Technology Review, an MIT publication, just released its annual list of 10 new technologies that will someday change the world. The list includes everything from 3-D smart phone screens to social television to electronic medical implants. Three green innovations, including two solar power applications, made it onto the 2010 TR10 list. Each technology is connected to an individual researcher or group that is driving their particular field.
Noubar Afeyan of Joule Biotechnologies genetically engineered microorganisms that can convert sunlight into ethanol or diesel, which may someday make biofuels competitive with conventional diesel, gasoline or natural gas.
Kylie Catchpole of the Australian National University can boost the efficiency of thin-film solar cells by depositing nanoparticles of silver onto the cell’s surface. This apparently traps more photons and increases cell efficiency. An innovation that could help make solar power competitive with fossil fuels.
The third green innovation is green concrete. At a time when cement production is responsible for 5% of the world’s carbon emissions, Nikolaos Vlasopoulos of Novacem has invented a cement that is actually a carbon “sink” that absorbs and stores carbon. This could ultimately reduce and offset global carbon emissions from cement production.
Other less green technologies include:
Social networking is changing the way we find information.
Relying on relationships to rebuild TV audiences.
Smart phones will take 3-D mainstream.
Engineered Stem Cells
Mimicking human disease in a dish.
Dissolvable devices make better medical implants.