SA coal-to-liquid project in China

first_img26 February 2007A team or researchers from the University of the Witwatersrand’s Centre of Material and Process Synthesis (COMPS) is piloting a cheaper, cleaner coal-to-liquid fuel process in China.The team is looking at designing a plant that has low capital costs and a low-risk design, is inherently stable to operate, and is suited to the skills levels and capital intensity typical of developing countries.The team, led by Professors David Glasser and Dianne Hildebrandt, has more than 15 years’ experience researching and designing Fischer-Tropsch technology. German researchers Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch pioneered the process of producing synthetic fuel from coal and gas in 1920.With crude oil prices rising, China is seeking alternative sources of energy to fuel its economic growth. According to Glasser, while other countries are looking to natural gas as an alternative, China has little natural gas resources – but abundant supplies of coal.South African expertiseSouth Africa’s synthetic fuels industry is highly developed, with petrochemicals firm Sasol being the world’s largest manufacturer of oil from coal, gasifying the coal and then converting it into a range of liquid fuels and petrochemical feed stocks.“We are looking at how we can use the technology and expertise that we have developed over the years to help [China] produce fuel from coal,” says Glasser.According COMPS director Brendon Hausberger, the main aim of the project is to make cleaner and cheaper fuel from coal.The first pilot, costing about R75-million, will be built in China’ Shaanxi province this year with funding from the Golden Nest Technology Group. The centre signed a contract with Golden Nest in 2003 to provide the conceptual foundation for a coal-to-liquids plant with a production capacity of 3-million tons per annum, should the pilot be successful.In addition, the centre will partner with international teams to design and oversee the development of a 100 000 ton per annum gas-to-liquids demonstration plant in China in 2008.The aim of this plant, says Hildebrandt, “is to demonstrate that we are able to quickly and effectively build an economical plant that is robust in its control and operation.”Applications in AfricaAccording to Glasser, the model of low-capital, low-risk plants more suited to developing countries could have future applications in South Africa, itself a major user of coal-to-liquids technology.The China project will also offer solutions to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in future plants in SA, while postgraduate students involved in the project will be trained in the development of the new process.With eight COMPS staff members and 20 research students working on the project, it is the largest project in its field to be undertaken by a university.“This venture does not come without its challenges,” says Glasser. “Aside from the cultural and language barriers that we face, the climate in the Chinese province where the plant is being built fluctuates tremendously as the seasons change.“However, once it is proven that this technology works on a large scale, there are endless opportunities for bringing the technology to Africa and the rest of the world.” reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

10 months agoTottenham midfield Winks hopes for ‘perfect’ Arsenal revenge

first_imgTottenham midfield Winks hopes for ‘perfect’ Arsenal revengeby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks says Tottenham Hotspur will be looking for revenge when they face Arsenal in the EFL Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday. The Gunners beat Spurs 4-2 in the north London derby earlier this month.”It’s a massive game for us,” Winks toldStandard Sport. “It’s come quickly after we lost to them two weeks ago, so there’s going to be revenge on our minds. We want to put it right and, obviously, it’s a good opportunity to progress in a cup.”That defeat was difficult to take. It’s never nice losing to anyone, especially our rivals at their ground. It was disappointing for us, the fans, the club, but we’ve put it right with our results since in the League and the Champions League. It’s important we do the same on Wednesday.”Us players treat every game in every competition as important as the next. We want to win every cup we’re involved in. The League Cup is no different. Beating Arsenal is the perfect opportunity to progress to the semi-finals.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

22 days agoArsenal boss Emery admits Ozil didn’t deserve starting place

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal boss Emery admits Ozil didn’t deserve starting placeby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal boss Unai Emery admits Mesut Ozil didn’t deserve a place in his starting XI last night.Ozil, the highest-paid player in the history of the club, was again left out of the matchday squad as Gabriel Martinelli hit a brace in the 4-0 Europa League victory over Standard Liege.”I am thinking every time to decide the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and to help us,” Emery replied when asked about Ozil’s omission.”When I decided he shouldn’t be in the squad it’s because I think other players deserved it more.”He needs to continue working. Tomorrow we have training with the players who didn’t play, and on Sunday we have another match, and we are going to decide the same.”Our target is to win on Sunday against Bournemouth, and we want to carry on our same way in each match.” last_img read more

