These top articles from Viable AlternativEnergy focus on sustainable, environmental and socially conscious projects, products and ideas. Please join us, as we recap our 7 top articles from 2020.

1. Cubo Modular Bamboo Housing

This top article was a favourite with our readers from the Philippines.

Cubo, created by Earl Patrick Forlales is a modern, affordable, modular housing which  supports multi-unit configuration. This concept tackles the global urbanisation problem caused when people migrate to cities from rural areas. They construct these modular units  using engineered bamboo.  Forlales’ design features are ideal for sustainable, affordable and efficient construction projects which aim to eradicate urban slums.
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Articles about alternative construction materials and tools:-
Earthship Homes Sustainable Living
Flat-Pack Construction
Vinson Multi-tool

2. How To Leverage Low Air Pollution Post COVID-19

This top article is the editor’s favourite from 2020.

Poor air quality contributes to poor health, which successively makes people susceptible to various respiratory and cardiovascular related diseases. The lockdowns worldwide have resulted in  reduced air pollution during COVID-19. This shows us that air quality is the first environmental factor we can solve. With international collaborations between governments, the public and corporations, we all have a part to play in improving social, economic and public health.
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air pollution
Fine particulate matter (PM2.5). Source: DEFRA Digital Comms
air pollution
Oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Source: DEFRA Digital Comms
UK Government Publications, Clean Air Strategy 2019. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

3. UBQ Materials Bio-based Thermoplastic

UBQ is a fantastic link in a circular economy connecting waste disposal to new product manufacturing. This thermoplastic can substitute minerals, wood and plastic. Low value discarded household wastes such as chicken bones, nappies and mix plastics are processed into composite sustainable material. They create UBQ in an advanced waste conversion plant which runs on clean energy and produces zero residual waste, zero emissions and requires zero water.
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4. 3D Printing PPE and Isinnova

In March 2020, there was a shortage of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) because of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This left the supply chain in disarray. 3D printing experts and enthusiasts came together to help bridge the gap in supplies. This brought about immediate beneficial support to essential workers to help carry out their everyday tasks safer.

The 3D printing company Isinnova based in Brescia, Italy, pitched in to help Chiari hospital in the Lombardy region to produce replacement ventilator valves. Furthermore, Isinnova collaborated with Decathlon to retrofit the Easybreath snorkelling mask for use as a ventilator, Easy COVID19.

Open source PPE products for 3D printing have played an important role in producing protective equipment and garments for essential workers.
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5. Sustainable Art

This contemporary art form has no boundaries. It covers a range of artistic concepts, from thought-provoking environmental critique to reclaimed materials, eco-friendly methodologies, and restorative practices. This post discusses works from Tan Zi Xi, Bounpaul Phothyzan, Andy Goldsworthy, Jaynie Crimmins, and Agnes Denes. These artists use different media and techniques to explore environmental and social issues.
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top articles Sustainable art
Lie of Land by Bounpaul Phothyzan. Image: Mildred Williams | Viable AlternativEnergy

6. CopenHill – The Sustainable Model For Future Waste Projects?

Amager Bakke, also known as CopenHill, is the cleanest waste-to-energy power plant in the world, designed by Danish architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). VisitCopenhagen lists this waste-to-energy plant as a place of interest for tourists and locals. CopenHill is a great example of Ingels concept of “hedonistic sustainability”, where sustainable living should be good for the environment and fun for the people living there.
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7. Lasers Could Transmute Nuclear Waste

Nuclear power is a cleaner fuel than coal, oil or gas regarding low greenhouse gas emissions. However, nuclear waste takes hundreds of thousands of years to decompose to safe levels. As Finland, complete the encapsulation of Onkalo, the first permanent nuclear waste storage site 458m below ground. We must consider alternative methods for treating spent fuel.

Professor Gérard Mourou ( joint winner of half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018 for groundbreaking inventions in laser physics), uses Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) which generates ultrashort high-intensity pulses in the lasers in the femtoseconds (10-15s or fs) without damaging the amplified material. Professor Mourou is currently collaborating with three or more teams using different routes to work with the laser Wakefield in high energy x-ray region. The goal is to drastically shorten the life span of nuclear waste from a million years to 30 minutes.
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lasers nuclear wastes - chirped pulse amplification
Chirped Pulse Amplification of ultrahigh-intensity lasers. Source: LLNL S&TR of September 1995. [1] (Slightly modified version by Mikhail Ryazanov) | Wikimedia.

We hope you have enjoyed our 7 top articles of 2020. Viable AlternativEnergy would like to wish all our readers a Healthy 2021.

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top articles of 2020
7 top articles of 2020

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