The many applications for geosynthetics in the energy sector

October 1, 2018

The opportunities for geosynthetics in energy applications are nearly endless. There are huge energy categories, such as oil, natural gas and coal, but geosynthetics also play a role in nuclear energy, hydropower, wind power and solar power, among others. Geosynthetics line storage tanks, support roads to remote sites, line tailings ponds, provide filtration, dewater coal …

Geosynthetics use expands in mining and ore processing

August 1, 2018

The estimated value of nonfuel mining of raw materials in the United States alone totaled $75.2 billion in 2017, according to an annual report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Everything from aluminum to zinc falls into this massive category, but that dollar figure is dwarfed by the USGS’s estimate in that same report of …

Geosynthetics need to be part of the infrastructure package

June 1, 2018

In its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave U.S. infrastructure a grade of D+. Not good. The sector report card on American roads faired even worse, earning a D, while TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C., says 32% of major urban American roads had pavement …

Editorial: Geomembranes and water

April 1, 2018

The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts that a clean water supply is “fundamental to global health.” WHO estimates that considerable exposure worldwide to contraction of many waterborne diseases and conditions (diarrhea, malaria, malnutrition, parasites, bacterial infections, etc.) could be diminished by increasing access to safe drinking water, improving sanitation and hygiene, and improving water management. …

Geosynthetics and erosion control

February 1, 2018

Terra firma often does not morph in ways that modern society appreciates. Erosion from stormwater, snowmelt, long-term water flow and unrelenting waves sweep away soil and rock from steep slopes, riverbanks, ditches, channels, shorelines, building foundations and much more. To understand the power of erosion, simply think about the Grand Canyon, which was formed by …

Editorial: Geosynthetics for multiple applications

October 1, 2017

If you are reading this publication, you obviously have an interest in geosynthetics, as this magazine is unlikely to appeal to people whose primary professional interests are taxidermy, snow-crystal study or calligraphy. We aim to please, and this issue touches on many types of geosynthetics, from geogrids to geomembranes, and many applications of geosynthetics, from …

Editorial: The management of coal combustion residuals (CCR)

August 1, 2017

The management of coal combustion residuals (CCR or “coal ash”) is a growth category for the geosynthetics industry. Multiple opportunities now exist using various types of geosynthetics due to the evolving federal and state regulations for handling CCR. In fact, geosynthetics have played a role in the regulations that have developed. “These regulations have been …

Are zero leaks with installed geomembranes possible?

June 1, 2017

Abigail Gilson-Beck and Glen Toepfer step into a geosynthetics minefield in this issue of Geosynthetics with their article “Achieving zero leaks on a budget,” a goal that is controversial in the industry. Whether this goal should even be an objective is the question the debate hinges on. A spirited discussion on this issue arose during …

Handing over the reins

April 1, 2017

The stellar reputation of Geosynthetics magazine is due to its reporting on innovative solutions to complex problems, publishing well-researched articles written by experts in their fields, and consistently putting in print reliable and relevant information for engineers, project managers, and employees of companies engaged in geosynthetics. This is largely due to the 11-year stewardship of …

It has been a good run

February 1, 2017

My October 2016 column in this space recounted my first week on the job in December 2005. But as you read this column today, we move full circle. This is my last column for Geosynthetics magazine. Yep, I am retiring. Well, let’s say semi-retiring. “Semi” means I will still be around a few days each …