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Coal strike could hit South Africa’s electricity supply

July 27th, 2011

A protracted strike in the coal sector threatens South Africa’s electricity supply, say consultants Frost & Sullivan.

Ninety per cent of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal, and dwindling stocks are likely to mean Eskom cannot guarantee the availability of electricity, said Wonder Nyanjowa, mining industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.

But Eskom claims all coal fired power stations in South Africa have stockpiles, which can fuel their plants for an average of 38 days.

South Africa consumes two-thirds of its coal production in energy generation and in manufacturing synthetic fuel. The rest is exported, mainly to the EU, China and India.

Eskom’s construction programme is likely to increase coal consumption by an additional 50 million tonnes between 2015 and 2017.

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Domestic Wastewater Treatment as a Net Energy Producer–Can This be Achieved?

July 26th, 2011

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Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es2014264

Self-healing, self-cooling, metamaterials: Vascular composites enable dynamic structural materials

July 26th, 2011
Researchers have developed vascularized structural composites, creating materials that are lightweight and strong with potential for self-healing, self-cooling, stealth and more. The team developed a class of sacrificial fibers that degrade after composite fabrication, leaving hollow vascular tunnels that can transport liquids or gases through the composite.

Long-Term Environmental Fate of Perfluorinated Compounds after Accidental Release at Toronto Airport

July 20th, 2011

TOC Graphic

Environmental Science & Technology
DOI: 10.1021/es2001985

Light propagation controlled in photonic chips: Major breakthrough in telecommunications field

July 10th, 2011
Researchers have built optical nanostructures that enable them to slow photons down and fully control light dispersion. They have shown that it is possible for light to propagate from point A to point B without accumulating any phase, spreading through the artificial medium as if the medium is completely missing in space. This is the first time simultaneous phase and zero-index observations have been made on the chip-scale and at the infrared wavelength.

Researchers build an antenna for light

July 10th, 2011
Researchers have derived inspiration from the photosynthetic apparatus in plants to engineer a new generation of nanomaterials that control and direct the energy absorbed from light.
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