Environmental technology

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Sustainable urban design and innovation: Photovoltaic ombriere SUDI is an autonomous and mobile station that replenishes energy for electric vehicles using solar energy. Ombriere SUDI - Sustainable Urban Design & Innovation.jpg
Sustainable urban design and innovation: Photovoltaic ombrière SUDI is an autonomous and mobile station that replenishes energy for electric vehicles using solar energy.

Environmental technology (envirotech), green technology (greentech) or clean technology (cleantech) is the application of one or more of environmental science, green chemistry, environmental monitoring and electronic devices to monitor, model and conserve the natural environment and resources, and to curb the negative impacts of human involvement. The term is also used to describe sustainable energy generation technologies such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, bioreactors, etc. Sustainable development is the core of environmental technologies. The term environmental technologies is also used to describe a class of electronic devices that can promote sustainable management of resources.

Contents

Examples

Renewable energy

A view across a reverse osmosis desalination plant in Nepal. Reverse osmosis desalination plant.JPG
A view across a reverse osmosis desalination plant in Nepal.

Renewable energy is the energy that can be replenished easily. For years we have been using sources such as wood, sun, water, etc. for means for producing energy. Energy that can be produced by natural objects like sun, wind, etc. is considered to be renewable. Technologies that have been in usage include wind power, hydropower, solar energy, geothermal energy, and biomass/bioenergy.

Water purification

Water purification: The whole idea/concept of having dirt/germ/pollution free water flowing throughout the environment. Many other phenomena lead from this concept of purification of water. Water pollution is the main enemy of this concept, and various campaigns and activists have been organized around the world to help purify water. [1]

Air purification

Air purification: Basic and common green plants can be grown indoors to keep the air fresh because all plants remove CO2 and convert it into oxygen. The best examples are: Dypsis lutescens , Sansevieria trifasciata , and Epipremnum aureum . [2] Besides using the plants themselves, some species of bacteria can also be added to the leaves of these plants to help remove toxic gases, such as toluene [3] [4]

Sewage treatment

Sewage treatment is conceptually similar to water purification. Sewage treatments are very important as they purify water per levels of pollution. The most polluted water is not used for anything, and the least polluted water is supplied to places where water is used affluently. It may lead to various other concepts of environmental protection, sustainability, etc. [5]

Environmental remediation

Environmental remediation is the removal of pollutants or contaminants for the general protection of the environment. This is accomplished by various chemical, biological, and bulk methods. [6]

Solid waste management

Net Zero Court zero emissions office building prototype in St. Louis, Missouri Net Zero Court.jpg
Net Zero Court zero emissions office building prototype in St. Louis, Missouri

Solid waste management is the purification, consumption, reuse, disposal and treatment of solid waste that is undertaken by the government or the ruling bodies of a city/town. [7]

eGain forecasting

Egain forecasting is a method using forecasting technology to predict the future weather's impact on a building. [8] By adjusting the heat based on the weather forecast, the system eliminates redundant use of heat, thus reducing the energy consumption and the emission of greenhouse gases. [9]

Energy conservation

Energy conservation is the utilization of devices that require smaller amounts of energy in order to reduce the consumption of electricity. Reducing the use of electricity causes less fossil fuels to be burned to provide that electricity.

Alternative and clean power

The Tesla Roadster (2008) was the first all-electric sports car for sale and in serial production. It can completely recharge from the electrical grid in 4 to 48 hours depending on the outlet used. Roadster 2.5 charging.jpg
The Tesla Roadster (2008) was the first all-electric sports car for sale and in serial production. It can completely recharge from the electrical grid in 4 to 48 hours depending on the outlet used.

Principles:

Concerns over pollution and greenhouse gases have spurred the search for sustainable alternatives to our current fuel use. For example, biogas from anaerobic digestion of plant waste can be stored to produce heat or electricity. The global reduction of greenhouse gases requires the adoption of energy conservation as well as sustainable generation. That environmental harm reduction involves global changes such as:

Since fuel used by industry and transportation account for the majority of world demand, by investing in conservation and efficiency (using less fuel), pollution and greenhouse gases from these two sectors can be reduced around the globe. Advanced energy efficient electric motor (and electric generator) technology that are cost effective to encourage their application, such as variable speed generators and efficient energy use, can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that would otherwise be introduced to the atmosphere, if electricity were generated using fossil fuels. Greasestock is an event held yearly in Yorktown Heights, New York which is one of the largest showcases of environmental technology in the United States. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] Some scholars have expressed concern that the implementation of new environmental technologies in highly-developed national economies may cause economic and social disruption in less-developed economies. [15]

Education

Courses aimed at developing graduates with some specific skills in environmental systems or environmental technology are becoming more common and fall into three broads classes:

See also

Related Research Articles

An autonomous building is a building designed to be operated independently from infrastructural support services such as the electric power grid, gas grid, municipal water systems, sewage treatment systems, storm drains, communication services, and in some cases, public roads.

