How is Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week encouraging young green entrepreneurs?

This year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) comes to an end on January 19th.

Taking place in the UAE’s capital, it’s an annual gathering of industry leaders and heads of state to discuss the latest advancements in sustainable development.

During the event a statement delivered on behalf of China’s President Xi Jingping announced that China and the UAE will work as “natural allies” to “build a clean and beautiful world.”

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of Masdar, said that the emirates would continue to build upon the use and development of solar and wind power, encouraging more public-private cooperation in the field.

“As the worlds’ population grows to ten billion by 2050, and drives demand for energy and resources, the mission of sustainable development will become all the more critical,” he said. “This imperative is embedded in the UAE’s vision 2071.”

THE NEXT GENERATION OF SUSTAINABILITY ENTREPRENEURS TAKE THE STAGE

Prize givings are a key feature of the event each year, rewarding innovative, environmentally savvy millennials in the region.

Platforms like ADSW’s Youth 4 Sustainability Hub are empowering the next generation to become sustainability entrepreneurs.

Shouq Bin Shemel is a previous winner and current member of the Think Science program, which connects aspiring scientists with industry leaders.


Shouq Bin Shemel explains how are eco-friendly fire-fighting drone works at ADSW

The seventeen-year-old has developed an environmentally friendly fire-fighting drone and her hope is to one day mass produce it.

“It can be automated and it can also fly for 24 hours by using its solar panel and the sensors,” she explains.

According to the UN’s latest World Youth Report, 13 percent of those aged 15 to 24 are unemployed, and the rates in Northern Africa and Arab states are amongst the highest worldwide.

Initiatives like the UAE’s Zayed Sustainability Prize are looking to encourage young people to develop their renewable energy, healthcare and mobility projects, which have aided more than 300 million people to date.

Millions of dollars have been distributed to such initiatives over the past decade.

Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson, the former president of Iceland, is on this year’s jury and remains hopeful that new generations will continue to make a difference.


Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson, the former president of Iceland and jury at 2019’s ADSW

“When you see these young people coming from high schools in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas – and you see their dedication and the innovation of what they’re doing – it fills you with optimism,” he says, “Also the conviction that our common struggle against climate change is not a hopeless effort.”

This year’s ‘Energy Category’ winner is BBOX, a company founded in the UK in 2010 which sells pay-as-you-go, energy-generating, solar panel systems to developing countries. The $600,000 prize money will fund their expansion.

“With the award, BBOX will be able to go into new countries that we have not been able to before – the likes of Zambia, Angola, and the Philippines,” says Anshul Patel, the company’s chief commercial officer, “We’ll be taking our business model into the future.”


BBOX sells pay-as-you-go solar panel system to developing countries

Massachusetts eyeing more renewable energy-friendly future

With steps big and small, Massachusetts is moving toward a more environmentally friendly future in which the state will rely increasingly on renewable energy.

One step came this week when Republican Gov. Charlie Baker announced more than $500,000 in funding for what he described as eight “early-stage clean energy companies.”

The checks may be modest, but the goal is to help ensure Massachusetts remains among those states on the leading edge of renewable energy technology — in part by harvesting the brain power of local universities and entrepreneurs.

Among the companies receiving money are:

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— Somerville-based Cambridge Crops, which is developing an edible odorless, tasteless and invisible coating to extend the shelf life of meat and poultry while also reducing the water and energy resources lost to spoilage and waste;

— Amesbury-based INRoof Solar, which is working to integrate a space-cooling feature into its solar thermal metal roofing system by removing waste heat to provide air conditioning, and;

— Somerville’s Exact Lux, which is developing long-lasting LED lighting for indoor horticulture to increase yields and save energy.

Baker said the eight companies are part of the state’s “nation-leading innovation and clean energy economies.”

Environmental activists are also pushing a slew of bills on Beacon Hill aimed at reducing the state’s carbon footprint and minimizing waste.

One bill sponsored by Stoneham Democratic state Rep. Michael Day seeks to help save taxpayer dollars spent trying to recycle what the Conservation Law Foundation describes as wasteful packaging. The group said communities have little control over the flood of disposable items and have had to pick up the cost of recycling that material that they say can run to tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

The bill would shift some of those recycling costs back onto the companies that create the packaging.

Another piece of legislation supported by the Conservation Law Foundation would require all large-scale fleets of vehicles in Massachusetts — public and private — to go electric by 2035.

The group said that transportation is already responsible for nearly half of Massachusetts’ climate-damaging emissions and electrifying massive fleets of cars, buses and trucks is a key step in cutting those emissions — along with harmful air pollution.

Another bill at the Statehouse would update appliance efficiency standards on more than a dozen products, including commercial dishwashers, commercial fryers, water coolers and faucets.

The advocacy group Environment Massachusetts is backing the legislation as part of a nine-state push that includes efforts in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The group said the proposed standard would prevent 159,000 metric tons of climate-altering carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere — the equivalent of taking over 34,500 cars off the road each year — while also limiting pollution from nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.

The bills are just some of the thousands that have been filed at the beginning of the Legislature’s two-year session. The vast majority do not end up becoming law.

