazil.

The most common symptom is chest pain, known as angina pectoris. Angina is caused by partial blockage of coronary arteries whereas complete blockage of arteries causes heart attacks (NHS, 2012). Patient may experience acute chest pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating and anxiety. Electrocardiogram, MRI, X-ray, CT scan and coronary angiography are diagnostics tests to identify heart disease (IHD, 2010; NHS, 2012).Healthy nutrition, physical activity, avoiding tobacco, blood cholesterol and sugar level reduction are possible pathways to prevent Ischemic heart disease (BHF, n.d.; NHS, 2012).

 

References

American Heart Association (AHA) (2012) Silent Ischemia and Ischemic Heart Disease. [Online] Available at http://www.heart.org/ [Accessed on 12 March 2013].

British Heart Foundation (BHF) (n.d.) Risk Factors [Online] Available at http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/prevention/risk-factors.aspx [Accessed on 12 March 2013]

Castanho, V.S., Oliveira, L.S., Pinheiro, H.P., Oliveira, H. CF. , Faria, E.C (2001) Sex Difference in Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease: A Study in a Brazilian Population. Bio Medical Central Public Health.

Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) (2010) Ischemic Heart Disease [Online] Available at http://www.ischemicheartdisease.co.uk/ [Accessed on 12 March 2013]

National Health Service (NHS) (2012) Coronary Heart Disease [Online] Available at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Coronary-heart-disease/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed on 12 March 2013]

Wake, R. and Yoshiyama, M. (2009) Gender Differences in Ischemic Heart Disease. Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery. Vol 4, 234-240.

UV Disinfection

Bacteria such as E.coli, leptospira species, salmonella species, shigella and vibrio chollrae, protozoa such as Balantidium coli, Cryptospiridium parvum, Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lambia, Helminths such as Ascaris lumbricoides, T. solium and Trichuris trichuria and Viruses such as Entero viruses, Hepatitis A virus and Rota virus are infectious microorganisms present in contaminated drinking water (EPA, 1999). Disinfection is required to remove microorganisms from drinking water. UV radiation was first used for disinfection in 1916 in the United States of America (USA). Disinfection from UV radiation removes organic compounds, do not produce odour and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), improves taste of water, do not require storage of hazardous waste and requires minimal space for treatment [EPA, 1999; techbrief, 2000].

Growth and reproduction of micro-organism is inhibited by UV light induced genetic material disruption (EPA, 1999; Harley et al., 2008; Tech brief, 2000). UV light is capable of penetrating microbe’s cell wall without producing toxic side effects. Optimum wave length requirement to destroy bacterial activities lies between 250nm to 270nm [EPA, 1999; Harley et al., 2008; Tech brief, 2000]. Special lamp to produce a spectrum of radiation is used in disinfection process. UV radiation technology has many advantages compared to other disinfection processes. However, presence of high levels of suspended solids, turbidity, colour and soluble organic matter creates unsuitable environment for UV-radiation disinfection process.

Dose Requirement is crucial in UV radiation process. Required level of radiation dose to disrupt and destroy microorganisms must be maintained for the effectiveness. Radiation concentration, proper wavelength, exposure time, water quality, flow rate, the micro-organism’s type, source and its distance from the light source determine the effective dose requirement (techbrief, 2000).

 

Reference

Harley, S., Schuba, B. and Corkal, D. (2008)Ultraviolet Disinfection of Private Water Supplies for Household or Agricultural Uses [Online] Available at www4.agr.gc.ca [Accessed on 29 December 2013].

Tech Brief (2000) Ultraviolet Disinfection [Online] Available at http://www.nesc.wvu.edu [Accessed on 11 December 2013].

United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA) Waste Water Technology Fact Sheet Ultraviolet Disinfection. [Online] Available at http://www.water.epa.gov [Accessed on 11 December 2013].

Technology and Economic Development

Technology has a vital role in the economic development. Internet technology, healthcare technology and energy technologies are assisting to drive the economic development and find new alternatives. More than thirty four percentage of world population are already using internet (Internetworldstats, 2013) and more than one billion people own smartphones and tablets (Manyika et al., 2013). Internet based economy will be highly influenced when two or three billion more people will have access to the internet by 2025 (Manyika et al., 2013).

