“How can we heat organic matter into a fuel without combustion?”
When heated to a high enough temperature, organic matter will burn. However, if there is no oxygen present, then combustion cannot occur. So what happens instead? Well, the organic material will decompose into combustible gasses and charcoal, the former of which can be turned into a combustible liquid. This Pyrolysis process can be used to create carbon emission neutral fuel sources such as biochar.
Image credit http://www.ars.usda.gov
‘How can we get fuel from Algae?’
Fuels supply is one of the most difficult things to decarbonize. Their unmatched energy density means that machines that rely upon them will have a difficult time replacing them. But how can we use our scientific mindset to get around this? Well, we know that Algae can produce energy from sunlight and store it in the form of oils. So if we were to extract these oils we can essentially have solar powered fuels! This Algae Biofuel could be a revolution for low-carbon industry.
“How can we have a safe form of carbon which can’t easily escape into the atmosphere?”
Carbon is one of the most fundamental elements in the world. Given its role in energy production and global warming, it is both the foundation and destroyer of our civilization. But can there be a cleaner form of carbon? Well, if we burn dead organic matter such as plants in a container with very little oxygen, then it will release very little fumes and turn into a stable form of carbon known as Biochar. The energy created in the burning process can be used to power mechanical processes.
Image credit smhttp-ssl-17653.nexcesscdn.net
“How can we make potentially more sustainable fuels from plants?”
Fuel is the most common energy storage method in the world. Whether it is used in consumer vehicles, aircraft, or submarines, fuel seems to be present. However, the common petroleum or natural-gas derived fuel is quite disastrous for the environment, being one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas generation. So how can we make a cleaner substitute? Well, what if we were to instead make fuel from the stringy-fiber of a plant? This is known as Cellulosic Ethanol and has the potential to be a paradigm shift since it would not compete with existing food crops and does not emit greenhouse gasses. However, if land usage is implemented into the lifecycle analysis, then Cellulosic Ethanol is more destructive due to its intense water and land usage.
Image credit wi-images.condecdn.net
“Can we make meat without killing animals?”
For all of biological history, eating meat involved taking an organism’s life. But this may change drastically with the advent of Lab-Grown Meat. Lab-grown meat is made by taking a cell from an animal, placing it in a Petri dish, and letting the cells grow and multiply. Although the process of obtaining the cells may involve slaughter, much more meat can be produced from a single animal! Lab-grown mate is exponentially decreasing in cost and may soon serve as an environmentally friendly alternative to old-fashioned meat.
How Lab-Grown Meat Can Fight Climate Change
“How can lab-grown meat be good for the environment?”
This Thanksgiving, American families all around the world are spending time with their dear friends and families and give thanks to all of the good things that have come. And a core part of this celebration (usually) involves cooking a Turkey. However, all of this meat consumption drives up carbon emissions immensely. But is there a way where can circumvent this without having to give up meat?
Well, this can actually happen with the proliferation of Lab-Grown Meat. Since this artificial meat did not require an animal to be raised for production, it is able to avert countless tons of emissions associated with production. As a result, Lab-Grown Meat Can Fight Climate Change. So in the near future, you might be able to have your meat and eat it too!
Hydrogen Production from Fermentation
“How can we produce hydrogen from fermentation?”
Hydrogen is usually extracted via mechanical means. But there is also a biological alternative. It turns out that microbial matter can break down organic matter such as sugars or raw biomass. Through this method we can obtain Hydrogen Production from Fermentation. This is also commonly known as dark fermentation since no light is required.