Meanwhile, federal overseers held a series of public hearings this week on the construction and operations plan for Vineyard Wind, a proposed 84-turbine wind power project off the coast of Massachusetts.

On a longer timeframe, a bill introduced by Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Edward Markey and Michigan U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell — both Democrats — proposed creating a program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve “climate literacy” among educators and other professionals.

Markey said too many teachers in middle and high school don’t understand the scientific consensus on climate change.

“This bill will help provide our students, teachers, and workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to understand climate change and participate in a global clean energy economy,” Markey said in a statement.

The bill is co-sponsored in the Senate by more than a dozen Democrats — several of whom are eyeing the White House next year.

Top 12 sustainable construction technologies used in green construction

Green building technology has become one of the hottest trends in construction. The benefits of a green technology application in construction are far-reaching and comprehensive, offering significant advantages when used in new facilities as well as existing structures. Green technology makes buildings more energy-efficient and sustainable, so they have a lower carbon footprint and a reduced impact on the environment. Builders, building owners, and tenants all realize considerable benefits from the application of green construction technology.

The primary way that green technology benefits are achieved is through greater energy efficiency. In new buildings, green building construction plays a role in every phase of development. Every aspect of the structure, including siting, design, construction materials, and the systems used to run and maintain operations are chosen to be as sustainable and energy-efficient as possible.

Thirty to forty percent of a commercial building is typically unoccupied at any given time. Green building technology makes use of motion detectors, RFID scanners, access card readers, and other sensors to monitor the occupancy status of building sectors. Whenever an area of a structure becomes unoccupied, green technology automatically shuts off lights and adjusts HVAC, cooling, heating, and ventilation options. Building owners can realize as much as 30% savings in their energy expenses by eliminating unnecessary energy use in this manner.

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Numerous studies have documented cases of the “sick building syndrome” that can create an unhealthy work environment in commercial buildings, particularly older buildings and those located in hotter climates where ventilation issues are a concern. When HVAC systems are constantly left on, they can accumulate condensation that allows unhealthy mold spores to develop. Energy-efficient green building solutions can automatically turn off HVAC systems when not needed in order to maintain the correct temperature and humidity for optimum health. Advanced software and sensors can be put in place to monitor the ventilation system to prevent CO2 from underground garages from circulating throughout the building.

Below are the top 12 sustainable construction technologies used in green construction.

1. Solar power
Solar power has been increasingly exploited as a sustainable construction technology. In green construction, it is utilized in two ways. One pertains to active solar power and the other is passive solar power. Active solar power is the use of functional solar systems that absorb the sun’s radiation to cater for heating and electricity provision. It reduces the need for the use of electricity or gas.
The upfront installation costs are higher but in the long-term, it saves on energy bills and aids in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels. On the other hand, passive solar power is a design that uses the sun’s rays to warm homes through the strategic placement of windows and the use of heat-absorbing surfaces. The windows let in energy and the heat absorbed reduces the need for warming the house during cold periods such as winter.

2. Biodegradable materials
The use of biodegradable materials is an eco-friendly means of making construction sustainable. Most traditional construction methods lead to the accumulation of waste products and toxic chemicals, the majority of which take hundreds of years to degrade. And even if they degrade, it contaminates and harms the environment. Biodegradable materials such as organic paints, therefore, aid to limit the negative impacts on the environment as they easily breakdown without the release of toxins. The use of biodegradable materials for building foundation, walls and insulators are also part of sustainable construction technologies.

3. Green insulation
Insulation is among the greatest concerns when it comes to construction of buildings and homes. However, most people don’t know that insulators are simply wall filters which don’t need to be made from expensive and highly finished materials. On this basis, the use of green insulation has proven to be a sustainable construction technology as it eliminates the need for high-end finishes made from non-renewable materials. Green insulation offers a solution by making use of old and used materials such as denim and newspaper. In other words, it utilizes recycled material to line the walls.

4. The use of smart appliances
Homes and commercial buildings consume most of the world’s energy and for this reason; it has necessitated the use of smart appliances as part of sustainable construction technologies. The sustainable construction technologies emphasize the installation of energy saving and self-sufficient appliances. SmartGrid dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines are examples of such sustainable technologies. The technology is oriented towards establishing zero-energy homes as well as commercial buildings.

5. Cool roofs
Cool roofs are sustainable green design technologies which aim at reflecting heat and sunlight away. It aids in keeping homes and buildings at the standard room temperatures by lowering heat absorption and thermal emittance. The design makes use of reflective paints and special tiles which absorb less heat and reflect away most of the solar radiation. For instance, cool roofs can reduce temperatures by more the 50 degree Celsius during summer. Cool roofs, therefore, minimize the dependence on air conditioning and in turn, reduce energy use which translates into decreased cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

6. Sustainable resource sourcing
Sustainable resource sourcing as the name suggests is a prime example of sustainable construction technology because it ensures the use of construction materials designed and created from recycled products and have to be environmentally friendly. In most cases, agricultural wastes or by-products are used to produce construction materials. Overall, the materials are remanufactured, recycled, recyclable, and obtained from sustainable sources.

7. Low-energy house and Zero-energy building design
Sustainable construction technologies typically include mechanisms to lessen energy consumption. The construction of buildings with wood, for instance, is a sustainable construction technology because it has a lower embodied energy in comparison to those build of steel or concrete. Sustainable green construction also makes use of designs that cut back air leakage and allows for free flow of air while at the same time using high-performance windows and insulation techniques.
These techniques are meant to reduce the dependence on air conditioning and interior heating. Further, the strategic placement of windows is another technique that encourages day-lighting thereby minimizing the need for electric lighting in the course of the day. The use of renewable energy such as solar for lighting and water heating is also part of a low-energy house and zero-energy building design. The initial costs of setting up zero-energy buildings may be high, but they pay off in the long-term.

8. Electrochromic Smart Glass
Electronic Smart Glass also constitutes one of the technologies in sustainable construction. The electronic smart glass is a new technology that works particularly in summer periods to shut out the harsh heat of solar radiation. The smart glass uses tiny electric signals to slightly charge the windows to change the amount of solar radiation it reflects.
It is incorporated into the buildings control system, therefore, allowing users to choose the amount of solar radiation to block. With this technology, homes and commercial buildings can save a lot on heating, ventilating, and air conditioning costs. The smart glass is still being perfected and is soon set to be fully used in sustainable construction as a smart energy-saving technology.

9. Water efficiency technologies
There are several water efficient technologies used, which are all part of sustainable construction technologies. Essentially, the technologies encompass re-use and application of efficient water supply systems. Examples include the use of dual plumbing, greywater re-use, rainwater harvesting and water conservation fixtures. These methods ensure that water is adequately managed, recycled and used for non-portable purposes like washing cars and flushing toilets.
Dual plumbing, for instance, decreases sewer traffic and enhances the potential of re-using water on-site. On the other hand, rainwater harvesting provides water for multi-purpose usage and might also be stored for future use. In general, the water efficiency sustainable construction technologies lower water usage costs and help in water conservation.  In urban areas, the technologies intend to lower water wastage by 15% to address freshwater shortages.

10. Sustainable indoor environment technologies
The health and safety of the building occupants are fundamental and must be guaranteed during the construction of any building or home. As such, sustainable indoor technologies are mandatory for green construction. The materials used have to ensure green safety standards which include hazardous free elements, non-toxic materials, low volatile emissions, and moisture resistance.
For instance, materials from cork, wood and bamboo are naturally sourced and do not have any toxic, irritating or carcinogenic elements. The use of materials with low VOCs also enhances IAQ and limits exposure to health-threatening chemicals such as vinyl, phenol-formaldehyde and lead.

11. Self-powered buildings
The advancement of constructing self-powered buildings is an art of sustainable construction technology. The reason is based on the fact that self-powered buildings bring about the realization of zero-energy construction. The buildings are built such that they are able to generate sufficient power to support their own energy needs and even direct surplus energy back into the power grid. In most cases, wind power technology is used and it is highly common in skyscrapers whereby wind turbines are mounted at the rooftops. The constant and heavy air currents at higher altitudes propel the turbine blades which generates the power requirements for the building.

12. Rammed Earth Brick
Rammed earth brick is an ancient construction technology which has lately been re-introduced to cater for the demands of environmental sustainability. The technique uses sustainably sourced raw materials. Due to technological advancements, the process of building a rammed-earth structure has been made easier but it still follows the ancient preparation process.
Moist earth mixture and hard substances like gravel or clay are mixed with stabilizing elements such as concrete and compacted to create dense, hard walls. The sourcing and formation process of rammed-earth bricks makes it ideal for sustainable construction as it lessens environmental impacts and the material can equally stabilize the temperature of a building. Rammed-earth structures contribute to fewer emissions and ensure the buildings remain cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

Thoughtfully created design and construction leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy. We have a responsibility to recognise that what we build today should endure and enhance the lives of those who come after us. The future development path at Teraciel Group is focused on the requirements of conscious and sustainable development by ensuring, inter alia, effective environmental policies and regulations, the application of best available technology, the development and support of strong environmental institutions both externally and internally, and advocacy campaigns for behavioural change. Great design and construction shouldn’t come at an environmental cost, but rather work in a sustainable relationship with the environment and make minimal impact.

Utah company turning food waste into renewable energy

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News)- – A Utah company opened a facility that can capture renewable energy from food waste to produce enough natural gas for a city the size of Bountiful.

Wasatch Resource Recovery said on Thursday that the facility will prevent methane from being released into the atmosphere.

The impact will be equal to removing more than 75,000 cars from the highway annually. 

Officials said methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

Wasatch Resource Recovery officials said organic waste makes up nearly 30 percent of our landfills. They hope the new process can use that waste and bring cost savings for businesses, institutions and service providers throughout the state.

Solar seen as bright career path at Illinois community colleges

Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act included funding to make solar training more accessible to lower-income residents.

There was an energy about the 11 students gathered on a sunny December Saturday outside a South Side Chicago construction shop.

Today, they’d put on their work gloves and protective glasses and put to the test all that they had learned in the introductory solar-energy course they’d taken at Olive-Harvey Community College. Today, they would construct an eight-panel, self-ballasted array that, if connected to an energy grid, would produce 2.3 kilowatts of power.

“At 2.3, it won’t power someone’s home, but it might be the size of a system that fits on someone’s rooftop or residential house,” said Robert Hattier, a business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 134. But this system would both come to life and get broken down in a span of about four hours, when all the parts would be carted back into storage until another round of students is ready to learn the process.

Hattier, along with other IBEW-affiliated electricians, was tasked last semester with teaching one of the first community college-level solar classes funded by the Future Energy Jobs Act. The majority of the students enrolled in the program at Olive-Harvey were recruited by environmental justice group People for Community Recovery and live in Chicago’s Altgeld Gardens public housing complex. Other students learned of the program through Dunbar Vocational Career Academy High School.


More: Solar and green jobs are rising around Chicago’s ‘toxic doughnut’


Advocates believe the 2016 energy law and dropping prices for solar installations can help make Illinois a leader in solar energy — and that schools are a key place to start. The Illinois Solar Schools program funded by ComEd introduces K-12 students to solar energy; meanwhile, funding under FEJA has made the training more accessible to a population who could benefit more immediately from the job opportunities: community college students, especially residents of low-income regions like Chicago’s South Side.

“One of the primary missions of the local community college system is to prepare students for both jobs of today and jobs of the future,” said Matt Berry, a spokesman for the Illinois Community College Board, which approves of solar classes that are for academic credit. Because of increasing demand for renewable energy, teaching those trades at the community college level is becoming increasingly important.

Lauren Robinson

Student Sanavia Pickett, 31, passes a tool to electrician Tracy Hall.

A hands-on affair

As one of the Olive-Harvey students recruited from Altgeld Gardens, Sanavia Pickett received a stipend that included money for transportation to attend the class. That’s because one of FEJA’s goals is to provide solar jobs and training in low-income areas.

The 31-year-old said she wants to learn about solar energy in order to prepare herself to work abroad somewhere in Africa, likely Nigeria, where she said she wants “to help build.”

“It’s like seeing your family, from a distance, struggle. And you’re over here, living good, right? You see that, and you want to help,” Pickett said of her plan to learn more about solar energy, study nursing and then apply those skills abroad.

Pickett and other students said they were especially excited about building the array. “I’ve been begging for it,” Pickett said, a smile cracking across her face.

On build day, several of the students expressed similar glee as Hattier and Tracy Hall, a retired electrician and IBEW 134 member who co-taught the class, delegated responsibilities.

“Help out, young man, help out!” 39-year-old student Rufus Davidson said playfully, while a few of his classmates guided one of the panels to the base of the array.

Many of the students said they wanted to pursue a career in solar energy, or at least apply to the IBEW’s pre-apprenticeship program and see where that went.

“It’s interesting because it’s something I want to do in the future,” 22-year-old Jae’Lyn Ross, hovering over a stack of PV panels, said of the opportunity to put together an array.

Solar takes root in schools

Solar energy made its way into Illinois classrooms years ago. Through programs like Illinois Solar Schools, begun in 2006 by ComEd’s Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, hundreds of K-12 institutions have installed solar panels for the purpose of getting youths excited about science, technology, engineering and math — and about renewable energy.

“The whole point, really, is that the kids can see the technology,” said Gabriela Martin, the foundation’s energy program director.

But at community colleges, the demand for solar education is more urgent because those students tend to be seeking jobs. Thus, even prior to FEJA’s passage, several community colleges across Illinois have taken up the mission.

The College of Lake County in Grayslake has earned accolades for its eco-friendly offerings; its science building, said sustainability manager David Husemoller, boasts 187 photovoltaic panels that can supply 56.1 kW of power — and the community college plans to install more. The point, Husemoller said, is not just erecting the panels. “We’re helping students to think about the world in terms of sustainability.”

He said the College of Lake County’s solar system serves as a lesson in green energy for people outside of the school, as well.

“[Schools with solar programs] are teaching the students, and they’re teaching their parents,” he said, adding that when institutions like schools are outfitted with solar panels, community leaders and voters also can benefit from the knowledge of renewable energy’s advantages. “When we hear the bad news about climate change, we don’t need to get all upset about it; we can say, ‘hey, let’s do something about it.’”

There are three Illinois community colleges currently offering course credit in solar technology and through which the students earn certificates, according to the Illinois Community College Board. Meanwhile, there are seven that have programs in “renewable/sustainable energy technology.”

The College of Lake County, for instance, offers an alternative energy technologies certificate — which, according to the school’s website, is intended for students seeking “entry-level positions as technicians working on installation of solar, wind or geothermal energy technologies.”

That school, plus 38 others, are members of the Illinois Green Economy Network, which advocates that community colleges teach all sources of renewable energy. It sees community colleges as paving the way for cities to adapt to a changing climate and energy market.

Community colleges are providing “renewable energy education for multiple stakeholders to update the workforce and advance [the] deployment of innovative technologies,” the group says on its website. That means schools like Kankakee Community College, which offers a solar-photovoltaic certificate and specialization track, are adding programs to help train that workforce.

Lauren Robinson

Jae’Lyn Ross and Nicolas Ross bring their classmates a panel to mount to the array.

The FEJA boost

In Olive-Harvey’s case, funding for an introductory solar course was a result of a wave of investment in solar energy thanks to FEJA’s Solar Craft Apprenticeship Program. The class at Olive-Harvey was the first of its kind for the program.

The program, which received $3 million in 2017 and will receive another $3 million in 2021 and again in 2025, aims to encourage people from low-income and diverse communities to pursue careers in solar through the IBEW’s pre-apprenticeship program.

To get into the pre-apprenticeship program, the students will still have to undergo the application process, Hattier said. But the class will give interested students a “leg up.”

The Olive-Harvey program hasn’t come without kinks. Two days before the students made their way to Calumet Park to build the solar array, IBEW Renewable Energy Fund chief Harry Ohde pleaded with the students during their final on-campus class to get their driver’s licenses so that they could apply for the pre-apprenticeship program, for which registration officially began Dec. 17.

After pulling some strings, Ohde told the class, he was able to get a five-month extension for students without a driver’s license to get one and then apply for the program. Electricians must have a license because their work typically requires contracting across a broad geographical area, Hattier told the class.

“I know it seems like a big hurdle here, but that’s something that’s going to be universal in all the building trades,” he said.

Students said in interviews that the class hadn’t been informed that they needed a driver’s license to apply for the pre-apprenticeship until days earlier.

Reduced access to driver’s licenses is a common barrier to employment in low-income communities and communities of color, according to research from the Employment and Training Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. There are a number of reasons for this, including a cycle of ticket debt and license suspension and reduced state funding for driver’s education courses offered in high school.

Despite the driver’s license complication, many of the Olive-Harvey students said they would apply for the pre-apprenticeship, either on Dec. 17 or at a later date.

On the last day of on-campus instruction, Hattier told the students that going into solar would pay off because of how quickly the industry was growing. Illinois would see an influx of solar jobs at the start of 2019, he said. “It’s going to be thousands of jobs.”

New Utah facility will turn food waste into renewable energy

NORTH SALT LAKE — Throwing out food no longer means it has to go to waste thanks to a new facility in Utah that converts food waste to clean, renewable energy.

Utah’s first and only anaerobic food waste digester opened to the public Thursday for an open house highlighting how the center will turn food waste into renewable energy.

Wasatch Resource Recovery, a public-private partnership between ALPRO Energy Water and the South Davis Sewer District, will take in about 700 tons of food waste daily. When it expands its operation in the near future, that number will double to about 1,400 tons.


Anaerobic digestion is a biological process in which microbes break down biodegradable material without oxygen.

“The anticipated amount of organic waste diverted to the anaerobic digester each year will equate to taking over 75,000 cars from the highway in carbon emissions,” according to a press release from the company.

Other compost facilities in Utah can convert fruit and vegetable scraps into energy, but not much more. Wasatch Resource Recovery is the first in the state that’s able to convert food waste into energy on a much larger scale.

“We’re able to take the meat and the dairy and the cooked foods and the processed foods, sugary foods and packaged foods,” said Morgan Bowerman, the plant’s sustainability manager. “We can process all of that food waste here. So we get to do the full plate … at this facility. And there is nothing else like it here in Utah.”

The main sources of waste will come from food manufacturing waste, restaurant waste, grocery store waste and grease trap waste. Since it’s still a part of waste management, there is a fee for companies to recycle food waste to the plant instead of sending it all to the landfill — but doing so can save businesses a lot of money, Bowerman said.

“If you’re a good manufacturer and you’ve got a lot of food waste, you’re gonna save a lot of money by coming here,” she said.

Within the year, the facility plans to place bins outside the facility for people to drop off food waste. Bowerman said residential curbside pickup could be an option someday, but would be years in the future if it happens.


Bowerman said 30 percent of landfills are filled with organic waste, which emits greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. The digester is able to take that organic waste out of landfills, which would help decrease the amount of gas emitted into the atmosphere — something that can help air quality, said Eric Alder, president of Alder construction, the company that built the plant.

“As our community continues to grow, the landfills continue to get busier and busier and more and more full,” he said. “So this takes all of the organics out of the landfill right now and extends the life of the landfills by many, many years, and that’s a big deal for a lot of the communities around here.”

The biomethane plant operates like a synthetic animal, Bowerman said. The first step is grinding all the food waste into a slurry, like a mouth does. The mixture then goes into the heated digester where naturally occurring microorganisms break down the food waste. During that process, they put off gas methane that the facility captures. The entire operation takes about two weeks from start to finish.

The methane the plant recovers is the same type of gas that operates most houses — for example, it’s what’s used to heat up a gas stove, Bowerman said.


The plant will produce enough energy to fuel a town of 40,000 people, roughly the size of Bountiful. The energy won’t go to Bountiful though, but rather it will be sold exclusively to BP, at a profit.

There is a byproduct of the digestion process — a nutrient-rich, carbon-based fertilizer, which Bowerman said is “really wonderful.” The facility hopes to partner with Utah State University to study the soil and sell it to agriculturalists.


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“We’ve been chasing this for many, many years,” Alder said. “It feels very validating … finally to see it like this and finally to have all the public support and all the support of the companies who are going to bring their food waste here, it’s wonderful to see.”

The $43 million facility, located at 1370 W. Center, will test its machines next week when the first food waste delivery arrives.

More information about the facility is available on its wasatchresourcerecovery.com.

Mangaluru Teens Use Traditional Fruit,Make Eco-friendly Rubber

What happens when a family’s secret becomes the basis of a science project?

Fortunately for two Mangaluru teens, Aman KA, and A U Nachiketh, it received the silver medal at one of the world’s largest science fairs.

Mangaluru Teens Use Traditional Fruit to Make Eco-friendly Rubber, Win International Medal!
(L) Aman K A A U Nachiketh. (R) The iSWEEP medal

It all started in 2016 when as students of Indraprastha Vidyalaya, Aman and Nachiketh presented a project at the regional competition of the Indian Science and Engineering Fair. It was organised by the Science Society of India.

There was hardly a month left for the competition when their idea of developing a preservative from the green fruit bimbli (scientific name: Avaherro Bilimbi) failed. When they sent the vinegar they developed from the fruit to Yenepoya Laboratory, it was found unsuitable for consumption due to its acetic acid content.

It was disappointing. But the boys had to find a way.

The deadline was ten days away, and they had no concept or product to showcase. It was at this time that Aman’s mother, Rehmat Begum, came to their aid.

She recalled how the humble fruit had helped her father (Aman’s grandfather).

Aman’s family had been in the rubber business for close to 40 years. When his maternal grandfather, Ibrahim, realised that they did not have enough formic acid, a vital ingredient in the coagulation of rubber latex to make sheets, he kept looking for alternatives. Until he came across the bimbli extract.

Aman and Nachiketh considered Rehmat Begum’s suggestion and started their experiments in that direction.

Using bimbli juice as a natural coagulant

The boys took the fruit, ground it and extracted its juice. Then, they took a one-litre tray of rubber latex and added 60 ml of the juice to it.

The results showed that bimbli sped the process of coagulating rubber latex by ten hours. While it usually takes formic acid close to 16 hours for the process, it took the fruit extract only six hours!

Benefits over rubber sheets made using formic acid

Bimbli. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Aman adds how apart from cutting down the time by ten hours, a quality analysis of the rubber sheets also showed that they were of superior quality as against the regular sheets manufactured using formic acid.

Speaking to The Better India, Nachiketh says, “Apart from formic acid, farmers also use para-nitrophenol to give the rubber sheets their gold and yellow colour. Because these rubber sheets, once produced by the farmers, are graded by a board based on their colour, which then supplies it to the rubber product manufacturing factories. Bimbli eliminates the use of any of these chemicals and forms a natural coagulant. Thereby cutting down the cost of production of rubber sheets, while also giving the farmers a quality product for additional income.”

When the boys produced 15 such sheets and took them to the board for grading, their product was graded A+.

Besides, the rubber sheets prepared using bimbli are harder and stronger than their chemical counterparts.

Aman adds, “Generally after the coagulation process is over and the rubber sheets are formed, the trays are left behind with a residual solution. This residue of formic acid is often disposed of by farmers into the soil. Since the solution is very acidic, it depletes the soil and makes it unsuitable for agriculture in the long run.”

On the other hand, Nachiketh adds that the residue from the bimbli extract after the coagulation process is not acidic and poses no threat to the soil.

While a litre of formic acid costs up to Rs 325, the farmers spend another Rs 300 for para-nitrophenol (used to give the sheets colour). Naturally grown bimbli cuts down these costs completely while making the entire process of rubber sheet production eco-friendly. The same process that requires 100 ml of formic acid can be executed with merely 60 ml of non-toxic bimbli extract.


Also Read: Exclusive: Mumbai Kids Build Unique Machine That Turns Banana Leaf Into Food Packaging!


Winning accolades

Their project won a gold medal at the regional-level Indian Science and Engineering Fair.


They moved to represent it in more detail at the national competition held in Rajkot, Gujarat, where yet again, they clinched a gold medal.

While they competed on their home ground with close to 50 teams at the regionals and nationals, they were pitted against 150 teams from 68 countries at ISWEEEP (International Sustainable World Energy Environment Engineering Project Olympiad). This was hosted by Harmony Public Schools in Houston, Texas, USA, from May 3-8, 2017.

The competition was fierce, with other participants exhibiting projects on topics like brain mapping and nanotechnology following years of research.

Aman and Nachiketh were mentored by experts in preparation for the competition, which included their science teacher, Nishitha K (Indraprastha Vidyalaya), Dr Harish Bhat (Scientist, Centre for Ecological Studies from IISc, Bengaluru), Jayanth Kulshekar (retired professor, St Agnes College, Mangaluru) and Narayan Iyer (President of INSEF Fair).

The boys were also trained in Mumbai by experts at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.

When asked about the questions asked during the presentation, Aman says, “We started out by introducing ourselves and the project. Almost every judge asked us about the side effects of using formic acid and what makes the bimbli extract a better alternative. The guidance by the experts and mentors helped us display our project in a visually-appealing manner and tackle questions like these smoothly.”

It was an honourable moment for India as the two boys and the humble bimbli took centre stage at the competition and clinched the silver medal.

“It was surreal. We weren’t expecting it. It was a moment of pride for both of us to represent India at the competition,” says Nachiketh.

Aman agrees with the sentiment saying, “I felt very proud. And the best part was that I got an opportunity to visit the NASA space centre in Houston.”

Team India at the NASA Space Centre in Houston

You May Also Like: Best From Waste: How Tamil Nadu Schoolkids Used Innovation to Help Their Aged Sweeper!


At the 70th Republic Day celebrations, Nachiketh was presented with the Bal Shakti Puraskar Award in the field of innovation by President Ramnath Kovind.

Nachiketh being felicitated by the PM the President

Also, PM Modi tweeted, “A U Nachiketh Kumar prepared standard rubber sheets from a fruit named Bilimbi (Averrhoa bilimbi) as a sustainable and environment-friendly substitute for rubber latex created from formic acid by farmers. Best wishes to him for his future endeavours.”

While it is indeed a joyous moment for the student, it is unfortunate that his teammate Aman was left out in the mentions since it was a joint effort. It is of course in the nature of things that sometimes credit does not reach where it is due.

The awards are given out based on the overall achievement and not one single project. Nachiketh’s achievements include developing an ointment for curing itchy boils and pus cells. He had also won a bronze medal at the district level INGI-CONNECT science project competition for a working model of conversion of energy.

“When the Bharat Puruskar was declared, the excerpt that is read out for the winners only highlighted the bimbli project. And that’s how even social media picked on it,” says Nachiketh.

While both boys are currently preparing for their PUC exams, they aim to develop the product further.

After the exams, Aman hopes to write to the PM about his contribution to the bimbli project. We hope it reaches the right ears and he receives the credit due to him.

(Edited by Shruti Singhal)

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Waste to Energy Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2018 – 2026

LONDON, Feb. 6, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Waste to energy Market – Overview

The world is currently facing challenges arising out of shortage of conventional fossil fuels and degradation of the environment.In order to overcome these issues, renewable energy resources are being used increasingly.

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The need to produce energy from renewable resources has risen.Waste-to-energy (WtE) is a type of renewable energy.

It is a process wherein energy is generated from the treatment of waste, thereby turning waste into a source of power generation.

The energy produced from this process is similar to that produced by using coal, natural gas, or oil. The waste-to-energy process is expected to reduce landfilling of municipal solid wastes (MSWs) by 90%, which can further reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Japan and Germany are major countries in terms of waste treatment for energy recovery.Japan converts approximately 65% of its waste into energy.

The share of waste disposed of in landfills is nearly 3%; the rest of it is either recycled or composted.Germany is the world’s first major renewable energy economy, as it extensively uses renewable energy for power, heating, and transport.

More than 120 waste-to-energy plants were operating in Germany by the end of 2016.

This report analyzes and forecasts the waste-to-energy market at the global and regional levels.The market has been forecast based on value (US$ Mn) and volume (thousand tons) for the period from 2018 to 2026, considering 2017 as the base year.

The study includes drivers and restraints of the global waste-to-energy market.It also covers the expected impact of these drivers and restraints on the demand for waste-to-energy during the forecast period.

The report also highlights opportunities for the waste-to-energy market at the global and regional levels.

The report includes detailed value chain analysis, which provides a comprehensive view of the global waste-to-energy market.Porter’s Five Forces model for the waste-to-energy market has also been included to help understand the competition landscape of the market.

The study encompasses market attractiveness analysis, wherein waste type, technology, and application segments have been benchmarked based on their market size, growth rate, and general attractiveness.

The study provides a decisive view of the global waste-to-energy market by segmenting it in terms of waste type, technology, application, and region/country.In terms of waste type, the market has been classified into municipal solid waste (MSW), agricultural waste, and others.

Based on technology, the waste-to-energy market has been divided into thermochemical and biochemical.In terms of application, the market has been segregated into electricity, heat, and others.

These segments have been analyzed based on the present and future trends. Regional segmentation includes the current and forecast demand for waste-to-energy in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East Africa.

The report provides size (in terms of volume and value) of the waste-to-energy market for the base year 2017 and the forecast between 2018 and 2026.Market numbers have been estimated based on waste type, technology, and application segments of the waste-to-energy market.

Market value and volume have been provided for the global, regional, and country-level markets.

The report comprises profiles of major companies operating in the global waste-to-energy market. Key players operating in the global market are Veolia, SUEZ, Covanta Holding Corporation, Keppel Corporation Limited, Constructions industrielles de la Méditerranée (CNIM), China Everbright International Limited, Babcock Wilcox Enterprises, Inc., STEAG GmbH, Future Biogas Limited, and Gazasia Ltd. Market players have been profiled in terms of attributes such as company overview, financial overview, and recent developments.

The global waste-to-energy market has been segmented as follows:

Global Waste-to-energy Market, by Waste Type
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
Agricultural Waste
Others

Global Waste-to-energy Market, by Technology
Thermochemical
Incineration
Others

Biochemical
Anaerobic Digestion
Others

Global Waste-to-energy Market, by Application
Heat
Electricity
Others

Global Waste-to-energy Market, by Region
North America
U.S.
Canada
Europe
Germany
Sweden
U.K.
France
Italy
Switzerland
Belgium
Spain
Netherlands
Rest of Europe
Asia Pacific
China
Japan
South Korea
Australia
ASEAN
Rest of Asia Pacific
Latin America
Brazil
Mexico
Rest of Latin America
Middle East Africa (MEA)
GCC
Rest of Middle East Africa

Key Takeaways
Europe is the leading region of the global waste-to-energy market.The region constitutes more than 35% share of the global market.

The market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at a significant pace during the forecast period.
Europe had around 520 waste-to-energy plants in 2016, with all EU28 countries active in the WtE production, along with Iceland, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland
Recently, concerns related to fossil fuels have increased. This presents opportunities for service providers operating in the waste-to-energy market.
Around 75 waste-to-energy facilities operate in 23 states of the U.S. They have capacity to process approximately 94,000 tons of waste per day and a base load electricity generation capacity of approximately 2,534 MWh (megawatt hours).
According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 114 bioenergy and energy-from-waste plants are currently operating in Australia

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About Reportbuyer
Reportbuyer is a leading industry intelligence solution that provides all market research reports from top publishers

For more information:
Sarah Smith
Research Advisor at Reportbuyer.com
Email: sarah@reportbuyer.com
Tel: +1 (718) 213 4904
Website: www.reportbuyer.com

SOURCE ReportBuyer

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This Valentine’s Day, green is the new pink


Consider going green this Valentine’s Day!

More than a billion Valentines are sent across the globe for February 14th and more than 36 million boxes of chocolate are purchased each year, creating epic amounts of waste for just one day of celebration. Protecting our environment is becoming more essential with each passing day, making the purchase of disposable gifts with excessive packaging less thoughtful than you’d like them to be. You love the environment, but you still want to celebrate, and tradition dictates that candy, flowers, wine, cards, and other presents are expected for Valentine’s Day.

Luckily, there are lots of wonderful gift options out there that won’t cause any environmental damage, and even some that are actively helpful!

If your loved one is something of an environmental activist, you might consider having a tree planted in his or her name, or perhaps you can make a donation to one of the many organizations designed to help sea turtles or fight climate change. You can even do a little research and find restaurants, theaters, and much more in your area that are LEED certified and/or use solar or wind power in their buildings.

However, if your significant other is more traditional, consider some of these fabulously eco-friendly gifts…

Flowers

Bouqs

The floral industry is typically one with a sizeable carbon footprint. Flowers that are raised in non-sustainable ways take a toll on the environment, and approximately one-third of all flowers that are cut end up not being sold at all. When you consider the distances most flowers travel during shipping, buying a bouquet doesn’t seem very green.

There is a florist, however, that is making environmentalism a priority. Bouqs is a company whose flowers are grown in a sustainable way and are cut the day you order them, not before, preventing excessive waste. Their bouquets start as low as $36, and each listing includes the name of the farmer growing your flowers as well as their location, giving you the ability to choose how far your flowers will travel.

Cards

Bloomin

Sending a card for Valentine’s Day is a sweet, affordable way to let your loved ones know they are important to you, whether they live two blocks over or half a world away. Unfortunately, most cards will be dumped in landfills.

Luckily, companies like Paper Culture are changing things in the greeting card industry. They use only 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper, offset their carbon footprints by donating to carbon offset projects through carbonfund.org, and plant a tree for every order they receive.

You can also check out the cards at Bloomin, made from recycled materials with water-based inks in a facility powered by solar energy. Not only do they create beautiful cards, but their paper is seeded, which means that you can plant your card outside and a beautiful garden will grow!

Wine

red wine

If your partner enjoys a nice, robust glass of wine, you can’t go wrong with an Earth-Friendly Wine Club membership from Vinesse. For this particular wine club, Vinesse sources from vineyards that are ecologically conscious, fertilizing with by-products from the winemaking process and growing pesticide-free grapes.

Chocolate

chocolate

Chocolate is probably the most common gift given on Valentine’s Day, and for good reason—it’s delicious! That being said, there’s a lot of waste (red plastic boxes, liners, and trays all sealed in a plastic sleeve to keep them fresh). Fortunately, there is some excellent chocolate out there that focuses on sustainability.

EatingEvolved sells vegan, paleo chocolates sweetened with organic coconut sugar. Their vegan and minimally processed products have smaller carbon footprints than that of their animal product counterparts, and they offer some of the more classic flavor pairings like chocolate with crunchy caramel and dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds.

Candles

candle brothers

If you are looking for a lovely gift or simply want to celebrate by candlelight this year, consider purchasing candles from FRÈRES BRANCHIAUX. Not only do they have a recycling program that allows you to return the jars, making them a great eco-friendly product, but they are a small business started by three young brothers who source all their materials locally to keep their carbon footprint small.

Bijou Candles produce vegan candles made from 100 percent soy wax, helping limit the impact they have on the environment.

Clothing

reformation pjs

If you’d like to get your significant other a little slinky something as a gift this Valentine’s Day, you could do no better than purchasing an outfit from The Reformation. One of the most sustainability-focused companies I’ve ever come across, they think about everything from an eco-conscious POV, including the water they use, the energy that powers their factories, their fabrics and dyes, and everything else that goes into the process. Check out their page of sustainability practices to get an idea of how important this is to them! And they make beautiful clothes.