International Business Briefs: software, biofuels, aluminium, UV disinfection

In this week’s International Business Briefs, over 90% of the US’s top water-related engineering firms use software from Haestad Methods; a Canadian company makes strides in developing its biofuels technology; there is to be a major study of ultraviolet light disinfection for large drinking water treatment plants; and could the aluminium industry produce 50% of its products from recycled materials?

Software company Haestad Methods has announced that over 90% of the water-related environmental firms in the US’s Top 200, published by Engineering News-Record, consistently select the company’s software for their water resources management solutions. The companies were ranked by their revenue reported in 2001 for their environmental services and products.

Canadian bioenergy company DynaMotive Energy Systems Corporation has announced that it has completed a series of combustion tests on its ‘BioOil’ in British Columbia. The tests were conducted – with minor modifications – in an industrial lumber dry kiln. They demonstrated that the fuel can be direct fired and could replace natural gas without any adverse effects on lumber quality, says DynaMotive. The oil is produced from pine, spruce and fir white wood and bark residues by fast pyrolysis.

DynaMotive has also announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with another Canadian company – UMA Engineering Ltd – as the precursor to a strategic alliance agreement to develop commercial pyrolysis projects based on DynaMotive’s technology. The work will include technical feasibility, scale-up reviews, and the development of long-term strategies for projects in Canada.

Aluminium firm Alcoa is urging the US Aluminum Association to adopt what it describes as an ‘ambitious’ approach to sustainable development that would position the organisation and its members as leaders and innovators. Alcoa has set itself a target of producing 50% of its products from recycled aluminium by 2020.

And finally, US engineering firm Black and Veatch have announced that it has won a contract for a major study of ultraviolet light disinfection for large drinking water treatment plants from the American Water Works Association Research Foundation. Currently, very few large-scale UV drinking water installations exist. The project will identify, evaluate and recommend methods to address issues related to large UV installations, says Black and Veatch.

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