Utilization of Date Palm Biomass

Date palm trees produce huge amount of agricultural wastes in the form of dry leaves, stems, pits, seeds etc. A typical date tree can generate as much as 20 kilograms of dry leaves per annum while date pits account for almost 10 percent of date fruits.

date-wastes

Date palm biomass is found in large quantities across the Middle East

Date palm is considered a renewable natural resource because it can be replaced in a relatively short period of time. It takes 4 to 8 years for date palms to bear fruit after planting, and 7 to 10 years to produce viable yields for commercial harvest. Usually date palm wastes are burned in farms or disposed in landfills which cause environmental pollution in dates-producing nations.

The major constituents of date palm biomass are cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin. In addition, date palm has high volatile solids content and low moisture content. These factors make date palm residues an excellent biomass resource in date-palm producing nations.

Date palm biomass is an excellent resource for charcoal production in Middle East

A wide range of physico-chemical, thermal and biochemical technologies exists for sustainable utilization of date palm biomass. Apart from charcoal production and energy conversion (using technologies like combustion and gasification), below are few ways for utilization of date palm wastes:

Conversion into fuel pellets or briquettes

Biomass pellets are a popular type of alternative fuel (analogous to coal), generally made from wood wastes and agricultural biomass. The biomass pelletization process consists of multiple steps including pre-treatment, pelletization and post-treatment of biomass wastes. Biomass pellets can be used as a coal replacement in power plant, industries and other application.

Conversion into energy-rich products

Biomass pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of date palm biomass occurring in the absence of oxygen. The products of biomass pyrolysis include biochar, bio-oil and gases including methane, hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.

Depending on the thermal environment and the final temperature, pyrolysis will yield mainly biochar at low temperatures, less than 450 0C, when the heating rate is quite slow, and mainly gases at high temperatures, greater than 800 0C, with rapid heating rates. At an intermediate temperature and under relatively high heating rates, the main product is bio-oil.

Bio-oil can be upgraded to either a special engine fuel or through gasification processes to a syngas which can then be processed into biofuels. Bio-oil is particularly attractive for co-firing because it can be more readily handled and burned than solid fuel and is cheaper to transport and store.

Conversion into biofertilizer

Composting is the most popular method for biological decomposition of organic wastes. Date palm waste has around 80% organic content which makes it very well-suited for the composting process. Commercial-scale composting of date palm wastes can be carried out by using the traditional windrow method or a more advanced method like vermicomposting.

5 Ways to Shop For Food Responsibly

Nowadays, we can get food from the four corners of the Earth. If you want tropical fruit during the winter, you can get it. You’ll never run out of oranges, mangoes, or bananas. While these fruits and other imported foods are delicious, it’s important to eat the foods local to your area.

Shopping for and eating locally grown food is stellar for the environment and your health. However, it’s a bit difficult to navigate these days when most common items are imported. Let’s go through some tips to become a responsible food consumer:

locally-grown-food

1. Research Food Local to Your Area

First things first, get to know what crops grow best in your area. Do some googling and go to the library to find resources. Talk to people at your local grocery store.

Figure out which foods grow during the specific seasons and tailor your diet to suit the standards. Buy some cookbooks that have recipes specific to your area if they’re available.

2. Go Into the Store With a Game Plan

Going into a grocery store can either be a terrible burden or a fun experience. Most of the time, we enter huge establishments that push certain products towards consumers due to profits. Those who consider grocery shopping burdensome should craft a plan of action.

locally-grown-food

You’ve already looked into local foods in your area. Now, you can craft recipes based on the ingredients. Plan what you’re going to cook for the week before you go shopping. Then, you can shop efficiently without succumbing to sales prices or food from far away.

3. Use Online Marketplaces Run by Farmers

While being responsible for your food choices involves eating mostly locally, some imported delicacies are hard to resist. Go easy on yourself. While you should avoid going into huge grocery chains and buying exclusively imported foods, you can splurge every once in a while.

If you want to buy certain foods that need to be imported, consider using online marketplaces like Pinduoduo. These stores are partnered directly with farmers. That way, you can enjoy imported foods while supporting farmers directly.

4. Go to Your Local Farmers Market

While grocery chains are great for certain products, there’s nothing like a farmers’ market. At a farmers market, you are directly exposed to the foods grown in your area. While farmers maintain a huge presence in these markets, you’ll also see other vendors as well.

