Thursday, December 11, 2008

Green Me

The idiot/stupid box (whatever you may call it) is no longer stupid. I watched Discovery Channel, after subscribing for how many months and not even utilising it. The series Planet Green really captures my attention. Last night it was about transportation.

The series is about a scenario in 2050 in a mock up city call Ecopolis. The situation is created such as things stay as where they are today in terms of emission, greenhouse effect, rising CO2 in the air and basically, pollution on the rise. 4 main alternatives were introduced in the series that is projected to lessen the effects.

As the world is currently facing the energy crisis and the depletion of conventional fossil fuel, more choices is pretty much needed now. Let see if my memory will fail me to capture the main points. The options that we may have in the futures are;
  1. Biofuel from algae- the best alternative to biofules so far as it does not compete with any of the food crops. However the large scale production is no where near the future yet. R&D is still ongoing and the ideas give some promising hope instead of just relying on the conventional fossil fuel. Even Shell has a work on this in the island of Hawaii..( I wanna work there!!)
  2. An electrical driven engine which generates power via reaction of hydrogen gaseous and Platinum catalyst on a fuel cell. By product is water, which is harmless to the ecosystem. This one is cool..there has been 20+ years of research by General Motors to come up with the technology that is viable to all. Platinum cost is so high and the hydrogen tank is bulky making the concept is not so attractive. Thanks to technology, they managed to develop a prototype that is almost viable to normal consumer. They are almost there, provided another few years of work, it can be materialised.
  3. E-Jeepney: its a trademark for Philipines. Jeepney is a mode of public transport and does creates the largest traffic in Manila City. The e-jeepney is powered by engine that runs on methane. Methane gas is extracted from the daily domestic waste generated by consumers. Brilliant huh? Use a problem to tackle another problem.
  4. New aerodynamic design of aeroplane using the 'bended wing technology'. As quality of live increases, expected in year 2050 people will use aviation mode 7 times more than today, hence creating a lot more pollution ( in terms of sound) and increase of toxic gas emission due to increase fuels combustion. The current design is not environmental friendly due to the fact that it uses excess amount of fuel to keep the plane afloat. Hence, inspired by jet fighter (not sure the exact model) which aims to fly the plane at very reduced sound, the new generation of commercial plane made its way. The plane is expected to produce the sound emitted to 63 decibel, average noise level that we experience in a normal office. I must have dozed off when it comes to the engine part...but something like the energy cell used during space travel is utilised here.

All in all, I am thrilled to know that we have lots of choices and it all powered by one thing..TECHNOLOGY.. hence as the saying goes 'Knowledge is power!!'

Oh how I wish I am as brilliant as these people who came up with great ideas for the benefit of human kind, but I'm not. I can't even solve the bloody compressor and desalter problem...

Whatever it is, I am pledging my support to Green Technology. If at all the hybrid/green/eco friendly car is sold in Malaysia, will work on using that. That's the least I can do to help...

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