Environmental engineering is the discipline of engineering concerned with saving humans from the harmful impacts of the environment, such as pollution, and enhancing ecological integrity.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental sciences seek to upgrade recycling, disposal of wastes, population health, and air and water pollution management. The world’s population is growing steadily, and with increasing life expectancies, there are no signs of decline.
Garbage is a natural aftermath of human activity, adding the potential of humans generating additional garbage via leftover food, containers, and anything else that ends up in landfills.
While recycling initiatives are beneficial, they must catch up with the rising quantity of waste. Consequently, environmental science has become a more vital field of study.
Environmental engineering has existed since the birth of civilization. Whenever classes of individuals started living in moderate settlements, they had issues with providing safe drinking water and dealing with organic waste and sewage. People also had to think about air pollution and soil contamination. As a result, cities have grown, and large-scale farming and industries have developed.
The Environmental engineering projects are concerned with the issues of potable water purification and transmission. It also emphasizes storage, purification, management of wastewater, Air and noise pollution control; solid waste generated and hazardous-waste disposal; dangerous site cleaning; and environmental evaluations, inspections, and impact studies. Environmental science also includes:
- Applied research and education.
- Project development and scheduling.
- Facility design, building, and operation.
- The selling and marketing of environmental-control technology.
Environmental Engineering Issues
Global climate change consequences have compelled us to take immediate measures.
By 2030, climatic change is expected to kill more often than 250,00 people each year, given that we remain on our current environmentally damaging course. Taking actions to prevent environmental harm across a range of industries will not be accomplished in a vacuum; it will involve global collaboration and, frequently, the development of localized solutions that work irrespective of massive infrastructure.
Environmental engineers’ knowledge, abilities, and insights will be vital in developing the technology necessary to ensure that this planet can sustain life for future generations.
California is an excellent example of a state that has made significant attempts to decrease water wastage and laws like the Clean Air Act, which resulted in a 70 percent reduction in certain concerns like acid rain. Again, this results from environmental engineering and engineers who have dedicated their lives to helping the environment.
What Does Environmental Engineers Do?
Environmental engineers provide us with excellent recommendations! For example, consider the construction of a building. We must dig the earth, clear the trees, and lay the cement. Environmental science informs us of the potential ecological impact of this type of project.
Environmental engineers create! They create technologies that assist us in quantifying things that are detrimental to the environment, such as automobile emissions. Environmental engineers occasionally collaborate with large corporations to help them overcome their air pollution levels.
Environmental engineers find solutions! They develop more efficient methods of recycling paper, plastics, and glass. Additionally, an Environmental Engineer could assist in developing strategies for treating water contaminated by germs and chemicals potentially damaging our health and the environment.
The Findings of Environmental Science:
We’re talking about hybrid-electric vehicles, which combine gasoline engines and electric motors to achieve higher fuel efficiency than conventional cars. The Toyota Prius was the first commercially accessible hybrid vehicle in Japan in 1997.
While they require gasoline to operate, the electric motor increases fuel usage by letting the engine close down while idle via automatic start/stop. Additionally, it delivers additional power during acceleration or ascent via electric motor drive/assist, allowing for the placement of a smaller, more economical gas engine. Certain hybrid vehicles employ regenerative braking. Among the more costly hybrids can also run purely on electricity for a few kilometers, while others close down if they run out of gas. Depending on the model and type, hybrid-electric vehicles can achieve significantly better fuel efficiency than conventional vehicles of comparable size.
2. Germicidal Ultraviolet Irradiation
UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) kills hazardous microbes like bacteria or viruses in fluids, the atmosphere, and on surfaces. Sunlight inherently accomplishes this to a degree. UV light is known to cause damage to our eyes and skin; also, it kills or inactivates certain germs. UVGI systems accomplish this through the controlled emission of shortwave ultraviolet-B and ultraviolet-C radiation at specific wavelengths, most notably between 200 and 320 nanometers – frequently via a low-pressure mercury lamp. UV radiation destroys the cells or DNA of the microorganisms, causing them to die or become incapable of replication. UV light with a wavelength of 320 to 400 nanometers is ineffective against bacteria.
With the help of environmental engineering, UVGI has been integrated into ventilation ducts, heating, cooling, and air disinfection systems. Additionally, it has been used on whole rooms, ideally while they are vacant or while everyone is wearing protective gear. In conjunction with vertical airflow mechanisms, some systems generate UV light in relatively close areas to cleanse the air over people’s heads. UVGI can be used with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or other filtration methods to remove impurities that UV cannot kill.
3) Energy Production from Kites at a High Altitude
When so many of us consider utilizing the wind’s energy to generate electricity, we likely believe in windmills. However, Makani Power, an initiative from the San Francisco area that started in 2006, has been developing kite-type wind turbines hooked to tethers to create wind electricity altitudes, where winds are stronger and more consistent than at the ground surface. Makani, interestingly, is Hawaiian for wind.
The ropes, which can extend up to 609.6 meters (2,000 feet) over the ground, serve as a suspension mechanism and a means of returning energy to the base. The kites are about 100 feet long and are composed of carbon fiber. Instead of hovering, they fly in circles. Additionally, they are lightweight enough to remain aloft in winds less than 15 miles an hour (MPH). According to reports, the turbines can produce twice as much energy, and if not more, at least at a cost that is half that of existing road-level wind turbines. Prices are comparable to burning coal and take up less land than other forms of energy generation.
The kites, which will not be commercially available for several years, are more prone to be employed along coastlines or in the seas tied to buoys. Makani Power has accepted payments from Google and the Research and Technology Initiatives Activity for the Department of Energy (ARPA-E), as well as the company, which is expected to be purchased by Google X. This laboratory is working on projects such as self-driving automobiles and Google Glass.
Environmental Engineering conclusion
Environmental engineers are in high demand, so governmental efforts to increase student enrollment in STEM programs and minimize attrition are critical. According to research by the United States Department of Education, up to 48% of students who began a STEM program between 2003 and 2009 still needed to complete the degree. Environmental engineering has never been more critical than it is now.
However, given the regrettable reduction in STEM graduates, the industries desperately need a boost. With continued technological innovation and an already exceeding population, the world’s health and environmental problems will only get worse in the upcoming time. However, those environmental engineers who labor persistently to find other toxins and to safeguard the earth and its people from such discomforts are the ones who can truly make a difference.