Why is this important question? SD is a holistic concept: meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs Engineers work at the level of parts of the system engineers design at artefact level where many consequences of SD meet: energy, safety, waste, pollution, equity, etc.
Wikipedia answers: 4 Sustainable technologies use less energy, fewer limited resources, do not deplete natural resources, do not directly or indirectly pollute the environment, and can be reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.  
Sustainable car? "The cars body is composed 90% by plate panels which are cut according to the desired finish and the rests are recycled, and completed with thermo-formed pieces. It is easy to produce and adapt, according to the user's needs. The engine works with compressed natural gas (CNG), with the option of evolving into electricity in the future. The car is also very small (2.10 metres long, 1.45 metres wide and 1.78 metres tall/6'8" long, 4'7" wide and 5'8" tall), which can probably help some of the problems related to urban transit in the future. It is estimated that each unit would cost around 4,500 dollars. http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/11/nexo_the_argent.php
7 Air source heat pumps Alkaline fuel cell Alternative technology Alternative fuel Bamboo bicycle Battery electric vehicle Bi-fuel vehicle Bicycle Bioconversion Biofuel Biological hydrogen production Calgary downtown district energy Cogeneration Combined heat and power plant Electric car Green manure Hydrogen vehicle Laddermill Micro combined heat and power Vertical farming Wind farm
YesNo refrigerator New car Old car Horse-Carriage Wind Turbine
Why Refrigerators? Perishable food problem: loss of fish and vegetables, risk of food poisoning Toxic/flammable refrigerants: Ammonia, SO 2, CH 3 Cl, hydrocarbons.. Search for safe refrigerants: non toxic, non flammable and effective
Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons 1928 Synthesis by Thomas Midgley Main advantages: -effective -Non-toxic -Non-flammable -Somewhat more expensive
Cleveland accident: May 15th, 1929: 128 people died of methyl-chloride poisoning 1930 CFC Refrigerant
Other applications CFCs: Solution for dangerous spray cans Airconditioners
1970 Lovelock traces CFCs in wind at Western Ireland 1974 F. Sherwood Rowland (UC-Irvine), Mario Molina 1984-5 Joe Farman 1987 Protocol Montreal CFCs as global threat
In 1818, New York City Council: regulation. Manure collection & processing: special "manure-yards" to process: "rotting, overturning and exposure to weathering. Problems: Abt. 1200 tons of manure daily on the streets: dust, typhoid dead animals (In 1880, New York City removed 15,000 dead horses from its streets) Noise 1908: 20.000 death?
Sustainable? CFC 1930, 1960:yes Horse & carriage, New York, 1900:no Car 1900:yes Car 2009:no
2311 * 10^9 barrels of oil still present. Cumulatieve consumption 960 Gbo. Total 3271 Gbo Formed in about 350 * 10^6 year (highest speed Paleozoicum) Simplified: 9345 barrels annually 1 barrel: 51.4 % gasoline (http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/whats_in_barrel_oil.html) =http://www.energy.ca.gov/gasoline/whats_in_barrel_oil.html 0.514 * 159 litre/barrel = 81.7 liter gasoline Geological annual production of gasoline: 9345 * 81.7 = 763500 litres gasoline 2000 litres per car annually? 380 cars can drive sustainably by gasoline lets say between 100 and 1000
And that windturbines? For many years complaints of villagers: noise at night Neglected by authorities and NGOs: NIMBY Villagers were right: University research found a new phenomenon: At night, the windturbines produced far more noise. Cause wind shear under absence of sun Size of windturbines (distance between top and lowest position of blades)
Lessons? Various articulations of sustainability Related to paradigms related stakeholders Technology should meet all possible SD articulations? No Sustainable for ever? No
Sustainable technology is only a useful concept if it involves hardware and software: use of technologies that is, as far as we know, in harmony with its natural and social environment
ENGINEERING DESIGN CAN ONLY DEAL WITH SPECIFIC ARTICULATIONS OF SD ARTICULATIONS: -SPECIFY TARGETS TO BE OPTIMIZED -EXCLUDES OTHER TARGETS Non-sensensical statement: Sustainable because 100 % recyclable
Implications Involve stakeholders in technological decisions: the engineer cannot decide on their behalf Sustainability is never established forever: A sustainable technology now might be unsustainable in the future
Your consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.