Cleaning Up Chernobyl With Beets
The land around Chernobyl is contaminated with fallout that will not decay for hundreds of years. Forty thousand square kilometers are unfit for growing food; however, Irish biofuel technologists believe that the land could still be used to grow foods like sugar beets.
The company, Greenfield Project Management, insists no radioactive material will get into the biofuel as only ethanol is distilled out. "In distillation, only the most volatile compounds rise up the tube. Everything else is left behind," says Basil Miller of Greenfield. The heavy radioactive residues will be burned in a power station, producing a concentrated "radioactive ash". This can be disposed of at existing treatment works for nuclear waste, he says.
Greenfield plans to build the first biofuels distillery next year at Mozyr, close to one of the most contaminated areas (see map). The €500 million plant will turn half a million cubic metres of crops a year into 700 million litres of biofuels, starting in 2011.
SF fans may recall the scooters from Gregory Benford's stark classic Against Infinity, a 1983 novel in which genetically modified organisms were used to soak up ammonia-based compounds and digest them, producing oxygen-bearing compounds useful to human beings.
Via New Scientist.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/28/2009)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Smellicopter Combines Live Moth Antenna With Mechanical Drone
'The organic tissue is inserted in the master tank and then sealed.' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
'If there's anything in here worth looking at, these pups'll find it.' - Ridley Scott, 2012.
Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
The Transparency of Things to Come
Jet-Powered Flying Suits Tested By Navy
'With his motor in operation, he moves like a diver, head foremost...' - Philip Frances Nowlan, 1928.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Las Vegas Tunnels To Have Autonomous Teslas
'...just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.'
TCL CSOT 17-Inch Printed OLED Scrolling Display
'..a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling colour.'
Reachy Humanoid VR Teleoperation App
"I went to the control room where the three other men were manipulating their mechanical men...'
Unitree A1 Robot ala Black Mirror and Snow Crash
'The legs are long, curled way up to deliver power...'
DALL-E Makes Creative Images From Text
Okay, sf fans. If you could have some art created from a science fiction sentence, what sentence would you pick?
BladeBUG Robots Clean Massive Wind Turbine Blades
'There were the cleaners, with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length...'
Looms To Manually Weave Lunar Rover Wheels
It's fascinating to me how the Apollo program forced people to think outside their usual boxes.
IceBot Antarctic (Planetary?) Robotic Explorers Made Of Ice
'Some will combine in place to form more complicated structures, like excavators or centipedes.'
Glad 2020 Is Over
Maybe you missed one of these?
PEDOT Polymer Could Enhance Brain-Machine Interfaces
'the hair-fine wire going deep into Owen's brain, down into the pleasure center.'
Study: Robots Encourage Humans To Take Risks
Not exactly Three Laws compliant.
Kinetic Buildings And Psychotropic Houses
'There was a dim whirring, and the spheres tipped and began to rotate...'
Jupe Urban Escape Pods Have Tesla, SpaceX Roots
'The houses are prefabricated units... and they sell at the flat rate of five hundred dollars a room — set up.'
Best Robot Dance Video Of 2020
'I can Mashed Potato... I can do the Twist.'
Vertical Farm In Singapore's Output Is 1.5 Tons Per Day
'A towering eighty-story structure like the office "In-and-Out" baskets stacked up to the sky.'
3D Printed 'Blisk' Manufactured In Orbit
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories