Renewable energy is the cornerstone when we try to ‘Build Back Better’ after the pandemic. But due to their intermittency, renewable energy technologies need the support of battery storage for when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.
Battery storage is vital. However, the lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries traditionally employed are usually welded or glued together, making individual components difficult to replace. If one part fails, the whole battery is usually thrown away – often with more than 80% of its potential life left unused.
We can gain a lot of benefits by applying the circular economy model to the lithium battery. By being able to repair, repurpose and reuse the components within the battery pack prior to recycling, it is possible to maintain and service batteries rather than replace them, reducing both waste and cost over time
Around 12 million tons of furniture ends up in landfills in the U.S. each year. A startup called Feather wants to change that by shifting ownership: instead of selling furniture, the company rents it out. When someone moves or wants a different sofa, he or she can send it back, and the company will clean and repair the furniture and rent it to someone else.
It will go towards an 18-month research programme that uses patented technology from the Wool Research Organisation (WRONZ) to change the physical format of the fibre and improve its absorption and virus-neutralising properties. The masks would be both highly effective and environmentally sustainable. The new format also enhanced the absorbency and binding properties of wool, making the fibre even more suitable for PPE use.
Concrete is a vital cog in modern infrastructure projects. While it may have become indispensable to major developments, concrete also has a significant impact on the environment. Concrete is made by combining water, a material like sand or crushed gravel – known as aggregate – and, importantly, cement, and it’s this component that has a considerable environmental impact. According to a 2018 report from Chatham House, over 4 billion metric tons of cement are produced annually. This, according to the policy institute, accounts “for around 8 percent of global CO2 emissions.”
Seeking to bring the field of wastewater treatment into the 21st century, and to embrace the popularity of circular economy technologies, Shfar’am-based AgRobics has developed a new “bio-stabilizer” technology that both improves wastewater treatment and collects biogas for energy production from the microorganism-rich waste.