Solar powered cars, lithium-free batteries and motor wheels. An MIT engineer presents innovations to replace polluting technologies. Cars emit about 3,000 kilograms of CO 2 per year . Methane emissions by ruminants provide greenhouse gases in a percentage similar to aviation. By adding all transport, livestock, cement and energy, emissions of 40,000 million tons of CO 2 per year are achieved worldwide since 2014. To Ian Hunter, a New Zealand professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Bioinstrumentation Laboratory in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),This information seems unsustainable and alarming. “We cannot continue like this, with the unconscious people and the interests of each one as the main concern. You have to change minds and there is a long way to go, ”he says. Faced with this complex marathon, the researcher has launched multiple projects to replace the industrial realities that harm the planet. He is the author of 200 patents that he considers “sustainable and affordable technologies that will change the world,” including needleless injections, wheel motors and carbon batteries.
Hunter is convinced that it is possible to replace all the plastic of medicine with nanofibers extracted from cellulose, be inspired by the methods of the past to build a new industry and transform the methane emitted by livestock into a source of energy. “We have to go back to what we did years ago and create our own products, ” he explains. For him, in addition, it is essential to implement new technologies in developing countries because they start from scratch and especially stop consuming much more than necessary. “It would not make sense to propose changes if people cannot buy them. And I am sure that, over time, technologies like these will change the world,” the scientist says.
Injections without needle and wheels with motor
At the Ramón Areces Foundation , a part of the engineer’s innovations have been presented by his collaborators. The first on the list is the needleless painless injection system. Patrick Aquetal, CEO of Portal Instruments , said that between 40% and 55% of patients with chronic diseases do not take their medicine properly. “It is essential to change the method to solve this problem,” he reiterated. The technology allows real-time computer monitoring of the patient’s health.
The apparatus is based on a system of high power density electromagnetic agents. That one, to show its audience how it works, charges the control with a sample of water, presses the button and, in silence, a jet comes out at an amazing speed in a straight line before disappearing into the air. Then, scientist repeats the action on a round support of just over 10 centimeters in diameter. A green light is activated, nothing is heard or a single drop falls. “This light shows me that the injection has been done correctly and as you can see, there is nothing left in the bottle,” he adds, raising the tiny boat.
The next innovation it presents is a car similar to a Batman- style capsule created by Indigo Technologies . It is a vehicle that Marshall Chapin, president of the institution, describes as “highly efficient”. The images show a light and flexible system that adapts to any obstacle, curve and surface. The central technology of the device is a “motor on wheels with integrated active suspension that frees designers from encapsulating a traditional powertrain,” says the speaker.
Hunter adds that it is possible and necessary that all existing vehicles on the market be powered by solar energy. “Of course, we must bear in mind that solar panels take up space and could damage nature. Mobility systems could be integrated directly with the appropriate plates without affecting the terrain,” he explains.
Carbon batteries and dog-shaped robots
Another of the multiple patents that Hunter, an entrepreneur of 25 companies, has launched, are carbon batteries. Dissatisfied with the way of storing energy, the engineer proposes a renewable system that extends the life of the product. Eli Paster, director of PolyJoule , has developed a lithium-free battery model, which is developed specifically for the power grid. The system can respond, as presented, in microseconds to both basic and maximum loads. In addition, it is adapted to join multiple markets, as they say.
Finally, Carl Maclnnes, director of sales for the dairy cooperative Fonterra, owned by 10,000 farmers, works with Hunter to reduce and reuse the methane emitted by dairy cows. Its main objective is to convert the pollutant into a source of energy. The two institutions also develop new herb control and optimization systems using agricultural robots and glass as packaging. Before concluding, the speakers show a video of a robot in the form of a headless dog jumping and running across the field two meters from the cows.
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And one last issue. If all these technologies manage to replace the ones we have now, what to do with the waste generated by the tools that are obsolete? It will be a very complicated task. New recycling routes must be opened and the material reused. And above all, you need imagination and open your eyes, defend Hunter’s team.