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Thursday, April 05, 2007

More thoughts about biofuel production:

This is probably more relevant to home-brewed ethanol production, or at least more easily accomplished in this setting, for both fuel and... entertainment purposes, but here are a few ideas I had about some of the wastes from the fermentation process. Since, unless someone is just figuring it out or they're completely barmy, this will be occurring in a dedicated building, and since the fermentation process produces significant amounts of carbon dioxide, why not duct the waste air to a rooftop garden? If there is an engineering solution, perhaps allow the fans to be powered by the heat generated by the fermentation, but if not, other non-polluting energy sources would be good. Eventually, a compost heap could be created on the roof from the waste plant matter, and any excess compost could be lowered to the ground via a chute or a simple, human-powered pulley system. And, again, since this will be a fairly warm building, the composting process will take less time than it might otherwise in certain climates. I'm just thinking of ways to minimize the ecological impact of ethanol production, and perhaps, to find a way to make a single organic farm into a concept that could eventually be used to send people to colonize the stars... Yes, I have heard of the Biosphere, but they clearly fucked up, and part of that may be that they tried to be too cute about it. Perhaps if they had asked farmers as well as scientists, or perhaps if they had made proper use of their scientists, it may not have been such a spectacular failure.

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