Epoxy resin is a kind of reactive prepolymer and polymer that contains epoxide groups. It is important to note that epoxy resin is different from other polyester resins in terms of curing. Unlike other resins, instead of using a catalyst as a curing agent, it is cured by an agent known as the hardener. It possesses many desirable properties such as high tensile strength, high adhesive strength, high corrosion resistance, and excellent moisture & chemical resistance. It is also resistant to fatigue, has a long shelf life, and has good electrical and insulating properties. The ability of epoxy resins to be used in various combinations and reinforcements makes it the foundation of a plethora of industries, including clean energy systems.
Applications of Epoxy Resins
Because of the versatile properties of epoxy resins, it is used widely in adhesives, potting, encapsulating electronics, and printed circuit boards. It is also used in the form of matrices for composites in the aerospace industries. Epoxy composite laminates are commonly used for repairing both composite as well as steel structures in marine applications.
Due to its high reactivity, epoxy resin is preferred in repairing boats that have been damaged by impact. Its low shrinking properties and ease of fabrication make it well suited for many tooling applications such as metal-shaping molds, vacuum-forming molds, jigs, patterns etc.
Use of Epoxy Resins in Clean Energy
A variety of industries have been actively trying to find a path that’s moving towards a society that puts less load on the the environment and also contributes towards reducing the carbon footprint. The accelerated use of epoxy resins in generating renewable energy has lead to a rise in its production demand. This is why the epoxy resin market is projected to witness a high demand and growth rate by 2022. Here are some of the sectors contributing to the production of clean energy and how they utilize epoxy resin for their functioning:
A piece of average solar equipment endures intense environmental conditions such as scorching heat, UV radiations, bitter cold, pouring rain, hail, storms, and turbulent winds. To withstand such conditions, the sealing and mounting application of epoxy resins increase the environmental tolerance of the solar equipment.
With their high mechanical strength, impressive dimensional stability and excellent adhesion properties, they are used to protect the solar panels from a wide range of temperatures. Epoxies are cheap, less labor-intensive and easy to apply.
The global wind industry has quickly emerged as one of the largest sources of renewable energy around the world. The wind energy in the U.S. alone grew by 9% in 2017 and today is the largest source for generating clean energy in the country. With such a tremendous demand for wind power, the need for fabricating bigger and better wind turbine blades is also rising. The industry is in a dearth of long-lasting blades, that endure the harsh climatic conditions and wear tear and are able to collect more wind energy at a time.
Sealing and mounting application of epoxy resins increase the environmental tolerance of the solar equipment
Epoxy thermosets are used for making the blades more durable because of their high tensile strength and high creep resistance. Mixing of epoxy resins with various toughening agents and using them on the blades have shown positive results towards making the blades corrosion resistant and fatigue-proof.
Hydropower is an essential source of renewable and clean energy. As the hydropower industry is developing rapidly, the solution for protecting the hydropower concrete surfaces against low temperatures and lashing water flow has also been looked into.
As a solution to this issue, epoxy mortar, a mixture of epoxy resins, binder, solvent, mineral fillers, and some additives has proven to be the most effective material used for surface protection. Owing to the properties like non-permeability, adhesive strength, anti-erosive nature, and non-abrasiveness, epoxy mortar paste has been used as a repairing paste in the hydropower industry.
Over the last few decades, epoxy resins have contributed immensely in the maintenance and protection of clean energy sources, helping them to become more efficient and productive.
While many argue that factors like a relatively high cost when compared to petroleum-based resins and conventional cement-mortar alternatives has affected the epoxy resin market growth, the fact remains that epoxy resin never fails to deliver top-notch and unmatchable results in the areas of application.
According to recent estimates, the renewable energy sector employs 12 million people worldwide. Keeping workers safe is vital in any industry but as the use of clean energies rapidly expands around the globe, more workers are putting themselves at risk climbing wind turbines, maintaining remote solar panels and dealing with flammable biofuels. By identifying and managing the risks involved, a range of safety interventions can be used to reduce the risk of injury to workers.