Pikes plastic plight Alberta man frees fish cinched in two by bottle

first_imgCALGARY – Adam Turnbull has been catching fish in the South Saskatchewan River for 17 years and had never seen anything like it.Turnbull, 28, was reeling in a northern pike near his home in Medicine Hat, Alta., last weekend and immediately realized something wasn’t quite right.“When I first saw the fish in the water, I thought maybe it had been attacked by another pike or a walleye … until I actually picked the fish out of the water and noticed the plastic,” Turnbull said Wednesday in a phone interview.The plastic was a sports drink wrapper that had nearly cinched the pike in two in the middle of its body.“I was surprised he was able to survive like that with how big of a wound that was. It was at least three-quarters of an inch deep all the way around,” said Turnbull, who added he was angry at what the fish must have gone through.“People would think it’s a small, tiny little wrapper. What’s it going to do if I chuck it on the ground? Well, there’s your proof of what it does. I’ve never seen it first-hand myself so I was shocked,” he said.“I definitely did feel sorry for it. When I picked it up, I felt horrible for the fish. To see it obviously in pain was pretty sad.”Turnbull said the plastic belt around the fish didn’t seem that tight and he was able to cut it off with a pair of scissors. He said it didn’t dawn on him to keep the fish.“It never even crossed my mind to kill it, because if it survived this long with it, why wouldn’t it survive without it?“It definitely had some life. As soon as I put it in the water after getting the wrapper off, it darted out of my hand and it didn’t even have a weird kick to its tail. It swam normally.”A conservation specialist with the Alberta Wilderness Association said the pike’s plight isn’t uncommon.Joanna Skrajny said it shows what kind of an effect something as simple as a plastic wrapper can have on nature.“It seems to be getting more and more common. There are cases where nesting birds have so much plastic in their stomachs that they are unable to eat,” she said.Skrajny isn’t sure about the pike’s survival chances, but doesn’t blame Turnbull for letting it go.“The longer a fish is out of water the lower the chance of survival, but it makes you feel good that someone did the right thing.”Turnbull took to social media to express his outrage and share the photos of the fish.“Pick up your garbage. This is a … wrapper which takes up no room in your pocket until you get to a garbage can. Please share!”“I’m happy it’s raising as much awareness,” he said.“I’m glad a lot of people are able to see this is what your trash does. If it helps some people pick up some extra garbage, then, hey, I’m happy.”— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Submissions for MMIWG Inquiry conclude in Ottawa

first_imgAnnette FrancisAPTN NewsFinal oral submissions for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls wrapped up this week in Ottawa.Johannes Lampe, president of the Nunatsiavut Government in Labrador, told the inquiry that reducing the incidents of violence and deaths among Inuit in Labrador is critical.“We are of the view that measurable actions mush be taken in everything,” he said.“The poor social determinants of health, Inuit self-governance, and particularly participation in national, provincial, and territorial governance is the most effective means of ensuring policies, programs, services and practice approach are appropriate of indigenous communities and people.”Katherine Hensel of the Association of Native Child and Family Service Agencies of Ontario urged the commissioners to ensure any proposed federal legislation on child welfare not be limited to children living on reserve.“We know that many…Indigenous children who’ve been in contact with child welfare…are in urban centres or off-reserve, so we will also be urging the commission to make recommendations that the provinces correct and reverse and eliminate the perverse funding incentives that not only don’t fund prevention, but incentivize the removal of children,” she said.During the final two weeks of oral submissions — in Calgary and Ottawa — the commission heard from 53 of the parties with standing.The commissioners are now tasked with analyzing what they’ve heard throughout the inquiry and submitting a final report to the federal government by April 30, read more

