Elizabeth, waste materials, especially organics, can be a fertile source of energy and raw materials. The trick is to get a steady supply. I think this is what has stymied many trash to electricity efforts. With any process the feedstock has to be consistent and consistently available.
I did find the cooking oil situation funny. In the UK there were people using cooking oil in their cars (getting it from the local McDonalds) and the government decided it was fuel and wanted to charge fuel tax on it. Government is so great. Here people are using an alternative that would just be waste and lowering the country's dependence on oil and they want to tax them.
I think until hunger is eliminated from the planet we should use food for people. I know the key issues with hunger in the world are distribution and excessive profit taking. Shifting the focus of crops from feeding people to fueling engines isn't a sustainable path.
The advancements in using food waste are interesting. I think that's a better way to go.
Great slideshow Liz. This shows how much we can save by utilizing the waste of various food processing industries, the most important thing to learn here is that the real profit is not necessarily in the production, but also in the way you utilize the waste products. If all the industries of the world start recycling all of their waste products, we would never run out of the resources.
I found it really interesting to explore how food is becoming inspiration for numerous designs. These are just some examples but I'm sure there are a lot more out there. Would love to hear from readers about other ways food is being used in design and engineering beyond its usual function.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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