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Posts Tagged: "water treatment"

Florida algal blooms put focus on phosphorus depletion and ultrasonic wave tech

Algal blooms are caused when algae living in seas or freshwater grow uncontrollably because of the presence of nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen; high temperatures and the underwater penetration of light also play roles in the process. Public health costs, however, are dwarfed by the price tag which algal blooms can put on industries requiring clean water, such as seafood, tourism and restaurants. Every year, harmful algal blooms (HABs), the toxic variety currently seen in Florida, cost about $82 million in lost economic output according to statistics published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Last year, algal blooms on the West Coast caused beaches in Washington State to close, preventing razor clamming at an estimated economic cost of $9 million over one month.

Toshiba Patents: From Memory Devices to Smarter Retail Stores and Seawater Desalination

We share a trio of patent applications discussing improvements to memory devices, especially flash memory devices. A number of intriguing technologies which we share below are also related to brick and mortar retail environments, including one patent application discussing a method of providing entertainment content to retail workers to keep them more productive. Toshiba holds a very robust patent portfolio, and we also explored some patents which have been issued to the company within the past few weeks. Two patents related to three-dimensional memory cell stacks for better semiconductor memory devices are explored. Two other patents we share protect water treatment technologies, including one for capturing more copper precipitate from wastewater while creating less sludge. We also discuss a couple of patents focused on printing technologies, including an apparatus and system for recycling printed sheets by removing images.

Innovation Focus: Water Treatment & Desalination

We’ve noticed a great deal of inventions that involve desalination techniques to turn saline water containing a lot of salts into fresh, drinkable water. Desalination is capable of reducing salinity in water from 35,000 ppm, the typical salinity of ocean water, to 1,000 ppm, and many of these innovations are designed to help people apply desalination techniques on a wider scale at lower costs. We’ve also noticed some developments that might help communities derive water from sources other than rivers and streams, such as the atmosphere. As I conducted my research I was struck by how many of these inventions for creating clean water involved other recycling or sustainable technologies, addressing many environmental concerns through one novel system or apparatus.