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#315021 - 09/07/19 01:52 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9569
Loc: One of the Mexicos
I'm going to be on a panel discussing the climate crisis and what can be done about it in a couple of weeks. My particular topic focus will be on increasing soil carbon through the use of biochar and microbial inoculants. Research shows that depleted soils (and almost all are, thanks to decades of "industrial farming" - the witless brainchild of mega corporate capitalism) can be regenerated by re-establishing appropriate microbial colonies that are the key to root/soil synergies, which can be accomplished by applying biochar (the carrier) that is loaded with biodiverse microbial soil inoculant made by a simple composting process. This regeneration can result in annual soil carbon increases of 5 tonnes per acre from the plants capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and passing it along as sugars to feed fungi which convert it to graphene - a recalcitrant form of carbon that persists for hundreds, or even thousands, of years in the soil. Five tonnes of carbon is equal to 18.5 tonnes of CO2. There are 915 million acres of ag land on Earth with the potential of sequestering 18.5 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is 17 gigatonnes worldwide. In 2018, humans pumped 37 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, much of that coming from farming practices that cause soil carbon depletion.

And on the subject of solutions with benefits, this soil health regeneration comes with water use reduction, increased productivity, lower tillage costs, elimination of the use (and cost) of fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides, and more jobs.

In the biochar making process, energy is produced that can be used to displace fossil fuel derived energy (coal, oil, gas), the cost of heating buildings is reduced, and biomass feedstocks can come from reducing forest fire fuels and other waste agricultural residues. External benefits galore...

The whole concept is a great example of socio/enviro/capitalist economics. Who doesn't like it? Multinational energy and chemical corporations - the kings of destructive Capitalism.
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#315023 - 09/07/19 02:54 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: logtroll]
NW Ponderer Offline
Moderator
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17179
Woot! You go, loggy. Biochar is a big component of the planet's future.

[I just read a great chapter about about the chemical wonders of carbon in "the Disappearing Spoon", a book about the periodic table my book club is reading.]

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#315035 - 09/07/19 07:48 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: NW Ponderer]
Greger Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15733
Loc: Florida
There's really no arguing with the facts on biochar. Mineral and chemical applications to farmland is pretty much the norm, adding biochar as an inert ingredient to every bag or ton of fertilizer sold should be mandated by the USDA.

Better soil and crops, uncountable tons of CO2 sequestered. A new industry is created that recycles biowaste.

Planet saved. Just that simple.
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#315038 - 09/07/19 08:21 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: Greger]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9569
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Originally Posted By: Greger
There's really no arguing with the facts on biochar. Mineral and chemical applications to farmland is pretty much the norm, adding biochar as an inert ingredient to every bag or ton of fertilizer sold should be mandated by the USDA.

Actually, the biggest part of the formula is the microbes. Biochar is just the Airstream trailers that the microbes can use for housing and protection during the transition.

Soil Food Web guru Elaine Ingham


Edited by logtroll (09/07/19 10:36 PM)
Edit Reason: fix goof Weg = Web
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You canít solve a problem without first understanding what the problem is.

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#315045 - 09/07/19 10:31 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: pondering_it_all]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline

It's the Despair Quotient!
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 14575
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
I'm afraid we need several feet of sea level rise and a bunch more super hurricanes before anything gets done. I think some countries will still be burning coal until after we are all dead. A big breakthrough could be a standard Thorium molten salt reactor design that is put in the public domain. Or maybe a standing wave depleted Uranium reactor. We have enough depleted Uranium to last a very long time. Every country now burning coal could construct them cheaply and transition away from coal for economic reasons and because they would put less radiation in the atmosphere than burning the equivalent amount of coal.

I think Bill Gates is trying to do something along those lines.


Thorium nuke plants can burn radioactive waste.
In fact, many of today's current reactors can be made to burn the waste.

ZDNet link
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#315047 - 09/07/19 10:38 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: Greger]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline

It's the Despair Quotient!
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 14575
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: Greger
Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away.


Greger, successful thorium plants are already online in France, UK, India and China.
The design was workable back in the Fifties when we made our "Sophie's Choice" by picking only ONE fuel cycle instead of both.
All we've done is pry Thorium out of mothballs and polished it up a bit for the new century. But thorium fuel cycle is originally a Cold War era design.

