towards a post-scarcity society

Posts Tagged ‘atlanta’

LuciaStoves and Dual-Power Steam GenSets

In atlanta, Open Development, Tools on May 6, 2010 at 12:25 am

LuciaStoves are dual-use biomass gasification stoves that have 96% combustion efficiency. 10 litres of wood pellets produce only 50 milliliters of ash… truly. When running in char mode the stoves produce biochar which is the only feasible method of carbon sequestration currently available. Biochar from millions of households using these simple stoves could reduce emissions through avoiding emissions from inefficient stoves and burying biochar in soil as a soil amendment by 40 million tons a year. Or about the amount of emissions from a small first world country such as Ireland.

My buddy Iuval and I are building stoves like these for home use in Atlanta and the Southeast with ArkFab Labs.

Gasifiers like this can also be used to run steam powered gensets such as this one from Joe Carruth.

Things get interesting at 4:00, take a look, this video has 100k views for a good reason. These technologies have the power to free people from their dependency on fossil fuels and centralized energy conglomerates.

Advertisements

There is something wrong with this picture

In atlanta, equity on March 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm

ArkFab Innovation Foundation

In atlanta, Open Development on February 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

We now live in a complex world. Over the past 200 years globalization has
increased our interconnectedness while industrialization has increased our interdependencies. The global division of labor between and within nations has created
a diversity of economic and social roles for humanity never before seen and by
compelling us to leave our natural habitats the city now claims the majority of
Homo sapiens. Humans and the environments we fundamentally rely on for our
survival are now struggling to keep up and adapt to the difficult implications of
these changes.

Sustainable technologies offer an opportunity to aid the transition towards
more resilient communities but physical hardware alone is not sufficient. Successful
adoption, operation and maintenance of sustainable technologies in at-risk
communities requires both the physical hardware and the local competences of
individual and social capacity, knowledge and know-how.1 Providing these
communities economic and social access to the technologies they need to improve
their resilience is arguably the most critical problem in the field of sustainable
development. We must renovate or establish organizations that better coordinate
and leverage the innovative, entrepreneurial and adaptive power of all individuals
especially those individuals who are most at risk.

The ArkFab Innovation Foundation harnesses an emerging global network of collaborative expertise and open source sustainable technologies development to provide local entrepreneurs access to the tools and resources they need to rapidly adapt their communities to continuously shifting landscapes of risk in our complex society. The Foundation’s community innovation system stimulates commons-based peer production in at-risk communities with cost effective local ArkFab Innovation Centers. These community innovation centers are comprised of

  • ArkFab Power, a locally sourced carbon-negative power generation system
  • ArkFab Lab, a digital flexible fabrication prototyping, manufacturing and cloud supercomputing facility and the
  • ArkFab Endowment, a revolving loan fund that provides mesofinance start-up capital for new for-profit environmental enterprise while funneling incoming returns on investment towards research and development grants, educational and vocational programming, and local not-for profit social enterprise

By building a global network of distributed ArkFab Innovation Centers that provide access to the resources potential entrepreneurs and innovators need we create a system of community innovation that will generate locally relevant and culturally and economically appropriate technological and business. The ArkFab Innovation Centers focus primarily on developing local knowledge and financial independence with programming with our local partners that encourages entrepreneurship, small business development, cutting-edge vocational training, and high-tech infrastructure development for the community. For example, we work with local technical colleges to provide vocational training in small-scale flexible digital fabrication and design and small ecological manufacturing business management.

See the full executive summary at Scribd: ArkFab Innnovation Foundation Executive Summary

An ATL Community Algae PhotoBioreactor for Health, Climate and Soil!

In atlanta, Open Development on February 14, 2010 at 6:05 am

Post-industrial society is killing us slowly. We live in an environment of pervasive toxicity. Our primary line of defense in resisting the effects of mutagens and other physiological system disruptors is our diet. Eating fresh organic food provides our bodily systems with much needed complex biochemicals like polyphenols and other phytochemicals. These chemicals aid in the regulation of our bodies and our adaptive response to chemical stressors like chlorinated hydrocarbons and heavy metals.

Algae has been touted for many decades as a wonderfood because of both its nutritional and chemical makeup. Spirulina, for example, is thought to have been a food source for the Aztecs who made square cakes out of the algal mats they collected. Today, algae is still used as a food in Chad.

Haematococcus pluvialis is an algae species that is currently considered one of the most beneficial species for human health and nutrition. This species contains the highest naturally occuring concentration of the powerful antioxidant astaxanthin, up to 4% of biomass when grown under stressed conditions. This naturally occuring substance is considered in the scientific medical literature to be a photoprotectant in the skin and retina, an anti-inflammatory, contributor to the moderation of LDL and HDL cholesterol blood levels, anti-cancerous, anti-neurodegenerative, and immunomodulating. Considering these attributes, it is not surprising that Haematococcus pluvialis fetches ~$7,000 a kilogram retail.

Taking this into account, and the necessity of developing an open sourced algae photobioreactor design for the sequestration of carbon dioxide, the CDC slime expert, Catherine Armbruster, and myself are starting an open source algae photobioreactor project for human health and subsequent algae research into carbon sequestration and soil amendments.

Objective

Design, build, and operate an open source algae photobioreactor to produce, market and sell bulk food-grade Haematococcus pluvialis with a high biomass content of the medically significant carotenoid, astaxanthin.

Project Philosophy

This project is part of the international open source ecology movement to develop and diffuse disruptive technologies that can redefine both the social and ecological relations of production in our global economy. Inspired by successful organizations such as the New Alchemy Institute, Factor E Farm and ShipYard Labs this biotechnology project intends to function as the seed enterprise for funding an integrated peer to peer socio-ecology research institute and business incubator in Atlanta to aid the transition towards a socially and ecologically just world. All proceeds from the sale of Haematococcus pluvialis will go towards establishing the not for profit institute.

Our strain selection criteria is primarily based on the high-value of the dried and cracked algae Haematococcus pluvialus. However, this strain is particularly difficult to grow because of the need to control environmental parameters and the dual-stage growth process necessary to induce astaxanthin production within the algae. These added difficulties are the second criteria of our selection. Due to this strains’ difficult requirements the algae photobioreactor we engineer will be suitable for many other strain requirements and provide the opportunity for further research into algae-based products such as carbon sequestration and soil amendments.

Funding

A small-scale proof of concept prototype will be crowdfunded by local and international stakeholders with an interest in

  • our product
  • the establishment of the institute and
  • economic development, social justice and urban sustainability in Atlanta.
Funding for a full-scale facility will be bootstrapped from the sale of our product while we solicit donations to the institutes Open Development Fund endowment. The Institutes Open Development Fund, in turn, will provide the angel investment necessary to start-up the full-scale production facility. Information about where to donate will be provided after initial prototype designs and budgets are published. Further information and opportunities to collaborate can be found at the projects homepage at Freeside Atlanta hackspace and our OpenPario project management tool.