ARTICLE: NEW GREEN TECHNOLOGY AND ITS BENEFIT

1.0          INTRODUCTION

Malaysian must put a ‘price’ on carbon, set regulations and pour money into research and development and let Malaysian ingenuity meet the market force for clean energy. This strategy would not only help the world avoid the worst of climate change, it will end our dependence on hostile foreign regimes that we rely for oil. Everything that we would actually do in response to climate change would make us healthier as a country, stronger, more innovative, and more energy secure. This is not just generating power in the sense of light; this is about generating a power period.

Malaysian has a chance to research, develop and sell clean energy technology in the form of solar, green retailing, green chemistry and transportation fuel before mega-economies such as China figure out that clean energy is the only way to grow and survive. We believe that a clean power is going to be the next great global industry. For example, states like Rhode Island can use tax breaks to lure clean-energy companies, positioning themselves to reap the benefits of the new green market. We must know that innovation is the path to climate and energy salvation (Ref.: http://www.projo.com).

2.0          MALAYSIAN GREEN INDUSTRIES REVOLUTIONS

Setting the right pace for economic regeneration while addressing environmental issues, the Malaysian Government has successfully identified green technology as the emerging driver for sustainable economic growth. Coupled with the pledge by the Prime Minister of Malaysia to reduce the country’s Carbon emission of up to 40% by the year 2020 during the UNFCC COP Meeting at Copenhagen, Malaysian industries have risen to embrace this challenge in a favorable policy environment and develop Malaysia into the green economy hub in the ASEAN region.

Following the successful initiation of the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM 2010) as the region’s largest green exhibition and conference in 2010, IGEM is set to rack up another notch in its standing as a hotbed in creating a vibrant mix of opportunities to help spur industries and institutions to adopt green technology and boost eco-technological innovators in the field of eco-design, eco-materials, eco-products and low carbon Green Technologies.

Set as an annual event, IGEM is strategically positioned to take the Green lead in the region by converging like-minded industry players and professionals from various sectors, public and private, big and small, local and foreign, new as well as established, to explore and seize the many opportunities from the exciting and emerging green market in the country and the region.

Moving towards commercialization of Green Technology that can diffuse through the market and become universally adopted, IGEM 2011 incorporating IGEM – Renewable Energy will continue to make thematic focuses on sustainable energy, renewable energy and green energy for adoption and start-ups, while providing an essential platform to launch, feature and showcase innovative eco-products, green technologies and services. It is a prestigious venue where green product buyers and sellers interact, transact and forge new partnerships and cross border collaboration.

3.0          GREEN RETAILING

The general term is used to describe a product that meets one of these criteria which has qualities that will protect the environment and has replaced artificial ingredients with natural ingredients. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines Green Marketing as:

a.       The marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe.

b.      The development and marketing of products designed to minimize negative effects on the physical environment or to improve its quality.

c.       The efforts by organizations to produce, promote, package, and reclaim products in a manner that is sensitive or responsive to ecological concerns.

Until recently, the retailing definition was considered by the AMA to be sufficient. Thankfully, the definition has expanded to include the social marketing perspective and the environmental marketing perspective. Also known as environmental marketing and ecological marketing, the time has come for marketing practitioners to develop a comprehensive definition of green marketing.

3.1          Product

The first element of the marketing mix examined is product. Product represents the good or service offered. Green considerations for product include product materials, components and design, product packaging, product recycling or environmental impact, green supply chain management and carbon footprint impacts of product offerings. From a service perspective, the latter is the most important consideration. Green is set up to be a resource for those who aspire to do “more good” and promote an innovation-oriented model for eliminating toxic chemicals and other negative environmental impacts. Its also prescribes a set of design principles, based on the laws of nature, to help businesses create products that are safe for people and the environment. This rethinking of design, manufacture, use and reuse materials will spur a new era of innovation, simultaneously driving economic, ecological and social prosperity.

