14 ways you can use technology to clean up pollution

Pollution is the main cause of global warming in modern times. The effects of pollution are being felt around the world. There have been sustained extreme temperature levels in summer and winter, wildfires in Europe, Australia and North America, changing seasons, persistent drought and famine, and disease from industrial waste and smoke.

The effects of pollution are at a frighteningly uncontrollable level. However, technologists use their knowledge to reverse the effects of pollution when the future looks bleak.

This article discusses the different technologies used in different sectors to reduce or eliminate pollution.

Ways Technology helps eliminate pollution

Below are several ways people are using technology to clean up pollution.

  • Electric cars to reduce vehicle emissions

Since the invention of the automobile, the use of fuels such as gasoline and diesel has raised concerns about long-term effects. The internal combustion engines of petrol and diesel cars emit carbon dioxide (co2) as a by-product.

Greenhouse gases trap heat below the ozone layer and promote high temperatures on Earth. The gas also damages the ozone layer by cooling the stratosphere, slowing the process of ozone depletion and increasing ozone levels.

The electric car does not use a combustion engine, but a rechargeable battery. It is estimated that this invention will reduce emissions from diesel vehicles by 43% and reduce global warming by almost 1.50°C. The electric vehicle must not produce any emissions that are harmful to the environment; However, the car uses electrically powered batteries that generate electricity primarily from fossil fuels. Against this background, electric cars still cause pollution.

  • Use of geographic information systems (GIS) to improve water quality

Water pollution is a global problem as people and marine animals feel its effects greatly. Large bodies of water such as oceans and seas are affected by the uncontrolled disposal of chemicals by large corporations.

Many manufacturing facilities located near bodies of water choose to dump untreated waste into those bodies of water. As ships transport fuel from port to port, maritime traffic and oil spills have also increased. This, in turn, is affecting the blue economies of countries like China, whose fish stocks have been reduced by almost half. Municipalities are also to blame, as municipal wastewater is discharged into bodies of water.

The GIS system enables the collection and storage of spatial data for bodies of water, allowing professionals to identify and manage changes in mineral content and pH. The system will enable experts to create models for sewage systems, groundwater and point water pollution. This computer application can be easily accessed remotely as it operates via satellite.

In the past, sharing an Uber with a stranger was unthinkable. Recently, however, people use it to save money, use the vehicle efficiently, and help reduce pollution in the process.

Owning a car in a busy city is not practical as it leads to more traffic and CO2 emissions. Many companies, such as B. Penske Corp, have embraced carsharing by making their cars available for rent to customers at convenient locations throughout DC via their Penske Dash app.

The companies have also reduced electricity and heat consumption and reduced the production of electricity from fossil fuels. These small changes can prove very beneficial over time. However, they are criticized because the increasing demand for electricity and heat in households is contrary to the positive developments.

With the advent of the Covid pandemic, many companies have switched to remote work. This made many people realize the importance of working from home and saving on travel and fuel costs. This resulted in less traffic and a reduction in CO2 emissions.

However, not all of us are lucky enough to work remotely. So if you still commute to work, you can make sure that by using an e-bike you are not contributing to pollution. Compared to regular bicycles, e-bikes are faster, more environmentally friendly and ensure that you don’t have to be held up by traffic, so you can get to work on time.

It found that during the pandemic, the rate of carbon emissions in the United States was significantly reduced after the government ordered people to stop moving unless necessary.

  • Use of fuel cells and single-cycle gas turbines

Fuel cells and single-cycle gas turbines have been developed for clean power generation. These systems ensure efficiency in converting fuel into electricity, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It has a separate anode and cathode, which allows carbon dioxide to be removed from the system. The systems are extremely reliable and durable and can be integrated with landfill gas and digesters.

  • Remote sensing technology in municipal water use.

Have you heard of water billing? The expression means that every drop of water should be considered in water projects. As a result of deforestation and prolonged droughts, this sensory system helps city governments use water more effectively in the face of current water insecurity.

