MEXICO CITY, Feb 2 (Tierramérica).- Mexican scientists are turning to nanotechnology for an economical and effective solution for unblocking oil pipelines -- a problem that otherwise costs companies great sums of money worldwide.
After seven years of studying the molecules that have a role in the formation of the deposits, which the scientists have nicknamed "cholesterol", experts at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) are on the verge of a definitive solution.
Thanks to the techniques that allow manipulation on the atomic and molecular scale, there is confidence of good news in the short term, Nikola Batina Skeledzija, coordinator of the UAM nanotechnology and molecular engineering lab, told Tierramérica.
Currently, to dilute the deposits in the oil pipelines, chemicals are used, which create electromagnetic fields and do not always clear the blockages.
Government Aims to End Sugarcane Burnoffs
RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 2 (Tierramérica).- Brazil's Environment Ministry this month will launch the Agro-Ecological Zoning of Sugarcane and a new law to reduce the burnoffs applied before plantings, with the goal of ending them in 2020.
The alternatives include new machinery and new techniques, such as turning the stubble into biofertilizer.
There will also be "a ban on new cultivation in areas with a slope of more than 12 percent," where it would not be possible to use machinery, Roberto Vizentin, of the ministry's territorial regulation department, told Tierramérica.
Brazil has seven million hectares of sugarcane fields. Another six million are forecast by 2017. The annual yield is more than 400 million tons of cane, according to official figures. With a reduction of burnoffs, there will be less carbon dioxide emitted into the air, and a lower risk of spreading fire.
Phone the President, Demand Forest Law
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 2 (Tierramérica).- The Argentine chapter of Greenpeace is urging the public to telephone President Cristina Fernández to ask for her speedy enactment of the native forests law that was passed 14 months ago.
"We are registering 1,000 calls per day and we will continue until we achieve our goal," Gonzalo Strano, a Greenpeace activist, told Tierramérica.
Calls can be made from any telephone, but the environmental watchdog group has set up sites in Argentina's principal cities with an enormous red telephone and booth -- which have attracted long lines of people.
Greenpeace pressed for the law and contributed to drafting it. The group also collected 1.5 million signatures. Now it is demanding the enactment of the law to preserve forests that are being degraded by the expansion of farming.
Indians Join Organic Coffee Projects
TEGUCIGALPA, Feb 2 (Tierramérica).- Cultivation of organic coffee will be promoted in the Honduran municipality of La Campa, in the western department of Lempira, home to a mostly indigenous population that seeks to sell the product to Europe.
Nery Reyes, mayor of La Campa, told Tierramérica that an eco-friendly plant is being planned, with resources from Italy and Germany, to process the coffee and ensure a competitive, high-quality product for the market.
According to the Union of Coffee Cooperatives, for the past eight years some 600 families have been growing organic coffee in 12 Honduran departments on some 2,000 hectares.
Coffee is Honduras's main export, generating revenues of 500 million dollars per year. Coffee production is mostly in the hands of small farmers. Organic coffee has been promoted here for the past decade. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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