Sunday, December 1, 2019

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy is energy produced from sources that do not deplete or can be replenished within a human's life time. The most common examples include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower. This is in contrast to non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels.

Benefits of Renewable Energy
Environmental and economic benefits of using renewable energy include: Generating energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and reduces some types of air pollution. Diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on imported fuels.

Non-renewable energy includes coal, gas and oil. Most cars, trains and planes use non-renewable energy. They are made by burning fossil fuels to create energy. Renewable energy includes solar, hydro and wind energy. Wind energy is made when the wind moves the blades on a wind turbine.

The most efficient forms of renewable energy geothermal, solar, wind, hydroelectricity and biomass. Biomass has the biggest contribution with 50%, followed by hydroelectricity at 26% and wind power at 18%. Geothermal energy is generated by harnessing the Earth's natural heat.

Energy is an inevitable requirement where we want development to take place. All these power generation techniques can be described as renewable since they are not depleting any resources to create the energy. Renewable sources of energy are the ones which can be generated continuously in nature and are inexhaustible.

The top 10 energy sources:

Solar Energy
The sun offers an ideal energy source, unlimited in supply, expensive, which does not add to the earth’s total heat burden and does not produce air and water pollutants. Solar installations in recent years have also largely begun to expand into residential areas with government offering incentive programs to make “green” energy a more economically viable option.

Biomass or Bio-energy
The energy from organic matter for thousands of years, ever since people started burning wood to cook food. Wood is still our largest biomass energy resource even today. Other sources of biomass can be used including plants, residues from agriculture or forestry and the organic components. Plants and animal matters are used for production of fibers chemicals or heat. The net emission of carbon dioxide will be zero as long as plants continue to be replenished for biomass energy purposes. Burning of plant or animal matters causes’ air and water pollution. The burning of dung destroys essential nitrogen and phosphorus. Therefore, it is more useful to convert the biomass into biogas or bio fuels.

Biogas is a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and hydrogen sulphite, the major constituents being methane. Biogas is produced by anaerobic degradation of animal and plant wastes in the presence of water. Anaerobic degradation is to break down the organic matter by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. It is a non-polluting, clean and low cost fuel which is very useful for rural areas. Biogas plants used in our country are of two types; fixed dome biogas plant and floating drum biogas plant.

Tidal Energy
Tidal energy is not a very popular energy source, but has immense potential of becoming one in the near future. Tidal energy can be generated in two ways, tidal stream generators or by barrage generation. The power created through tidal generators is generally environmental friendly and causes less impact on established ecosystems. It is similar to the wind energy. Tidal energy is the only form of energy that derives directly from the motions of the Earth-Moon system. The tidal forces produced by the Moon-Sun in combination with Earth’s rotation are responsible for the tides.

Wind Energy
Wind energy is a conversion of wind energy by wind turbines into a useful form, such as electricity or mechanical energy. Wind farms are installed on agricultural land or grazing areas, have one of the lowest environmental impacts of all energy sources. The principal application of wind power today is the generation of electricity, historically; it has been used directly to propel sailing ships or converted into mechanical energy for pumping water or grinding grains.

Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is the heat from Earth. It’s clean and sustainable. Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow ground to hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the Earth’s surface and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma. The steam or hot water comes out of the cracks in the Earth and when it doesn’t find any way to come out, holes are drilled with pipes in it to gush the hot water out due to high pressure which turn the turbines of a generator to produce electricity.

Radiant Energy
99% of the cost of normal electricity can be saved by the use of radiant energy. It performs the same functions, but doesn’t possess behavior similar to electricity. Nikola Tesla’s magnifying transmitter, T Henry Moray’s radiant energy device, Edwin Gray’s EMA motor & Paul Baumann’s Testatika machine all ran on radiant energy. Nikola Tesla built one of the earliest wireless telephones to be based on radiant energy.

