Thu

24

Nov

2022

Major flooding in Oz

Waterborne disease in the floodwater is possible leading to diarrhea and dehydration and you can't drink money...preparation (or even aid in some cases) is needed:

https://lifestraw.jadavey.com.au/product/lifestraw-personal-water-filter/

Failing that (logistics over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale period are going to be hamstrung), washed and ex-food grade IBCs with steam-activated unmilled biochar. But, where are the supplies? Maybe in the future? There are also other 'Activated Carbon' water filters on the market but will there be enough of them and can they get to the flooded regions in time?

Boiling water in a billy could work too if one can get to dry land fast enough...

But, hopefully most people will evacuate fast enough and have somewhere to stay with food and water. For those people that stay to defend their home, good luck! In this scenario, a generator might be needed too.

Purchasing a solar generator will be far more useful and standalone than a diesel generator that depends on a diesel supply chain that could be interrupted. For eg.,

https://www.bluettipower.com.au/pages/black-friday#new-black-friday-2022-id3

The above solar generators use a LiFePO4 battery chemistry for more charge cycles and better chemical and thermal stability compared to a pure Li ion battery chemistry (rookie mistake).

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Tue

01

Nov

2022

Dietary plan

How can I find a balanced nutritional diet for food and medicine with growing plants all year round?
What micro and macro nutrients do I need? eg. 'Teaming with nutrients' by Jeff Lowenfels
What plants should I grow? eg. A mix of annuals and perennials
When should I grow them? Different for every annual and perennials plant once and replace after a variable number of years
What should I feed them? Take a general approach or a customised approach using biochar as a medium/coral reef in both cases
What percentage of my diet should I grow? eg.Aim for 80%.
How should I grow them? Experiment with biocharponics/microgreen systems, circular Zai pits and swales (using the integrated biochar central vertical core and bottom aquifer system), biochar + microalgae eg.Spirulina system for protein, Permachar Kitchen Garden (PKG) for herbs
Agricultural  inputs:
Biomass for biochar production in the KTE
Liquid sea kelp
BnB
Microbe inoculations
Mycorrhizal fungi
Rock dust
Compost for the pits, swales and PKG
Straw Lucerne + cow pea for Nitrogen fixation and mulch
Any comments or suggestions welcome!

 

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Thu

27

Oct

2022

Integrated planning for a 'million houses' budget proposal

So, a follow up 'Sci-Fi thought experiment' to the 2022 ALP budget. Some holes, a couple of Liberal policies eg.fracking donations and tax cuts for the wealthy and no integrated 'climate plan' -yet.

Maybe Australia is due for a retrofit and a rebuild that could generate millions of new jobs (sorry, no modelling there. BZE is onto it).

So here we go...

A 'Climate plan' for a 'climate emergency'->Selection of future green and appropriate, mostly 'Carbon negative' technologies, with seed funding and grants made available, manufactured by mostly Ozzie startups with some international collaborators/businesses until 2030 (an arbitrary date but who knows what manufacturing tech and designs will be available by then?)->Establishment of industrial ecologies in reclaimed land in cities and rural regional centres (with microgrids) + 'Carbon negative' learning centres + Ecovillages for students and 'workers' (some could work remotely from home if the work situation changes) with microgrids (including 'community batteries') and transport links to the learning centres and workplaces for bicycles, swap in/swap out battery cells for scooters->A fraction(?) of the million 'energy efficient' (open to interpretation) houses, as proposed by the ALP.
 

Some interesting options for building technologies and techniques are available which all need high thermal mass R values for climate-proofing rising global atmospheric temperatures and extremes...

3d printing of building materials and entire structures

-3D printed concrete

*possibly using a hemp+hemp biochar+concrete biocomposite, or rather 'hempcharcrete'. In areas of flammable spinifex, spinifex can be pyrolysed for biochar (think fire stick farming). Spinifex could possibly replace the hemp for 'Spincharcrete'. Thermal mass, from what I've researched, could be an issue for these designs that seem to use a double wall for air insulation and stability however biomass insulation eg. hemp, spinifex (a fire-retardant variety), could fill wall cavities rather than air and probably get a better R value - it needs to be researched. Also, concrete needs a number of inputs from a variety of places with some energy intensive processes. But, these guys are talking about space bases so thermal mass studies need to be done in a desert then expanded on the moon, which would use regolith concrete so the results couldn't be perfectly compared. As it turns out, the company has started operations in Alice Springs, NT - in the desert. A golden opportunity for thermal mass testing and presumably more affordable housing!

