The technological evolution in the world is accelerating toward healthier environment and efficient use of energy. So, the field of application going wide and driving us toward a green world.

This has now became a shared goal for all the countries, regardless to their limitation of resources to ensure a clean and healthy environment with proper management of energy.

efficient use of energy and healthier environment

1 . Breakthrough of battery technology

One of the companies that is in the spotlight with battery technology is the American Tesla. The company of Elon Musk is mostly known by the same name:  electric car. Here, the battery is a crucial component partly because, it has a high share in the cost of the car. But Tesla is just as well a battery and a car manufacturer today. It builds it’s own battery factory in the Nevada desert. Again recently, the company also announced its latest development in the so-called home battery: the Powerwall 2.

In combination with their innovative sun roof, Tesla can say that every house makes off grid. The solar panels are fully integrated in the roof structure and almost visible.  The battery technology will be crucial in the coming years and that’s definitely not just a story of Tesla. Thus, Yet Ming Chiang, professor of material science at the MIT, founded 24M Technologies. His company is working on a more efficient way of producing lithium-ion batteries. The production time of these new batteries would be 80 percent lower and the cost would decrease by half.

2. Healthier environment through new biological materials

Also in the coming years, a lot of research will take place on new biological materials. A good example of our contraction- across the border in Dutch Limburg – is the Chemelot Campus, which describes itself as a “chemical and materials community”. Scientists from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany are researching on bio materials.

An interesting company in this field is the Dutch Avantium, a spin-off of Shell.The biochemical company develops and produces PEF. It is a renewable material on a vegetable basis. PEF can eventually replace the environmentally friendly PET, which is now being used everywhere for plastic bottles. Currently, Avantium is  building a production facility in the Antwerp region together with BASF.

3 – Energy management through the internet or things

Futurocité is an organization in Wallonia for some projects relating to mobile technology, the environment and energy. Thus, the organization, using external partners, charts energy consumption in public buildings of cities and municipalities. This job is done by using sensors and the mobile network – the so-called internet or things. They collect all kinds of data such as indoors outside temperature, energy consumption, air quality and whether or not people are present in the building. Thus, they found ‘About one fifth of the energy supply in public buildings is wasted. -‘FUTUROCITÉ

Futurocité is just one example that shows that smart-building projects and measurements make a big savings. The target is not only measuring, but also controlling power management. According to Futurocité, about one fifth of the energy supply in public buildings is wasted,

4 – Electricity generated by human body

Thermo electric materials that can convert heat to electricity have been in existence for a long time. But so far, they are mostly focused on the gadget sphere. Such as a MP3 player or mobile phone that can be charged with body heat (a bit extra).  But the question is how can you make the conversion of heat to electricity more efficient? In Germany, significant quantities of electricity are being generated from human heat.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute developed an unique circuit. This circuit requires only a limited amount of energy (200 millivolts) to extract energy from the temperature differences between the human body and its environment.

5 – Renewable and green energy

Initiatives on renewable and new energy forms, such as earth and residual heat are being set up in Leuven. For example, a project on shallow geothermal energy (Earth heat) runs on the Jansenius and Duchy sites. It is about cooling and heating of new construction combined with heat-power coupling. Therefore, the industrial area in the Leuvense Vaartkom is again an important cluster of heat kits, using residual heat and heat recovery.

50% The production time of the new lithium-ion battery would be 80 % lower and the cost would decrease by half.

6 – Reuse of CO 2

A climate change strategy is simply reusing CO 2 : Carbon Capture & Utilization in the jargon. The Flemish research organization VITO develops biological and biochemical processes that support this process. One example is their CO 2 MPASS project, which converts CO 2  and hydrogen with bacteria and enzymes into raw materials for plastic. In bioelectrochemical processes, bacteria convert CO 2  with electrical current into organic acids and alcohols. Such as acetate or ethanol. VITO developed patented electrodes, which are required to deliver the flow to this process.

7 – Electricity from plants

The Department of Environmental Technology of the Dutch Wageningen University has developed a technology. This new technology generates electricity from living plants. So, as soon as the plant is optimized, the researchers will produce 10 to 28 kWh per square meter per year.

The innovation is being commercialized through the Plant-e company. They want to roll out technology globally. Meanwhile, an installation has been built in Dutch Brabant, which demonstrates that this technology can also generate large-scale power.

8 – Smart (hatch) greenhouses

In The Netherlands, the Greenhouse of the future is working on environment and energy-friendly greenhouses. Mostly, these greenhouses are intended for the production of flowers and vegetables. Those are designed to store energy in warm periods, which can flow back to the mains. Initially, it was primarily intended to use energy as efficiently as possible. Finally, the greenhouses became technically so advanced and efficient that flower and vegetable growers today generate a significant part of Dutch flow. Meanwhile, large companies like Philips are investing in these efficient greenhouses.

9 – Smart daylight domes

The company EcoNation from Ghent was awarded two years ago at the climate summit in Peru. For being one of the most promising green technology companies. The company pioneered the development, production and installation of smart light domes. Something that replace artificial light through daylight. In the domes there is a mirror that directs to the optimal light point through a sensor and collects the daylight. This is reflected inwards, filtered and strengthened, after which it is dispersed in the building. Consequence? Artificial light is no longer needed for a long time.

“In Germany, we try to generate significant amounts of energy from human heat.”

10 – Parts of energy

Perhaps the most sympathetic project from this list. About three years ago, teacher Marc Bellinkx founded the project ‘Kontich Stream’. It even retrieved the famous TEDx Talks. The reason? The power that Bellinkx generated through his solar panels, should he not deliver to his neighbor. Kontich Stream wants to establish a civilian energy park, which is inspired by the Dutch solar panel initiative, Nl. Citizens could invest in this project of solar energy.

That’s not how it is. Bellinkx also attracted one of the first of the teachings against the capital injection of the Chinese State Grid in network operator Eandis. Successfully, because the deal eventually ended.

Thanks for your time. Hope you have enjoyed reading my article ‘Efficient use of energy and healthier environment ‘.