Environmental Inventions and New Technology for 2011

jennifer Bjorkman | January-17-11

The environmental sector is ever-changing, and with the New Year comes several innovative environmental technologies that are either in their pilot stages, or will be introduced to the industry during 2011. To help you stay up-to-date with what modern technologies can be expected this year, ECO Canada has compiled a list of some remarkable inventions coming to Canada and abroad.

Flying Cars from MIT
In late 2011, MIT plans to deliver the first flying car developed by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The 115 mph “Transition” was tested in 2010 and flew for 37 seconds. MIT students have created a company called Terrafugia, and are currently working to extend the flight duration. Terrafugia has begun taking deposits from early adopters wanting to purchase the Transition. To fly the car, consumers must have a license, which will be awarded after 20 hours of flying lessons.

New Biodiesel Manufacturing Facility in Toronto
During the spring of 2011, Energy Innovation Corp is opening Toronto’s first biodiesel manufacturing facility. The facility will meet the demand of the new Government of Canada regulation, which requires diesel fuel and heating oil to contain an average of 10% biodiesel. Capable of producing over 10 million litres of biodiesel per year, the facility will help to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The biodiesel is created from Ontario-grown flax seeds and locally collected, used coffee grounds.

Heat Recovery System in Quebec Paper Mill
Announced at the end of 2010, Kruger Products' pulp and paper mill in Quebec is now the home of an innovative heat recovery system intended to lower the mill's greenhouse gas emissions by 10,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of removing 2,500 cars from the road or planting 1.3 million trees. The system works by capturing hot air from two of the mill's three paper machines and reusing it to heat the water in the mill.

Porsche Hybrid Cars
To comply with the European Union’s new emission regulations, Porsche will be redesigning many of its sport cars into hybrid models. The car company launched a hybrid version of the Cayenne SUV in 2010 and plans to release the Panamera sedan in 2011.

Styrofoam Recycling Technology in Edmonton
Edmonton will have much less Styrofoam waste in 2011. Polycore, a company that builds foundations and walls from Styrofoam, has adopted a new industrial technology from Japan called the “Electrothermal Densifier.” The technology chops and melts down Styrofoam and processes it to make plastic products.


Xeros Waterless Washing Machine
In an attempt to conserve water, a British firm called Xeros Ltd. is developing a washing machine that is 90% waterless. Scheduled to launch commercially in 2011, the machine works by employing reusable nylon beads that absorb stains, and only requires a minimum amount of water to operate.

Growing Bioenergy in British Columbia
A Vancouver Island-based pulp and paper mill will be adopting a technology called MicroSludge® in 2011. MicroSludge®, developed by Paradigm Environmental Technologies, is already being used in municipal wastewater treatment plants, but is making an innovative jump to pulp and paper mills to create more environmentally friendly paper at a lower cost. The technology works by enhancing the anaerobic digestion process, thereby reducing operating costs and increasing plant capacity.

Swedish Underwater Kite
A Swedish company called Minesto will be generating energy off the coast of Northern Ireland with the launch of an underwater turbine kite called “Deep Green” in 2011. Seawater is 800 times denser than air, and as a result, the kite will be able to generate up to 500 kilowatts of power.