With the reality of climate change setting in, companies all over the world are wanting to do their part to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to try and slow the change. This requires a huge shift in thinking. New Zealand companies are ahead of the curve, with innovations that can help world clean up their act.
Here are three Kiwi companies with an eye on the future and bringing emissions-saving technology to the world across manufacturing, agriculture, and horticulture.
Hot Lime Labs – using waste wood for good
Commercial horticulturists pump CO2 into their greenhouses to help boost plant growth. Unfortunately, most carbon emissions aren’t clean enough to use safely on plants, so the growers pay manufacturers to make a cleaner version of CO2 they can use.
Using world-leading CO2-capture technology, Hot Lime Labs have perfected a process that extracts clean CO2 from waste wood, like wood chips. The waste wood is burned to create the gas, which is absorbed into recyclable limestone pellets called “hot lime”. These balls release CO2 as air is blown through them, into greenhouses, helping increase crop yields.
This allows growers to reduce their carbon footprint while being more cost-effective, providing a green alternative to the traditional fossil-based sources of CO2 such as natural gas and liquid CO2.
Vortex Power Systems – turning heat into electricity
Globally, over 13,000 TwH of potential energy is lost as wasted heat every year – that’s enough to power over three billion households. As electricity demand continues to rise, Vortex’s innovative technology uses heat energy that would otherwise be wasted and transforms it into electricity.
Wasted heat is captured from power generation and the system then spins it into a controllable vortex. The vortex creates a rotating, rising column of buoyant air like a tornado. And by placing a wind-turbine at the base of the vortex, the wind generated can be turned into power. And since the wind power in the vortex is manmade, the power generation capabilities are expected to be more consistent and not as reliant on weather, compared to conventional wind turbines or solar power. If this all sounds like hot air, it is! And it has the potential to help power the planet.
Kowbucha™ – gut health for cows, made by cows
You’ve heard of kombucha, what about kowbucha? It’s an innovative product that could reduce methane emissions from cows. Fonterra are using cows’ milk to create probiotic cultures, that might turn off the gut bacteria in a cow’s digestive system that creates methane in the first place. Early trials have shown promising results and could be the next big thing in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Looking for somewhere using innovation to help clean up the world? We know a place.