Hydro Electricity
This is the most widely used form of renewable energy. The gravitation force of falling water is the key point in hydroelectricity generation. Small scale hydro or micro-hydro power has been an increasingly popular alternative energy source, especially in remote areas where other power sources are not viable. The hydro power sites has a few major environmental problems like water logging and siltation, Causes loss to biodiversity of fish population and other aquatic animals. It also displaces local people and creates problems of rehabilitation and related socio-economic problems.

Compressed Natural Gas
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a substitute for gasoline, diesel or propane fuel. It is cleaner and safer to use as it diffuses easily into the surroundings if leaked. However, burning it does release a few greenhouse gases in the air. CNG is used in traditional gasoline internal combustion engine cars that have been converted into bi-fuel vehicles.

Nuclear Energy
Proponents of nuclear energy contend that nuclear power is a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions and increases energy security by decreasing dependence on foreign oil. Nuclear fission is used to extract energy from atomic nuclei via controlled nuclear reactions. Utility scale reactors are use to produce steam which is then converted into mechanical work for the purpose of generating electricity or propulsion.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Green Technology


One of the most obvious benefits to building with green technology is the environmental impact. Green technology helps reduce emissions, conserves water, reduces waste and consumes less energy than conventional technology. Green buildings also use materials more efficiently.

The word "Green Technology" is relatively new. ... The green technology definition, in simple words, it means the technology which is environmentally friendly, developed and used in such a way so that it doesn't disturb our environment and conserves natural resources.

In 1859, a third Frenchman, Gaston Plante, invented the lead acid battery and demonstrated it at the French Academy of Sciences a year later. In the 1970s, Japan, Denmark and others decided to invest in solar, biomass, wind and other technologies to wean themselves from fossil fuels.

Green technology, also known as sustainable technology, takes into account the long- and short-term impact something has on the environment. ... Energy efficiency, recycling, health and safety concerns, renewable resources, and more all go into the making of a green product or technology
Green technology can be seen as one of the elements that can minimize environmental quality degradation and provide a healthier environment. ... This concept paper aims to provide environmentally relevant information and sustainable development education (ESD) in line with the importance of green technology.

Examples of green technology in production include, processes to recycle water or waste in the manufacturing process and the installation of energy-efficient fixtures such as LED light bulbs and flushless toilets.

Exploring the Types of Green Technology
1. Solar Power
2. Wind Turbine
3. Geothermal Power
4. Smart power bars
5. Energy Efficient Appliances
6. Programmable Thermostats

Green technology includes the conversion of renewable resources, such the sun's light, wind and water to energy that we can use. Solar panels, wind turbines and geothermal wells are all examples of technological innovations that can replace the need for coal and oil.

Green Technologies That Could Help Revolutionize Our Changing Planet
1. Vertical Farming. The future of modern agriculture could very well be found indoors. ...
2. Green Burial. ...
3. Better Lighting. ...
4. Widespread Composting. ...
5. Batteries. ...
6. Renewable Energy At Home. ...
7. Offshore Wind Power. ...
8. Reusable Rockets.

Green energy-efficient data centers can help us reduce greenhouse gases—which, in turn, can help reduce global warming. The recent UN and White House sessions on climate change emphasize the environmental importance of green projects. ... Energy expenditures for IT keep increasing.

Goals of Green Technology

To meet the needs of society in ways without damaging or depleting natural resources on earth is the main objective of green technology. The idea is to meet present needs without making any compromises.

Green Certification - Green rating or certification is used to indicate the level of environmental friendliness for real estate properties. ... The program was developed in 2008 by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council of NAR, with administration transferred to the Green Resource Council.

Go Green or Face Extinction
Since the invention of the steam engine kicked off the Industrial Revolution, our planet has suffered rapid changes in climate that include increasingly severe droughts, increased depletion of groundwater reserves, seawater acidification, rising seawater levels, the rapid spread of diseases and macroparasites, and the extinction of species. Unless we intervene, these changes may prove irreversible.