3.2          Place (Distribution)

Green logistical concerns seek to maximize distribution while minimizing negative impacts on the environment, mostly from a carbon footprint perspective. Managing logistical operations, modes and materials to minimize environmental impact is one of the more difficult tasks associated with green marketing mission who is to co-ordinate activities in a way that meets customer requirements at minimum cost. In the past this cost has been defined in purely monetary terms. As concern for the environment rises, companies must take more account of the external costs of logistics associated mainly with climate change, air pollution, noise, vibration and accidents. This research project is examining ways of reducing these externalities and achieving a more sustainable balance between economic, environmental and social objectives.

3.3          Price

Green pricing is not well researched, nor does it have an institute dedicated to its study. As highlighted in A Call to Eliminate the Green Premium, price considerations for green product and service offerings need to be adjusted to meet consumer expectations. While price is the only mechanism used by businesses to recover cost of production and to make a profit (fixed cost per unit, variable cost per unit and gross margin per unit), savings related to green business practices are expected to result in lower prices, not higher prices. More research is needed in the area of green pricing.

3.4          Promotion

How green is your promotion mix (sales promotion, advertising, personal selling and public relations)? What is the impact of your print and digital media on the environment? Do you insist on the use of recycled paper, soy-based inks and energy efficient equipment? What is the carbon footprint of your promotion efforts? These questions are becomingly increasingly important for purchasers of advertising and communication services to ask of their suppliers. In the near future, agencies will need to quantify the impact on the environment of their communications output in order to be certified as approved green supply chain vendors. Championing the need for green communication efforts is the raise awareness, build capacity and foster the widespread adoption of economically viable, environmentally restorative and socially constructive uses of print and digital media.

4.0          GREEN CHEMISTRY

Green chemistry, also called sustainable chemistry, is a philosophy of chemical research and engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. Whereas environmental chemistry is the chemistry of the natural environment, and of pollutant chemicals in nature, green chemistry seeks to reduce and prevent pollution at its source. In 1990 the Pollution Prevention Act was passed in the United States. This act helped create a modus operandi for dealing with pollution in an original and innovative way. It aims to avoid problems before they happen.

As a chemical philosophy, green chemistry applies to organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and even physical chemistry. While green chemistry seems to focus on industrial applications, it does apply to any chemistry choice. Click chemistry is often cited as a style of chemical synthesis that is consistent with the goals of green chemistry. The focus is on minimizing the hazard and maximizing the efficiency of any chemical choice. It is distinct from environmental chemistry which focuses on chemical phenomena in the environment.

In 2005 Ryōji Noyori identified three key developments in green chemistry which is use of supercritical carbon dioxide as green solvent, aqueous hydrogen peroxide for clean oxidations and the use of hydrogen in asymmetric synthesis. Examples of applied green chemistry are supercritical water oxidation, on water reactions, and dry media reactions. Bioengineering is also seen as a promising technique for achieving green chemistry goals. A number of important process chemicals can be synthesized in engineered organisms, such as shikimate, a Tamiflu precursor which is fermented by Roche in bacteria.

4.1          Concepts and Principles

Paul Anastas, then of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and John C. Warner developed 12 principles of green chemistry, which help to explain what the definition means in practice. The principles cover such concepts as:

  • the design of processes to maximize the amount of raw material that ends up in the product;
  • the use of safe, environment-benign substances, including solvents, whenever possible;
  • the design of energy efficient processes;
  • the best form of waste disposal: not to create it in the first place.

The 12 principles are:

  1. It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it is formed.
  2. Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product.
  3. Wherever practicable, synthetic methodologies should be designed to use and generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the environment.
  4. Chemical products should be designed to preserve efficacy of function while reducing toxicity.
  5. The use of auxiliary substances (e.g. solvents, separation agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
  6. Energy requirements should be recognized for their environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. Synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
  7. A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting wherever technically and economically practicable.
  8. Reduce derivatives – Unnecessary derivatization (blocking group, protection/ deprotection, temporary modification) should be avoided whenever possible.
  9. Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric reagents.
  10. Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function they do not persist in the environment and break down into innocuous degradation products.
  11. Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous substances.
  12. Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be chosen to minimize potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.

Implementing these Green Chemical Principles requires a certain investment, since the current, very inexpensive chemical processes must be redesigned. However, in times when certain raw materials become more expensive (for example, as the availability of transition metals becomes limited) and also the costs for energy increase, such an investment should be paid back as the optimized processes become less expensive than the unoptimized ones. The development of greener procedures can therefore be seen as an investment for the future, which also helps to ensure that the production complies with possible upcoming future legal regulations.

