{P}rescriptions for a sustainable future – Rx 3 – 2023

▶️ Born again. Mine shafts repurposed for energy

Mines get abandoned when they cease to be viable. They languish, often as ugly scars on the landscape.

Gravity is the only force that will surely exist until the end of the cosmos.

An organisation with the impressive name of The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) has proposed using a technique called Underground Gravity Energy Storage (UGES) for making abandoned mines work again to produce energy.

Stay with me while I walk you through the process.

You drop sand down the mine shaft in some sort of container anchored, I presume, by cables to axles on the surface. Much like in old wells, the axles spin as the container drops into the abyss. Connect it to a generator, and, hey, you get electricity.

Like “pumped hydroelectric” technology, they propose storing the sand in the depths of the pits and, when power is cheap, hauling it back up to the surface for the next drop.

⛔ Hold it right there

This is where the project sounds squirrelly to me. It looks like you can’t just leave the sand down in the hole and keep throwing in more. The sand at the bottom of the mine shaft is stored and acts as “the battery” for later use. Wait a minute! I always thought there was something called the Laws of Thermodynamics which are as unbreakable as gravity. The net gain in energy can’t be very good, IMO.

These guys are a serious organisation. Their website is loaded with projects and ideas.

(If you really want an education about this, I would suggest reading the comments in this post from ZeroHedge.)


➡️ Abracadabra! Protein from air … and microbes

Protein from the air? It sounds too good to be true!

“Lab meat” is the buzzword of all efforts at “having your cake and eating it too.” It seems that there is far too much energy and a lack of humane spirit in consuming animal meat as a protein source.

Singapore regulators have authorised a product called “Solein.” It’s a microbe powder that could well spark a dietary revolution in the chase for meat replacements.

Solein includes protein, dietary fibre, fat, and minerals, as well as iron, vitamins, and other micronutrients. It is intended to serve as a base for meat substitutes, milk, soy, or lentils. It is the world’s most sustainable protein, composed of air, bacteria, and solar energy.

Cheers! The inventors of this powder state that it is a fermentation process, just like making wine or beer. I’ll drink to that! The inventors claim:

  • The method is 20 times more efficient than photosynthesis, which plants use to turn energy into food.
  • It uses only a tiny amount of water as compared to meat from livestock.

Solein, which is slated to be introduced by Solar Foods in plant-based meat, bread, pasta, and other food items, will give a wide range of advantages but will not alter the taste of the meal in any way.

The first Solein facility is under construction in Vantaa, Finland, with commercial production set to begin next year.

📄 ▶️ Read more here.

🔑 #climatechange #energy #mines #repurposing #protein #labmeat #creativity #strategy #sustainability #renewability

In the infinity of the cosmos, our Earth might well be the only place where Life exists. Yet, we have devastated this miracle and are now poised at the edge of a frightening abyss of desolation. Every one of us needs to act, and act fast. The key word to continuing to enjoy the bounty of Life is “sustainability.” The Earth, as Mahatma Gandhi remarked, can satisfy all our needs but very little of our greed. This is an ongoing series of articles focusing on the issues of renewability and sustainability.

(Graphics and images – Vecteezy.com Pro Licence)

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