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biochar – the black gold of agriculture


The University of Georgia has created a machine that may provide the answer to some pressing issues like energy creation, food production and global warming.

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Biochar, is a highly porous charcoal made from organic waste, or biomass.  The raw material can be comprised of forest, agricultural or animal waste.  The UGA process feeds biomass into a barrel whereby it is cooked at temperatures that can exceed 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, through a thermochemical process called “pyrolysis.”  After baking for a few hours, biomass such as: corn husks, wood chips, peanut shells, or manure is transformed from organic waste into charcoal-like pellets that can be used for fertilizer.  Gasses given off during the process can be harvested to become fuel for vehicles or power for electric generators.

sources: cnn.com / biorefinery.uga.edu

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

a mixed bag of green news


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Qnuru solar landscape lights – art meets renewable energy


1_TurnaboutBeige.jpgSolar landscape lighting just got a lot cooler.  Solar lighting innovator, Qnuru, has just announced its new line of art-inspired, solar landscape lights.  The line is designed by MacArthur award-winning sculptor and company founder, Tom Joyce.  Qnuru’s first solar lighting product line is aimed at meeting the growing demand of businesses and consumers to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and carbon footprint.

Unlike the typical plastic junk 6_TALUSBlueGrey.jpgthat usually passes as solar landscape lighting, Qnuru’s lights are elegant, sculptural forms that combine efficient LED technology, advanced solar engineering and integrated control systems.  Each fixture is designed to illuminate architectural features, walkways and plantings; some are Dark Sky compliant with non-glare directional down lighting for parks, campuses, cityscapes and parking areas.  Multiple digital microcontrollers provide 9_TALUSBollardIron.jpgintelligent power management and a full complement of features that can be custom selected and wirelessly programmed.

Qnuru products are engineered for strength and climate variability by using durable, quality materials and manufacturing methods and choices that include recyclable and renewable materials.  Translucent lenses that protect and conceal the photovoltaic array, the LEDs, and the reflective luminaries are fashioned from recycled cast, slumped or machined glass, high-impact (hail-proof) optical grade acrylic or natural mica sheet.  Very green.

Some of the new line (pictured right t to b) are the Turnabout, Talus and the Talus Bollard.

The Turnabout and Talus lights features two matched hemispheres that pivot back to back.  This functional rotation allows for precise orientation toward the sun.  One hemisphere, concealed beneath a translucent lens, provides a solar collection surface, and both hemispheres are lit with high output LED illumination. The control system and batteries are integrated within the units. Each pair of lights uses only 6 watts of power.

pricing on request additional source: prweb

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