Sensors to measure and monitor water quality in real time

Technology:

Sensors made from gallium nitride can be placed in any body of water to deliver real-time, continuous monitoring of water quality.

Article: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/super-sensors-could-monitor-water-quality-around-world-real-time.html

and  http://www.sciencewa.net.au/topics/technology-a-innovation/item/4277-environmental-monitoring-to-surge-via-potential-super-sensors#k2Container

Sustainability challenge:

While tackling water problems around the world, it is very hard to get the right data at the right time to help speed up the decision making process to manage the water problems. Getting access to real time water data can help make better watershed management, water pollution and water supply decisions. Having data about the entire water system, rather than about specific points along the system, will also help tackle the water problem immediately.

Collecting the data regarding the water is currently a long and cumbersome process: You first physically collect the sample of water along certain specific points. You then take this to the laboratory and test the small sample for specific contaminants. This process only helps prove a hypothesis, it doesn’t throw light on the current situation without any assumptions.

Getting real time access to water quality data can be effective in any and all countries alike. Important steps can be taken by the authorities like the EPA, Water Corporation and Department of Water

Stakeholders:

  • Governments and Water (utility) departments
  • Researchers
  • Universities
  • Private companies working in sustainability and water management
  • Communities around critical water sources

Process of implementation:

The process needs to be customized for each water body in each region/country. An overall process flow that is necessary involves: Partnership with the government or respective utility department -> Invest in buying the sensors -> Deploy the sensors along the entire water system -> Track and monitor the data -> Use data to make relevant water system decisions

Some examples where I think this would be very relevant:

  1. Polluted water systems clean-up efforts: Like the Gowanus Canal or the Ganga river

Development around crucial water systems: Like the Ala Wai Canal in Hawaii or that entire watershed

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Soil-Free Farming Grows Vegetables in the Desert

  1. Technology (http://www.livescience.com/42835-soil-free-farming-grows-vegetables-in-the-desert.html)

Agricel is a Dubai-based venture which hopes to expand film farming technology across the U.A.E where water scarcity is a central problem. With the film farming system, plants are grown on a hydromembrane invented by Professor Dr Yuichi Mori of Waseda University in Japan which is made up of water-soluble polymer and hydrogel. Each internal cell within the film adsorbs and holds water and plant nutrients, preventing evaporation and surface loss.

The soil-free technology allows users to reap several benefits. Using Agricel’s technology, farms require 90% less water than traditional methods, while also using 80% less chemicals and producing 50% higher yields. The incidence of diseases by pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc.) is also fully controlled even without chemicals, because the pathogens cannot penetrate the hydromembrane. The growing method causes the plants to increase their sugar production and amino acids in order to absorb the water. The byproduct of this is produce that is sweeter and more vitamin rich.

water2bsaving2bfilm

  1. Sustainability Problem

Agricel seeks to ease the daunting task of feeding future generations in an increasingly uncertain climate and world. By promoting film farming and the use of hydrophillic boosters, they have focused their efforts on more efficient water use and fighting world hunger.

This technology reduces the amount of water and fertilizer needed in plants which means crops can be grown in water scarce regions or regions with poor quality soil. The film is versatile and can be placed on nearly any surface such as concrete, bricks or even sand and greenhouse, and in nearly any climate. Hydrogel can be mixed into the local sandy soil, boosting water retention and nutrient distribution.

  1. Stakeholders
  • Agriculture industry
  • Urban and traditional farmers
  • Material researchers
  1. Implementation Process

Launched in 2010, the Agricel network is primarily based in Japan but has since extended to China, Pakistan, Nigeria, the U.A.E, U.K. and Australia. The range of test pilots with successful results allow them to prove the technology’s adaptability.

They are now focusing on partnering with organizations which do not necessarily have the farming technologies or experience but have powerful distribution networks, negotiation capabilities and confidence in the technology to provide safe, reliable and highly nutritive produce. This will allow the technology to be implemented on a larger scale, leveraging partners’ existing network and Agricel’s technical expertise.

Despite the many benefits of film farming, the foremost barrier to implementation is the high cost. The hydrogel film is sold at around $2,000/ acre with a professional installation of about $2 million. However the company suggests that the initial investment will be returned between 18-24 months due to the low operational costs of the farm, in addition to the increased yield and improved quality of the produce.

