Clean Tech Open Defines Clean Technology

Air, Water and Waste

Entries in the Air, Water & Waste category focuses on improving resource availability, conservation and pollution control. With respect to waste, the category focuses on cradle-to-cradle approaches to reduction, reuse and recycling technologies, as well as innovative business models and approaches to materials usage.

Air examples include services, instruments and equipment related to emission control, treatment or reduction technologies. Also included are creative approaches to greenhouse gas reduction, including carbon conversion and sequestration.

Water examples include treatment, storage and monitoring, recycling and conservation technologies.

Waste examples include: waste management equipment; sorting; resource recovery processes; pollution prevention, control, and treatment technology; as well as waste reduction through innovative recycling processes and new recyclable materials, such as bio-based plastics.

Example technologies include:

  • Water monitoring-on-site in-situ real-time water monitoring for pathogens
  • Cooling solution
  • On-site wastewater recycling-industrial and commercial applications
  • Advanced water metering
  • Storm-water and flood control, rainwater harvesting
  • Smart irrigation
  • On-site water disinfection
  • Membranes for water treatment
  • Advanced filtration without membranes
  • Produced water (from oil exploration and drilling)
  • Energy efficient water pumping
  • Reverse osmosis
  • Advanced filters and filtration (air or water)
  • Emissions controls
  • Scrubber technology
  • Carbon and GHG monitoring and control
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Carbon Capture and storage
  • Technology enablers for Carbon markets
  • Reduction and remediation of VOCs
  • Waste cleanup and remediation
  • DI water supply
  • Agricultural waste treatment
  • Recycling
  • Microbial water treatment
  • Bio based packaging solutions
  • Methane capture and storage
  • Soil technology
  • Natural pesticides
  • Clean coal
  • Combined and power (CHP)

Energy Efficiency

The Energy Efficiency category comprises technology that can significantly reduce wasted energy (including natural gas), driving toward the common goal of saving the equivalent of "a power plant a year" (a/k/a "Negawatts").

Examples include advanced light sources and controls, smart / user-friendly energy management systems, energy-efficient water heaters and other appliances, high-efficiency industrial process systems, motors, pumps, and advanced space heating and cooling systems.

Example technologies include:

  • Pumps for water / material
  • Industrial process improvements
  • Natural gas monitoring and control (industrial or residential)
  • LED lighting
  • Advanced lighting controls
  • Water heating
  • HVAC solutions
  • Heat pumps
  • Waste heat management
  • Efficient heat transfer
  • Utility scale natural gas controls
  • Display systems for energy management
  • Materials use in microelectronics manufacturing
  • Deposition and sputtering processes
  • Alternatives to heat intensive processes
  • Cooling solutions
  • Glass materials production
  • Pure manufacture techniques for fuel cells

Green Building

The Green Building category focuses on reducing the environmental impact of building construction or operation through improved design or construction practices, new or innovative use of building materials, or new hardware or software applications. Technologies are applied directly to the built environment. Technologies are applied directly to the built environment. (Building energy efficiency submissions will be considered in the Energy Efficiency category).

Examples include improved site planning, water management systems, reduction of hazardous materials in building construction or operation, use of new environmentally friendly or recycled materials, systems to improve indoor environmental quality and systems for improved waste reduction or disposal.

Example technologies include:

  • Insulation materials
  • Cement alternatives
  • Cement production techniques
  • Building integrated PV (BIPV)
  • Indoor air filtration systems
  • Modular housing
  • Disaster relief housing
  • Architectural Designs for thermal management
  • Office environment
  • Low VOC carpeting and flooring
  • Water saving toilets, showers, plumbing
  • Residential heat pumps
  • Recycled materials for use in building material
  • Design improvements to commercial environment

Renewable Energy

The Renewable Energy category includes innovations that use, enable and accelerate the migration to renewable energy. Renewables encompass technologies that use waste streams to directly produce energy.

Examples include low-emission power sources, such as solar, biofuels, wind, wave and tidal energy and hydropower.

Example technologies include:

  • Solar for energy production
  • CIGS
  • Thin film solar manufacture
  • Concentrating solar PV
  • Coatings for solar panels
  • Polysilicon supply and manufacture
  • Residential scale solar deployment
  • Ethanol
  • Biobased fuels
  • Tidal energy
  • Wave energy capture
  • Landfill gas to energy systems
  • Agricultural waste to energy systems
  • Hydropower
  • Turbine blade design
  • Advanced fluid flow designs
  • Wind power aerodynamics
  • Wind power conversion efficiency

Smart Power, Green Grid and Energy Storage

The Smart Power, Green Grid and Energy Storage category encourages links between information technologies and electricity delivery that give industrial, commercial and residential consumers greater control over when and how their energy is delivered and used. It includes improvements in all forms of energy storage, from battery technology for consumer-scale products to large chemical, metal, biological or other approaches to storage of utility-scale energy, as well as methods for controlling or increasing the efficiency of energy storage or energy transmission.

Examples include wireless metering and use of real-time pricing information, intelligent sensors, batteries, fuel cells, fly-wheels, and advanced materials or systems for energy transmission, such as hardware and software controls.

Example technologies include:

  • Advanced metering
  • Network architecture for power management
  • Cloud computing, applied to grid
  • Batteries
  • Novel battery chemistry
  • Nickel-metal hydride improvements
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Li-ion cells
  • Form factor improvements
  • Improved cycle life for batteries
  • Depth of discharge for batteries
  • Solid oxide fuel cells
  • Novel catalysts in batteries, fuel cells
  • Advanced fuel cell membranes
  • Methanol fuel cells
  • PEM fuel cells
  • Flywheels
  • Grid scale hardware and infrastructure
  • Power storage for intermittent, renewable resources
  • Monitoring and deploying power generated from renewables
  • Transmission efficiency
  • Electrical engineering and controls for power distribution
  • Novel metals and alloys for power transmission
  • Superconducting power transmission
  • Real-time power monitoring


The Transportation category encompasses transportation and mobile technology applications that improve fuel efficiency, reduce air pollution, reduce oil consumption or reduce vehicle travel (not limited to automobiles). Technologies are applied directly to transportation systems or vehicles.

Examples include new vehicles and new types of transport services and infrastructure, efficient batteries, fuel cells, bio-based transportation fuels and use of information technologies.

Example technologies include:

  • Fleet management hardware and software systems
  • Routing and data solutions for public transportation operators
  • Logistics management
  • Carpooling solutions
  • Hybrid motor systems
  • Storage of energy specifically applied to vehicles
  • Plug in hybrid vehicles
  • All electric vehicles
  • Fuel cell vehicles
  • Biodiesel applications
  • Intermodal tracking and monitoring
  • NOX/SOX reductions for ocean going vessels
  • Cold-ironing systems
  • Diesel particulate matter filters for Locomotives
  • Combustion designs
  • Fuel blends
  • Flex fuel engines and applications
  • Drivetrain conversion kits
  • Route management via GPS networks
  • Exploiting GPS and location information
  • Monitoring and control of driver behavior