Technology to prevent noise pollution

Building manufacturers have made technological advances in soundproofing materials to reduce sound transmission through walls, floors and ceilings. Up to 86% perceived sound reduction can now be achieved with products available. With additional double glazing noise pollution can also be greatly reduced inside the home. Trees and shrubs can be planted in front of buildings to provide some absorption for the sound.

A church on the Heathrow flight path in conjunction with the DTI “Large Scale Field Trial” have installed a solar panel roof, designed to insulate against aircraft noise.174 solar panels generate 23000 k Wh of electricity per annum. At a project cost of £140,000.

Devices that can cancel out noise are now being developed and used by industry. The technology, called active sound control, uses carefully controlled “secondary” sources of sound to cancel out unwanted noises. There are no off the shelf products yet, currently each device is set up in relation to buildings and the local environment.

Exciting projects and developments world wide

Ann Dowling and her team at Cambridge in conjunction with MIT and Industry are currently working on the Silent Aircraft Initiative (SAI); there aim is to design a passenger plane that makes no more noise at take off and landing than the ambient urban noise outside the airport boundaries.

Iceland and Clean Energy Iceland could become the first nation in the world to power its economy entirely with hydrogen through its Icelandic New Energy (INE), a “cooperation platform” whose goal is to power the country’s transportation system and with hydrogen.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have discovered that bacteria can be used to make energy. Researchers hope that fuel cells using bacteria will be able to convert organic wastes and biomass into electricity, providing an alternative fuel source.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. may offer ethanol made from corn at its 383 U.S. gas stations by developing a network for supplying gas stations at its stores and Sam’s Clubs with E-85 fuel, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. It will be a big step in transition toward bio-fuels.

Aeroplane initiatives into noise and atmospheric pollution

The Advisory Council for Aeronautical Research in Europe sets out a vision for aviation in 2020. This vision includes the following environmental performance for aircraft relative to those which entered service in the mid 1990s – (targets for aero engines only)

Reduction in aircraft perceived noise to half the current value

Reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions by 50% per passenger kilometre (50% cut in aircraft fuel consumption by 2020)

Reduce NO emissions by 80%

NASA in coordination with FAA and its industry partners is formulating a new Quiet Aircraft Technology (QAT) initiative to build upon the current research with a goal of reducing future aircraft perceived noise levels by half (10 decibels) within 10 years, and by a factor of 4 (20 decibels) within 25 years, using 1997 subsonic aircraft technology as the baseline.

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