Green technology offers us the best hope to counteract the effects of climate change and pollution. Why? The world has a fixed amount of natural resources, some of which have already been depleted or ruined. For example, household batteries and electronics often contain dangerous chemicals that pollute soil and groundwater with chemicals that cannot be removed from our drinking water supply and wind up in food crops and livestock grown on contaminated soil. The health risks alone are staggering.

Plastic pollutants are another non-sustainable resource that's destroying the ocean habitats of sea creatures around the world—killing off fish, birds, and countless other species. Larger pieces pose choking and strangulation hazards, while the tiny particles of disintegrating plastic are making their way into the bottom of the food chain. As larger fish feed on contaminated krill, they too become contaminated and if those fish are subsequently harvested for human consumption, the contaminants are going to wind up on your plate and in your stomach. Not so appetizing, right?

Fast Facts: Principles of Sustainability
There are three principles which define sustainability in any type of material, as described by the American ecologist and economist Herman Daly: 

Non-renewable resources should not be depleted at rates higher than the development rate of renewable substitutes.
Renewable resources should not be exploited at a rate higher than their regeneration levels.
The absorption and regeneration capacity of the natural environment should not be exceeded.
Renewable Energy vs. Nonrenewable Energy
Nonrenewable energy resources include nuclear, hydrogen, coal, natural gas, and oil. All of these currently fail the definition of sustainability in one way or another but most painfully in the ability of the environment to absorb and regenerate the expenses related to their extraction or production. 

One of the best-known examples of green technology is the solar cell, which directly converts energy from natural light into electrical energy via the process of photovoltaics. Generating electricity from solar energy equates to less consumption of fossil fuels, as well as the reduction of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

While some detractors argue that solar panels are expensive and unattractive, new inventions may be just around the corner to offset these concerns. Community solar groups, in which renters will share solar panel products, and new spray-on photovoltaic film using perovskites that have the potential to convert regular window glass to solar collectors are just two possibilities on the horizon that show great promise for the future of solar assets. 

Other renewable energy sources include hydro, biomass, wind, and geothermal, but unfortunately, these assets are not currently be exploited at adequate levels to replace nonrenewable sources. Some members of the energy industry are dead set against going green, while others see it as both a challenge and an opportunity. The bottom line is that while non-renewable energy resources currently comprise 80 percent of the world's energy requirements, over time, that's simply not going to sustainable. If we hope to maintain life on our planet, emerging green energy technology must be used alongside existing methods to transition from the unsustainable to the sustainable.

The Power of Positive Green Thinking
Here a just a few reasons why going green is in everyone's best interest:

Inventors should know that green inventions and clean technologies are good business. These are fast-growing markets with growing profits. Consumers should know that buying green inventions can reduce energy bills and are often safer and healthier than non-green counterparts. 
Even making small changes can have a large-term impact. For instance, consider the waste created by plastic water bottles. Of course, drinking lots of water is a healthy practice but changing out reusable water bottles for disposable ones is health-promoting, eco-friendly, and green.

Tree Windmill

The Wind Tree is composed of 3 steel trunks that stem into tinier branches on which the 36 leaf-shaped wind turbines are attached. The Wind Tree can exploit all types of wind, from gentle breezes to powerful gusts of wind in both urban and rural environments.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Pollution Solution

Pollution Solution

The solution to pollution is in everyone's hands;
  1. Use Environmentally Safe Products. ...
  2. Recycle Your Used Motor Oil and Filters. ...
  3. Compost Yard Trimmings. ...
  4. Report Illegal Dumping. ...
  5. Pick Up After Your Pets. ...
  6. Dispose of Trash Properly. ...
  7. Use Water Based Paints. ...
  8. Recycle Everything You Can.

The most basic solution for air pollution is to move away from fossil fuels. Replacing them with alternative energies like solar, wind and geothermal. Producing clean energy is crucial. But equally important is to reduce our consumption of energy by adopting responsible habits and using more efficient devices.

