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Disadvantage using Organic Pesticide

In the previous article about biopesticide, im discussing about the benefits of using a biopesticide to environment. but actually there is a loss if we use even organic pesticides, this is the result of study. Consumers shouldn't assume that, because a product is organic, it's also environmentally friendly.

A new University of Guelph study reveals some organic pesticides can have a higher environmental impact than conventional pesticides because the organic product may require larger doses.

Environmental sciences professor Rebecca Hallett and PhD candidate Christine Bahlai compared the effectiveness and environmental impact of organic pesticides to those of conventional and novel reduced-risk synthetic products on soybean crops.

"The consumer demand for organic products is increasing partly because of a concern for the environment," said Hallett. "But it's too simplistic to say that because it's organic it's better for the environment. Organic growers are permitted to use pesticides that are of natural origin and in some cases these organic pesticides can have higher environmental impacts than synthetic pesticides often because they have to be used in large doses."

The study, which is published today in the journal PloS One, involved testing six pesticides and comparing their environmental impact and effectiveness in killing soybean aphids – the main pest of soybean crops across North America.

The two scientists examined four synthetic pesticides: two conventional products commonly used by soybean farmers and two new, reduced-risk pesticides. They also examined a mineral oil-based organic pesticide that smothers aphids and another product containing a fungus that infects and kills insects.

The researchers used the environmental impact quotient, a database indicating impact of active ingredients based on such factors as leaching rate into soil, runoff, toxicity from skin exposure, consumer risk, toxicity to birds and fish, and duration of the chemical in the soil and on the plant.

They also conducted field tests on how well each pesticide targeted aphids while leaving their predators -- ladybugs and flower bugs -- unharmed.

"We found the mineral oil organic pesticide had the most impact on the environment because it works by smothering the aphids and therefore requires large amounts to be applied to the plants," said Hallett.

Compared to the synthetic pesticides, the mineral oil-based and fungal products were less effective, as they also killed ladybugs and flower bugs, which are important regulators of aphid population and growth.

These predator insects reduce environmental impact because they naturally protect the crop, reducing the amount of pesticides that are needed, she added.

"Ultimately, the organic products were much less effective than the novel and conventional pesticides at killing the aphids and they have a potentially higher environmental impact," she said. "In terms of making pest management decisions and trying to do what is best for the environment, it's important to look at every compound and make a selection based on the environmental impact quotient rather than if it's simply natural or synthetic. It's a simplification that just doesn't work when it comes to minimizing environmental impact."
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Biosolar from Unused Coffee Grounds

Scientists in Nevada have reported that coffee grounds can provide an alternative biosolar materials for cars and trucks that are cheap, plentiful, and environmentally friendly.

In a recent study, Mano Misra, Susanta Mohapatra, and Narasimharao Kondamudi said that the main obstacle of widespread use of biosolar is a low willingness-quality raw materials to produce this new energy. Coffee grounds contain 11-20% oil by weight. This amount is equivalent to the traditional biosolar raw materials such as palm oil or soybeans.

The farmers produce more than 16 billion pounds of coffee throughout the world each year. Production of coffee grounds from espresso, cappuccino, and coffee, java often end up in the trash or used as fertilizer. However, scientists estimate that the actual coffee grounds have the potential to add 340 million gallons of fuel supply biosolar to the world.

To validate this, scientists are collecting coffee grounds from a retail provider of the fast food and coffee to extract the oil. They then use a simple process nan cheaper to modify 100 percent of its oil to biosolar.

Results from this coffee-based fuel - which has a smell the coffee - have a great advantage in terms of stability compared to traditional biosolar because high antioxidant content in coffee said the researchers. Solid waste remaining from this conversion can be converted into ethanol or used as compost. The researchers estimate that this process can generate revenue of more than $ 8 million dollars in America alone. They plan to develop a small scale factory to produce and test experimental fuel in the timeframe of six to eight months into the future.

