A blog from University of Borås

Friday, June 25, 2010

Geology (wastology): Mountains of garbage

It seems our colleagues in geology should add garbage as a new material for the montains and hills! This picture shows one of these mountains that is just 20 years old and is still growning with 70-80 tons/day. Let's see where it ends!

(The landfill site in Tan An city in Vietnam)

Energy generation from waste in Nigeria?

I was recently invited to Nigeria as guest speaker at the yearly meeting of Nigerian Academy of Engineering, which is a well respected organization in the country. The topic of my presentation was about energy generation from wastes. This country with 150 million people is the most poplulated and relatively rich country in Africa. However, they suffer from shortage of electricity production with a total production of about 4000 MW as I heard. However, a rough calculation shows that if they put effort to convert their waste to electricity via landfill gas, biogas and/or incineration, they can produce about 1,000-5,000 MW electricity from their wastes, depending on the technology used.

(Landfill site in Lagos, a megacity with more than 15 millon inhabitant)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Creation of life, a lovely or dangerous development?

The recent circulation of the news on building a whole genom of a simple microorganism and introduce it into a cell to get a newly designed microorganism is a fascinating scientific development. In theory, it removes all limitation of working with wild or even mutant organisms. I congradulate our colleagues for such success. On the other hand, in order to get more financing for such research, these works are connected to some industrial applications for e.g. production of biofuels. It is a dangerous game, which need strong debates and starting parallel research on the consequences of leaking these new living organims to the nature and the new balances in the world that will occur. You can read more on this topic on e.g. Nature or Wikipedia or see this film (in Swedish)!