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  • 10 Amazing New Green Technologies in the Works

  • 10. Air Purifying Roof Tiles

  • A big problem with green technology is making it as practical as it is useful. With this

  • in mind, a new trend in practical green technology is the coating of roof tiles with titanium

  • dioxide, which is useful in cleaning the air. Titanium dioxide works as a photocatalyst

  • by oxidizing nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds into soluble nitrates and

  • fatty acids when exposed to UV light. Studies have shown that a thick coating of material

  • on roof tiles reduces 97% of target greenhouse gases, while a thinner, cost effective coat

  • still reduces the target gases by 88%. This means that it could cost just five dollars

  • to coat an entire roof with the purifying compound. One home could remove 21g of nitrogen

  • oxide a day, which is the equivalent of what a car releases driving 18,000 km. Widespread

  • application would allow every home in the world to become a mini-air purifier. The idea

  • is still in the testing phase, but early results have been extremely promising. The lighter

  • color of the tiles also has the added benefit of producing a small cooling effect. There’s

  • also a possibility of producing tiles to remove carbon dioxide, but this would decrease the

  • practicality of the tiles by making the roofs harder to install.

  • 9. Eco-Concrete

  • Eco-concrete is a green technology that combines strength, practicality and air-purification.

  • It’s designed to eat smog and pollution by converting nitrogen oxide into harmless

  • nitrogenous compounds. It has been shown to reduce these gasses by up to 45% in the right

  • weather. The concrete has already been installed and tested in Holland with promising results.

  • The biggest problem with Eco-concrete comes from its costcompared to normal concrete,

  • it costs quite a bit more because of its use of titanium dioxide. Researchers are currently

  • working to find a solution to the problem and increase the concrete’s financial feasibility.

  • 8. Fixing the Plastic Problem

  • At age 19 most people are worrying about work or college, but Boyan Slat had his eyes on

  • something bigger when he came up with a method to drastically reduce the amount of plastic

  • in our oceans. Though plastic has been a blessing to us in terms of convenience, it has also

  • become a curse in the way it affects the environment and kills millions of marine animals every

  • year. Slat recognized the severity of the problem and established an organization known

  • as The Ocean Cleanup in response. He went on to develop a method that has been proven

  • to be logistically, technically and financially feasible. It works using natural currents

  • in the ocean and wind to help move the garbage towards collecting platforms, where it would

  • be mechanically removed and recycled.

  • The price tag of this massive cleanup project is $43 million a year, but that’s 33% cheaper

  • than other methods that promise to remove the same amount of plastic. The Ocean Cleanup

  • is currently in the stages of raising money to implement their plan. It has been tested

  • with computer models that show it should be able to clean up half of the garbage in the

  • Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Furthermore, its proof of concept test was successfully

  • done in the Azores. While this massive undertaking is a great step in the right direction, Slat

  • believes more needs to be done to fix the problem completely.

  • 7. Cool Pavement

  • Dark pavement used for most roads absorbs the sun’s energy and heats up the surrounding

  • area. In the summer, pavement can reach up to 120-150°F, but Cool Pavement has been

  • shown to reduce this by over 40°F. With pavement occupying 35-50% of the space in a city, this

  • could have a huge effect on the overall temperature of the city itself. Researchers at Berkeley

  • are currently trying to figure out what the best color would be for cool pavement to maximize

  • its cooling effects. The two best options are to create reflective coating for existing

  • pavements or create a new type of pavement made from lighter, more reflective material.

  • Other benefits include a decrease in pollution and smog, slowing global warming, saving energy

  • by decreasing the need for air conditioning, and even decreasing the need for street lamps

  • at night because of the reflective surface. While there is no way to know exactly how

  • much coating an entire city would benefit the environment, Cool Pavement has been helping

  • cities like Chicago that have paved their alleys with it.

  • 6. Smog-Eating Buildings

  • Mexico City’s Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital constructed a 2,500 square meter facade that

  • breaks down air pollutants when exposed to UV light. The honeycomb increases the surface

  • area by 200% and allows the structure to neutralize the same amount of pollutants in one day that’s

  • produced by 8,750 cars.

  • In addition, the city of Milan is using a smog-filtering concrete facade to purify the

  • air. The architecture firm Nemesi and Partners have revealed their plans to produce an air-purifying

  • structure in front of the Palazzo Italia. The 9,000 square meter structure will take

  • about 2,000 tons of air-purifying concrete to complete. The concrete is made of 80% recycled

  • materials and works by breaking down harmful pollutants into unreactive salt molecules

  • when exposed to UV light. Nemesi and Partners are looking forward to presenting their designs

  • at the 2015 Milan Expo, and plans are already in the works to make these designs a reality.

  • 5. Real Flower Power

  • Much of today’s green technology is made to mimic what plants already do naturally

  • to produce energy. Plants are able to create energy by breaking down carbon dioxide and

  • water into sugar and starch with oxygen as a byproduct. Scientists have been able harness

  • this energy by actually interrupting the photosynthetic process. This is done when the enzymes of

  • the plant split the water molecules. At this point, oxygen, hydrogen, and electrons are

  • produced and nanotubes are used to siphon the free electrons before they enter the electron

  • transport chain to run the rest of the process.