Biosolar is a market that is being stretched. Experts estimate that the annual global production of biosolar will reach three billion gallons in 2010. This fuel can be made from soybean oil, palm oil, peanut oil and other vegetable oils, animal fats and even used frying oil from fast food restaurants. Biosolar can also be added to regular diesel fuel. Also this product can be used as a separate product and is used as an alternative fuel for diesel engines.
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Environmentally friendly jets engine with biofuels

David Shonnard, Robbins Chair Professor of Chemical Engineering, analyzed the carbon dioxide emissions of jet fuel made from camelina oil over the course of its life cycle, from planting to tailpipe. “Camelina jet fuel exhibits one of the largest greenhouse gas emission reductions of any agricultural feedstock-derived biofuel I’ve ever seen,” he said. “This is the result of the unique attributes of the crop–its low fertilizer requirements, high oil yield, and the availability of its coproducts, such as meal and biomass, for other uses.”

Camelina sativa originated in Europe and is a member of the mustard family, along with broccoli, cabbage and canola. Sometimes called false flax or gold-of-pleasure, it thrives in the semi-arid conditions of the Northern Plains; the camelina used in the study was grown in Montana.

Oil from camelina can be converted to a hydrocarbon green jet fuel that meets or exceeds all petroleum jet fuel specifications. The fuel is a “drop-in” replacement that is compatible with the existing fuel infrastructure, from storage and transportation to aircraft fleet technology. “It is almost an exact replacement for fossil fuel,” Shonnard explained. “Jets can’t use oxygenated fuels like ethanol; they have to use hydrocarbon replacements.”

Shonnard conducted the life cycle analysis for UOP LLC, of Des Plaines, Ill., a subsidiary of Honeywell and a provider of oil refining technology. In an April 28 release, it cited Boeing executive Billy Glover, managing director of environmental strategy, who called camelina “one of the most promising sources for renewable fuels that we’ve seen.”

“It performed as well if not better than traditional jet fuel during our test flight with Japan Airlines earlier this year and supports our goal of accelerating the market availability of sustainable, renewable fuel sources that can help aviation reduce emissions,” Glover said. “It’s clear from the life cycle analysis that camelina is one of the leading near-term options and, even better, it’s available today.”

Because camelina needs little water or nitrogen to flourish, it can be grown on marginal agricultural lands. “Unlike ethanol made from corn or biodiesel made from soy, it won’t compete with food crops,” said Shonnard. “And it may be used as a rotation crop for wheat, to increase the health of the soil.”

Tom Kalnes is a senior development associate for UOP in its renewable energy and chemicals research group. His team used hydroprocessing, a technology commonly used in the refining of petroleum, to develop a flexible process that converts camelina oil and other biological feedstocks into green jet fuel and renewable diesel fuel.

As to whether we will all be flying in plant-powered aircraft, his answer is, “It depends.”

“There are a few critical issues,” Kalnes said. “The most critical is the price and availability of commercial-scale quantities of second generation feedstocks.” Additionally, more farmers need to be convinced to grow a new crop, and refiners must want to process it.
“But if it can create jobs and income opportunities in rural areas, that would be wonderful,” he said.
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South Africa, Using Nematodes for Bioinsecticides

Bioinsecticide are biodegradable (environment friendly), non toxic and cost effective. Some of these bioinsecticide, introduced in the USA in 1950's, are based on Bacillus thuringiensis. Bioinsecticides are a highly desirable alternative to conventional chemical-based insecticides. Bioinsecticides are environmentally friendly, compatible with other pest control agents and are also commercially viable.

Entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) are being recognised as important biological control agents for a wide variety of insect pests. EPNs are insect-parasitic nematodes. Like all nematodes, they are simple roundworms with long, cylindrical shaped bodies. EPNs are small nematodes, ranging in length from 0.4mm to 1.1mm. There are many attributes that make EPNs commercially suitable as biological control agents of insect pests. They have a host range that includes the majority of insect orders and families and they kill their host within 48 hours of infection. In addition, they can be easily cultured on a large scale on artificial media (in vitro culture) and the infective juvenile stage obtained from in vitro culture can be stored for long periods of time. Finally, and possibly most importantly, the infective juvenile stage can withstand high pressures and thus can be applied in the field using conventional spray application procedures.

