Problem: Carbon emissions
People love to eat shrimp, but some estimates place their carbon impact as higher than even beef, mostly due to the destruction of natural habitats near shrimp farms.
Technology: Algae Shrimp
New Wave Foods has developed a highly realistic synthetic shrimp that is made out of algae, which is ubiquitous and solidly occupies a bottom rung on the food chain.
Algae needs only sunlight, water and CO2 to grow. In contrast shrimp are fed wild-caught fish. Producing 1 pound of shrimp is estimated to use up three pounds of fish.
Algae uses CO2 to perform photosynthesis, serving to convert carbon into useable, sequestered energy (food calories).
Scientists analyzed and mimicked the molecular structure of shrimp flesh in order to create a realistic substitute out of red algae.
The shrimp industry globally utilizes a lot of slave labor, particularly for removing the shells and appendages. Algae shrimp does not require anything preening, which could eliminate the worst labor practices.
Early adopters including Google’s cafeteria
New Wave Foods
Steps to implementation:
1) Run pilot at Google cafeteria.
2) Perform sustainability analysis of algae farms and production plants.
3) Develop campaign to fight misconceptions of algae as food.
The trucking industry is composed of small, disparate actors who require brokers to organize shipment routes. This inefficient system often leaves trucks returning to their home bases empty, which is a waste of gas and contributes unnecessarily to congestion, accidents and carbon emissions.
Several companies have developed Uber-like apps that send pings to a nearby trucker about a shipment.
Like Uber, the trucker can either accept or reject the pick-up.
Whereas currently a broker is required to make hundreds of calls to arrange a shipment, the app uses algorithms applied on big data to understand and respond to shipping trends.
Ensuring trucks are always full decreases the total number of trucks on the road, which reduces carbon emissions, traffic congestion and accidents.
The 3 main companies developing apps.
Major shippers (Amazon, Walmart).
Steps to implementation:
1. Expand mobile platforms to span the entire country.
2. Engage more trucking companies and their customers to use the apps.
3. Analyze impacts of apps on trucking routes, congestion, carbon emissions, cost etc.
Individuals require vastly different amounts of water each day depending on their age, activity level, size and other factors such as pregnancy/medical conditions. This makes providing accurate recommendations to individuals difficult.
2. Pryme Vessyl Vessyl smart cups link biological data (age, weight, height, etc.) with data generated by fitness trackers to determine how much water a person should drink and when.
– The cup is outfitted with sensors that detect how much you’re drinking.
– If you aren’t drinking enough water, the cup will ping you.
– This solution may prove especially useful for athletes, pregnant/nursing women and others who require more hydration than the average person.
– Athletes/athletic organizations
– The medical community
– Pryme (the manufacturers of Vessyl)
– Target advertising of the device towards athletic societies, organizations and teams.
– Perform research on hydration needs associated with certain medical conditions.
– Develop compatibility with FitBit (currently only available for Apple Health and Jawbone)
Carbon-based fuels produce climate change-inducing greenhouse gases and are in limited supply. Renewables like solar, wind and geothermal energy are more difficult to store for use in the future or in a different location from the collection site. Batteries can be used to store energy, but they are expensive and inefficient.
2) The Bionic Leaf 2.0 –
“Bionic Leaf 2.0.” is a highly efficient artificial leaf that turns solar energy into liquid fuel.
The leaf performs a more efficient version of photosynthesis, capturing 10 times more solar energy than plants do.
Bionic leaves split water into its constituent parts – oxygen and hydrogen. Then microbes digest the hydrogen, which converts carbon dioxide from the air into liquid fuel (see diagram above).
Researchers developing and perfecting the bionic leaf
Prototype models that are integrated into existing systems (car engines, generators)
Perform a greenhouse gas assessment of the prototypes
Identify and address barriers to scaling up the technology
Fog collection is an ancient practice, but recent advances in materials science can make fog collection more efficient for use in densely populated areas.
San Francisco is surrounded by seawater, but does not have much fresh water. However, it experiences fog clouds that derive from evaporated seawater that blows inland from the Pacific Ocean.
Unlike existing desalination methods, no energy is required to collect fog, as it takes advantage of the sun’s energy to desalinate the water. Fog collection methods are affordable and require little maintenance. They are easy to install on both small and large scales.
Innovators at M.I.T. have optimized the material characteristics and mesh-size of fog-catching nets to produce more water in a smaller space, and reduce evaporation off the nets back into the air. These new methods can extract up to 10% of the water in fog and triple the collection capabilities of existing methods.
City Water Authority
Property owners and developers
Steps to deploy the technology:
Step 1: Identify areas that receive the most fog and relevant building codes.
Step 2: Identify pilot partners to install roof top fog collectors and MIT researchers and patent holders willing to pilot their designs and integrate them into a water system. Partnerships may be made with those who have or are looking to build green roofs, as water can be collected and distributed on the roof without creating new piping systems.
Step 3: Launch pilot with willing partners and optimal locations identified in Steps 1 and 2.