4 innovations that can save humanity

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The world is undergoing a climate catastrophe. Thankfully, creative and bright minds have come up with innovations that help mitigate waste and lower carbon emissions.

The Irony of Air Conditioners

Here’s a shortlist of some impactful strategies that seem to have descended from the future to save us from our present.

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1. Smog Free Tower

Daan Roosegaarde is the engineer behind this global campaign that promotes urban innovations for clean air, reducing pollution levels. The Smog Free Tower is the world’s first smog vacuum cleaner, capturing carbon and greenhouse gases to process them into clean air particles later.

The tower is 7 meters tall and uses patented positive ionization technology to produce smog-free air in public spaces. The building is fully equipped with environmentally friendly technology. The Smog Free Tower cleans up to 300,000 cubic meters of air per hour and uses minimal green electricity.

As a result of the carbon capturing, the tower compresses the carbon into a diamond ring. For each diamond ring sold, you donate 1000 cubic meters of clean air to the city and not contribute to any human rights violation. The towers are currently located in Rotterdam and the Chinese cities of Beijing and Tianjin.


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2. Smog Free Bicycle

From the same smog-free campaign of Daan Roosegaarde comes this highly innovative way of cycling. The Smog Free Bicycle inhales polluted air, cleans it, and releases clean air around the cyclist.

Ofo, the leading Chinese bike-sharing program, is helping to develop this new bike. The World Economic Forum launched the bike in Dalian, China.

The Manta Ray fish was the inspiration and muse of the bicycle’s mechanics since a manta ray filters water for food. The bike has a plug-in device on the steering wheel that filters the air. The project intends to have a significant impact on an urban scale.


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3. Carbios Enzyme

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that recycles plastic bottles within hours. The discovery took place in a compost heap of leaves. The enzyme reduced the bottles into chemical building blocks that were later used to make high-quality new bottles.

Recycling technologies usually produce plastic only good enough for clothes and carpets as microplastics, which are very harmful to the environment and our oceans. With this particular enzyme, plastic bottles can be made from recycled plastic instead of creating new plastics to produce more waste.

The Carbios company, in charge of the enzyme development, wants to take it to an industrial scale in five years, partnering with Pepsi and L’Oréal to accelerate growth.

During the testing trials, the enzyme degraded 90% of a tonne of plastic within 10 hours. The total cost of the project is only 4% of making virgin PET plastic.

The Carbios Company wants to tackle the misuse of recycling that affects waste pollution channels.


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4. The Seabin Project

The Seabin Project started in Australia as a marine trash can that floats in the ocean’s controlled spaces, such as marinas. Each seabin can catch 90,000 plastic bags, 35,700 disposable cups, 16,500 plastic bottles, and 166,500 plastic utensils in a year. So far, the company has 860 seabins working, capturing 3,612.8 kilograms of trash each day, with a total captured waste of 1,276,011 kilos.

The company’s mission is to live in a world without the need for Seabins. The company has been up and running since 2014, financed by crowdfunding.

The seabin functions by moving up and down with the tide range, collecting all marine debris. Water is sucked in from the surface with a water pump capable of displacing 25,000 liters per hour and passes through a catch bag inside the seabin. The unit is plugged directly into an electrical outlet. The water is then pumped back to the marina leaving marine debris trapped inside the catch bag to be recycled or sent to a waste management facility.

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