Biogas Gases produced by decomposing organic matter

Biogas is the mixture of gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen(anerobically), primarily consisting of methane and carbon dioxide. Biogas can be produced from raw materials such as agricultural waste, manure, municipal waste, plant material, sewage, green waste or food waste. Biogas is a renewable energy source. In India, it is also known as "Gobar Gas".

Sustainable living describes a lifestyle that attempts to reduce an individual's or society's use of the Earth's natural resources, and one's personal resources. It is often called as "earth harmony living" or "net zero living". Its practitioners often attempt to reduce their ecological footprint by altering their methods of transportation, energy consumption, and/or diet. Its proponents aim to conduct their lives in ways that are consistent with sustainability, naturally balanced, and respectful of humanity's symbiotic relationship with the Earth's natural ecology. The practice and general philosophy of ecological living closely follows the overall principles of sustainable development.

Alternative technology is a term used to refer to technologies that are more environmentally friendly than the functionally equivalent technologies dominant in current practice. The term was coined by Peter Harper, one of the founders of the Centre for Alternative Technology, North Wales, in Undercurrents (magazine) in the 1970s. Alternative Technologies are created to be safer, cleaner, and overall more efficient. The goals of Alternative technology are to decrease demand for critical elements by ensuring a secure supply of technology that is environmentally friendly, increased efficiency with lower costs, and with more common materials to avoid potential future materials crises. Alternative technologies use renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind energy. Some "alternative technologies" have in the past or may in the future become widely adopted, after which they might no longer be considered "alternative." For example, the use of wind turbines to produce electricity.

Electric power systems consist of generation plants of different energy sources, transmission networks, and distribution lines. Each of these components can have environmental impacts at multiple stages of their development and use including in their construction, during the generation of electricity, and in their decommissioning and disposal. We can split these impacts into operational impacts and construction impacts. This page looks exclusively at the operational environmental impact of electricity generation. The page is organized by energy source and includes impacts such as water usage, emissions, local pollution, and wildlife displacement.

Zero-emissions vehicle vehicle that emits no tailpipe pollutants from the onboard source of power

A zero-emissions vehicle, or ZEV, is a vehicle that emits no exhaust gas from the onboard source of power. Harmful pollutants to the health and the environment include particulates (soot), hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, and various oxides of nitrogen. Although not considered emission pollutants by the original California Air Resources Board (CARB) or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) definitions, the most recent common use of the term also includes volatile organic compounds, several air toxics, and global pollutants such as carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Sustainable energy Principle of using energy without compromising the needs of future generations

Sustainable energy is the practice of using energy in a way that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Green building architecture designed to minimize environmental and resource impact

Green building refers to both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the contractor, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.

Green vehicle

A green vehicle, or clean vehicle, or eco-friendly vehicle or environmentally friendly vehicle is a road motor vehicle that produces less harmful impacts to the environment than comparable conventional internal combustion engine vehicles running on gasoline or diesel, or one that uses certain alternative fuels. Presently, in some countries the term is used for any vehicle complying or surpassing the more stringent European emission standards, or California's zero-emissions vehicle standards, or the low-carbon fuel standards enacted in several countries.

Human impact on the environment Factors influencing human life on earth

Human impact on the environment or anthropogenic impact on the environment includes changes to biophysical environments and ecosystems, biodiversity, and natural resources caused directly or indirectly by humans, including global warming, environmental degradation, mass extinction and biodiversity loss, ecological crisis, and ecological collapse. Modifying the environment to fit the needs of society is causing severe effects, which become worse as the problem of human overpopulation continues. Some human activities that cause damage to the environment on a global scale include human reproduction, overconsumption, overexploitation, pollution, and deforestation, to name but a few. Some of the problems, including global warming and biodiversity loss pose an existential risk to the human race, and overpopulation causes those problems.

Clean technology is any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities. Clean technology includes a broad range of technology related to recycling, renewable energy, information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, Greywater, and more. Environmental finance is a method by which new clean technology projects that have proven that they are "additional" or "beyond business as usual" can obtain financing through the generation of carbon credits. A project that is developed with concern for climate change mitigation is also known as a carbon project.

A low-carbon economy (LCE), low-fossil-fuel economy (LFFE), or decarbonised economy is an economy based on low carbon power sources that therefore has a minimal output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere, but specifically refers to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. GHG emissions due to anthropogenic (human) activity are the dominant cause of observed global warming since the mid-20th century. Continued emission of greenhouse gases may cause long-lasting changes around the world, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

Energy policy of Australia

The energy policy of Australia is subject to the regulatory and fiscal influence of all three levels of government in Australia, although only the State and Federal levels determine policy for primary industries such as coal.

