1. What is the social or environmental issue being addressed? Waste
CERO Cooperative is simultaneously addressing the problem of landfills receiving organic material, which generates methane and contributes to global warming and the challenge to find green jobs with acceptable wages and working conditions.
2. How is this being addressed?
CERO (Cooperative Energy, Recycling, and Organics) is a commercial composting company providing effective commercial composting services:
Providing food diversion and pickup services for commercial clients
Transporting food scraps to local farms, where they are recycled into nutrient-rich compost products used to support the local agrucilture economy
Helping creating quality jobs for local community members, primarily immigrants and people of color
Prioritizing reasonable reasonable pricing to clients by a more direct and efficient process, saving their customers over $400,000 in trash hauling expenses
CERO Cooperative offers a unique business model in which every employee is also part owner.
Technology Solution: Wasteloop – Fully electric waste management system.
The sanitation trucks work silently and they don’t empty waste directly on site. By doing this, it reduces the energy consumed by 80%
By making the switch to this one stop shop for disposal, it would produce 99 % CO2 emission less emissions
The major plus is it can be profitable, it has low operation cost.
Waste management companies
With the help of the government funding and a private public partnership, there could be select locations in the state for each county with these waste bins available. After Department of Sanitation unloads the waste in one location and after it is filled a sensors would send a message for it to be delivered to the waste loop fully electric waste management system.
EcoPact is sold at a range of low-carbon levels from 30%-100% less carbon emissions compared to the traditional concrete by using a circular business model by using waste from demolition of other projects
Company integrates fine mixed granulate from construction and demolition material as an additive. Concrete mix is currently available in many European and South American countries
Belfast Valley, a Baltimore-based contractor, is using EcoPact on Georgetown university 12 story residence hall building which is the first major construction project in Washington DC. to use the green products
Products formation seem to not be much different than the traditional concrete except when temperatures fall at or below freezing where concrete sets slower than traditional concrete
Contractors and developers
Governments who set sustainability goals
EcoPact to ramp up marketing the product at a larger scale
Work with cement plant where the product is being marketed to make sure supply is available
Cement production attribute to one of the largest GHG emissions globally. Cement production releases 5–6% of all carbon dioxide generated by human activities, accounting for about 4% of global warming. The manufacturing process of cement also causes pollution and can contaminate the water which causes adverse affects to human wellbeing and environmental health concerns.
To address this, there is a push for smart and sustainable construction materials as well as alternative processes for cement manufacturing. Construction companies are looking for efficient manufacturing process and low-carbon sources.
Sustainability Issue: Safety and Health. Currently there is no strong centralized team of IT experts to support State agencies and the public in Connecticut. In addition there is public demand for up-to-date technology especially in schools and hospitals. Technology has become a central need that we have seen especially through the aftermath of COVID-19.
Name of technology solution: Through a press release in March of 2021 Governor Lamont of CT announced a plan to build a new information technology organization within the state government to deliver modern IT solutions to support state agencies and the public.
It is being formed in order to improve cybersecurity, create new professional opportunities for residents, allow the state to use technology and update it sustainably and allow gaps in service quicker so that we can figure out how to provide more advancements in the future within the current infrastructure.
The new IT Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary position will involve that individual to be responsible for an IT Capital Investment program currently at 516 million dollars.
The opportunity aims to have more collaboration on new projects for employees and create a central hub for professional development and the ability to work with many other agencies.
Government agencies, IT professionals supporting this new infrastructure, professionals that will need to manage this hardware, security, networks and storage. Agencies that will need to migrate their systems as a result of this plan, state-based collaboration to serve these enterprise platforms, the residents of Connecticut who will be a part of this change and hopefully benefit as a result of this economic and job growth. The state data center security is a priority.
According to the articles related to this plan – this will be a year long process to build this new iT hub for state agencies. Once this is built the process to centralize will lead to the required collaboration with IT professionals, and the appropriate training to the professionals dedicating their services to work on a common platform that will communicate across State agencies instead of individual agency by agency processes. Third step will involve the training, roll-out and maintenance for this. The funding will also need to be allocated towards where the needs are. I’m also curious to see how this impacts low-income areas in Connecticut and school systems?
