TOP 10 innovations that will save the earth's resources from depletion - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 13:21

As the population continues to grow, and fossil fuels continue to decline, to find ways to produce energy, food and clean water is becoming increasingly difficult. But advances in technology - sometimes simple, sometimes dizzying - opens up new ways to expand the range of the limited resources of the planet.

Warka Water

In Ethiopia, get clean drinking water to the most difficult, if you choose from all African countries. Women and children are the majority of the settlements must pass many hours in the day to collect water, which is often very dirty and used for livestock and other animals.

Warka Water - is the solution developed by two Italian engineers. The principle is very simple. Special turret retards water vapor from the air in the condensation process. 9 meters tall frame is made of bamboo and a special polyethylene fabric that collects water drops. It weighs about 60 pounds and can be harvested four people for a couple of hours without forests. Each pillar produces about one hundred liters of clean, fresh water from the air per day without any effort.

Ethiopian word «warka» means wild fig tree. Cooking tree symbolizes fertility and generosity, and is commonly used as a decoration at public events and school activities. Warka Water will start work in 2015 in some villages across the country. A simple and elegant solution must solve a small part of the problem.

energy Tower - a concept based on the same principle as the Solar Updraft Tower, only in reverse. Instead of heating the air near the ground and cause it to rise, in this case the plan is to cool the air at the top, so he went down. To do this, scientists grist to the top of the tower, simulating rain. Air cooled by evaporation together with water. Since cold air is heavier than warm, he falls at high speed. This force of the wind drives turbines at the base of the tower produces electricity.

This tower has to be very high - 1,000 meters in height, which is almost three times higher than the Empire State Building and 20% higher than the tallest building in the world at the moment. But it will work effectively in hot dry areas near water.

In addition to producing clean energy, the tower also reduces the cost of desalination by about 50%. Can be cleaned and waste water, if there are houses and villages. Swimming pools with sea water near the tower can accommodate up to 160 000 tons of fish. In addition, moist cold air during pumping can change the local arid climate, which is valuable for agriculture.

Over time, salt or other materials may clog the turbine, but in addition, energy Tower largely self-sufficient.


Ordinary household refrigerators, even the most eco-friendly models consume about 8% of the electricity for which you are billed. Since the beginning of refrigerators in 1748 and further amended in 1920, cooling technology is not really something changed. Design refrigerators certainly different, but they all work on the chemical refrigerants, which represent a significant health hazard if inhaled.

Nevertheless, in 2010, Electrolux Design Lab competition young Russian designer Yuriy Dmitriev presented his idea of the future of the refrigerator. Instead of the standard boxes filled with air, according to his design food placed in biopolymer gel. Gel absorbs heat from the food, and outputs it as visible light.

Such a refrigerator no motor. Up to 90% of its volume can be used as storage space. It can be produced in different shapes and sizes, and because it has no doors or shelves, it can be mounted even on the ceiling if you want.

Design Dmitrieva still only a concept and technologies such yet, but why not dream up on what will be the so-refrigerators in 2050.

Mine Kafon

More than 50 million antipersonnel mines hidden in countries such as Angola, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Mozambique. People regularly lose limbs or even their lives because of these killers hiding. Neutralization of even a single mine costs $ 1,200, and considering that only one in Angola for more than 20 million lost mines, search and knock all of these mines will cost at least $ 24 billion.

Massoud Hassani, the Afghanistan designer and former refugee, has created its own low-cost device to detonate mines. Weighing in at 70 pounds, it is heavy enough to detonate mines, but light enough to move with the help of only one wind. The device looks like a dandelion and moves like a rolling stone field. Being made of bamboo and biodegradable plastic, Mine Kafon can blow three or four mines, is not completely destroyed. The cost of one such piece - $ 40.

Mine Kafon also has a built-in GPS-navigation, which allows you to detect the motion of each individual device and shows where there was a knock. It helps people to create a mine-free areas of the map.

Mine Kafon is at an early stage of development and has its own drawbacks. Possibly, the device will not cause detonation of mines, if already blown several times. Other problems associated with the terrain. No matter how hard the wind blows, he will not be able to push Mine Kafon up the slope of the ditch push or push through a wooded area.