Possibly suitable for bushfire prone areas. The thin concrete outer walls could possibly crack with high temperatures from a bushfire.

 

-3D printed clay bricks

Milled biochar could be added to the raw clay input to make 3D printed 'Charclay bricks'. The internal geometries of the clay bricks in the above research paper (can be downloaded as a PDF) for increasing tensile strength (and possibly air cell insulation) are gobsmacking. The brick designs could be scalable for larger bricks but the size/weight ratio would need to be optimised for brickies. This could also be a 'Carbon negative' building material with the added biochar and also possible increased tensile strength which could be investigated in future research. I would would also assume this is a greener material than concrete, even with the added biochar, but more manual labour for construction of structures/houses (which may be a good or a bad thing) but could use the 'In Situ Resource Utilisation' principle for making biochar and mining clay at the site of construction with a mobile kiln eg.in a shipping container, that could be designed to fire bricks from process heat of pyrolysis of locally sourced biomass and produce biochar to add to more bricks and produce electricity to power a series of 3D printers for the Charclay brick manufacturing. Another shipping container could be dropped in carrying the brick 3D printers. There's also the possibility of building a double wall with a large air gap that can be filled with biomass insulation for more extreme environmental temperature ranges eg. arid areas. Perpetual motion, more or less with clay and biomass being the only material inputs (and everything else that is needed to build an 'energy efficient' house). Basically, it would be a high-tech mud brick operation.

Possibly suitable for bushfire prone areas - fire testing would need to be done.

 

-3D printed bio-based materials eg.using forestry/agroforestry waste from regeneratively grown trees.

Hemp or bamboo fibre could also possibly be used either from waste or purpose grown crops.

https://umaine.edu/news/blog/2022/11/21/first-100-bio-based-3d-printed-home-unveiled-at-the-university-of-maine/

Cradle to grave sustainability is possible with Carbon sequestration in the wood/hemp/bamboo fibre and full recyclability at the end of a house/structure's lifetime. Faster to construct than charclay bricks and greener than concrete or charcrete.

Not suitable for bushfire prone areas.

 

-Earthships

https://www.earthshipglobal.com/home

Until there's a shortage of used tyres ('Garbage Warrior' Michael Reynolds claims used tyres are everywhere!), Earthships could be a great option with high thermal mass for climate-proofing the country (and Planet?). Dr Martin Freney in SA is the thermal mass expert in this type of architecture known as 'Biotecture' with an Earthship BnB as a demonstration of what can be built on the small-scale with practically unlimited scaleability.

Suitable for bushfire prone areas. https://www.earthshipecohomes.com.au/bushfire-family.html

 

-Rammed earth, if the right soil is available is also a resource and logistically efficient way to build with high thermal mass and looks great.

Suitable for bushfire prone areas.

 

-Strawbale is also a resource and logistically efficient way build for high thermal mass in areas with lower humidity and access to straw and render.

Suitable for bushfire prone areas.

 

-Flood proofed house

A challenge for rebuilding flooded areas in Oz with flood proofed houses for future major rainfall and flooding events

 

There's probably a skills shortage in all of these techniques so the Gov needs to make a decision soon so builders can be skilled up in time for 2024 and beyond. Also, a number of building companies have collapsed in Australia so this could be a pathway back into business for them since supply chains for conventional materials have been disrupted around the country and there were many issues with fixed payment contracts so the Gov should think outside the box on this problem.

