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Going renewable (09/06/16 19:28:00)
    Sustainable renewable - the first condition to be met is high yield. Using plants for solar energy retention is ineffective - just a few percent yield - and there is high consumption of fertilizer and much transportation involved - all with a carbon footprint. And the essential phosphorus is available in limited supply. And then there is cadmium pollution.
    Or maybe not.

    So we need high-yield solar energy retention. So far industry has concentrated on photovoltaics. The problem is that peak sunshine and peak demand come at different times - so there must be storage.

    But you cannot run a passenger aircraft on batteries. You need a liquid carbon-based fuel with higher energy density than methanol or ethanol. You need a hydrocarbon. So we need factories that can convert CO2 photochemically into hydrocarbon fuels. Jet fuel, rocket fuel: give me pinene.

    So far we have only biological material as feedstock for the process.


    We need the bacteria to be able to use photochemically generated methanol or formic acid as raw material.

    Still a long way to go. But if I ever go for home-made drones, I'll fuel my turbines with biotech pinene dimer.

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Going renewable