5.0          SOLAR ENERGY

Solar energy, radiant light and heat from the sun, has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation, along with secondary solar-powered resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, account for most of the available renewable energy on earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.

Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics. Solar energy’s uses are limited only by human ingenuity. A partial list of solar applications includes space heating and cooling through solar architecture, potable water via distillation and disinfection, day lighting, solar hot water, solar cooking, and high temperature process heat for industrial purposes. To harvest the solar energy, the most common way is to use solar panels.

Solar technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on the way they capture, convert and distribute solar energy. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal, collectors to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

The Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of incoming solar radiation (insulation) at the upper atmosphere. Approximately 30% is reflected back to space while the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses. The spectrum of solar light at the Earth’s surface is mostly spread across the visible and near-infrared ranges with a small part in the near-ultraviolet.

Earth’s land surface, oceans and atmosphere absorb solar radiation, and this raises their temperature. Warm air containing evaporated water from the oceans rises, causing atmospheric circulation or convection. When the air reaches a high altitude, where the temperature is low, water vapor condenses into clouds, which rain onto the Earth’s surface, completing the water cycle. The latent heat of water condensation amplifies convection, producing atmospheric phenomena such as wind, cyclones and anti-cyclones. Sunlight absorbed by the oceans and land masses keeps the surface at an average temperature of 14 °C. By photosynthesis green plants convert solar energy into chemical energy, which produces food, wood and the biomass from which fossil fuels are derived.

The total solar energy absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year.  Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ per year in biomass. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth’s non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.  Solar energy can be harnessed in different levels around the world. Depending on a geographical location the closer to the equator the more “potential” solar energy is available.

5.1          Solar Power

Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). CSP systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. PV converts light into electric current using the photoelectric effect.

Commercial CSP plants were first developed in the 1980s, and the 354 MW SEGS CSP installations is the largest solar power plant in the world and is located in the Mojave Desert of California. Other large CSP plants include the Solnova Solar Power Station (150 MW) and the Andasol solar power station (100 MW), both in Spain. The 97 MW Sarnia Photovoltaic Power Plant in Canada, is the world’s largest photovoltaic plant.

5.2          New Storage Method

Solar energy is not available at night, and energy storage is an important issue because modern energy systems usually assume continuous availability of energy. Thermal mass systems can store solar energy in the form of heat at domestically useful temperatures for daily or seasonal durations. Thermal storage systems generally use readily available materials with high specific heat capacities such as water, earth and stone. Well-designed systems can lower peak demand, shift time-of-use to off-peak hours and reduce overall heating and cooling requirements.

Phase change materials such as paraffin wax and Glauber’s salt are another thermal storage media. These materials are inexpensive, readily available, and can deliver domestically useful temperatures (approximately 64 °C). The “Dover House” (in Dover, Massachusetts) was the first to use a Glauber’s salt heating system, in 1948.

Solar energy can be stored at high temperatures using molten salts. Salts are an effective storage medium because they are low-cost, have a high specific heat capacity and can deliver heat at temperatures compatible with conventional power systems. The Solar Two used this method of energy storage, allowing it to store 1.44 TJ in its 68 m3 storage tank with an annual storage efficiency of about 99%.

Off-grid PV systems have traditionally used rechargeable batteries to store excess electricity. With grid-tied systems, excess electricity can be sent to the transmission grid, while standard grid electricity can be used to meet shortfalls. Net metering programs give household systems a credit for any electricity they deliver to the grid. This is often legally handled by ‘rolling back’ the meter whenever the home produces more electricity than it consumes. If the net electricity use is below zero, the utility is required to pay for the extra at the same rate as they charge consumers.Other legal approaches involve the use of two meters, to measure electricity consumed vs. electricity produced. This is less common due to the increased installation cost of the second meter.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity stores energy in the form of water pumped when energy is available from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation one. The energy is recovered when demand is high by releasing the water to run through a hydroelectric power generator.

6.0          REFFERENCES

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