Engineers are tasked with analyzing complex problems and designing simple solutions for them. Finding technological solutions is what engineers know how to do best. One of the biggest problems for as long as anyone can remember is climate change; this is the biggest problem humanity has faced and has only become more apparent from generations of environmental setbacks. Now, it is up to the engineers and scientists of today to develop technologies in order to decrease the negative effects of climate change.
1. Electric Vehicles as Carbon Reducing Technologies
Electric cars might just be one of the answers when it comes to humans helping reduce carbon emissions. While the carbon emitted from burning a gallon of petrol or diesel cannot be meaningfully reduced as of right now, the same is not true for electricity. Electric cars will produce a smaller carbon footprint over the course of their lifetime than cars and trucks which run on gas. Electric vehicles have emissions up to 43% lower than diesel vehicles. The ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing batteries for electric cars in plants fueled by renewable energy. If this happens the lifetime carbon emissions for vehicles will decrease rapidly. If you’re in the market for a brand new electric vehicle because you’re thinking about reducing your carbon footprint, make sure to ask about the supply chain of how the vehicle was built. A great car will have a sustainable supply chain.
2. Green Beaches Are Coming
More geo-engineering projects are coming to the surface which aim to address climate change. Green beaches are one of the newest projects. Project Vesta aims to develop beaches that have rock-forming minerals that soak up carbon dioxide. The process of soaking up carbon dioxide can take up to millions of years; however, this process can be accelerated by grinding olivine into small green sand particles and spreading it on beaches all over the world. This project will help fight carbon in the atmosphere from increasing one step at a time.
3. Innovations in energy storage
Another green technology that will aid in the fight against climate change is improving energy storage capabilities. Today, the lithium ion battery is usually the standard for electronics and electric vehicle (EV) batteries; however, lithium metal batteries can deliver twice the energy density. The issue here is that lithium batteries are extremely reactive. During the charge cycle, small needle-like structures called dendrites can form between layers and short the battery cells which sparks risk for explosions. Currently, scientists and researchers at Penn State University are focusing on a solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI). If researchers can perfect this innovative technology, the improved battery efficiency could give EVs twice the range and in turn allow for less carbon emissions from vehicles.
Engineers cannot fight this battle alone through innovations and thinking outside of the box. It will take a conscious effort from everyone in society to help reduce the amount of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Our lives depend on the sustainability of our world. Together, we can help make the world greener.
Tresca Can Help
Here at Tresca, we’re ready to help you with your next invention & engineering project. If you want to learn more about how our team can help you during the engineering process, please contact us today to discuss how we can work together.