Cholera is one of those diseases that most Americans have heard of but never encountered. That’s a good thing because it’s nasty and often fatal. There are a handful of cases in the US each year, but according to the CDC these all originate overseas. We don’t see it in the US, largely because our towns and cities have highly effective waste water treatment systems.
At the last count the US had 4,269 craft breweries, of which 2,397 were classed as microbreweries. A microbrewery is defined as an operation producing less than 15,000 barrels per year and selling more than 25% of that off-site. One barrel holds enough beer to fill around 330 12 ounce bottles so a brewer could fill nearly five million bottles a year yet still qualify as “micro.”
To complete the picture, there are also 1,650 brew pubs, (places that brew and sell mostly on-site,) and 178 regional breweries. A regional produces more than a microbrewery but less than 6 million barrels per year. So without doing any math it’s apparent a lot of breweries are filling millions of bottles with a glorious array of traditional and innovative new brews.
No one expects their food to make them sick but according to the CDC each year one in six Americans contracts food poisoning. Of those, some 128,000 will find themselves in hospital and 3,000 will die.
That’s reason enough for those in food and beverage processing and manufacturing to take hygiene very seriously. Plus, it’s good business practice. Negative publicity from a food contamination incident destroys consumer confidence and sales usually dive. Add on the direct cost of lost production, cleaning, and assessed fines and a business may not survive.
Monoclonal antibodies are one of the most exciting developments in medicine of recent years. Unlike traditional disease treatments, these are developed specifically to attack individual cells. Some monoclonal treatments are already available for select types of cancers. Others are used for immune system suppression, improving quality-of-life for arthritis sufferers, and recipients of organ donation.
Who hasn’t been woken at dawn by a noisy trash collection truck? Sometimes it seems the rasping engine and whining hydraulics were designed specifically to rouse entire streets, but that’s changing. Growing numbers of trash collectors, like Waste Pro, are converting their fleets to compressed natural gas (CNG.) CNG offers several benefits, including quieter operation, but also raises some issues relating the refueling.
When the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) decided it was time for new buses they announced they’d be buying hybrid and CNG-powered vehicles. Bus operators, like the MBTA, are big fans of CNG even though it has some specialized handling requirements. That’s why incorporating CNG-fueled vehicles into a fleet creates some issues for maintenance and repair facilities.
Tesla’s success with battery-powered electric vehicles (EV’s) has drawn the public’s eye away from Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV’s). However, manufacturers like Toyota continue to invest in the FCV technology. Toyota has invested in FCV’s, so what do they know about FCV’s, and what’s holding back other manufacturers from using the technology?
Hydrogen production is a global industry, and it’s a growing one. Hydrogen is used in many manufacturing industries and also as an energy storage medium. There are several methods of producing hydrogen but distribution is expensive. Many hydrogen users opt for on-site generation instead, and this is likely to increase as hydrogen begins to supplant gasoline and diesel.
Cryogenics is the science of dealing with the production of and effects of very low temperatures. However, there’s some debate over how low ‘low temperature’ must be to qualify as cryogenic. Some say lower than -1000C. Others, such as NIST, put it at below -1500C. At these temperatures most gases become liquid, which gives them some interesting uses. Cryogenic temperatures are mostly produced through the Joule-Thomson effect, which takes advantage of the relationship between pressure, temperature, and volume.
For an inert, nontoxic gas, nitrogen is surprisingly dangerous, especially when you consider it comprises 78% of the air we breathe. That’s a problem, because nitrogen is also extremely useful in many industrial situations. Nitrogen leaks are hard to detect, which is why it’s important to incorporate excess flow valves into systems using this gas. Here we’ll take a look at what makes nitrogen so useful, how it’s used, the consequences of leaks and how to protect against them.