Nearly 21 million farmers in 452 counties across China have adopted recommendations from scientists in a 10-year agriculture sustainability study to reduce fertilizer use. According to Nature, their efforts are paying off: all told, the farmers are now $12.2 billion better off than they were before.
Yan Qu and Clement Cid spend a lot more time thinking about poop than your average academics. The pair, both at Caltech, are part of a team working on what could be the future of bathrooms: a self-cleaning, solar-powered toilet that turns human waste into hydrogen and fertilizer.
In 2007, officials from Berkeley, California shut off the electricity to an artists space known as the Shipyard. That action, which forced the artists there to seek a new way to power their flamethrowers, is the origin story of a company that now produces what it says is the world’s only carbon-negative power source.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
Whoever said “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” might not have been speaking literally — but these seven dumpster divers prove that a little luck, a lot of patience, and a high tolerance for ickiness could mean big financial rewards.
Plowing tractor exhaust into the field, eliminating fertilizer costs
A wheat farmer in Australia has eliminated adding fertilizer to his crop by the simple process of injecting the cooled diesel exhaust of his modified tractor into the ground when the wheat is being sown. In doing so he eliminates releasing carbon into the atmosphere and at the same time saves himself up to $500,000 (AUD) that would have been required to fertilize his 3,900 hectares in the traditional way. Yet his crop yields over the last two years have been at least on par with his best yields since 2001. The technique was developed by a Canadian, Gary Lewis of Bio Agtive, and is currently in trial at 100 farms around the world.
Gardeners keen to boost their crop of tomatoes may be surprised to learn they can turn to an unusual and free source of fertiliser. Allotment growers can enrich the soil and therefore their plants using their own wee, according to a new study. Scientists discovered the unusual addition made crops up to four times larger.
I guess they will be changing their name from Greyhound to Brownhound. Eww!
Several days ago, we looked at “toilet to tap,” the increasingly useful art of turning sewage into drinking water. Orange County, Calif., which is pioneering the practice, is proud to tell you how thoroughly its filtration purges the sewage: “Thousands of microfilters, hollow fibers covered in holes one-three-hundredth the width of a human hair, strain out suspended solids, bacteria and other materials.” Continue reading… “Free Energy That Stinks”