Reducing The Risks of Wind Turbine Maintenance
As more wind turbines are constructed, the number of accidents associated with their maintenance and repair has also risen. When a worker is injured on site, a personal injury lawyer will investigate the circumstances and potential causes of the accident. As well as helping to secure appropriate compensation for injured workers, the information gathered can be used to prevent similar accidents happening again.
To further limit the risks to turbine workers, drones are regularly used to carry out hazardous and labor-intensive jobs including the inspection of turbine blades. Drones can now be equipped with extra tools such as AI which enables them to store, analyze and report the data they collect to wind farm managers.
Mitigating the Dangers of Solar Panel Installation
Due to their placement on high roofs and in remote locations, solar energy systems also pose a risk to workers when they are installing, maintaining and repairing solar panels. Taking into account the amount of power generated, working with solar energy is three times more hazardous than wind power and results in up to 150 deaths around the world each year. Risks include exposure to high temperatures, electric shocks and falls, all of which are increased if work has to be carried out in adverse weather conditions.
To mitigate these risks, safety interventions to mitigate these risks can include the increased use of specially designed training modules, the automation of certain tasks and changes in shift patterns to avoid fatigue amongst workers.
Reducing Exposure to Hazards in BioFuel Production
While biofuels produced from renewable resources such as plant biomass and vegetable oils are safe to use, they can be dangerous to manufacture. They are highly flammable and can produce potentially hazardous chemical reactions. These can result in burns and other injuries caused by exposure to fire, chemicals or explosions. Manufacturers of biofuels should follow the standard safety guidelines for working with chemicals which include storing products correctly, providing adequate personal protection equipment to workers and training them to handle hazardous substances safely.
As many biofuel businesses are small, in the US they can access consultation services from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration which will give them advice on programs to protect workers and what to do in the event of an emergency.
As more workers are employed by the renewable industry, the numbers of occupational accidents and injuries are likely to rise. By identifying and managing risks as they become known, safety interventions can be implemented promptly.
Paper has many different uses. Receipts, paper bags, cartons, and books all use paper. That being said, the utility of paper is quite clear especially given the fact that the world is going greener by the day. However, while there has been a lot of progress in attaining a green standard in the paper and pulp industry, there’ve also been quite a few challenges.
Also, as our contemporary society has evolved over the years, the demand for paper has increased exponentially. Probably because we use a lot of it. It comes as no surprise then that the world is creating sustainable processes and innovations to increase yields to sustain the ever-increasing demand for paper globally. You’d be right in saying that the rate of innovation, as far as making paper is concerned, is quite rapid.
Unfortunately, paper and pulp production account for some of the pollutions in our society. Also, plenty of water is wasted during the process. As much as 100 liters of water can go into making a kilogram of paper. Moreover, due to poor industry practices, the polluted water that comes out as a byproduct of this process is dumped in places where it shouldn’t be e.g., the ocean. Also, on that note, a lot of energy is wasted in the process. Almost every stage of the paper-making process uses a lot of energy.
Also, in the world’s bid to make the future renewable, wood will be a very important part of this transition. Therefore, sustainable forestry should be instituted as a matter of urgency otherwise it will be hard to meet our targets. Mind you if resources are used improperly, unwanted consequences may arise.
That being said, the following is a brief guide on sustainable paper and pulp production. It details some of the things you need to know about the industry seeing that it’s an industry that’s seen many advancements over the years. It also gives some vital outlooks as far as sustainable forestry is concerned.
1. Sustainable Manufacturing and Harvesting
Wood is the primary raw material in the paper-making process. Paper is made from pulp and pulp is made from fibers (cellulose) found in wood. As such, plenty of wood is required to produce more and to meet demand. Thus, the necessity of sustainable forestry. More forest is needed to harvest and produce more. The move towards sustainable paper and pulp production has to be facilitated by adopting innovative technology. Here’s why:
Since production starts in the forest, you need the machinery to harvest the wood. Sawing equipment like deck saws and saw chains are used to cut and log trees for further processing. To minimize wastage and save time, you need the help of advanced technologies. Reputable brands like Pacific Trail Manufacturing have a wide array of equipment to choose from. They have the most cutting-edge technologies in terms of sawing trees.
