Climate change and need to manage diminishing fossil fuels are the two most important issues the the countries around the world are facing. In order to save our future and other coming generations there is a need to act to save energy wastage and use renewable energy sources. World leaders have resolved the problem by signing Kyoto protocol, an international treaty committing signatory countries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases from 1990 levels.
For years we have been using plastic, which is not biodegradable and has caused accumulation causing land and water pollution. Scientist from MIT, USA say that 3D printed products and parts from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polylactic acid (PLA) material could be helpful to solve the pollution issue since these are biodegradable materials.At later stages plant cellulose, which provides mechanical properties and they being inexpensive, biorenewable, biodegradable could replace polymers used in 3D printers.
Countries which have abundant scope of using solar energy have two major problems with bringing it to their masses: Efficiency and Cost.
Efficiency has been around 20% but costs are two high. Currently solar cells have been manufactured by large industries. Researcher from Ohio University have successfully printed solar cells using 3d printers. If people could print their own solar cells using individual 3D printers, countries can become self reliant. Dependency on fossil fuels will get reduced.
For a long time petroleum companies have been facing challenges of oil spillage and regulatory sanctions during transportation. BP has announced that they would be conducting a study on the effect of 3d printing on the global supply chains that the oil industry relies on. More than a fifth of oil consumption results from freight transportation, especially over long distance across globe, with 3d printing they can manufacture in house and save wastage of oil.
While Donald Trump may have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, there is increasing global consensus about the reality of climate change. With temperature increasing there has been a concern about bleaching of coral reefs. Scientist have been using 3D printing technology in an attempt to save the coral reefs. Coral restoration process currently in use, like growing them in labs and transplanting them, are labour and time intensive. One island, Bonaire is looking to use 3D printing to overcome this.
Scientist have designed 3D printed coral that mimics actual coral in terms of shape,colour and texture. These artificial coral attracts coral polyps, the organisms that make up coral reefs. The congregation and growth of these corals in turn attracts organisms that rely on corals and help rejuvenate dying reefs or create new ones altogether.
When most people imagine of wind turbines, they think of huge wind farms dominating landscape with pristine, sleek, white towers. But Kyle Bassett, University of Windsor, has created a small wind turbine which could be installed on the top of any house or building using 3D printers. This will help in solving energy crisis faced in many remote areas of countries. If this concept is adopted in India, every region can generate their own electricity which will be eco-friendly and cost effective.
3D printing technology is in a way helping us from saving our planet. As more and more research goes into its application we will be able to explore wonders 3D printing technology could do.