Stranded Wind

A National Renewable Ammonia Architecture

( - promoted by desmoinesdem)

  I've been laying low for the last little bit but I swear I haven't been slacking – I cranked out a 2,500 word white paper describing a National Renewable Ammonia Architecture. This is headed for an appearance on [http://theoildrum.com The Oil Drum] and I think it'll be up tomorrow but now that it's done I'm itchy for people to read and comment.

  So, please wade right into my renewable fertilizer wonkery below the fold …

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The Famine Of 2009

(Thanks to Stranded Wind for the cross-post. This diary generated a huge discussion at Daily Kos, so click here if you want to read through those comments. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

  Last week I received a very concerned call from South Dakota farmer and agronomist Bryan Lutter.  “Neal, we’re out of propane!”  I figured this was personal distress – he and his family farm over three square miles of land and I know this has been a tough year for many people. He promptly corrected my misconception when I tried to console him. “No, everybody is out, all three grain elevators, we can’t get fuel for the bins, and we’re coming in real wet this year.”

  There are equally dramatic issues due to the bankruptcy of Verasun and the apparent insolvency of the nation’s largest private crop insurance program. Payments that would have come in June or July of a normal year are still not dispersed at the end of November and this has grim implications for next year’s crop.

  I started digging into the details and unless I’m badly mistaken people are going to be starving in 2009 over causes and conditions being set down right now. It’s a complex, interlocking issue, and I hope I’ve done a good job explaining it below the fold …

(I just submitted my personal story and a vision for the nation at change.gov – you can see my vision for this problem here.)

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Ammonia Production Methods Update

   Ammonia, chemical formula NH3, is a caustic (but not toxic) gas at room temperature and pressure but it is easily stored under moderate pressure just as propane is. It is used as an industrial chemical, both directly and indirectly as a fertilizer, and there is a growing movement to use ammonia as a fuel; it is the only carbon free hydrogen carrier we can make and handle with today's technology.

   I've been working in this area for the last ten months and I thought I'd provide a little overview of how the stuff is made and where we need to go next to ensure our food supply and begin the transition to this clean hydrogen carrier as a fuel.

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