Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Ecotech’ Category

9-11 cross

“9/11 A day to remember that extraordinary heroes are often disguised as ordinary people and that spirit and soul are unbreakable.”

-Stacey Alcorn

*     *     *

Image/quote credit: LifeChange International

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Ecotech Systems shares how most of the world differs from the US on its view of coal.

It’s Christmas. That means it’s time for some bad kids to get a lump of coal from Saint Nick, but depending on what part of the world you live in, that “gift” can have a very different value.

Coal_anthraciteIn the United States, it’s tough to find a politician—red or blue—who’ll back the coal industry, but elsewhere in the world, that’s not the case. It’s not a matter of them not getting it either. The world is largely moving towards cleaner standards (though I’ve seen data that suggests that China today is polluting at an equivalent rate of where the US was in the 1970s), yet outside of the States, coal is still viewed as a valuable energy resource.

Senator Joe Manchin (D) noted in a recent interview that, worldwide, 80 billion tonnes of coal will be mined in 2014. Of that, the U.S. will only produce one. Despite being in decline, in 2012, Australia still exported A$48 billion in coal. Other large exporters include Canada, Columbia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Russia, and Indonesia (who is now the largest coal exporter in the world).

Coal demand is also expected to increase by 1.2 tonnes over the next five years, with 80% coming from China. By 2030, they’re set to double their current demand and India continues to rise as well. Apart from renewable energy, coal is the fastest growing fuel.

All of this cuts against the American notion that coal power is a dying energy resource. Maybe we need to get some more kids on the naughty list…

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home), industrial water purification (biofilm removal), and reduced water pumping costs.

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, dairy waste, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Ecotechnology, Ltd. (Ecotech Systems) reports on a generator that can convert urine to electricity.

By Turbotorque (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsWhile I don’t mean to make a lot of Ecotech posts about bodily functions (see here, here and here), as the non-thermal drying of biosolids is one of our key markets, that type of green slant gets placed in this area.

Also, while I still hope that one day I’ll be able to pee out a valuable fuel—minus the unfortunate side effects of a burning sensation and the likelihood of setting a toilet on fire once every three months—someone’s out there bridging the gap:

Today’s step of progress: Four African high school girls have developed a generator that turns a liter of urine into six hours of electricity.

Technology journalist Emil Protalinski broke down the process (source):

  • Urine is put into an electrolytic cell, which cracks the urea into nitrogen, water, and hydrogen.
  • The hydrogen goes into a water filter for purification, which then gets pushed into the gas cylinder.
  • The gas cylinder pushes hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen gas.
  • This purified hydrogen gas is pushed into the generator.

When asked for comment by NBC News, Gerardine Botte, the chemical engineer who invented the process, stated, “What these kids are doing is taking urea electrolysis and making hydrogen and then using that hydrogen to make electricity.” Although Botte said that the project is “empowering” for the students, she also swatted down some of the fanaticism over the project, stating, “It is a high school project, so don’t take it (so seriously).”

That’s the thing: Often times the green community is willing to excessively root for something before it’s had any real mass implementation. Throw in a couple of underdog factors like youth and it coming from a third world country—or really from anyone save big bad corporations in the western world—and some will cheer it more. Additionally, the details are a little slim as to what exactly gets fueled for six hours.

Here’s what we do know: Like biosolids, this human waste is a worldwide problem. Unlike biosolids, it gets somewhat of a free pass on the yuck factor. Regardless, this is a creative solution that—barring the impending doom of the apocalypse—will have raw material available. The biggest gimme is the wastewater treatment plants themselves. They’re already getting too much fuel delivered to them already; they should convert it to power their own facility.

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the VP of Marketing for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Ecotech Systems shares an infographic from the Blood:Water Mission.

Although SpiroFlo has covered the Blood:Water Mission before (and their goal to provide clean water, sanitation and clean blood to sub-Saharan Africa), they recently featured an infographic on how the lack of sanitation affects those around the world. For all the complaints about biosolids, many have it far, far worse:

http://www.onlinenursingprograms.com/lack-of-sanitation/

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Ecotech Systems looks at the Denver Zoo’s new waste-powered rickshaw.

While I’ve said before that you can fuel a car with just about anything (regardless of how inefficient and unsustainable it is), the Denver Zoo is now running a motorized rickshaw on zoo waste. This zoo waste includes patron trash and yes, the monstrous amounts of animal feces they’ve got lying around. Now, instead of getting slung as ammunition from monkeys you dared showed your teeth to, this 20-year-old, three-wheeled ride was reconfigured with a $50,000 complex propulsion system to go a blazing 10 mph. It may not be American made (the rickshaw was imported from Thailand), but it’s American fueled.

tuk-tuk: the version that costs $50,000 less

Not impressed? What if I told you that despite its low speed, the tuk-tuk (a slang name for the rickshaw based on the noise it makes) went on a zoo tour, even to zoos out of state? No? What if I told you the patented propulsion system converts the waste into syngas — a fuel made mostly of carbon monoxide and hydrogen — which then generates electricity to fuel a battery to power the tuk-tuk? Nah, didn’t think so.

The thing is, even the Denver Zoo is aware that this crappy novelty doesn’t shine so bright as is. This poo-powered mobile is a merely a gimmick to promote the end goal of the technology: fuel for the 10-acre Toyota Elephant Passage that opens June 1st, 2012. According to their press release:

Denver Zoo is seeking LEED® certification for Toyota Elephant Passage at the platinum level, the highest level, from the U.S. Green Building Council. The program recognizes sustainable and green building practices. This includes the use of biomass gasification technology, which will convert more than 90 percent of the zoo’s waste into usable energy to power the exhibit, eliminating 1.5 million pounds of trash currently going to landfills annually. Other methods include recycling most of the 1.1 million gallons of water running through the exhibit, utilizing natural daylight to provide natural, clean light and retaining heat at lower elevations through the use of radiant heating floor systems.

