Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Examples:, a set by AGRITECTURE on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
In this album you will find a selection of examples of Building-Integrated Agriculture (BIA). There are infinite ways for Agritecture to be executed and I will post images of examples from the blog in this album.

Feel free to comment and share!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Financial Model

Financial Model:

Financial model

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Canoe

The Land of GhostsFire Canoe #2The Big CanoeMcKay's PointFire Canoe #4OSA Sunset
Morning Mist on the DumoineSelf-Portrait in CanoeFire Canoe #3Canoe on Basshaunt LakeRed Pine #5French River Blues
Morning Mist on the Dumoine IIDiamond Lake SunriseA Quiet EveningBasshaunt Canoe IIThe Land of Ghosts IIMorning Paddle
Drifting AwayLand of Ghosts IIISunrise on Diamond LakeFrench River Blues IIDumoine MorningCanoe at Dawn

The Canoe, a set by Peter Bowers on Flickr.

Awesome Photostream ... thanks to +Peter Bower ... cheers .. live life king size ..

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ionic liquid catalyst helps turn emissions into fuel

Ionic liquid catalyst helps turn emissions into fuel

University of Illinois chemical and biological engineering professor Paul Kenis and his research group joined forces with researchers at Dioxide Materials, a startup company, to produce a catalyst that improves artificial photosynthesis. The company, in the university Research Park, was founded by retired chemical engineering professor Richard Masel. The team reported their results in the journal Science.
Artificial photosynthesis is the process of converting carbon dioxide gas into useful carbon-based chemicals, most notably fuel or other compounds usually derived from petroleum, as an alternative to extracting them from biomass.
In plants, photosynthesis uses solar energy to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) and water to sugars and other hydrocarbons. Biofuels are refined from sugars extracted from crops such as corn. However, in artificial photosynthesis, an electrochemical cell uses energy from a solar collector or a wind turbine to convert CO2 to simple carbon fuels such as formic acid or methanol, which are further refined to make ethanol and other fuels.
"The key advantage is that there is no competition with the food supply," said Masel, a co-principal investigator of the paper and CEO of Dioxide Materials, "and it is a lot cheaper to transmit electricity than it is to ship biomass to a refinery."
However, one big hurdle has kept artificial photosynthesis from vaulting into the mainstream: The first step to making fuel, turning carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, is too energy intensive. It requires so much electricity to drive this first reaction that more energy is used to produce the fuel than can be stored in the fuel.
The Illinois group used a novel approach involving an ionic liquid to catalyze the reaction, greatly reducing the energy required to drive the process. The ionic liquids stabilize the intermediates in the reaction so that less electricity is needed to complete the conversion.
The researchers used an electrochemical cell as a flow reactor, separating the gaseous CO2 input and oxygen output from the liquid electrolyte catalyst with gas-diffusion electrodes. The cell design allowed the researchers to fine-tune the composition of the electrolyte stream to improve reaction kinetics, including adding ionic liquids as a co-catalyst.
"It lowers the overpotential for CO2 reduction tremendously," said Kenis, who is also a professor of mechanical science and engineering and affiliated with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. "Therefore, a much lower potential has to be applied. Applying a much lower potential corresponds to consuming less energy to drive the process."
Next, the researchers hope to tackle the problem of throughput. To make their technology useful for commercial applications, they need to speed up the reaction and maximize conversion.
"More work is needed, but this research brings us a significant step closer to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels while simultaneously reducing CO2 emissions that are linked to unwanted climate change," Kenis said.
Graduate students Brian Rosen, Michael Thorson, Wei Zhu and Devin Whipple and postdoctoral researcher Amin Salehi-Khojin were co-authors of the paper. The U.S. Department of Energy supported this work.