POWER-FOR-RESTORATION IS NOW ALSO PART OF GROWING ALLIANCES of
ORGANIZATIONS UTILIZING INVASIVE PLANTS for ENERGY/PRODUCTS, WATER RETENTION, and REMEDIATION - - WHILE RESTORING NATIVE ECOSYSTEMS and MARGINAL LANDS
Pilot:Mentor Marsh State Nature Preserve, Ohio
Phragmites australis - anaerobic digestion
Through this website, our local/international collaborative, led by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, is sharing:
- how to use invasive plants (waste biomass) to offset fossil fuels
- other methods that reduce ecosystem restoration costs
- lessons learned about the sustainability of various biomass products
Cultivation of biomass crops can impact land and water. The harvest (removal) of invasive "standing crops" benefits land and water - and biodiversity. That is, we generate green power while restoring native ecosystems, versus degrading them.
Worldwide, the cost of invasives management is estimated to be billions of dollars annually. Developing a market for this biomass, provides an opportunity to offset restoration costs greatly, and to expand local green infrastructure / local green economies - in the Lake Erie basin, the Great Lakes - and globallly.
Creating this market will not motivate others to cultivate invasive plants. The high cost of shipping and land negates any profit incentive. Only those motivated by restoration will reap benefits.
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In our Mentor Marsh pilot, we are utilizing Phragmites australis for power via anaerobic digestion, creating a bio-gas that is a drop-in replacement for natural gas from hydraulic fracturing - both for utility power and fuel.
UPDATE 2023: This site is available as a historical record, not to encourage biomass power as a largescale sustainable answer.
The collaborative project was intended to test what would be the most sustainable form of biofuel, if there was to be any: Harvesting invasive plants from a wetland, to restore it, while using this "plant waste" in anaerobic digestion to produce a biogas that would be a drop-in replacement for "fracked" natural gas.
Even this project resulted in a large canbon footprint. Biomass is best left on-site vs removal - with the most salient reason being shipping of heavy material. Much more detail is available by contacting Linda Sekura, the project lead, and website developer.