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Organic food is a modern, healthy part of a sustainable lifestyle.

You’ll be able to buy locally made dips, chips, and other snacks. Plus, you can also buy crops or plants from certain individuals if you have a green thumb.

5. Buy Less

When transitioning to the life of a responsible food consumer, you’ll have to adjust to buying less every week. A responsible consumer does not overbuy. The individual buys what they need, whether that can be accomplished in one trip to the store or several.

The more you minimize food waste, the better you’ll feel. However, take baby steps and don’t feel too down if you have waste.

Become a Responsible Food Consumer

The task of being a responsible food consumer seems impossible, but it isn’t. The journey will take a while since you’re changing your habits and mindset, but it’s worth it. When you follow the steps to be more responsible, your body, mind, and the earth will thank you.

Take your time, make small changes every day, and have fun in the process. Maybe a love for cooking or baking will pop up while you are in the process.

Everything You Should Know About Biomass Storage Methods

Sufficient biomass storage is necessary to accommodate seasonality of production and ensure regular supply to the biomass utilization plant. The type of storage will depend on the properties of the biomass, especially moisture content.

For high moisture biomass intended to be used wet, such as in fermentation and anaerobic digestion systems, wet storage systems can be used, with storage times closely controlled to avoid excessive degradation of feedstock. Storage systems typically used with dry agricultural residues should be protected against spontaneous combustion and excess decomposition, and the maximum storage moisture depends on the type of storage employed.

Consistent and reliable supply of biomass is crucial for any biomass project

Moisture limits must be observed to avoid spontaneous combustion and the emission of regulated compounds. Cost of storage is important to the overall feasibility of the biomass enterprise. In some cases, the storage can be on the same site as the source of the feedstock. In others, necessary volumes can only be achieved by combining the feedstock from a number of relatively close sources. Typically, delivery within about 50 miles is economic, but longer range transport is sometimes acceptable, especially when disposal fees can be reduced.

Storage of biomass fuels is expensive and increases with capacity.

Agricultural residues such as wheat straw, rice husk, rice straw and corn stover are usually spread or windrowed behind the grain harvesters for later baling. Typically these residues are left in the field to air dry to moisture levels below about 14% preferred for bales in stacks or large piles of loose material.

After collection, biomass may be stored in the open or protected from the elements by tarps or various structures. Biomass pelletization may be employed to increase bulk density and reduce storage and transport volume and cost.

Biomass Storage Options

  • Feedstock is hauled directly to the plant with no storage at the production site.
  • Feedstock is stored at the production site and then transported to the plant as needed.
  • Feedstock is stored at a collective storage facility and then transported to the plant from the intermediate storage location.

Biomass Storage Systems

The type of biomass storage system used at the production site, intermediate site, or plant can greatly affect the cost and the quality of the fuel. The most expensive storage systems, no doubt, are the most efficient in terms of maintaining the high fuel quality. Typical storage systems, ranked from highest cost to lowest cost, include:

  • Enclosed structure with crushed rock floor
  • Open structure with crushed rock floor
  • Reusable tarp on crushed rock
  • Outside unprotected on crushed rock
  • Outside unprotected on ground
  • Subterranean

The storage of biomass is often necessary due to its seasonal production versus the need to produce energy all year round. Therefore to provide a constant and regular supply of fuel for the plant requires either storage or multi-feedstock to be used, both of which tend to add cost to the system.

Reducing the cost of handling and stable storage of biomass feedstock are both critical to developing a sustainable infrastructure capable of supplying large quantities of biomass to biomass processing plants. Storage and handling of biomass fuels is expensive and increases with capacity. The most suitable type of fuel store for solid biomass fuel depends on space available and the physical characteristics of the biomass fuel.

Could Biomass Be The Answer To South Africa’s Energy Problem

South Africa is experiencing a mammoth energy crisis with its debt-laden national power utility, Eskom, being unable to meet the electricity needs of the nation. After extensive periods of load shedding in 2018 and again earlier this year, it is becoming increasingly important to find an alternative source of energy. According to Marko Nokkala, senior sales manager at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, South Africa is in the perfect position to utilize biomass as an alternative source of energy.

Things to Consider

Should South Africa choose to delve deeper into biomass energy production, there are a few things that need to be considered. At present, a lot of biomass (such as fruit and vegetables) is utilized as food. It will, therefore, be necessary to identify alternative biomass sources that are not typically used as food, so that a food shortage is never created in the process.

