4 New Environmental Technologies in the United States Today
Resource overuse, shortages in water supplies, policies that waste energy, deforestation and climate change are just a few issues that experts tell us we need to address to achieve long-term sustainable living.
By 2025, just five years from now, almost 3 billion people will be forced to deal with limited water supplies. Beyond that, the United Nations reports that the world’s energy needs will increase by 60% in ten years.
Because of these concerns, and others, let’s take a look at four new environmental technologies that are addressing these issues today.
1. Producing Oil From Almost Anything
Did you know that any waste that’s carbon-based can be turned into oil? From used tires to turkey guts, it’s all in play. This is done through a process referred to as thermo-depolymerization. Basically, the process adds the required heat and pressure to the source material to break it down and turn it into useable oil.
This is a similar process to how oil is produced in nature. However, with this exciting technology, the byproduct is produced within days instead of the millions of years it takes nature to do.
It’s reported that just one ton of turkey guts can translate into around 600 pounds of useable petroleum.
2. Taking Out the Salt
To address impending water shortages, companies have developed a process called desalination. This process involves the removal of minerals and salt from ocean water. It may be the best way to provide potable drinking water to areas of the world where water is hard to find.
Currently, it’s quite an expensive process. But scientists are working hard to make the process more energy-efficient and inexpensive.
3. Electronic Paper
There’s a paper technology that may allow you to read your morning newspaper and a book from your favorite author on the same sheet of paper.
Electronic paper is a flexible display that feels and looks almost exactly like genuine paper. But it can be reused an unlimited number of times.
This technology can save our forests by avoiding the millions of tons of paper thrown away every single day.
4. Harnessing the Ocean’s Thermal Energy
Our oceans are the largest solar collector in the world. The US Department of Energy states that the oceans collect enough sun heat to equal around 250 billion barrels of oil every single day. To put that in perspective, the US consumes around 8 billion barrels of oil every year.
OTEC technologies work to convert the ocean’s thermal energy into useable electricity by utilizing the difference in temperatures between the cold ocean bottom and the heated surface.
New Environmental Technologies Are Needed for Sustainability
These are just a few of the technologies working to make our world sustainable. While we’re on the right track, we still have a long way to go.