 

A million houses sounds like a very ambitious number, to the ALP's credit who wants to 'Build' a better future. High rise apartment buildings (even with renewable energy and greenery) and housing estates probably wouldn't pass the test of a sustainable Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) and the dated pattern needs to change anyway. With effective planning (people, spatial information, logistics, finance, auditing, data analytics and project management and team software to avoid another 'Pink bats scheme'/Home Insulation Program) it could be achieved. The number of new houses needed (as a fraction of the million houses, for the industrial ecologies) will be low during the construction phase of industrial ecologies (houses for business builders so why not start building the permanent houses at that stage and temporary prefab housing for builders building the permanent houses which could be trucked or railroaded onto site) and increase over time and possibly exceed a million houses in the long term if the demand for our technologies accelerates which it probably will, whether they be for domestic consumption or exports. Also manufacturing capacity will probably take a number of years to ramp up also taking into account future automation technologies for Industrial Revolution 4.0 which in some cases may reduce demand for 'workers' and housing.

 

So, linking in free education for domestic students and fee-paying international students at the world's first 'Carbon negative' learning centres for mostly 'Carbon negative' and some 'Carbon neutral' technologies, located within the industrial ecologies, for theoretical and applied STEM-Arts industrial design, R&D and commercialisation course/module learning and culture, including free (domestic and international student) internships for business admin and management and apprenticeships for design and manufacturing jobs. Learn, work and earn. This could float more boats so the graduates are industry ready for the businesses and don't have to move for their first job in the industrial ecology. See REFERENCES below for some interesting case studies.

 

Maybe each industrial ecology could have a theme eg. space, agricullture, urban housing etc. Also, many of the startups in the industrial ecologies could be founded by the first graduates (and beyond) from the learning centres associated with them. So, how could the initial startups or established companies be chosen for the industrial ecologies? Criteria. What criteria? A Carbon footprint of the tech's cradle to grave lifecycle. If it can be calculated that the tech is Carbon neutral or better, aka Carbon negative, then the startup/established company can join the ecology, on condition that they will make available internships and apprenticeships for the students.

 

How can Aussie manufacturing be fired up? With an American company? An eg. of a business that could establish itself in the 'space' industrial ecology could be a Sakuu gigafactory with the first one based in Silicon Valley. Sakuu has designed a 3D multimaterial printer which might still be at prototype stage (sakuu.com) - information is scarce about their Kavian (TM) platform and I doubt it's able to print at the atomic level. For a variation of the 'new material' previously blogged, maybe print a modified Carbon perovskite crystalline superlattice (eg.200 layers, using perovskite ink grown from Si and C rich bamboo biochar for Si-C bonds on the crystals which could achieve higher efficiencies than C perovskite-Si wafer tandem PV cells as well as possibly utilising quantum superabsorption in vertical quantum wells) bonded/layered onto a printable Polymer Derived Ceramic (PDC), with ceramic for stability, mixed with finely milled bamboo biochar powder again including Si-C bonds (found in the phytoliths present) where Si increases Li storage capacity and C increases electron conductivity and could be alternatively layered (like a layer cake) with Li for solid state battery storage, storing the energy harvested from the PVs. Ceramic powder could be imported from Japan but ideally produced in Australia. Lithium could be obtained from WA mines with local refinement in the pipeline (see REFERENCES) or possibly the Top End (but will have heavy rainfall at the mines which will probably leach sulfuric/sulphuric acid into the water sources eg.rivers, springs, groundwater) in the future (as opposed to the dominant model of sending unrefined rock to China then importing back the Lithium Hydroxide for battery production...hello high Carbon footprint, a missed value adding opportunity and an unstable supply chain though this is debatable and includes all mining commodity trading partners, not just limited to China. Supply chain instability has arguably been caused by COVID-19 leading to a downturn of many economies, a war in Ukraine, shifting geopolitics and a possible parallel economy is emerging with cryptocurrency.

 

Alternatively, there's Sodium mined from saltpans and seawater (as a byproduct of desalination) that could replace Lithium but suffers from a lower energy density which may not be a problem for applications when size and weight is less of an issue eg. community batteries. Transport (built into the chassis) and small electronics eg. at the back of smartphones would be the most obvious applications for the 'New material', PVs and batteries but I imagine there are many.

 

I just think it would be awesome if we could build our own C negative Greentech/Apptech using locally refined raw materials in Australia and even go further via mining/desal companies using carbonfuture.earth to drawdown C in a 'Carbon sink' for biogeochemosequestration which, eg., could add C/biochar to regenerative agroforestry ventures.