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One alternative would be to use municipal solid waste from landfills and dumpsites as well as the wood waste from the very large and lucrative forestry industry in the country. It is also essential to keep in mind that an enormous amount of biomass will be needed to replace even a portion of the 90 million tons of coal that Eskom utilizes every year at its various power stations.

Potential Biomass Conversion Routes

There are a number of processing technologies that South Africans can utilize to turn their biomass into a sustainable energy source. Biochemical conversion involving technology such as anaerobic digestion and fermentation makes use of enzymes, microorganisms, and bacteria to breakdown the biomass into a variety of liquid or vaporous fuels.

WTE_Pathways

Fermentation is especially suitable when the biomass waste boasts a high sugar or water content, as is the case with a variety of agricultural wastes. By placing some focus on microbial fermentation process development, a system can effectively be created that will allow for large-scale biofuel production. Other technologies to consider include thermal methods like co-firing, pyrolysis, and gasification.

Future of biomass energy in South Africa

Despite the various obstacles that may slow down the introduction of large-scale biomass energy production in the country, it still promises to be a viable solution to the pressing energy concern. Biomass energy production does not require any of the major infrastructures that Eskom is currently relying on.

Although the initial setup will require a substantial amount of electricity, running a biomass conversion plant will cost significantly less than a coal-powered power plant in the long run. With the unemployment rate hovering around 27.1% in South Africa at present, any jobs created through the implementation of biomass energy conversion will be of great benefit to the nation.

Conclusion

Without speedy intervention, South Africa may very soon be left in the dark. Although there are already a number of wind farms in operation in the country, the addition of biomass conversion facilities will undoubtedly be of great benefit to Africa’s southernmost country.

The Energy Value of Agricultural Wastes

Large quantities of agricultural wastes, resulting from crop cultivation activities, are a promising source of energy supply for production, processing and domestic activities in the rural areas. The available agricultural residues are either being used inefficiently or burnt in the open to clear the fields for subsequent crop cultivation.

agricultural-wastes

On an average 1.5 tons of crop residue are generated for processing 1 ton of the main product. In addition, substantial quantities of secondary residues are produced in agro-industries processing farm produce such as paddy, sugarcane, coconut, fruits and vegetables.

Agricultural residues often have a disposal cost associated with them. Therefore, the “waste-to-energy” conversion processes for heat and power generation, and even in some cases for transport fuel production, can have good economic and market potential. They have value particularly in rural community applications, and are used widely in countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Austria and Finland.

The energy density and physical properties of agricultural biomass wastes are critical factors for feedstock considerations and need to be understood in order to match a feedstock and processing technology.

There are six generic biomass processing technologies based on direct combustion (for power), anaerobic digestion (for methane-rich biogas), fermentation (of sugars for alcohols), oil exaction (for biodiesel), pyrolysis (for biochar, gas and oils) and gasification (for carbon monoxide and hydrogen-rich syngas). These technologies can then be followed by an array of secondary treatments (stabilization, dewatering, upgrading, refining) depending on specific final products.

It is well-known that power plants based on baled crop residues are efficient and cost-effective energy generators. Residues such as Rice Husks, Wheat Straw and Maize Cobs are already concentrated at a point where it is an easily exploitable source of energy, particularly if it can be utilized on-site to provide combined heat and power.

The selection of processing technologies needs to be aligned to the nature and structure of the biomass feedstock and the desired project outputs. It can be seen that direct combustion or gasification of biomass are appropriate when heat and power are required.

Anaerobic digestion, fermentation and oil extraction are suitable when specific biomass wastes are available that have easily extractable oils and sugars or high water contents. On the other hand, only thermal processing of biomass by pyrolysis can provide the platform for all of the above forms of product.

Many thermal processing technologies for agricultural wastes require the water content of biomass to be low (<15 per cent) for proper operation. For these technologies the energy cost of drying can represent a significant reduction in process efficiency.

Moisture content is of important interest since it corresponds to one of the main criteria for the selection of energy conversion process technology. Thermal conversion technology requires biomass fuels with low moisture content, while those with high moisture content are more appropriate for biological-based process such as fermentation or anaerobic digestion.

The ash content of biomass influences the expenses related to handling and processing to be included in the overall conversion cost. On the other hand, the chemical composition of ash is a determinant parameter in the consideration of a thermal conversion unit, since it gives rise to problems of slagging, fouling, sintering and corrosion.

