Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Light up some grass (and burn some fat too)

Ever on the lookout for alternative energy sources, I discovered that switchgrass is becoming an interesting solution.

Biofuels have been looked into but have been largely problematic due to the fact that they can't output a rate of energy higher than the energy it takes to process it. Plus the amount of carbon produced isn't a significant improvement over fossil fuels.

Switchgrass on the other hand is a hearty crop that grows relatively easily in less than ideal conditions and actually absorbs more carbon than it produces (when converted to ethanol).

ABC had previously reported that ethanol could eventually account for a significant (though not majority) of the nation’s energy needs and that the economic adjustments wouldn’t be very drastic.

Switchgrass is also an attractive solution because it’s resources wouldn’t have to be divided between fuel creation and food consumption, unlike other crops able to convert to ethanol (like corn).

Other resources can be Googled or found here.

Another, less orthodox energy source is in the form of Philadelphia’s Fry-o-Diesel, which somehow converts oils, grease and other waste.

I can’t imagine this being a pleasant endeavor, but hey, if it brings us closer to a Utopian dream of clean, renewable energy, I’ll scarf down a few more Phillies for the cause.

Solar power, using grass, converting fat... It amazes me the ingenuity of people sometimes.

Now if only we could allow this technology to flourish without being hindered by politics and corporate greed.

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