Federation of individuals committed for universal sustainability

Federation of individuals committed for universal sustainability


What is the scope of Environmental Science?

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

As we know that environmental science is a multidisciplinary subject which means that Principles and approaches of environmental science are applicable in several areas of development.

Three major areas of applicability of the subject are

(i) management of natural resources,

(ii) conservation of ecosystem and biodiversity,

(iii) prevention and control of pollution.

In addition, environmental science plays an indispensable role in developing an understanding of complex environmental issues by connecting the dots and proposeing a solution, such as the climate change, ozone layer depletion, energy crisis, desertification, urbanization, population explosion, and so on.

The scope of the subject in terms of career opportunities is fairly vast. therefore has been considered to be associated with a number of career opportunities. Major career options related to the subject can be described as follows:

Industries: Industries need to show compliance against a number of environmental norms. Hence, environment experts are needed to guide the industries for adopting clean technologies, controlling pollution, disposing the wastes, and carrying out environmental audit.

Consultancy: Environment consultancies are hired by governments, industries, and NGOs for carrying out different types of laboratory-based analyses or field-based studies, which are often required in environment impact assessment (EIA) and other compliance processes.

Research and development (R&D): R&D opportunities in this area include studying different types of pollution and their causes and effects. It also includes development of clean and efficient technologies for future. Scientists, researchers, and analysts are some of the common career profiles.

Academics: Environmental science is now taught at almost every level of education, that is, from school to university level. A large number of teachers or academicians are required to fulfil this need.

Green marketing: Skilled manpower is required to promote eco-friendly products in market. Environmental quality certifications like ISO-14000 are also being incorporated in marketing strategy—this creates additional career opportunities.

Green media: In order to generate awareness about the environment, there is an immense need for skilled manpower in the field of print and electronic media. A number of magazines and newspapers regularly publish articles on environmental theme, for example, Down to Earth, a magazine published by Centre for Science and Environment.

Green advocacy: Environmental lawyers are emerging as major players in ensuring proper implementation of environmental norms, laws, and programmes. Public Interest Litigation (PIL) empowers a common man to fight against any anti-environment activity.

NGOs: These days, most of the environmental programs are being implemented through NGOs, with the help of funds from national and international agencies. Green-peace, CI, WWF, CSE, CEE, TERI, Tarun Bharat Sangh, and Vatavaran are some examples of environmental NGOs.

Government jobs: A number of conventional jobs are available in government bodies such as environmental ministry, pollution control boards, national parks, and biosphere reserves.

International agencies: Various international agencies such as UNEP, IUCN, TSBF, and World Bank require qualified human resources to implement environment-related projects.


What is Environmental Education?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Environmental education includes both formal and informal education and training that increase human capacity and capability to observe, analyze and evaluate various aspects of the environment, therefore enabling the individuals to appropriately manage the challenging environmental issues as well as live in harmony with nature.

Objectives of Environmental education

According to UNESCO-UNEP (1978), the main objective of environmental education is “To develop a world population that is aware of and concerned about the environment as a whole and the problems associated with it, and committed to working individually as well as collectively towards solutions of current problems and prevention of future problems

OR in other words,  to make the individual acquire logical vision about the local and international societies and encourage him to participate in the resolution of environmental problems through:

 (SPEAK Awareness)

1. Skill: Acquire skills for identifying and solving environmental problems.

2. Participation: To provide an opportunity to be actively involved at all levels in working towards the solution of environmental problems.

3. Evaluation ability: Develop the ability to evaluate environmental measures and education programs in terms of ecological, economic, social and aesthetic factors.

4. Attitude: Acquire a set of values and feelings of concern; motivation for active participation to improve and protect the environment.

5. Knowledge: Gain a variety of experiences and acquire a basic understanding of the environment and its associated problems.

6. Awareness: Acquire an awareness of the environment as a whole and its allied problems and sensitivity.

Principles of Environmental education

According to the Tbilisi Conference (1977) the following principles of environmental education should:

  1. To consider the environment in its totality (natural and built, technological and social);
  2. To be a continuous lifelong process (beginning at the pre-school level and continuing through all formal and informal stages);
  3. To be interdisciplinary in its approach;
  4. To examine major environmental issues from local, national, regional and international points of view;
  5. To focus on current and potential environmental situations while taking into account the historical perspective;
  6. To promote the value and necessity of local national and international cooperation in the prevention and solution of environmental problems;
  7. To consider environmental aspects in plans for development and growth;
  8. To enable the learner to have a role in planning and provide an opportunity for making decisions and accepting their consequences;
  9. To relate environmental sensitivity, knowledge, problem- solving skills and values to every age;
  10. To help learners to discover the symptoms and fear causes of environmental problems;
  11. To emphasize the complexity of environmental problems and thus the need to develop critical thinking and problem- solving skills;
  12. To utilize diverse learning environments and a broad array of educational approaches to learning/teaching about and from the environment.

