Using waste to save the world

first_imgMethane burning. The gas, a powerfulfuel, is produced from the decay oforganic material in the biodigester. It’salso a serious greenhouse gas, andburning it for household use renders it farless harmful to the earth’s climate.(Image: National Science Digital Library) Peter Bysshe stirring the holding tank –probably the least pleasant part of owninga biodigester, but not that big a deal.(Image: Jennifer Stern) A dome biodigester under construction. Construction of the reed bed thatperforms the final filtration of thebiodigester’s recycled water. The completed reed bed of Bysshe’sbiodigester.(Images: Agama Energy)Jennifer SternGlobal climate change is a reality, and the only way we, as a nation and a species, are going to avoid catastrophe is to utilise our resources more sensibly.There are lots of ways of decreasing waste, saving water and generating alternative energy. But there’s one piece of technology that does all three at once – a biodigester. And the Overstrand Municipality on the Western Cape’s southern coastline is the first local authority in South Africa to pass plans for one in an urban area.That’s quite a big step, because biodigesters deal with the unmentionables we all prefer not to think about. But it’s not thinking that creates so many problems. Let’s face it, none of us likes to really reflect on what happens after we flush the toilet, but the reality is that we use litres and litres of perfectly good drinking water to flush away our waste, which is then processed at the cost of quite a bit of energy before being released into the sea or river systems.More and more people are realising that they are flushing away good quality nutrients and energy, and so are looking at alternative ways of dealing with human waste – and have discovered loads of benefits. It’s all about thinking of it as a resource, not just something we need to get rid of. One such person is Peter Bysshe. When he bought his house in Stanford, he needed to decide whether to install a new septic tank, or to go for a biodigester.“I took the long view,” he says. “It cost about 15 or 20 grand more, but it was worth it.”Bysshe’s main motivation was to recycle the water he and his family used in the house to water the large garden. “But I’m not saying no to free gas,” he says with a smile.The Bysshe family of four, plus domestic staff, do all their cooking on methane produced by the biodigester.“We came on line during the load shedding in 2007,” Bysshe says, obviously pretty pleased with his timing. In 2007 and early 2008 South Africa was hit by a series of planned power outages after rapid economic growth put a strain on the country’s electricity grid.“It takes about three or four weeks before you start getting gas. We’ve been going for 16 months, now and it’s been great Once or twice it’s been low, but the next day it’s up again.”A forward-thinking municipalityBysshe lives in the pretty country town of Stanford, part of the Overstrand Municipality, which includes the coastal towns of Hermanus and Gansbaai that are famous, respectively, for southern right whales and great white sharks. Country towns can be quite conservative, so Bysshe was pleasantly surprised with the response when he applied for permission to build the biodigester.“They wrote to DWAF [Department of Water Affairs and Forestry] and asked what the requirements were. We had to put in an additional baffler system before it flows into the reed bed – to purify the water more. They wanted it to get to the point that, when I was watering the garden, I wasn’t contaminating the ground water.“They took groundwater readings before we built it, and they check it every year.”How it all worksBiodigesters are pretty simple. The main fermentation tank looks rather like a giant pizza oven buried in the ground. Obviously, gravity plays an important role in the process so the level of the bottom of the tank, or dome, is dictated by the fall necessary to get the waste from all the toilets and drains in the house.All the waste from the drains and toilets flows into a holding tank, and then into the dome. A separate inlet with a cast-iron cover allows users to add kitchen waste, garden waste and other organic material.In the dome, all the organic material