On the 27th of August 2009, 150 years have gone by since the beginning of the oil era. Given the great availability and low costs, oil has given to its producers an enormous power which concerns avery aspect of occidental living and more.
With it, fertilizers are produced and with those supermarkets are kept open and people fed, medicinals, mobility, lubricants and on the top shelf energy, which allows the cold chain, food conservation and tap water. In other words has detached the human being from natural competition in its environment.
Whichever opinion is reported by the media, studies in depth of the matter have shown that the peak of the oil production has been, or is about to be reached.
The world as a whole burns daily some 85 million barrels of oil, given the barrel 200L and future trends leave little doubt: the sooner we kill the dependence from the drug, the better off we may end up as a whole, point is: how much of our lifestile will be able to mantain in the transition?
One Thursday, as usual I bought the Nòva 24 paper and I found myself smiling reading an interesting article concerning the danish Novozymes company: whithin 6 monts it will start the commercial distribution of a new product, made up by a combination of enzymes which promises good savings in the production of biofuels starting from cellulose: actually starting from agricultural scrap (third generation).
This solution allows to definetely detach the production of biofuel from edible goods which (besides ethical concern) has in the past affected the price of alimetary goods, especially in the south of the world.
In past times, I pointed at this type of solution (which is not a novelty), but this biotechnological application promises huge savings on the actual industrial process.
I'll take a furter step in suggesting a combination of applications that can be put into place at any scale level: to produce biomass starting from wastewater using vetiver plants:
It is of public domain the capability of the vetiver plant to live and thrive in swampy areas; quickly absorbing great quantities of N P and K, heavy metals, Hydrocarbons, etc. in the biomass above and below the terrain; notorious are also the applications on wastewater depuration which involve the use of Reed Beds: low cost systems which allow the transit of wastewater and its depuration, or floating pontoons sat on lagooning ponds.
Allora mi domando: perchè non combinare le due cose?
dovunque esistono acque di scarto diventa automaticamente interessante la produzione di biiomasse: bacini di lagunaggio, impianti di depurazione, fognature consortili e comunali; le industrie inquinanti, tutti avranno la possibilità di riconsegnare acque pulite all'ambiente e guadagnare molti soldi laddove in bilancio erano previsti alti costi: tutto ciò è talmente ovvio che immagino sarà inevitabile.
Then the question I ask is the following: a huge mass of wastewater needs to be recycled and can be used as growing media, a great mass of biomass is derived from this action and can be converted in biofuel.
Why not combine the two issues?
The economic result of this combination presents an interesting potential for all councils, industries, land owners: when water will be paid by the liter and the fuel will rise again at an unsustainable rate, I'm sure that this will be then considered a very interesting idea.