But perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that many things are designed to fail, built to last for a short period and need replacing, ensuring that the consumption continues. What is the economic incentive for Duracell to sell rechargeable batteries? Instead of an endless cycle of people needing batteries, they simply need to buy it one time, and then they are not a returning customer. Meanwhile batteries must undergo a special process just to be disposed of, and that is under the best of circumstances, many people will simply toss them in the trash and they will end up in a landfill somewhere
The impact of switching from petroleum plastic to biodegradable plastic such as corn or hemp plastic, on a national or potentially global level, would be far reaching and very dramatic. The sheer reduction in waste would be substantial, instead of mountains of plastic constantly growing; plastics grown from the earth would break down and return to the earth. Plastics are a fundamental part of modern society, and there is little chance of them going away in the foreseeable future, but the types of plastic we choose to use will have either serious consequences, or huge rewards for our planet.
A growing concern for our planet of increasing populations and dwindling resources is fresh potable water. One solution, currently in use in the United Arab Emirates, and other humid areas takes advantage of the natural process known as condensation, to extract fresh potable water directly from the humid atmosphere. When the humid air passes through metal coils that are cooled to below the dew point, the water vapor condenses and adheres to the metal surface, from there gravity pulls the water droplets down into a collection chamber.
While this is an effective method for obtaining water in otherwise waterless areas, it is limited to humid areas. There is another possibility that could be used that would not only produce fresh potable drinking water; it could also be used as a method for long-term storage of energy produced from photovoltaic cells. It is an idea that I have been pondering that is a combination of several different issues, how can we store solar energy? How can we transport energy produced from solar rich areas like around the equator, to areas where there is little sunlight year-round? And how can we create fresh drinking water from the vast expanses of salt water in the oceans?
If we were to build large solar farms out on the oceans, or along the coastlines of solar rich areas, as it is around the equator, the electricity produced could be used to perform electrolysis on the salt-water a process that works especially well with salt-water, to reduce the water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. This gas could be then shipped to any point in the world, where it could be used as a fuel for both power plants, and automobiles. This Hydrogen-Hydrogen-Oxygen gas (HHO gas) only byproduct when burned is fresh water, completely desalinated, and ready to drink. There is also no greenhouse gases produced at any point along its production, because the energy to produce the HHO gas comes from the sun, and the only by-product of burning HHO gas is fresh water. Even the vehicles used to transport the gas can be designed to run of HHO gas, as there are currently many vehicles on the market that are built to run on hydrogen, eliminating any greenhouse gas cost usually associated with fuel transportation.
I believe these large scale solar-farms devoted entirely to HHO gas production, would lesson, if not solve many environmental issues. Currently solar panels are not strong, or compact enough to keep up with the demands of running an automobile, however HHO gas produced off site at large scale solar farms, could be pumped as easily as gasoline at the gas-station. And has more than enough explosive energy to keep your car running strong. If we were to switch our cars from gasoline to HHO or hydrogen gas on a global level we would completely eliminate all greenhouse gases associated with vehicles, (a substantial chunk of greenhouse gases).
The use of this HHO gas for a fuel in power plants, would allow the power plants to collect and store the fresh water by-product. This idea has the potential to turn the toxic power plants of today into clean beacons of a brighter future, producing both clean electricity, and clean water. I believe the negative stigma of “not in my backyard” could be replaced with small, community sized clean HHO plants designed to meet both the electrical and water needs of a particular community.
I have no doubt that whichever country decides to invest in solar powered HHO gas production will lead the green-evolution and form the new “OPEC” of hydrogen energy. Whichever country establishes a foothold on this emerging frontier will find themselves with a newfound source of power, both in the electrical sense, and the political sense.
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