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Power from radioactive soil[edit]

Pyrite + water + radiation → hydrogen + hydrogen peroxide + sulfate. Some microbes in the real world live near terrestrial radiation sources and get their energy from the hydrogen and sulfate.[ref name="extreme_microbes"]"Extreme Microbes" (SWF). National Science Foundation, 2008-07-10. Accessed 2012-03-20.[/ref] This reaction is orders of magnitude slower than the reactions in sun-powered above-ground life because there aren't a lot of becquerels to go around. Has any science fiction mentioned the possibility of exploiting these sources for electric or other forms of power without fission? I tried looking it up on Google, but Fukushima dominated one query, another query had Google's near-synonym engine automatically transformed "power" into "power OR energy", bringing in tons of irrelevant sources about radiation being a form of energy, and a third query didn't trigger the synonym but still brought in too many references to fission reactors. --Tepples 12:05, 20 March 2012 (MST)

It took a lucky detour through Germany's plan to abandon fission power over the coming decade to answer my own question: wikipedia:Geothermal electricity. But I haven't read it in enough depth to determine whether this is enough to displace fossil and fissile sources. --Tepples 12:11, 20 March 2012 (MST)
Geothermal was generating more than one-tenth of electric power in the Philippines until Typhoon Haiyan tore up the power plants.[ref]Keith Bradsher. "Font of Natural Energy in the Philippines, Crippled by Nature". The New York Times, 2013-11-21. Via Slashdot.[/ref] Is that strong enough? --Tepples (talk) 23:22, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Food from vertical farms[edit]

Slashdot is running a story about a three-story vertical vegetable farm in Singapore, citing an article by Peter Murray on Singularity Hub. I'll have to see whether scouts report anything resembling this in the game world. --Tepples 20:20, 6 November 2012 (MST)


The ABE process It was abandoned in the real world half a century ago because of petroleum but has recently been rediscovered.[ref]Peter Fimrite. "Biofuel created by explosive technology". SFGate, 2013-01-13.[/ref] I'll have to see how the recommercialization of ABE plays out. --Tepples (talk) 19:08, 16 January 2013 (CST)

Pressure cooking algae[edit]

A Slashdot comment mentioned an algaculture development that puts algae soup in an extreme pressure cooker to simulate the conditions believed to have led to formation of crude oil in the first place.[ref]Christopher Helman. "Green Oil: Scientists Turn Algae Into Petroleum In 30 Minutes". Forbes, 2013-12-23. Accessed 2014-05-02.[/ref] --Tepples (talk) 13:17, 2 May 2014 (UTC)