Grain Storage Options For All Uses

There are so many grain storage options at your disposal that choosing the right one can become an overwhelming decision. There are a lot of factors to consider such as price, vessel, temperature, and moisture. To keep from overwhelming yourself, weigh each consideration individually so that the information is easier to process.

We’ll break this down and provide you with some detailed information about the grain storage options available so you can make an informed decision.

Grain Storage Options

Important Considerations When Storing Grain

Avoid damage to grain by factoring in these important considerations when choosing the right storage.

1. Grain Temperature

When grain reaches a high enough temperature, it will sweat. This sweat leads to fungus and mold, making the grain toxic. Be sure to take temperature into consideration when choosing the right grain storage. Proper aeration is essential to maintaining its temperature so the storage must have adequate air flow. The amount of air flow depends on climate and the length of storage.

Proper aeration prevents sweating, which in turn eliminates all of the other detrimental factors mentioned above.

2. Moisture in Grain Storage

Moisture is conducive to the growth of fungus and mold. It also attracts pests. All of these are detrimental to the health of the grain. As we mentioned earlier, sweating is a big problem with grain but water can also find its way into grain storage areas and wreak havoc.

Grain should be checked regularly to make sure that the moisture level is right. So storage areas must provide access for grain testing.

Grain Storage Options

Each modern method of grain storage has its own advantages. Which one you choose will greatly depend on the amount of grain you need to store and how long you plan to store it.

1. Grain Silo

Grain silos are the most commonly known method of storing grain. They are great for farmers who need to store a high volume. They are also perfect for long-term storage as long as the proper care is taken. But as you might imagine, they are quite expensive.

Furthermore, silos are not a great long-term storage option for grains with high moisture. These types of grains stick to the sides of the silo and will struggle to funnel down into the augers that carry them out of the silo. Other options should be considered when dealing with high moisture grains.

You also need the right equipment to load grain into silos so that’s another consideration.

For smaller scale operations, small grain bins, usually crafted of steel are worth consideration. They are designed as hopper bottom bins and have a slide gate at the bottom of the bin.

Safety is another concern with silos since they come with several risks that must be mitigated. Grain dust is the biggest safety concern with large-scale grain silos. Dust is flammable and can lead to explosions. It can also cause respiratory problems.

2. Grain Storage Bags

Grain storage bags (also called silo bags) are a great option for storing grain. They work just as the name implies. They are bags that store specific amounts of grain. What makes this grain storage option so beneficial is its cost and versatility. Grain storage bags are a great option for small farmers who only grow limited amounts of grain.

This option is also a great way to separate different grain types and works well for transporting small amounts of grain. For instance, if you plan to take your grain to the market within a month of harvest, then this might be your best option.

Just remember that silo bags are a short-term solution. Storing grain for longer than a few months will severely affect its quality.  When storing grain in bags, perform regular inspections to make sure pests have not infested it.

3. Grain Shed

This is the method of grain storage that most farmers use. The biggest benefit of using a grain shed for storage is convenience. Grain is driven straight to the shed when harvested. As you might imagine, this is not only convenient but since the grain requires less handling, manual labor costs are significantly reduced.

Grain sheds are large open spaces where you store grain. This space is generally used to store farm equipment during the off-season. Plus their open layout naturally reduces many of the safety hazards associated with storing grain.

ways to store gains

In fact, enclosed grain sheds can protect grain for a long period of time without the costs associated with grain silos. The only downside is that the amount of grain you’re able to store is limited to the size of the shed.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the grain storage option you choose depends on a lot of different factors. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Silos are the most expensive option and only useful if you harvest too much grain for a grain shed to hold. Grain storage bags are only used for short-term storage. So a grain shed is the option most farmers go with due to its versatility.

With that said, do your homework before making this important decision.

How Farmers Can Benefit from Agriculture Recruiting?

Agriculture recruiting is the process of hiring personnel with agrarian qualifications. The qualification may be in the form of diplomas, degrees, and practical experience. Farming is an art that can be learned by any individual interested in venturing into the industry. However, it takes a level of expertise to navigate the various dynamics that influence whether the farming process is a success. Let’s take a look at how farmers can benefit from agricultural recruiting.

agricultural-recruiting

1. Research

Data gathered from in-depth research is one of the ways that farmers can benefit from agriculture recruiting. As a farmer, it is tempting to plant convenient crops, season, and plants that are enjoyable. However, agriculturalists base decisions on in-depth research data.

