Plastic Pouches & Coffee Cups Ready for Recycling

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1: New Resin made out of paper coffee cups Technology

  • Manufactured by  AShortWalk a new resin which is 40% stronger than conventional practice and made out of non-recyclable paper cups
  • Resin can be molded into other products at high speeds
  • Resin aims for a 50:50 ratio of paper to plastic
  • by products such as plastic lids and straws can be added to the mix to create the resin

2. Problem Technology is Solving

  • 7 million single use coffee cups are thrown out each day in the UK alone
  • challenging to recycle because the cup is made out of a paper and plastic mix
  • Cannot be recycled by ordinary paper waste process
  • Most recycling facilities are not equipped to do this

3. Technology Stakeholders

  • AShortWalk
  • Nextek
  • Imperial College London
  • Companies such as Starbucks, Costa, and McDonalds
  • Consumers of to-go hot beverages
  • Simply Cups

4.  Implementing Technology

  • Small scale role out with one of the companies that would be a seller of these hot beverages (i.e. Starbucks)
  • Develop and build a recycling plant that would exclusively focus on this type of product re-purposing (plastic+paper to make resin)
  • Full country role out in the UK with all major companies in the industry
  • Potential for legislation to get involved upon successful implementation of the technology to the mass market

Article: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/packaging/hannah_furlong/trending_flexible_plastic_pouches_coffee_cups_are_ready_recy

 

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Converting Polyethylene into Fuel

plastic

1: New Technology is able to break down polyethylene

  • Researchers found a way to breakdown the bonds of polyethylene (ex: bottles, bags, and films) into useful liquid fuels and waxes
  • New technique is less toxic and less energy-intensive than traditional approaches which can break down the polymers’ chemical bonds
  • Innovative technique uses alkanes to scramble and separate the polymer molecules into other compounds.
  • Substances needed for the technology are byproducts from oil refinement and are readily available and no pre-treatment is required

2. Technology Problem is Solving

  • Large volume of synthetic plastic use in the modern world has led to serious environmental problems
  • Creating a new source of liquid fuel and address the issue of plastic pollution
  • Current method to rework the plastic is to head to over 700 degrees Fahrenheit so implantation of this new approach will be energy saving

3. Technology Stakeholders

  • All consumers of plastic polyethylene products
  • Oil refineries whose by products will be used
  • Treatment facilities who currently break down polyethylene
  • Mother Nature who won’t be so polluted 🙂

4. Implementing Technology

  • Complete full pilot program utilizing the new technique to prove full capability
  • Partner with oil refinery to receive steady supply of by products needed
  • Roll out full scale across the countries and begin to measure energy savings across facilities

Article: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/chemistry_materials/sustainable_brands/chemists_find_new_way_turn_most_common_plastic

Pineapple Leather is Here!

PINEAPPLE-LEATHER

1: Leather Made out of Pineapple Technology

  • Sustainable non-woven textile is derived from pineapple leaves
  • The leather is durable and fully biodegradable
  • Created by company Ananas-Anam
  • Product is low cost compared to genuine leather ($33.90/sq meter vs $36-$56)

2. Problem Technology is Solving

  • This product is a big step towards removing animal textiles from the fashion industry
  • No extra land, water, fertilizers, or chemicals are used in the production process as the natural fibers used are the by product of the pineapple harvest
  • This production of this leather supports the farming community in the Philippines
  • Farmers benefit from the output of natural fertilizer which is the by product of the fiber extraction process.

3. Technology Stakeholders

  • Ananas-Anam
  • Philippine Pineapple Farmers
  • Fashion Industry
  • Vegan and Pro-Animal Organization

4. Implementing Technology

  • Designer Taikkabags has begun using this leather in their products
  • Solicit new designer houses to begin featuring this leather in their portfolio of products to gain moment and popularity to the product
  • Create a partnership with an organization like PETA and Vegan organization who can help highlight the non-animal derived leather to others interested in such products

Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/03/02/pineapple-leather_n_9368654.html

Technology Tracking Shopper Behavior

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1: Bluetooth Movement Tracking Technology

  • Created by Proximus who has developed a way for retailers to anonymously track shopper movement through their store
  • Solution leverages battery-powered tags that transmit signals with Bluetooth energy
  • Technology can provide valuable information such as:
    • where the shopper went
    • where the shopper paused
    • how long the shopper was in the checkout area
    • when the shopper left the store

2. Problem Technology is Solving

  • Leveling the field with online stores who can identify exactly which productions consumers are looking at and tailor advertising to an individual based on that information, whereas brick-and-mortar stores do not have that option
  • Gives the store ability to determine the following:
    • which products are of most interest to shoppers
    • which aisles are over-crowded
    • when is traffic highest vs lowest
    • which aisles experience less traffic than others

3. Technology Stakeholders

  • Proximus, developer of technology; they are working to launch a version of the software that uses shopper cell phones instead of cart data
  • Brick and Mortar Retailers; consumers of technology
  • Shoppers