EPN-based bioinsecticides will have many advantages over currently used chemical insecticides. Most importantly there will be a reduction in the social costs that incur from the accumulation of chemical insecticides in the food chain and in ground water. The use of such bioinsecticides will also greatly reduce the farmworker health risks associated with the application of chemical insecticides.

Entomopathogenic nematode (EPN)-based bioinsecticides have the potential for commercialisation in South Africa since indigenous EPNs can be mass- produced at low cost. Only indigenous EPNs will be used to develop EPN-based bioinsecticides and these bioinsecticides will only be sold to the South African market. Indigenous EPNs are suited for the control of local insect pests because they are adapted to local environmental conditions and are natural regulators of insect populations.

The broad activity of an EPN-based bioinsecticide allows for the target of several markets. Such a bioinsecticide will control insect pest communities that occupy the subterranean and semi-subterranean zone during at least one part of their life-cycle. All vegetable and fruit farmers as well as maize, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and groundnut farmers in South Africa can benefit from EPN-based bioinsecticides. Commercial golf course greens-keepers are also a potential market.

A number of indigenous EPN strains have already been isolated during Sarah's Masters research. These strains were isolated from soil samples collected within South Africa. Once a soil sample is obtained, larvae from the Greater Waxmoth (Galleria mellonella) are place in the soil. Any dead larvae are removed from the soil seven days later. If the larvae have been infected with entomopathogenic nematodes, the infective juvenile stage of the nematode will begin emerging from the dead larvae. These juveniles are collected and stored temporarily in water. The life cycle of entomopathogenic nematodes begins with the infective juvenile stage. The infective juvenile is the only stage of the lifecycle that is adapted to survive in the environment (usually soil) for an extended length of time. They remain in this free-living state until they locate a suitable host.

At least two of the already isolated strains have the potential for development as bioinsecticides. They are highly pathogenic strains and thus have been cultured with ease in the laboratory.

A number of steps are first required before commercialisation and appearance of these and other nematode strains as bioinsecticides on the market. Firstly, laboratory based screening trials of the nematode strains against a range of insect pests will be performed. Field based screening trials will then be conducted using those nematode strains showing the most potential for successful biological control. Following this, a pilot production plant is to be set up for the mass production of the nematode strains that have passed the screening trails. In conjunction with this, nematode storage systems, the best transport method and several application technologies will be designed and tested. The final step in the commercialisation process will be large-scale field trial applications of the selected entomopathogenic nematode strains.

Source: Sarah Taylor, WITS University
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Ecofriendly unsing Biotechnology in Paper Industry

Paper are the product that produce in most massive number. In common technology production of paper ussually using a wood. Manufacture of paper from wood involves :
  1. wood processing,
  2. pulping,
  3. bleaching and
  4. sheet formation.
Pulping of wood (preferably from softwood with 3 - 5 mm long fibres, but rarely from hardwood with 1.5 mm long fibres) requires separation of the wood fibres from each other, which are then reformed into a sheet.
The wood fibres are glued together with the help of lignin and separation of these fibres is described as chemical pulping, when lignin is removed by degradation and is described as mechanical pulping, when fibres are mechanically teared apart. Both these methods of pulping are used.

Mechnical pulping gives higher yields and is cheap, but the quality of paper produced is relatively poor, turning yellow on exposure to sunlight. Further, the mechanical pulping requires lot of electrical energy. These difficulties can be overcome through the use of biotechnology.

The chemical pulp is also subjected to bleaching, in order to remove residual lignin leading to satisfactory increase in the brightness of paper. This bleaching step creates numerous toxic derivatives of lignin that constitutes environment hazard.