Why to stop pollution?
The way it works is that basically certain 'greenhouse gases' can't escape from our atmosphere because they get trapped. ... This shows that water pollution, air pollution, and ground pollution are common. The second reason why we should stop pollution is that it also affects us humans.

Actions to avoid air pollution;

Drive your car less. Vehicle exhaust is a major source of air pollution....
Keep your car in good repair. ...
Turn off your engine. ...
Don't burn your garbage. ...
Stop having campfires in the city. ...
Plant and care for trees. ...
Switch to electric or hand-powered lawn equipment. ...
Use less energy.

Air Pollution

The Short Answer: Air pollution is caused by solid and liquid particles and certain gases that are suspended in the air. These particles and gases can come from car and truck exhaust, factories, dust, pollen, mold spores, volcanoes and wildfires.

Water Pollution 
Practice Responsible Use of Fertilizer, Herbicides, and Pesticides. Surface runoff of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers into water bodies changes a water body's natural ecosystem.

Soil Pollution

Noise Pollution


Thermal Pollution

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. In 2015, pollution killed 9 million people in the world.

Major forms of pollution include: Air pollution, light pollution, littering, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution, water pollution.

Cost of pollution
Pollution has a cost.Manufacturing activities that cause air pollution impose health and clean-up costs on the whole of society, whereas the neighbors of an individual who chooses to fire-proof his home may benefit from a reduced risk of a fire spreading to their own homes. A manufacturing activity that causes air pollution is an example of a negative externality in production. A negative externality in production occurs “when a firm’s production reduces the well-being of others who are not compensated by the firm. For example, if a laundry firm exists near a polluting steel manufacturing firm, there will be increased costs for the laundry firm because of the dirt and smoke produced by the steel manufacturing firm. If external costs exist, such as those created by pollution, the manufacturer will choose to produce more of the product than would be produced if the manufacturer were required to pay all associated environmental costs. Because responsibility or consequence for self-directed action lies partly outside the self, an element of externalization is involved. If there are external benefits, such as in public safety, less of the good may be produced than would be the case if the producer were to receive payment for the external benefits to others. However, goods and services that involve negative externalities in production, such as those that produce pollution, tend to be over-produced and underpriced since the externality is not being priced into the market.

Pollution can also create costs for the firms producing the pollution. Sometimes firms choose, or are forced by regulation, to reduce the amount of pollution that they are producing. The associated costs of doing this are called abatement costs, or marginal abatement costs if measured by each additional unit. In 2005 pollution abatement capital expenditures and operating costs in the US amounted to nearly $27 billion.

Effects - Human health

Overview of main health effects on humans from some common types of pollution.
Adverse air quality can kill many organisms including humans. Ozone pollution can cause respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, throat inflammation, chest pain, and congestion. Water pollution causes approximately 14,000 deaths per day, mostly due to contamination of drinking water by untreated sewage in developing countries. An estimated 500 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, Over ten million people in India fell ill with waterborne illnesses in 2013, and 1,535 people died, most of them children. Nearly 500 million Chinese lack access to safe drinking water. A 2010 analysis estimated that 1.2 million people died prematurely each year in China because of air pollution. The high smog levels China has been facing for a long time can do damage to civilians bodies and generate different diseases The WHO estimated in 2007 that air pollution causes half a million deaths per year in India. Studies have estimated that the number of people killed annually in the United States could be over 50,000.

Oil spills can cause skin irritations and rashes. Noise pollution induces hearing loss, high blood pressure, stress, and sleep disturbance. Mercury has been linked to developmental deficits in children and neurologic symptoms. Older people are majorly exposed to diseases induced by air pollution. Those with heart or lung disorders are at additional risk. Children and infants are also at serious risk. Lead and other heavy metals have been shown to cause neurological problems. Chemical and radioactive substances can cause cancer and as well as birth defects.