<i>Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy</i> book by Mark Diesendorf

Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy is a 2007 book by Australian academic Mark Diesendorf. The book puts forward a set of policies and strategies for implementing the most promising clean energy technologies by all spheres of government, business and community organisations. Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy suggests that a mix of efficient energy use, renewable energy sources and natural gas offers a clean and feasible energy future for Australia.

Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 proposed bill

The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 - a bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and for other purposes. It was proposed in the 110th United States Congress by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on January 15, 2007.

In the densely populated Hong Kong, waste is a complex issue. The territory generates around 6.4 million tons of waste each year but is able to collect and process only a minimal portion of recyclable waste. By 2019, its existing landfills are expected to be full. The government has introduced waste management schemes and is working to educate the public on the subject. On the commercial side, producers are taking up measures to reduce waste.

Mitigation of global warming in Australia

Mitigation of global warming involves taking actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to enhance sinks aimed at reducing the extent of global warming. This is in distinction to adaptation to global warming, which involves taking action to minimize the effects of global warming. Scientific consensus on global warming, together with the precautionary principle and the fear of non-linear climate transitions, is leading to increased effort to develop new technologies and sciences and carefully manage others in an attempt to mitigate global warming.

Waste Unwanted or unusable materials

Waste are unwanted or unusable materials. Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. A by-product by contrast is a joint product of relatively minor economic value. A waste product may become a by-product, joint product or resource through an invention that raises a waste product's value above zero.

Environmental impact of the energy industry

The environmental impact of the energy industry is diverse. Energy has been harnessed by human beings for millennia. Initially it was with the use of fire for light, heat, cooking and for safety, and its use can be traced back at least 1.9 million years. In recent years there has been a trend towards the increased commercialization of various renewable energy sources.

Technological Innovation for Climate Change Mitigation

Climate change has worsened at the hands of human activity for centuries, and many scientific efforts have been made since the first political acknowledgment. In order to avoid the ongoing and potential impacts of climate change, mitigation technologies have been developed in order to adapt to the issue, each invention belonging to one of four specific groups of effort. These groups include energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy (RE), nuclear power/energy (NE), and carbon capture storage (CCS). However, concerns regarding mitigating and adapting to climate change commonly have a priority focus on the groups of carbon capture storage and renewable energy efforts.

References

  1. Recycling”. Retrieved June 15th, 2009. http://earth911.com/recycling/. “Recycle.gif”. Retrieved June 15th, 2009. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-23. Retrieved 2009-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) “What is Water Purification”. Retrieved June 16th, 2009, http://www.bionewsonline.com/s/what_is_water_purification.htm%5B%5D “Sewage Treatment”. Retrieved June 17th, 2009 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) “Environmental Remedies and water Resource
  2. Kamal Meattle on how to grow fresh air TED (conference)
  3. EOS magazine, February 2017; Azalea's with extra bacteria can help to degrade toluene
  4. Bacteria on Hedera helix able to help degrade exhaust gases from Diesel engines running on Diesel
  5. “Sewage Treatment”. Retrieved June 17th, 2009 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) “Environmental remedies and water Resource
  6. Livescience. Retrieved June 27, 2009.10 top emerging environmental technologies. http://www.reference.md/files/D052/mD052918.html
  7. Retrieved June 16th, 2009. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-06-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) “Urban Waste Management”. Retrieved June 16th, 2009. http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/TOPICS/EXTURBANDEVELOPMENT/EXTUSWM%5B%5D
  8. Taesler, R. (1990/91) Climate and Building Energy Management. Energy and Buildings, Vol. 15-16, pp 599 - 608.
  9. United States Patent 6098893 Comfort control system incorporating weather forecast data and a method for operating such a system (Inventor Stefan Berglund)
  10. Norman, Jim. "Where There’s Never an Oil Shortage". The New York Times . May 13, 2007.
  11. Tillman, Adriane. "Greasestock Festival returns, bigger and better Archived 2008-05-18 at the Wayback Machine ". May 14, 2008.
  12. "Greasestock 2008 Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine ". Greasestock . Retrieved May 20, 2008.
  13. Max, Josh. "Gas-guzzlers become veggie delights at Greasestock in Yorktown Heights". Daily News . May 13, 2008.
  14. "Greasestock 2008: Alternative Fuel, Fun and French Fries Archived 2008-05-29 at the Wayback Machine ". Natural Awakenings . May 2008.
  15. Eric Bonds and Liam Downey, "“Green” Technology and Ecologically Unequal Exchange: The Environmental and Social Consequences of Ecological Modernization in the World-System" in: Journal of World-Systems Research, Volume 18, Issue 2 (http://jwsr.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/jwsr/article/view/482)

Further reading