Moreover, if sustainability is to be attained in the paper and pulp production industry, it should start somewhere at the source (forest) e.g., if you salvage time savings, money savings, and reduce waste (water and electricity) by using advanced technology when harvesting wood, these costs, and environmental advantages will trickle down the value chain.
Machine technology is more effective and efficient compared to the human hand. Humans are not as fast as computers, robots, and machines. Since machines are more productive, they make fewer mistakes than humans. Mind you, making mistakes may not be good for a business’s bottom line. That’s why the paper and pulp production process is mostly automated. Human involvement is needed before upkeep and maintenance. From source to processing to the end product, every part of the production has some form of automation in it. A sustainable future cannot be secured apart from innovation, information and technology, and machinery.
2. Forest Biodiversity
This establishment of sustainable forests is good for the industry. It allows for the spread and diversification of plant species. Also, if done right, it contributes towards environmental equilibrium. While it is true that some people still engage in irresponsible logging activities, there’s still a concerted effort toward making the paper-making process environmentally sustainable. You certainly don’t want to produce paper at the expense of natural habitats. Also, you do not want to destroy habitats all for the sake of meeting a demand for paper. It makes a lot of economic sense, but it’s morally skewed.
Moreover, when forests are grown specifically for raising trees that will be used in the paper in paper production, we preserve the integrity of the nature reserves surrounding those areas. That’s why it’s important to have regulations in place that govern how sustainable forestry should be done. You need to work with nature lest it works against you.
Furthermore, the whole point of sustainability is to improve productivity without worsening the condition of nature. Otherwise, we will pay a heavy price for disrupting the equilibrium that’s already there. Thankfully we have experts in the field of biodiversity research. Tons of research help people to understand the dynamics of nature, what to look out for, and how we can improve production without damaging our environment.
The objective of certification procedures in forestry is to legitimize the paper and pulp production process. It’s no secret that healthy forests are essential in building a sustainable production process. The paper production industry accounts for a lot of waste as mentioned before. So, if sustainable production is to be attained, regulation is required.
In North America, there are three notable programs in place to help validate processes of harvest and production namely the American Tree Farming System (ATTS), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI). They are all different regarding the key focus areas they intend to address. But the end goal is more or less the same, to instill credibility accountability in forestry.
These programs can elaborate on the practices which are supposed to be followed by all landowners as far as growing trees and sustainably harvesting them is concerned. Those landowners who can prove their certification automatically improve their credibility. They will also have greater access to other markets. The more landowners that partner with such endeavors, the more sustainable the value chain will be. Remember, if any sustainable future is to be secured, it has to start from the source.
An additional benefit of managing forests is that the paper and pulp industry accounts for a lot of jobs globally. Establishing regulations that protect forests can contribute to protecting the jobs of the many people who are employed in the industry. Throughout the value chain, you will find that there are a lot of people who are employed from the tree cutting to the final product (paper).
4. Renewable Energy
Paper is perhaps one of the most renewable substances on this planet. Paper recycling is quite popular nowadays and it accounts for much of the paper that we use. The fact that paper is recyclable means that it’s a better substitute for non-renewable substances like plastic. The more that our world gravitates towards a pro-paper society, the more inventive people have to be to extract more volumes of paper from waste and landfills.
Demand is and will most likely stay high. Recycling is going to be a part of the renewable future that the world is aiming towards. A lot of energy is lost in processing and extracting paper. Therefore, innovation will be a constant feature insofar as attaining sustainable paper and pulp induction is concerned.
Also, relying too much on energy can be deleterious because it means that if a power cut occurs, the whole process will be affected. Using renewable energy sources to facilitate production can help. Renewable sources of energy like biomass and solar energy are alternatives to electrical energy.
Although the energy from renewables is hard to harness, it’s possible to create hybrid systems that utilize both renewable and non-renewable energy. If the production process is transformed into a renewable machine as much as possible, less energy is wasted and fewer emissions are produced. A renewable energy cycle can be created wherein most parts of the system are powered by green energy.