Using Biochemical Pulping 
In a recent report it was shown that a treatment of aspen chips (aspen is a wood; wood is received by pulp mills in two forms, logs or chips, the latter being more popular) with Phanerochaete chrysosporium before craft pulping (sulphate process) gives improved tensile strength (resistance to rupture by a force parallel to sheet) and burst strength (resistance to rupture by force perpendicular to sheet), but decreased tear strength (resistance to elongation under transverse shear), brightness and yield.

Brightness may be improved later by bleaching. More research and experimentation is needed before biochemical pulping becomes a reality and used in paper industry.

Using Biological Lignin Degradation 
In the pulping process, degradation of lignin can be achieved through treatment with microbes, of which lignolytic fungi are the most important. A biological step can be integrated, in pulping process, both in chemical pulping as well as in mechanical pulping. Three ways have been suggested for this purpose.
It may be seen that the biological step may be a pre treatment or a post de filtration, to remove lignin. However, the use of a biological step in lignin degradation is still at the level of research and experimentation.
Its use at industrial scale is seen as a distinct possibility due to successful results already obtained in several experiments. To support research in this area, a Biopulping Consortium (funded by 20 companies), was established in USA in 1987.
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Change Environment with Biopesticide

 Biopesticides are certain types of pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. For example, canola oil and baking soda have pesticidal applications and are considered biopesticides. At the end of 2001, there were approximately 195 registered biopesticide active ingredients and 780 products. Biopesticides fall into three major classes:

  1. Microbial pesticides consist of a microorganism (e.g., a bacterium, fungus, virus or protozoan) as the active ingredient. Microbial pesticides can control many different kinds of pests, although each separate active ingredient is relatively specific for its target pest[s]. For example, there are fungi that control certain weeds, and other fungi that kill specific insects.
  2. The most widely used microbial pesticides are subspecies and strains of Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Each strain of this bacterium produces a different mix of proteins, and specifically kills one or a few related species of insect larvae. While some Bt's control moth larvae found on plants, other Bt's are specific for larvae of flies and mosquitoes. The target insect species are determined by whether the particular Bt produces a protein that can bind to a larval gut receptor, thereby causing the insect larvae to starve.
  3. Plant-Incorporated-Protectants (PIPs) are pesticidal substances that plants produce from genetic material that has been added to the plant. For example, scientists can take the gene for the Bt pesticidal protein, and introduce the gene into the plant's own genetic material. Then the plant, instead of the Bt bacterium, manufactures the substance that destroys the pest. The protein and its genetic material, but not the plant itself, are regulated by EPA.
  4. Biochemical pesticides are naturally occurring substances that control pests by non-toxic mechanisms. Conventional pesticides, by contrast, are generally synthetic materials that directly kill or inactivate the pest. Biochemical pesticides include substances, such as insect sex pheromones, that interfere with mating, as well as various scented plant extracts that attract insect pests to traps. Because it is sometimes difficult to determine whether a substance meets the criteria for classification as a biochemical pesticide, EPA has established a special committee to make such decisions.
What are the advantages of using biopesticides?
using bioBiopesticides will provide many benefits compared to use of artificial pesticides. The advantage are biopesticides not damage the environment and no danger to plants or humans. The other benefit will describe in the following sections:
  • Biopesticides are usually inherently less toxic than conventional pesticides.
  • Biopesticides generally affect only the target pest and closely related organisms, in contrast to broad spectrum, conventional pesticides that may affect organisms as different as birds, insects, and mammals.
  • Biopesticides often are effective in very small quantities and often decompose quickly, thereby resulting in lower exposures and largely avoiding the pollution problems caused by conventional pesticides.
  • When used as a component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs, biopesticides can greatly decrease the use of conventional pesticides, while crop yields remain high.
  • To use biopesticides effectively, however, users need to know a great deal about managing pests.
READ MORE - Change Environment with Biopesticide