4. Implementing Technology

  • Trial has been completed with Nisa retailer in Spain
  • Rolling out with multiple Carrefour supermarkets now
  • After successful deployment of current model trials of an newer version can begin where the solution would use a retailers loyalty program that would track individuals via their mobile phones (as long as they opted in)

Article: http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?11991

Power Generating Floors by Pavegen

Pavegen

1: Electricity-Generating Flooring Technology

  • Developed by start-up Pavegen who has released a new version of its power producing paving tile
  • Tile produces 5 watts per step
    •  Can power low voltage off-grid applications (ex: street lights)
  • New tile technology produces 20 times more per step than what was previously offered
  • Weight from people’s footsteps rotates a flywheel underneath the tile which creates energy through electromagnetic induction
  • New triangle shape of the tile ensures no step is wasted and that all energy is harnessed through the technology

2: Problem Power Generating Technology is Solving

  • Gives establishments such a retail the ability to collect real time footfall data to track people’s locations and activity levels
  • Generates excess power to put back into the local community and support low voltage needs

3: Technology Stakeholders

  • Pavegen; inventors and developers of the technology
  • Retailers; partners and consumers of the data
  • Community Members; benefit from the output of the technology as well as contributors to the functionality of it

4: Implementing of Power Generating Floors Technology

  • These tiles have been rolled out to large retailers such as Harrods as well as the Heathrow Airport; total of 100 locations use technology today
  • Concept and benefit has been proven in the UK with the next step to scale globally
  • Technology will be featured in Unilever’s 2016 Foundry which will provide mass exposure of the technology

Article: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/pavegen-tile-power-generation-london

Renewable Materials in Automotive Production

 

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1: Technology utilizing plant-based materials in production of cars

  • Ford was the first car manufacture to use soy-based foam in seat cushions and backs
  • Renewable Materials include:
    • soybeans, cotton, wood, flax, jute, and natural rubber
  • Use of these materials helps to create a new market and additional revenue for of agricultural products
  • Current primary use of renewable’s in the car industry is in soy foam, plant oil applications, and natural-fiber-reinforced plastics

2: Problem Renewable Materials Solve

  • Technology leads to a reduction of:
    • carbon dioxide emissions
    • vehicle weight; leading to fuel efficiency and lower emissions
    • petroleum use
    • energy needed in manufacturing process
    • commodity & production costs
  • Soy foam use at Ford has reduced petroleum use by 15 million pounds
  • Plant-based castor oil reduces scrap in production due to improved flow and reduces production time by 40%
  • Use of Kenaf, a tropical plant, reduces the weight of a Ford Escape door by 25%

3: Plant-Based Vehicle Production Stakeholders

  • Car manufactures; Ford, etc
  • Consumers of vehicles
  • Farmers and other suppliers of the plant material
  • Partnerships for future development with other organizations:
    • Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance
    • Plant PET Technology Collaboration
    • Heinz Company
    • Ohio State University Research Center

4: Implementing Renewable Material Technology

  • Test sustainable bio material for durability, safety, and performance
  • Once tests prove that material is reliable as a “no-compromise” solution then development of mass production capability should be executed
  • Educating the public and cross-sharing the knowledge with other manufactures will help to spread awareness and lead to a behavior change in the automotive industry

Article: https://corporate.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2014-15/environment-products-materials-choosing-renewable.html

Reduction of Energy & Water Use in Ethanol Industry

ethanolplant

1: Membrane Solvent Extraction (MSE) Technology

  • MSE augments distillation and decreases the energy and water usage needed in ethanol production
  • The process uses a porous membrane to separate ethanol from the fermentation broth by using an extraction solvent
  • Through this separation of the water from the pure ethanol at low temperatures the MSE technology reduces the heating and cooling loads and is able to operate using waste energy which is available within the plant
  • In addition to reduced water and energy use another benefit of the technology is accelerating the fermentation and increasing throughput without the need for additional tankage
  • MSE technology is best applied to second generation ethanol production

2: Problem MSE Technology is Solving

  • Ethanol production is an extremely energy intensive process as well as requiring massive amounts of water in the cooling process
  • Ethanol is the leading bio-fuel in the US (13 billion gallons produced in 2010)
  • Four gallons of water are needed for every one gallon of ethanol produced

3: MSE Technology Stakeholders

  • Manufacturers of ethanol
    • corn or next generation (cellulosic)
    • wet-mill and dry-mill fermentation
  • 3M Company & engineering team; developed the MSE technology
  • Local communities who would benefit from reduced water and energy usage in the factory

4: Implementing MSE Technology

  • Lab-scale success has been demonstrated through the use of MSE
  • Development and verification on a pilot scale is in process
  • Proving and developing commercial validation is needed next
  • Analyze and model savings of energy & water through the MSE use in various plant systems once commercial validation is complete
  • Successful roll-out to multiple plants will help to gain public support and interest from potential customers

Article: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/11/f4/adv_water_removal_mse.pdf