Engineering the World - installation photography 14/06/2016

Engineers have given the world more than you could imagine. The theoretical scientists are taking the credit for discovering everything from steam power to electricity and nuclear fission but engineers were the ones who tamed these forces, turning them into locomotives, power plants, TV sets, and smartphones allowing you to read the news, play games and bet at Betway Kenya. And engineers keep giving to the world as we speak. Many of them are focusing on inventions that can make our world more sustainable and livable for those fighting hardships in their everyday lives.

Water

Kenya is a country with a predominantly arid year-round climate, with water scarcity being an issue for decades. A major part of the population is without a fresh water supply. There is, in turn, a project underway that might provide them with an alternative source of fresh, drinkable water. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have recently tested a new water extraction system based on a custom metal-organic framework that can extract up to a quarter litre of water a day from the atmosphere for each kilogram of the material. The system is currently being tested in the dry area in Tempe, Arizona, USA. Once completed, it will be able to sustain the drinking water needs of a family in even the dryest desert regions.

Electricity

Solar panels have been around for ages – but they haven’t become very widespread mostly because of their cost. But over the years, solar cells have become cheaper and more efficient. Today’s solar panels cost as little as $0.75 per watt of electricity generated, which is far below what solar panels used to cost. At the same time, scientists and engineers are continuously working on cheaper and more efficient ways to generate electricity from the almost endlessly renewable source that is the Sun.

At the same time, other efficient means of generating and storing electricity are also in the works, including various forms of wind turbines and cheaper, more efficient batteries.

Waste disposal

Civilization has one major downside: it comes with a lot of waste that has to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. Back in the day, things used to be simple: most of the waste generated was biodegradable. The spread of plastic has made it much harder to safely and efficiently get rid of all the waste generated by humanity. But there are scientists working on better ways to do so without harming the environment.

On one hand, scientists are working on reducing the use of plastic to the minimum. The project range from creating new plastics that will either be degraded naturally in a short time or recycled and used over and over again. One group of engineers has even come up with a solution to turn agricultural by-products into a wide range of products, from “granola bars to laundry detergents”. All this to reduce the plastic waste that ends up in our environment, destroying our habitat.

Leave a Reply