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Green Technology Breakthroughs of 2011

In light of the growing threat of global warming and other environmental catastrophes, the need for new green technology that will contribute in saving the environment likewise rises.

Green technology refers to the continuously developing system of research, methods, theories, products, and practices that all lead towards safeguarding the earth’s natural environment. It also includes the promotion of sustainability of natural resources, reduction of waste and pollution, and development of green alternatives in modern technology.

This year, 2011, new green technology has surfaced. These breakthroughs are considerably major steps in saving the environment. Below are the top five green technology breakthroughs in the last six months of 2011:

1. GE Refrigerators Going Green

General Electric has recently announced that it is now using gas which significantly reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas, which is the trapped heat in the earth’s atmosphere, is one of the most common factors that affect climate change. Examples of greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, methane, and ozone.

Industrial processes involved in the manufacture of modern machinery likewise result to GHG or greenhouse gases—examples of which are sulfur hexaflouride, perfluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons. In order to reduce the emission of these gases, General Electric is conducting research and development and their latest breakthrough in refrigerators this year is proof of their success in the said field.

The company will switch to the new gas in its procedure of pouring in foam installation to its fridges. Dubbed as “atmosphere-friendly gas,” this latest initiative from GE paves the way for about 99 percent of greenhouse gas emission reduction. This innovation is part of GE’s Ecomagination system, a company initiative which was launched in support of green technology.

2. Mini Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Hydrogen Fuel Cells are electrochemical energy converters. The fuel cell converts hydrogen and oxygen into water and during this process of conversion, electricity is produced. These fuel cells are, in a way, working like batteries. The difference is that the chemicals contained in a battery eventually dies and cannot be replenished. In a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen is continually supplied so it then becomes a very practical and useful power generator.

This year, the company Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technologies is making it possible for people to have their hand-held mobile devices powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Through the product called “MiniPak” (which is a non-toxic and recyclable pocket-sized personal power generator), your smaller techie gadgets can now be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The MiniPak costs $99 dollars for now but it is expected to have a price drop to $29 in the future.

3. Solar Power Technology

There are a number of new green technology breakthroughs in the field of solar power technology this year. Leading the list is an educational initiative launched by California manufacturer OWI, In.c, which has recently produced educational toys which are also solar-powered. These toys are meant to educate children as to why renewable energy is important as well as how battery-free toys can help in saving the environment.

Another innovation in solar power technology is the solar charger from Solar Tech USA. The charger is meant primarily for Apple iPhones. Phone chargers can now be redefined as eco-friendly with the trend to be set by these solar-powered chargers of mobile handsets.

4. Energy Waste Reduction

Desktops and laptops as well as the mini-laptops or notebooks are known to waste energy. Thus, there has been a challenge to reduce this energy wastage.

Just recently, Tricklestar launched an external hardware accessory that responds to this challenge. The gadget can minimize energy consumption when you connect it to your personal computer with the standard USB plugs.

5. Travel Accessories

Another outstanding breakthrough in green technology is the development of travel accessories which are eco-friendly.

Among these products are the lightweight solar bags and backpacks. These nifty travel items were developed by Konarka Technologies. It is also worth noting that apart from its usage of Power Plastic (which can charge small electronic gadgets), these items are also durable. Being lightweight, these environment-friendly luggage and briefcases can be lightweight—you get to travel hassle and stress free whilst contributing to the safeguarding of mother nature.

These are only five of the many, ongoing developments in green technology. Halfway through the year, various companies which have pledged a corporate social responsibility program continue their efforts in researching and developing better methods and more efficient products that will benefit both mankind and our environment.

 

Source: http://www.natural-environment.com/blog/2011/06/13/green-technology-breakthroughs-of-2011/



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