Hasani aware of these issues, and argues that future generations of devices will be equipped with electric motors that will enhance their mobility and metal detectors, which will be shown at every metal object, if the detonation will occur. Although the apparatus is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction.


Aerogels - a solid material made of silica in the removal of all liquid, but maintaining the original molecular structure. It consists to 99.98% of the air, which makes it extremely easy to airgel and brittle. It can withstand the weight of 4,000 times greater than its own, but it is easy to break, just bent.

Currently airgel used in the field of space science and space exploration, to collect comet dust and isolation of the ship. Scientists are now trying to figure out how to make this material resistant to external forces to have the opportunity to apply more aerogels in practice.

Also known as "frozen smoke", airgel can seriously reduce heating costs. Since it is composed mostly of air, and the air is a good insulator, the silicon-based material can store heat our homes.


Good food for a long time to cook, and the food to which we are accustomed, usually contains a ton of fat and empty calories. Therefore, if you do not have free time for a healthy diet or a personal chef, you probably eat very badly. A group of young American businessmen solved this problem by replacing the conventional solid food to cook a mixture of minerals and nutrients needed by the body.

Powder Soylent, named after a similar product of science fiction turns into a drink, equivalent to a perfect meal. Hundreds of people were living on one "Soylent" for months and feel better than ever.

The product is quite cheap to manufacture and easy to sell. As of 2014 he sold at $ 3 per serving and its main target audiences are the busiest people in the industrialized countries. Good and inexpensive way to satisfy the world's hunger.


Scientists are working to convey the ability of living creatures like jellyfish and fireflies plants, trying to create trees that glow in the dark. The meaning of this experiment, in addition to its beauty, to replace street lights in cities. A lot of money and a large amount of fuel consumed every night on street lighting, and a self-sustaining natural light will significantly save on it.

At New York University are trying to connect genes bioluminescent bacteria chloroplasts of plants, which absorb the energy of Sunlight. Yet managed to get only light small houseplants. On a large scale, this same process will actually create trees to replace street lights.

Traveling wave reactor

Nuclear energy - one of the most effective ways to address the problem of carbon dioxide emissions. Despite several disasters (Chernobyl in 1986 and FUKushima in 2011), which caused the disapproval of the masses, nuclear energy is generally much safer and cleaner than other widely accepted alternative.

In addition, although nuclear power and does not consume fossil fuels, it has its problems with resources. It uses a relatively rare isotope of Uranium, Uranium-235. Depleted Uranium-238 is a byproduct of nuclear fission and treats waste suitable only for the disposal and use of arms in the case.

The company is developing a new type of TerraPower reactor that runs on depleted Uranium, ie uses 99% enriched Uranium, which is in the form of waste scattered everywhere. At present, the world is more than a million tons of this material. If you use it in a traveling-wave reactor, the world will provide energy for the next 700 years. And thanks to the design of the reactor, the type of Uranium and other details, the developers claim that the chance of an accident is almost zero.

This type of reactor is considered for decades, but only recently has the development in this area has attracted the attention of major figures, such as Bill Gates.

solar cookers

Solar cookers (or cooking surfaces) - an inexpensive and environmentally friendly type of devices capable of concentrating the Sun's rays in the same place with the help of mirrors or reflective metals. Food will be prepared by only 10-15% longer time when compared to a conventional oven, but with absolutely no fuel.

In developing countries, where many people have no access to even basic amenities for a comfortable life, such self-sustaining furnace will be worth its weight in gold. They also say that this stove weighs very little and even a small child can be controlled with it.

oscillating platform

The main problem of renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels is that they require a huge space to produce enough electricity. They also affect the natural beauty of the landscape. Several wind turbines on green field with snow-capped mountains in the background look quite cute, but hundreds and thoUSAnds packed into a tight square to create a real eyesore. How to solve this problem? For example, to place wind turbines on floating platforms away from the shore.

In 2014, as part of a design competition Land Art Generatir Initiative, the artist Felix Chong presented its own solution to this issue. Oscillating platform (Oscillating Platforms) float on the sea and use the power of the wind with their sails. They also absorb the energy of the tides and even generate energy from the movements of people who go to the top.

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