Green Technology: 14 Latest Innovation to Combat Environmental Problems for a Sustainable Planet

Green technology, also known as sustainable technology has turned into a prevalent concept especially in the production and construction sectors. Here and now, while innovating any technology different professionals contemplate about resource-efficiency, prioritize renewable energy especially solar energy, less burden on water usage, recyclability of used materials, and many more.

Globally lots of mesmerizing and appreciative innovations are done to alleviate the environmental impacts. Some motives to the optimal use of renewables, while some dedicated to change pollution products like plastics. But one thinks in common is making the environment sustainable for present and future generations.

Here we are discoursing some of the best latest innovations and technologies that are weighing the field of green technology to make a better habitable planet.

1. Green Architecture

Green architecture has the potential to promote the maximum and effective use of resources. Under the guidance of green architecture, buildings are constructed and maintained in such a way that optimum use of natural sunlight, adequate insulation, and thermal comfort are safeguarded. Energy consumption and waste of resources especially energy, water are reduced as well. Moreover, the usage of locally available materials and construction materials from urban waste and landfills can aid the resources to flow back into the production process. It not only adds value to waste but also reduces environmental impacts that occurred due to resource extraction and production phase. We all know that mining and resources extraction has the greatest irreversible environmental impacts.

Granting that green architecture is a slight bit costly but if we count the return of investment after construction is quite superior to conventional architecture. A person spent 90% of his or her time indoors so residing in green architecture should be a privilege for every inhabitant. Green architecture cares about the environment and the benefits of the economy that can be generated in the future. Additionally, human health is the foremost provider of green architecture.

2. Biomimicry

Biomimicry or biomimetics is the simulation or shaping the behavior of nature in the innovation of new technology, process, system, or products. During these 4 billion years of evolution, nature has changed a lot and always guided us by generating lots of real-life examples and solutions. Currently, different professionals are sourcing inspiration from nature and trying to bring changes in innovative design and also in products in different sectors including medicine, research, agriculture, urban planning, ecosystem management, restoration, etc. Biomimicry creates the door to solutions to many environmental, economic, and social problems while moreover assisting unconditionally to manage and conserve the environment, resources, and biodiversity.

Henceforth, among some of the eminent innovations, the most renowned in the history of designing an airplane by Leonardo Da Vinci by inspired by a bird. Over time, a great number of innovations has made our life easier and sustained.

It’s very rare now to find someone unaware of the importance of solar energy as renewables. To increase the efficiency of the solar panels’ scientists are now looking forward to emulating the feature of micro-lenses founded in the compound eye of an insect. This innovative technology will enable the solar panel to combine small solar cells and improve the amount of energy generated.

Furthermore, another milestone in innovating technology was the invention of camouflaging material, and skin. The engineers at Cornell University were inspired by the skin feature of Octopus and Cuttlefish and invented stretchable surfaces with 3D texture morphing a synthetic “camouflaging skin”.

3. Electricity from Waste Water

A hybrid electricity generator combines microbial fuel cells and reverses electrodialysis to generate electricity from wastewater. It can power the water treatment and able to add power to the main grid as well. This noteworthy innovation was done by the engineers at Oregon State University and more scaling up of this can escalate the adequate recycling of water.

4. Biofuel from Wastes

Turning biomass waste like food waste, leaves, wood, grass, paper, or any organic disposable waste into gas and ultimately ethanol. This process requires less water than conventional ethanol production. Moreover, coherent installment of plants, generation of less carbon footprint, and waste to energy makes it suitable to install in buildings.

5. Artificial Photosynthesis

The natural process of photosynthesis is now not limited to plants. Photosynthesis is the natural process in which plants use carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight to generate oxygen and energy. A new technology developed by scientist and engineers using the same process of natural photosynthesis which have two-fold benefits of sinking carbon dioxide and production of bioenergy.

6. Transporting Sunlight

During daytime as indoor lighting is facilitated by sunlight, it doesn’t require any additional energy for lighting. However, what about the time after evening?

Yes, we have to depend on the energy that generates electricity and make our indoor environment enlightened. But what about the rooms where sunlight cannot reach?

One of the praised technologies in the field of green technology is “Sunlight Transport” by Pranas which major motive is to transmit the sunlight from an external source to illuminate light-deprived rooms via optic fiber cables. This makes the energy consumption for lighting is null. The scale-up of this technology might be able to capture sunlight and transport this during nighttime.

7. Facade Integrated with Photovoltaics

Substituting facade or roof materials with photovoltaics shingles solar panels can be one of the solutions to generate electricity. Especially it can be installed at places where individual buildings have the scope to install it. Generally, it was mimicked from the appearance and function of traditional roofing elements like slates. The PV shingles have a lifespan of two to three decades and can generate maximum energy and electricity. As we know solar panels cause zero emissions once installed.