 

Students and 'workers' will undoubtedly need housing for study, work and families if they choose to have them. There needs to be a variety of house configurations for this. Maybe the students could get extremely low rent until they graduate then after securing work, enter into an interest free monthly purchase plan/agreement for a house (without rent, a conventional mortage, 'Afterpay' or credit cards), buying it from the Gov. Rental could still be an option too if a 'worker' does not want to enter a purchase agreement, but still at a low market rate. If people need to change jobs and move to another industrial ecology site, when housing becomes available, it shouldn't affect the payment plan i.e. it keeps going. I'm not sure what would be the best way to refund money if a payment plan is exited - maybe calculate a low rental rate for the period of tenancy and subtract it from the amount paid in the plan then return/refund the difference.

 

The division between work and play is blurred here and goes well beyond just 'energy efficient' housing. Sign me up for a happy, sustainable, meaningful and reasonable livelihood and existence with many of the Aussie perks. Or as Confucius famously said "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

 

Sounds Utopian? Just about anyone can learn and work of age (assuming they are not children, retired or have a bad disability or both). Things got more urgent. This idea could be a recession circuit breaker. Better than 1950s and 1960s public housing thinking, a climate emergency with lack of planning, rising poverty, no real wage increases, rising cost of living pressures, energy price gouging, rising inflation, a broken education system that desperately needs more funding, a health system barely coping with COVID-19 (which could mutate into something worse but seems to be mutating into many subvariants and even subvariants of subvariants that don't cause severe disease if vaccinated), a manufacturing industry that is almost dead, supply chain instability, too much money printing (what about the physical economy?), a construction industry that is collapsing (like China) and a CCS fantasy (with the exception of BECCS). But, it's not all 'carnage', as Donald Trump once described the US in his first Presidential speech. 

We still have Tim Tams, koalas, surf, diverse culture, each other and a whole lot more worth mentioning but too much to put in a blog!

 

Like a good integrated design, every subsequent industrial ecology should be better than the last one with updates and improvements. This is not a cookie cutter operation. Some of the tech used in the ecovillages could be built in the local industrial ecology and even exported to subsequent ones in different areas/regions. And of course, being the incorrigible salesman, permaculture plants could be grown around the ecovillages for biochar which probably meets the criteria of Professor Robert Pope's famous 'Human survival technology' (possibly made in a KTE and TLUD stoves) to build out regenerative agroforestry systems using circular Zai pits and swales in the ecovillage gardens for food and medicine.

 

Maybe aim for 2026 for the first near fossil free model/prototype (which could eventually become C negative), with a fraction(?) of the AUD$1.9 billion of fracking money (and possibly signing the 'Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative' at COP27) to get things started, which gives whoever would be mad/visionary enough to take this project on, 3 years to attract additional business investment and construction and iron out the initial wrinkles...so, where would be the best first site?

 

Maybe somewhere with clay (swales/Zai pits), biomass (3D printed bio-based houses; biochar, which can be used to grow more biomass + raw material for New Material/PVs/battery ceramic-C-Si anodes), high solar insolation (PV solar harvesting and testing), seawater (microalgae, desalination and Sodium as a byproduct for 3D printed Na solid state batteries) and an atmosphere (DAC for C, N, H20->H2, vodka, fertiliser etc.)! South Australia could be a good candidate, maybe starting with the 'Space' theme, given we are home to the Australian Space Agency and over 100 space-related organisations.

 

There is an interesting discussion around space objectives eg.Where will be the first land based space base? eg.Moon (using 3D printed regolith bricks/concrete for structures)->Launch vehicles to Venus (deep space experience and science of a possible Earth future) then eventually slingshot to Mars and establish a colony/presence.

 

A way out of climate breakdown is needed that can help save the Planet and may be a way in to space and beyond. In the 'Eclogue 10', by Virgil, he writes 'Omnia vincit amor' (Love conquers all). Maybe this even applies to space travel.

