Developments to Watch
Zebra mussels clog water-intake pipes in the Great Lakes and elsewhere. Poison and scraping don't keep them away. So Tiao Chang, an associate professor of engineering at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, has patented a vacuum that sucks bubbles out of the water so the mussels can't breathe.
-- A Duke University study has found that hog-farm odors affect the brain's limbic system, making people depressed, tense, angry, fatigued, and confused. The North Carolina Pork Producers Assn. is funding research on solutions, such as putting additives in hog feed.
-- A Dutch team uses sound waves to break up oil droplets in soil so the oil can be pumped out with groundwater. In tests by De Ruiter Milieutechnologie of Halfweg and Technical University of Delft, 71% of diesel fuel was removed from soil in just five days, vs. 40% in 11 days without the use of sound waves.
-- Enviro-Gen, a battery from EnviroLite Products Ltd. in Vancouver, B.C., produces up to 12 volts of electricity when you add salt water. Its magnesium-alloy anode has to be replaced after 40 hours of use at one ampere.EDITED BY NEIL GROSS