Unexpected misery for Spurs? How an Arsenal FA Cup win changes Europa League qualification

first_img1 Tottenham stars Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose look dejected After some poor performances against Burnley and Aston Villa in recent weeks, Tottenham fans had been looking at a seventh place finish in the Premier League this season.Finishing below Liverpool and Southampton would see Spurs fail to qualify for a European competition for the first time since 2009/10, which some supporters were delighted with, on the basis that the Europa League is more trouble than it’s worth.In that 2009/10 campaign, without gruelling trips to Moldova, Georgia and Russia, Tottenham were able to concentrate on their Premier League performances and managed to finish in the top four, earning them a spot in the Champions League.But, if Arsenal win the FA Cup, any hopes of a repeat could go down the drain.Previously, if the FA Cup winners qualified for the following season’s Champions League, the FA Cup runners up took a Europa League spot.But from the 2014/15 season on, only the winners get a Europa League place. Should the FA Cup winners also qualify for the Champions League, the Cup’s Europa League place goes to the Premier League (as with the Capital One Cup – Chelsea having won that competition, its Europa League place going to the Premier League).The result is that not only will Spurs supporters have to watch on in horror as the Gunners retain the trophy they won last season, the victory will see whoever finishes in seventh spot in the Premier League also qualify for Europe, denying Mauricio Pochettino’s side the chance to focus on a top four tilt.So who can qualify for the Europa League? talkSPORT takes a look…If Arsenal win the FA Cup: The fifth, sixth and seventh placed Premier League sidesIf Aston Villa win the FA Cup: The fifth and sixth placed Premier League sides, plus Aston Villa.There could also be another Premier League side in the competition if England earn an extra spot through the UEFA Respect Fair Play league.last_img read more

Cappa makes pro debut

first_imgFormer Humboldt State Lumberjack turned Tampa Bay Buccaneer Alex Cappa made his regular season NFL debut in a 27-9 win over the visiting San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon in Tampa, FL. The win snapped a four game losing spell for the Bucs (4-7) and served as a warm welcome to the NFL for Cappa.“More than anything, it was good to get a win as a team,” Cappa said. “Definitely enjoyed getting out there and playing some football.”Cappa was one of eight offensive linemen who suited up for the …last_img

SA, Botswana look to streamline trade

first_img22 November 2013 South African President Jacob Zuma and Botswana President Ian Khama, during their meeting in Pretoria on Thursday, stressed the importance of speeding up infrastructure projects to facilitate the movement of goods and people between the two countries. Zuma met with his Botswana counterpart ahead of the inaugural meeting of the South Africa-Botswana Bi-National Commission, which the two presidents co-hosted. Speaking to journalists after the commission meeting, Zuma said discussions were under way to look at how resources could be streamlined to boost trade between the two countries. “It is a question of how … we streamline trade. In this regard, we have taken a decision that our ministers will meet twice a year to evaluate how far the agreements we have signed have been implemented.” Since the establishment of official relations nearly 20 years ago, South African and Botswana have signed a total of 34 agreements covering various areas such as immigration, defence and security, energy, trade, transport and environmental affairs. Zuma said the bi-national commission would play a key role in broadening and streamlining cooperation between the two countries. The establishment of the commission was “a very important development because our relations with Botswana are historical and for us to take them forward is very important. We were able to get a clear report from the ministers of what we need to do going forward.” Strong economic ties already exist between the two countries, and South Africa remains Botswana’s major trading partner. South African companies have a huge presence in Botswana and are involved in various sectors, including mining, housing, food and beverages, construction, retail, hotels and leisure, banking and medical services. Zuma said his meeting with Khama had not only focused on the mutual needs and priorities of both countries, but also brought into sharp focus the importance of regional integration. The two presidents discussed developments in the region and on the continent, including the situation in Madagascar, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. According to a joint communique issued after the talks, the two leaders commended Madagascar for holding peaceful and credible presidential elections last month, urging the people of Madagascar to maintain the same commitment to democratic processes in the second round of elections scheduled for 20 December. Khama and Zuma expressed concern over the unfolding security situation in Mozambique, and hoped that the situation would soon be resolved. In recent weeks, there have been sporadic clashes between former rebel movement Renamo and the Frelimo government, with the former accusing the latter of not honouring the Rome peace agreement they signed in 1992. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