For their next steps, the company hopes with their expanding scope and scale of technology implementation that continuous R&D could lead to the application of film farming in industrial production.

why-film-farming

 

Sources:

Agricel, Why Film Farming: http://www.agricel.co/why-film-farming.html

Appropedia, Film Farming: http://www.appropedia.org/Film_Farming

Hydrate Life, Water Saving Technologies: Film Farming: http://www.hydratelife.org/?p=360

Your Culinary World, Amazing New Farming Technique Could Make Food Available Almost Everywhere for Everyone: http://www.yourculinaryworld.com/leading-stories/2012/4/10/amazing-new-farming-technique-could-make-food-available-almo.html

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

Pure Lives Water Filtration System

  • Kid-Wearing-Purelives.pngSustainability problem
    • Clean water is a scarce or unaffordable resource for people in developing countries.  Further, natural disasters or man-made crises such as war place millions of people in new refugee camps that lack infrastructure to provide water to all of the residents.
  • Technology and how it connects to problem
    • Purelives is a 5 gallon water filtration and transportation system allowing it to be used at home or at a water source and carried back to the home.
    • The filter can work with any fresh water source (wells, rivers, etc) and removes 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, heavy metal and other contaminants
    • Filter lasts for 3000-5000 gallons and stops allowing water through when it needs to be changed so there is no risk of using filters that are no longer appropriately cleaning water.
  • Stakeholders
    • NGOs, especially disaster relief
    • Residents of developing countries with poor water sources
    • Workers in fields away from water sources
    • Campers
  • Implementation steps
    • Rebrand the company and product.  “Portapure” reminds readers of sanitation (portapotties) and Pure Life is a name for a number of  organizations (some religious) that focuses on sexual issues.
    • Partner with NGOs to pilot the usage and understand real world challenges for using the system- how do you supply replacement filters, etc?
    • Develop a pricing model that can meet low income people in developing countries, for example, microfinance leveraging community peer groups to ensure repayment.

http://www.portapure.com/portable-water-filtration/

 

Electronic Waste Water Filter

Water contaminated with solid and electronic waste at the landfill at Vijyaipura, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India.

1) Sustainability Problem: Toxins in Water

Technology has create electronic waste in waters. It creates toxic environments and destroys natural habitats and processes.

2) Technology: A water filter to remove electronic waste

article: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/american-student-wins-2015-stockholm-junior-water-prize-for-revolutionizing-method-to-remove-electronic-waste-from-water/

  • Created by American student, Perry Alagappan, who won the 2015 Stockholm Junior Water Prize for this revolutionizing method to remove toxic waste from water
  • Uses nanotechnology to create a first-of-its-kind filter
  • Removes 99% of heavy metal contaminants from drinking and industrial wastewater
  • The solution is scalable from household to industrial use

3) Stakeholders:

  • Perry Alapaggan
  • Technology manufacturers/providers
  • Areas with toxic water problems
  • Water management facilities

4) Implementation

  • Scale the project and define the first target location/group
  • Determine costs for the target location
  • Fund raise for the costs of the target location
  • Prove whether or not the technology works and is beneficial when applied to target location

Digital Printing: A Possible Revolution for Dyeing Textiles

digital printing

Problem: Textile Waste and Water Use Caused by Fabric Dying  

Traditionally dying textiles causes a number of environmental problems like excessive use of water and landfill overspill due to textile waste.

Technology: 10 awesome innovations changing the future of fashion10 awesome innovations changing the future of fashion” by Melissa Breyer

One technology, digital printing, implemented by Huntsman Textile Effects, uses a process in which prints are directly applied to fabrics with printers, reducing 95% the use of water, 75% the use of energy, and reducing fabric waste. Huntsman does this with a variety of different inks like acid ink, disperse ink, pigment ink and reactive dyes, all of which use cutting-edge technology to create more sustainable products.

Stakeholders:

Huntsman tech engineers/designers

Technological partners

Investors

Fashion designers

Clothing retailers

Customers

Implementation:

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

Huntsman is worldwide big company, however, it only manufactures in China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand. It must be introduced to the US market and other other European countries that have a big influence in the fashion industry.

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, it has already been used by designers like Mary Katrantzou, Alexander McQueen and Basso & Brooke.

Sources:

http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-fashion/10-awesome-innovations-changing-future-fashion.html

http://www.huntsman.com/textile_effects/a/Solutions/Textile%20End%20Use%20Solutions/Digital%20Printing

http://www.huntsman.com/textile_effects/a/About%20Us

Smart hydration

1. Problem: Health & Safety

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 prymeVessyl 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.
3. Stakeholders
– Athletes/athletic organizations
– The medical community
– Pryme (the manufacturers of Vessyl)
4. Implementation
– 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)