First of all, what is green technology? Also known as sustainable technology, takes into account the short- and long-term impact something has on the environment. There are numerous examples of green technology and what goes into the making of a green product or technology, such as recycling, energy efficiency, health and safety concerns, renewable resources, and more. Green technology offers us the best hope to reverse the effects of climate change and pollution.
1. Water Purification, waste-water electricity generator
The Earth naturally recycles its water, but new technologies help to speed up the process. The United Nations water agency (UN Water) estimates that more than 80 percent of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused.
In this field, there are still only a few technological developments, but the existing ones are important. Key developments include membrane filtration, microbial fuel cells, nanotechnology, development of biological treatments and natural treatment systems such as wetlands. All of the named processes are used to make water more drinkable or significantly reduce the presence of pollutants from what is discharged into the sea and rivers.
2. Recycling and waste management
A new technology used by the Danish company Ørsted allows for unsorted household waste to be divided up into plastic fractions that can be used for recycling, and a plastic to textile fraction that can be used for fuel or for recycling. The main product, however, is a liquid where all the nutrients from the waste have been dissolved. They then convert this into a form of liquid that can be used to make biogas.
Other new recycling technologies aim to help solve the plastic waste problem. Chemical recycling, for example, is an innovative process that uses chemicals to break down post-consumer plastic waste into its valuable chemical components. These components can then be used as fuel or converted once again into new plastic
3. Electric automobiles
No conversation regarding green technologies for the future is complete without the mention of electric cars. A step up from regular electric cars, wireless technology will be able deliver electric power to moving vehicles. All electric vehicles will come installed with devices that will be able to receive power remotely via an electromagnetic field broadcast from cables installed under the road. Such vehicles are currently undergoing road tests in South Korea, and their production will definitely alter some of the perceptions associated with electric cars.
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4. Carbon capture
Carbon capture, or the process of storing carbon underground, has immediate appeal. However there have always been uncertainties associated with this process including risks associated with storage and leaks. However, two new molecules have been identified that will help to make carbon capture more safe, efficient and cost-effective. ZIFs and amines are two special cage-like molecules that have been shown to work particularly well under real world conditions, and processes have also been put in place that will allow for fast reproduction of these molecules.
To read more about ZIFs:
To read more about Amines:
5. Self-sufficient buildings
Self-sufficient buildings are buildings designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services such as the electric power grid, gas grid, and municipal water systems.
Solar panels, for example, are designed to capture energy from the sun, but the majority of the sun’s energy is lost as heat. New inventions in solar panel design allow for the production of both electricity and heat. These solar panels help buildings produce their own heat and electricity through solar energy.
The front of these panels is designed to generate photovoltaic energy while the rear produces hot water by means of a heat exchanger. This provides households with free hot water that has been sourced in an environmentally friendly manner.