Earlier this week, “Gearing Up to Go Green” took me to Montreal for a conference showcasing environmental technology and services. While some exhibitors showcased rather conventional “technology,” such as a plastic bin for things you don’t want any more, others had some innovative newfangled doodads that ranged from nifty to brilliant.
Garbage trucks offer terrible mileage, about 1.3 km/litre of fuel consumed. Part of this fuel use goes to the hydraulic systems that tip large bins and compact the trash. Effenco, a Montreal-based company, has developed a system to convert the energy of a garbage truck braking into hydraulic power, reducing fuel use by 20-25 percent.
Effenco is also working on a technology that will allow for an automatic shut off when truck stops for pick up and a quick and easy restart when it needs to move again—potentially another great fuel-saver.
Western Alfalfa Milling Company
Yes, you could eat it if you want. It’s dehydrated alfalfa, packed with nutrients. Though it is used in livestock feed, another increasing use is casting alfalfa pellets as an organic fertilizer or to help reclaim polluted land.
If you’ve ever seen algae in your swimming water or your scenic ponds, you know they’re a mean gang of little critters. Even though algae activity is often linked to humans allowing too much phosphorous make its way into water systems, many take a rather fatalistic approach to their presence, as if they are some superior alien race here to take over.
The folks from SonicSolutions, a Massachusetts company, have created a gizmo that show many types of algae “who’s the boss”. Using a floating ultrasonic wave-emitter, alage are either sound-blasted into constituent parts, or sense from the vibrations that they are in water that is moving dangerously and thus your decorative water feature won’t be the right neighbourhood in which to raise future algae.
SonicSolution units have also been used in public water systems to scrub microbes in lieu of using toxic chemicals for the job. Sounds like a good idea to me.
Drain and grease trap clearing is a dirty job and somebody’s got to it, but you can be glad it’s not you thanks to BactoTrap, a product from Nuvac-Enviro. They produce a mix of enzymes and bacteria that just love to convert fats and oils into a buffet, after which you can flush them all out. Nuvac also produces a range of other biotechnology products to accelerate manure liquefaction and help control odour, clean septic systems, and treat waste water. Hope you weren’t eating.