2016 Create the Future Contest: Automotive & Transportation Category Winner


Krishan Arora, Mike Baker, Glenn Barber, Peter Brett, Ross Dewhurst, Melvyn Dover, John Gamston, Steven Goodier, Annie Leeson, Vincent Panel, Ben Russell, Alessandra Scotese, Oliver Taylor, Julian Von Thungen-Reichenbach-Evans, Chris Wilks, John Ward-Zinski, and Roy Williamson

Castrol, Oxford, UK

Castrol’s NEXCEL system is a sealed oil cell that contains both the engine oil and the oil filter, so it can be easily removed and replaced by hand in about 90 seconds versus 20 minutes for a conventional oil change. The sealed cell ensures that used oil is collected and handled safely, facilitating enhanced recycling and reuse of the waste oil into high-quality lubricants through a dedicated re-refining process.

Posted in: Articles, Automotive, Thermal Management, Recycling Technologies, Design processes, Engine lubricants, Maintenance, repair, and service operations

2016 Create the Future Design Contest: Sustainable Technologies Category Winner


“Desolenator is extremely proud and thankful to all those who voted for us. We believe that the global water crisis is a serious issue, and winning recognition from a leading publication offers great support to our efforts. We will surely return to share our progress with readers over the coming years.”

William Janssen, Desolenator, London, UK

The Desolenator is a water-purification technology that decontaminates water from any source using only solar energy. The technology is a very affordable ($0.005/L) “at-source” method of water purification. It offers a combination of features and capabilities that makes it extremely well suited for household use. It is GSM-mobile enabled and is data-driven through sensors, enabling service through micro mobile payment. It is eco-friendly, has a lifespan of up to 20 years, doesn’t require filters/ membranes, doesn’t drain the main’s electricity, and doesn’t expel toxic waste into the ocean. The long-term goal is to prevent the worsening of the water crisis.

Posted in: Articles, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Green Design & Manufacturing, Greenhouse Gases, Design processes, Sun and solar, Sustainable development, Water reclamation

New GASOMETER Design Uses Active Accommodation Offering Significant Improvements Vs. Liquid-sealed Methods

Active Accommodation means using a precision controlled and driven cylinder/piston assembly to collect and measure gas sample volumes without requiring energy to be extracted from the process that generates the gas. The mechanism uses lubricated O-Rings to seal the measuring chamber unlike classical Wet Test Meters that require a water or oil bath to produce an isolation seal.

Posted in: White Papers, Green Design & Manufacturing, Instrumentation, Test & Measurement

The State of Earth

U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day in 1970. Over the years, Earth Day grew in popularity and in 2009, the United Nations officially named April 22 as International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day (www.earthday.org) is now celebrated by over one billion people in nearly 200 countries.

Posted in: UpFront, Aerospace, Greenhouse Gases

Daily Mesoscale Sea Surface Salinity from Evaporation and Precipitation

This model leads to a method for deriving sea surface salinity from evaporation and precipitation data at improved resolution.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California

Quantification of salinity is hampered by the lack of time and space resolution of existing measurements and models. At present, skin salinity measurements are available every few days with limited spatial resolution. Daily skin salinity products are full of gaps, which some applications can’t tolerate. Modeled salinity derived in the ocean mixed layer differs from remote sensing data of ocean skin layer salinity to a large extent for certain regions. The cool skin is a conductive layer in the upper few millimeters of the ocean within which transport of salt is dominated by vertical diffusion under the condition of weak to moderate winds. A technique to derive ocean skin layer salinity from satellite-based data for daily and 101 to 102 km scales was developed.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Measurements, Remote sensing, Water, Marine vehicles and equipment

Software for Inferring the Aerosol Water and Soot Fractions from Remote Sensing Measurements

The technique uses the aerosol real refractive index.

Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Aerosol water content and soot concentrations are important components of aerosol forcing. Aerosols contain varying amounts of water depending upon their aerosol hygroscopicity, and anthropogenic aerosols are among the most hygroscopic aerosols; hence, it is important to properly model aerosol hygroscopic effects when computing the effect of anthropogenic aerosols upon the climate system. Soot is the dominant absorbing particulate, and atmospheric soot originates exclusively from fossil fuel burning and biomass burning.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Measurements, Computer software and hardware, Remote sensing, Air pollution, Water

Algae Photobioreactor Using Floating Enclosures With Semi-Permeable Membranes

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

Various species of algae are known to produce valuable products ranging from food to fertilizer to biofuels. Methods have been developed for producing biofuels by processing algae and other micro-organisms that grow in aquatic environments, but the largescale commercial production of these algae, particularly for commodity products like biofuels, has been limited by the unfavorable economics of the current cultivation and harvesting methods.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Biofuels, Production

Parallelization of Snowflake Growth Simulation

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

Gravner and Griffeath have developed a serial numerical model that simulates the growth of snowflakes in three dimensions under the assumptions of 24-fold symmetry. To allow for much larger and asymmetric snowflakes as well as to reduce simulation time, their model was re-implemented using distributed parallelism via MPI (Message Passing Interface). Test-driven development (TDD) was applied to rapidly develop an accurate implementation that consistently reproduces the results of Gravner and Griffeath. Through parallelism, simulation times were reduced from days/weeks to mere hours, and crystal sizes could be explored that are roughly 10 times larger in each dimension than otherwise possible. This new implementation will be used to generate thousands of representative snow crystals as a means to improve the ability to use remote sensing to estimate water content in snow-containing clouds.

This work was done by Thomas Clune of Goddard Space Flight Center, and Christopher Pearson of Northrup Grumman Information Technology. GSC-16346-1

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Computer simulation, Remote sensing, Water, Weather and climate

Soil Remediation with Plant-Fungal Combinations

Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

This work applies to remediation and restoration of soil contaminated by fuel, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes, etc. While there can be a beneficial effect of microbial communities, individual plant-fungus combinations can vary in their efficacy in removing pollutants from the environment. Having a set of enzymes from fungi specifically adapted to conditions in contaminated soil is a huge advantage.

Posted in: Briefs, Green Design & Manufacturing, Land pollution, Soils, Biological sciences

Continental-Scale Mapping of Adélie Penguin Colonies from Landsat Imagery

Remote sensing is used for biological conservation.

Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland

The Adélie penguin has a circum-Antarctic distribution and is widely considered a useful indicator of status and change in the Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems. Breeding distribution of the Adélie penguin was surveyed with Landsat-7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) over the entire continent of Antarctica. An algorithm was designed to minimize radiometric noise and to retrieve Adélie penguin colony location and spatial extent from the ETM+ data. In all, 259 ETM+ scenes were selected from the Lansdat archive from the 1999–2003 era and were used in the retrieval. Pixel clustering identified a total of 244 individual Adélie penguin colonies, ranging in size from a single pixel (900 m2) to a maximum of 875 pixels (0.788 km2). The Landsat retrievals successfully located Adélie penguin colonies that accounted for ≈96 to 97% of the regional population used as ground truth, with errors of omission and commission on the order of only 1 to 2%.

Posted in: Briefs, Tech Briefs, Environmental Monitoring, Imaging, Photonics, Mathematical models, Statistical analysis, Environmental testing, Weather and climate, Satellites

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