ferments to form methane, which is tapped off and piped to the stove in the house. Waste water flows from the bottom of the dome through a series of anaerobic baffled reactor tanks, also called expansion tanks, which progressively remove remaining pathogens from the water by simply allowing them to die through lack of oxygen.The holding tank and all the baffler tanks are accessed by simply removing their cast-iron covers. All of these processes happen underground.From the last tank, the water flows into a bed of reeds, which do the final purification of the water. The reed bed is an open pond filled with course stones to a level higher than the overflow. So the reeds grow directly in the water but – to all appearances – are growing in course gravel.Any pollutants remaining in the water nourish the growing reeds so that, once they have utilised all available nutrients, the water is clean enough be used on the garden, thus re-entering the groundwater system.Maintenance is minimalUsing a biodigester is taking control of the process of waste disposal – unlike the head-in-the-sand approach of most urban people. It requires a certain amount of dedication, but the maintenance is minimal.“You have to stir it about once a week,” Bysshe says. “Otherwise it cakes up. You want to keep it as liquid as possible. You stir it with a paddle. There is a slight odour when you open it, but it’s not like a honey sucker.” (“Honey sucker” is the rather euphemistic name for the tanker trucks that suck raw sewage from tanker trucks.)It’s not a very high-tech process. He opens the tank up, shoves in an old scaffolding board and – well – stirs. I watched him doing it and, while it’s certainly not jasmine or orange blossom, the smell isn’t that bad. It’s definitely less offensive than a long drop – not that that’s saying much, I know. And when it is closed there is no smell at all.The system must be adequately fed. As well as all the toilet discharge and grey water – water used for bathing and washing dishes, for example – Bysshe adds kitchen waste, grass cuttings, bits of paper, and even dog poo.“Everything in moderation,” he says. “If it hasn’t had grass, for example, you introduce it slowly.”  A diagram of Agama Energy’s domestic biodigester (Image: Agama Energy) Saving resources and saving the worldWhile the primary objective is to effectively and efficiently utilise all the resources at hand, a biodigester also reduces your carbon footprint by burning methane, thereby turning it into carbon dioxide, instead of letting it escape into the atmosphere.“Methane is 23 times worse than CO2,” says Neil Parker, an engineer working for Agama Energy, the company that designed the biodigester.  What that means is methane – the ultimate greenhouse gas – traps 23 times more of the sun’s energy than carbon dioxide.While Parker’s company have produced Bysshe’s and one or two other domestic units, they aim to focus on larger projects, where economies of scale would make the whole thing more affordable.“We’re trying to start a rural biogas programme,” he says. “What you want to encourage is setting up small scale biogas plants at individual household level. Guys who have a few cattle, and can get manure, they can use that for fuel.“It improves their lifestyle tenfold. They’re not walking 10 kilometres a day to get firewood, and it burns cleaner, so there’s less health risk.Most of the biodigesters set up so far in and around Cape Town have been built from scratch out of bricks – an expensive exercise. But Parker says they’re looking at cheaper ways of mass-producing the domes, which are usually the most expensive parts to build.“At the moment we are developing a tank. We’re going to make the first ones from fibreglass, and then we’ll start rotomoulding them in plastic.”Bysshe says it’s a win-win situation.“The benefits are huge. The water and the gas, and ultimately, it’s sustainable. We’re creating a positive impact on the environment. It’s the difference between being green and being sustainable. This is sustainable.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesGreenpeace takes on Africa Bikes for Africa – from bamboo Power from the African sunUseful linksAgama EnergyOverstrand MunicipalityDepartment of Water Affairs and Forestrylast_img read more

