Results 1 - 10 of 10428
Results 1 - 10 of 10428. Search took: 0.037 seconds
|Sort by: date | relevance|
[en] After having evoked the context (commitments related to the Paris Agreement, ecological transition, objective of carbon neutrality, reduction of the dependence of industry on fossil energies, use of decarbonized inputs to produce heat, and necessary development and deployment of new processes and also new technologies for CO2 capture, storage and valorization); this contribution proposes a critical discussion of the exploitation of hydrogen combustion, of its strengths and weaknesses, of its scientific and technological locks. Then, it discusses the exploitation of the combustion of hydrogen-natural gas mixtures (Hythane): production, strengths and weaknesses, benefits of such a combustion (due to energy properties of natural gas, to energy storage and transport, to CO2 emission reduction). It addresses the case of ammoniac combustion: NH3 production, use as fuel or energy vector, scientific and technological locks.
[en] With global climate change, water availability will be a problem for agriculture and food production. Agriculture production consumes more than 70 percent of the world’s water resources, mainly for irrigation. With water use efficiency less than 50%, the challenge is to ensure adequate agricultural production while achieving maximum efficiency of irrigation water use. Climate-smart irrigation practices, including effective soil moisture monitoring, can help to meet this challenge and ensure longer water availability when drought is hitting the farmlands.
[en] Food waste has a high utilization value, but its high moisture content brings more disadvantages to its storage, transportation and energy utilizations. Dehydration of food waste is conducive to subsequent treatment, and herein, the effects of ionizing radiation pretreatment on the dehydration performance of tofu protein waste were examined. The mechanical centrifugation dehydration, moisture distribution, bond energy (Hb), drying time, and drying rate indicated that ionizing radiation pretreatment significantly enhanced the supernatant volume, free water content, and drying rate, while reducing Hb and drying time. Moreover, the mechanism underlying the enhanced dehydration performance was discussed based on particle size analysis, Scanning electron microscope, UV-vis spectroscopy and pH value. (author)
[en] Potential amylase enzymes have many industrial applications that are found in biological sources like animal, plants and microorganisms. Fungi and bacteria hold tremendous potential to produce the α-amylases using agriculture by-products under solid state fermentation (SSF). Agro-industrial residues such as rice bran, wheat bran, sugar cane bagasse, corn leaf, barley, orange peel, wheat straw, rice straw is abundant and cheapest carbon source. SSF using agro-industrial residues is currently used in a range of applications including classical applications such as antibiotics production, enzymes, composting, biosurfactants and biofuel production. Microbial α-amylases have several applications in paper, food, pharmaceutical, detergent, and textile industries. The enzyme α-amylase is meritorious due to their properties such as thermostability, Ca2+-independent pH stability and pH profile which play important role in the development of bioprocess of different products. This review is focused on physiochemical properties of the bacterial α-amylases fermentation, structural and functional aspects of agro industrial residues and by products for α-amylase production. (author)
[en] With respect to field programmes, I would like to highlight two important achievements (see detailed information later in this newsletter). The first is a long-term commitment by the Seychelles National Biosecurity Agency from the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture on the prevention of invasive fruit fly species. The recent increase in trade is most likely to lead to the introduction of other non-native invasive fruit fly species from importing countries which pose a serious threat to the local fruit and vegetable production. With the support of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme, the Member State has created a quarantine infrastructure that allowed the inspection of commodities and early detection in the field of invasive fruit fly species. Since 2000, seven interceptions occurred in fruits and vegetables imported to Seychelles, including Bactrocera dorsalis, Bactrocera zonata; Ceratitis cosyra, Dacus ciliatus and Zeugodacus tau. Thanks to this programme, no establishment has occurred so far. This is especially relevant for the destructive Bactrocera dorsalis that has invaded all the sub-Saharan and Indian Ocean countries with the exception of Seychelles. The second achievement is an open field pilot trial conducted by the Cuban Health Ministry to evaluate the feasibility of using the SIT to suppress populations of Aedes aegypti. The study was conducted in two isolated neighborhoods located in southwestern Havana. The target area of ‘El Cano’ has an estimated population of 3 805 residents distributed over 906 houses in an area of 50 ha. For four months, around 40 000 mosquitoes were released twice a week resulting in a 90% reduction in egg hatch. More importantly, no local transmission of Aedes-borne diseases has been reported during the last two months of the SIT application in the release area, contrary to the control area where cases were still reported.