Another thing we have to consider is, will this proposal actually make the services for residents and employees more accessible and digital? Will this investment allow for quicker services at places that need it to the most like the DMV or voter registration? How will the follow-up be for this – how will it be measured, and will ordinary residents see the effects of this in their day-to-day lives?
By 2050, it is predicted that 3 billion people will be living within informal settlements and 1 in 3 people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water . An informal settlement is housing that falls outside of government control or regulation. These communities are excluded from regular access to the benefits of urban development, including public services, infrastructure, public spaces and collective facilities. It’s clear that providing safe water for all is one of the most pressing problems in public health.
Designer Henry Glogau developed a no-cost lighting solution for homes in shantytowns – a skylight dubbed ‘Solar Desalination Skylight’ that provides free lighting and drinkable water.
The Solar Desalination Skylight works by evaporating seawater using heat from the sun. During the day, seawater trickles through a pipe into the bowl-shaped skylight. The salt and pollutants are removed and clean drinking water is extracting via a tap at the Skylight base.
At night, the remaining brine left over from the purification process generates an electrical charge to power a dim light.
As well as the functional performance, the desalinated water adds a morphing dappled effect that changes mood throughout the day, creating a soft ambiance for the living room space where family activities take place.
Waste: Ocean waste is an ever-worsening problem, and since many plastic wastes do not decompose, we need to extract the trash in order to effectively mitigate the solution. This has to happen in parallel with waste reduction efforts in order to holistically address the pollution of our oceans.
2) Technology Solution
This solution can collect 3 tons of waste per hour, and is primarily self sufficient by using wind and solar energy. They believe that “400 vessels could eventually remove 33% of the world’s ocean plastic pollution”. While crew members sort the waste on board and much of it is retained to later discard, certain plastics are also ground down and incinerated to be used as a fuel for the ship – removing waste and powering the vessel for ongoing waste removal.
A number of stakeholders will need to be engaged to drive this project forward:
Engineering and investment stakeholders
In order to roll out the program to convert urban orange waste into electricity one would need to:
Conduct research to understand the highest concentrations of waste
Work with engineering, investors, etc. to develop a working model of the boat
Coordinate with Coast Guard to arrange tests and operations and ensure they feel the endeavor is safe
Traffic is certainly a widespread issues that is not specific to any particular location, however many regions are worse off than others when it comes to delays on roadways. Traffic causes frustration and stress, increased emissions from vehicles, and wasted time and energy (perhaps the precursor to frustration and stress). I would considers these issues of civic engagement (possibly?) and health + safety.
The town of Peachtree Corners, which is a suburb about 20 miles outside of Atlanta, has what they call a “Curiousity Lab” where they develop and implement smart-city-living measures, seems pretty cool and unique!
Through this Curiosity Lab, the town has partnered with Qualcomm and infrastructure firm Jacobs and are in the process of implementing Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2xE) technology on some of the town’s vehicle fleet and their roadways.
This technology sets out to dramatically improve road safety and roadway congestion. This is accomplished by altering traffic light patterns based upon real-time demand and congestion levels. Another cool feature is that it can alter traffic signals to help first responders move more quickly to emergencies.
Ford has made commitments to the effort by deploying C-V2X tech in ALL of its vehicles starting in 2022!
Article Title: Atlanta suburb deploys new tech to tame traffic
City/State/Federal Legislators to help further integrate this technology
4. I mentioned that city/state/federal legislators are stakeholders that will need to use or will be impacted by this technology. to that end, being that this is such a far reaching technology, I think that the first step would be to engage lawmakers to start encouraging and/or subsidizing the plan.
As the involved organizations presented in this article have done, the second step would be testing this technology at a small scale in private applications because there are some certain dangers involved if things don’t work perfectly in a public setting.
Thirdly, this technology would need to be beta tested also at small scale in “the real world” to ensure that there is a seamless transition from private lab testing to public testing.
