The Deep-Dive Series, part 3: green tech is the future
During our work and research at Capture, we often come across incredible technology that gives us hope for a greener future. We wanted to put together a small collection of some of our recent favourite green-tech ideas. In part 3 of our deep-dive series, we take a more positive look at some of the most exciting tech solutions to the climate crisis. So sit back, read-on and be inspired...
Green technology is the future - actually it’s the present, too - and we couldn’t be more excited about some of the innovative solutions rippling across the globe right now. The best way forward is to invest in understanding, promoting, and funding in green technology in order to sustain and preserve the environment. But first things first, what exactly counts as green technology?
Green technology can be defined as any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities. Green tech can also refer to the production of clean energy; the use of alternative fuels and technologies that are less harmful to the environment than fossil fuels. So it’s a pretty broad concept right now!
When it comes to the climate crisis, the news can feel overwhelmingly negative and discouraging. Carbon emissions continue to rise, ecosystems and habitats are continuously destroyed for the exploitation of resources, and there have been no shortage of natural disasters. New records are set each year, but not the kinds we like to see.
It’s in times like these, particularly with the COVID-19 outbreak, that we need stories of innovation to restore faith in ourselves and our ability to rehabilitate the Earth to her full glory, keeping her healthy and functioning for future generations. So without further ado, let’s get started…
Let’s start off with Verv, patented cutting-edge technology designed to extend the life of large household appliances, lower carbon emissions and instantly make these everyday white good appliances smart.
This technology provides users with predictive fault detection with clever algorithms and use of deep learning. Essentially, you will be able to predict when an appliance may fail and what the problem might be. Being able to predict failures in white goods before they happen increases the ability and efficiency of the repair of white goods, increasing the lifecycle of the appliance and reducing waste.
Next up is Flyzen, an awesome technology firm dedicated to aviation-related carbon emissions. Flyzen’s Sustainable Flight Compare (SFC) provides the most precise estimate of the carbon emissions of a flight available on the market. It is an excellent solution for airlines, holiday planners, travel agencies, or any business interested in reporting their carbon emissions with the accuracy they deserve.
You may be surprised to learn that there can be huge variations in carbon emissions between airlines - for example a flight with British Airways can cause up to 45% more emissions compared to rivals on the same route… read all about that here.
As of right now, there are no services that can offer the accuracy of Flyzen. Flyzen will enable users and businesses to make the educated choice when it comes to carbon emissions; empowering travellers to control and reduce the impact of their trip when they do have to fly.
Colorifix is a really interesting, creative piece of green technology that uses a biological process to produce, deposit, and fix pigments on textiles. 100 billion articles of clothing are made each year, which comes at a huge cost to the environment. Using a synthetic biology approach, Colorofix offers a radically different solution that entirely cuts out the use of harsh chemistry, leading to huge reductions in water consumption, while meeting all key industry standards.
Why would manufacturers use Colorofix? It provides an alternative to synthetic materials, using a chemical-free process that uses less water, and it helps them to appeal to a whole range of consumers that we know want products that were made without causing damage to the environment.
Research has indicated that people living in areas with higher concentrations of air pollution are more likely to die of COVID-19. Air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year and WHO data shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants.
SMOG FREE PROJECT is a campaign for clean air led by Daan Roosegaarde to reduce air pollution, which includes a series of urban innovations such as the SMOG FREE TOWER, the world’s first smog vacuum cleaner. Yes, you read correctly, this is a vacuum that literally sucks smog out of the air. At 7 meters tall, the tower uses patented positive ionisation technology to produce smog-free air in public spaces, which enables people to breathe and experience clean air FOR FREE. It cleans 30,000 m3 per hour and uses a small amount of green electricity.
Climeworks captures CO2 from air with the world’s first commercial carbon removal technology. Their direct air capture plants sound like they are straight out of a science-fiction utopia world, removing CO2 from the atmosphere, and storing it safely..
Atmospheric carbon is captured by drawing large amounts of air through filters. CO2 within the air is chemically bound to the filter and once the filter is saturated with CO2 it is heated (using mainly low-grade heat as an energy source) to around 100 °C. The CO2 is then released and collected as concentrated gas and the CO2-free air is released back into the atmosphere. This continuous cycle is then ready to start again. The filter is reused many times and lasts for several thousand cycles.
Over 5 trillion pieces of plastic currently litter the ocean. Trash accumulates in five ocean garbage patches, the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California. The challenge with ridding the ocean of plastic is that it is spread across millions of square km and travels in all directions. This cleanup technology does the hard job of concentrating and collecting the plastic first before it is removed from the ocean.
How does it work? A long floater sits at the surface of the water with a skirt that hangs beneath it. The floater provides buoyancy to the entire system, while the skirt prevents debris from escaping underneath, leading it into the retention system. A cork line above the skirt prevents overtopping and keeps the skirt afloat.
It’s fascinating what they have created, as the cleanup device relies on natural forces to navigate the patches, letting the wind, waves, and current sweep it along in order to catch the plastic. Using a sea anchor to slow down the system, plastic can be retained and captured. Their systems are designed to capture plastic debris of all sizes, ranging from small pieces just millimeters in size, up to larger items including massive discarded fishing nets, which can be tens of meters wide. Models predict that a full-scale cleanup system roll-out could clean 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in just five years!
Of course, it’s also vital that we stop ocean plastic at its source… and we can take a look at the fantastic work of our friends at Seven Clean Seas for brilliant examples of just that.
Here at Capture, as a carbon emissions tracking app, we are a green technology ourselves! We are immensely supportive of our peers in this industry, along with any other initiatives that aim to preserve the environment, reduce the harmful impact of human activity, and undo the damage that we have incurred on the planet. Let’s face it, we are all in this together.
We hope that this list of green tech companies can inspire you, and maybe even cheer you up a little in these trying times. If you'd like to get started tracking your own CO2 emissions today, you can go ahead and try the Capture app at the link here for those on iPhones and the link here for those on android.