Our future depends on the sustainable practices we adopt today. Sustainability takes into account the extent to which humanity will survive in harmony in the natural world, protecting it from damages and destruction. A lot is being done on the sustainability front in the recent past. Given is a list of some of those intriguing endeavors.
Let Us Take A Look At Top 10 Latest News On Sustainability
1. Clean energy production through wireless devices
A group of researches of the University of Cambridge have developed a standalone device that is capable of converting sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into a carbon-neutral fuel, unaccompanied by any additional components or electricity. This invention has been viewed as a significant step towards achieving artificial photosynthesis, where the process imitates the ability of the plant to convert sunlight into energy. The technology is based on advanced ‘photosheet’ technology. It converts sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and formic acid, which is a storable fuel, capable of being used directly or converted into hydrogen. The researchers are hopeful that this technology will be a stepping stone for sustainable and practical solar fuel production.
2. BioFuels can potentially replace fossil fuels.
The aspirations of biofuels being a pragmatic substitute for fossil fuel is seemingly becoming a reality. A study conducted by the Colorado State University predicted significant climate benefits stemming from the use of advanced biofuel technologies. The study has also revealed that there are clear strategies for biofuels to have a net carbon benefit as they account for all carbon flows in bio-fuels and comparing them to those in grasslands and forests. It is essentially a step towards carbon-negative biofuels. The research team, after a perspicacious analysis, found that on land where farmers or land managers were transitioning out of growing crops or maintaining pastures for grazing, cultivating switchgrass for cellulosic ethanol has the potential to mitigate environment depletion caused by fossil fuel damages, through reforestation. Also, since there is a considerable delay in tackling climate change, it is imperative to take a more proactive stance on biofuels and other negative emission technologies.
3. Hydrogen Vehicles are the future.
An electrocatalyst for a hydrogen fuel cell has been developed, which does not require any carbon carrier and is therefore much more stable. This concept is being used in the future the idea of fuel cell optimization, powered by vehicles, without carbon emissions. These fuel cells have grabbed many eyeballs as an alternative to battery-operated electromobility in heavy traffic, especially since hydrogen is a carbon dioxide neutral energy carrier if obtained from renewable sources. So, it won’t be surprising to see hydrogen-run vehicles in the future, and they being environment-friendly will be a bonus!
4. Global forest restoration
One of the most promising endeavors to mitigate climatic change and conserve biodiversity in the near future will definitely be forest restoration. Hence conservation and restoration of forests become an indispensable proposition to avoid future environmental damage. The focus should also be on the formerly tree-covered lands in the tropics as they are the best source for trapping greenhouse gases. Research exhibit that Central, East, and Southern Africa has the potential to restore forests and uplift the local people facing many multidimensional deprivations. This should be a cumulative effort of the government and people, so as to bring about a better future.
5. Impact of Climate Change on green energy production
With the degradation of natural resources and catastrophic changes in the climate of the planet, scientists are resorting to more renewable energy sources, which are cleaner in nature and lead to a reduction in carbon footprints. Renewable sources of energy are being searched on a vast scale. The key weather variables such as temperature, surface solar irradiance, and wind speed have a substantial impact on more renewable energy such as solar and wind farms. This will largely help the electricity sector to transgress to cleaner energy sources through interconnected power networks in different temperature conditions. However, these require a bit more comprehensive research to examine spatial climate variability and couple the findings with other aspects of energy systems, such as load and transmission infrastructure.
6. Zero-Emission buildings.
There are two major challenges before the construction industry: the demand for sustainable infrastructure and the need to repair deteriorating buildings, bridges, roads, etc. To cater to this need, there has been the concept of greener buildings, which is a genius endeavor promoting the idea that buildings produce at least as much energy as it uses( if not more). Scientists are optimistic and see progress towards a substantial building material made from local soil so that the environment is not disrupted. This innovation can be considered one of the best searches to ensure sustainable development, as concentre is substituted for local soil.
7. Nylon from bacteria
The fashion industry is also trying to uphold the sustainability factor in most of its practices. Research conducted by the University of Edinburgh suggests that scientists have developed a sustainable method of creating the most valuable garment industry component- known as adipic acid- out of which nylon is made. The conventional method of manufacturing nylon involves the emission of harmful greenhouse gases. Scientists have developed a new bacteria, that could revolutionalize the nylon manufacture industry. This environment-friendly approach has the potential of being scaled upon an industrial scale, make nylon production an eco-friendly affair.
The conservation of water has become an alarming concern in many places across the globe. Garbage dumps, which primarily constitute plastic debris, get drained into the various water bodies, which in turn, pollute the water sources. Even groundwater is susceptible to leaking environmental toxins. This had lead to an immense water crisis on the planet. Thus, addressing this predicament, an innovation called CloudFisher is undertaken, which allows people living in coastal or terrain areas, to convert fog into safe drinking water. The raw material used here is a 3D mesh that can withstand high wind speeds, while still retaining water. This in turn can also be utilized for irrigation of crops or forestry efforts. It is also seen to be a blessing for the agricultural industry, as it is cheap and eco-friendly.
Electric scooter legalised on roads in Great Britain last month. This is seen as a sustainable endeavor of mobility, as these scooters have zero carbon emissions. E-scooters can also be seen as a part of a growing interest in micro-mobility- short distance transport options like bike-share schemes. They are said to provide a mode of travel that can complement and be combined with walking, cycling, and public transport. This can roll down the level of pollution in the city, providing for a carbon-negative environment.
10. PPE kit waste
The COVID-19 has proven to be unforgiving, claiming the lives of millions across the world. With the increase in the infection rate of the virus. Use of Personal Protection Equipment(PPE) by the health care workers has elevated drastically. The thing about Hospital-grade PPE is that it can be used only once and needs to be discarded immediately after use. So, the disposable procedure of the same has stirred controversies and contradictions. It is said that the most effective way to do that is to burn it- high temperatures destroy the virus. The heat used to incinerate these kits can subsequently be used to heat local buildings or to produce electricity. Also, doing so will lead to the reduction of the amount of waste leftover in general and thus contribute to a greener environment.
That’s All For Now On Sustainability News!
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