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The Need for Green Technology

Discuss about the Developing Green Technologies and Phasing.

In this digital era, technology is evolving at a rapid pace and has led to improved lifestyles for human beings (Alvisi & Franchini, 2016). Nowadays, there exists a lot of energy which is which is produced in an effective and continuous manner. However, there’s a downside to these forms of energy for instance, oil and coal energy lead to the pollution of the environment (Dornfeld, 2014). In recent years, countries have shifted from the agricultural sector to the manufacturing industry which has led to a rise in production of energy. To salvage the situation for our future generations who might be impacted by the adverse effects of pollution associated with these forms of energy, many countries have now turned to green energy (Dornfeld, 2014).

In essence, Green Technology which is also referred to as clean technology is a form of technology that involves the creation and extension of practices and processes that reduce environmental risks (Alvisi & Franchini, 2016). Green Technology brings innovative solutions that change our way of life. Although this field is still in its infant stage, bigger and better things are expected of it. This form of technology is expected to come up with technology that will not deplete earth’s natural resources (Dornfeld, 2014). Specifically, Green Technology aims to lower the impacts of global warming, fossil fuels, energy costs and environmental degradation.

The green revolution relies heavily on the presence of “Alternative Energy” to get rid of emissions that lead to global warming and to ensure that the planet’s resources remain “sustainable”. There are many forms of renewable energy such as solar energy, wind power, hydroelectric power, biofuels, geothermal energy and hydrogen & fuel cells (Glassley, 2014). Solar energy comes from sunlight and is used mostly for heating and lighting buildings as well as generating electricity for industrial uses (Glassley, 2014). Furthermore, the sun’s heat is responsible for driving the winds that turn wind turbines. The wind and the heat from the sun lead to the evaporation of water and the resultant water vapor brings rain and snow (Glassley, 2014).

Hydroelectric power is one of the oldest ways of producing power. A hydropower plant creates a water reservoir in the form of a dam (Mohammad, 2014). The water that is released from the water reservoir flows through and spins a turbine which consequently leads to the activation of a generator which produces electricity (Guo et al., 2016). However, hydroelectric power needn’t require a large dam. Some plants make use of a small canal from a river to turn a turbine. Bioenergy is form of energy generated from organic matter. For many years, wood has been the primary source of bioenergy (Guo et al., 2016). Nowadays, there exists other multiple bioenergy sources such as plants, remains from agriculture and the organic compounds from industrial wastes. Among the applications of bioenergy include biofuels, biopower and bioproducts (Guo et al., 2016).

Geothermal energy refers to the heat that is emitted from the Earth (Guo et al., 2016). This form of energy is not only clean but sustainable as well. Some of the resources of geothermal energy include a shallow ground, hot water, hot rock situated below the earth’s surface and lastly, the extreme temperatures of molten rock referred to as magma (Guo et al., 2016). Applications of geothermal energy include heating water for fish farming, heating buildings, drying crops, supporting the growth of plants inside green houses and other industrial applications like milk pasteurization(Guo et al., 2016).

Alternative Sources of Energy

Hydrogen is an element that is the most plentiful on earth. Despite its abundance, Hydrogen mostly comes as a combination of other elements such as propane, gasoline, methanol, and natural gas as opposed to occurring naturally as a gas (Dutta, 2014). At present, hydrogen is harnessed in huge amounts from natural gas. A fuel cell is used to combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity and heat. Fuel cells have a promising future ahead and are used to supply electricity and heat to buildings as well as electric power for electric vehicles (Dutta, 2014). Renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind may not be capable of producing energy continuously, but they can produce hydrogen which can stored and later used in future (Dutta, 2014).

A green building is a project that enables human beings to preserve the natural envrionment around while at the same time coming up with a building that’ll be used for a certain purpose (Allen et al., 2015). The construction promotes a healthy sorrounding for all parties involved and doesn’t disrupt resources such as water or land around the building. To construct green buildings, the materials that’ll be used must be effective and inventive towards the environment (Dwaikat & Ali, 2016). The buildings must be well designed, renovated and run in an eco-logical and cost effective manner. A green building may be expensive to construct but huge savings will be achieved in the long run attributed to its low operating costs. Dwaikat and Ali (2016) argue that most green building structures may come with high up-front costs but will eventually yield incredible savings.