5. The Problem of Deforestation
Deforestation is a big problem. Agriculture, mining, and construction projects are the main causes of deforestation. It’s a practice that marks the epitome of unsustainable forestry. Harvesting trees without replacing them will lead to all kinds of problems in the long run.
If people make the habit of cutting forests illegally and not replacing them, it could lead to desertification and habitat loss. This also ties in with biodiversity loss which is devastating to maintaining the equilibrium of the environment. Destruction of food chains can have far-reaching effects on the entire ecosystem. That’s why deforestation must be shunned. Also, that’s why forests are being regulated more diligently.
Moreover, deforestation is a barrier to sustainable paper and pulp production. If deforestation is allowed to continue, the hope for building a sustainable paper and pulp production system is futile. It’s like moving forward-backward. That’s why most authorities around the world put punishments in place for people who cut trees without permits or some form of authorization legitimizing their activity. Trees are an important natural resource and they must be protected. If trees are harvested improperly, the effects will be felt across the whole production chain and in the environment.
Sustainability is much sought after in today’s contemporary society. Thus, the drive for efficiency and innovation in production. The pulp and paper industry is no different. There is no determining what the ceiling is when it comes to technological innovation. All that can be ascertained is that any form of progress is welcome. Because if the future is to be green, every opportunity for growth needs to be utilized. All things considered, sustainability is and will always be a worthwhile goal.
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 has taken a human and socio-economic toll over the course of the last six months, with more than 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths recorded so far. However, the pandemic has always provided moments of hope and economy across the globe, from the boom in ecommerce and the rise of remote working to the unexpected 8% emissions reduction reported in the UK. These trends have also been impactful across the globe, and there’s no doubt that they have the potential to sustain significant and positive change into the future.
What is a Green Economy and Why Should the World Care?
Of course, the Covid-19 outbreak came on the back of global environmental protests by organisations such as Extinction Rebellion, which sought to drive radical change and introduce a green economy that would make the UK carbon neutral by 2025.
This was deemed to be incredibly ambitious by some commentators, although the current Conservative government has pledged to create a greener, carbon neutral economy by 2050.
While regulations and multilateral agreements such as the Paris Climate Change Agreements take care of the first element of this, it’s socially responsible investment that drives the second.
The best example of the latter exists in the form of investment in renewable technology, which is arguably the single most important dynamic for future infrastructure spending throughout the global community.
Can Covid-19 Trigger Increased Green Technology Spending?
With this in mind, the importance of green economics and increased renewable energy technology spending is clear, while the sharp decline in emissions during the coronavirus outbreak has raised hopes that a green global economy may be on the horizon.
Still, there’s no doubt that fossil fuel consumption is set to decline incrementally in the coming years, and this is definitely a factor when appraising the issues faced by oil of late.
Ultimately, these facts hint at a greener and more sustainable future, and it cannot be denied that most developed economies were investing in renewable energy sources at record levels prior to the pandemic.
The question that remains, of course, is to what degree the recent emissions reductions across the globe have been inspired by such changes? The answer is telling, particularly if it turns out the reduction in CO2 emissions over the course of the last two months was solely driven by the widespread lockdown measures that curbed road and air travel.
Regardless, now is clearly the ideal time to push a greener agenda and continue laying the foundations for a more sustainable future.
Want to make your business greener? It’s easier than you might think to make eco-friendly changes. While there are some challenges you’ll face, implementing green changes into the company delivers a lot of great benefits.
If you want to really make a difference, you can install solar panels in your premises. This helps to provide greener energy. Using the sun’s rays to power up the building, these panels can also save you a lot of money over the years.
The only trouble is, installing solar panels isn’t cheap. So, if you don’t have the funds available you have two options. You can see whether there are any government schemes to help fund green changes in your business. Or, you could seek business funding from a responsible lender. You’ll get the money back that you borrowed over time through the money saved with these panels.
Add plants in and around the business
Another great tip is to add plants and trees in and around the business premises. Using trees and greenery outside the building helps to improve the environment. They are known to clean the air, benefit local wildlife and they make the premises look much nicer.
Planting more trees and vegetation will go a long way in reducing heat in urban settings.
