Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

ocean-wave

The process of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion is a process by which warm surface sea water which is 26 degrees Celsius, is pumped through a heat exchange to vaporize low boiling point fluids like ammonia which then turns a turbine, after which the ammonia is cooled by deep sea water which is 5 degrees Celsius and returned back into a liquid state. This cycle can be performed again and again with the same water being utilized each time and produces a byproduct of hydrogen which can be used for rocket fuel and to create hydrogen fuel cells. Perhaps the most attractive aspect of this technology is that the only lasting byproduct produced is sea water, which is completely harmless to the environment. The infrastructure for this technology is already available due to the various corporations who pump oil out of the ocean floor using oil rigs. The problem with this technology however is that the United States government is intertwined with the oil industry as a whole and therefore separation of the two entities would be a difficult endeavour to achieve. Europe and China have already adopted trials of this technology because they do not have the same allegiance and ties to oil

Recycling Plastics

recycling-plastics

Recycling is less of a reasonable solution to the plastics problems and more of a myth, shrouded in uncertainty towards the general public in terms of how effective it truly is. Polyethylene terephthalate plastic labeled as a “number 1” plastic and high-density polyethylene labeled as “number 2” are the main recyclable plastics. Most plastic isn’t recycled as is the case with glass or metal which can be melted down and used over and over again, but instead downcycled, in that they are used to create lower grade plastics used in things like park benches and plastic decking. Most plastics destined to be recycled which are produced in North America and Europe are shipped to China for processing. Recycling will not offset the plastic pollution being produced currently, as the rate of recycled plastic is approximately 30% meaning that for every plastic item we use, 70% of it is newly manufactured plastic, a value which will continue to grow for as long as human beings decide to continue to dump their wasted plastics in areas which are not publicly viewed (e.g. the ocean). Most plastic waste comes from plastic bags and plastic bottles. Collectively the world consumes 1,000,000 (1 million) plastic bags per minute and 28,300,000 (28.3 million) plastic bottles per minute. The plastics industry is the 3rd largest industry in the U.S., behind steel and vehicles, and is responsible for more than $400,000,000,000 ($400 billion) in product shipments per year. It is estimated that the average North American uses 300 – 700 plastic bags per year. By 2050, worldwide plastic production is projected to quadruple, reaching nearly 2,000,000,000,000 (2 trillion) lbs. per year

Bisphenol A

bisphenol-a

Bisphenol A is a compound used to manufacture many types of plastic, including bottles, the lining of canned food, household electronics etc. which are known to contain endocrine disrupting properties which can cause hormones to misfire and cause a myriad of diseases processes including diabetes, brain disorders, and cancers. It is suspected that Bisphenol A is the primary cause of early onset puberty in adolescents. Bisphenol A was initially designed to be a hormonal therapy for women, specifically as birth control as it has estrogen analogs, being that it is classified as a “xenoestrogen”. Because it was not quite powerful enough to be used in medicine, it was shelved until scientists figured out that Bisphenol A could make plastics more firm. 93% of Americans test positive for Bisphenol A within their bodies. Bisphenol A is found in thermal paper, which is used to create receipts for customers after the point of purchase. It is been scientifically studied and verified that Bisphenol A is absorbed rapidly by the skin in massive quantities after touching thermal paper, and that it does absorb into the various organ systems of the body