[en] With the year ending, we take this opportunity to reflect on the achievements and activities of the Soil and Water Management and Crop Nutrition (SWMCN) Subprogramme carried out in 2020 and highlight activities planned for 2021. The SWMCN Laboratory in Seibersdorf has recently moved into the new, modern Yukiya Amano Laboratories (YAL), which also hosts the Animal Production and Health, Food and Environmental Protection laboratories. You can read more on this in the Announcement section. The work of the SWMCN Laboratory continues in the laboratory, glasshouse and in the field. Many interesting activities are reported in this issue of the newsletter below. On the work on nuclear emergency affecting food and agriculture and remediation of radioactive contamination in agriculture, a new development has been made on the online decision support system DSS4NAFA, i.e. when coupled with external modelling tools, it can help with the specific decision of where/when/how to remediate, based on expert judgements and multiple stakeholders’ preferences (e.g. decision makers, farmers). In terms of remediation, some progress was also made on using midinfrared spectroscopy-based soil property prediction in combination with artificial intelligence methods. Similarly, further progress was made on the use of zeolite amendments and potassium addition for remediating radioactive contamination in agriculture. Studies carried out in the Laboratory showed that it is possible to combine the cosmic ray neutron sensing (CRNS) data with satellite imagery to provide a high resolution soil moisture map. This was tested for both temperate and semi-arid environments. In addition, a new nuclear technology, Gamma Ray Spectrometer (GRS) was also being tested for soil moisture monitoring. The GRS has a smaller footprint of about 25 m radius, is lighter and can be mounted on a drone, facilitating suitability for small scale irrigation schemes. Two studies carried out this year by the Laboratory relating to greenhouse gas emission were on the influence of different nitrogen process inhibitors on crop production and the influence of biochar on nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions from vermicompost. The Laboratory was able to conduct one in-person training course, which was FAO-funded, on mathematical processing of Mid-Infrared Spectral datasets. The training was successfully held in the Seibersdorf YAL and attended by staff from all FAO/IAEA Laboratories in Seibersdorf. We are grateful to FAO in Rome HQ for having funded this annual training event. In the meantime, the Peaceful Uses Initiative (PUI) project on ‘Enhancing climate change adaptation and disease resilience in banana-coffee cropping systems in East Africa’ (started in 2019) has been extended for three years, during which two additional PhD studies will focus on coffee. PhD work will be on drought stress - to build on results already obtained - as well as coffee diseases. Both drought and diseases are predicted to become major issues in the East African region in light of climate change. This PUI project, funded by the Belgian Government, continues to address the urgent need for an improved resilience towards climate change and contributes to creating food security in a changing world. I would like to inform readers who are analysing 15N and 13C isotopic abundance in plant materials that the SWMCN Laboratory provides free External Quality Assurance Proficiency Test. Please get in contact with us if you would like to join this annual proficiency test. This issue’s feature article came from Gabriele Baroni, our CRP D1.20.14 counterpart. The work on ‘Boosting cosmic ray neutron sensing (CRNS) method for soil moisture estimation by means of new detectors and interdisciplinary collaborations’ provides a historical account of cosmic ray neutron sensing (CRNS) plus the need for new alternative detectors. The SWMCN will be involved through the Laboratory in field testing and through CRP D1.20.14. Five Research Coordination Meetings (RCMs) are scheduled for 2021. Two of them, which were postponed from 2020, will be held virtually: 1st RCM of the new CRP D1.50.20 ‘Developing Climate Smart Agricultural Practices for Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases’ and 2nd RCM of D1.50.18 ‘Multiple Isotope Fingerprints to Identify Sources and Transport of Agro-Contaminants’. The other three RCMs for CRPs D1.20.14, D1.50.17 and D1.50.19 are scheduled for later in 2021. All professional staff continued implementing new and ongoing TC projects. With travel not possible, all