I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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Plant-e: scavenge energy from the microbial process in the rhizosphere?  RSS feed

 
Michael Newby
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Plant-e.com wrote: Around the roots naturally occurring micro-organisms break down the organic compounds to gain energy from. In this process, electrons are released as a waste product. By providing an electrode for the micro-organisms to donate their electrons to, the electrons can be harvested as electricity.


Their Facebook page

Plant Power Facebook page

I haven't had much time to do any real in depth research but so far the technology looks legit. "Not enough energy made for a reliable commercial operation" is a far cry from not enough power to run a simple off-grid permie compound. Imagine being tapped into your green roof and a sun room full of plants as well as your best zone 1 hugelbed and powering your dream... Pretty exciting if it could be realized.
 
Michael Newby
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Okay scientific types with more time than me, here's a super basic visual to show the process, tear it apart!
 
allen lumley
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Michael Newby :Well over a 100 + years ago as Electrical power requirements were figured out ( 110 volts and 60 cycles ) Every switch was also a 110 volt switch!

I mention this because today there are options in ultra-low voltage Detection, Signaling and Switching devices ! In our near future this will allow extremely low energy
inputs to turn a Passive Solar house into an actively controlled Non-pasive Solar Home -to make just one example !

Our next biggest challenge is to wrap our heads around using the proper types of energy to reduce both personal and planet wide energy use, that 800 watt toaster
will never be powered by microbes in the ground - remember that green plants themselves are only converting solar energy to sugars with single digit efficiencies!

Any Scheme that could work would eventually bump up against the energy curve with us removing more than is being produced - ether an immediate (Days) death of
soil microbes that needed those electrons, or creating a new kind of peak oil, where super Soil microbes finally extract the last erg of energy from that last crumb of
organic matter in the soil !

Oh and I must dig up my copy of Lucifer's Hammer and read it again ! For The Crafts ! Big AL

 
Dave Jackson
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How interesting! Did a search for this and the fifth item down was this post on StackExchange. Seems like it might be a good place to get more information on this amazing topic!
 
allen lumley
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_ I may have been a little heavy-handed with my 1st Comment, more so because I too find this to be an incredibly dense and difficult to understand Topic,
which is vast or perhaps one should say planet-wide ! We are only beginning to understand how slight is our understanding of this Field of Knowledge !

People who wish to understand a little more of this complicated subject might want to look at it from the Plant and Fungal Kingdoms perspective -

Please take a look at the link below !

http://www.ecology.com/2012/10/08/trees-communicate/

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL

Please notice the links for more information directly under the video Thanks A. L.
 
Dave Turpin
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There is a serious problem here: For a battery to work (and this is decidedly a battery), you must be able to "intercept" the free electrons in the chemical reaction in order to get current flow. Yes, there are definitely electrons moving about in a hydrocarbon reaction, but those electrons are moving from the water molecules to the hydrocarbon molecules as they are formed. Stabbing an "anode" and a "cathode" in the ground will do nothing to capture these electrons, and I would be willing to bet that any demonstration pieces that exist will be using either iron and zinc or copper and iron electrodes to create ACTUAL electron flow by means of a galvanic reaction of the electrodes themselves (this is, after all, how a battery works), in order to trick investors.

In this diagram, basically the "plant matter" is just the electrolyte from which the electrons pass from the anode to the cathode.

If you actually wanted to intercept the electrons from the hydrocarbon reaction, you would need an anode made of water, another anode of oxygen, and a cathode of hydrocarbon. Of course this cannot be done, and even on a very, very large scale, there is never a electrical potential developed in plants, otherwise trees would shock you.

That said, there is nothing that says you cannot use the waste heat from this reaction to power a thermoelectric generator. It would be horribly inefficient, though.
 
allen lumley
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Dave Turpin : Yes I agree with what you say -with only minor quibbles !

For historical accuracy it must be mentioned that all early Telegraph Communications - like those used through-out the U. S. Civil War, and as the long-lines
communication that supplanted the "Pony Express " (Whose "Hey-day'' was less than two calendar years beginning to end !) was designed and used to generate
its energy from an earth based galvanic reaction between the Cathode / Anode plates buried in the ground.

Nothing about this early system was Bogus or aimed at scamming investors-- generating 'Free Electricity ' as was later promised- was indeed a scam but that does
not invalidate the potential here !

