Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cane Power

Last night, the 7.30 Report had a nice piece on the renewable energy we can get from sugar cane (or at least the waste by-product).

Those of us who grew up in a sugarcane region remember the harvest-time ritual of farmers setting fire to their fields (to remove the 'trash' material) and nearby residents hurriedly bringing in the washing before it got covered in ash.

Well it seems those days are over, as that material is now burnt in power stations to produce electricity. Even though it is burnt (and carbon dioxide is produced) it is classed as renewable because the same amount of carbon dioxide is absorbed by next season's crop - and the cycle continues.

Aside from the benefits to the environment (and clothes!) it also provides financial assistance to farmers, as they sell their waste to the power station.

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