Plastic Bottle Concrete

1) Sustainability problem: Pollution

2)

  • MIT students have discovered a way to produce concrete that is close to 20% stronger than traditional concrete by incorporating used plastic bottles. The bottles are pulverized and then added into the concrete.
  • Concrete is the most used material for construction and by incorporating bottles into them, waste going to landfills and the pollution that causes will decrease. Furthermore, buildings will become stronger and may last longer.
  • This technology also uses less cement to actually construct the concrete, which in turn leads to fewer carbon dioxide emissions.

3)

Stakeholders:

  • Concrete manufacturers
  • Building contractors
  • Landfills

4)

Implementation:

  1. Make concrete manufacturers gain access to plastic bottle pulverization machines.
  2. Educate the manufacturers on how to create this.
  3. Incentivize contractors to use this new concrete in their new building projects.

 

Article reference: https://inhabitat.com/mit-students-develop-method-to-reinforce-concrete-using-plastic-bottles/

5)

My comment on another article https://makeasmartcity.com/2017/11/02/virtual-reality-could-help-us-reduce-traveling-needs/:

“VR is an exciting and interesting new technology with a lot of potential. One great option is to use VR to host and attend business meetings around the world. This will actually also be an environmentally friendly way of doing so, as the people attending the meeting won’t be required to travel far to go to the meeting. A large portion of today’s airplane traffic is due to business travelers attending one or two meetings in another city or country. If these meetings could be taken from the office instead, a lot of carbon emissions will be spared. In addition, busy businessmen and -women wouldn’t need to leave their families for an extended period of time several times a month, they could just attend the meeting during a normal day at the office.”

UNI: ms5584

AI and the Future of Waste Management

Sustainability Problem: Waste

The EPA estimated that Americans produced more than 254 million tons of waste in just 2013 alone.  Our current solutions in tackling this problem have been lackluster to say the least.  We either dump this waste into our 2000 active landfills, ship it to China, or the best option thus far…we recycle.  While recycling is a huge player in curbing landfill waste (87 million tons diverted in 2013), it’s important to note that it is a business.  If operating costs are too high for waste management companies, then the financial incentive to keep running these facilities drops, putting us right back to our dirty, rotten, methane producing square one.

Sustainability Technology: Artificial Intelligence Waste Sorter (ZenRobotics)

The only way to increase efficiency within the recycling facilities is to take advantage of smart technology, which means we need robots.  And not just any old robots, but ones that utilize artificial intelligence to sort through the variety of waste we produce.

The ZenRobotics Recycler is the world’s first AI powered robotics waste sorting system.  The beauty of this technology is that it’s faster, more flexible, and thus cost-efficient.  The machine has two arms (more can be added) and can pick up 4,000 pieces of waste per hour.  It works around the clock and provides 98% accuracy in sorting which makes it more reliable than its human colleague.

It can accomplish such a gargantuan task thanks to accurate sensors and smart software.  These two characteristics bring tremendous flexibility to the machine, allowing it to sort through various shapes/size, metals, different types of woods/minerals, plastics, and cardboard.  Additionally, it can be trained to identify new types of waste which is a huge plus especially when the market demand for certain materials is high.

Expenses are mitigated since the machine requires less energy, low levels of pre-processing, and little maintenance to function.  Labor, incineration, and landfill costs also drop, allowing the company to earn more profits which can be funneled into additional effective/efficient investments.  It also comes with measuring and monitoring capabilities which give companies the ability control and optimize their production.  Finally, since this innovation is scalable, it’s possible to install the machine closer to the source, reducing transportation time and costs.

Another plus is that due to its single-stream process, city residents will no longer need to pre-sort their recyclables and cities will be able to handle the commingled trash in an easier fashion.  It’s likely that recycling participation rates will go up if less efforts are required by city residents.

“These Maps Show How Many Landfills There Are In The U.S.” Fast Company, 8/19/2016, https://www.fastcompany.com/3062853/these-maps-show-how-much-of-the-us-is-covered-in-landfills
“Municipal Solid Waste” EPA, 3/29/2016 –https://archive.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/web/html/
 Zenrobotics – Company website  – https://zenrobotics.com/

 Stakeholders:

  • Waste management facilities looking for cost-effective solutions
  • Cities that want to meet their eco-goals and reduce waste disposal costs
  • Large companies striving to have zero-waste production facilities
  • Consumers who want to decrease their environmental footprint

Technology Implementation & Distribution:

Bring awareness and demonstrate the technology to potential waste management companies by leveraging real use cases of ZenRobotics from around the world (Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, US).

Engage with civic officials to showcase the potential for this innovation and provide a cost-benefit analysis to depict not only the environmental advantages but also the financial benefits for their city.

Ensure that the company can meet implementation demands in a seamless fashion and keep up communication with clients so feedback is received in a timely manner, allowing for software/hardware adjustments to be made fairly quickly.

Comment on the Extinguish Fire with Low Frequency Sound Waves blog:

What a great idea!  This technology can also be used by homeowners/renters to fight small house fires before they become very destructive/uncontrollable.  Financial losses will be significantly mitigated as fires can be constrained fairly quickly.  Water damage/ water use will also decrease since the resource will no longer be the only option to combat fires.  Should this innovation prove its worth and can be successfully commercialized, there are a plethora of benefits to many different stakeholders apart from the obvious ones.

100% Leaf Plates

Sustainability Problem:

Plastic waste is a problem, because it takes hundred of thousands of years to degrade.