An October 2017 study by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that global pollution, specifically toxic air, water, soils and workplaces, kill nine million people annually, which is triple the number of deaths caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined, and 15 times higher than deaths caused by wars and other forms of human violence. The study concluded that "pollution is one of the great existential challenges of the Anthropocene era. Pollution endangers the stability of the Earth’s support systems and threatens the continuing survival of human societies.

Environment Pollution has been found to be present widely in the environment. There are a number of effects of this:

Biomagnification describes situations where toxins (such as heavy metals) may pass through trophic levels, becoming exponentially more concentrated in the process.
Carbon dioxide emissions cause ocean acidification, the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans as CO
2 becomes dissolved.
The emission of greenhouse gases leads to global warming which affects ecosystems in many ways.
Invasive species can out compete native species and reduce biodiversity. Invasive plants can contribute debris and biomolecules (allelopathy) that can alter soil and chemical compositions of an environment, often reducing native species competitiveness.
Nitrogen oxides are removed from the air by rain and fertilise land which can change the species composition of ecosystems.
Smog and haze can reduce the amount of sunlight received by plants to carry out photosynthesis and leads to the production of tropospheric ozone which damages plants.
Soil can become infertile and unsuitable for plants. This will affect other organisms in the food web.
Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides can cause acid rain which lowers the pH value of soil.
Organic pollution of watercourses can deplete oxygen levels and reduce species diversity.
Environmental health information
The Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) at the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) maintains a comprehensive toxicology and environmental health web site that includes access to resources produced by TEHIP and by other government agencies and organizations. This web site includes links to databases, bibliographies, tutorials, and other scientific and consumer-oriented resources. TEHIP also is responsible for the Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) an integrated system of toxicology and environmental health databases that are available free of charge on the web.

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) that is part of TOXNET. TOXMAP uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Basic Research Programs.

My responsibility to protect the environment?
There are a number of ways you can help protect the environment in your everyday life. Some things you can do to reduce waste, conserve energy and prevent pollution include:

Use reusable products or borrow, rent, or share items used infrequently, 
Select products made from recycled materials or designed to be safer for the environment, 
Turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room,
Take public transportation instead of driving,  
Turn your thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer,
Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines at fast-food restaurants or banks. Park your car and go in.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Artificial Precipitation (Rainfall)

Artificial Precipitation (Rainfall)

Artificial Precipitation also known as artificial rainfall and pluviculture, is the act of attempting to artificially induce or increase precipitation. Usually to stave off drought or the wider global warming.

It's a practice of artificially inducing or increasing precipitation through clouds by adding external agents. The foreign particles which are drenched over these clouds can be Dry Ice(solid carbon dioxide), Silver Iodide, Salt powder etc.

Can rain be created artificially?? The answer is Yes!!!
When the water drops in a cloud are too small or there are not enough ice crystals to create rainfall, we can use artificial ways to create ice crystals or help small water drops grow, and thereby facilitate the formation of precipitation. This human influenced weather phenomenon is called artificial rain.

Cloud Seeding

The first experiments with cloud seeding were conducted in 1946 by American chemist and meteorologist Vincent J. Schaefer, and since then seeding has been performed from aircraft, rockets, cannons, and ground generators. Vincent J. Schaefer was a self-taught chemist who invented cloud "seeding" and created the first artificially induced snow and rainfall.

All precipitation develops in clouds, and clouds are formed when water vapor in the atmosphere cools and condenses. As the water vapor condenses into it forms droplets and if the clouds develops within or moved into the part of the atmosphere that is below freezing then the droplets form ice crystals.

For the uninitiated, cloud seeding or weather modification is an artificial way to induce moisture in the clouds so as to cause a rainfall. In this process, either silver iodide or dry ice is dumped onto the clouds by using an aircraft or an artillery gun which leads to a rain shower.

