Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sun, 4th Mar 2012

Wattage from Waste and Watching Our Water

rubbish (c) S. Muller

How can we extract energy from waste? In this week's Naked Scientists we explore the technology that turns muck into methane and consider the fertile issue of nutrient overload resulting from returning the finished products to farmland. And what about water? Why do we individually use ten times more water than we actually need, and what's the solution for a drought-stricken Britain? Plus, in the news, how astronomers have discovered evidence of life in the universe, but only down here on Earth, and the "ungentlemanly" conduct of the upper classes...

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:30 - Scavenging energy from your waste

    Dan Cooke from the recycling renewable energy and waste management company Viridor discusses how much energy we can scavenge from the 280 million tons of waste produced in the UK each year......

  • 09:07 - Making the Most of Phosphates in our Waste.

    Cynthia Carliell-Marquet from the University of Birmingham discusses recycling and sharing out the phosphate resources from our waste....

  • 16:32 - Nitrates in the Thames - Planet Earth Online

    Nitrates in water can harm newborn babies and trigger the rapid growth of algae in rivers, killing fish and choking plants. The amount of nitrates in the River Thames has trebled since the 1930s. Sue Nelson met two researchers studying how nitrates move through the land to end ...

  • 21:51 - Looking for Evidence of Life on Earth

    Astronomers have found compelling evidence for life in the Universe but only on Earth. Using a phenomenon known as Earthshine, where light from Earth is reflected off the surface of the Moon, researchers from the European Southern Observatory were able to view the Earth as if...

  • 55:12 - When will indestructible plastics finally degrade?

    I understand that acrylic, polystyrene and polyester plastics make up most of the growing body of waste plastics in our oceans and they never get broken down but get ingested by ocean life. But we know that nothing persists for ever so surely plastics in the sea have to break dow...



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