Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Have you heard of halophytes?

Interesting article about salt water plants which produce more oil than sunflowers.

"After taking into account environmental protections and other factors, Glenn’s report estimates that 480,000 square miles of unused land around the world could be used to grow a special set of salt-tolerant plants — halophytes. Glenn’s team calculated that this could produce 1.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent per year. That’s 35 percent of the United States’ liquid fuel needs.

Halophytes thrive in saltwater. While salt damages most plants, these salt-loving plants actually use the saltwater to draw in fresh water. In essence, they make themselves saltier than the surrounding water, which, through osmosis, drives fresh water into the plant."

Read the full article here. “Food vs. Fuel: Saltwater Crops May Be Key to Solving Earth’s Land Crunch” (Wired 2008)

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