The sensory technology is inexpensive because it is satellite-driven and its information is accessible through internet platforms such as Google. The data is constantly being published in the cloud and provides high-resolution images.

The combination of these images and graph sheets help water resource professionals understand water usage and reporting, thereby determining the areas’ water balance.

As a result of human activity, wildlife has had to adapt to changing weather conditions, with some animals on the brink of extinction. However, environmental scientists are taking action to save near-extinct animals. For example, African wildlife services have implemented a GPS collar to track some of these animals. Such a system has helped curb poaching and encouraged access to these animals when needed.

Gene sequencing studies have also been conducted, helping to save endangered species from deadly diseases like cancer. This sequencing has also led to the development of a predictive analysis system that allows environmentalists to study different animal species and their adaptability.

There have also been sim-based collars that allow conservationists to track the whereabouts of animals in human habitats, reducing human-wildlife conflict.

  • Creation of the artificial trees

Deforestation is another environmental issue that governments have grappled with over the years. Many trees have been felled to make way for urban and agricultural development. This has favored the drying up of water sources, oxygen starvation and water erosion.

Technologists have commissioned their scientific colleagues to develop the Supertree, an artificial tree that aids in oxygen production. The tree uses water filtration to take in at least 200,000cc of polluted air and give off clean, breathable oxygen. Although expensive, this tree has had excellent results in places like Peru and Lima. A super tree can set a community back at least £100,000.

  • Online data storage to reduce paper waste

The demand for paper in recent years has meant that the industry has cut down many trees to meet the demand. It promoted negative impacts such as soil erosion and the extinction of rivers.

However, with paperless technology, paper demand has effectively decreased. Demand for hard cash has also declined as countries embrace digital currencies with apps like PayPal and use credit and debit cards as the most common means of transaction. Such advances have not only reduced deforestation, but also reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Use of solar energy as renewable energy

Solar energy is a cheap and safer alternative to fossil fuels or hydroelectric power. Many homes are using this technology to reduce electricity bills, and some have switched to solar power entirely.

The solar panel consists of photovoltaic cells that can convert sunlight energy into direct current to power light bulbs and charge electrical devices. This type of energy is considered to be one of the most renewable resources.

  • The International Methane Remote Observatory

This research technique is used to understand the origin of methane, a greenhouse gas responsible for much of global warming. Funded by UNEP, this research institute receives data from satellites, previous scientific studies and ground-based sensors. The observatory funds research studies on methane and has also involved petroleum companies in research projects.

  • Use of genetically modified organisms for waste management

In the past, human populations relied only on natural microorganisms to break down waste. These organisms cannot treat industrial waste, sewage, or oil spills. Genetically modified organisms have been modified to break down what appears to be irredeemable. These include industrial waste, petroleum spills and fungicides.

Genetically modified organisms (GEOs), also known as bioremediation, are gaining ground in many industries in the United States to help with waste management due to their relatively low cost due to the lack of post-cleanup costs. However, the technology is skeptical as it has never been used before and may pose unforeseen risks.

  • Using aerial photography to monitor compliance with environmental regulations

Aerial photography is a great way to view and interpret data in any landscape study. Aerial photographs provide photographic evidence. The images can be taken at any time and provide an opportunity to hold dishonest industries accountable.

  • development of tiny homes

The idea behind Tiny Houses is to minimize energy consumption and keep waste production to a minimum. The people living in these tiny houses adopt a minimalist lifestyle. Most gravitate toward an eco-friendly lifestyle, thereby reducing pollution.

These include using solar panels, fewer building materials, compostable toilets and energy-saving appliances.

Final Thoughts

Technology in environmental protection is a magical platform full of endless possibilities. To realize the full potential of this sector, technologists need significant funds that enable research.

The International Methane Observatory, for example, has made massive strides in curbing methane production with financial support from UNEP. Using technology, even in small ways like moving to solar panels, makes a big difference to the environment.

What technological changes have you made to reduce your environmental impact?

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the author; Pixel; Thanks very much!

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