Wind Power and Seawater, Save Corn from Ethanol Production: Marine Resources Recovery and Offshore Integrated Plant for Sodium Fuel, Fresh Water, Ethanol, Vegetable, and Fish Production with Wind Energy and Seawater

By Murahara, Masataka | Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table, Summer 2008 | Go to article overview

Wind Power and Seawater, Save Corn from Ethanol Production: Marine Resources Recovery and Offshore Integrated Plant for Sodium Fuel, Fresh Water, Ethanol, Vegetable, and Fish Production with Wind Energy and Seawater


Murahara, Masataka, Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table


Introduction

The major cause of global warming is fossil fuel. It is oil, among the fuels, that most easily generates energy. Life in society fails if either of energy and food is lacking; therefore, we heavily reply on oil. When the price of oil soars, it is not only the price of gasoline to rise but also those of tuna, tomatoes, bread, air tickets, butter, pork, and beef. President Bush of the United States of America mapped out their course of making corn a raw material for fuel ethanol and decreasing the gasoline consumption by 20% in ten years in the autumn of 2006 (Baker and Zahniser, 2006). The corn price rose as soon as it was announced, and the act of the corn/ethanol special procurements kicked off in the United States; which triggered acceleration of converting soybean fields to corn fields, and the price of land became doubled as much as ten years ago (Kirchhoff, 2007). The plan originally made to reduce the oil dependency changed agriculture to speculative ventures, and the abrupt change in cultivated crops is destroying the ecosystems that have been kept to date. The corn producing countries can stop the price rise of oil, and its economic effect is enormous (Patzek, 2004); however, the importing countries suffer from the repercussions directly and fall into the difficulty of obtaining food. As a matter of fact, even if ethanol fuel is produced from corn, the oil dominance cannot be changed fundamentally by merely mixing gasoline with the ethanol (Murahara and Seki, 2007). Is there any method of getting rid of the fossil fuel age (the oil age) without fueling food crisis? The reserve production ratio of fossil fuel is limited (Dresselhaus and Thomas, 2001): 41 years for oil, 67 years for natural gas, and 165 years for coal. Nuclear power generation is reviewed as a fuel that does not release C[O.sub.2], but uranium is also short, 85 years, in reserve production ratio. Fuel resources whose depletion are worried about and whose mining places are unevenly distributed. The depletion and uneven distribution of the fuel resources create a resource power, and it rules the world economy; which destroys the economic balance and causes fuel and food crisis. Is there any energy resource that is evenly distributed and is not depleted?

Seawater is distributed evenly in the world, and it contains water most and sodium second. If the seawater gathered then and there is electrolyzed by offshore wind power generation to produce sodium metal, and the sodium is transported to a power consumption place on land and made to react with water, the hydrogen generated can be supplied as electric power to a thermal power station, and the sodium hydroxide, a by-product, supplied as a raw material to the soda industry for almost nothing. There is no fuel except sodium that discharges neither CO2 nor radioactivity and is depletion-free (Murahara and Seki, 2007). By the offshore electrolysis, fresh water, magnesium, calcium, hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, hydrogen, chlorine, and oxygen are produced as by-products; by using the surplus power, rare metals are also collected from the hydrothermal deposits or the manganese crusts lying at the bottom of the sea. Moreover, the "Offshore Integrated Manufacturing Plant" produces fuel ethanol, vegetable, and fish by utilizing these chemicals of by-products; which is considered to solve the problems of energy and food crisis simultaneously, to prevent the artificial collapse in prices for corn and energy, and to make the world environmentally friendly with renewable energy and without resources wars that can ensure stable supplies of water, agricultural and marine food, energy, and mineral resources, while maintaining the form of the modern industry (Murahara and Seki, 2007). In this paper, the plan of having wind power and seawater be the support and driving force of this task is described.

Offshore On-Site Integrated Manufacturing Plant

The offshore integrated manufacturing plant is located on the raw material called "seawater" and is equipped with a power station for renewable energy resources such as wind, ocean current, and the sun; which has an electrolysis factory, ethanol factory, vegetable farm, and fish-raising farm that produce fuel, fresh water, chemicals, vegetables, and fish. …

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