Imagine getting into a car, telling it to take you to the nearby mall, and sitting back and relaxing as you are driven to your destination. Self driving cars are becoming more and more advanced, and companies are working to make the above description a reality. It’s not sci-fi anymore, either — we’re nearly there.

The concept of autonomous vehicles is straightforward: have a car that detects and tracks nearby objects, and reacts accordingly. This would substantially increase safety on the roads, seeing as 94% of serious crashes are due to human error. Car accidents would be decreased by 90%…

Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant known to Earth, while also having the capability to double in mass in as little as 16 hours. On top of this, duckweed is abundant in supply, growing in freshwater on every continent except Antarctica. These benefits make duckweed a promising species for numerous applications, from wastewater treatment to biofuels.

Physical Structure

Duckweeds look like tiny green speckles with no obvious root, stem, or leaves but instead a frond structure that contains air pockets and ultimately is what allows the duckweed to float on or just below the water surface. …

Last September I had the privilege to join the Innovate program at The Knowledge Society. This is a student accelerator program for students to come together and learn about emerging technologies, mindsets, and real world skills. I truly cannot put my gratitude for TKS into words, but I thought I would try to provide some value and compress 5 of my takeaways from the year in an article.

#1. Learn and Build, Build, Build

From a young age, I knew I had the general goal of wanting to make a difference in the world. Before this year, though, I wasn’t doing too much to reach that…

Algae are an incredible species, and one that is severely underestimated a lot of the time. Because of the exceptional capabilities and properties these photosynthetic organisms possess, they are being looked into for usage in a variety of fields, one notably being biofuels. Algae, quite literally, have the potential to change the game of where we get our energy altogether. There are just a few barriers to get past first.

Introduction to Algal Biofuels

Down to the basics — what are biofuels, and what are algae?

Today’s Biofuels

When you hear the word biofuels, the segment bio likely makes you think of synonymous words, like green

Polyethylene is the most widely produced plastic in the world, primarily used for plastic bottles, bags and films. Over 60 million tonnes are produced every year. Biopolyethylene is a biobased alternative that is becoming commonly utilized in the cosmetics industry and can be obtained from sugar cane, sugar beet, and wheat grain as opposed to petroleum. This is much better for the environment in a variety of ways, as the plastic retains identical properties to its counterpart while alleviating the need for fossil fuels. Why, then, has biopolyethylene not fully replaced regular polyethylene?

The Problem With Polyethylene

Polyethylene is a lightweight and durable thermoplastic…

Perovskites are on the rise in the solar industry, being both high performing and low cost. They are the most rapidly growing advancement within photovoltaics. Where they were only 3% effective at converting UV light to electricity back in 2006, today they are reaching efficiencies over 25%. Perovskites may have their barriers to commercialization, but they’re likely worth fighting for.

What Are Perovskites?

Perovskites are any materials that have the same crystal structure as calcium titanium oxide, the first ever discovered perovskite crystal. Since silicon isn’t involved with the usage or production of perovskites, they have the potential to become the superior thin-film…

There’s a big controversy around certain bioplastics. This is because, a lot of the time, bioplastics aren’t as great as they seem. In fact, a lot of these products are greenwashed. Despite them being somewhat better than plastic in their ability to break down, some are not as sustainable as you might expect.

What is PLA?

The most popular bioplastic is made from polylactic acid, also called polylactide, and otherwise known as PLA. PLA is a biodegradable form of thermoplastic, produced from renewable sources such as sugarcane, cassava roots, and corn starch as opposed to common thermoplastics that are petroleum-based.

This kind of…

Plastics are integral to our everyday life — an understatement, really, seeing as a predicted 8 million tons of plastic enters our oceans every year. Why, then, do we continue to use them? Plastic pollution isn’t news to us. Plastics do have exceptional properties, like malleability, mouldability, strength, durability, weight, and, perhaps most importantly, low price. Plastic is cheap and that makes it easy and suitable for many different products. Bioplastics have emerged as an alternative, but in some cases are just as fatal as conventional plastics.

Common Bioplastics, and Their Problem

Bioplastics can either be categorized as biobased or biodegradable. Biodegradable plastics are petroleum-based…

Plastics provide benefits regarding design freedom, flexibility, and lightness, and are ultimately integral to all of our lives. However, they accumulate in the environment and generate a lot of waste. Within Canada, only 9% of plastic is recycled, the rest going toward landfills, the environment, or incineration. We are polluting the ocean with 12.7 million tonnes of plastic every year, and there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. What’s worse, by 2050, it is predicted that we will be producing three times as much plastic as we do today.

Therefore, to address the…

Written in Collaboration with Devinder Sarai, Kristina Arezina, and Sophia Moloo


The climate crisis is not fresh news. It’s been happening for years now, but is nearing the point of being irreversible. When examining the causes of a calamity like this it’s safe to say that there are more than one, but carbon dioxide emissions are certainly a large contributor, especially as they are caused by human activity. Carbon dioxide is a natural gas that we breathe out, but when fossil fuels like oil and coal are burned, and pursuits like deforestation occur, there results in an excess amount in the atmosphere. In 2019 CO2 made up 80% of US greenhouse…

Naila Moloo

Innovator at TKS ~ Sustainable energy through nanotechnology

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