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Stepping On And Generating Power? Learn How a Road Helps The Environment

Here Are Two Innovative Projects That Promise To Be A Solution To Environmental Pollution.

Aerial view of an industrial area

Experts have managed to propose strategies to reduce environmental impact by trying to properly reuse solid waste such as plastic and creating new ways of producing energy that do not affect ecosystems. Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post | Brandon Martínez Salazar

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Leer en español: ¿Pisar y generar energía? Conoce cómo una carretera ayuda al medio ambiente

For some decades now, the world has seen the deterioration of nature due to human intervention and the overproduction of plastics and other pollutants. The United Nations has already warned about the challenges that countries will have to face in 2050 and how worrisome the environmental situation is.

Plastic alone is a great generator of pollution, firstly because its decomposition takes hundreds of years and therefore its permanence in the ecosystem affects the life cycle of fauna and flora, leaving irreparable damage. It is estimated that every second 200 tons of plastic are thrown into the sea, destroying coral reefs and marine species. This is worrying because the oceans not only regulate the planet's temperature, but also absorb 90% of greenhouse gases and purify the air.

On the other hand, the excess of electricity is also a problem that humans will have to face to reduce the intervention and alteration of nature. Excess energy generates polluting waste such as CO2 or radioactive substances that affect the biological cycles of plants and animals. The higher the energy consumption, the greater the exploitation of natural resources.

What is actually being done?

Experts have managed to propose strategies to reduce environmental impact by trying to properly reuse solid waste such as plastic and creating new ways of producing energy that do not affect ecosystems in the way that current electrical sources do.

In the most recent advances, an important project has been developing in the north of Colombia (La Guajira), where the most important companies on the planet in the management and production of polyethylene, such as Dow, managed to ally themselves with other national and transnational companies. like Surfax, Construcciones El Condor and Esenttia, the latter is part of the Ecopetrol group; in order to build a recycled plastic road in the department.

It is a stretch of 1,634 meters long by 3.6 meters wide, located in the municipality of Dibulla, in the heart of La Guajira and in the Troncal Caribe. The thickness of this road is ten centimeters and for this, a full ton of plastics that were contained in flexible packaging was used. It is an innovative proposal at an environmental level.

This project is important because it prolongs the useful life of roads thanks to the sustainability of post-consumer plastic and prevents this waste from being thrown into water sources, improving the living conditions of people in this region of Colombia and protecting maritime ecosystems.

Also read: How To Save Energy At Home?

Another ecological advance is the development of a device that produces electricity when stepping on wooden floors. The device is made up of a wooden floor, a silicone coating and embedded nano crystals that, when stepped on, turn on led bulbs and other smaller electronic devices.

It was designed by a group of Swiss researchers who saw the need to create a nanogenerator that produces energy through a physical effect known as "triboelectric." This effect generates electricity when an object sticks and peels off on continuous occasions. So electrons move from one place to another.

However, during the creation process, the scientists discovered that conventional wood could not be used because this material does not have a real tendency to acquire or lose electrons. Therefore, they used wood that is used for construction and that was able to achieve the desired objective.

It is a device that can be of great benefit to buildings and smart homes because it helps reduce environmental impact, since it absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide while it works. A totally revolutionary invention.