Patients with severe asthma may benefit from newly developed targeted treatments

first_img Source: Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 23 2018In a novel study, researchers succeeded in identifying patients with a form of severe asthma (type 2 endotype) by measuring periostin concentrations in their airways. These patients with the type 2 (T2) endotype may benefit from newly developed targeted treatments that have the potential to transform their quality of life, report researchers in the journal CHEST®.Asthma can range from very mild with little or no need for medical treatment to severe and life-threatening. Severe asthma is clinically and biologically varied and identifying the specific type of asthma is crucial in targeting patients who will benefit from new treatment options. The role of periostin, a matricellular protein, in asthma and type 2 inflammatory responses, is an area of active research.”The T2 immunity severe asthma endotype is one of the most consistent endotypes to emerge probably because it is a key driver in nearly half of all patients with asthma,” explained Giovanna E. Carpagnano, MD, PhD, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.Investigators analyzed periostin concentrations in the airways of severely asthmatic subjects, evaluating the role of periostin in clustering the T2 endotype. They enrolled 40 consecutive severe asthmatic patients (25 asthmatics of T2 and 15 of non-T2 endotype); 21 patients with mild to moderate asthma; and 15 healthy control subjects. All individuals underwent exhaled breath condensate and sputum collection, eosinophil count in blood, fractional 32 exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and immunoglobulin E (IgE) measurement. They found that periostin is measurable in the airways and increased in severe asthmatic subjects, especially in those with the T2 endotype.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesHinge-like protein may unlock new pathways for cystic fibrosis treatmentStudy reveals how protein mutation is involved in Christianson syndrome”There have been several studies about the value of periostin as a marker of severe eosinophilic asthma, but to measure it in blood limits its value as serum periostin derives from several sources outside the lung and can’t be considered an organ-specific marker,” noted Maria Pia Foschino Barbaro, MD, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy, who heads the group where the research was conducted.”Unlike serum periostin, airways periostin is a useful marker of severe eosinophilic asthma and may help to phenotype patients that will respond to the biologic agents,” stated senior investigator Peter J. Barnes, MD, DSc, FCCP, of the Airway Disease Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK. “The newly developed biological treatments have the potential to transform the quality of life of patients with T2 severe asthma. This study suggests that airways periostin is the expression of T2 severe asthma and if validated, could be a useful biomarker to apply stratified medicine for severe asthma, and could transform the quality of life of these patients.””Severe uncontrolled asthma is an expensive disease that accounts for more than 60 percent of the costs associated with the disease,” commented Prof. Carpagnano. “The newly developed biological treatments are expensive too, but if directed to the right patients, they will significantly reduce the global cost related to the management of severe asthmatic patients.”last_img read more

Marking the start of Pediatric Sepsis Week

first_imgIn time for Pediatric Sepsis Week, Sepsis Alliance debuted Bug, a ladybug character to help children learn about infection prevention. Bug is illustrated by Alyssia Aguilar in loving memory of her son Mark Anthony II, who was taken by sepsis when he was only 16 days old.Bug was inspired by the spirit of Erin “Bug” Flatley, an aspiring teacher who passed away from sepsis when she was 23 years old. After her death, Erin’s father Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, founded Sepsis Alliance. Apr 23 2019On April 21st, Sepsis Alliance launched Pediatric Sepsis Week to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis in children, and to honor the 75,000 children in the United States who develop sepsis each year.Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening reaction to an infection and it takes the lives of more children every year than pediatric cancers. This annual observance will now take place the third week of April.Sepsis Alliance invites parents and loved ones of pediatric sepsis survivors, and sepsis survivors themselves, to share their sepsis experience on social media using the hashtag #ChildhoodSepsisStory to help raise awareness of sepsis in children and to remind other survivors and families that they are not alone.      Not drinking or feeding      Repeated vomiting      12 hours without urinating I truly hope that my art will help teach and also spread smiles to young faces and families that are learning about sepsis. I wanted to find a way to remember my son’s name and honor his life by giving back. Partnering with Sepsis Alliance to create Bug was the perfect opportunity to do that.”Alyssia Aguilar      Skin abnormally cold to the touch      Mottled, bluish, or pale skin      Rash that does not fade when pressed      Very fast or rapid breathing      Seizures      Lethargy or difficult to wake Additionally, for children under 5 years old, signs and symptoms may include:center_img Source:Materials provided by Sepsis Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of sepsis and advancing research. Bug will be featured on Sepsis Alliance’s social media throughout the week, along with infection prevention tips for parents, caregivers, and children. To access printable Bug coloring sheets, a downloadable pediatric sepsis week toolkit, and learn how to raise sepsis awareness, click here. “Every day about 18 children in the U.S. die from sepsis. That’s why it’s vital for parents and caregivers to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis in children early, and to seek medical attention immediately. It can save their child’s life and reduce the chances of long-term complications,” added Thomas.Early recognition and treatment of sepsis can increase a child’s chances of survival and improves their recovery. The signs and symptoms of sepsis in children may present differently than in adults and may include: During Pediatric Sepsis Week, it is extremely important for us to work closely with pediatric sepsis survivors, their families, as well as with the families of the little ones who did not survive, so we can bring to life and honor their experiences.”Thomas Heymann, President and Executive Director, Sepsis Alliancelast_img read more

