Flutterby™! : Put the CO2 where it might be useful.

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Put the CO2 where it might be useful.

2009-11-01 17:48:21.982618+00 by meuon 2 comments

Bury the Co2 in crop fields and get good crops. - Living things and energy use (most of it, anyway) create's CO2, plants use it to thrive. That he's apparently not using any fertilizer is a plus. Long term results (there are other things than CO2 being exhausted) and some testing of the food crops for bad trace elements may be interesting, but could also be good news.

[ related topics: Food History Current Events Gardening Global Warming ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2009-11-02 14:25:31.854613+00 by: m

meuon, Do you know anything else about this? The process and other descriptions are so far out in left field, that they make about as much sense as a Second Law violation.

The carbon load for the tractor is claimed to be 1100kg/hectare. At 2.8kg carbon/gallon of diesel fuel, 2.4 acres/hectare, that works out to be about 160 gallons of diesel per acre. The article does not provide a time period for the 1100kg. But FarmFutures.com gives the total annual fuel use/acre to till, plant, spray, and harvest a crop is about 5 gallons for corn; 3.2 for soybeans, and 2.7 for wheat.

As far as CO2 use goes, merely injecting the exhaust doesn't sound promising. The gas will simply diffuse out of the soil. CO2 is taken up through leaf stoma, not roots. As far as fertilizer goes, the primary macro-nutrients are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. Diesel contains only traces or no potassium and phosphorous. NOx is produced in diesel exhaust, but the emissions are strictly regulated and severely limited, probably only providing enough nitrates for a houseplant per gallon. Free nitrogen, present in large quantities, is not utile in diatomic form except for the few plants which have commensal relationships with nitrogen fixing bacteria.

There are a number of other issues as well. Taken as a whole, there is something very wrong with the article.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-11-02 14:48:42.184333+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Well, http://bioagtive.com is now "bandwidth exceecded" but quotes from other places show quotes like:

a system that pipes tractor exhaust emissions through a condenser and into the pneumatic system of air seeders, which injects the carbon- and nitrogen-rich emissions into the ground with seed.

Something about "positive ions" and other voodoo is involved. But it would not be the first time I've seen press articles with inflated or just plain erroneous numbers in them.

This quote is interesting:

A Volkswagen analysis of light-duty diesel engine exhaust published in a World Health Organisation-sponsored report gave an analysis by weight of 75pc nitrogen, 15pc oxygen, 7pc carbon dioxide and 2.6pc water vapour.

It also notes there are lot of toxic compounds in the exhaust.