3 Technologies That Can Help the World
In recent years there has been a growing awareness that we need to change how we live on our planet. Our growing human population and lack of concern for environmental issues has begun to affect the world we live in. Storms are stronger, flooding sets new records and heat waves and fires dominate the summer news cycle. Fortunately, there are also encouraging and hopeful possibilities. Promising new technologies offer solutions that can truly make a difference in the world. Let’s look at three of them.
It is only one molecule thick yet very flexible, is a better conductor than copper and has more strength than steel. In many ways it can perform almost miraculous functions. Some are predicting the graphene belongs in the pantheon of the bronze, iron, steel and silicon ages. Researchers who created graphene at the University of Manchester feel it could be used for mobile energy generation, since it can be used to extract hydrogen atoms without their electrons from the air. It has been used to create a thin fabric that is impermeable to mosquitoes and also disguises the scent of humans so mosquitoes don’t know a person is there. Graphene is also an amazing water filter and a can be used to transform salt water into fresh water or to take water with impurities and make it drinkable in a single pass through the filter.
Many of these leading-edge technologies emerged from university research settings. If you are a student who wants to contribute your skills, you can sign up for a degree program in Environmental Studies, the sciences, engineering or technology. Private student loans offer a great way to pay for the cost of college and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you will be doing meaningful work in your career. Private loans are available at banks, credit unions and finance companies.
Solar glass has the potential to turn downtown office buildings, skyscrapers and suburban office complexes into energy producing assets. By replacing traditional windows with solar glass, you multiply the power of traditional solar rooftop installations and turn the entire building into a solar array. A team at the University of Michigan is creating a solar glass product that is both efficient and also lets sunlight through to the offices. The application of solar glass in greenhouses can have an even more profound effect. Greenhouses used for agricultural production are ten times more efficient that field agriculture and use only one tenth of the water. But, currently, they require ten times the energy due to hydroponic and temperature demands. By replacing traditional glass with solar glass, the greenhouse can greatly reduce the need for outside energy resources.
The innovative use of 3D printing technologies can have a major impact on the world. Basically, these printers work by printing in layers. Picture something sliced into the thinnest layers and you’ll be able to visualize the device printing layer upon layer until the whole object is created. One of the best uses for 3D printing is to be able to create affordable housing. The printer ink is made from fiberglass, cement, recycled material and steel and the entire housing structure can be printed from scratch on site. Another area where 3D printing is making a big difference is in the medical field. Perfect models of a patient’s organs can be printed and surgeons can use those to prep for the upcoming procedure. Custom prosthetics are being created that fit patients perfectly. In some war-ravaged countries 3D printing allows medical staff to make prosthetics for victims for less than $100 dollars.