Optional Extras

I’ve described in the last couple of blogs about the how we might make water and then how to grow plants in the desert. There are a few ideas that I thought might be able to add to the whole process, maybe increase its efficiency and scaling.

Barriers to Reuse

I greatly enjoyed going to a workshop organised by Uniprot on data reuse. It was nice to see again some faces that I have not seen for a while; also nice to get a mention from Alex Bateman on a paper that Michael Bell and I wrote quite a few years ago know. I hope I managed to contribute something useful, although I am sure I started to get incoherent toward 8pm, as my stomach told me I needed dinner and my brain told me it needed sofa time.

Making a Jungle

Having thought about how to make water in the desert, the next obvious question is what do with it all. Well, of course, there is no shortage of things you can with water, but the obvious thing would be to grow some plants.

Salty Desert

What would it take to make fresh water in the desert? Well, one solution would be a solar still; a very simple device, it is essentially some sort of greenhouse with water inside it. The water evaporates and then condenses either on the sloped glass which it will then run down or by pumping the air to a cool chamber stored underground.

Slow Flow Train

I was reading about the infinity train recently. This is a battery powered electric train that never needs recharging, at least not in normal operation. This sounds impossible, but in this case it works because the train is used in mining operations. The minerals are mined in the middle of Australia and then shipped to the coast; the point being that energy regenerated from the braking on the way to the coast, when the train is fully loaded, is used to charge the batteries to return the train to the mine when it is empty. It’s like a virtual counter-weight system.