You can use plants indoors too. Adding plants to the office can not only benefit the environment, but your workers too. Research the best indoor plants to add to your business for the most eco-friendly benefits.
Encourage employees to go green
As a business owner, there’s only so much you can do to make the company greener. You’ll also want to enlist the help of your employees to make greener changes. For example, you could encourage them to cycle to work, rather than driving. Or, you could implement a car sharing scheme to cut down on emissions.
Switch to renewable energy
Finally, another way to create a greener business is to switch to renewable energy. Did you know some companies focus on providing 100% renewable energy? Switching to these suppliers won’t just help you protect the environment; it will also save you a lot of money potentially too.
It’s worth researching your options to see which supplier best fits your needs. Switching suppliers is a fairly straightforward process these days so you should find it an easy task.
These are some of the main ways to make greener changes in your business. By implementing greener policies, you’ll be able to really cut down your company’s carbon footprint. With global warming remaining a very serious threat, anything you can do to reduce your impact on the environment is going to be worthwhile.
The industrial sector, which includes the manufacturing industry, is the third largest global source of greenhouse gas emissions. Shockingly, the sector emits roughly 21% of all greenhouse gasses, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals. Fortunately, there are a number of ways manufacturing companies can lower their carbon footprints, adopt eco-friendly equipment and practices, and become more sustainable.
Audit energy use
Manufacturing plants typically use huge amounts of gas or electric energy. Adopting energy-efficient practices to optimize the plant’s energy use can slash costs considerably. Start by conducting an energy audit — ideally during the next scheduled plant downtime — to identify areas requiring improvement. HVAC systems, in particular, are huge energy and money drainers. Replace the filters and insulation so hot or cold air doesn’t escape. Repairs may also be needed. Temperature controls can be precisely automated with a programmable digital thermostat.
Additionally, common industrial lighting like incandescent bulbs should be switched out for LED lighting, which uses 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer. Keep track of your eco-friendly changes and monitor energy use to make sure you’re operating at maximum efficiency.
Reducing manufacturing waste is an effective way of making your plant more sustainable. For example, limit the quantity of excess raw materials your plant has in stock; order just enough material for the job it’s needed for each time. Work on recovering waste from both onsite and offsite locations with the help of techniques like centrifugation, electrolysis, reverse osmosis, or filtration.
Alternatively, recycling materials is a simple way to recover useful materials (recycling hazardous materials, however, usually isn’t eco-friendly). High-power, industrial shredders, in particular, can help you deal with a number of waste materials (such as, wood, plastic, rubber, and asphalt) by considerably reducing their size. Investing in durable equipment also reduces waste. For example, Bobcat T190 tracks are designed to minimize wear and tear to the tire. The thick, high-quality rubber lasts longer, so the tires need replacing less often.
Switch to renewable energy
Switching to renewable energy can help your plant generate its own clean electricity and heating. In fact, by 2035, renewable energy is set to be the main global power source, according to the 2019 Clean Jobs America report. Green power sources like solar, wind, biomass, geothermal heat, and rain are also cheaper than traditional fossil fuel energy sources.
Depending on your state, you may also be able to benefit from tax incentives and earn money back. You can also support renewable energy by selecting a renewable electricity tariff with your supplier. This means either some or all of the power your plant uses will be matched by your supplier purchasing green energy.
Making your manufacturing plant more eco-friendly certainly isn’t an overnight job. However, it’s well worth the time and effort it takes to make positive and permanent changes. Switching to sustainable practices and equipment will help the environment, save energy, and improve your bottom line.
In addition to a robust economy, Singapore’s sustainable environment is another leading factor that has attracted numerous investors. Most cities in the world have failed to address environmental issues brought about by urbanization. Towns or urban areas cover over 2% of the Earth’s surface; they are responsible for about 80% of the greenhouse gases emitted while using up almost 75% of nature’s resources.
However, a host of countries in Southeast Asia are leading the way to change this contrary notion about cities and urban regions. Research conducted by several world-leading environmental bodies and institutions determined that Singapore is indeed one of the most environmentally sustainable nations.
