Thursday, August 3, 2017

Egypt's Looming Black Cloud

Since 1997, Egypt has suffered with air pollution with a leading black cloud over Cairo accounting for 42% of its air pollution. This black cloud has been caused due to farmers not having the abilities to recycle their rice straw, so instead they burn it leading to the smog they have now. The Egyptian Ministry of Environment has found a way to reduce the burning of the rice straw by convincing cement companies to use it in their production. They have also began using a satellite system that spots where farmers are burning the most rice straw so that they can give the farmers a violation for adding to the pollution.

The Egyptian Ministry is also going to these farms to teach the farmers how to appropriately deal with the waste and ensuring the solutions are sustainable. However, this is coming to be difficult as creativity of solutions on how to decrease pollution is difficult when time and money is a factor. An example is the creativity of a 15 year old student who developed a plan to get rid of the large amounts of the rice straw by burning the waste levels at 1200 degrees Celsius, in which water can be distillated and emitted gases can be treated separately. The gases would then be used to produce biodiesel, fertilizers, vitamin B and hydropower. However, this solution requires a large building to be built that can be expensive. So for now, they can only fight the pollution at small efforts.

To learn more about the efforts of fighting air pollution in Egypt click here.


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