Personalization of Mobile Apps and Ways to do It

first_imgPersonalizing a mobile app is the key to its effectiveness and success; the personalization lends focus and beauty to your app design. There are a few specific ways to implement personalization into your app, making it appealing, beneficial and most of all — sought after. Marketing strategies always do better when you are not fighting the mobile app. Make sure that the personalization of your mobile app is ready when you are.Personalization of mobile apps and ways to do it.The way to personalize your mobile app need not be difficult. These are the things to consider and get right:The modern generation knows precisely how they want to interact.The modern generation knows exactly how they want it to happen.They also know what available channels there are.Everyone knows the best channel one prefers for communication.All people today buy a product online by researching first.People like to read reviews and testimonials.You will not find anyone taking out a loan without looking at all of the sources.Even when it comes to looking for debt relief options, modern consumers go through different reviews and debt consolidation ratings before the final choice.Many marketers still struggle with personalization of email marketing campaigns and web experiences. You can fix your efforts through correct personalization of the mobile app.Personalization of mobile apps.Reasons to invest your time, effort, and money into making the customer experience great.Personalization is not only because smartphones are incredibly personal devices. Your target audience will likely be using their phone most of the time, whether it for personal or for professional use.The phone use will provide you, as a marketer, with a more significant opportunity to promote the value proposition of your business and brand more effectively and efficiently.A personalized phone app will also enable you to stay in the competition. Hundreds if not thousands of apps are being added to the stores such as Google and iOSon a daily basis.A personalized mobile app will increase the average retention rates of your users.Smartphone users now have multiple options for just about everything; ease of use makes a difference — make your app easy to use and fully optimized.The average user churn rate and retention will also be affected by a reduced churn of users abandoning the app.Make your user experience the best.Personalization of apps is crucial to drop or eliminate the churn rate.Industries are at present, experiencing a low churn of about 75% only on an average by the third month after the app has been downloaded. Great news, until you consider that you’ve just lost more than 50% of your user base.The primary reason behind such an alarming figure. Users drop, switch, and abandon if they don’t feel anything significant that encourages them to stay hooked to your apps.Lack of engagement with your customer is a suck point — and happens when your app is not optimized. The way to fix a high churn rate is to focus on personalization and implement better features that will eventually improve engagement rates for your app.Ways to personalize mobile apps.Mobile apps ideally leverage personalization and help in defining the experience of the person using the app.Personalize and enhance the experience, level of engagement, as well as the retention rates.Facilitate word of mouth marketing and implement a few referral campaigns for your loyal users.There are a few specific ways in which you can personalize your mobile app for the users.Start by Personalization of Mobile Apps, improving the onboarding experience of the users.Consider the data points of the installer. Ask: what is the source of the user? What is my customer base looking for? Why did this user download this app?With the help of such data, you will be able to create a more customized journey for the users within the app by reinforcing the offers in your app. Make the users feel that their preferences are considered and being taken into account by you.Focus on push and in-app notifications, ensuring that uninterrupted and consistent communication is maintained with the app users.Help the users to use the app in a better and easier way. Make your app appealing, prolonging the app session of the user. If they love it, they will return for a longer session.Create an in-app community of your users. They will love this — an in-app community is one of the best ways to personalize your app.ConclusionKeep your clients and customers and users motivated to interact more with one another and share their experiences. Help your user base find easy and effective solutions to common problems.In addition to the above, you can also be incentivizing a few activities. Boost motivation of the user of your app by asking them to get involved in the app improvement. Ask their opinion, and they will tell you. Have a place where they can respond to you and they will pick your app everytime. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology marina thomas Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Marina Thomas is a marketing and communication expert. She also serves as a content developer with many years of experience. She helps clients in long-term wealth plans. She has previously covered an extensive range of topics in her posts, including Money Saving, Budgeting, Cryptocurrency, Business debt consolidation, Business, and Start-ups. Related Posts Tags:#apps#mobile#Tools last_img read more

Salado posts triple-double as Racal sets D-League scoring record

first_imgKent Salado. PBA IMAGESRacal Motors’ offensive outburst earned itself an entry in the history books as it hammered Zark’s Burger, 140-90, for its second victory Thursday in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.The 140-point turnout set the new PBA D-League record for most points scored, eclipsing the previous feat set by Tanduay in its 133-78 rout of Topstar ZC Mindanao Aguilas in last season’s Foundation Cup.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games What ‘missteps’? Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ ZARK’S BURGER 90 – Celiz 28, Bautista 17, De Leon 13, Nalos 10, Juruena 6, Mangahas 6, Cudal 4, Cayabyab 3, Sheriff 2, Ferrer 1, Argamino 0.Quarters: 38-20, 66-43, 104-66, 140-90.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chickencenter_img MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire “It’s a big achievement for Racal. I’m happy for them and I think, it’s good that we know they can score. It’s just the defense that we have to work on,” said coach Jerry Codiñera.Kent Salado also became only the third player to register a triple-double in the league as he commandeered the Alibaba with 11 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds in the win, joining the ranks of BDO-NU’s Bobby Ray Parks and Phoenix’s Mike Tolomia in the list. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMac Tallo paced Racal with 26 markers, five assists, three rebounds, while Gwynne Capacio added 23 points.Roider Cabrera also had 17 markers powered by three triples, while Rian Ayonayon got 13 points, four dimes, and three rebounds. The Alibaba raced to a 38-20 first quarter lead and never looked back, extending the advantage to as high as 54, 140-86, late in the game.“We weren’t complacent even though we’re facing a new team. We just wanted to be ready against them and we just wanted to have a good start,” said Codiñera.Robby Celiz topped Zark’s Burger (0-3) with 28 points, five assists, and four rebounds, while Clark Bautista wound up with 17 markers in the loss.The Scores:RACAL MOTORS 140 – Tallo 26, Capacio 23, Cabrera 17, Ayonayon 13, Abrigo 11, Mangahas 11. Salado 11, Lozada 8, Apreku 7, Grimaldo 6, Faundo 4, Cortez 2, Bulawan 1, Dela Cruz 0.ADVERTISEMENT Durant, Warriors rally to beat Cavs for 3-0 lead View commentslast_img read more