Made by: Mathias Stålåker, Oliver Winslow, Gustav Holm and Robin Högström
Materials of the Future
When you are thinking of materials which properties have destructive effects on our environment, you are probably thinking about plastic, coal, oil or something similar. And you would be absolutely correct for doing so. They are indeed the main sources of over polluted greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Our planet need those gases to keep the organisms on it alive, but when we’re getting too much of it massive problems emerge. You’ve most likely heard about climate change and its effects, ice will melt, more natural disasters will hit us, a lot of animals will go extinct, and many more negative consequences will arrive. In short terms, it’s bad for us. Carbon dioxide is by far the biggest contributor to climate change of all the gases and enters the atmosphere mostly through burning fossil fuels. But of course carbon dioxide isn’t the only greenhouse gas with destructive effects, methane is another one which also impacts our environment in a negative way with the huge amounts being emitted at this moment. Materials such as plastic, asphalt and synthetic rubber are made out of oil. And oil, as already established, is one of the main sources of over polluted greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. So we need to find substitutes for materials made out of oil. A good substitute for wood would also be helpful as trees are reducing the amount of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Wood substitute or not, we still need to stop clearing our forests of trees, if not, our future will hold nothing but suffocation. But what will our future look like in any case? How will we prevent climate change, pollution and the clearing of forests? And what are the materials of the future?
Well, of course we can’t stop using it, but we can probably greatly reduce our emissions to our planet earth. But for an example to reduce the emissions is plastic bags or any plastic which uses oil to get created, oil is a fossil fuel which bring carbon dioxide to our astrosphere, pollinates land and water. We could instead maybe use textile bags which can be used repeated times without getting it worn out. Plastic also harms animals, both marine, birds and mammals are in danger when they mistook their food for plastics. And top of it all it has estimated that there will be 5 trillion plastic bags consumed this year alone, and that’s about 160.000 plastic bags per second. Those number says a lot if you consider the amount of bags which will go to sea and how much oil to produce the bags. It also takes about a thousand years to
There’s a material named ”graphene” which got Noble price in 2010 by Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in physics, this super material has an unusual property where it’s 200 times harder than steel. Graphene is a type of carbon but in atomic scale in a hexagon pattern which makes it much stronger than a normal steel and even diamond, and also got a good electric conductivity which could help with other territories. And to put it comparison, if you would put an elephant on a very thin property on graphene it would still would need more pressure to destroy it. Graphene is also flexible which could help with other workplaces. It would also potentially give us a better way to store energy with solar power and have a better understanding in solar power, if we could use graphene it would be 100 times faster than silicone and 30 times than Arsenic. This would be the way to go reduce our
fossil burnings. And the way it is so strong it could reduce the steel in vehicle and buildings because it’s a great composite, would give us more advanced technology in computing, phones and even filter out sea water which would save alot of energy and time. You could use many thing with this material. The main issue right now is how it’s made, this material is hard to produce and there isn’t so many companies making it which results with a much higher price, which is about the price 100 $ per gram. But years from now and we learn how to be efficient producing it we could earn from it. There is much more carbon on earth than there is iron which would give us a material who could to efficient to our earth. “Carbon nanotubes” is carbon with graphene’s pattern is valuable in nanotechnology which leads electricity better than most materials. It’s about one thousand times faster than copper which will probably replace most copper wiring in the future with nanotubes.
Another material whose property is good for the environment is wood, it’s a known fact that we chop down forests too fast and it’s not good for the environment. But wood’s property is an environment friendly product, and if we use it fairly it could be in our favor. Tree’s produce photosynthesis which takes sun light and carbon dioxide and make it to sugar. This is the only few way that is efficient to reduce our carbon dioxide in our astrosphere directly, and after chopping it down you can replant the trees which could be recycled until they burn it to energy. But at the moment we chop down too fast and some won’t even replant the trees back on the ground. Some companies even goes to the point where they inject non environment substance to the trees. But if you buy environmental wood it would be good for the future environment and is still better material than others like plastics and steel.
The few materials we mentioned in this article would replace many today’s materials, which could give an increased hope for a better future for you and your love ones. We could replace materials with more effective materials who got better properties for the environment. Because in this current stage it isn’t a valid option to keep using the same method which got us here. But at this rate with finding new replaceable materials we could change relatively fast. We have a theory what we can change right now, electronics, energy, medicines and buildings which is a major factors in our society is a few thing we know we can change.