 

REFERENCES

https://learn.ecovillage.org/course/ecovillage-design-education/lessons/meet-your-facilitators/topic/albert-bates-2/

https://masdarcity.ae/

https://www.urbanecology.org.au/eco-cities/christie-walk/

https://news.panasonic.com/global/stories/1025

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukuba

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawson_Lakes,_South_Australia

If we're not in a hurry...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoni_Gaudi

https://www.sakuu.com/

https://dug.com/smaller-faster-stronger-1-nm-chips-by-tsmc/

https://beyondoilandgasalliance.com/

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20221110-how-australia-became-the-worlds-greatest-lithium-supplier

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Fri

14

Oct

2022

Microalgae for an almost circular economy

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Wed

14

Sep

2022

Probability V Possibility

In the 'climate emergency', we, if I may Grasshopper, need to understand that every additional C atom in the atmosphere beyond the amount needed for a 'safe climate' has the potential to contribute to 'climate heating', 'climate chaos', 'climate change', 'climate disruption' et al

 

In other words, every little thing I do matters but what I do now matters the most. Yes, many have argued, in terms of 'climate justice', that there's an historic responsibility for Carbon emissions but lets not dwell on that for now as it opens too many wounds but should not be forgotten and preferably acted upon. There is an important point to make here though - there's already too much Carbon in the atmosphere, that we need to remove, plus the additional C emissions between now and 2050 when most nations are obliged to reach Zero Emissions, which is a huge effort in itself but will not remove these historical emissions. What makes more sense is if we build into the economies Carbon negative technologies (along with a range of other strategies) so by the time we reach 2050 we may already be going 'beyond zero emissions' and achieve 'C negative emissions'.

 

Here's a definition of 'Carbon negative technology' that I've been working on taking a 'Cradle to Grave' approach:

"The Carbon removed and probably offset over the lifespan of the technology is more than the Carbon required to 'mine'* the raw materials, refine the raw materials, produce the final materials, build the technology with the materials, transport the technology to the user, use the technology then repurpose or recycle the technology at the end of the service life."

*which could include direct air capture (DAC) of Carbon or include biochar Carbon from biomass to produce Carbon-based materials, just to muddy the waters.

 

It would be great if you could make TLUD stoves and Kon-Tiki biochar kilns from a biochar-based material! 'Carbon negative' 'Green steel' would be the next best option, maybe using a BECCS power generator to produce power for 'Green Hydrogen' for Iron Oxide reduction with biochar as a by-product that can be used for many applications such as 2D/3D printed Carbon-based perovskite PV panels printed on site for additional power supply using the principle of 'In-situ resource utilization' (ISRU). The biochar would need to be milled to a fine powder then turned into printer ink for the printer.

In this scenario, a lot of sustainably and fast growing biomass near the steel mill would be needed (eg. if the mill is near the sea such as Whyalla or Port Kembla, microalgae grown in seawater ponds onshore or maybe even macroalgae/sea kelp offshore. Other products could also be refined from the micro and macro algae such as health supplements, pharmaceuticals, biodiesel, fish, livestock and human food) and extremely energy efficient Hydrogen electrolysers, like the Hysata capillary action ones, would be needed for onsite H2 production. Ideally the electrolysis would use seawater to avoid the desalination step and save time and money with less technology needed, though fluorine nanoring membranes from Japan looks very promising.

 

It is unclear if Hysata tech uses seawater or freshwater as this info is not on their website (even though they have a nice seawater splash screen) and they probably won't reply to my email question about it...Try doing a Google search for "recent advances seawater electrolysis". What would be interesting is if someone could invent a 'Green Hydrogen' on demand system, from electrolysis of seawater eg.plasma arc (HSA), that could produce H2 as fast as it is needed and avoid the storage problem (handy for self-powered marine transport where there is limitless seawater and space is an issue). Note, FFI is using demineralised water. Alternatively, Direct Air Electrolysis (DAE) can be used, though the tech is at it's early stages, which could be great for areas that lack any type of water but have access to renewable energy.

 

An activated Carbon machine (Bygen) could also be used onsite to 'activate' biochar from the generator and place it in tanks for H2 storage so there is a buffer if demand is higher than the rate the H2 can be produced which is the most likely scenario.

 

A sustainable 'Industrial Ecology' is possible for steel production and probably other Carbon intensive operations as well.