meetings, training and discussions were organized virtually to ensure timely implementation of activities. Despite all the restrictions, more success stories were published in the last six months, including one story to celebrate World Soil Day on 5 December. During 2020, the Subprogramme continued to be very active in its publication activities; this includes the Springer open access book on ‘Measuring Emission of Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and Developing Mitigation Options using Nuclear and Related Techniques’ and a number of publications on sampling, analysis and modelling technologies for large scale nuclear emergencies affecting food and agriculture in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. I would like to make a preliminary announcement that our decennial event, the FAO/IAEA International Symposium, will be held in July 2022, in Vienna, Austria, focusing on land and water management for climate smart agriculture. It will be held a week before the World Congress of Soil Science, in Glasgow, UK. More information will follow in the next newsletter.
[en] Drought is the primary cause of yield loss in agriculture throughout the world and is currently the most common reason for global food shortages and food insecurity. The estimated cost of drought across Africa over the period of 2014 to 2017 totalled USD$ 372 billion. Climate change is expected to increase drought severity and its negative effect. The impact of drought is particularly severe in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where rainfed subsistence farming dominates food production and the social and economic disaster management systems are usually inadequate. An increase in crop yields is required to meet the needs of a growing population.The aim of the project is to use induced genetic variation for mutation breeding with the use of optimal phenotyping systems to improve cowpea adaptation to drought. It is expected to lead to the release of high-yielding cowpea varieties tolerant to drought stress.
[en] The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture launched a new Coordinated Research Project (D1.50.19) called “Monitoring and Predicting Radionuclide Uptake and Dynamics for Optimizing Remediation of Radioactive Contamination in Agriculture'', in October 2019. Within the CRP, the high-throughput characterization of soil properties and the estimation of soil-to-plant transfer factors of radionuclides are of critical importance. As already highlighted in Soils Newsletter Vol. 43, No. 1, July 2020, for several decades, soil researchers have been successfully using near and mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIRS) techniques to estimate a wide range of soil properties (Carbon, Nitrogen, CEC, Clay, Sand, pH, ...). In recent years, soil science researchers are increasingly shifting their focus from traditional modeling techniques such as PLSR (Partial Least Squares Regression) to new classes of algorithms, such as Ensemble Learning (Random Forest, Boosting, …) or Deep Learning (Convolutional Neural Networks), that have proven to outperform PLSR on most (if not all) soil properties prediction in a large data regime.
[en] Under the CRP D1.50.19 focusing on the optimization of remediation of radioactive contaminated agricultural land, one important objective is to update the existing decision support system DSS4NAFA to support data management during remediation activities in the aftermath of a nuclear emergency affecting food and agriculture. During remediation, the need exists for keeping an overview of the remediation activities and, in particular, where, when and how these activities are carried out. Further, it is imperative to keep track of the efficiency and effectiveness of remediation activities (e.g. reduction of soil and food contamination). At this moment the workflow for the remediation module is being developed in close collaboration with the CRP D1.50.19 research partners from across the world for addressing the above-mentioned needs for enhanced data management during remediation.
[en] Indian agriculture in the past has witnessed events such as the Green Revolution which transformed the country’s status from a food importing nation to a self-sufficient nation. The ushering in of the Green Revolution in the 1960s had ensued a phenomenal increase in the production of agricultural crops especially food-grains, in India. The crucial accomplishment of the Green Revolution was the dramatic augmentation in the production of two major cereals viz. wheat and rice.