Agriculture recruiting will provide researchers who can provide you with the following information that is crucial for the success of any crop:

  • The specific crops that grow well in your particular geographical area
  • The temperatures required for specific crops to grow in a healthy state
  • The best time of the season to plant a specific crop
  • The advantages and disadvantages of planting the crop
  • Mistakes experienced by other farmers and how to avoid these
  • Labour required for the crop
  • Gadgets needed for effective planting
  • Type of irrigation required for watering the crop

Such information requires in-depth research through case study analysis, interviews with farmers, participant observation, and desk research. Expert agricultural researchers will provide such data, which will help a farmer make informed decisions regarding their crop.

2. Business Management Consulting

A farmer may be a wealth of knowledge regarding the practical execution of crop planting. They may be sure of the times to plant, the soil, and the processes it takes to yield a quality crop. If the farmer is in business, they may not have the expertise regarding business management.

The business aspect of farming requires market research, competitor analysis, market trend projection, foresight, marketing, consumer behavior, and networking. Through agricultural recruiting, a farmer is paired with an expert in such business processes. The coupling of the skills may result in farming business success.

3. Soil Testing

It is difficult to determine the type of soil that you plan to grow the crop. Agriculturalists know how to test the soil to decide various dynamics. Soil type can determine the type of crop that will raise best, the produce that will require the least labor, the kind of fertilizer that nurtures the soil type effectively, and the season that certain crops flourish. A farmer who has soil tested before beginning a planting process will have a higher success rate than one who risks planting the wrong type of produce in the soil.

4. Seed Selection

Regardless of the type of crop that a farmer decides to plant, they can choose from numerous kinds of seeds. The decision to buy a particular type of seed should depend on varying factors such as land space, soil type, and temperature. This is the kind of information that a farmer will benefit from if they venture into agriculture recruiting. You can research it yourself—however, it may be difficult to verify the knowledge freely shared in digital spaces.

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5. Expert Damage Control

Crops can succumb to factors that are sometimes out of the farmer’s control. For example, unexpected heavy rainfall, winds, or a sudden pest problem could all affect the crop’s quality. Agriculture recruiting means accessing experts of damage control in such situations. Experts will know whether crops can be salvaged from the damage and the process that is required. If the crop is damaged beyond the point where any can be nurtured to health, experts will give information regarding how to move beyond the damage. Prevention methods in some cases may also be provided for future execution.

6. Pest Management

Pest management is crucial to the success of a crop. Experts can decipher whether a crop requires a form of pest management, the kind of pest that may damage the crop, how it damages the harvest, as well as when and how to apply pest control substances. Certain chemicals may, in fact, harm the crop, or become hazardous to health if applied on the wrong type of crop. The expert advice offered to farmers is therefore essential, especially when there is the use of chemicals. Agriculturalists are also trained on how to use the chemicals, meaning farmer safety is a priority.

Conclusion

Farmers can benefit from agriculture recruiting because of expert knowledge. Farmers can benefit from in-depth research, soil testing, seed selection consultation, damage control, pest management, and farming from the business facet. It is advised that farmers consult such expertise to avoid costly mistakes and develop their farming art through expert guidance.

3 Ways to Reuse Water Using Renewable Energy

Water is essential to life, making it one of the most valuable resources on the planet. We drink it, use it to grow food and stay clean. However, water is of increasingly short supply and the Earth’s population only continues to expand. Many of the countries with the largest populations are also ones that use the most water. For instance, in the United States, the average person uses 110 gallons of water each day. Meanwhile, three-fourths of those living in Africa don’t have access to clean water.

To ensure we have enough water to survive — and share with those in need — the best approach is to conserve this resource and find sustainable ways of recycling it. Currently, conventional methods or water purification use about three percent of the world’s energy supply. This isn’t sustainable long-term and can have adverse effects on the environment.

Recently, however, major steps have been made to reduce both the collective water and carbon footprint. Now, there are multiple, sustainable ways to both save energy and reuse water using renewable energy.

1. Anaerobic Digestion

Anaerobic digestion — or AD — is the natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials like industrial residuals, animal manure and sewage sludge. This process takes place in spaces where there is no oxygen, making it an ideal system for cleaning and reusing wastewater. This recycled water can provide nutrients for forest plantations and farmland alike.

