Qatar and Norway have teamed up to produce the first pilot plant that can sustainably produce crops, electricity, biofuels and even plants for re-vegetation efforts in a desert environment.http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/01/30/1515871/sahara-f...How Electricity, Water And Food Could Be Produced In Desert Areas With Minimal Ecological Footprint<snip>Standard solar power and concentrated solar power: Arrays of mirrors create concentrated solar power by aiming sunlight to superheat seawater into steam. That steam can then drive turbines to create electricity, and the heated seawater is then used throughout the greenhouse system. Additional sustainable electricity is generated from arrays of standard solar photovoltaic panels.Saltwater for fresh water and cool air for greenhouses: Hot desert air is pulled through a flow of seawater as it enters the greenhouses. This both cools and humidifies the air, creating optimal growing conditions for the agricultural crops within. At the far end of the greenhouse, the air is heated by flows of sun-heated seawater and then encounters pipes of cooled seawater, which causes the humidity to condense into fresh water that is then used for crop irrigation.Outdoor vegetation: Outside the greenhouses, the seawater passes through further evaporators to create humidity for vegetation sheltered outdoors. These include trees for desert reforestation, local vegetation, various forms of crops and livestock feed, and specific forms of plants naturally adapted to salt water which serve as feedstocks for bioenergy production and other uses. At the end, remaining seawater is collected into evaporation pools for the production of salt.Algae biofuel production: Lab-grown algae, which have been shown to generate up to 30 times more biofuel per acre than other plants, are grown in saltwater pools to create biofuels without taking up agricultural land or crops that double as food for humans.
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