 

What's probable (Classical) or what's possible (Quantum) - or both or neither. It's probable (though I don't think any person or computer knows how probable) that much of the Planet will die with most species including us on it (the 'Sixth mass extinction') in the not too distant future (maybe in the next couple of hundred years but there seems to be a lack of scientific research that goes beyond 2100) if we don't significantly change course BUT it's possible that we and many other species can still survive for a very long time if we focus on and put all our efforts into that possibility.  It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if we lack ambition, vision and energy. We are the 'weather makers' according to Professor Tim Flannery.  Welcome to the Anthropocene! I'm frankly tired of reading about scientific probabilities of species extinctions, climate tipping points and projections of what will happen when the climate heats up. I'm now in action mode. For me, I want to now focus on possibilities like Carbon negative technology eg.biochar, regenerative agroforestry and the https://www.half-earthproject.org/. Maybe combine all three!

 

REFERENCES

https://grattan.edu.au/report/start-with-steel/

https://www.nasa.gov/isru

https://www.bygen.com.au/

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62838627

https://hysata.com/

https://www.hydrogensystems.com.au/project-shield-hsa/

https://ffi.com.au/technology/green-hydrogen/

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-32652-y

https://newatlas.com/materials/teflon-inspired-tube-desalination-membrane-water-purification/

http://www.climatecodered.org/2019/08/at-4c-of-warming-would-billion-people.html

'Radio Ecoshock' - does a great job informing the public about the latest developments in climate research. There's a whole lot of past episodes/podcasts you can tap into if you're new to this space.

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Thu

18

Aug

2022

Microgrids for roadhouses

Let's retrofit the national highway for starters...
Standalone Solar powered Chargefox EV chargers AND green Hydrogen pumps at roadhouses.
Here's some mind bending theoretical applied science...?Mesoporous Carbon Perovskite Photovoltaic Cells using a 3D superlattice, hot carrier electrons, vertical quantum wells with possible quantum superabsorption for 2 in 1 solar harvesting and storage in large arrays in a microgrid. Virtually no transmission losses between solar harvesting and storage! This material could also be compostable at the end of it's lifescycle, where material degradation will create a range of nanopores, similar to biochar, perfect for high rise housing for micro-organisms for better soil health and Carbon removal on the Millenia+ timescale.
Note that there is only one solar panel manufacturer in Australia, Tindo Solar. Maybe this could be an opportunity for them or for another material/panel/battery manufacturer in Australia.
The new material could directly power Chargefox EV chargers and power large Hysata electrolysers using their proprietary capillary action for Green Hydrogen production.
Hydrogen could be stored as supply for H2 or H2 hybrid vehicles in Mg alloys or hydrides.
The H2 storage alloys or powders would need to cope with high desert temperatures so liquefaction and cooling at low temperatures would not be an option which would take too much energy and be at risk of explosion.
Kits could be scaled to demand in shipping containers, trucked or railroaded in.
A new business could grow oil-producing microalgae, grown in onshore coastal desert seawater ponds which could produce biodiesel via oil extraction and pyrolyse the waste into biochar then both products transported to roadhouses for the remaining diesel powered transport filling up with fuel. The biochar could be used in biochar hydroponic systems (if the soil is lousy) to grow food for the roadhouse menu plus sold as bags for punters.
I previously blogged about 'self-powered transport' but the reality is it won't all be self-powered. Many people say transport is the hardest sector to decarbonise but if we build tech for the hardest sector it could benefit the rest of the 'easy' energy sector. Unsustainable PV cells and big batteries will be a thing of the past.
And just for fun, check out the video for this tech:
https://www.techtimes.com/articles/279318/20220818/wave-energy-floating-spine-like-device-generates-sea-waves-electricity.htm
.
REFERENCES
Perovskites
https://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news2/newsid=61274.php
https://solarlove.org/hot-carrier-perovskite-solar-cells-bounce-66-efficiency/
https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/11/15/mesoporous-carbon-for-a-20-year-stable-perovskite-solar-cell/
EV charging 
H2 electrolysers 
H2 storage
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0925838820312287
H2 pumps
But why stop at roadhouses? eg. communities, regional towns etc.
It's a transmission efficiency and energy security, sustainability and Sovereignty problem