For example, in Yucatan, Mexico, the successful implementation of AD systems has provided water to promote reforestation efforts. This system has also helped accelerate the search for a sustainable solution to water-sanitation issues in rural Latin American communities.

Additionally, anaerobic digestion also reduces adverse environmental impacts. As the system filters water, it creates two byproducts — biogas and sludge. The biogas can be used as energy to supply electricity or even fuel vehicles. And the sludge is used as fertilizers and bedding for livestock. In poor countries, like Peru, 14 percent of primary energy comes from biogas, providing heat for food preparation and electricity to homes that would not have access to it otherwise.

2. Vapor Compression Distillation

In this process, the vapor produced by evaporating water is compressed, increasing pressure and temperature. This vapor is then condensed to water for injection — highly purified water that can be used to make pharmaceutical-grade solutions.

Vapor compression distillation is incredibly sustainable because it can produce pure water on combustible fuel sources like cow dung — no chemicals, filters or electricity necessary. This makes it water accessible to even the most rural communities.

The system only needs enough energy to start the first boil and a small amount to power the compressor. This energy can be easily supplied by a solar panel, producing roughly 30 liters of water an hour using no more energy than that of a handheld hairdryer.

3. Solar Distillation

Utilizing solar energy for water treatment may be one of the most sustainable solutions to the water crisis, without sacrificing the environment or non-renewable resources. Between 80 and 90 percent of all energy collected through commercial solar panels is wasted, shed into the atmosphere as heat. However, recent advancements in technology have allowed scientists to capture this heat and use it to generate clean, recycled water.

By integrating a solar PV panel-membrane distillation device behind solar panels, researchers were able to utilize heat to drive water distillation. This panel also increases solar to electricity efficiency. This device can even be used to desalinate seawater, providing a sustainable solution to generating freshwater from saltwater.

Environmental and Economic Benefits

Finding sustainable methods of recycling water is essential to reducing energy consumption and helping the planet, and all those dependent upon it, thrive. Using methods like anaerobic digestion and environmentally-friendly distillation processes can reduce toxic emissions and provide purified, recycled water to those who need it most.

Sustainable reuse of water can also benefit the economy. The financial costs of constructing and operating desalination and purification systems are often high compared to the above solutions. Furthermore, using recycled water that is of lower quality for agricultural and reforestation purposes saves money by reducing treatment requirements.

Up Your Green Knowledge: 5 Ways to Learn More About Plants

Flora and fauna start to become of great interest to people. A number of ecological problems cause the desire to take care of plants, trees, flowers, etc. But before proceeding to purchase a plant and care for it, there is a need to gain more knowledge about the green world.

Have no idea where to get interesting information about a particular flower? This is where innovative technologies come to the rescue. These can be special apps and a well-known Internet. Thus, let’s dive deep into useful ways to improve your lore concerning the flora and fauna world.

Ways to Learn More About Plants

Download an App

One may be surprised by the number of various applications available in your App Store. While some of them are created in order to assist you to have fun, others are connected with the plant world.

No matter if you are an owner of an iPhone or other device, it is possible to find the fittest application with a set of useful functions. If you discover a bright flower, you probably would like to know its title. This is where the plant identification app will be handy for this task. One of the examples Plant Identification – Lily was developed to assist users to discover new representatives of flora.

Such apps enable people not only to define plants around them but also set reminders for plant care. Thus, for example, the next time you detect a huge tree, using an application provides you with the possibility to determine how it is called and get information or advice from botanic experts.

Use the Internet

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine modern life without the global web. Access to the required information is possible with several clicks on your PC or taps on your smartphone or tablet such as an iPad.

Let’s imagine you want to up your knowledge about a particular plant but you forget to download the app. This is where the Internet will be useful. All you need to do is to enter a title of a necessary plant or tree and an amount of information is available for your consideration.

Take Books

Taking a book from a library is another way to be aware of flora. Although it is not considered one of the innovative technologies plants information gathering, books are full of interesting facts about them.

The most pleasant thing is that books are free for readers. Everyone who desires can visit the nearest library and spend several hours familiarizing themselves with the chosen botanic book. There is no need to waste time searching applications in your App Store. A large number of books are waiting for you in one building with a piece of detailed information about plants.

Chat with Experts

Are you a newcomer to the green world? Then, you need advice from specialists for sure. In order to take care of your plant properly, you can communicate with botanic experts and ask for their help.

