Celebrating Water in Cleantech
On the 22nd of March, we celebrate World Water Day. A UN initiative dating back to 1992, World Water Day celebrates the precious resource of water and raises awareness of the 2 billion people still living without access to safe water.
World Water Day is one of the ways the UN is hoping to achieve its Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring that water and sanitation are available for all by 2030.
A vital resource for all on earth, water is used in and for everything - from drinking to agriculture to a valuable resource in sustainability efforts.
There are two main ways companies in cleantech are using water to create a cleaner, greener world. The first is investing in sustainable water-based technology in order to solve climate issues that are plaguing the planet. The second way is using cleantech to tackle the water crisis and advance towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal.
As part of World Water Day 2022, we wanted to highlight a selection of companies that are both investing in sustainable water-based technology and utilising cleantech innovations to create a future where clean water is accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Read on to discover more about these innovations, plus the companies and people behind them!
Innovations in Water-Based Polymers to Solve Power Imbalances in Grids
The increasing share of renewable energy in grids coupled with the fluctuations of energy usage poses a big challenge when it comes to balancing power supply networks. This is only amplified in colder periods when the demand for energy surges. The result can be as severe as complete outages.
Research from Linköping University has created a large-scale energy storage system that is safe, reliable, cheap and sustainable utilising water-based electrolytes with carbon-based electrodes. Previous attempts to achieve this have been met with issues around rapid self-discharge.
However, two breakthroughs have seemingly found a way around this problem. They are a new type of water-based electrolyte and electrodes made from lignin (a by-product of paper production). Both of these materials are readily available, in large supplies and cost-effective to use.
The patented technology is being commercialised by Ligna Energy, led by CEO Peter Ringstad. They received the award for best ‘Start-Up for Climate’ at COP26 in Glasgow.
The future of this organic technology, which utilises water-based electrolytes, is to find a way to increase energy density to be able to compete with lithium-ion batteries.
Learn more about Peter on LinkedIn https://bit.ly/3MMrJki
Creating a Scalable Micro Hydro Power Solution
Hydroelectric power provides more electricity worldwide than any other source of renewable energy and it is continuing to grow.
However, building the dams needed can create more environmental problems than it solves as they require a large amount of land to be flooded. Furthermore not every area has the amount of space needed even if the free-flowing water is available.
Blade Runner Energy has created a scalable micro-hydro solution that harnesses the power found in the natural flow of water without the need for a dam. Co-founded by Moriel Arango and Matt Ross, their mission is to provide affordable clean energy solutions in emerging markets where alternative energy solutions are expensive and/or undesirable.
The system is small enough to enable storage and installation by one person. This results in clean energy, when needed, from hydroelectric sources in areas where there is flowing water but where traditional large scale dams cannot be placed.
Learn more about Moriel on LinkedIn https://bit.ly/3icqs8c
Utilising Cleantech to Provide Safe Water
Cleantech creates innovations in many different areas. The overall hope of any cleantech innovator is to create sustainable solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges.
One challenge which is, without doubt, a critical challenge is the number of people who still do not have sufficient access to clean water. This can be for a variety of reasons including living in a rural area that does not have the infrastructure in place to deliver clean water.
A way in which cleantech is being used to help alleviate this problem is through solar purification of water.
Generally, solar water purifiers utilise the thermal energy of the sun to heat the water creating a vapour that passes through a membrane to remove bacteria and salt.
Companies such as GoSun, founded by Patrick Sherwin, have created portable solar water purification solutions which enable rural areas that have a complete lack of access to clean water to benefit from the technology.
Learn more about Patrick on LinkedIn https://bit.ly/3u05leJ
Water is an incredibly valuable resource that we need to protect and ensure that every single person has access to.
The application of water within cleantech is an exciting, developing area in which we are likely to see continued innovations.
On the other hand, cleantech can also play a vital role in helping to create solutions to ensure everyone has access to clean water in a way that does not further harm the planet.
Safe to say, we’re eager to see how these groundbreaking solutions are creating a brighter future!