Re: Hydrogen economy

From: Scott's Lists <lists@detwiler.us>
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 19:40:47 EDT

On Apr 18, 2004, at 10:05 PM, Glenn Morton wrote:
>
> "Researchers are also trying to use microbes to transform biomass,
> including parts of crops that now have no economic value, into
> hydrogen.

Let me make a small (?) observation here as an environmental educator...

Aren't those "parts of crops that now have no economic value" currently
turned back into the soil to replenish it? If we find a use for every
BTU in a crop, we need to replace the nutrients taken from the soil
some other way. Presumably, we'd just do more of what we do
now--fertilizers and other soil amendments produced off-site (with
resource and energy consumption) and hauled in (with more resource and
energy consumption).

I see a similar issue rising in the forest industry, where the industry
works for the day when they can use every twig and leaf for some
saleable product, leaving a truly *clear* cut.

Soil is not an endless resource, either. It needs to be factored in
these bio-energy budgets, too.

Scott Detwiler
Received on Wed Apr 21 20:59:11 2004

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