Due to rising energy demand in modern world

 Due to rising energy demand in modern world, there could be observed a continuous fear of energy crisis. So; it is progressively more important to search out such alternative energy resources that could be proven competent, and economical. Here; it may be called a good idea if a routine activity such as; walking can be applied for the purpose of energy generation. This idea could be converted into possibility because of discovery of Piezoelectricity (pressure electricity) which is an excellent example of identification of an energy resource by luck. It is the property of particular crystal stuffs which can release electric current if struck or bent. In several crystals, bending might be promoted by passage of current. These specific substances can be used for conversion of mechanical energy into electric one (Fig.1), and might be implemented as; sensors, watch crystals and chief ingredients of artificial skin.

Fig.1

Though, the whole concept seems fascinating, but in actual fact, as; most of the issues related with public ethics usually generate from energy industry so; several ethical and moral issues are linked with this novel energy resource too. Piezoelectric technology cannot be called devoid of negative aspects because, piezoelectric materials are constructed with the help of nanotechnology that might have several adverse impacts.

In fact, the researches based on nanotechnology usually consider only novel applications of a matter, and researchers do not concentrate over the probable opposite impacts of such stuffs. Here it should be remembered that activity of nanoparticles cannot be compared with the greater clusters of the substances and these particles may exhibit enormous mysterious characteristics. For instance; Silver is considered as a harmless matter, but its nanoparticles can reflect countless damaging features for example; these can influence bacterium’s capability to soak up nutrients from the food ingested by it in an opposite manner. Though, there could not be searched any rationale behind this, but such an impact can be termed ‘alarming’ because of its potential harmful environmental consequences.

Besides, nanoparticles are not easily disposable due to their size so; these might be infused into soil, and membranes (either organic or artificial), and thus; can accumulate at such places where their presence is quite strange for instance; as a consequence of their application in fertilizing plants, these can be absorbed into soil, and water wells. Even their existence can be monitored in local wildlife. Owing to their use in piezoelectric technology, the quantity of nanoparticles may be amplified radically, and can bring out several undesirable outcomes. According to researchers, comparative analysis of ceramic (one out of the most extensively used materials in piezoelectricity industry) plates and biodegradable plates (designed from corn starch) has presented following results:

1. Even for similar functional unit, the unfavorable ecological impacts of ceramic plates are five times in comparison to biodegradable plates.

2. Application of ceramic plates can cause exhaustion of fossil fuel resources since; expenditure of fossil fuels during the life cycle of ceramic plates is around eight times more compared to the biodegradable plates.

3. Though, such unpleasant impacts can be reduced up to a significant level by recycling of ceramic plates, but to carry out the task, these must be recycled for approximately 50 times to compete with biodegradable plates. Such level of recycling may not be accessible for all piezoelectricity units, and absence of reprocessing of such stuffs could destroy the whole natural balance thus; cannot be termed ethical as; the core concept of ethics is “One should not harm others to draw his own profits.”

In addition to ecological impacts, other damaging effects may also be forced by piezoelectricity for example; in terms of security. Such issues arise usually because of conflict between decisions taken by engineers and trade practices. In fact, engineers need to work in a forceful setting, and ethical issues may arise in innumerable circumstances because of pure professional approach implemented by business persons. For example; engineers may wish to include such features in piezoelectricity appliances that might be considered compulsory for the purpose of safety, but their employers can reject the idea so that, cost of production could be trim down. The flip side of coin is that engineers may also participate in such activities which can be considered contradictory with societal welfare. Out of these activities, one may involve trading piezoelectricity power blocks in ways meant to boost up the price through recurring sales and buybacks. “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein 

Other ethical and moral issues related with piezoelectricity industries are (i) deny from the responsibility of taking decisions compatible with the security, health and wellbeing of the public, and to conceal factors which may cause danger to the public or the surroundings, (ii) avoiding structural integrity of piezoelectric products and circuits that is required to keep away from probable fire or electric shock exposures, (iii) dishonest and unreasonable claims or approximations, (iv) rejection of honest criticism of technical work, absence of adjustment of inaccuracies, and not to credit well the contributions of others, (v) unfair treatment with individuals considering their race, religious conviction, sexual category, disability, age, or nationality, and (vi) injuring others, their property, repute or employment by counterfeit or hateful acts.

To avoid such concerns, ethicists recommend that “IEEE Code of Ethics” must be followed by business persons related with the area of piezoelectricity, and they should also help their employees in professional advancement and in pursuing this code of ethics so that, piezoelectric technology’s understanding can be improved, and it could be implemented for the welfare of society in an absolute way as; Carly Fiorina truly said, “Many people see technology as the problem behind the so-called digital divide. Others see it as the solution. Technology is neither. It must operate in conjunction with business, economic, political and social system.” 

References

Chen ZW, Hu JQ. (2008). Piezoelectric and dielectric properties of Bi0.5(Na0.84K0.16)0.5TiO3-Ba(Zr0.04Ti0.96)O3 lead free piezoelectric ceramics. Adv Appl Ceram. 107, 222–226. 

Hiruma Y, Yoshii K, Nagata H, Takenaka T. (2008). Phase transition temperature and electrical properties of (Bi1/2Na1/2)TiO3-(Bi1/2A1/2)TiO3 (A = Li and K) lead-free ferroelectric ceramics. J Appl Phy.103, 084121–084127. 

Lee WC, Huang CY, Tsao LK, Wu YC. (2010). Crystal structure, dielectric and ferroelectric properties of (Bi0.5Na0.5)TiO3-(Ba, Sr)TiO3 lead-free piezoelectric ceramics. J Alloy Compd. 492, 307–312.