My earliest posted observation was -if photosynthesis converted Solar Energies into the growth 'organic material' with a less than 10% efficiency, did it not automatically
follow that useful amounts of energy- measured in milli-volts and micro-watts -was only realistic for detection, signaling and switching! Otherwise, any power draw
from the organic material directly and from the "Mother Plants'' as the host must deplete the very organic material that provided the electrons that such a reaction
was dependent on ! As such this was merely a different form of 'Peak energy'

I can see where a centuries old or millennial old bog might contain organic material sufficient to allow for more massive energy withdrawals beyond mere micro-watt
applications as detection, signaling and switching

However, upgrades that allowed major energy withdrawals from the potential energies found in organic matter must ( I Think ) have as an end result their own kind of
" Peak energy "-

I can see a future world many years after a total collapse of civilization traveling the far corners of the 'back country' tapping the muck-bottoms of old beaver ponds for
enough useful energy to provide night time lights -and even Fuel ignition via Capacitors and 'Jacob's Ladders' surely Black magic to our descendants !

Then again this may be the camping 'who-da-thunk-it of tomorrow ! Also possible is plants grown in a patio or small attached green house providing night lights- detection
signaling and switching !

No-one more than me hopes to be proven wrong, but as todays science-writers are explaining these concepts and the acceptance of the laws of Thermo-God-damics I can
not visualize any other future !

For the good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Dave Turpin
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allen lumley wrote:

For historical accuracy it must be mentioned that all early Telegraph Communications - like those used through-out the U. S. Civil War, and as the long-lines
communication that supplanted the "Pony Express " (Whose "Hey-day'' was less than two calendar years beginning to end !) was designed and used to generate
its energy from an earth based galvanic reaction between the Cathode / Anode plates buried in the ground.


I agree completely. What I was saying is that the design shown above will not make power FROM THE PLANTS. If anything, it will make power by galvanic corrosion, as in telegraph lines. Some unscrupulous person, on the other hand, may try to sell this design to someone with the advertisement that it IS creating power from the plants, IMPLYING that the anode and cathode won't quickly corrode away. If someone says, "Come on, I don't believe you. Show me that this makes power." The scammer will hook a voltmeter up to the anode and cathode and show voltage potential! But that potential is short-lived and has nothing to do with the plants.
 
Burra Maluca
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Dave Turpin wrote: ...the design shown above will not make power FROM THE PLANTS. If anything, it will make power by galvanic corrosion, as in telegraph lines. Some unscrupulous person, on the other hand, may try to sell this design to someone with the advertisement that it IS creating power from the plants, IMPLYING that the anode and cathode won't quickly corrode away.


So basically this works in the same way as a lemon battery or a potato clock?

I did wonder, but my physics isn't exactly up to scratch so I didn't feel qualified to comment.
 
allen lumley
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Is my Face Red = ) I am reminded of the story of the three blind men who tried to describe an Elephant !

After carefully reading through the Prospectus/Report that was part of a failed Kickstarter for this project imagine my surprise when I found out they have clearly
called The whole process a Microbial Fuel Cell *


http://phys.org/tags/microbial+fuel+cells/


As such while the plant IS delivering a pure glucose solution to the microbes living at the plants roots, it is the microbes that are involved in a Chemical Energy
to Electrical Energy Process ! The plants could be 'replaced' with a glucose drip/syringe. It is the soil microbes that act as organic Catalysts for this evolution

I still have a major problem with an implied assumption that even the best plant for this application ( whose true solar energy to chemical energy conversion -
Percentage by photosynthesis is in the single numbers ) can be robbed of its energy reserves with impunity !

As I mentioned above, there are plenty of places where you can find lakes and ponds with 'Muck Bottoms' consisting of thousands of years of accumulation of
Organic Materials - at least since the last ice age !


This is a potential source of Organic Material capable of being used by more that one type of Microbial Fuel Cell- perhaps shallow duck ponds or the floors of old
beaver dam / flows can be made over into potential sources of Milli volt, micro watt power generation and therefor useful for detection, signaling, switching and
some L.E.D. Lighting!

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL


* Usually Science Articles get written up by an English major in their 2nd or 3rd year while doing general intern stuff and the final bit of 'blue pencil editing' is done
by an office manager whose only qualification for the job is having graduated from a 2-yr ' Business School '

In this case I rather think the situation was compounded by scientists who could not themselves make the subject clear and lucid and entertaining ! A.L.
 
If you're gonna buy things, buy this thing and I get a fat kickback:
Permaculture Playing Cards by Paul Wheaton and Alexander Ojeda
https://permies.com/wiki/57503/digital-market/digital-market/Permaculture-Playing-Cards-Paul-Wheaton
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