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View Diary: Vegetables of Mass Destruction - Biofuels (230 comments)

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  •  alternatives (13+ / 0-)

    My friend Todd has already designed a biofuel plant that re-uses waste products from Ethanol production, even re-uses the steam that's released to produce other bio-based products.  He's passed the plans on to the biofuels folks and they're working on it.

    In other alternatives, liberal actress and political activist Natalie Portman (using her real name) wrote a great paper on alternative fuels when she was in high school, for the Intel Science Talent Search. It still looks workable -- turning paper mulch and paper waste into hydrogen fuel....

    Check it the abstract. Let's further this idea from a high school girl.

    A Simple Method To Demonstrate the Enzymatic Production of Hydrogen from Sugar

    There is current interest in and concern for the development of environmentally friendly bioprocesses whereby biomass and the biodegradable content of municipal wastes can be converted to useful forms of energy. For example, cellulose, a glucose polymer that is the principal component of biomass and paper waste, can be enzymatically degraded to glucose, which can subsequently be converted by fermentation or further enzymatic reaction to fuels such as ethanol or hydrogen. These products represent alternative energy sources to fossil fuels such as oil. Demonstration of the relevant reactions in high-school and undergraduate college laboratories would have value not only in illustrating environmentally friendly biotechnology for the utilization of renewable energy sources, such as cellulosic wastes, but could also be used to teach the principles of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. In the experimental protocol described here, it has been demonstrated that the common sugar glucose can be used to produce hydrogen using two enzymes, glucose dehydrogenase and hydrogenase. No sophisticated or expensive hydrogen detection equipment is required-only a redox dye, benzyl viologen, which turns purple when it is reduced. The color can be detected by a simple colorimeter. Furthermore, it is shown that the renewable resource cellulose, in its soluble derivative from carboxymethylcellulose, as well as aspen-wood waste, is also a source of hydrogen if the enzyme cellulase is included in the reaction mixture.

    •  Hydrogen but not the Bush plan, sorry. (4+ / 0-)

      Yes hydrogen seems to be the way but having a hindenberg on every street corner(in the form of 500+ gallon liquid hydrogen tank) is scary. We need a system to generate hydrogen "on the fly" in the car.

      Be carefull what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

      by JML9999 on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 08:30:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  easy to make (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OrangeClouds115, drewfromct, JML9999

      I agree that Bush's ideas on hydrogen and ethanol are from the past. We need alternative systems that produce usable fuel on demand, not just for storage. OR We have to change our lifestyle to accomodate alternative energies. :)

      I like it that the point in the paper above is that production of hydrogen and ethanol is simple.
      We can easily use various kinds of garbage and biodegradble waste, rather than spending energy to raise corn to be used for fuel. This method reduces biomass and municipal garbage by turning it into alternative energy.

    •  The problem with hydrogen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that it's a storage unit, not a producer of energy. Hydrogen uses more energy to create than it releases, and is also difficult to store and ship.

      There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click) There's no place like home... (click)

      by willers on Sun Nov 26, 2006 at 05:15:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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