Technology:

Bowl is made out of a layer of leaves, a layer of water-proof leaf-made paper, and another layer of leaves. These layers are compressed with a machine press and the leaves are stitched together with palm fibers

Stakeholders:

  • Citizens of the world
  • Waste Management Facilities
  • Governments

Steps to Deployment:

  • Continue gathering support on Kickstarter
  • Advertise on Social Media

 

 

Two Entrepreneurs Turn Waste Into A Business

source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2016/07/28/two-entrepreneurs-turn-waste-into-a-business/#3f7e25ea107c

Sustainability Problem

Growing cotton is water intensive process and growing appetite for consumption with fashion leads sustainability problems or we should focus on recycling and efficiency. We should start focusing on sustainable fashion which these two entrepreneurs do. Besides it seems as good as new! 🙂

Technology Article Summary

They focused on large scale factories which usually trashes %10-%15 and they break down that fabric to fibers once again. By doing so they eliminated wasteful step in manufacturing clothes which is dying, as the textile had already been dyed. They claim that this can save 2700 liters of water which would be likely contaminated with chemical as not all of the dyers are not non-toxic and consequently that waste water mixes with local water sources such as Tirupur River

Pesola says that 95 percent of textile fibers can be recycled, “Not only can it be recycled,” he explains “but it’s actually cheaper, if we work in volume, because we don’t have to go through the dying process.” The aim of the new unit in India is mass production from recycled materials. Besides by repurposing material and sewing it in proximity, it will lower the carbon footprint, cost and make it easier to manage.

Stakeholders

Consumers, Humankind in general

Deployment

Its Already, has developed an annual turnover of 1 million euros.  “The first two years has been more about R&D and setting up the production unit,” Bengs indicates.  But now with the plant scheduled to be complete by 2017, they focused on pushing sales  with a team of 10 in Helsinki, 5 in Mumbai, and 200 in Tamil Nadu.

I think it could be evolved movement of awareness in fashion after Toms Shoes. It definitely needs celebrity attention in USA tho. 🙂

source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/eshachhabra/2016/07/28/two-entrepreneurs-turn-waste-into-a-business/#3f7e25ea107c

Denim Made out of Ocean Plastic

Bionic_Yarn_Pharrell_G_Star_Raw_For_The_Oceans_Denim_Recycle_Plastic_Sustainable_Principles_CFADC_Superego_Clothiers_3_grande

Problem: Plastics in the Oceans

Today, the Earth’s oceans are littered with millions of tons of plastic, wreaking havoc on animal and plant life in the water. This does not only affect the wildlife, but humans who rely on them for food and or business

Technology: “How a Pair of Jeans Could Save our Planet’s Plastic-Choked Oceans” by Issie Lapowsky

New York City-based startup, Bionic Yarn, has created a way to make fabric from recycled ocean plastic and turn it into denim products. The products are woven with some nine tons of ocean plastic inside. One of the company’s yarns is FLX, which is is made completely of recovered plastic. Their patented technology heats and spins together dozens of RPET strands to make new and improved yarn

Stakeholders:

Bionic Yarn tech engineers/designers

Technological partners

Design Collaborators

Fashion designers

Clothing retailers

Customers

Implementation:

In order to implement this technology on a large-scale, a number of investors need to be introduced

Fashion designers must begin to use the technology to introduce the innovation to the public and encourage its usage down the supply chain i.e. factories and low-end designers/retailers.  For example, Bionic Yarn has partnered with celebrity/designer, Pharrell Williams, who uses it in his G-Star Raw collections

The company should start a campaign marketing the technology to high-end textile suppliers, proving that this material can be recycled and high quality

Sources:

http://www.wired.com/2014/08/bionic-yarns/

http://www.bionicyarn.com/

https://www.g-star.com/en_us

 

 

 

Recycled Shower Water

shower-of-the-future-pic-3-970x647-c

  1. Sustainability Problem: Excessive Household Water Use in Water Scarcity Regions
    1. Water used in showers can be up to 17% of household water use.  More water is dispensed by the shower than is needed to get clean and the water is then removed as waste through the sewage system.  The status quo leads to a) depletion of water in water scarce regions, 2) expensive water and heating costs (to heat the water) for the property owner and 3) waste water can contribute to overloaded sewage systems.
  2. Solution: OrbSys Showers
    1. OrbSys showers recycle the water used during each shower, at the end of the shower, the water from that session is discarded as regular wastewater.
    2. By recycling water in the shower, only 25% of water used during a typical shower will be consumed.
    3. Further, the cost to heat the water will be lower because the recycled water retains its heat and we don’t need to heat the 75% of the typical wastewater that is saved by the new system.
  3. Stakeholders
    1. Regional governments in water scarce regions
    2. Homeowners (although they will become more important stakeholders when the price comes down and the pricing model makes sense for less frequently used showers.  Currently price is probably around $5000.)
    3. Institutional customers that have a high volume of shower use: Spas, hotels, pools, schools, gyms, prisons, colleges, etc
  4. First Three Steps
    1. Market the benefits and business case (annual water and energy costs savings) to institutional users
    2. Invest in R&D to figure out how to lower per unit cost/price to enter the residential homeowner market.
    3. Align product with various govt grant programs for energy saving devices and provide this info to consumers (so that they can purchase the product subsidized if possible).

 

 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelkanellos/2015/10/12/the-tesla-of-showers/#765cd2545270