Singapore’s first prime minister kickstarted the dream of making Singapore a green city. His main agenda was to make Singapore stand out from the rest of the Asian countries and also attract investors from all over the world. The first step undertaken to achieve this dream was the eradication of the houseboats and overcrowded slums along the banks of Singapore River.
Singapore is offering entrepreneurs moving to the country a platform to incorporate their businesses in Singapore. This allows them to run their firms within the stipulated terms while also receive the government’s backing.
On the world’s Environmental Performance Ranking, Yale University and the U.N place Singapore at seventeenth globally and first position in Asia. Contrary to popular belief, Singapore’s efforts and strict green technology guidelines, which were set and backed up by the government, helped in making it an eco-friendly city.
So how exactly does Singapore afford to provide suitable surroundings perfect for its citizens and also attract investors and entrepreneurs from overseas?
As discussed before, adoption of green technology is one of the leading things that has made Singapore an eco-friendly city. Singapore has been able to morph into a modernized city-state without having a negative impact on nature.
The Singapore government’s Cleantech division, which is a subsidiary of the board tasked with economic growth, has offered continued support to companies in the clean technology business. This has led to the business sector growing tremendously in areas such as renewable energy, water conservation, green buildings, green cleaning products etc.
Growing ICT Center
Companies such as Hewlett Packard (HP) and International Business Machines Corporation have partnered with the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. The main idea behind these partnerships is to ensure that Singapore’s ICT industry thrives. HP, for example, has been tasked with designing and manufacturing energy efficient systems that will cut power costs while still providing a working platform for businesses.
There is no shortage of green spaces in Singapore
Low Energy Costs and Environmental Remedies
Accommodating over 7000 companies from different nations across the globe is no mean feat. As such, Singapore’s government and other agencies know that a green environment is not the only requirement to attract more investors.
Through an alliance known as the Singapore Sustainability Alliance, an umbrella consisting of government groups, non-governmental organizations, and teaching institutions, Singapore has been able to come up with policies that create a sustainable environment. Other than this, the alliance has overseen the adoption of systems that include proper water use, renewable energy, energy efficiency, waste management, etc. which have significantly improved business growth.
The world doesn’t seem to stop when it comes to consuming energy. As each country experience growth and development as a society, their needs for power increases to keep up with the pace of their expansion. The process is a natural one. It’s even socially encouraged, but that doesn’t change the fact that it takes a toll on our planet. More of the world resources are exploited and processed to become fuel.
While denied by many of these industries for a long time, the ugly side of energy consumption has been exposed for the whole world to see. It has increased the awareness about the need to embrace alternative energy and waste solutions that are renewable and cleaner to avoid contamination and slow down the degradation of our many natural ecosystems.
Many of the initiatives to use clean energies are embraced in multiple countries. Some of them are backed by governments and private industries looking to preserve our planet and fix some of the damage caused by our constant demands of resources. Many people believe that individual efforts don’t count. The fact is that every single bit of help they can get adds up a lot. Here are 5 actionable tips you can follow to make proper use of renewable energy on your premises:
1. Embrace Solar-Powered Technologies
If you haven’t realized it yet the sun is the most powerful energy source in the world and no one can charge to use it. This is why many developers focused on creating technology that makes the best use of the power delivered by the light and radiation offered by the main star in our solar system.
Nowadays, you can get solar-powered vehicles, and solar panels to distribute energy at your home. Such solar technologies can be a bit expensive but is durable as nothing else in the market, plus it is a one-time investment at best!
2. Crowdfund Clean Energy Projects
Many communities are willing to go green and use green energy sources when they are presented the right project. Most of the times the neighbors’ just need to see a well-laid plan explaining why using renewable energy sources will be more affordable for them in the long run.
A solar-powered community project in Laos
The environmental angle can also be helpful, especially for those homeowners that live close to natural reservoirs and wish to keep the value of their properties by safekeeping the environment.
3. Support the Society of Concerned Scientist
This is an amazing initiative to get businesses and the world to become more educated and use more renewable energy. I am not affiliated with the society at all, but it may be one of the most actionable ways to help the environment because they have built up a lot of support and assets.
