New approaches to filtration and extracting moisture from air promise to alleviate the world’s looming water scarcity crisis.
In a village 60 miles east of Brussels, a Belgian company is fighting to launch an experiment with the future of rubbish disposal. Group Machiels, a waste management company, wants to excavate millions of tons of decades-old waste buried in one of Europe’s largest landfills and turn it into renewable energy and building materials.
Orkney, a sparsely-populated archipelago 10 miles off the northern tip of mainland Scotland, is not an obvious place to go looking for the future. Yet the windswept islands have become one of Britain’s foremost centres for innovation in renewable energy — including the use of hydrogen as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.
As the world’s power needs grow, the search is on for better battery technology — not just to keep smartphones charged for longer, but to run electric cars and to store energy produced by solar and wind power.
As economic development has spread, cities in many emerging economies have repeated one of the key transport-policy mistakes of western countries — they have allowed space-inefficient private cars to become an important mode of transport in dense cities.