Green Innovation on AZoM – World Environment Day 2022
This world environment day The theme is #OnlyOneEarth. As the climate crisis looms, research and technology are constantly striving to produce new advances to make our daily lives more sustainable and support a circular economy. At AZoM, we are proud to offer an innovative sustainable research and green technology platform. A look back at some of our articles and interviews focused on a greener future:
AZoM spoke with David Anderson, Director of Score Diagnostics Ltd, about the role that valve maintenance and diagnostics play in efforts to reduce emissions in the chemical industry and make the industry as a whole greener.
According to a UK government report, the industry accounts for almost a quarter of UK emissions. In the process industries, valves have been identified as the main source of emissions – whether leaks through valves (leading to vents and flares) or fugitive emissions (from stuffing box, seals, etc.)
We chat with Anna Watkins about her company Uncommon Alchemy, which is developing an exciting new textile material made from seaweed.
Raw materials and biodegradability are part of the problem, but from a broader perspective, what we really need is a system change across the fashion industry as a whole. We need better raw materials and better ways to capture and reprocess waste – innovation needs to happen across the value chain. We also need to find better ways to communicate with consumers about sustainable options.
In this interview, Northwestern University researcher Michael Jewett talks about a new process that uses bacteria to capture CO2 and convert it to useful commercial chemicals acetone and isopropanol. This could bring us closer to a circular bioeconomy in the chemical sector.
Solutions for renewable and carbon-free energy production exist, but most of the things around us and everyday products are based on chemical hydrocarbons produced from fresh fossil sources. Thus, we need to develop new carbon negative strategies to manufacture chemicals and products. This is important for tackling the climate crisis, and microbes can attack some of the hardest sectors to decarbonize.
Image Credit: Dmitry Kovalchuk/Shutterstock.com
AZoM spoke to Ailong Li, a postdoctoral researcher at RIKEN, about his research that developed a green catalyst for hydrogen power generation. This could revolutionize efforts to move away from fossil fuels into clean energy production.
The development of renewable electricity should be a top priority, along with the development of more efficient electrolysis technologies.
Mehran Ghasemlou, a researcher at RMIT University, talks about his research that led to the development of a self-cleaning and biodegradable bioplastic inspired by the lotus leaf.
We need a bioplastic that prevents moisture from penetrating and spoiling our products (food, medical, etc.), but we also want this plastic to compost at the end of its life. Our bioplastic is strong enough to be used as packaging, but then disintegrates easily in the presence of insects and bacteria in the soil.
Thin-film solar cells are a next-generation solution for the renewable energy industry. They possess several advantages over conventional crystalline photovoltaic solar cell technologies, but there are still some limitations to these devices. This article will provide an overview of thin film solar cell technology, materials, applications, advantages, disadvantages, as well as some recent advancements in the field.
Research has recently focused on increasing the absorption of technology, for example by incorporating anti-reflective coatings. Additionally, research has been conducted on surface texturing, plasmonic light capture, optimization of solar cell materials, and exploitation of nanomaterials such as nanowires and nanoparticles.
The rise of digital technologies enabling a digital transition correlates with our growing awareness of impending climate catastrophe. Researchers from Portugal’s Universidade Europeia recently scoured the literature to find out exactly how the digital transition has impacted the planet.
Once entire organizations and even industries are committed to using digital transformation to benefit the planet, then significant change becomes possible. One of them is the transition to a circular economy. The circular economy is a model of goods and manufacturing that keeps materials in the manufacturing system, rather than extracting new materials and ultimately sending them to landfills.
Image Credit: PopTika/Shutterstock.com
Growing global environmental concerns and the desire to limit reliance on non-renewable mineral resources have spurred the development of cost-effective, renewable adhesives as alternatives to conventional glues, sealants and other bonding compounds.
The current trend of increasing market share of sustainable bio-based adhesives is supported by R&D efforts to improve their mechanical and chemical properties, as well as to develop new special-purpose adhesives.
Various strategies have been formulated to minimize the accumulation of rapidly increasing plastic waste. One method is through scaling, which relies on a catalytic transformation of plastics.
Plastics are subject to different recycling strategies, mainly categorized into upcycling (products with higher values than corresponding plastics) or downcycling (products with lower values than corresponding plastics) methods. This article focuses on scaling polymers.
Plastic waste seriously harms the health of our planet. Single-use, broken, lost and discarded plastic items do not break down in nature, instead polluting our soils and waterways for thousands of years. A new generation of start-ups and research projects are developing alternatives to plastic in an attempt to stem the tide of plastic pollution.
Producing – as well as wasting – plastic contributes to the climate crisis. The vast majority of plastics are made from fossil fuels, and on current trends, plastic will account for a fifth of global oil consumption by 2050.
We have #OnlyOneEarth (World Environment Day 2022)
Video credit: United Nations Environment Programme/Youtube.com
Achieving a fully circular economy with maximum recycling is important for the future of sustainable manufacturing. Unfortunately, packaging often hinders recycling efforts because it contains elements that cannot be recycled and is difficult to separate from recyclable materials. Magnomer, an innovative packaging materials startup, uses magnetizable ink to remove these impurities and enable more complete recycling.
Currently, only 6% of plastic bottles are recycled into bottles, despite the existence of technologies and public desire to recycle more bottles in recent decades.
Wood waste continued to be undervalued as a resource. Today, Desktop Metal, a market leader in metal binder jetting, launched Forust, a new company that uses volume additive manufacturing to produce sustainable wood products from waste wood. The company is a pioneer in the reuse of wood waste, thus helping to further strengthen the sustainability of wood.
While 3D printing has been around since the 1980s, it’s only in recent years that its potential applications have begun to be fully explored and developed. Therefore, new applications of 3D printing, such as its use to regenerate waste wood into new materials, are still in their infancy. It is inevitable that processes will continue to be improved as the process becomes more established and used for more purposes.
For more information on World Environment Day, visit this link: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/