revision cards


the environment

  • new technologies used to produce more environmentally friendly and sustainable designs.
  • e.g public buses introduced in china have electric engins powered by super capacitors. thiese use one tenth of the energy of a diesal-powered bus.
  • e.g bioplastics. which will reduce the need to drill for oil. disposable carrier bags are being designed to be biodegradable, meaning less will be sent to landfill sites.
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product enhancement

  • makes product better in some way.
  • new material or manufacturing technologies often result in the improvement of products or the development of new ones. 
  • e.g smaet materials. like quantum tunnelling composite (QTC). this is a flexable polymer that become a conductor when squeezed, used for membrane switches in phones. 
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  • new technologies can be created doesnt mean they should be. ethical implications should be considered.
  • nanotechnology could have big imact on healthcare but some think that we should not be placing artificial components into the human body. 
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Non-renewable resources

non renewable energy sources are sources that will ventually run out. the main examples are fossil fuels and nuclear fuel.

Fossil fuels

  • formed from the remains of dead organisms over a very long period of time
  • burnt to create steam, which turns turbines and hen drives a generator that produce electricity.
  • burning fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which can contribute to globa warming 
  • they will eventually run out.

Nuclear fuel

  • nuclear reactor creates steam to turn turbines and drive a motor.
  • nuclear fission controls the heat of the reactor. 
  • making great use of fossil fuels means that there is less need to burn fssil fuels
  • although accidents are rare they can result in radioactive material being release into the enviromemnt, which can cause health problems for plant and animals in the surrondings 
  • stricted procedues for disposal
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  • use solar energy by collecting and converting light form the sun into electric current.
  • will not run out for billions of years, so endless supply.
  • not waste products or greenhouse gases emitted. 
  • produce less electricity when there is less sunlight, they produce not electricity at night.
  • installation and maintenance cast can be hig. 


  • turbines can drive the generators, these are turned by the wind.
  • the amount of electricity depends on the amount and strength of the wind.
  • no waste products.
  • wind turbines are noisy and impact the look of the environment.


  • water is held in a reservoir and when it is realesed it turnes a turbine which will then generate electricity. 
  • floods large areas of land and destroys habbitats
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Transferring and storing energy


  • once it has been genrrated it must be transferred to its place of use.
  • transmitted using the national grid.
  • transmitted through cables at high voltage to minimise engery loss
  • high voltages are very dangerous and are kept up high to keep out of reach from animals/humans.
  • step up transformers are used to increase the voltage and Step down transformers are used to reduce the voltage and lower the levels ready for use in home. 

Storing Energy 

  • sometimes energy will not be used straightaway and must therefore be stored unitl it is needed
  • batteries, super capacitors and fuel cells are all methods of achieving this.
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The 6 Rs

  • Reduce - how can the amount of materials be used in the product be reduced? Is the product itself necessary?
  • Rethink - How can the product be changed so that it is less harmful for the environment?can a better way to solve the problem be found?
  • Refuse - should the product be produced if it is not sustainably deigned? is the packaging necessary or can it be removed?
  • Recycle -  is it made using recycled materials? Can the materials be recylced once the product is no longer useful?
  • Reuse - could the product be used in a idfferent way once its current use has expired? could it be disassembled so that its materials and componets could be reused in other proucts?
  • Repair - is it easy to repair? Are replacement comonents readily available in case of failure?
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Fair Trade

  • movement that works to help people in developing countries get a fair deal for the products that they produce.
  • producers are made an agreed minimum rate for amny products, this gets paid even if global prices fall. 
  • they also recieve fairtrade Premiun payment that they can use to invest in areas such as local education and healthcare.
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