Well, they’re not the first ones to believe that elephant dung is good business. That said, I still don’t see human waste alternate energy projects catching on any time soon. For whatever reason, animal waste still has less of a yuck factor. We’ve been trained to pick up dog poop and clean out cat litter boxes, but no one wants to take care of what some drunk guy just left in a potted plant of a bank lobby.

Anyway, according to the Denver Post, this process could wind up saving as much as $150,000 per year on hauling costs. However, as usual, the italicized part of that last sentence leads me to believe that the savings will be much lower, although as landfills become less of an option (due to less space and higher costs) these numbers might not be that far off.

In the mean time, enjoy this teeny Denver Post video.

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Ecotech Systems looks at Mr. Ellie Pooh — a company that makes paper products from elephant dung.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m not going to give my wife anything made of feces for our anniversary.

I’m guessing this isn’t a surprise to most of you, but maybe this fancy, heart-shaped note box from Mr. Ellie Pooh will sway your stance. You see, Mr. Ellie Pooh — a Sri Lankan, fair trade company — makes premium paper products using 50% post-consumer waste and 50% fiber from elephant dung. After a process is used to extract the fiber (and ditch that whole crap factor), Mr. Ellie Pooh creates hand-crafted items like greeting cards and photo albums.

Immediate thoughts:

  • The name Mr. Ellie Pooh, while cutesy, just draws attention to the fact that the product is made from elephant poo.
  • The phrase “hand-crafted” probably shouldn’t be anywhere near a product made from what an animal just dropped out.
  • Regardless of the process, like biosolids, I see people having a hard time getting past the yuck factor. No matter how fancy the products are, I still can’t see sticking my wedding photo in a frame made from elephant crap. Maybe in another 10 years I’ll feel differently.

That'll make a nice sticky note.

The intent behind this company is actually quite admirable: Since elephants are often despised in Sri Lanka for eating crops, the founder of Mr. Ellie Pooh, veterinarian Dr. Karl Wald, saw the need to give these animals financial value in the eyes of the farmers losing their crops to these large beasts. With fair trade jobs helping the community, Dr. Karl hopes to “educate the villagers into living, working and respecting the elephant,” rather than shooting them when they come looking for food.

Dr. Karl explains the process:

While I wish Mr. Ellie Pooh the best in their business, like many other Eco-friendly businesses, I don’t think being green is enough.

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Ecotech Systems analyzes the terms that make up the environmental world—the cliché, the misunderstood, and the “don’t tell your mama” variety—and how they play in today’s society. Today’s buzzword didn’t mean much when Ecotech Systems first went in to business, yet it’s now left their name in a crowd all touting some term: ecotechnology.

“Back in 1990, no one knew what Ecotech meant. We got called Ekka-tech all the time.”

This is Alan Miller, President of Ecotechnology, Ltd. talking. He first joined Ecotech (short for ecological technologies) in 1990. “You know who the biggest, public green supporter was at the time? McDonald’s. They about changed the packaging industry overnight when they went with non-CFC cups and boxes.”

Granted, he admits, McDonald’s were forced into the change, as the grassroots McToxics campaign pressured them to move away from chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) styrofoam packaging to what they use today. Back when the ozone layer was a common buzzword, CFCs were criticized for ozone depletion, so  when a national powerhouse like McDonald’s made the switch, other fast food companies soon followed.

“We believed that green was going to be huge. For the longest time, it seemed that green small businesses had no chance, but we thought this was changing — that ecological and economical did not have to be opposed anymore. So we went with Ecotechnology.”

Little did Ecotechnology, Ltd. know that the ecotech term was about to become popular in the 5-10 years following. “Ecotech didn’t mean anything to most people back then; same as green.” These days, Ecotech is tied to institutions and a number of green technologies. The terms “ecotech” and “green” still have little meaning today, although this is more due to the fact that businesses can shape them to mean whatever they want.

An Ecotech System on site

“Systems” was later added to the name to set Ecotechnology, Ltd. apart from all the other Ecotechs. Swimming against the tide in Google searches, the Ecotech system specializes in the cost-effective, nonthermal drying of biosolids (and a myriad of granular materials) by adding a low-grade heat (150 degrees F). These Ecotech systems can also move  and sort materials — soda ash, potash, crumb rubber, copper fines, sugar beets, etc. — with minimal degradation and pipe wear. The applications for moving potash are the number one selling application for the Ecotech system.

Using the patented EcoVeyor, the Ecotech system conveys over long-distances and through significant (even vertical) changes in elevation, no moving parts for minimal maintenance, positive environmental effects through its closed-loop design, and boosted value from lower product attrition and lower line wear for longer pipe life.

Maybe in another twenty years, the ecotech term will be unpopular again. Ecotechnology, Ltd. hopes to still sell systems then.

*     *     *

Colin McKay Miller is the Marketing Manager for the SpiroFlo Holdings group of companies:

SpiroFlo for residential hot water savings (delivered 35% faster with up to a 5% volume savings on every hot water outlet in the home) and industrial water purification (biofilm removal).

Vortex Tools for extending the life of oil and gas wells (recovering up to 10 times more NGLs, reducing flowback startup times, replacing VRUs, eliminating paraffin and freezing in winter, etc.).

Ecotech for cost-effective non-thermal drying (for biosolids, sugar beets, etc.) and safe movement of materials (including potash and soda ash).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »