Pollution Solutions

In the January issue of Pollution Engineering, Roy Bigham and Josh Foster have compiled their list of “10 Top Technologies for 2013”.

Summarizing their summary of the new-and-nifty that the environmental industry should monitor:

  1. 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.
  2. Artificial stomachs, basically pre-packaged anaerobic digesters, to convert organic wastes into biogas.  The products of SEaB Energy are noted as examples.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. “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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Airborne bacteria destroying technology.  Of particular note, Healthy Environment Innovations is offering novel air sterilization products to improve indoor air quality.
  9. 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?
  10. 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.