Strategies for Environmental education

Environmental education can be imparted to individuals by various methods which provide an opportunity to go out in nature as well as in their surroundings with awareness to observe and learn about the environment.

1- Infusion of environmental issues in the school curriculum

2- Designing environmental awareness programs

3- Exhibitions

4- Establishment of environment clubs and societies.

Environmental education can implant incentives and goals and build skills that change human behavior and attitude and call for participation and reaction with the environment as a whole. More considerations should be taken to implement environmental education and fill the gaps, starting from preschool level to higher education and including the whole public at the local level. Environmental awareness is a suitable tool for the conservation of our natural resources and their valuable components.


Fly ash

Fly ash is a fine grey colored powder having spherical glassy particles that rise with the flue gases. Fly ash is a heterogeneous by-product material produced in the combustion process of coal and extracted by the precipitators in the smokestacks of coal-burning power plants to reduce pollution.

Chemical Composition of Fly Ash: The chemical composition of fly ash depends upon the type of coal used and the methods used for the combustion of coal.

Chemical composition of fly ash of different coals.

Component Bituminous
SiO2 (%) 20-60 40-60 15-45
Al2O3 (%) 5-35 20-30 20-25
Fe2O3 (%) 10-40 4-10 4-15
CaO (%) 1-12 5-30 15-40
LOI (%) 0-15 0-3 0-5

Physical Properties of Fly Ash:

1. The fineness of Fly Ash

As per ASTM, the fineness of the fly ash is to be checked in both dry n wet sieving. The fly ash sample is sieved in 45 micron sieve and the percentage of retained on the 45 micron sieve is calculated. Further fineness is also measured by LeChatelier method and Blaine Specific
Surface method.

2. Specific Gravity of Fly Ash

The specific gravity of fly ash ranges from a low value of 1.90 for sub-bituminous ash to a high value of 2.96 for iron-rich bituminous ash.

3. Size and Shape of Fly Ash

As the fly ash is a very fine material, the particle size ranges in between 10 to 100 micron. The shape of the fly ash is usually spherical glassy shaped.

4. Colour

The color of the fly ash depends upon the chemical and mineral constituents. Lime content in the fly ash gives tan and light colors whereas brownish color is imparted by the presence of iron content. A dark grey to black color is typically attributed to an elevated un-burned content.

Classification of Fly Ash

The classification of fly ash is done differently as per codes used. They are

1. Type of Fly Ash as per IS Codes (IS 3812-1981)

A. Grade I

This grade of Fly ash is derived from bituminous coal having fractions SiO2+Al2O3+Fe2O3 greater than 70 %.

B. Grade II

This grade of Fly ash derived from lignite coal having fractions SiO2+Al2O3+Fe2O3 greater than 50 %.

2. Type of Fly Ash as per American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM C618)

Depending on the type of coal and the resultant chemical analysis, ASTM has classified fly ash into-

A. Type C

Type C fly ash is produced from the combustion of lignite or sub-bituminous coals, contains CaO higher than 10 percent and possesses cementitious properties in addition to pozzolanic properties.

B. Type F

Type F fly ash is produced from the combustion of bituminous or anthracite coal contains CaO below 10 percent and possesses pozzolanic properties.

3. Type of Fly Ash based on boiler operations

A. Low temperature (LT) fly ash

It is produced when the combustion temperature is below 900⁰ C

B. High temperature (HT) fly ash

It is generated out of combustion temperature below 1000⁰ C

Uses of Fly Ash

The major uses of fly ash are listed below,

  1. Used in the manufacturing of Portland cement.
  2. Typically used for embankment construction.
  3. Used as a soil stabilization material.
  4. Fly ash is also used as a component in the production of flowable fill.
  5. Used as the filler mineral in asphalt road laying to fill the voids.
  6. Fly ash is used as a component in geopolymers.
  7. Used in Roller compacted concrete dams.
  8. Used in the manufacture of fly ash bricks.
  9. When fly ash is treated with silicon hydroxide, it acts as a catalyst.

Let’s make the world a better place together..

A very warm welcome to you in this space. This space is dedicated to all the things related to the environment and day-to-day living. Today is the first day of the year 2020 and we are starting our journey towards a better understanding of our earth, our environment, sustainability, and our attitude towards life, one step at a time. Have a great year ahead..Happy New Year 2020.