Comment 63358

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted May 11, 2011 at 00:19:06

We need to stop burning biomass. Taking carbon and other elements from the ground and putting them up into the air causes too many problems on both ends. We're facing a global crisis right now over the carbon content of our soils and air, and both seriously threaten both human life and the natural world.

Some ways of burning things are far better than others - not only do you get more energy from a more efficient fire, but the emissions are much cleaner. Technologies like microwave plasma gasification hold a lot of promise for this reason. Liberty's gasification technology is better than many, but it's still sending it up.

We could sequester billions of tons of carbon very quickly, easily and cheaply in soil. But to break down high-carbon materials (like wood), you need a source of nitrogen - and each of us produces several pounds of that per day. The resulting reaction produces large amounts of heat and methane fuel, as well, which would nicely compliment slashing our need for natural gas-based nitrogen fertilizers. At present, this doesn't work well because we centralize our entire city's waste-water before composting, which tends to toxify the results ("biosolids"). If we're going to choose another system, then let's think it through.

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