What’s worse, Methane gas or Carbon Dioxide? Some research states that Methane gas is 23 times more potent as a green house gas than Carbon Dioxide. While other research states that: compared with carbon dioxide, Methane has a high global warming potential of 72 (calculated over a period of 20 years) or 25 (for a time period of 100 years). Many scientists have been trying to study the effects of burning methane, as they know that Methane turns into Carbon Dioxide and Water once burnt. Although this alteration of chemicals is a slight improvement, it still leaves a green house gas, no matter how patented it may be.
Earlier this week, I came across an article on treehugger.com that proposed a new use for methane gas, produced by animal waste such as dog poop. The designer of this project, Matthew Mazzotta, wants your dog to provide power to the very park when he just pooped in. The system would need dog walkers to collect their dog’s poop in biodegradable plastic bags, which they would then throw in the Park Spark Methane Digester.
As the article explained, the project is a simple passive system that uses the heat and light that is produced from burning Methane, generated from dog waste itself to power public art works. The digester would use the natural process of anaerobic decomposition, where organic matter is sealed in an airtight container, to produce methane. More specifically, the Park Spark Project is mostly buried underground except for a tube and a hand-crank that is above ground, so that people can feed the digester and stir the mixture inside. In the end, this captured Methane gas could produce enough energy to keep a lamp post lit, or maybe even two.
What a creative idea? How many dog parks are there in the US alone? Some say there are over 600 city or county-sanctioned off-leashed areas in the US; and over 1,100 exist in Canada and the US combined. And what do most people do with their fluffy friend’s waste? Most, throw it straight in the trash. Then, their trash is later taken to the dump where there are a number of potent green house gasses that are being released as things continuously decompose. If we were able to begin using this Methane gas, what an improvement that would be, rather than adding one more thing to our dump that is extremely detrimental to our environment.
Written by: Adrienne Carlson
Check out the Website: http://parksparkproject.com/home.html
Date Added: June 24, 2010 | Comments Off | Filed under: Carbon Offset — Tags: Environmental Innovations — treeinabox @ 10:59 am
A tree is an amazing “factory” of graceful elements that work together.
We all know that trees breathe in Carbon Dioxide and breathe out Oxygen. How about the idea that trees bring water from the ground all the way up to the branches and leaves without a pump? That their roots search out water in the ground in a systematic and scientific manner. That they naturally strengthen themselves at their stress points in reaction to wind, gravity, and even animal life. Leaves are not only flexible and water resistant, but also water absorbing and water channeling, contributing to some of the above processes and assisting nature in others. Some seed coats keep seeds viable for hundreds of years and across multitudes of environments.
Bio-mimicry seeks to consult living organisms and ecosystems and to apply the underlying design principles to innovations in the way we live. (see www.asknature.org for a great site on this subject)
If we could learn from trees how to pump water up a building in a means similar to the way xylem (the vertical tubes in trees’ inner wood) transports water from the soil to its leaves through the force generated when water evaporates from leaves and creates a negative sucking pressure, it would be a no or low energy based means of servicing kitchens and toilets in a high rise building.
I will explore many areas of tree bio-mimicry in more depth within this blog as we build it. Thanks for paying attention. The world will indeed be a better place when we have learned from nature how they build and create and live without plundering the earth while they do it.
Written by: Kristine Akins
Date Added: June 16, 2010 | Comments Off | Filed under: Facts about Trees — Tags: Environmental Innovations, Facts about Trees — treeinabox @ 1:54 pm
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Written by: Adrienne Carlson
Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: Carbon Offset — Tags: Environmental Innovations, Treeinabox — treeinabox @ 1:16 pm