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Leaf Power

The Leaf Economy: Currently a Wasted Opportunity

  • Every year gigatons of leaves grow, producing Oxygen as they take in CO2 and sequester Carbon.
  • Then they mature and fall to the ground to rot.
  • The leaves are decomposed by bacteria using Oxygen to consume this Biomatter, returning to the air as much CO2 as the leaves took in.
  • The same goes for grasses and other ephemeral plant matter.

  • This represents a considerable amount of untapped Biomass that can be used to fuel humanity, instead of rotting on the ground and producing CO2 anyway.

  • Leif says, "only a few % of all leaves would make a huge difference for charities and the atmosphere"

  • Coal vs Biomass
  • Smoke from leaves contains less sulphur, uranium, and other emissions than smoke from fossil coal.

  • The power plant does not need to be replaced, only the fuel.
  • Fossil fuels may be stored as a backup, but Biomass should be used first.

  • Leaves should be harvested while dry and kept dry to fully benefit from free solar energy.
  • The minerals in the ash or the biochar must be returned to the growing areas.
  • Leaves do not compete with food production.

  • As the demand for leaves increases, more heavy branch-bearing trees will be planted (motivation$).

    "Turning a waste into an asset"

  • If we steal "wasted" energy from current ecosystems, we can avoid expending fossil fuels, and produce less CO2 while preserving valuable infrastructure
    ("Coal power plants" become "Leaf power plants").
  • Leaves seem to be the greatest unharvested crop. Unlike trees, leaves (thin wood) do not need to be cut down. Choice is, "Burn 'em or Lose 'em".
  • Compost and mulching are good for the earth (return the minerals), but bad for the air (CO2, CH4). At a minimum, methane biogas should be extracted.

    Future Related Topics
    - The Art of Drying Leaves
    - The Art of Growing More Leaves
    - Urban Leaves: Carpet Farming, Curtain Farming
    - BioGassing Vs. Mulching and Composting (wet biomass)
    - Biochar bioFuel residential production for individual automotive use
    - Desalination and Water Management
    - The Future of Coal: Nanomanufacturing

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