Tuesday, October 21, 2014

An affordable, eco-friendly jump-start for developing nations!

Renewable Energy Based Agriculture

Quick starts for developing countries

Fossil fuel dependencies of developed countries
Unlike the United States, the EU, China and other developed nations, emerging countries are not encumbered with existing energy infrastructures, dependent upon fossil fuels. They generally lack oil deposits or are struggling to extricate what fossil fuels lay beneath their soil.

Ironically, there are far more affordable and renewable energy sources which are more easily accessed. Subsequently, these developing, usually poor nations have an inherent advantage regarding a ready-conversion to affordable and eco-friendly fuel infrastructures. Moreover, developing nations are not faced with the same political-economic obstacles (i.e.: oil companies, fossil fuel lobbies, etc.) present in developed countries.

Free Energy
Imagine free energy that is not only eco-friendly but also a fully renewable source, a fuel alternative which begins to correct the global damage created by CO2. Now envision a turnkey solution so cost-effective it elevates poverty conditions in developing countries at an accelerated rate, providing instead a sustainable prosperity based upon economic self-sufficiency. Such solutions are available today, and are perfectly suited for emerging nations, providing renewable, clean energy and self-sufficient agriculture.

Hydrogen Powered Tractors (courtesy The New Holland Company)

Agriculture, civilization's cornerstone

Going back to ancient Egypt, the ability to store grain is what has continually separated developed nations from the rest of the world.

Egyptian grain harvesting
To grow, harvest and then store grain for future distribution has been a constant, yet critical characteristic to the development of all the earth's civilizations. Food storage provides the free time required to ponder and pursue elevated aspirations.

Therefore, if the availability of food and grain storage is critical to development, how can emerging nations best embrace the fuels required to power agricultural vehicles and machinery? Also, are more affordable technologies available to replace 19th and 20th century fossil fuel?

Renewable sources
The answer to both questions is 'renewable energy sources.' Wind, water and solar energy sources are available through a one-time cost of harnessing. Methane is also available as a bio-fuel and may provide for a less expensive start-up, but it usually requires costly, labor-intense maintenance.

Both windmills and water wheels existed before the industrial revolution. Nonetheless, today's modern reenactments are far bigger, more effective and product sufficient quantities of energy to compete favorably with fossil-based alternatives.

Electrolysis
Two-thirds of the earth's surface is covered with water. Now, after almost two centuries of CO2 emissions, subsequent global warming persists in melting the ice masses of Greenland and Antarctica, exposing primordial earth. This newly uncovered earth then releases methane gas, further accelerating the greenhouse effect. Moreover, fresh water from massive ice melting influences the oceans' saline currents, accelerating climate change. Add to this, an exponential increase of global population by more than 400% in the past century, and the earth's path towards consequential environmental change becomes more certain.

Consequently, the most positive use of the earth's over abundant water supply is to employ it as an almost infinite energy resource and begin to reverse CO2 influences.
Splitting water with electrolysis
This can be accomplished with electrolysis. For example, a water molecule consists of one hydrogen atom and two oxygen atoms (H2O). Once split apart during the process of electrolysis, oxygen is released into the atmosphere as a gas (O2), while hydrogen gas (H2) is redirected and stored in pressurized containers. Any type of water, including salt water, can be used during the conversion process. As a bonus, there are no exhausts from hydrogen fuel other than a few drops of accumulated water vapor or H2O, which occurs though the rebinding of hydrogen with oxygen as fuel is used.

The hydrogen horsepower step-up

Solar, wind or water powered vehicles are, by themselves, not feasible. However, the electricity produced through these sources can provide moderate power to many types of vehicles. There exists today a wide variety of electric and hybrid-electric cars traveling the world's highways.

However, regarding the needs of high-horsepower, fuel-intense farming equipment, the considerable electricity harnessed from renewable energy resources can act as a catalyst to split water molecules into substantial quantities of hydrogen and oxygen gases in a process known as electrolysis. The hydrogen is then stored to be used as free and clean fuel, emitting zero carbon waste. Moreover, hydrogen or hydrogen/electric powered equipment is directly comparable to diesel alternates and can sustain far longer periods of performance at a considerably higher rate of horsepower than strictly electric vehicles.

Hydrogen powered tractor (The New Holland Co)
Hydrogen Powered Farming 
Because of inconsistent climate, sudden frost, available irrigation, and shifting market values, farming is, by nature, a risk-based business. Add to this the high price of diesel fuel and the cost associated with delivering that fuel to farms spread throughout the countryside and the resulting operation costs makes farming in poor nations all but prohibitive.

Conversely, unlike most industries, farmers have the unique advantage of working across vast areas of land and thereby have large amounts of resources to produce natural renewable fuels. Subsequently, farmers are the most suitable candidates for a successful implementation of cycled, independent energy development.

The process

A one-time investment in renewable energy generation (solar, wind, river or biomass) yields:

  • Power required to perform water splitting through electrolysis
  • An enabled extraction and storage of hydrogen fuel
  • Free, renewable fuel to power hydrogen/electric farm equipment
  • A resulting independent, cost controlled, low-risk farming cycle

Water to Fuel Cycle (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

One-time Funding
Individual famers in developing countries would likely lack the substantial capital investment needed for the purchase and installment of energy generating turbines. Therefore, it then becomes prudent for governments benefiting from the eventual agricultural resources to invest in this one-time start-up cost. In the long run, it will prove considerably more economic, with far more certain an outcome than the alternative of costly farm subsidization?

Energy independent farming provides developing nations the safety-net required to leapfrog to a more developed economic status. Upon arrival, those governments can then focus on the broader educational and social development needs of the nation.

Once turnkey, renewable energy strategies are in place, poor nations can become self-sufficient almost overnight, without a need for longterm funding, without dependencies upon fossil fuels, without further destruction of the earth's fragile ecosystem. From a global standpoint, the electrolysis process begins a long overdue replacement of CO2 with oxygen (O2), as man initiates the repair of earth's fragile ecosystem, while at the same time improving international standards of living and the overall quality of life.

Additional resources






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