  • The process takes place in the thylakoids, which are located within the chloroplasts

  • of the plant cell. The thylakoids were modified to allow the nanotubes to detour the electrons

  • down a wire and generate an electrical current. Usually, plants aren’t very efficient at

  • producing energy from the sun and man-made cells generate up to 10 times the efficiency

  • of a normal plant. But this new technology has proven especially surprising because the

  • plant was able to generate twice the current of a similarly sized solar cell. While this

  • technology is still in its infancy, researchers are hopeful that it will soon have practical

  • uses and could be used to power household items or even entire power grids. Plus, increasing

  • the use of plants could help purify the air in addition to providing power.

  • 4. Energy Harvesting Concrete

  • Laurence Kemball-Cook put a new spin on energy harvesting when he founded Pavegen in 2009.

  • Pavegen is a new type of energy-harvesting tile that converts the energy of a simple

  • footstep into electricity that can be stored or used directly by devices. While the kinetic

  • energy harvested from footsteps isn’t enough to supply energy to entire power grids, it

  • could be very helpful in powering things like street lamps or vending machines. Pavegen

  • is a working product in the process of becoming commercialized. In an attempt to showcase

  • its usefulness, Pavegen was actually installed at the finish line of the Paris Marathon and

  • was able to generate 4.7 kilowatt-hours of energy. Another benefit of installing Pavegen

  • is that it allows the footsteps and movement of crowds to be tracked to optimize space

  • and floor management.

  • While the tiles themselves are extremely practical, their installation could pose problems. The

  • tiles have to be made and installed in ground that’s durable, weather resistant, and highly

  • fatigue resistant. Furthermore, the tiles could be vandalized or stolen. There are still

  • many kinks that need to be worked out to make Pavegen a fully commercialized product, but

  • it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

  • 3. Hyperloop

  • Elon Musk, the man behind electric car company Tesla, has a new idea up his sleeve. Known

  • as the Hyperloop, this system would be able to transport passengers from Los Angeles to

  • San Francisco in just 35 minutes, traveling at speeds of about 700 mph. The Hyperloop

  • would use an electric compressor fan at the front of each individual passenger pod to

  • surround it with a cushion of air and decrease friction, much like an air hockey table. The

  • capsules would then be accelerated in a low-pressure tube with magnetization.

  • Furthermore, the Hyperloop would be completely self-sustaining by placing solar panels on

  • the top of the tube and storing energy via compressed air. It wouldn’t disrupt the

  • farmland along the route any more than a telephone pole. Musk estimates the project would cost

  • about six billion dollars, which seems like a massive price tag until you realize that

  • California voters already approved nine billion to be allotted for a speed train between San

  • Diego and San Francisco. Musk feels that his Hyperloop will be more cost-effective and

  • sustainable than any other proposed high-speed trains. It would greatly decrease pollution

  • from cars and commercial airliners, as well as increase the efficiency and speed of travel.1

  • 2. Phoenix Towers

  • Currently, the world’s largest tower is the 830 meter tall Burj Khalifa. It may be

  • in danger of losing its title to two proposed towers for the city of Wuhan, China. These

  • towers would stand at 1000 meters and would serve to clean local air and water pollution.

  • The towers would suck the water in from the surrounding lake, send it through a series

  • of filters and then back out into the lake. In addition, the towers will be lined with

  • a pollution absorbing coating and vertical gardens to pull even more pollution from the

  • air. The chimney in the middle of the towers will serve to naturally pull air across the

  • lake and oxygenate it. The towers will be completely self-sustaining thanks to wind

  • turbines, solar panels, and hydrogen fuel cells that would run on the building’s waste.

  • These elements will not only produce all the energy the towers need, but also generate

  • a little extra energy for the surrounding area. The towers are currently awaiting the

  • mayor’s approval, but it’s predicted that construction of this massive undertaking will

  • be finished by 2017 or 2018.

  • 1. Tianjin

  • Most green technologies are simply products to help existing cities become environmentally

  • friendly. China is going a step further by simply constructing an entire eco-friendly

  • city from scratch. Known as Tianjin, this sustainable community for 350,000 residents

  • is expected to be complete by 2020 and will span over 30 square kilometers. The entire

  • complex will be powered by solar and wind technologies as well as feature rainwater

  • recycling, wastewater treatment, and desalination of seawater. Carbon emissions will be basically

  • non-existent with 90% of traffic being public transportation.

  • The city will be divided into seven districts, each with its own sustainability theme. The

  • Lifescape district will be in the heart of Tianjin and feature soil-topped mounds to

  • contrast the surrounding high-rise buildings. Eco-Valley will serve as a corridor for the

  • new light rail system to operate and connect the districts. Solarscape will act as the

  • administrative and civic center. Urbanscape will function as core of the city and utilize

  • vertical layering to reduce emissions and make efficient use of vertical space. Its

  • buildings will be organized as a honeycomb and interconnect using sky bridges. Windscape

  • will serve as a place for recreation and relaxation. Earthscape will function as the residential

  • suburbs and be filled with lush greenery. Lastly, Eco-corridors will bisect the city

  • and provide a path for animals to move about the city without human interference. If successful,

  • Tianjin could serve as a stepping stone for more green cities.

10 Amazing New Green Technologies in the Works

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驚異的な新グリーン技術トップ10 (Top 10 AMAZING New Green Technologies in the Works)

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    richardwang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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