Instead of tackling the dreadful fossil fuel and smog problem blanketing China right now, the Chinese are resorting to buying air in cans! A clever businessman has started selling fresh air in drinks cans as levels of pollution in China continue to raise danger alarms. The concentration of PM2.5 particles, which are the smallest and deadliest have gone off the scale twice this year, already. The Air Quality Index is showing numbers 20 times more dangerous than US Environmental Protection Agency ‘safe’ standards.
Nissan Motors have developed a refrigerator truck kitted out with a fully functional fridge, powered by a rechargeable-battery-powered motor. Whether the motor is running, in idle, or off, the fridge keeps food chilled, so deliveries do not spoil. The Atlas F24 will be modified to suit the specifications of Yamato Transport Co, who will rent it in 2013 and run tests for a year. Funding for the project came from Nissan Motors and Sumitomo Corp, which was founded to help new businesses develop their potential through
China is burning more coal than the rest of the world put together, and their consumption is continuing to grow. 20% global greenhouse gases are due to coal burning, making it one of the biggest offenders in the climate change debate. Although coal is responsible for huge health problems, as well as climate changing effects, it is still a popular fuel source in China because it is so cheap. Tighter air pollution restrictions in developing countries mean that coal is being sacrificed for cleaner energy and renewable sources, but while it remains so cheap and readily available in developing countries, there is no pressing reason for them to switch to other means.
Inadequate transport, poor roads, soaring temperatures – these are just a few reasons why around 40% food in India spoils before it reaches a dinner table. What people in developed countries would throw in the dustbin with barely a thought, can lead to mass starvation or keep farmers living at poverty levels in India. To help combat this, business students, engineers and corporate in Ohio have put their heads together to address this issue, and come up with a very effective, but crazily expensive solar powered fridge-shed thingy that no small farmer in India would ever be able to afford! Priced at $5,000, the SolarCool runs on eight solar panels that can keep food chilled, even at night, thanks to a battery that gets charged in the daylight.
Will I Am and Coca Cola have teamed up on an upcycle initiative to educate consumers about waste and recycling. Their new brand ‘ekocycle’, features a funky range of clothing, headphones and smartphone cases made almost entirely from waste plastic and aluminum. Their ‘beats by dre’ headphones are a fusion of quality sound, technology and PET plastics – although they only contain a disappointing 31% of upcycled materials – more of a token gesture than significant step towards serious upcycling.
Perfect for that H2O strapped country, Australia, the Oxijet, developed by their New Zealand neighbours, is now available for purchase down under. Brainchild of kiwi owned Felton and the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Oxijet is an air shower that works by injecting air bubbles into water droplets as they make their way out of the shower head. While it still feels like a full pressure shower, it only uses half the amount of water. Oxijet can be fitted to pretty much any standard shower fitting, but at present is only available in Australia.
Duke Energy Renewables has developed a way of saving extra power generated by batteries at its Notrees Windpower Project in Texas. The $44 million battery-storage system holds excess energy from the 153-megawatt Notrees farm and releases it when power supplies dip. This innovation is particularly helpful because winds often blow more strongly at night, when power needs are less, and more gently during the day, when power demands are higher. With this battery storage system, wind generated power can be kept and used, as and when needed, thus stablising the grid. Data from the project is being collected and analysed for scale-up by the US Department of Energy, who helped fund Duke Energy Renewables’ wind power, storage battery.
Evonik have pioneered a solar powered journey across Australia, by kite! The 3,000 mile trip across Aussie was braved by extreme sportsmen Dirk Gion and Stefan Simmerer, of Germany, and used less than $15 worth of fuel. Powered by exclusive technology from Evonik, that is a complex mixture of lithium-ion batteries, Evonik’s Litarion electrodes and Separion ceramic separators which allow the battery cells to store energy generated from a wind turbine, the Wind Explorer covered up to 225 miles per day in its pilot test down under. A body made from Evonik’s Rohacell sandwich carbon fiber, and tires made from lightweight materials and a special rubber formula that reduces resistance, also contributed to the energy efficiency of the Wind Explorer.
Solar ship seems just too good to be true! A helium-filled, zero emissions cargo plane, with a huge wing span that absorbs maximum solar power, at a lightweight 1,200lbs, solar ship gains lift from buoyant gases from the earth. Its wing-ship design allows it to land in strange places, devoid of roads or runways. Solar ship has recently been awarded a grant to build a new model to fly emergency supplies during times of crisis, man-made and natural disaster, to communities in North America. In addition, solar ship has been operating out of Cape Town to take medical supplies to remote areas of Africa.
Determined not be snowed in during the harsh Canadian winter, eco-eccentric Dan baker has pimped his golf cart into an emission free, fully enclosed, electric snow blowing machine. The oddly-named ‘Snowpig’ is as far as we are aware, the only one of its kind. Since ‘Snowpig’ is 100% electric, it is far more environmentally friendly than the standard trucks normally contracted to clear Canadian roads. These would normally guzzle up to 3 gallons of gasoline per snow-moving expedition.