Live Science has posted a list of the top 10 environmental emerging technologies of present time. Among these technologies are explanations as to why they are included in the list. Below is an overview/sum-up of the 10 items.
10. Make Paper Obsolete
A new kind of paper – instantly reusable. It is called electronic paper and looks and feels like real paper when really it is made up of tiny electric charges on steel foil, creating an image according to an applied charge.
9. Bury the Bad Stuff
Scientists are suggesting separation of carbon dioxide from the other gases that enter the atmosphere and injecting it into the ground. Why CO2? Because it is the biggest gas contributing to global warming. But the long-term effects of injecting CO2 into the ground have yet to be determined.
8. Let Plants and Microbes Clean Up After Us
This process – using microbes and plants clean up contamination – is called Bioremediation. Scientists are trying to genetically modify plants to take up the contaminants; in most cases recently, bioremediation is used and is also practiced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up sites.
7. Plant Your Roof
Currently being tested at Penn State is the idea of garden roofs. Stated advantages of growing a garden as a roof include the reduction of carbon dioxide, absorption of storm water, summer heat reduction and thus less usage of air conditioning.
6. Harness Waves and Tides
Tide-powered turbines; wave energy conducted into electric power – New York City’s East River is currently the test site for such ambitions. It has six wave-powered turbines and is expected to produce enough power for more than 1,500 homes.
5. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion
Although it still cannot be used as a major mechanism for generating power, it is well on its way. OTEC is able to convert the temperature difference (thermal energy) contained in the oceans and turn it into electricity. The ocean masses of our Earth are the biggest absorbers of solar energy and many are working to use this to our advantage.
4. Sunny New Ideas
New initiatives are being taken in order to harness the sun’s energy for use of electricity or heat. Incentives are given by governments in order to aggressively pursue new technologies; the use of mirrors and parabolic dishes are among these new forms of solar technology.
3. The ‘H’ Power
The use of hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity is considered somewhat “clean” because it does not emit as much as fossil fuels does when generating power. With the use of hydrogen, some companies are making small electronic devices such as laptops. Some car companies have stated that they want to produce hydrogen-fueled cars, but experts often scrutinize this.
2. Remove the Salt
Desalination is expensive and consumes a lot of energy, which is why with the threat of water shortages becoming more common around the world; scientists are looking foe cheaper, more efficient ways to convert salt water to drinkable water for the masses.
1. Make Oil From Just About Anything
A process called thermo-depolymerization can convert things like turkey guts, tires or any other carbon-based waste to oil. This process is similar to the natural process which takes place over millions of years but is successful with the combination of sufficient heat and pressure. A ton of turkey guts equals 600 pound of petroleum, some proponents of this process claim.