In order for cloud seeding to work, there has to be rain clouds already present. By filling the cloud with silver iodide, they can increase the rainfall by 5 to 30 percent depending on where they clouds are located. ... The concern over silver iodide in our water and air supply is a real one.

The researchers report that in ideal conditions, seeding increased winter precipitation by 5 to 15 percent. A cloud seeding program in the region could cost $27 to $214 per acre-foot of water in a low cost scenario and $53 to $427 per acre-foot in a high-cost scenario.

The Principle of Artificial Precipitation

In the troposphere, the temperature of the atmosphere descends with altitude. Therefore the clouds in the troposphere are lower in temperature as they rise in altitude and vice versa. When the temperature of a cloud is above 0 °C, the cloud is called a warm cloud; when it is below 0 °C it is called a cold cloud. Inside a warm cloud, small water drops will become large ones through collision and coalescence, and will finally break the buoyancy of the cloud and fall out of its bottom to become rainfall to the ground. Likewise, inside a cold cloud, ice crystals can also grow to a size where they can break the buoyancy and fall out of the cloud's bottom, and when they pass through a temperature of 0 °C they will melt and become rain drops, also providing the ground with rain. When the water drops in a cloud are too small or there are not enough ice crystals to create rainfall, we can use artificial ways to create ice crystals or help small water drops grow, and thereby facilitate the formation of precipitation. This human influenced weather phenomenon is called artificial rain. 

There are many ways to make rain in a warm cloud, e.g. spraying water drops, hygroscopic powder or liquid (sodium chloride), etc, and letting the water drops grow though collision and coalescence to finally become rain. There are also many ways to make rain in a cold cloud, but the most common way is to use dry ice or silver iodide. This is mainly because the temperature of dry ice is -78 °C. Spreading dry ice in a cold cloud lacking ice crystals will rapidly reduce its temperature. Therefore we directly transform supercooled water into ice crystals, which will eventually become rain without the help of ice-crystal nuclei. Silver iodide, on the other hand, is a very effective ice-crystal nucleus. By adding it to a cloud, silver iodide acting as an ice-crystal nucleus can facilitate the solidification of water drops below -5 °C into ice crystals. Through the growing process the ice crystals under the coexistence of water drops, the rain will be formed.

Advantages of Artificial Precipitation

Disadvantages of Artificial Precipitation
Health problems and environmental impact ranges from storms like tornadoes, or suppression of the rainRain suppression would cause a very unfortunate impact on agriculture. This would result in several repercussions like lack of vegetation and crop harvest tends to get poorer.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Global Warming

The term Global Warming commonly refers to the mainly human-caused observed increase in global surface temperatures and its projected continuation, though there were also much earlier periods of global warming.

Global warming is projected to have a number of effects on the oceans.
Ongoing effects include rising sea levels due to thermal expansion and melting of glaciers and ice sheets, and warming of the ocean surface, leading to increased temperature stratification.

Ocean acidification threatens damage to coral reefs, fisheries, protected species, and other natural resources of value to society. Without substantial actions to reduce the rate of global warming, land-based ecosystems are at risk of major ecological shifts, transforming composition and structure.

GreenHouseGas (GHG) is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range. Greenhouse gases cause the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.
Carbon dioxide has the maximum potential for Global Warming (GWP) of exactly 1 (since it is the baseline unit to which all other greenhouse gases are compared).

Diseases caused by Global Warming are mosquito-borne diseases are probably the greatest threat to humans as they include malaria, elephantiasis, Rift Valley fever, yellow fever, and dengue fever. Studies are showing higher prevalence of these diseases in areas that have experienced extreme flooding and drought.

Unchecked global warming could affect most terrestrial ecoregions. Increasing global temperature means that ecosystems will change; some species are being forced out of their habitats (possibly to extinction) because of changing conditions, while others are flourishing.

Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy is energy produced from sources that do not deplete or can be replenished within a human's life time. The most common...