1) Sustainability Problem: Health and Safety (Radiation)
Rocket engines powered by mainstream hydrocarbon propellants release black carbon into the stratosphere, which is the second layer of the atmosphere. Because the particles are literally black, they absorb light and warm the stratosphere. These warmer temperatures accelerate the chemical reactions that deplete ozone, which we know protects us from harmful radiation. While total black carbon emissions from global space activity are not yet at high enough levels to have a significant impact, the global launch rate is experiencing a surge and is expected to continue increasing. Without any preventative or mitigative measures, the ozone depletion and corresponding radiation from aerospace activity could cause serious adverse effects for the human population.
Hydrogen fuel is readily available and can be produced efficiently. (WHA International)
Hydrogen fuel burns cleanly and has the potential to have a 100% clean energy cycle if it is produced using renewable energy sources. (WHA International)
Hydrogen-based rocket fuel has no black carbon emissions and performs better as a propellant than other hydrocarbon fuels. However, it is more difficult to work with than other propellants because of its sensitivity. It is also low density, requiring a larger tank and more weight which is disadvantageous when trying to get the rocket off the ground. Finally, it requires much cooler storing temperatures. (Source: Martin Ross [my manager at The Aerospace Corporation, personal interview).
3) Organizational Stakeholders
Transitioning the aerospace industry to hydrogen fuel from hydrocarbon propellants will require research, acceptance and support, and changes in infrastructure. This means that the following stakeholders will be involved:
Aerospace engineers to adjust the actual rocket engines to use hydrogen propellant
Climate and atmospheric scientists to continue monitoring and researching the effects of rocket engine emissions on the stratosphere and other layers of the atmosphere not so well understood
Communication experts to translate the science to policy makers and make them understand the urgency of the situation
Policy makers so that policies can be implemented to make the transition
Aviation experts that have used hydrogen fuel to make connections between airplanes and rockets and this specific use case
4) Implementation Steps
As mentioned in the stakeholder section, making this transition will require lots more research as well as communication and changes in infrastructure, not to mention significant costs. Therefore, the following steps should be implemented:
Teams should be created to combine experts in aerospace, climate/atmosphere science, aviation, and policy. All perspectives should be accounted for and professionals from various fields should work together to implement the hydrogen technology to ensure that adverse effects in other areas are not being created.
Before implementing changes in infrastructure to accommodate hydrogen fuels only, research should be completed on other clean fuels to determine if there are even more ideal options. While hydrogen seems like a good fuel to use, there is always a need to continue searching for even better ones.
Financial modeling should be performed to determine how much it would cost to make the infrastructure and rocket engine modifications to accommodate hydrogen fuel.
Fertilizer runoff from agriculture is a major contributor to the eutrophication (essentially creating too many nutrients) of waterways and the oceans. This creates algal blooms which choke out other plant life and then die, and when they are decomposing the decomposers use up all of the available oxygen in the water creating hypoxic or even anoxic conditions, killing any aquatic life nearby. Huge “dead zones” have been created just beyond the mouth of the Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico, and many other areas worldwide.
Technology: Non-toxic stabilizer “N-Protect”
When fertilizer is applied, bacteria will often use up part of it in a process called “Volitalization” which creates ammonia gas and causes the available nitrogen in the fertilizer to not reach the roots of the intended plants. Because of this, excess fertilizer is used to get enough to the plants, and/or toxic stabilizers are used to make the nitrogen accessible to the plants but not the bacteria.
Solvay has come up with an alternative to this with their “N-Protect” product. This is a stabilizer which is non-toxic, and does not have the foul odor that conventional stabilizers have. It also has a higher efficacy than conventional stabilizers, at 50% instead of 30%. This means that less fertilizer has to be applied, and that more is taken up by the intended plants. Both mean less runoff into waterways and less volitalization into ammonia which then gets captured in the water cycle in clouds and rain, also ending up in rivers and oceans.
-Fertilizer supply industry
-Coastal and River-adjacent communities near ‘dead zones’
Implement wider usage of the product
Test rivers and ocean areas near applications to determine level of effectiveness at reducing eutrophication
Consider legislation requiring a higher level of volitization reduction in fertilizers