Tracking activity on social networks now possible with new research

Explore further A look at Facebook’s changes over the years in what you see Citation: Tracking activity on social networks now possible with new research (2018, February 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from In his research, Fredrik Erlandsson has come up with a method that is effective and accurate in terms of mapping interactions on social networks. The method is to build a network of the different interactions between people to see who communicate with each other.In his studies, Fredrik Erlandsson has collected 280 million public posts from Facebook. It includes 35 billion likes and five billion comments from 700 million users. The amount of data is the largest collection of data from Facebook.Although Fredrik Erlandsson has not focused on applications in his research, it is easy to distinguish several different application areas for the methods.”For example, they can be used to find politically and religiously radicalized individuals or groups, or to study how fake news is spread,” he says.But the methods can also be used in completely different areas he believes.”I have been contacted by doctors who say they are interested in testing if my methods can be used to improve accuracy when analyzing x-rays of the brain to detect MS.”In his research, Fredrik has also studied another important aspect – namely the major risks that personal integrity can easily be eliminated when people put up a lot of data about themselves on social media, especially in public groups. Researcher Fredrik Erlandsson at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden has now developed methods that enable human interaction to be traced and to systematically retrieve information from social networks. Provided by Blekinge Institute of Technology This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Chile wants to start taxing companies like Uber and Netflix

first_img “It is not fair that for the same service some pay taxes and others no,” Finance Minister Felipe Larrain told reporters on Thursday in an area of Santiago that is home to traditional shoe manufacturers who are struggling to compete with online rivals.The idea is for these online players to pay tax and VAT on their earnings in Chile, unless their country of origin has a free trade agreement with Santiago, the minister said.”We are not trying to resist modernity.. but we can try and ensure that everyone competes on a level playing field,” Larrain said.The proposal is part of a major tax overhaul the government is preparing.As of now, digital platforms like Uber, Netflix and Spotify do not pay taxes in Chile because they have no physical presence here.Uber, technically, is not even legal. Congress is working on a law to regulate its operations.Larrain said it was a challenge to come up with a way to tax these companies.One idea is an indirect transaction tax, he said, or a surtax charged to credit cards used for their services.Larrain said the state could potentially bring in hundreds of millions of dollars with these new taxes. Citation: Chile wants to start taxing companies like Uber and Netflix (2018, June 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Uber reaches deal in Czech Republic on licencing, tax Platforms such as Uber, Netflix and Spotify pay no taxes in Chile because they have no physical presence there This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Explore further Chile wants to start taxing digital giants like Uber, Spotify and Netflix to level the playing field for their more traditional counterparts, a minister has said. © 2018 AFPlast_img read more

Consensus among G7 ministers to tackle Facebooks Libra French chair

first_imgPARIS (Reuters) – G7 ministers meeting in France on Wednesday agreed on the need to confront the emergence of digital currencies following Facebook’s plans to launch its Libra digital coin, a French G7 presidency source said on Wednesday. Speaking after the first of two days of discussions in Chantilly, north of Paris, the source said there was “a very large consensus on the need to act quickly”. The source added that there was also unanimous agreement around the table on the need for minimum corporate taxation although it was still too early to agree on a specific rate. Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Myriam RivetOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more