PANalytical is pleased to report that two Dutch high school students, Barbara Terlouw and Robin van der Bles, have completed a week-long expedition to Spitsbergen, Norway. The company sponsored this environmental program as part of its ongoing support of activities that stimulate interest in the sciences. The students had competed for and won places on the 2008 Utrecht University initiative: 'Expedition to the Greenhouse World'.
During the expedition, the students charted their progress on a daily weblog. Having won their trip with a short film entitled ‘Space Investigation’ that portrayed their vision of the causes and consequences of climate change, Barbara and Robin have also included video on the blog as well as some photographs and an account of their journey.
The trip provided insight into an historical climatic catastrophe that many believe may reflect our own future if we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate. When visiting Longyearbyen glacier the students collected rocks full of 40-60 million year old fossils of the plants that caused the greenhouse effect at that time. They investigated core samples where the ancient carbon layers demonstrated the high concentrations of atmospheric CO2. These climate changes devastated the Palaeocene animal population. During a trip that took them 4 km underground into a working coalmine, Barbara and Robin saw 55 million year old footprints made by extinct hippopotamus-like mammals.
PANalytical places great emphasis on its own environmental management and awareness. Over the last ten years, and despite a doubling of production, the company’s overall energy consumption has decreased by around 10%. All company waste is collected separately to allow for recycling.
PANalytical is the world’s leading supplier of analytical instrumentation and software for X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF), with more than 60 years of experience. Applications include minerals, mining and environmental monitoring. For more information on PANalytical products, visit: