On Friday 5th June 2020 ‘World Environment Day’ took place shining a spotlight on the environmental needs of planet earth.
Amidst the positive, Antonio Guterres reminded us all of the horrors & hardships the Covid19 pandemic is presenting us all with. “COVID19 is causing enormous human suffering and economic hardship around the world. We need much stronger unity and solidarity if we are to get through this pandemic together and build a safer, more stable future” (1) we are more mindful than ever of the environmental cause & effect which has brought us all to this point.
The international global movements of humans & animals has paved the way for infectious diseases to run riot in the right environments. A virus needing a host to survive, is well matched to a densely populated area such as Wuhan (the starting point for Covid19) where it can thrive. (2)
With the human race being further challenged by the links between anthropogenic climate change & the rise in zoonotic disease, there are now global calls for the human race to learn lessons from the Covid19 pandemic. Calls for a ‘green industrial revolution’ are abound across the media & social media networks, with international environmental groups & leaders calling for Governments & policy makers to use this opportunity to ‘reset’ & re-focus on a green post Covid19 recovery.
Despite the world having seen temporary reductions in Co2 emissions during the Covid19 lockdowns across the globe, we are all well aware that in the grand scheme of things, they will not have an impact on the overall effects of anthropogenic climate change.
Regardless of the uncertainties which Covid19 have presented the human race, there are still environmental projects & green innovators working tirelessly to bring their products & game changing technologies to the worlds stage. This year, Dolphin N2 have taken some time to celebrate some of the British innovators who are striving to be part of our green economy & become part of the global effort to save planet Earth.
Dolphin N2 have developed their Thermopower & CryoPower split cycle engine which promises up to 90% reduction in engine out emissions.
When coupled to after treatment the resulting tailpipe emission is near zero impact. The 30% reduction in fuel consumption and relatively low cost of installation, using predominantly current automotive components means that the payback periods for long haul freight are short and could be as low as one year depending on usage profile. (3)
Oceanium founded in 2018 is based in Oban, Scotland with an office in London. Oceanium is developing ‘marine-safe, home compostable bio-packaging materials & food & nutrition products from sustainably-farmed seaweed.
Utilizing an innovative green chemistry, Oceanium will produce a home compostable, marine-safe bio-packaging material to replace current food packaging which has no end of life solutions. Oceanware* will be 100% natural and its end of life solution is to be disposed of with food waste which will then be composted for soil health or for anaerobic digestion for energy. (4)
Highview Power’s technology is based on the air liquefication principle, enabling the storage of air as a liquid. The benefits of this type of high-density storage, is that once there is a need for energy supply, the liquid can be reverted back in to a gaseous form, generating energy which powers the Highview Power turbines, subsequently producing instantly available & sustainable energy supplies.
In October 2019, Highview Power announced they were to build the UK’s first commercial cryogenic large -scale energy storage facility, to be located at a decommissioned thermal power station in North of England.
The 50 MW/250 MWh project is a clean large-scale energy storage facility that can help the UK achieve its goal of decarbonising industry, power, heat, and transport. (5)
British company Entocycle identify that insects form a natural protein source for animals such as pigs, chicken & fish.
Entocycle, currently farming Black Soldier Flies for animal feed inside historic railway arches close to London’s Tower Bridge; are therefore using natures processes & innovative technologies to farm sustainable protein at scale & are currently supplying to the fisheries industries as an alternative to traditional soy based feeds.
Using local food waste such as ejected supermarket fruit & vegetables, brewer’s grains & coffee grounds as a food source for the Black Soldier Fly larvae; Entocycle identify that the Black Soldier Fly are the ultimate up-cycle machine & are determined to see the farming of insects as an alternative to intensive farming methods, return the land used for intensive farming back to the wild & in doing so restoring Earth’s natural resources. (6)
Shockingly Fresh: Vertical Farming.
Based in Edinburgh, Shockingly Fresh are currently developing five sites, with plans afoot to build dozens of indoor vertical farms. Increased yields from the farms could help British growers boost crop production & reduce the UK’s reliance on costly off-season imports from the EU. (6)
MacRebur – Recycling plastics bottles into bitumen
MacRebur’s CEO & Founder Toby McCartney having worked with charitable organisations in India helping reclaim goods from vast landfill sites; was inspired by an innovate way the locals had for filling potholes in roads. He witnessed large sheets of unwanted plastics being pushed into the potholes, diesel being poured over the top & set on fire. The plastic would melt into the hole & thus fixing the problem.
Upon his return, McCartney got together with two friends, Nick & Gordon, and formed MacRebur®. The team came up with our innovative idea to take a mix of waste plastics, granulate them and add them into the making of an enhanced asphalt road.
After years of tests and trials all over the world, MacRebur now promote 3 waste plastic additives into asphalt. All of the products meet various worldwide roads standards and have been rigorously tested against standard asphalt, bitumen and Polymer Modified Bitumen.
The numbers & data in relation to the MacRebur product, speaks for itself. For each km of road laid using the MacRebur product, they use the equivalent weight of 684,000 bottles or 1.8MT of single use plastic bags. 1 tonne of the MacRebur road mix contains the equivalent of 80,000 plastic bottles. (7)
This is only a snapshot of the incredible work British innovators are undertaking in their constant battle against anthropogenic climate change & their need to help & support the repair of our biodiversity & our planet.
Covid19 has taught the human race many lessons. Not all Governments & policy leaders are necessarily focused on a green recovery with economics & financial needs seeming to be more important. However, there are plenty of Governments & policy makers who can & are seeing this time as a time to make & implement the green & environmental changes they need to ensure another pandemic does not arise & does not cause such rampant damage to humans & to livelihoods.
Written by Katy-Jane Mason for & on behalf of Dolphin N2.