8. Plastic waste to Plastic Roads

The adverse impacts of plastics on the planet are irreversible. As time is passing, the consumption and generation of plastic wastes are still thriving. Nevertheless, if we use these vast wastes of plastics and convert these into a useful material; son then?

“Plastic Roads” can be made from 10% of waste plastics converting into prefabricated, hollow, and modular elements. Furthermore, asphalt can be mixed with waste plastics. This technology can able to diminish the carbon footprint of between (50-72) % of traditional road construction systems. Plastic roads also have a longer life expectancy.

9. Solar Flower

The commercial brand SmartFlower has invented the Solar Flower with 12 petals shaped like a flower and straddling on the ground. The petals open up with the sunrise, self-clean two times in a day, and close with the sunset. The solar flowers are entirely portable equipped with a plugin that produces 4-6 MWh/year depending on the geographical location and climatic condition. Moreover, the increased efficiency and durability make it more inclusive.

10. Sustainable Phones

Fairphone: A Sustainable Phone

Smartphone has become an integral part in our daily life. Although smartphones are the most resource concentrated and include toxic harmful materials like lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, chlorine, and bromine. But what do we do with that? Change after using 3-4 years or exchange with the new version. In Europe, 14.2 million tonnes of CO2 are released to the climate from smartphones inimitably. Fairphone and Tercube are two such names that have took place in marketing sustainable phones. Sustainable phones have a low carbon footprint, longer durability, flexibility to change, and recycling setup.

Fairphone, a social enterprise company developed smartphones while considers nature and people as well. The design and production system has a minimal environmental impact. It does not comprehend any conflict materials, ensures longer durability.

Teracube, in the USA finance by crowdfunding is another sustainable phone that offers 4 years of warranty. Each part including the battery of the Teracube sustainable smartphone is replaceable. Packaging has the utmost environmental impact. Teracube also takes care of this global problem and prefers to use recycled paper and printed with soy-based ink. Another positive side is chassis of this phone is biodegradable.

11. Underground Carbon Capture

Plants and ocean algae are the largest sink of carbon storage throughout the entire world. However, the activities of deforestation, pollutions are affecting these natural sinks and flowing us to the havoc of global warming and climate change. Nevertheless, to store carbon, underground carbon capture has been invented that will use two molecules named ZIF’s and amines. Although the drawbacks are associated with storage and leakages. Otherwise, this green technology will be a safe, efficient, and cost-effective technology to destined carbon in the underground.

12. Molten Salt

In solar energy production, the used molten salt can be used further to store energy. The spare heat can be used to heat the vast amount of salt, afterward, the heat captured in salt can utilize to make steam, run an electric turbine, and generate electricity in absence of the sunlight. This exclusive technology can aid us by capturing the utmost energy from renewable solar energy and dependence on no-renewables.

13. Milk Textiles

Textile from the ingredients of milk! Are you surprised? In this era of innovation, nothing is impossible now.

Milk textile is a kind of textile that is produced by using the casein originate in milk. Even though it is difficult to produce the casein fiber as it requires the process of extraction, then purified and turn into yarn through chemical processes with sulphuric acid and formaldehyde. But the scale-up by the German company Qmilk made the process chemical-free and produced 1 kg of fiber by using 2 liters of milk. Moreover, milk textiles are generated at low temperatures so there is also less hassle for energy demand.

14. Cool Pavements

Urban heat islands act as microclimate and upraised the temperature to that place generating suffocating situations which are not good for health. But do you know that conventional pavements are also responsible for building heat islands in urban cities?

The conventional pavements use asphalt and concrete that absorb energy as heat and do not reflect it to the atmosphere. It can raise the temperature by an average of 4 degrees centigrade than the surroundings.

The main feature of “cool pavement” is it absorbs the heat energy and again releases it into the atmosphere. That’s why these reflective pavements stay cooler and can help to diminish local ambient temperature by 0.6°C (1°F), can improve the air quality, and contribute to locally adaptive climate change measures. Another benefit is the conventional pavement can be transformed into cool pavements via adding a reflective coating or white topping. This amazing cool pavement can be constructed with higher reflectivity, permeable pavements, and vegetated pavements.

To combat climate change effects, the solution to pollution, ensuring economy and human health, and achieving sustainability; unquestionably green technology has a great influence on these. Thus it is our responsibility to appreciate such kinds of innovations, adapt, and cope up with these changes to make our mother earth greener and livable.

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Etamoni Chakma

Hi, I'm Etamoni Chakma, an environmental science professional and top-rated academic writer on Upwork. With my education and research experience, I aim to create informative and inspiring content advocating for environmental protection. My passion is to educate and encourage people to take action for the betterment of our planet.

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