Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bulb Eater Crushes Mercury Concerns

Date:
October 31, 2006
Source:
University Of Calgary
Summary:
It looks like a robot from a science fiction movie but it only exterminates fluorescent light bulbs. The new bulb eater at the University of Calgary, an alien-looking lamp crushing system, will keep mercury out of landfills and reduce the overall volume of waste. The machine is one of only a few in Calgary and will crush over 180,000 fluorescent bulbs over the next three years as the university retrofits its light fixtures with more energy-efficient lamps.

Rajpal Dhillon (left) and John Piket, both from Campus Infrastructure, slide used fluorescent lighting tubes into the bulb eater.
Credit: Photo by Ken Bendiktsen

It looks like a robot from a science fiction movie but it only exterminates fluorescent light bulbs. The new bulb eater at the University of Calgary, an alien-looking lamp crushing system, will keep mercury out of landfills and reduce the overall volume of waste. The machine is one of only a few in Calgary and will crush over 180,000 fluorescent bulbs over the next three years as the university retrofits its light fixtures with more energy-efficient lamps.

Related Articles


Working with partner Direct Energy, the university has committed to reducing energy consumption on campus by $30 million over the seven-year partnership. Refitting light fixtures is only one initiative to achieve that goal, but it brought up its own question: What to do with all the old bulbs?

"We're in the business of sustainable energy solutions," says Peter Dixon, vice-president of Direct Energy Business Services. "The bulb eater is a natural fit. We're reducing waste and keeping toxins out of landfills, not just for this project, but for the foreseeable future.

"The bulb eater will crush spent fluorescent tubes, filter out the mercury and store the glass shards for disposal. The captured mercury will be sent for disposal to a designated hazardous waste facility. Until recently, old fluorescent tubes were going into the garbage and ending up in landfills. Mercury liquid and vapour could enter the ecosystem from broken bulbs, and eventually find its way into our water or food. With .15mg of mercury in each fluorescent tube, that's a lot of toxic waste.

"We're finding more and more ways to reduce our negative impact on the environment," says Steve Dantzer, associate vice-president of Campus Infrastructure. "This equipment is an investment that has immediate pay-off, not only financially, but also environmentally.

"The U of C and Direct Energy are retrofitting approximately 90,000 fluorescent light fixtures containing over 180,000 fluorescent tubes around campus as part of Project Evolve. The retrofit will save over 16,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity and over 3,800 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year, the equivalent of removing 780 cars from the road or planting 853,000 trees over 1,960 acres of land.

After the retrofit is complete, about 10,000 tubes per year will be crushed in the new machine. The bulb eater can reduce glass volume from 1200 fluorescent lamps into a single 40 gallon barrel for disposal. The university is currently seeking a partner for recycling the milky-coloured glass, which can't be mixed with regular clear glass.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Calgary. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Calgary. "Bulb Eater Crushes Mercury Concerns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061026101406.htm>.
University Of Calgary. (2006, October 31). Bulb Eater Crushes Mercury Concerns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061026101406.htm
University Of Calgary. "Bulb Eater Crushes Mercury Concerns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061026101406.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Bolivian Recycling Initiative Turns Plastic Waste Into School Furniture

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Innovative recycling project in La Paz separates city waste and converts plastic garbage into school furniture made from 'plastiwood'. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Blu-Ray Discs Getting Second Run As Solar Panels

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers at Northwestern University are repurposing Blu-ray movies for better solar panel technology thanks to the discs' internal structures. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins