What is Sustainable Technology?

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18 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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What is Sustainable Technology?

Karel Mulder




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Why is this important question?


SD is a holistic concept:
meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
needs



Engineers work at the level of parts of the system



engineers design at ‘artefact’ level where many consequences of
SD meet: energy, safety, waste, pollution, equity, etc.




Wikipedia answers:

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Sustainable technologies use less energy, fewer
limited resources, do not deplete natural resources,
do not directly or indirectly pollute the environment,
and can be reused or recycled at the end of their
useful life.
[18]

Sustainable car?

"The car’s body is composed 90% by plate
panels which are cut according to the
desired finish and the rests are recycled,
and completed with thermo
-
formed pieces”.


It is easy to produce and adapt, according to
the user's needs. The engine works with
compressed natural gas (CNG), with the option
of evolving into electricity in the future. The car
is also very small (2.10
metres

long, 1.45
metres

wide and 1.78
metres

tall/6'8" long, 4'7"
wide and 5'8" tall), which can probably help
some of the problems related to urban transit in
the future. It is estimated that each unit would
cost around 4,500 dollars.


http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/11/nexo_the_argent.php

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Air source heat pumps

Alkaline fuel cell

Alternative technology

Alternative fuel

Bamboo bicycle

Battery electric vehicle

Bi
-
fuel vehicle

Bicycle

Bioconversion

Biofuel

Biological hydrogen production

Calgary downtown district energy

Cogeneration

Combined heat and power plant

Electric car

Green manure

Hydrogen vehicle

Laddermill

Micro combined heat and power

Vertical farming

Wind farm

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SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY????

Refrigerator, 1960s

Modern Car

Car 1900s

Horse & Carriage, 1900s

Wind
-
turbines,

Germany

500 m from

Dutch border


Noise complaints

Yes

No

refrigerator

New car

Old car

Horse
-
Carriage

Wind Turbine

Why Refrigerators?


Perishable food problem: loss of fish and vegetables, risk of food
poisoning



Toxic/flammable refrigerants: Ammonia, SO
2
, CH
3
Cl,
hydrocarbons ..



Search for safe refrigerants: non toxic, non flammable and
effective

Chloro
-
Fluoro
-
Carbons



1928 Synthesis by Thomas Midgley


Main advantages:

-
effective

-
Non
-
toxic

-
Non
-
flammable

-
Somewhat more expensive



Cleveland accident:

May 15th, 1929: 128 people died of methyl
-
chloride
poisoning



1930 CFC Refrigerant

Other applications

CFCs: Solution for
dangerous spray cans

Airconditioners

1970 Lovelock traces CFC’s in wind at Western Ireland

1974

F. Sherwood Rowland (UC
-
Irvine), Mario Molina

1984
-
5 Joe Farman

1987 Protocol Montreal

CFCs as global threat

So?


1930: miracle solution: “really sustainable”


1974: New issue: atmospheric effects, serious doubts


1987: “ozone killer”

‘Sustainability of a technology
depending on place


and on time….

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Now, cars ………………..

Annual World Oil Consumption 2005


29 Gbo

Annual Oil Discovery Rates in 1990s


4
-
8 Gbo

Cumulative World Oil Consumption 1860
-
2005


960 Gbo

Conventional Remaining World Oil Reserves (P50)[1]


850 Gbo

Remaining World Oil Reserves[2]

1317 Gbo

Conventional Remaining World Oil Reserves (mean)[3]


2311 Gbo

Were cars around 1900 Sustainable?


In 1818, New York City Council: regulation. Manure
collection & processing: special "manure
-
yards" to process:
"rotting“, overturning and exposure to weathering.

Problems:


Abt. 1200 tons of manure daily on the streets: dust, typhoid


dead animals (In 1880, New York City removed 15,000
dead horses from its streets)


Noise


1908: 20.000 death?

Sustainable?


CFC 1930, 1960:




yes


Horse & carriage, New York, 1900:

no


Car 1900:





yes


Car 2009:





no

2311 * 10^9 barrels of oil still present.

Cumulatieve consumption 960 Gbo.

Total 3271 Gbo

Formed in about 350 * 10^6 year (highest speed Paleozoicum)


Simplified: 9345 barrels annually




1 barrel:

51.4 % gasoline
(
http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/whats_in_barrel_oil.html
) =

0.514 * 159 litre/barrel

= 81.7 liter gasoline



Geological annual production of gasoline: 9345 * 81.7 = 763500 litres gasoline



2000 litres per car annually?



380 cars can drive sustainably

by gasoline

lets say between 100 and 1000

And that windturbines?


For many years complaints of villagers:
noise at night


Neglected by authorities and NGO’s: NIMBY


Villagers were right: University research found a new phenomenon:



At night, the windturbines produced far more noise. Cause


wind shear under absence of sun


Size of windturbines (distance between top and lowest position
of blades)

Lessons?


Various articulations of sustainability


Related to paradigms


related stakeholders



Technology should meet all possible SD articulations?
No


Sustainable for ever? No


Sustainable technology is only a useful concept if it involves
hardware and software: use of technologies that is, as far as we
know, in harmony with its natural and social environment


ENGINEERING DESIGN CAN ONLY DEAL
WITH SPECIFIC ARTICULATIONS OF SD

ARTICULATIONS:

-
SPECIFY TARGETS TO BE OPTIMIZED

-
EXCLUDES OTHER TARGETS


Non
-
sensensical statement:

“Sustainable
because

100 %
recyclable”

Implications


Involve stakeholders in technological decisions: the
engineer cannot decide on their behalf


Sustainability is never established forever: A
sustainable technology now might be unsustainable in
the future


Include Jevons Paradox

(Rebound effect)
:

Sustainable Aquaculture

What more than saving the marine sea life?

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