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Backyard Gassifiers Turn Wood into Hydrogen

Here at EcoGeek, we love to see what sustainable technologies average folks can get working in their backyard. Whilst we also marvel at the advances in cutting edge high-technology, it's refreshing to see "hands-on" technology, which you can build at home.

One response to peak oil and fossil fuel shortage has come from three members of Sustain Jefferson, a Natural Step community, who have built this downdraft gasifier, to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide (also called syngas) from ordinary wood pellets.

With hydrogen production currently dominated by the petrochemical industry, it's nice to see some simple carbon-neutral solutions to producing hydrogen, which you can make yourself.

This gassification process is an extremely simple version of Coskata's plasma gassification, which should soon be producting large quantities of cellulosic ethanol. Coskata has a microorganism that can convert syngas into ethanol at extremely high efficiencies.

Kick up a footstool, lay back, and enjoy - the video is also accompanied by a fairly smooth piano soundtrack!

And if you want to canada levitra generic build one yoursef, the plans are open source and available here.


More On Coskata's $1 per Gallon Ethanol

The Coskata process that GM is promoting can use a wide range of different feedstocks to produce ethanol. Materials ranging from agricultural waste to purpose grown crops that can be raised on marginal lands (switchgrass being the most widely known example of this) to waste materials such as old tires and even municipal waste streams can all be used as the raw materials that can be turned into ethanol with very little to zero landfill waste.

The Coskata process is fundamentally a biological reaction that takes place inside a specialized reactor (which is cialis online buy simply a vessel to contain the microbes and keep them in an environment where they are happy to live and produce ethanol). Anaerobic bacteria are fed carbon monoxide and hydrogen (known as syngas), which are produced by gasification, which can be done a number of different ways, depending on the feedstock material.

The reactor for this process is a sealed plastic tube filled with millions of filaments on which the bacteria live. Having bacteria living on the filaments provides an enormous amount of surface area for them to live on in a very concentrated volume. The syngas is passed through the viagra mail order usa reactor, and bacteria feed on the carbon monoxide and hydrogen and produce ethanol.

Other methods for ethanol production typically use enzymatic reaction to viagra 50 break down materials which are then fermented and viagra from india turned into alcohols by microorganisms. Coskata's process uses gasification to directly convert raw materials into syngas (which is mostly carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas). This makes Coskata's process more efficient than vat-type bio-processes, and leads to less waste produced.

The process of plasma gasification which we wrote about last year is another one of the potential front-end methods that could be used, particularly in conjunction with more variable sources of raw materials such as municipal or factory waste streams. (In fact, this is one area GM and Coskata have talked about working together; expect to see a waste gasification/ethanol production plant at a GM manufacturing plant in the near future as a pilot demonstration of only for you cialis india the process working with a highly variable source of raw materials and contributing to a zero landfill waste production facility.)

Coskata has taken pains to note that they are NOT using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in this process, and that the microbes they are using are not pathogenic. In fact, because these bacteria are anaerobic, if there was a breakdown and they were released into the atmosphere, they would quickly die overnight viagra off, just as we would if we wandered into a roomful of carbon monoxide. One part of Coskata's research has been to identify suitable strains of bacteria that work well in their process and then selectively breed them to produce "thoroughbred" strains that work better.

Coskata's process is also significantly less taxing on water resources. While other current methods of ethanol production take 3 to 4 gallons of water for each gallon of buy viagra online from canadacheap viagra tablets fuel produced, the Coskata process needs less than a gallon of water per gallon of fuel.

Link: Coskata (w/ Flash Animation)

Note: GM paid for my travel to cialis use attend a background briefing about this program.


GM Announces Major Waste to Ethanol Partnership

General Motors has announced a partnership with Coskata, Inc. to develop and promote Coskata's next-generation ethanol production technology. Coskata has a patented process and proprietary microorganisms that will enable them to produce cellulosic ethanol for approximately US$1.00 (which would translate to retail fuel prices $0.50 to $1.00 less than current prices).

GM is investing in Coskata but is not taking an ownership stake in the company. Nor is GM looking to begin selling GM-branded fuel. However, as part of their program to embrace a range of fuels, GM is already involved in the promotion and development of E85 fueling stations across the country, and the alliance between GM and Coskata will help both companies while making E85 a more readily available fuel.

Unlike many other current sources for ethanol production, Coskata is not a corn-based system. Instead, the Coskata process uses anaerobic microbes to produce ethanol (and only ethanol, unlike some other biological methods that produce a range of alcohols that require more intensive distillation and processing in order to produce a useful fuel).

Coskata will be able to cialis online canada produce ethanol from a range of feedstocks, including hay, straw, and corn stover (the stalks, cobs, and other inedible, non-food parts of corn), wood chips, and even more diverse sources such as old tires and municipal waste.

Coskata and rx canada viagra GM will be working together to test fuel from the purchase propecia online Coskata pilot plant in GM vehicles and to develop the ethanol fuel market, as well as exploring using GM manufacturing plant waste to produce ethanol and help GM reach its goal of zero landfill use.

Note: GM paid for my travel to attend a background briefing about this program.


Shell to Grow Algae for Oil

Algae is buy viagra cheap online going primetime with Shell jumping on as the first major oil company to adopt it for diesel production. Not only does algae solve the problem of using land to produce fuel rather than food, an argument against biofuels, but algae also produces oil that "can be readily be converted to diesel, and can be fed CO2 directly from smokestacks." Lastly, the green guys have such an efficient photosynthesis process that the first plant is slated to it's great! viagra sales uk produce 15 times more oil per area than any other biofuel.

Hopefully we'll see more oil companies diving into new eco-friendly technologies to get us away from traditional fossil fuels.

Via New Scientist Environment


"Vortex Implosion Disintegrator" Helps Turn Wood into Ethanol

The Gulf Ethanol Corporation is claiming a "breakthrough" in cellulosic ethanol production. They call it the vortex implosion disintegrator and it sounds extremely impressive. I'm not going to attempt to tell you how it works, because their press release is pretty vague. But it basically takes anything that contains cellulose and, using a "high pressure, high velocity process" with "sudden polarity shifts" and "molecular repulsion," turns anything that contains cellulose into cellulose powder.

Creating cellulose powder is just the first step in producing cellulosic ethanol, but it's an important first step. For example, many people hope to use trees, and agricultural waste, to produce cellulosic ethanol. But though all plants contain lots of cellulose, they contain lots of other stuff as well, and separating the cellulose from the other stuff has become an expensive problem.

Depending on the viability (cost) of the technology, this could dramatically lower the price of cellulosic ethanol, and that would be fantastic.

If you're not sure of cheapest cialis the difference between cellulosic ethanol and regular ethanol, the great thing about cellulosic is that it comes from non-food (often waste) plants. So instead of using corn to create fuel, we can use the corn stalks...which no one wants anyway.

We'll have to wait and see how this pans out, but it seems like the future is getting brighter for cellulosic ethanol every day.

Via TheDailyGreen

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