We all know that alternative energy is a hot topic for the future. Fossil fuels won’t last forever, so what new options does the world of science and technology have lined up for us? Here is a look at five of the wackier forms of alternative energy currently being investigated.
Good Old-Fashioned Muscle Power
Forget simply pounding the treadmill to burn calories. The next generation of gym bunnies could be providing eco-friendly energy while melting away their pounds. A number of innovative and green-minded gyms are already working on trials to convert the body’s energy into usable energy to power our lives. Current estimates suggest that an average person could generate around fifty watts of electricity every hour.
Everyone you know probably spends much of the day texting. Chances are that you do it too. In fact, in the USA an incredible 12.5 billion texts were sent in a single month and this was back in 2006! Imagine how many are being sent now. However, what if we could use our tapping fingers to generate usable energy at the same time? This basic idea led to ‘Push to Charge’, a fascinating entry into a Green Gadgets competition for design a few years back. The concept relied on the largely unheard-of phenomenon of piezoelectricity, which basically explains how some metals will generate electricity when they’re struck together. In this new method, the special mobile phone would have a layer of hard metal under the plastic buttons, with special crystals charging each time you texted.
Hot Air for Fuel
An interesting way to tackle rising business electric prices, hot air as fuel could be used to create large amounts of ‘clean’ energy without the need for fossil fuels. Companies such as Enviromission are looking at building massive solar updraft towers in deserts to trap the sun’s heat using similar processes to greenhouses. The hot air trapped in the special sloping canopy which would be the size of a football field would reach 90 degrees Celsius and force turbines to spin, powering generators and producing an anticipated 200MW of electricity daily enough to power up to 100,000 homes.
Cows and Methane
Environmentalists have warned that the gas released from cows is a big climate-change problem. In fact, livestock across the world are believed to produce around 20% of greenhouse gases more than all other forms of transport combined! This is because methane is a large component of bovine emissions and this gas traps heat inside the atmosphere.
Various approaches are being looked at to capture this methane and make it a usable ingredient in energy production and this includes placing special light ‘rucksacks’ on the cows’ backs to collect the gases. Perhaps we’ll see this strange sight in fields in the future or perhaps not. Other scientists are also looking at different bovine diets which could reduce emissions, so we’ll have to wait to see what results from these new scientific approaches.
E.coli Not All Bad?
The word E.coli generally makes us feel nervous as it is usually associated with horrible food poisoning symptoms. However, this little organism could actually be used to provide energy because it can be used to convert the waste from agricultural processes into pump-ready fuel. Geneticists have been experimenting with different DNA variations to find which approach may work in the future.
This post was written on behalf of ENER-G who offer invaluable advice to people who are looking for energy management solution services to assist with their business.
Image Credit: S-kei, Read additional information on wikipedia
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