It is quite stunning but at the same time it is for the better. Suddenly everyone around seems to be in love with the five letter “Green”. Call it increase in awareness level or call it the need of the hour. The fact is that Green is certainly the way ahead and there is surely no other alternatively. So lets look at the technological aspects of this Go Green phenomenon. Or rather I may say let us look at what the techno geeks are doing to make this world a greener place to live!
Yesterday, as a part of a b-school event I was surfing the net for some fundas on green technology. I came across some interesting things and thought it would be apt to share it in this forum. Let us see how technology is going green. But before I embark upon penning down the green techs let me share a basic perspective about Green Technologies. A green technology is one which uses knowledge and techniques to ease of processes and it ensures that the technique is sustainable, producing lesser and lesser amount of waste, is innovative and is viable. So, here are some of the interesting ones:
The fact that it is possibly a completely zero pollution vehicle makes it interesting enough to snatch our attention towards it. As the name suggest it runs on compressed air. But operates differently at different speeds.
At lower speeds it runs exclusively on air and it emits only air. Thus it is definitely a zero pollution at low speeds. Moreover the fact is that the air that is expelled from the rear is cleaner compared to the one fed into the tank. Air purifier functionality it seems.
At higher speeds the car needs a little amount of fuel. Once it moves beyond 35 MPH it needs this additional fuel. But the emissions are again low, it is only about 0.141 lbs of carbon dioxide per mile. The compressed air powered car is designed and developed by Motor Development International (MDI), a company based in France. It is slated to come on road somewhere around 2010. Hope it keeps up the promise and deliver it’s bit towards a green future.
This one surely delivers on its green promise. Both literally and otherwise. It is a product developed by ZEBA which can conserve water. It is supposedly a white granule which when mixed with soil helps in capturing 500 x weight in water. Isn’t that amazing. It can definitely help the water starved farmers in many ways than one. The product can be used to capture water during the rains and release water slowly over time. The slow release of encapsulated moisture is in response to the plant root suction.
The product is a super-absorbent polymer based on natural cornstarch. It is odorless and nontoxic. Again a very promising product which can go a long way if properly utilized and it can solve irrigation problems in many water starved areas. Rajasthan immediately comes to my mind. However, there is one fact the effectiveness of the product wears off with repeated use. So the absorbent power will slowly diminish as the product is used over time.
This is about a new process which has been developed by Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. It promises to produce plastic from cellulose the plant fiber. It is a product obtained when we convert glucose directly in high yields to a primary building block for fuel and polyesters. It is called HMF, which stands for hydroxymethylfurfural. It is a chemical derived from carbohydrates such as glucose and fructose and is viewed as a promising surrogate for petroleum-based chemicals.
Although the process shows a lot of promise, but it still have a long way to go before it can achieve commercial viability. But since it talks about alternative way of creating plastics, it would remain interesting enough to keep an eye on.
4. Self Recharging Mobile: This is a product which promises to please all. If it attains viability it can sure be very helpful to everyone. The company that is developing it, the people who would be using it and definitely the environment. It would be beneficial for the company, Nokia who is developing it, in business terms as well as from CSR perspective. It will be beneficial to the environment for very obvious reasons and it will be beneficial for users as they would not have to worry about carrying the chargers in the fear that their mobile might loose steam and switch off.
The technology aims to harvest ambient radio waves from the air and turn them into usable power. Amazing thoughts I should say! The main challenge would be to garner enough ambient electromagnetic waves to produce power good enough to recharge the cell phone. Lets hope it works out well and we have a charger free life which would eventually be greener.
I think we had enough of green talk for the day. I will be back with more greener stuff. Before putting an end to this article let me float a thought before everyone, isn’t it ridiculous that first we human make this earth a grayer (or whatever) place and then we ourselves try to make it a greener place. Hope our effort has started at the right time and with the right vigor and hope we are able to convert this world to Green before it takes any other color, like the color of devastation.