Many households and modern housing projects can make use of this technology to recycle the water sources they use and avoid the unnecessary waste of such vital liquid.
The basic principles of this initiative require investment in processing plants and large tanks that can either be installed on the foundations of your home or at the side of it. Your house will always have clean running water, and you won’t take much from the natural sources near your place.
5. Wind Power for Home or Business
Many locations around the world are using wind-powered turbines to generate electricity, and it has become a business opportunity for many entrepreneurs around the world. The plants are easy to install, and the energy is very cheap to produce.
Wind-powered energy has generated an excess of power in certain locations such as China, Germany, Australia and some regions on the USA with these plants selling they’re overproduced to regular energy plants. The power provided by these alternatives is cleaner than most and very easy on a family budget.
When you think of oil companies, it’s likely you don’t also think of “environmentally-friendly”. We see news about spilled oil, burning tankers, and other issues, and assume that all oil companies are disregarding the health of our planet. This simply isn’t the case, and you’ll be happy to know that the oil industry is actually working to keep the environment clean.
Here are five ways the oil industry is helping out with Mother Earth.
The first step to improving anything is realizing there’s a problem to begin with, then gathering necessary information on the problem. Every time an oil spill, accident, or fire occurs, the oil industry is gathering precious data to use to combat future problems.
When a spill occurs, it can be devastating for the local ecosystems. Flora and fauna alike are affected by the viscous liquid, often restricting their ability to move, breathe, or perform daily functions. The Deepwater Horizon Rig that caused a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was much more than just an industrial and environmental disaster; it was a learning experience for the oil industry.
Scientists and researchers from all over the world descended on the Gulf after the spill, and though we’re still learning from it a decade later, the information that was collected has been incredibly beneficial to the industry and has helped pave the way for new containment processes.
2. Better Pipe Maintenance
Maintaining pipelines is a crucial component of keeping the environment clean. Pipes can rupture, leaking oil or natural gas into the environment or even causing explosions and fires under the right conditions. The oil and natural gas industries have focused heavily on creating better maintenance processes and safety standards for pipelines across the country in recent years.
Not only do faulty pipelines put the environment at risk, but they also put thousands of workers at risk as well. Keeping workers and the environment safe not only shows care for the Earth and the industry’s employees but also helps potentially save millions in cleanup dollars.
3. Decreasing Freshwater Usage
Certain processes, such as fracking or separating oil from sands, use millions of gallons of fresh water. This is incredibly damaging to the environment not only because there’s already a shortage of freshwater on a global scale, but also because the wastewater that’s produced is stored in man-made containment units that aren’t always good at containing it.
Fracking wastewater is laced with chemicals that are both harmful to the environment directly and can contaminate other freshwater sources. The oil industry is working hard to minimize the use of freshwater in fracking and separation processes, as well as reducing the amount of wastewater and improving containment.
There’s also some promise in the area of recycling the water itself for use in future processes. In the US, produced water from fracking is being used in certain applications and even some water treatment plants are focusing on better treatment processes to make the water drinkable.
4. Investing In Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is on the horizon, and with the continued focus on wind, solar, hydro, and even tidal energy, the oil industry is starting to take notice. These energy sources offer a promising future, but as of yet, they’re not able to meet the world’s energy demands in an affordable way.
Right now, gasoline, natural gas, and crude oil are much cheaper and more profitable to source, acquire, and sell to the public. Pipelines can transport natural gas thousands of miles away, serving isolated regions and maintaining a constant flow of raw resources throughout the country.
Not to mention, the Canadian economy is highly invested in oil and natural gas, being the 5th and 6th largest producer of each respectively. However, the oil industry isn’t ignoring renewables. With continued investments, we could see a partial or full transition to renewable energy within our lifetime.
5. Using Technology For Better Planning
As technology improves, so too do the processes by which pipelines are planned and built. With new software, engineers can better plan a pipe’s path through an ecosystem in order to minimize the environmental impact. Better diagnostic software can identify issues long before they become spills or ruptures, and even AI tech is playing a role in the oil industry.