Where is it possible to find such people? First, you can download an app where all specialists in flora are gathered. This can resemble a chat application where you can conduct online calls with experts and get helpful tips on how to care for plants in your home.

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Also, botanic specialists can be found on various forums for plant lovers. Using your iPhone or other types of device, you should simply sign the needed forum and get information about a plant of your interest.

Attend Lectures

Do you think attending lectures is a practice for students only? You may be surprised after you know how many lectures are held on flora topics. Just follow what lectures are going to be conducted in the future and select the most interesting for you.

Utilizing your iPad or other devices enables you to take notes during a lecture. Moreover, after a discourse is completed, you will have the opportunity to communicate with a lecturer individually and ask for a professional recommendation.

Conclusion

To sum up, we can say that not only innovative technologies exist to get more information about the plant world. Having an app is useful but also there is no need to forget about usual ways of acquiring knowledge.

Thus, aside from the mentioned tips for upping your lore about the flora, you can make use of various online resources, YouTube videos, pieces of advice from your friends or family members, educational films, directory, etc.

Biogas Prospects in Rural Areas: Perspectives

Biogas, sometimes called renewable natural gas, could be part of the solution for providing people in rural areas with reliable, clean and cheap energy. In fact, it could provide various benefits beyond clean fuel as well, including improved sanitation, health and environmental sustainability.

What is Biogas?

Biogas is the high calorific value gas produced by anaerobic decomposition of organic wastes. Biogas can come from a variety of sources including organic fraction of MSW, animal wastes, poultry litter, crop residues, food waste, sewage and organic industrial effluents. Biogas can be used to produce electricity, for heating, for lighting and to power vehicles.

Using manure for energy might seem unappealing, but you don’t burn the organic matter directly. Instead, you burn the methane gas it produces, which is odorless and clean burning.

Biogas Prospects in Rural Areas

Biogas finds wide application in all parts of the world, but it could be especially useful to developing countries, especially in rural areas. People that live in these places likely already use a form of biomass energy — burning wood. Using wood fires for heat, light and cooking releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

The smoke they release also has harmful health impacts, particularly when used indoors. You also need a lot to burn a lot of wood when it’s your primary energy source. Collecting this wood is a time-consuming and sometimes difficult as well as dangerous task.

Many of these same communities that rely on wood fires, however, also have an abundant supply of another fuel source. They just need the tools to capture and use it. Many of these have a lot of dung from livestock and lack sanitation equipment. This lack of sanitation creates health hazards.

Turning that waste into biogas could solve both the energy problem and the sanitation problem. Creating a biogas system for a rural home is much simpler than building other types of systems. It requires an airtight pit lined and covered with concrete and a way to feed waste from animals and latrines into the pit. Because the pit is sealed, the waste will decompose quickly, releasing methane.

This methane flows through a PCV pipe to the home where you can turn it on and light on when you need to use it. This system also produces manure that is free of pathogens, which farmers can use as fertilizer.

A similar but larger setup using rural small town business idea can provide similar benefits for urban areas in developing countries and elsewhere.

Benefits of Biogas for Rural Areas

Anaerobic digestion systems are beneficial to developing countries because they are low-cost compared to other technologies, low-tech, low-maintenance and safe. They provide reliable fuel as well as improved public health and sanitation. Also, they save people the labor of collecting large amounts of firewood, freeing them up to do other activities. Thus, biomass-based energy systems can help in rural development.

Biogas for rural areas also has environmental benefits. It reduces the need to burn wood fires, which helps to slow deforestation and eliminates the emissions those fires would have produced. On average, a single home biogas system can replace approximately 4.5 tons of firewood annually and eliminate the associated four tons of annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Biogas is also a clean, renewable energy source and reduces the need for fossil fuels. Chemically, biogas is the same as natural gas. Biogas, however, is a renewable fuel source, while natural gas is a fossil fuel. The methane in organic wastes would release into the atmosphere through natural processes if left alone, while the greenhouse gases in natural gas would stay trapped underground. Using biogas as a fuel source reduces the amount of methane released by matter decomposing out in the open.

What Can We Do?

Although biogas systems cost less than some other technologies, affording them is often still a challenge for low-income families in developing countries, especially in villages. Many of these families need financial and technical assistance to build them. Both governments and non-governmental organizations can step in to help in this area.

Once people do have biogas systems in place though, with minimal maintenance of the system, they can live healthier, more comfortable lives, while also reducing their impacts on the environment.