Speaking of big ideas…

01.31.07 | Comment?

The Oil Drum published this long and detailed entry from the Engineer Poet on how to replace our dependence on fossil fuel and get to carbon neutrality using an enhanced biomass system coupled with electricity generation, fuel cells, and battery transport power. If you don’t have time for a long read, are data averse, or have attention deficit, the referenced post might not be for you…

This is an old post by net standards, published at the end of November of last year, but certainly is filled with interesting data. Now I don’t subscribe to the “solve the energy crisis in one fell swoop” approach, but this post did make me think that perhaps more is possible in big hunks than I’ve been allowing. Even so, this is is a grandiose proposal that would require 20 years or more to implement, if it even could be implemented. But the ideas are worth exploring as realizing even 10% of the benefit would make a difference.

The thesis of the post is: “The US can replace our fossil fuel dependence with sustainable fuel and positively impact our carbon footprint – but, not with our current approach, assumptions, or reward system.” The author then goes on to outline at length why our current situation and approach is flawed, current consumption and conversion of energy to work, outlines an improvement using biomass with several outputs including charcoal, ethanol, and electricity, tackles the issue of carbon capture from the atmosphere, then outlines plans for electricity and transportation, and finally ties it all together.

If you’re at all interested in this subject area, this is must-read content. Thanks to Bruce for passing this along.

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