Envisioning a convivial post-corporate world requires a diversity of new/old concepts, policies, technologies, best practices, etc. that are imaginable or currently available for decentralized implementation.

This blog is intended to collate promising contributions to this vision from experts in many fields.

Participants are requested to classify each of their posts with one or more of the Category Labels (listed here).

October 20, 2012

What goes around comes around: gas from air

Encouraging breakthrough on several fronts; see also cute update at end: "Company that made petrol from air 'shudders' at prospect of Big Oil investment" - Ed.

Pioneering scientists turn fresh air into petrol
in massive boost in fight against energy crisis

Steve Connor
The Independent
19 October 2012

A small British company has produced the first "petrol from air" using a revolutionary technology that promises to solve the energy crisis as well as helping to curb global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Air Fuel Synthesis in Stockton-on-Tees has produced five litres of petrol since August when it switched on a small refinery that manufactures gasoline from carbon dioxide and water vapour.

The company hopes that within two years it will build a larger, commercial-scale plant capable of producing a ton of petrol a day. It also plans to produce green aviation fuel to make airline travel more carbon-neutral.

Tim Fox, head of energy and the environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, said: "It sounds too good to be true, but it is true. They are doing it and I've been up there myself and seen it. The innovation is that they have made it happen as a process. It's a small pilot plant capturing air and extracting CO2 from it based on well known principles. It uses well-known and well-established components but what is exciting is that they have put the whole thing together and shown that it can work."

October 11, 2012

New High Efficiency Home Energy Systems

We include this piece to indicate the exciting technical creativity bubbling in the youthful reaches of the engineering world and to introduce the excellent solarnovus.com solar power info website. Both bear watching as fertile sources of post-corporate energy innovations and news of their fate. - Ed.
Hybrid System Makes Rooftop Hydrogen from Sunlight
by Nancy Lamontagne
Solar Novus Today
10 August 2011 

Duke University engineer Nico Hotz has proposed and analyzed a hybrid system in which sunlight heats a mixture of water and methanol in a maze of tubes on a rooftop. After two catalytic reactions, the system produces hydrogen that can be stored and used on demand in fuel cells.

A schematic of the hybrid system. Credit: Nico Hotz. A schematic of the hybrid system. Credit: Nico Hotz. The hybrid device contains series of copper tubes coated with a thin layer of aluminum and aluminum oxide and partly filled with catalytic nanoparticles. A combination of water and methanol flows through the vacuum-sealed tubes.

"This set-up allows up to 95% of the sunlight to be absorbed with very little being lost as heat to the surroundings," Hotz said. "This is crucial because it permits us to achieve temperatures of well over 200 ºC within the tubes. By comparison, a standard solar collector can only heat water between 60 and 70 ºC."
Once the evaporated liquid achieves a high enough temperature, tiny amounts of a catalyst are added.

The combination of high temperature and catalysts produces hydrogen very efficiently, Hotz said. The hydrogen can be immediately directed to a fuel cell to provide electricity to a building during the day, or compressed and stored in a tank to provide power later.

October 09, 2012

The Forbidden Education

La Educación Prohibida is a remarkable 145 min Latin American doc on the modern educational enterprise. Filmed in 15 countries with hundreds of collaborators, it tracks the hijacking of schooling to serve the corporate state, analyzes its evolutionary & psycho-social toll, and outlines a series of paths to liberation for students, teachers and the wider world. This is a conversation the US, Japan and other industrial nations desperately need to be having, and the fact over 5 million people have viewed it since August on various sites gives hope we finally will. - Ed.

Legal downloadable copy here.