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Fred Linn's Comments

January 24, 2014

Sweet Science: Researcher Develops Energy-dense Sugar Battery

Bill Brandon-----------" Interesting article, and an area I am totally unfariliar with. If the sugar can be replaced (hence consumed) where does it go? What are the byproducts?- water and CO2 like combustion?"-----------

The same place it goes when you eat it----CO2 and H2O. There are no by products------just be careful, if you put in too much over a period of time, your battery will get so heavy you won't be able to pick up your cell phone after awhile.

January 27, 2014

Sweet Science: Researcher Develops Energy-dense Sugar Battery

It does the same thing any other living cell from the smallest bacteria to the largest elephant does.

February 03, 2014

Western Canada's Forests Are Fueling Greener Heating

Dr. A. Cannara ----------" Just because a bug kills a tree doesn't mean the tree should now be removed via ~30% efficient fossil-fueled machinery, transported & processed by similar, and burned for power at less than 50% thermal efficiency.

Leave the tree and its nutrients in the forest for the next trees. "----------

Leave the bugs that are killing the forest? You don't know anything about pine beetles do you?

Leave the trees and you leave the beetles. Eventually, you have no live trees----only dead trees as far as you can see.

-----------" In western North America, the current outbreak of the mountain pine beetle and its microbial associates has destroyed wide areas of lodgepole pine forest, including more than 16 million hectares in British Columbia"------------

---------" The current outbreak in the Rocky Mountain National Park began in 1996 and has caused the destruction of millions of acres of ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees. According to an annual assessment by the state's forest service, 264,000 acres of trees in Colorado were infested by the mountain pine beetle at the beginning of 2013. This was much smaller than the 1.15 million acres that were affected in 2008 because the beetle has already killed off most of the vulnerable trees (Ward).["------------

--------" It may be the largest forest insect blight ever seen in North America.[5] Climate change has contributed to the size and severity of the outbreak, and the outbreak itself may, with similar infestations, have significant effects on the capability of northern forests to remove greenhouse gas (CO2) from the atmosphere.[6]"-----------

February 07, 2014

Working to Clean the Air from Fracking and Create Fuels

Companies drilling and fracking the Bakken and other shales are not the least bit interested in capturing and selling natural gas.

The entire focus is to drill as many wells as possible as quickly as possible since "wet" (liquid petroleum producing wells) are the object of the operations. Shales are typically low production wells, with low grade, thick viscous production that have low production and high refill rates. Thirty years ago they would have been called "strippers" and considered mostly a waste of time and money. The only thing that is changed is that now----with oil around $100/barrel, they can be used to at least get some small return on investment to keep the drilling pace up.

Natural gas is just an unwanted by product. Captured and sold if it is convenient but not considered a marketable product in itself. That is why it is flared.

January 24, 2014

Can Grass Be a New Biofuel?

Before the coming of the white man nearly led to the extinction of the species, the American Bison roamed the plains in numbers ranging from about 60 to 80 million. They fed solely on grasses(biofuel) of short grass prairies and adult animals ranged from 1500 to 2500 pounds each. They lived only on energy from short grass prairies that provided more energy than a car requires----a buffalo has to create enough energy to power a 1 ton air conditioner every hour per degree temperature drop from their normal body temperature. The buffalo's massive size and excellent insulation helped, but still, the only energy input was from grass.

The Native Americans practiced controlled burns to remove old growth and make way for new growth from time to time, but this was the only means of agriculture necessary to maintain the system. Nature and the natural herd migrations did the rest. The prairie management by controlled burns did the rest and brought the bison to the Indians as the herd migrations followed routes with the best grasses. The bison provided all the necessities of life for the Plains Indians in the form of food, shelter and clothing---all they had to do was harvest it.

January 24, 2014

Prickly Pear Cactus: Nuisance or Bioenergy Opportunity?

Short answer. You will find prickly pear growing on mostly limestone karst bedrock that has an extremely thin to almost non existent soil layer with almost no water retention capabilities. It can also survive on very poor rocky or sandy soils with the same very poor water retention ability.

This gives prickly pear an environmental niche where the unique water catching and holding abilities it has evolved give it a distinct advantage over weedy species that could quickly overwhelm it in size and spread. Prickly pear survives and thrives BECAUSE of its adaptive evolution. It survives and thrives because it wins the war of survival because of the environment in which it is the dominant species.

Put it in an environment for which it is not adapted and it loses its edge that it has adapted for, it loses because the new environment is working against its adaptation rather than with its environmental adaptation. The competing plants quickly grow faster and taller crowding the prickly pear out.

All life is a competition for survival.

In other words----man as a farmer is limited to the prevailing conditions and must select the crops to fit the conditions, not try to fit the conditions to the crop. You select the crop according to the conditions that prevail. The adaptive evolutions of the plants are the tools you use to fit the prevailing conditions.

January 31, 2014

Prickly Pear Cactus: Nuisance or Bioenergy Opportunity?

---------" and for sure with 1 kg dry matter it is impossible to produce more than 1255 kWh of electric energy (assuming 38% efficiency of the generator). "---------

You'd better check your numbers. One short ton of coal is generally equated to produce around 2500 kW.

February 07, 2014

Central Appalachia’s New Year Resolutions: What Stereotypes and Renewable Energy Development Have in Common

-------" A region that has failed almost every experiment in economic development may just succeed in the modern age of sustainability. If successful, it will largely be due to a profoundly simple equation:"------------

Appalachia + natural resources / Wall St. = Wall St. + Profits and [ Appalachia - natural resources]

This has been the equation for over 200 years.

The outcome will only change if you use a different equation. One without Wall St.

January 03, 2014

Can We Turn Unwanted Carbon Dioxide Into Electricity?

This is a gigantic waste of time, effort and money.

------" The simulations also revealed that a plant of this design might sequester as much as 15 million tons of CO2 per year, which is roughly equivalent to the amount produced by three medium-sized coal-fired power plants in that time. "-----------

More "Clean Coal" bullsnort-------tbere is nothing clean or green about any of this.

Another effort to pass off fossil fuels as good for people and environment.

Keep the geothermal and get rid of the coal.

January 03, 2014

Bio-energy Forest Plantations for the Southeastern United States

Many natural forests are monocultures by natural selection. One or a few species dominate due to adaptive genetics or progression.

Forests are not static, unchanging monoliths. Forests are vital living organisms with lifespans and progressive changes. Forests are born, grow though progressive stages, and die out. A healthy forest will have areas of progression at all ages---from birth to death.

Even fire is a necessary component of life and health for many forests.

December 06, 2013

US Renewable Fuels’ Defenders Fight to Persuade EPA to Continue War on Imported Oil

--------" Do we really want to give this much power over to a bunch of nameless, faceless bureaucrats who could have been cleaning your swimming pool last week?"-------

As opposed to giving the power over to oil companies whose only parameter of concern is their profit.

Profit that comes entirely at the expense of consumers, public health, safety and security.

Who spill oil everywhere, like your swimming pool or the Gulf of Mexico where your food comes from, or pump toxic chemicals into your air or well.

Thanks----I'll stick with the bureaucrats that may have been cleaning the pool last week------at least THEY clean up and have our interests in mind.

I find it curious that someone who posts as ANONYMOUS has such a fixation-------" Do we really want to give this much power over to a bunch of nameless, faceless bureaucrats who could have been cleaning your swimming pool last week?"-------------

Fred Linn

Fred Linn

I am a cardiopulmonary technologist and registered respiratory therapist. I have been a practitioner and teacher of allied health sciences for 40 years. I have been a teacher in the didactic fields of physics and chemistry and active as...

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