Modern science and technology has made many seemingly-impossible things possible in our lifetime, ranging from gadgets that we use to make our everyday lives more comfortable and convenient, to vessels and machines that allow us to study the stars. However, if there’s anything that needs doing today, especially with the exponential increase in the global population and with pollution levels at an all-time high, it’s the important task of saving the environment.
While we’re not quite at the point yet where we can easily patch up holes in the ozone layer or re-freeze the melting ice caps, progress is being made. Many inventors already hard at work to develop innovations that could help ease the burden of humanity on our Mother Earth. Here are some of those inventions.
- Electric bicycles and other forms of “green” One of the biggest sources of pollution in the world is transportation, specifically those that rely on fossil fuels to operate. Not only do they continuously pollute the atmosphere with smoke, particulates, and chemicals that are dangerous to the planet and human health, they also emit greenhouse gases that largely contribute to climate change.
To address this issue, various modes of transportation that run on renewable energy have been invented. Among them is the electric bicycle. This particular bicycle can run on the pedal-pushing power of its rider, as well as the energy output of high-power brushless DC motors or brush DC motors installed in the chassis. This dual mode of operation allows it to be a viable transportation option even during long journeys. Should the charge in the batteries run out, the rider can easily recharge them through power outlets. Cost is one of the biggest barriers for adoption,
- Portable and affordable water filters. Many people all over the world still suffer from water shortage and lack access to clean drinking water. Many scientists and researchers have responded to this call by developing cheap and portable water filters that can be made and distributed to these water-deprived regions at a very low cost. One of such inventions is the LifeStraw, invented by Switzerland-based company Vestergaard. LifeStraw is a portable water filter made into a shape of a straw that the user can use to directly sip unclean or unfiltered water. As the water is drawn into the Lifestraw, it removes waterborne parasites and contaminants with conventional mechanical filtration techniques as well as disinfecting the water with silver and iodine. What comes out of the other end and into the user’s mouth is clean, disinfected, and potable water.
- Solar roadways. The concept of using solar energy as a renewable power source has been discovered as far back as 1839, with the research credited to French physicist Antoine-Cesar Becquerel. The most important technology to facilitate this concept is, of course, the solar cell As functional as this technology is in converting light and heat to electrical energy, however, it suffers from many limitations like space constraints and cost, preventing it from reaching worldwide adoption. It was only until very recently that engineers Scott and Julie Brusaw came up with the concept of covering a roadway with heavy-duty solar panels. By doing so, not only is the cost of the solar panels shifted over to governments – making the technology much more accessible to citizens – but the wide and empty spaces that roads are usually built on are put to better use.
- Ocean cleaners. Another huge problem that the environment is facing nowadays is how it has become a dumping ground for garbage and other pollutants. In response to this, two Australian surfers by the name of Andrew Turton and Pete Ceglinski invented the Seabin, an autonomous floating water filter that not only sucks up litter and debris in whatever body of water it’s deposited in, but oils and other water contaminants as well.
This is thanks to the powerful submersible water pump installed inside the Seabin, capable of displacing 25,000 liters per hour, as well as the advanced filtering technology and materials used to line the Seabin’s water-filtering ports. While this particular invention is not yet commercially available, it has already been proven to work and should drastically improve the quality of some of our more neglected water bodies once it is deployed.
These are just some of the inventions that not only show a lot of promise in restoring the environment and preventing further damage, especially once they reach worldwide adoption. With the speed that technology is evolving nowadays, we hopefully won’t have to wait too long.
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