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Sharing knowledge to build rich, sustainable lives.

Appropedia is for collaborative solutions
in sustainability, appropriate technology, poverty reduction, and permaculture.

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To catch the rain cover.png You made it happen! Get a paperback on Amazon or digitally at http://www.tocatchtherain.org.


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Fixed dome digester
Biogas and liquid biofuels. Biomass residues can also be converted into various non-solid fuel forms. These fuels are referred to as biogas and liquid biofuels. The aim of this conversion process is to improve the quality, specific energy content, transportability, etc., of the raw biomass source or to capture gases which are naturally produced as biomass is micro biologically degraded or when biomass is partially combusted. Biogas is a well-established fuel for cooking and lighting in a number of countries, whilst a major motivating factor in the development of liquid biofuels has been the drive to replace petroleum fuels. In this fact sheet we will be looking at some of these fuels, their applications and the conversion technologies used to derive them.

In Europe and the United States, as well as in several developing countries, there is a move toward cultivating energy crops specifically for the production of biomass as a fuel. The potential for energy production from biomass throughout the world is enormous and as fossil-based fuels become scarcer and more expensive, as carbon emission levels are becoming of greater concern and as people realise the benefits of developing integrated energy supply options, then biomass could begin to realise its full potential as an energy source.

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Asthma inhaler spacers

Spacer for asthma medications made from a 500cc plastic bottle.

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Community action news

Römerberg houses on the west side.jpg
Feb 14 Germany: German cities to trial free public transport to cut pollution [1]

Feb 13 Trees, woodland and forest: A eureka moment for the planet: we’re finally planting trees again [2]

Feb 12 Climate news 2018: Talking climate, taking action – a quest for belonging [3]

Feb 12 Sharing news: 11 core principles for Sharing Cities [4]

Feb 11 How do you build a healthy city? Copenhagen reveals its secrets [5]

Read More...


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Rachel Carson
The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe around us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.

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Hot topics / In the news

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Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker
In physics, energy is an indirectly observed quantity. It is often understood as the ability a physical system has to do work on other physical systems. Since work is defined as a force acting through a distance (a length of space), energy is always equivalent to the ability to exert pulls or pushes against the basic forces of nature, along a path of a certain length.

Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable energy sources are most often regarded as including all renewable energy sources, such as hydroelectricity, solar energy and power, wind power, wave power, geothermal energy and power, biomass fuel and energy, and tidal power. It usually also includes technologies that improve energy efficiency.

While many renewable energy projects are large-scale, renewable technologies are also suited to rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development. As of 2011, small solar photovoltaic (PV) systems provide electricity to a few million households, and micro-hydro configured into mini-grids serves many more. Over 44 million households use biogas made in household-scale digesters for lighting and/or cooking, and more than 166 million households rely on a new generation of more-efficient biomass cookstoves.

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology Projects: Below are selected service learning projects from Engr305 Appropriate Technology, which is a course on appropriate technology at Humboldt State University taught by instructor Lonny Grafman.

Papasan Chair Solar Cooker

A solar cooker and chair when not in use  
Parabolic basket and tin can solar cooker

Solar cooker out of local invasive species and waste materials  
Plastering CCAT Earthbag Terrace

A sturdy, natural plaster covering to the EarthBag gardening terrace being built in front of CCAT  
Rocket stove biomass charcoal

Use of biomass waste charcoal briquettes for rocket stove  
Rowan's portable pedal power generator

A pedal power generator  
Small greenhouse rainwater catchment

A rainwater catchment system for a greenhouse  
Solar Charged Lawnmower

An electric lawnmower that utilizes solar power as an energy source  
Solar heating box

A passive solar heating box  
Sunbrella

An umbrella in the rain, a solar cooker in the Sun  
Sunny Brae Middle School Garden

A garden at Sunny Brae Middle School  
Sunny Brae rainwater catchment system

A residential rainwater catchment system  
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