The only reason we did not pursue it was because Congress wasn't willing to fund BOTH designs. The military won out, and thorium was shelved. The reason is because it was not proliferable, and our military wanted weapons potential.
_________________________
The only people pushing the Athenian Straw Man Nonexistent Threat of Slippery Slope Windyfoggery (ASMNSSW) RE DEMOCRACY are people who have a misunderstanding/problem or hatred of democracy. (See AUTHORITARIANS)

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#315048 - 09/07/19 10:48 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 9569
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Thorium nuke plants can burn radioactive waste.
In fact, many of today's current reactors can be made to burn the waste.

That would be nice.

On the subject of the Green New Deal, these sorts of on-the-ground projects with triple-bottom-line benefits need to be the focus of action (biochar, microbes, clean electricity). It is entirely possible to change the way we live and do business to a Green Way, that does not involve negative sacrifices. Some crap that we currently think of as a "higher standard of living" does need to go, but it will be an improvement in quality of life, not a sacrifice.

"Conservative", politically speaking, means "fear of change" (nod to Hatrack's amygdalic God). Well, change is a comin', whether you fear it or not. Most of the change, ala New Green Deal, can be positive, if we are intelligent enough to embrace it and work it with integrity and good intent.
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#315050 - 09/07/19 11:02 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
Greger Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 15733
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Greger
Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away.


Greger, successful thorium plants are already online in France, UK, India and China.
The design was workable back in the Fifties when we made our "Sophie's Choice" by picking only ONE fuel cycle instead of both.
All we've done is pry Thorium out of mothballs and polished it up a bit for the new century. But thorium fuel cycle is originally a Cold War era design.

The only reason we did not pursue it was because Congress wasn't willing to fund BOTH designs. The military won out, and thorium was shelved. The reason is because it was not proliferable, and our military wanted weapons potential.



Yes there are reactors that can be made to burn thorium. No they are not molten salt reactors. Nearest guestimate on one of those operating is maybe 15 years out. Maybe. These fast breeders are just old school nasty nuclear that creates more waste than it can burn.
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#315057 - 09/07/19 11:58 PM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: Greger]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline

It's the Despair Quotient!
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 14575
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: Greger
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Greger
Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away.


Greger, successful thorium plants are already online in France, UK, India and China.
The design was workable back in the Fifties when we made our "Sophie's Choice" by picking only ONE fuel cycle instead of both.
All we've done is pry Thorium out of mothballs and polished it up a bit for the new century. But thorium fuel cycle is originally a Cold War era design.

The only reason we did not pursue it was because Congress wasn't willing to fund BOTH designs. The military won out, and thorium was shelved. The reason is because it was not proliferable, and our military wanted weapons potential.



Yes there are reactors that can be made to burn thorium. No they are not molten salt reactors. Nearest guestimate on one of those operating is maybe 15 years out. Maybe. These fast breeders are just old school nasty nuclear that creates more waste than it can burn.


You don't understand...it seems.
I was talking about several different approaches.
There ARE operating thorium reactors online...now, right now.
They're small because they are proof of concept, but they are operating and producing power, right now.

As for adapting current designs to burn nuke waste, if it's fifteen years out, so what? So we keep the waste safe for fifteen more years. Can we do that? Yeah, I think we can. Then we can burn it all up.

But thorium reactors are workable now, doable now, and all that remains is scaling them up. It's not an experimental design, it's a working design.
_________________________
The only people pushing the Athenian Straw Man Nonexistent Threat of Slippery Slope Windyfoggery (ASMNSSW) RE DEMOCRACY are people who have a misunderstanding/problem or hatred of democracy. (See AUTHORITARIANS)

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#315060 - 09/08/19 12:37 AM Re: The Green New Deal, explained [Re: NW Ponderer]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8930
Loc: North San Diego County
New Molten Salt Thorium Reactor Powers Up for First Time in Decades

Quote:
A team from the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) the Netherlands has built the first molten salt reactor powered by thorium in decades.


It's a work in progress because they have not worked out the best materials to deal with the very corrosive conditions inside the reactor, but it is running. I think that's what everybody in the field is working on right now. It's not a very useful reactor if you have to shut it down every year to replace the reaction chambers, pipes, and valves. The main problem is that hot lithium ions are very reactive, so they dissolve the uranium and thorium fuel, but they also combine with the reactor structure material, dissolving it into the molten salt. The other type of corrosion is actually nuclear: Transmutation changes elements in the reactor structures.
The problem is a bit easier because it not under pressure, like in other types of reactor.

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