Jan 23, 2020 - 3min read
As we enter 2020, we’re already seeing some amazing innovations popping up, aimed at combating climate change. These range from transport to reversing man-made climate change itself, so if you’re a tech geek with a green conscious, read on!
Within the labs of the Imperial College, London, a bright team has developed a potential for a clean, carbon-free alternative to air travel, using the power of hydrogen.
The problem with hydrogen is that it likes to move about, making it hard to contain. Historically, this has been challenging, especially on a commercial level, however this team of scientists have found a way to store it safely and cheaply. By using 3D printing methods, the solid-state hydrogen can be delivered to fuel cells, making it a viable to power vehicles, such as drones. The only waste output is water, with no harmful pollutants going into the atmosphere.
Hydrogen also produces three times as much power per kilogram than fossil fuels, making the weight to energy output ratio more favourable than internal combustion engines and even lithium ion batteries. If this innovation proves successful, we could see it really taking off!
Since we’re talking about drones, let’s take a look at one that has green fingers. DroneSeed is a company based in Seattle, who have developed a means of planting seeds more efficiently and faster than by hand.
Their massive drones carry a payload of seed capsules, which are fired into the ground. Once buried, the capsule is degraded, which can be used as nutrients for the seed itself, helping it to grow. They’re currently operating in the US, working to reforest acres of land using a network of drones, aiming to offset the deforestation by industry and to also help climate change.
Each drone can plant ¾ acres of land and carry a payload of 57lbs, making it a much more favourable method than using manual labour, being 3 times faster. The team are already working hard to reforest land in North America, collaborating with nature reserves and the US government.
Carbon capture isn’t anything new and has been achievable for many decades, however it’s been quite tricky to scale up this process so it can have a meaningful impact on the environment. Getting an industrial scale carbon capture facility up and running is now starting to become a reality and one company heading this is ClimeWorks, based in Switzerland.
Their aim is to help the Paris Climate agreement of keeping global average temperatures below 2C but believe the best way to do this is, not only by using renewable energy sources, but to also physically remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through air capture. They do this by using huge fans which pass air through a chemical solution, removing up to 4,920 kg of CO2 per day, which is then stored in tanks. Climeworks hopes that the stored C02 can then be used in products such as carbonated drinks or alternative fuel.
“We need to do everything we can to stop emitting and everything we can to remove C02 back out of the air. What if we had a technology to stop climate change?”
Christoph Gebald, Director and Founder of Climeworks
With this proven method of carbon capture, Climeworks hopes that their facilities can be scaled up and used on a commercial level, all around the globe.
What do you think of these new technological discoveries? Have you found any other climate focused tech that's exciting? Visit our Facebook page and share your stories.
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