Many green buildings can attain efficient standards that are beyond the set standards while others will mostly reach the standard set. Studies have shown that buildings with great environmental quality bring numerous benefits such as the trimming of airway or lung diseases, asthma, allergy and the enhancement of employee productivity (Dwaikat & Ali, 2016). Financial benefits associated with improvements in indoor surroundings exceed costs by a range of 8 to 14. Green buildings are a chance to make use of our resources efficiently through the construction of a building that enhances the surroundings, and present cost savings related to green purchases (Dwaikat & Ali, 2016).

Green chemistry which is also referred to as sustainable chemistry is defined as the design of chemical processes as well as products which eliminate or scale down the use or production of dangerous substances (Lancaster, 2016). Green chemistry is implemented throughout the lifecycle of a chemical substance ie. during its design, manufacture, deployment and disposal (Lancaster, 2016). Green chemistry lessens pollution through the minimization of hazards produced from chemical feedstocks, solvents and reagents. This contrasts to remediation which involves cleaning environment spills and the treatment of waste streams (Never & Kemp, 2017).

If a technology happens to eliminate or scale down hazardous chemicals that are adopted in the cleanup of environmental contaminants, then this technology falls under the category of green chemistry (Lancaster, 2016). One instance is the replacement of a hazardous sorbent that is normally used to trap mercury from the air for its safe discarding with an effective nonhazardous sorbent. The usage of nonhazardous sorbent implies that hazardous sorbent will never be produced (Lancaster, 2016)

Nanotechnology is a field comprised of the realms of atoms as well as nanostructures (Sivaraj et al., 2015). Green nanotechnology is capable of influencing: how the design of nanomaterials takes place by minimizing pollution from the manufacture of the nanomaterials, following a lifecycle approach to determine where environment impacts might be witnessed and designing toxicity from nanomaterials to correct current environmental problems (Sivaraj et al., 2015). There is a realization that nanotechnologies will play a key role in the development of green technologies that will prove to be beneficial for the environment. The best instances of the application of nanotechnology include water treatments, hydrogen applications and energy breakthroughs (Sivaraj et al., 2015). It is widely expected that renewable energy applications is the area where nanotechnology will make its first breakthrough.

Conclusion

Green technology is set to have a positive impact on our lives. More countries are now investing heavily on green technologies which makes the future bright. There are multiple things we can do to have a positive influence in the world. Taking small steps which include shifting to a greener lifestyle through the use of efficient light bulbs and recycling waste materials will make our planet more sustainable (Alvisi & Franchini, 2016).  In addition to helping the planet, going green especially through renewable energy, purifying of water and rejuvenating Ecosystems will help us to save money. Human beings have an obligation to keep the planet Earth alive for future generations to have healthy lifestyles (Never & Kemp, 2017).

References

Allen, J. G., MacNaughton, P., Laurent, J. G. C., Flanigan, S. S., Eitland, E. S., & Spengler, J. D. (2015). Green buildings and health. Current environmental health reports, 2(3), 250-258.

Alvisi, S., & Franchini, M. (2016). Green-Smart Technologies for a sustainable use of the water resource at urban and building level.

Dornfeld, D. A. (2014). Moving towards green and sustainable manufacturing. International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing-Green Technology, 1(1), 63-66.

Dutta, S. (2014). A review on production, storage of hydrogen and its utilization as an energy resource. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 20(4), 1148-1156.

Dwaikat, L. N., & Ali, K. N. (2016). Green buildings cost premium: A review of empirical evidence. Energy and Buildings, 110, 396-403.

Glassley, W. E. (2014). Geothermal energy: renewable energy and the environment. CRC Press.

Guo, W., Surampalli, R. Y., & Zhang, T. C. (2016, January). Green Technologies for Sustainable Water Management. American Society of Civil Engineers.

Lancaster, M. (2016). Green Chemistry 3rd Edition: An Introductory Text. Royal society of chemistry.

Mohammad, F. (2014). Emerging green technologies and environment friendly products for sustainable textiles. In Roadmap to sustainable textiles and clothing (pp. 63-82).  Springer, Singapore

Never, B., & Kemp, R. (2017). Developing green technologies and phasing them in. Green Industrial Policy.

Sivaraj, R., Salam, H. A., Rajiv, P., & Rajendran, V. (2015). Green Nanotechnology: The Solution to Sustainable Development of Environment. In Environmental Sustainability (pp. 311-324). Springer, New Delhi.

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