Summarizing their summary of the new-and-nifty that the environmental industry should monitor:
- Self-healing plastics that rush in to repair cracks and voids. Obviously, this would have significant implications in a wide variety of spill containment applications.
- Artificial stomachs, basically pre-packaged anaerobic digesters, to convert organic wastes into biogas. The products of SEaB Energy are noted as examples.
- Zero-fuel cargo ships, employing solar and wind power for propulsion in lieu of dirty diesel. Greenheart is a non-profit organization pursuing this seemingly-fanciful concept.
- Algae in lieu of crude oil. As the article notes, economics remains the gating factor, but apparently the authors are bullish based on the number of efforts underway. We’ll see.
- “Living building” that produces more water and electricity than is consumed. A 6-story edifice of this type, the Bullitt Center, is being developed as we speak in Seattle.
- 3-D printing. It’s not here yet, but it’s coming: the ability to use a printer to manufacture an object. Enormous theoretical time and energy savings associated with avoided shipping.
- Soybean-based materials for transportation, replacing the need for petroleum. Goodyear (NASDAQ: GT) is singled out for its work to make a synthetic rubber out of soy.
- Airborne bacteria destroying technology. Of particular note, Healthy Environment Innovations is offering novel air sterilization products to improve indoor air quality.
- Safer bombs. Really. A material called G2ZT being developed in Germany is not only more powerful than TNT, but also are more stable and produce fewer toxic emissions. Who knew?
- User-friendly carbon footprint monitors. This seems like a natural extension of many products being developed to monitor energy consumption.
Thanks to Mssrs. Bigham and Foster for compiling this list. Hopefully, you’ll find a tidbit or two to be of interest or utility.