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Britain unveils desalination plant for London reservoirs

first_img More information: www.thameswater.co.uk/ Explore further Citation: Britain unveils desalination plant for London reservoirs (2011, April 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-britain-unveils-desalination-london-reservoirs.html Reverse osmosis water purification is a filtration process whereby brackish water is pressurized in a tank which pushes it through a thin membrane, allowing only the pure water to emerge out the other side. Because of the extra energy needed for pressurization, reverse osmosis generally costs up to twice as much as regular purification processes, which in turn causes taxpayers, especially in such a wet climate as Britain, to wonder about the wisdom of installing such a plant.But Thames Water, the company in charge of supplying drinking water to London, believes such a plant will be necessary in the future, citing the water restrictions put in place during the last extended drought in 2005/06, which was a catalyst for the construction of the plant. Critics have been quick to point out, however, that had the water company fixed its leaking pipes, some of the worst in the world, there would not have been a need for a new plant at all.Construction of the plant was finished in June of last year, but it wasn’t until just last month that the plant began actively pumping clean water into nearby reservoirs, albeit at only one sixth capacity. Simon Evans, spokesman for Thames Water, claims they are only doing so to test the system and train workers. The idea after all, is to fill the reservoirs if they fall low due to lack of rainfall, which coincidently or not, is exactly what Britain has been experiencing this spring.It’s likely the construction of the plant will cause other metropolitan areas to take notice as city planners the world over fall victim to criticism from thirsty city dwellers who suddenly find themselves at the mercy of varying weather patterns. Traditionally reverse osmosis plants have been built for areas with few other options, such as those in the Middle East; with this new plant in London, however, that could change. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Britain has brought online a new desalination plant near London capable of providing the city with 150 million gallons (568 million litres) of water per day, should the need arise. At a cost of £270 ($445) million, and built over the past four years, the plant uses reverse osmosis to remove salt from the brackish water pumped in from the Thames Estuary, which it then pumps into local reservoirs, thus staving off the threat of drought. Controversy surrounds British water plant Aerial view of Farmoor Reservoir, Oxfordshire This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Jupiters magnetic field could be moving Europas ocean

first_img © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Jupiter’s magnetic field could be moving Europa’s ocean (2019, March 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-jupiter-magnetic-field-europa-ocean.html The Galileo spacecraft took this image of Europa, which is about the size of Earth’s moon, in 1996. Credit: NASA. Water plumes on Europa: Tasting an extraterrestrial ocean The researchers started by noting that Jupiter has a very strong magnetic field—strong enough to reach and impact its moons. They also noted that Europa’s underground ocean is salty. A magnetic field influencing a salty sea would result in the conduction of electricity, likely creating a jet stream in the ocean. To find out what sort of movement might occur and to uncover other possible impacts of the magnetic field on the moon’s ocean, the researchers created numerical simulations. The simulations showed a jet stream forming somewhere near the moon’s equator, moving as fast as a few centimeters per second and flowing opposite of the moon’s spin. Such an opposite flow, the researchers further noted, would result in stress on the moon’s surface, which could occasionally form cracks. This would explain the surface cracks observed on Europa by other researchers. They further note that not all of the energy from the magnetic field would be transferred to the ocean—some of it would dissipate off the moon, likely around the poles. And if that were the case, there would be evidence of the moon’s ice shell becoming thinner as melting water made its way to the surface. And again, that is just what has been observed—plumes of water spurting out from spots near the poles.The researchers suggest a jet stream on Europa could be compared to the Gulf Stream back here on Earth. Notably, our jet stream has been found to move compounds around in the ocean that are important for life. If Europa harbors life, its jet stream could be serving the same purpose. Explore furtherlast_img read more