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Windmillprint-crop.jpg Yes it is possible to print a windmill with a 3D printer for a fraction of the cost of manufacturing one conventionaly. Learn more about open-source 3-D printing of open source appropriate technology for sustainable development.


Homemade ethanol still to compare ethanol from local organic sugar beets and from imported refined cane sugar
Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar. The purpose of my project is to determine the cost inputs and energy outputs of small scale ethanol production from local and conventional sources. I decided to use local grown organic sugar beets farmed with bio-fueled agricultural equipment. In comparison to the costs of a local source, I also used conventional sugar transported from Mexico and sold at a local restaurant supply company. In addition, I made Amal's ethanol still to do the testing.

Ethanol is a grain alcohol that can be used as fuel in most four cycle spark ignition engines. The process of making ethanol begins by extracting the sugars from a sugar crop such as sugar beets, or converting the starches of crops such as corn or potatoes to sugars. Crops used for ethanol production are titled "feed stocks". Starch and sugar crops both have their benefits depending on the region that they are produced in. The benefit of sugar crops is that they require less energy input since no starches need to be converted. The benefit of corn is that it can store much longer than sugar beets before rotting. I am using sugar beets since they were the most appropriate crop for the season and region. The sugars are extracted by juicing the beets and boiling with water. Now the solution is called "mash" and it can be fermented and then distilled to extract the ethanol.

WaterPod Rocket Stove

The WaterPod's only cooking appliance for the entire summer voyage. Discovery News says, "If rising ocean levels force us to figure out how to float, it might not be an entirely bad thing. Especially if the food tastes like this."

Wangari Maathai in 2006
As long as there is no trust and confidence that there will be justice and fairness in resource distribution, political positioning will remain more important than service.

Wangari Maathai W, environmental activist, first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004
Man working in a rice field.
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals. The substance is ingested by an organism and assimilated by the organism's cells in an effort to produce energy, maintain life, and/or stimulate growth. Historically, people secured food through two methods: hunting and gathering, and agriculture.

Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture).

Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”

Related portal: Permaculture
edit  watch  Selected service learning Projects gallery (refresh)

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.

Chris's ENGR305 Solar Food Dehydrator

A hybrid, solar food dehydrator  
Compressed earth brick press

An exploration of compressed earth bricks  
Deidre's vertical vegetable garden

Solar powered vertical vegetable garden  
Devan's vertical axis wind turbine

Experimental Vertical Axis Wind Turbine  
Engr305 peanut sheller project

Peanut sheller made from clay and newspaper  
Engr305 pulser pump

A working model of a Pulser pump  
Engr 305 solar learning station

Instructional Solar Learning Station  
ENGR305 windbelt

Testing new materials for prototype windbelts  
Ethanol from organic sugar beets versus refined cane sugar

Determining the cost inputs and energy outputs of small scale ethanol production  

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