How New Technologies Are Shrinking Wastewater’s Hefty Carbon Footprint

first_imgAmmonia breakdownAnother way that MRWD is reducing its energy use is with a bacterium called anammox. Ammonia, a pollutant found in wastewater, has been challenging to neutralize in wastewater treatment. It is normally broken down by bacteria during the aeration process in secondary treatment but requires more energy to deal with it than any other pollutant. “Ammonia is your highest air demand in your aeration process,” says MWRD executive director David St. Pierre.Krüger, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies, has trademarked a process called ANITA Mox to better deal with ammonia. It sells plastic carriers that looks a little like Honeycomb cereal, with myriad surfaces to host anammox and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. Both types of bacteria are needed to remove most of the ammonia — about 80% to 85%. MWRD is using the ANITA Mox to break down ammonia in liquid sludge before putting it into the aeration step.“If you can break down that ammonia in an anaerobic process, your demand for air significantly decreases,” says St. Pierre. “It has the promise to reduce your electrical uses by 60% in your plant. So it’s huge.”MWRD was inspired by Marselisborg Wastewater Treatment Plant in Denmark, says St. Pierre, which in 2015 was able to generate 153% of the energy it used, thanks to ANITA Mox and other efficiency measures as well as biogas generation. ANITA Mox is also being used at another plant in Denmark; two in Sweden; and in Newport News, Virginia; and Durham, North Carolina.Combined with other energy generation efforts, including solar panels on one plant, MWRD expects to soon be generating 90% of the energy it uses.“We’re trying to shift from running a waste plant to a resource recovery facility,” St. Pierre says. Bring the bubblesWastewater treatment in developed countries often involves four main steps: primary treatment, which separates solids from liquid waste; secondary treatment, in which bacteria break down dissolved waste that contains ammonia and other pollutants and remaining solids are separated from the treated liquid; an anaerobic step, in which solids from the primary and secondary steps are digested by microorganisms in a sealed tank without oxygen; and, finally, a disinfection phase.Bacteria play a key role in breaking down our sewage and industrial wastewater by consuming organic pollutants and inorganic nutrients such as ammonia. But keeping them happy isn’t easy. They require particular conditions to thrive: optimal temperature, food, and oxygen. Getting bacteria the oxygen they need accounts for one-quarter to more than half of the energy used by a wastewater treatment plant. So plant operators are focused on reducing energy use in this step to boost energy efficiency.Traditional plants pump air into the tank where the bacteria do their work, diffusing it through small holes to create little oxygen bubbles that the bacteria can easily access. This process wastes a lot of energy because most of the bubbles rise to the top and pop without the bacteria using them.The industry has been trying to reduce this energy drain for decades. One of the most promising approaches is something called a membrane aerated biofilm reactor, or MABR.Instead of forcing air into the bacteria tank, operators insert massive cubes full of porous membrane tubes. A blower moves low-pressure air into the tubes. Bacteria congregate on the outside of the tubes, sucking up the oxygen that passes through them and creating an oxygen concentration differential that helps more oxygen diffuse.“Bacteria are actually demanding the oxygen and causing the gradient,” says Glenn Vicevic, executive of product management for General Electric’s Water & Process Technologies, which makes a version of the technology, ZeeLung, that MWRD tested at its O’Brien Water Reclamation Plant in Skokie, Illinois. GE estimates that, depending upon existing plant design and operation, ZeeLung is four times more energy-efficient than conventional forced-draft aeration. Erica Gies is an independent reporter. This article originally appeared at the website Ensia. Boost from biogasCapturing energy from waste in wastewater is now standard practice at large plants, which use tanks called anaerobic digesters or biogas digesters to break organic solids from the primary and secondary steps into methane gas and carbon dioxide. Bacteria do the work again, but this time without oxygen. The resulting methane can be captured and burned in a biogas engine to produce electricity and heat that can be used in the plant’s operation. Or it can be upgraded to natural gas quality and put into a pipeline.Only 35% of U.S. plants generate electricity from biogas, in part because most wastewater treatment facilities in the United States are relatively small. “In order to be cost-effective, you have to be a fairly large facility, at least 5 million gallons a day of wastewater treatment,” says Virginia Lew, manager of the Energy Efficiency Research Office at the California Energy Commission.Plants that do not produce enough gas to bother generating electricity often burn it off instead. Adding battery storage could allow them to store enough energy to make using it worthwhile, Lew says. “I think there’s going to be greater emphasis on trying to utilize as much biogas in the future as possible to offset any purchased electricity and to reduce their carbon footprint.” RELATED ARTICLES Wastewater treatment plants are energy hogs. A 2013 study by the Electric Power Research Institute and Water Research Foundation reported that they consumed about 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, or about 0.8 percent of the total electricity used in the United States.Wastewater treatment’s high energy footprint is ironic because the organic matter in wastewater contains up to five times as much energy as the treatment plants use, according to the American Biogas Council. Reducing treatment plants’ energy footprints through energy efficiency and using the currently wasted energy could save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Despite all that energy seemingly there for the taking, reducing the fossil fuel demand of treatment plants is challenging and requires myriad approaches. Around the world, the industry is experimenting with new technologies, evaluating them for not just energy benefits but also cost and unintended consequences, such as additional waste streams to be managed.The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago — MWRD — has set a target to be energy-neutral by 2023, following the lead of plants in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California, which has moved beyond net-zero energy to actually selling energy back to the grid. These innovators are using a variety of technologies to reduce the electricity they use through energy efficiency and generating electricity onsite to offset what they do use. Strategies & Details: Choose Sites that Have On-Site Wastewater System PotentialStrategies & Details: Integrate Wastewater Treatment with Landscape DesignStudy Finds EPA Lax in Protecting California WaterGreen Basics: Gray WaterVäxjö, Sweden, is a Model of Sustainability Saving Energy by Saving WaterDoes a Composting Toilet Stink Up Your House?last_img read more