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Author Topic: Blasts from the 2012 to 2013 past when there was more HOPE 🌟  (Read 2340 times)

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    • Renwable Revolution

Snippet 1:
Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that a tiny aquatic plant can be used to clean up animal waste at industrial hog farms and potentially be part of the answer for the global energy crisis. Their research shows that growing duckweed on hog wastewater can produce five to six times more starch per acre than corn, according to researcher Dr. Jay Cheng. This means that ethanol production using duckweed could be "faster and cheaper than from corn," ]says fellow researcher Dr. Anne-Marie Stomp.

"We can kill two birds – biofuel production and wastewater treatment – with one stone – duckweed," Cheng says. Starch from duckweed can be readily converted into ethanol using the same facilities currently used for corn, Cheng adds.

A LOT of hogs are raised in the USA and many other countries as well. Do the math on the win-win situation of vastly increased ethanol production from duckweed while simultaneously stopping nitrogenous and fecal coliform waste which contaminates water and contributes to ocean dead zones. And remember that duckweed isn't particular; it can use ANY animal feces as fertilizer.

High nutrient removal rate from swine wastes and protein biomass production by full-scale duckweed ponds


NOTE: Don't be confused by the above term "nutrient" in the Sciencedirect article; they are talking about algae "nutrients" from animal waste that cause algal bloom and ocean dead zones from de-oxygenation. Feces causes algae to grow a LOT. In this case it is a bad thing and duckweed prevents it.

Duckweed is the smallest flowering plant known to man. Being aquatic, it uses most of the solar energy gained from photosynthesis to grow its buoyant fleshy leaves, avoiding the energy intensive requirements of slow growing woody root systems. This ultra-efficient use of energy is the main reason it grows so fast.

Note: Unlike GM plants tinkered with to grow fast or forced to do so with chemical fertilzers, Lemna minor (duckweed) sacrifices nothing in it's nutrient value for animals (it is edible and nutritious for humans too - In a world environmental collapse this humble angiosperm may be the key to preserving life, health and energy for millions of humans).

Global pork production in 2012 is revised upward 924000 tons from the last forecast to. 104.4 million tons.

Snippet 2:
The duckweed system consists of shallow ponds that can be built on land unsuitable for conventional crops, and is so efficient it generates water clean enough for re-use. The technology can utilize any nutrient-rich wastewater, from livestock production to municipal wastewater.

Snippet 3:
Cheng says, "Duckweed could be an environmentally friendly, economically viable feedstock for ethanol."

"There's a bias in agriculture that all the crops that could be discovered have been discovered," Stomp says, "but duckweed could be the first of the new, 21st century crops.

In the spirit of George Washington Carver, who turned peanuts into a major crop, Jay and I are on a mission to turn duckweed into a new industrial crop, providing an innovative approach to alternative fuel production."

Source: http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/yournews/38605

Duckweed for electricity at 3 CENTS per kwh:

Snippet 1:
It's a little, water-born plant that doubles in mass every 24 hours. The ducks really like it," Behrens said. Two pounds of duckweed seed in a 32-foot tank in Philadelphia grew to a depth of 2 inches in 10 days, he said.

"It's very easy to harvest," Behrens said. "That was the undoing of a lot of algae concepts. You can't spend too much energy removing fuel from water, otherwise on your balance sheet you haven't made any energy."
Duckweed is smaller than a grain of rice, but a million times bigger than an algae cell, he said. The duckweed is harvested with a nylon mesh, similar to screen doors, then dried.

In many ways, it's similar to wood-products waste, another type of biomass, which is used to generate electricity in White City and other places around the country.

"Trees don't grow fast enough, so we found something that grows faster," Behrens said. "The key is growing fuel on site, because shipping it in is too costly. We just had to find a fast-growing plant -- and there are plenty of those -- and then create an artificial environment that optimizes plant growth."

The artificial environment -- BioEnergy Domes -- is where Pacific Domes comes in. There are four sizes of BioEnergy Domes, ranging from a backyard-sized, 5,000-kilowatt version that can supply energy for one home to a commercial-size, 60-foot-diameter unit, such as the initial unit in a Philadelphia industrial park. The generating unit sits outside the dome and runs silently.

Behrens said it costs about $750,000 to $800,000 to install the largest BioEnergy Domes, and the payback time is only two years.

"You are able to generate electricity at the cost of 3 cents per kilowatt hour, the same as coal or nuclear plants," Behrens said. "It's completely controllable, unlike wind or solar power, and generates on demand like a fossil-fuel plant."


While I laugh at the idea that the actual cost of coal or nuclear power is just 3 cents per kwh because the EROI numbers on those two poisonous energy products exclude massive subsidies and environmental costs, I see no reason to doubt that the 3 cents per kwh is bonafide with duckweed. Nuclear fuel EROI of 10.0 and coal  EROI of 80.0 are corporate pseudo-scientific Procrustean Bed lies ( See this article).

Even if ethanol produced from duckweed is only in the wind EROI range of 18, it is still a far better alternative than any fossil fuel planetary poison. Furthermore, transportation costs would be next to nothing as well because duckweed infrastructure would be decentralized and local. Renewable energy produced this way also provides jobs for the community.

In addition, duckweed can be pelletized and used as food for tilapia fish farming or fuel in furnaces (after a low tech drying process).



Duckweed has great potential!

Drying duckweed on a screen

Duckweed is easy to grow. Just add water and poop.

What about those that claim that renewables like duckweed, wind, photovoltaic, etc. are just niche energy markets and will never actually replace fossil fuels as number one?

Snippet 1:
4. Clean energy investment has surpassed investments in fossil fuels
Last year was the first time global investments in renewable energy surpassed investments in fossil fuels.

The global market for clean energy was worth a whopping $250 billion.

The United States is currently leading in corporate R&D and venture capital investments in clean energy globally, and last year retook the top spot in overall investment with a 33 percent increase to $55.9 billion.

Snippet 2:
6. Fossil fuels have gotten 75 times more subsidies than clean energy
To date, the oil-and-gas industry received $446.96 billion (adjusted for inflation) in cumulative energy subsidies from 1994 to 2009, whereas renewable energy sources received just $5.93 billion (adjusted for inflation).

Renewable energy investments should be put in proper historical perspective. According to the Energy Information Agency, “focusing on a single year’s data does not capture the imbedded effects of subsidies that may have occurred over many years across all energy fuels and technologies.”

The U.S. government is showing a smaller commitment to renewables than it showed in the early years of the oil-and-gas industries. A study showed that “during the early years of what would become the U.S. oil and gas industries, federal subsidies for producers averaged half a percent of the federal budget. By contrast, the current support for renewables is barely a fifth that size, just one-tenth of 1 percent of federal spending.”

Snippet 3:
Here are the top six things you really need to know:

1)  Clean energy is competitive with other types of energy

2) Clean energy creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels

3) Clean energy improves grid reliability

4) Clean energy investment has surpassed investments in fossil fuels

5) Investments in clean energy are cost effective

6) Fossil fuels have gotten 75 times more subsidies than clean energy


Given all these real world facts about the main energy investment trends and the promise of EROI increases from renewables such as wind, photovoltaic and duckweed free of the environmental hazards of fossil and nuclear fuels and the prospect of much reduced government energy subsidies that we-the-people will benefit from,  isn't it folly to cling to the concept that centralized power systems will remain dominant in the energy markets?

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11


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