Believe it or not, the oil industry is committed to a safer and more sustainable world. By using technology and data, the industry is improving its processes and ensuring that renewable energy remains an option for the future of energy production.
You’ve heard all about it before: global warming and pollution have been steadily impacting our planet little by little each year. Sure, we’ve all probably been asked to write an essay about how to help solve our environmental problems, but do we really live our lives as sustainably as we should?
With all the talks about climate change, one of the most significant changes consumers can make is to switch to renewable energy. True enough, its growing popularity has made it the fastest-growing energy source in the country. You might be thinking, “Does the source of my electricity really matter?” The answer is a resounding yes! To prove it to you, we’ve rounded up the advantages of eco-friendly energy sources down below.
1. It Reduces Greenhouse Gases
Using traditional energy creates a huge environmental impact on air, water, and land resources. Currently, the world mainly produces electricity through coal and gas—two of the biggest contributors to the rising levels of CO2 on the planet.
The accumulated greenhouse gas is responsible for the greenhouse effect, increasing the earth’s average surface temperature. Additionally, this temperature change disrupts the ecosystem, causing more plant and animal species to decline in number, ultimately affecting our biodiversity.
In contrast, the use of renewable energy (e.g., solar, geothermal, biomass) does not require burning fossil fuels. Thus, it drives down carbon emission and significantly reduces the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
2. It Gets Cheaper Every Year
The growing popularity of eco-friendly energy sources has resulted in a lot of positive changes for the economy. For instance, at least two-thirds of the world now offer clean energy as a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels.
To add to that, Eligo Energy’s report discovered that 65% of Americans are willing to pay for green electricity despite it being more expensive. Due to the increased investments in new technology and government subsidies, renewable energy is steadily becoming more affordable.
Moreover, renewables, like solar and wind energy, do not have price hikes. The same cannot be said for fossil fuels which become more expensive over time. Finite resources also have extreme market volatility, something that companies have no control over. Effective policies can be done easier around renewable energy, as it offers long-term stability in the market.
3. It’s Beneficial to Your Health
It’s no secret that factories powered by coal produce dark smoke that rises to the sky. What’s worse, this smoke contains traces of mercury, arsenic, and sulfur dioxide—all toxic pollutants that pose many dangers to public health.
The smog and air pollution make us more vulnerable to respiratory diseases like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lung cancer. WHO even estimated that seven million lives are lost each year due to air pollution.
Choosing to make use of renewables will definitely be the healthier option, as it decreases the need for more coal to be burned. Green energy answers the problem of air pollution and will pave the way for improved air quality, saving millions of lives worldwide.
4. It Saves a Lot of Water
While the earth is mainly made up of water, only a very few percent of that is usable for us humans. Therefore, water is a precious commodity we should conserve. However, power plants use hundreds of thousands of gallons of water just to generate electricity. Likewise, the extraction and production of fossil fuels rely on a lot of water too.
Switching to green electricity greatly helps in conserving water. For instance, wind and solar energy plants barely need water to operate; the occasional washing of solar panels and turbine planes are most probably the only times you’ll ever need water. Indeed, renewable energy sources are a long-term water-saving solution.
5. It Provides Job Opportunities
As more companies and governments venture into increasing the accessibility of green energy, more jobs have been opened to workers around the globe. In fact, these opportunities are also available for those without college degrees! Building factories, solar panels, and wind turbines are great examples of the many jobs high in demand on the market right now.
There is also a growing need for specialists and experts. Engineers, financial analysts, renewable energy consultants, and even farmers are all needed to study the endless possibilities of clean energy for different industries.
Automakers, for example, have invested in renewables to create electric-powered vehicles. Apart from electrical and mechanical engineers, they will have to hire more assembly line workers. As these newer cars become more efficient, it won’t be soon enough for consumers to choose them over the traditional gas-fueled vehicles.
As climate change takes a toll on the world, we have to make significant changes to our ways before it’s too late. Fortunately, our technologies have advanced enough to be able to generate electricity from eco-friendly sources.
With all the advantages it brings, green energy is predicted to run the world a few decades from now. Indeed, renewables are the energy of the future, and it’s high time for you to make the right switch.
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