No matter the material or application, eco-technology seeks ways of harnessing natural resources without obliterating or subtracting from the nature it relies on. Innovative scientists, engineers, architects, chemists and more are increasingly lending their brain power and love for new scientific adventures to the development of technologies smart enough to avoid the environmental destruction wrought by outdated, unsustainable technologies. The following are five technological innovations that are currently working and being developed to save the world and promote sustainable energy use:
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“Biomimicry” essentially means replicating life. Self-regeneration is a survival trait which most living organisms have perfected over the ages. Environmentally-conscious innovators researching materials for mass production are tapping into this natural process to create self-repairing consumer items and reduce consumer waste.
Offshore Wind Power
European nations are pioneering the use of offshore wind power as a heavy duty source of electricity, capable of generating power for millions of customers. Already-successful programs will be dwarfed by upcoming projects in the seas around Europe. In the open ocean, engineers can harness stronger winds than are possible through terrestrial turbines.
Biofuel has always been an option for consumer vehicles, but its increasing popularity as an alternative fuel is innovating energy more than a century after cars took over the world. Much oil-based gasoline today contains ethanol, which is a biofuel, but energy gurus are currently researching more environmentally-friendly biofuels such as cellulose.
Electric Car Batteries
Batteries capable of running electric cars have been a holy grail of alternative energy for decades. The components are simple: anode, cathode and electrolyte. Tweaking the design to maximize capacity while reducing overall battery size is the goal. According to Mike Hisashi, an environmentalist with a Master’s in sustainable energy, lighter and smaller batteries with optimal charges are destined to become commonplace in the near future and will significantly improve energy quality and recycling capabilities.
Meters hooked into a home or business’ central nervous system, energy system, and having a never-ending dialogue between man and machine over energy consumption sounds like a plot device from a sci-fi film. Despite the futuristic sound of these systems, smart meters are currently working and helping home and business owners conserve energy intelligently, all the while saving them a significant amount on their energy bills.
Biomimicry for manufactured goods, offshore wind power to sustain nations, biofuels to replace petroleum-based gasoline, electric car batteries as common energy for vehicles and smart meters speaking to your home about energy usage will become daily tech for society. These revolutionary technologies and a burgeoning scene of countless other sustainable tech innovations are the future of both industry and the environment.
By Emma Sturgis