 

0 Comments

Thu

07

Jul

2022

A 'Green' Economic plan for Australia

For once I agree with Angus Taylor, 'We need an economic plan. Right here, right now.' Ironic, coming from a non-interventionist Liberal Government that offered a Roadmap with no objectives and failed to deliver a 'Climate Plan' for a 'Green COVID Recovery'. People can change, especially when they are now in opposition and there is stagflation looming in Australia.
So, here we go!
The mainframe is climate emergency with climate preparedness motivation.
How to drive the degrowth that we need?
Greentech (defined below) for 'research, testing, development and commercialisation' (RTDC) that creates meaningful employment to promote happy and reasonable livelihoods aka ecocapitalist payload.
Production!
Manual labour, robotic automation with AI on factory production lines eg.Aptera or a combination of the two (yes please).
Seed capital:
Criteria for agnostic greentech to secure seed capital from the Gov that meets strict criteria for:
*appropriate
*sustainable
*C negative.⚡👍
That's all for now...

 

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Sat

11

Jun

2022

Self-powered transport and climate-controlled greenhouses

SELF-POWERED TRANSPORT
A new material (PV-massless battery, possibly using mesoscopic C perovskite solar cells (mCPSC) with quantum superabsorption in quantum wells inside microcavities) layered on a hemp-hemp biochar biocomposite chassis to directly power an electric engine.
Excess solar energy (once the massless battery is fully charged) to power onboard micro-electrolysis of water for H2. The water could be supplied from onboard water tanks (with external filling) from any water source imaginable using a pump and optional filtration (2 stage Activated Carbon (AC) filter for dirty freshwater or for desalination of salty water with a fluorine nano-ring membrane) when needed or via atmospheric water harvesting (AWH) with a gel/collector setup (see article below) by the side of the vehicle eg. The 'Explorer' 4x4 (formerly known as the 'Adventure') when it's stationary.
When the H2 tanks are full the micro-electrolysis is turned off.
The H2 produced then used to power fuel cells to power the electric engine when the PV-massless battery is low on energy storage eg.10% capacity, after extended periods of low solar energy input or at night when the moon isn't shining.
If both the massless battery is fully discharged (which may not be chargeable from an EV charger) and H2 tanks are empty and there is no access to H2 pumps (which can access the H2 tanks externally) then one may have to sit it out until the sun/moon is shining again.

 

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Mon

23

May

2022

Hypothetical Ministry for the Federal Government of Australia

Opportunity knocks! Another roadmap with no (rolling) objectives or a climate plan?
Here, the 'Ministry for Climate emergency planning, action and adaptation' is proposed with a very broad mandate (The 'end' of political 'climate wars' but not the end of the global greentech arms race though could be the 'beginning' of stronger climate action) integrated with other Ministries - climate firmware, if you like but not yet a plan, such as those proposed by BZE.
  1. Circular economy 'degrowth' eg. transport, roads, construction, on-grid and off-grid renewable energy
  2. Climate adapted regenerative agriculture, regenerative horticulture and water conservation eg.regen agroforestry
  3. Complex humanitarian emergency response for climate-caused 'unnatural' disasters such as floods, bushfires, droughts, megastorms (cyclones, hailstones etc) eg. Emergency services, military. Potentially money could be invested in self-powered transport (see new blog) given the current and forseeable future energy crisis.
  4. Sea level rise infrastructure adaptation, including stormwater upgrades in flood prone areas eg. permeable paving, biochar water filtration nodes and planting of water loving economic species for regen agroforestry (grown in biochar and could be harvested for more biochar plus urban foraging of produce) in artificial wetlands
  5. Carbon negative renewable technology innovation, commercialisation and deployment eg. Biochar kilns (regen ag, processing of biosolids and green waste at councils etc.), C-based green materials etc.
  6. Indigenous adaptation knowledge and stewardship eg. E.O.Wilson's 'Half Planet', desert research
  7. Green mining and green value added mining products which may need some 'subsidies' in the form of seed funding eg. seawater-)desalination eg.nanoscale fluorine rings (Japan tech) -)freshwater (some collected as potable water, some used for H2 production) + oil-producing climate-adapted microalgae (similar to the 'Brilliant Planet' concept)-)biochar (containing some sea minerals), biodiesel, pharmaceuticals etc. + remaining sea minerals for ag/hort from wastewater evaporation/other process (water chemistry) eg.SEA-?90; iron ore-)'Green steel' with H2 reduction; Direct Air Capture (DAC)-)C-)PV-massless batteries ('holey graphene' = graphyne) with holes/microcavities/quantum wells for quantum superabsorption) etc.
  8. Water tech eg. Atmospheric Water Harvesting (AWH). Four billion people — almost two thirds of the world's population — experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year (UNICEF). Seed funding for University/independent water tech startups.