Renewable energy is essential to replace finite sources of fossil fuels. Electric vehicles and solar and wind energy technologies are possible solutions to increasing energy demand. Solar and wind energy are expected to supply sixteen percentage to the global energy production by 2025 (Manyika et al., 2013). Sabbagh et al. (2013) accentuated social and environmental responsibility of technology driven economy. Development of low cost and green energy technologies is paving sustainable development pathways.

Digital technologies has been developed and used in educational and commercial sector. Sabbagh et al. (2013) estimated a value of one hundred and ninety three billion dollar contribution to the world economic output in 2011 by digital services and digitization. Manyika et al. (2013) studied twelve technological categories such as mobile internet, cloud technology, energy storage, genomics and renewable energy and estimated direct economic impact of fourteen trillion dollar to thirty-three trillion dollar in the year 2025.

Global competitiveness was redefined after invention and use of modern technologies which influence productivity and affects economic growth, supply chain and jobs. Commercial sector has been influenced with technological innovations. According to Bilbao-Osorio et al. (2013), higher benefit-to-cost ratios in all sector of production have been possible with information and communication technologies.

References
Manyika, J., Chui, M., Bughin, J., Dobbs, R., Bisson, P. and Marrs, A. (2013) Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will Transform Life, Business, and the Global Economy. Mckinsey Global Institute. [Online] Available at http://www.mckinsey.com [Accessed on 31 August 2013].

Sabbagh, K., Friedrich, R., El-Darwiche, B., Singh, M. and Koster, A. (2013) Digitization for Economic Growth and Job Creating: Regional and Industry Perspectives In: Bilbao-Osorio, B., Dutta, S. and Lanvin, B. (2013) The Global Information Technology Report 2013: Growth and Jobs in a Hyper Connected World. [Online] Available at http://www3.weforum.org [Accessed 31 August 2013].

Bilbao-Osorio, B., Dutta, S., Geiger, T., Lanvin, B. (2013) The Networked Readiness Index 2013: Benchmarking ICT Uptake and Support for Growth and Jobs in a Hyper connected World In: Bilbao-Osorio, B., Dutta, S. and Lanvin, B. (2013) The Global Information Technology Report 2013: Growth and Jobs in a Hyper Connected World. [Online] Available at http://www3.weforum.org [Accessed 31 August 2013].

Internetworldstats (2013) Internet World Stats. [Online] Available at http://www.internetworldstats.com/ [Accessed on 31 August 2013].

Improved Sources of Drinking Water

Safe drinking water has been a major public health concern. Source of drinking water regulates the safety of drinking water. UNICEF (n.d.) defined the “improved drinking water sources” as sources “that, by nature of their construction or through active intervention, are protected from outside contamination, particularly fecal matter”. UNICEF(n.d.) categorized public taps or stand popes, tube wells or bore holes, protected dug wells, protected springs and rainwater collection as improved water sources and unprotected dug well, unprotected spring, surface water such as rivers, lakes and ponds as unimproved drinking water sources.

Proportion of global population using improved sources of drinking water increased from 1990(76%) to 2011 (89%) (WHO, 2013). In Europe, 98% of the population has access to improved drinking water sources in 2011 which was 96% in 1990 (WHO, 2013). A significant proportion of the world population are still requiring sustainable access to safe drinking water. Eleven percentage of the global population or 783 million people don’t have access to improved drinking water source (UN Water, 2012). According to CDC (2012), 605 million people won’t be able to access improved water sources in 2015 if the current trend continues.

UN Water (2012) estimated the number of people having access to improved sources of drinking water as two billion between 1990 and 2010. According to WHO(2013), proportion of African population with access to improved drinking water sources increased from 50 percentage in 1990 to 64 percentage in 2011. South East Asia has significant increase in the proportion of people having access to improved water sources. Seventy one percentage of the population in south-east Asia were using improved drinking water sources in 1990 which increased to 90 percentage in 2011 (WHO, 2013).

References
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2012) Assessing Access to Water and Sanitation. [Online] Available at http://www.cdc.gov [Accessed on 30 September 2013].
UN Water (2012) Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. [Online] Available at http://www.unwater.org [Accessed on 30 September 2013].
World Health Organization (WHO) (2013) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Exposure by WHO Region. [Online] Available at http://www.who.int [Accessed on 30 September 2013].
UNICEF (n.d.) Access to Water and Sanitation: A Few Definitions. [Online] Available at http://www.unicef.org. [Accessed on 30 September 2013].