Examining Minerals Present in Biomass

Image: © Ashley Cooper/Corbis

Image: © Ashley Cooper/Corbis

As the search for low carbon fuels continues, biomass has become increasingly more attractive to various industries. Biotechnology researchers are therefore looking into pyrolysis — gasification and combustion methods that would take regular organic material and convert it into a high-yield energy source. Several substances in ash chemistry influence corrosion and slag creation after combustion has occurred. Researchers are also looking into this to see if anything can be done to increase the amount of thermal energy that industries can get out of these fuels. Read More →

Humanism Versus the Machine Culture

Genetically modified crops have often been controversial. On one hand, they promise to feed an ever-growing population. On the other hand, many people see them as an example of the way that applied science is tampering with natural organisms. In the 1990s, protesters in the United Kingdom pulled genetically modified plant matter straight out of the ground.

As humanity faces major issues like starvation and climate change, these solutions appear necessary. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone will accept them with the same fervor. In fact, pundits might expect these types of protests to grow in number. As society becomes more artificial, reactionary humanism could grow in numbers.

Ironically enough, secular humanism ushered in rational thinking. Many of the scientific advances people take for granted today were created from a tradition of rational thought. However, the same forces that pushed to weaken certain ethical guidelines might very well stand up now that scientific discoveries are wreaking new havoc upon humanity.

Even humanists who don’t care to uphold traditions still feel that human beings should be put before anything else. That means that the same people who pushed for the advancement of engineering might stand in the way of the next level of human evolution. It will certainly be an interesting fight.