 

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Thu

13

Jan

2022

COVID-19 and permaculture

Though the current supply chain economic contingency in Oz could have been planned for months ago...a highly infectious variant of Covid-19, Omicron, beat AdBlue shortages to it - empty supermarket shelves started appearing in the second week of January in Oz as Omicron took hold of the economy.  Food supply chains are under threat everywhere now due to staff falling ill to Covid-19 or self-isolating due to the new 'close contact' rule we have in place (which in my mind is too limited anyway).
So, we have a food supply chain for supermarkets:
food production (growing, harvesting, processing)->transport-> warehouses->supermarkets.
In some trucking companies, only 50% of truckies are on board and allowed to work - their Union doesn't want 'close contact' exemptions for 'essential workers' (see REFERENCES). In warehouses, the Union cautiously wants the exemptions but wants to 'risk mitigate' (or 'risk manage') - which could be the best approach across the supply chain. In supermarkets, exemptions for retail workers are not wanted. Maybe a software approach for 'risk management' without breaking WHS regulations could be used for greater business certainty in the context of COVID-19, such as FoodLogiQ used by 'Whole Foods Market' (see REFERENCES). Reusable COVID-19 test kits  (if they could be built) could be deployed to each link of the supply chain (see the blog 'COVID-19 testing idea') and used for symptomatic workers - it would possibly be overreach to do random testing keeping in mind people can be asymptomatic and still pass on the virus or even worse - testing everyone at the start of a shift. Would it be unethical to test for COVID-19  at Oz workplaces (or any workplaces)? I don't have legal training, but I see potential WHS lawsuits/legal quandary for workplace COVID-19 testing and asking potentially infected 'asymptomatic' workers/people to 'voluntarily' go to work - no pressure! It's not an easy one to manage uncertainty in an emergency - especially if the law takes time to change.
So, what do you do? What should anyone do? Grow microgreens eg.wheatgrass (see 'Microgreens' page)? Drink and be merry eg.homebrew (assuming those supply chains don't buckle as well)? I don't know. Maybe time to get back to the seasons with seasonal market produce from indy growers but even the seasons are changing with climate change - time to go 'Carbon negative'. Perhaps it's time to go down the energy descent pathway aptly described by David Holmgren in "Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability" (2002) and do a bit of the ol' "RetroSuburbia"(2018)?We can always reneg food export contracts if we have to - but I doubt any farmer would be happy to do it. It's a great time to start localising the food system Permaculture style - start with the self (Zone 0)->household (Zone 1) and work outwards... It's possibly the best security (other than vaccinating) you will ever have during COVID-19 and beyond.
Maybe there will be enough AdBlue after all (see the blog 'AdBlue - A coming crisis?') since there will be less trucks on the road? Just not enough fresh food - or worse - essentials too. And that's just supermarkets..but - I don't think many of us, or even any of us are going to starve in Oz. Supermarket culture is here to stay so we might as well 'get the right balance' with WHS and build a new food system outside of the main food system supply chains as an insurance policy, the way we want it for the future.
Somehow, we need to find a balance to live with the virus but not allow it to destroy our morale, WHS regulations, workers rights and supply chains which most of us have become so dependent on.
REFERENCES
  • Essential worker list in Oz: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-13/national-cabinet-workers-covid-isolation-exemption-expanded/100753788
  • A Proactive, Digital Response to COVID-19 Challenges:
  • https://blog.foodlogiq.com/whole-foods-market-a-proactive-digital-response-to-covid-19-challenges
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