NSTI Nanotech 2009

Natural Solutions to Energy Sustainability through Common Botanical Application

P.G. Korth
Water Assurance Technology Energy Resources, US

Keywords: biofuels, fuel ethanol, remediation, fiber


Natural solutions to multiple environmental concerns are addressed through common botanical application of Typha latifolia grown as a flooded field crop. Native plants sometimes referred to as ‘weeds’ offer a unique opportunity to benefit adaptable characteristics without chemical intervention, and minimal seeding thereby reducing cost associated with ordinary agricultural practices. Bringing robust remediators such as the Typha group of indigenous cattails found the world over into beneficial action offers a way to support stewardship, new resource development, and profitability in a down economy. With a rich resource of concentrated starch in the rhizomes, cattail exemplifies an ideal fuel ethanol feedstock. Value-added benefits become an economic stimulus for local and extended markets. Cattail stalk processing is evaluated as a quality fiber and pulp resource similar to the use of sugar cane pulp and fiber. This processing technology preserves the structural integrity of the rind to retain fiber feature. The soil amelioration project combines with a crop development portion of the of overall Typha latifolia growth cycle. The application of wastewater remediation returns a cleaner water into small flows while addressing nitrogen levels and sequestering CO2. Project participants include specialists from industry, academia and the US Forest Service with immense community support.
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