What know-how can become popular in the near future? The Economist reviewed 22 new technologies to look out for in 2022.
Attempts to test the concept face fierce resistance from politicians and environmental activists. It plans to launch a balloon into the stratosphere, which will release 2 kg of reactive material (probably calcium carbonate), and then measure its dispersion, reaction and ability to block solar radiation. Supporters of the idea argue that this technology is important to have in service, if you need to buy a little more time to reduce global emissions. Whether or not this test passes, we will definitely see fierce debate.
Aircraft electrification is quite another. Existing electric batteries are only suitable for small aircraft and will only last for short flights. But is it possible to generate electricity more efficiently with hydrogen fuel cells, which emit only water as waste?
Zero Avia, based in California, will soon be ready to complete testing of the 20-seat aircraft and plans to have the hydrogen power plant ready for state certification by the end of the year. Another California company, Universal Hydrogen, will conduct the first flight tests of its 40-seat aircraft in September 2022.
The Swiss company Clime Works opened a DAC plant in Iceland in 2021, where captured CO2 is “buried” underground in the form of a mineral, up to 4,000 tons per year. The American firm Global Thermostat has two similar pilot plants. DAC technology can play a critical role in combating abrupt climate change. Right now there is a race to reduce costs and scale this technology.
Vertical farms can be located in close proximity to potential end users, which reduces transport costs and the levels of emissions generated. Water use is kept to a minimum and the plants are protected from insects and pests.
Other firms are also planning to expand. Vertical farms mainly grow valuable leafy vegetables and greens, but some firms also grow tomatoes, peppers and berries. Now the task is to pull up economic indicators.
Sailing container ships
Ships produce 3% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The Italian Naos Design plans to equip eight ships with swivel and folding rigid “wings”. There are other similar concepts: kites, “suction wings” (they house fans) and giant rotating cylinders called Fetner rotors.
Virtual reality (VR) headsets allow people to play games and burn calories in the process while they hit and cut flying objects or crouch and dodge various obstacles. VR workouts have gained popularity during the pandemic.
when traditional gyms were closed and the powerful low-cost Oculus Quest 2 headset was released. It will have an improved model and new fitness features in 2022. The popular Supernatural virtual workout app is planned for Europe, but is currently only available in North America. Can a killer VR app replace real physical training?
HIV and malaria vaccines
The impressive success of vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) against coronavirus marks a golden era in the development of innovative vaccines. Biotech, which has developed another coronavirus vaccine with Pfizer, is working on an mRNA vaccine against malaria. Conventional HIV and malaria (i.e., non-mRNA) vaccines developed at the University of Oxford may also be quite effective.
In the case of full-fledged organs, such an ideal solution is still very far away. But bones are less difficult to “manufacture”.
Two startups, Particle3d and Adam, hope to be able to make 3D bone printing available for full human implantation by 2022. The researchers say if all goes well, 3D printing of blood vessels and heart valves is next.
Flying electric taxis For a long time
it was believed that flying taxis – electric VTOLs (vertical takeoff and landing vehicles) – were the stuff of science fiction. But gradually this technology becomes part of a serious industry. Volocopter from Germany is looking to act as an air taxi operator for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Other bidders include rehang, Lilius and Vertical Aerospace. So watch the sky!
This technology took longer to scale than originally planned. It is only recently that the increased power of modern computers has made it possible to build the model necessary for practical testing of theoretical methods for reducing the noise levels of such aircraft. The supersonic pop from the x-59 is expected to be only one-eighth of the sound produced by the Concorde. At a level of 75 perceived decibels, this would be equivalent to the distant sound of a thunderstorm.