Tag Archives: Carbon dioxide

Carbon capture by farmers

A more drill with cutting disc, seed coulter just behind the disk to clear trash from the slit and place the seed, independent suspension depth wheel to giive good seed-soil contact. As close as you can get to zero till without broadcasting.

The more I think about it, the more i realise that farming has a big, very big, maybe the biggest part to play in arresting global warming.

  1. Compost urban wastes and plough them in deep.
  2. The green leaf captures Carbon dioxide and gives back the Oxygen. No man-made process does that.
  3. About half the dry matter content of the crop is in the root system but that will oxidise away by cultivation at around 35 % per annum – so keep it there not just by not just direct drilling but zero till.

Only farmers and foresters can do this!

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 6 January 2019

JET fuel

The morning of 2 Jan 19 over Heathrow.

To all my readers, may I wish you a Happy New Year and a long, comfortable future.

The picture above was taken shortly after sunrise and shows contrails of jets over-flying Heathrow.  Note not to Heathrow, over Heathrow, going somewhere else.  I counted 47 contrails.  Each jet would have from 40 to 70 tonnes of fuel at take off. This is a tine fraction of what is happening globally, every minute of every day.

There is an old Apache saying; “The land is a mother that never dies”.  Not if we care for it like this.  If you want a long life, we had better stop this burning of fossilised fuels asap.

 

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 2 Jan 19

 

Carbon Capture – simply under our noses

Carbon Capture without giving us the Oxygen back would be a disaster.

It is in the nature of humans to look for the latest gismo, preferably with bells and whistles and girls dancing.  Therefore the perceived “holy grail” of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is to take the flue gases from burning oil, coal and lignite, and put it down a deep hole and leave it there.  So far, nobody has done this on a commercial scale successfully.  If people don’t like shale gas exploration and the pressures used in “fracking”, CCS might be worse with the pressures involved and potential for catastrophic leakage.  There is also a problem in that this route locks up the Oxygen and some living creatures might find that a bit difficult.

So, what answer is under our noses?  It is called the green leaf.  Green growth takes Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and gives us the Oxygen back.  Only farmers and foresters can do this.  So, support them and stop building on land that will support green leaves.  The alternative, according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is likely to be catastrophic.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 15 December ‘18

 

 

 

Double Whammy from composting urban wastes

If the UK Environment Agency is serious about the environment, then it needs to ensure nearly every UK farm has a compost opertion, not on concrete.

 

The new blockbuster climate report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations makes two things startlingly clear. First, we must massively accelerate the decarbonisation of the global economy. This will require rapid system-wide transformations in the way we build our cities, generate energy, grow food and manufacture goods. And second, we must capture carbon right out of the air.

What composting of urban wastes does is to reduce and eliminate the use of mineral fertilisers. (One tonne of N made in a modern USA factory typically consumes 21,000 kWh of electricity – which was probably generated using an engine burning fossilised fuel, which produced Carbon dioxide.)  Farming also grows crops with green leaves – which take Carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.  These two activities, composting urban wastes and growing green leaves, lock up organic Carbon and reduce the release of the GHG (Green House Gas) Carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  What’s more, crops grown on high Carbon soils need less irrigation, less pesticide sprays, lodge less and yield more.  Only farming can do this.

Bill Butterworth,   Land Research Ltd   28 October 18

Only farming can do this

This kit is on a farm recycling urban wastes to farm land and reducing/avoiding the use of mineral fertilisers. Not so obvious but globally vitally – it is taking Carbon out of the atmosphere and locking it up in soil.

According to World Bank figures, the global production of urban waste is above 2 billion tonnes and rising. My own experience of composting urban wastes suggests that, technically (if the regulators could come to terms with this) maybe 25% of that could be composted and put to farm land, and possibly more if put to forestry land. If the compost contained only 2% of each of N, P and K, then that would be 10 million tonnes of each.  One tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern USA factory, takes 21,000 kWh to make and deliver.  So, or the N alone, that would save the use of 210,000,000 kWh of electrical power generation, most of which comes from burning coal and oil.  Bearing in mind most N production in the world is several times less efficient than in the USA, and that the rest of the figures err on the side of caution, then recycling urban waste by composting to land would save probably around 1 trillion KWh pa and the associated Carbon dioxide production.  .

There is a bonus, crops grown on high organic Carbon soils need less irrigation and less crop protection sprays.  Cereal crop lodge (fall flat) less. Crops yield more. What we need is active, controlled enabling, not ever-increasing suppression and indifference form government.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 24 October 18

 

Reversing global warming

Only farmers can deliver this.

Only farmers can deliver the following.  According to World Bank figures, the global production of urban waste is above 2 billion tonnes and rising. My own experience of composting urban wastes suggests that, technically (if the regulators could come to terms with this) maybe 25% of that could be composted and put to farm land, and possibly more if put to forestry land. If the compost contained only 2% of each of N, P and K, then that would be 10 million tonnes of each.  One tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern USA factory, takes 21,000 kWh to make and deliver.  So, or the N alone, that would save the use of 210,000,000 kWh of electrical power generation, most of which comes from burning coal and oil.  Bearing in mind most N production in the world is several times less efficient than in the USA, and that the rest of the figures err on the side of caution, then recycling urban waste by composting to land would save probably around 1 trillion KWh pa and the associated Carbon dioxide production.  As a rough guide, that would save 350,000,000 tonnes of Carbon dioxide being pumped into out atmosphere, every year.

There is a bonus, crops grown on high organic Carbon soils need less irrigation and less crop protection sprays.  Cereal crop lodge (fall flat) less. Crops yield a little more. What we need is active, controlled enabling, not ever-increasing suppression and indifference form government.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd. 18 October 18

 

Organic N and crop growth

As the previous post here showed, Organic N, then, is different.  It just sits there in the store, alive with micro-organisms and giving some (but very low losses) to the soil atmosphere and groundwater.  However, it is different in a staggeringly complex and important way.  When conditions favour both plant and fungi, the mycorrhizae feed at one end of their hyphae on the organic matter and the other end of each hypha either crosses the root hair wall into the plant body, or wraps round the root hair (much like the placenta of a mammal).  This is a closed conduit! Not only is this why natural ecosystems do not leak nutrients and pollute the ground water, they also feed the plant with complex molecules, already some way down the route for forming cellulose and amino acids – so accelerating growth. Even more staggering, these mycorrhizae can suck nutrients out of some plants (weeds?) and transfer then to others (crops?).

There is enough urban waste in the world to supply enough nutrients to feed the world – without manufacturing fertilisers. (But we do actually need both.)

See the next blog in this series for more on profitable, eco-mimic fertiliser mechanisms and also “Survival” by bill Butterworth, published on Amazon.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd,   29 May 2018