Light-manipulating algae could boost solar power technology



Sustainability Problem: Energy

Sustainability Technology:

A study done by a research team from Yale, Princeton, and Lincoln University have discovered that diatoms, single-celled alga with silica walls, can be used to boost the efficiency of solar cells.

The single-celled organism can be found easily in nature, thus making it inexpensive to acquire.

This system is cost-effective by replacing the conventional solar cells.

The diatoms are placed in an organic solar cells’ active layer,



Scientists/ researchers/ engineers

Solar Panel Companies

Deployment of the technology:

1. Finalize the thickness of algae to place in the solar cells’ active layer

2. Research opportunities for using different types of algae

3. Reach out to solar panel companies





Energy Generating Walkway: No Footstep Wasted

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Sustainability Problem: Energy

Sustainability Technology:

Pavegen technology was founded in 2009 in order to build sustainable environments. It aims to connect people with clean energy and also to bring awareness about changing behaviors.

It is a multifunctional custom flooring system. The tiles are sensitive to the weight of the people and as people step on them it causes ‘electromagnetic induction generators to vertically displace, which results in a rotatory motion that generates off-grid electricity’.

This technology turns kinetic energy into renewable electricity. As people walk on the path, they light their way (one footstep is enough to light an LED lightbulb for 20 seconds).


City planners


Brands and agencies


Deployment of the technology:

1. Continue working on scaling up the technology

2. Initiate integrating the technology worldwide to cities where streets are most occupied by pedestrians



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The Internet of Soil

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The Internet of Soil- CropX

Sustainability Problem: Energy and water

Agriculture requires a lot of fresh water, and with increasing droughts and decreasing rainfall, it is important to look into making the irrigation system efficient.


  • The technology is called CropX, a startup in Israel, which develops cloud-based software solutions with wireless sensors
  • CropX helps boost crop yield while focusing on saving water and energy
  • It measures the soil moisture, temperature, and electrical conductivity and then sends the information to the cloud where it can be accessed on a mobile device
  • The technology helps to evenly distribute water to each plant instead of watering a whole field at a time
  • CropX is affordable, simple to install and reliable


  • Farmers
  • Governments
  • Farming Organizations


Expand the availability of the technology to farmers in who are affected by the increasing droughts and drop in rainfall 

Get more funding to advance CropX



Swallowable Sensors- Smart Pills

Smart Pill

Sustainability Problem— The Smart Pill technology will help with saving energy from utilizing radiation machines required to detect digestive system diseases, as well as reduce waste.


  1. This technology was invented by a Buffalo, NY based company called Smart Pill
  2. The smart pill is a wireless device that will be utilized to monitor the human body about digestive system diseases, especially gastroparesis ( 20% of Americans face this problem)

a. The pill is ingested by the patient

b. Gathers information as it passes through the digestive system

c. Transmits the collected data to a receiver, which later goes to the doctor for evaluation


  1. Patients with digestive system diseases
  2. Hospitals
  3. Governments


  1. Further research for accuracy of the smart pill
  2. Public awareness programs for acceptance of the technology
  3. Furthermore, extend the use of ‘smart pill’ for detecting other diseases


Smog Free Tower

Smog Free Tower


Sustainability Problem— Air Pollution

Air pollution in cities is becoming a major problem. Each year more than 3 million people die prematurely due to reason.

Sustainability Technology

– Daan Roosegaarde is a Dutch innovator who built a seven-meter high Smog Free Tower in Rotterdam.

– The Smog Free Tower is like a ‘smog vacuum cleaner’. It uses ion technology to produce fresh air in public spaces.

– The positive ionization technology cleans 30.000 m3 per hour. The technology uses wind energy to do the conversion.

– The pilot study has shown that the technology has cleaned the outdoor air by 60%.


  1. Governments
  2. Engineers (Clean Tech)
  3. NGOs

The First Three Steps

  1. Continue pilot studies in cities where air pollution is an issue
  2. Work with engineers in order to scale up the technology
  3. Incorporate the technology to other things, such a bicycles


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Nano Ganesh: Controlling your irrigation pump through your mobile device

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Sustainability Problem: Water

Due to the constant changes in elements that affect the agriculture sector such as, changes in precipitation, drought, and electricity breakouts, any alteration adds an extra burden on small-scale farmers.


– Nano Ganesh technology was developed by Ossian Agro Automation. A company that focuses on developing automation system technology in rural areas to save electricity, water, time and labor in the agriculture sector.

– The Nano Ganesh technology helps small-scale farmers navigate their water pumps from their mobile devices.

– This tool helps the farmer to track the availability of electricity and the availability of water

– It is a low-cost device that is available for the use of any farmer





Pump Industry


1. Identify who would benefit from the technology

2. Educate the users about Nano Ganesh

3. Encourage the government to invest in the technology to make it safer and expand the use


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Harvesting energy through Nanogenerators


Sustainability Problem: Energy

Approximately 10% of the fuel is lost during friction between tires and the ground

Technology: Nanogenerators

In order to address the problem, a professor at UW-Madison, Pudong Wang, created a technology that collects and reuses the energy lost during friction. He first tested this technology on a toy car to see if through friction the toy car would power LEDs. He concluded that it is possible to regain the energy that is lost during driving.

  • A new nanogenerator (single-electrode turboelectric nanogenerator (S-TENG)) to improve fuel efficiency, to regain what is lost
    • application of electrodes on the tires, and when this comes in contact with the ground, it produces an electrical charge
  • The energy harnessed is directly related to the weight and speed of the car, thus the energy saved by a car will differ
  • This can make current fuel-run car models more efficient, as well as help, improve electric vehicle batteries



  • Automobile manufacturers who want to improve fuel efficiency and improve mileage on electric vehicles
  • Tire companies
  • Consumers
  • Investors

How to deploy this technology:

  • Carry out additional trials, this time with actual cars
  • Work with engineers and tire companies to redesign and incorporate the technology
  • Determine the vehicle manufacturers that are interested in implementing the tires that include the S-TENG technology


Content Thread


  • Sustainability Problem: 80 billion clothes are produced each year and they are poorly recycled. Due to the unknown content of the materials used in making those textiles, the rate of recycling is very low. 

  • Sustainability Technology: Content Thread: Facilitating recycling of clothes

    – The winners of the Global Change Award (2017) created a digital thread to facilitate the sorting and recycling of clothes

    – The digital thread has a radio frequency identification technology (RFID), which is a system that uses electromagnetic fields to store information about the thread. This technology helps to give the thread a new life, by making sorting and recycling easier

    – The thread stores all the content information required to recycle the clothing

    – This technology will help reduce waste throughout the supply chain and let the material be recycled properly so it can be reused

  • Stakeholders: 
    • Waste Management Facilities
    • All Consumers
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Apparel Retailers
    • Apparel Manufacturers
    • Government
  • Technology Implementation:
    • Target fast fashion apparel companies who are trying to reduce waste by helping them meet long-term sustainability goals

    • Educating/training the waste management facilities about the technology

    • Encourage the government to take lead in developing infrastructure necessary for this technology


Nayak, R., Singh, A., Padhye, R. et al. Fashion and Textiles (2015) 2: 9.

By Melissa Kaslowski (MK3263)