Anyone who knows me will often hear me praise GreenTech whenever I get the chance. I can't help but get excited concerning various Eco-Friendly technological developments coming in the near future. By 2020 we will see many of these technologies come to life and by 2030 we will be living an Asimov-esque reality with Unlimited Clean Energy, Hyper-Efficient Computing, BioNano Fibers, and Neutrino Batteries. I will quickly review the most compelling and Earth-Changing GreenTech developments that I'm most interested in. I will refrain from going into lengthy scientific discussions and attempt to summarize these technologies as best I can.
We've all heard about the Greenhouse Effect, Ozone Layer Depletion, Ocean Acidification and Ground Water Pollution. These are Global Crisis which are already affecting nations and individuals on a massive scale. Thankfully, modern science has developed effective technologies that could solve most of the urgent problems impacting Earth and reduce hazardous pollution, replace destructive fossil fuels with clean energy, and create increased efficiencies in many things we do as Humans.
The obstacles to achieve this are not economical or technological in nature, our deepest roadblocks lie inside the human personality itself. Because of them, unimaginable resources have been wasted in the absurdity of Runaway-Consumerism, Global-Defense Spending, and the pursuit of Unlimited-Growth. They also prevent the appropriate distribution of wealth and resources among individuals/nations, and prevent us from re-orientating from purely economic and political concerns to ecological priorities crucial to Our Survival On This Planet.
The task of imbuing humanity with an entirely different set of values and goals might appear too unrealistic and utopian to offer any real hope. The possibility of transforming Modern Humanity into a species of individuals capable of peaceful coexistence with their fellow men, let alone with other species, certainly seems implausible at times. The key is to instill humanity with profound Ethical Values, Voluntary Simplicity, and a Sharp Awareness of Ecological Imperatives. The good news is – We Have The Technology, therefore I will outline some of the promising solutions we should immediately Go All In On.
Although many people have mixed feelings about Nuclear Fusion Technology, the fact remains that it has the potential to produce nearly unlimited supplies of Clean, Safe, Carbon-Free Energy. Fusion is the same process that powers the sun, and it can be realized in reactors to create enormous amounts of energy by simulating the conditions of ultra-hot (50 Million Degree) miniature 'stars' of plasma (superheated gas) which are contained within a magnetic field. This process must be stable under intense pressure, and it must be contained in a fixed volume. Successful fusion also requires that the product of three factors – a plasma's particle density, its confinement time, and its temperature – reaches a certain value. Above this value (the so-called 'triple product'), the energy released in a reactor exceeds the energy required to keep the reaction going.
Nuclear Fusion Power would provide more energy for a given weight of fuel than any fuel-consuming energy source currently in use, and the fuel itself (primarily deuterium) exists abundantly in the Earth's ocean: about 1 in 6500 hydrogen atoms in seawater is deuterium. Because nuclear fusion reactions are so much more energetic and efficient than chemical combustion and seawater is easier to access and more plentiful than fossil fuels, fusion could potentially supply the world's energy needs for millions of years. The most compelling Nuclear Fusion solutions have mainly been achieved at MIT Labs using an experimental Alcator C-Mod Tokamak (which has been shut down due to funding). However, a tokamak called ITER is currently under construction in France, which will be approximately 800 times larger in volume than Alcator C-Mod and is expected to reach 2.6 atmospheres when in full operation by 2030. The implications of this new energy source could be one of the key components to solving our ever-increasing global energy demands and get us Off the Oil-Pipe completely.Neutrino Power - Self Charging Batteries
Neutrino Inc. has a lofty goal of creating a new battery technology with 'double-five' – a storage solution with five times the power density and range at one-fifth the cost of current batteries. The company hopes to bring the battery technology to market by 2019. During interactions and reactions of neutrinos with matter (which happens very rarely) great amounts of energy are released - enabling the battery to be able to charge itself automatically (and after a certain point) - with the neutrino cell.
It works through an amazing combination of neutrino and nanotechnology. It's powered by energy from neutrinos, or electrically neutral elementary particles of very low mass that, in reactions with matter, can release enormous amounts of energy. The technology is primarily based on neutrino radiation generated by the sun. The process is completely environmentally friendly, relying neither on fossil fuels nor on nuclear power. This means you may soon be able to drive your Tesla without worrying about having enough power to get back home, and leaving a Zero Carbon Footprint to boot!NanoFiber Air Filters
Researchers at Washington State University have developed an Environmentally-Friendly Soy-Based BioNanoFiber Air Filter that can capture toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde (which current air filters can't achieve). Many sources of Air Pollution on Earth contain a mix of hazardous gaseous molecules such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, sulfur dioxide and other compounds which lead to the Greenhouse Effect as well as negatively impact Our Health. Typical air filters, which are usually made of micron-sized fibers of synthetic plastics, physically filter the small particles but aren't able to chemically capture gaseous molecules. Furthermore, they're most often made of glass and petroleum products, which leads to a secondary pollution problem.
WSU and a Chinese team developed this new kind of air filtering material that uses natural, purified soy protein and bacterial cellulose – an organic compound produced by bacteria. The soy protein and cellulose are cost effective, biodegradable, and already being used in numerous applications. Although the filters described are currently being developed for hyper-local uses to improve Human Health, a modified concept can possibly be used on a massive scale to produce huge wind screens for sulfur and carbon sequestering for Rapid Climate Change Mitigation if necessary.ReRAM
A team of international scientists have found a way to make memory chips perform computing tasks, which is traditionally done by computer processors. Redox-based Resistive Switching Random Access Memory (ReRAM) can be used to not only store information, but also process data. Current devices and computers have to transfer data from the memory storage to the processor unit for computation, but ReRAM circuits Save Time and Energy by eliminating these data transfers.
Currently, all computer processors in the market are using the binary system, which is composed of only two states, 0 or 1. However, ReRAM circuits process data in four states instead of two. For example, it can store and process data as 0, 1, 2, or 3, known as Ternary number system. Because ReRAM uses different electrical resistance to store information, it could be possible to store the data in an even higher number of states, hence speeding up computing tasks beyond current limitations. It can boost the speed of current processors found in laptops and mobile devices by at least a factor of 2X. By making the memory chip itself perform computing tasks, space can be saved by eliminating the processor altogether, leading to thinner, smaller, and more efficient electronics to be used in anything from phones to wearable technology. With long-term storage capacity, low energy usage, increased efficiency, and ability to be produced at the nanoscale level, ReRAM is a promising technology that I am very excited about.
In summary, although many people remain skeptical about Earth's future and even I myself have lost hope at times, it is technologically possible to reverse a large portion of the damage Humans have inflicted upon Earth. Humanity 'might' be able to save itself and many of the diverse species left here on our Lovely Planet. But this will require major breakthroughs over the next decade and we must all begin to educate ourselves on new GreenTech Developments as well as take Local Accountability for our everyday actions as Humans and Consumers.