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#526 2018-07-08 17:41:27

From: Chicago
Registered: 2015-12-14
Posts: 230

Re: Crops

louis wrote:

I'm not arguing for an extra 2.5 billion people but this Malthusian statement "This overconsumption isn't sustainable. " needs to be challenged. There are huge areas across the planet - Africa in particular - where agricultural efficiency could be vastly increased... I mean by more than 100%.  There is a bit of a zero sum game going on between humans and the rest of the biosphere, but I have no doubt we could feed another 2.5 billiion if the proper arrangements are put in place.

I couldn't agree more. I read somewhere that there's more than enough food for everyone on Earth right now, with hunger merely as a result of distributional woes. I do agree that overconsumption individually is really bad in that it leads to obesity and its associated health problems, but we as a society are in no imminent danger of running out of food nor have we been since the Green Revolution of the 1960s.

As for chemosynthesis brought up earlier in this thread, it did predate photosynthesis by millions to hundreds of millions of years. The main issue with it is that oxygenic photosynthesis is the most energetically-favored form of autotrophy (organic Carbon production), though in dark areas that doesn't matter as much. I'm not sure whether chemosynthesizers are aerotolerant (i.e., can survive in an atmosphere with significant Oxygen), but if they aren't that would also be an issue.

The Earth is the cradle of the mind, but one cannot live in a cradle forever. -Paraphrased from Tsiolkovsky


#527 2018-07-08 17:57:43

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,345

Re: Crops


CO + H20

Or CH4 + O2 "Methane Seep".

The first type of organism to take advantage of this deep-sea energy source is bacteria.[3] Aggregating into bacterial mats at cold seeps, these bacteria metabolize methane and hydrogen sulfide (another gas that emerges from seeps) for energy.[3] This process of obtaining energy from chemicals is known as chemosynthesis.[3]

A mussel bed at the edge of the brine pool
During this initial stage, when methane is relatively abundant, dense mussel beds also form near the cold seep.[3] Mostly composed of species in the genus Bathymodiolus, these mussels do not directly consume food.[3] Instead, they are nourished by symbiotic bacteria that also produce energy from methane, similar to their relatives that form mats.[3] Chemosynthetic bivalves are prominent constituents of the fauna of cold seeps and are represented in that setting by five families: Solemyidae, Lucinidae, Vesicomyidae, Thyasiridae and Mytilidae.[5]
This microbial activity produces calcium carbonate, which is deposited on the seafloor and forms a layer of rock.

Mushrooms that eat oil might be considered involved in Chemosynthesis.  And I presume that they breath Oxygen to do so. … ms-eat-oil

But, at this site, there are forbidden subjects such as Chemosynthesis, Mushrooms, and some other things.  Typically I get replies that are dismissive, and incoherent, and seem to try to discourage discussion.

It is strange.

Last edited by Void (2018-07-08 18:01:37)

I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.


#528 2018-07-08 18:51:11

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 12,510

Re: Crops

Mushrooms and greenhouse are not really a good fit but after we have the right feed stock then its one that is very specific for the types trying to be raised.

Environment for Mushroom Growth

Mushrooms are a type of fungus that grows by feeding off of decaying tree bark or other materials. Unlike plants, mushrooms do not contain chlorophyll and do not require sunlight to grow. Whether mushrooms grow indoors or in the wild, they have certain light, water, heat and growing-medium requirements to thrive and produce their fruit. Some mushroom varieties are safe for human consumption, while others are not. Commercially grown mushrooms are a safe choice for those who do not know how to identify edible mushrooms in the wild. … m-farming/


The six steps of mushroom farming:
Phase I

1. Composting

Phase II

2. Finish Composting
3. Spawning
4. Casing
5. Pinning
6. Cropping

Composting what is the initial problem for mars as much as having soil for them to be grown in.

Just a few ways to make use of them once we can grow them....





#529 2018-07-08 19:39:21

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 2,345

Re: Crops

Very sporting Spacenut.

I did specify a family of greenhouse methods that were a bit unusual, but that was only to illustrate that the crops desired might be facilitated by those unusual methods.

If we could ferment organic materials from Carbon Monoxide in the presence of water as the Oxidizer, we might create biofuels and biomass.
The Biomass can be fed to aquatic animals, aquatic animal poo can be fed to mushrooms.  Mushrooms can feed CO2 to potato plants.  Potato plants can feed O2 to Mushrooms.  If oils could be synthesized that also could be fed to Mushrooms.  I would prefer less toxic types of oils, but they would be excellent to store, for the time of a dust storm.

Food from Crops.

Lets start with Moxie (I am an idea thief, but I do try to make payments back). … Experiment

The main objective of this experiment is to produce molecular oxygen (O2) from the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) present in the atmosphere at 96%.[1][8] Scientists will record the efficiency of the O2 production rate, and the resulting oxygen and carbon monoxide will be vented out after measurements are done.
To achieve this objective, the MOXIE instrument has a goal of producing 22 g of oxygen (O2) per hour with >99.6% purity during 50 sols (Martian days).[1][3][9]
NASA officials stated that if MOXIE worked efficiently, they could land a 100 times larger MOXIE-based instrument on Mars, along with a radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Over the course of some years the generator would power the system, which would produce up to two kilograms of oxygen per hour,[10] and fill an oxygen reservoir that could be used for a sample return mission,[11] or for when astronauts arrive sometime in the 2030s.[3][12] The stored oxygen could be used for life support, and can also be used as rocket propellant oxidizer to power their return trip to Earth.[13][14] High purity is crucial as future astronauts will breathe it.[15] N
2 and Ar are not separated from feed, but vented with carbon monoxide CO. The CO, a byproduct of the reaction, may also be collected and used directly as propellant[16] or converted to methane (CH4) for use as propellant.[2][17]

And then ferment some of the CO into a biofuel, and of course the microbes are biomass as well. … 131742.htm

Cornell University biological engineers have deciphered the cellular strategy to make the biofuel ethanol, using an anaerobic microbe feeding on carbon monoxide -- a common industrial waste gas.

If I have understood correctly these organisms use Carbon Monoxide and H20 to ferment ethanol.

I don't so much want drunk humans or Mushrooms, so I would prefer to make something like a vegetable oil to feed the Mushrooms, but lets not be fussy just yet.  Perhaps some microorganism would make themselves only, and so directly be food for humans, or food for Mushrooms.


We then have Moxie, and if somehow we can learn to extract the tiny amount of CO dissolved in the Martian atmosphere, we have that as well.

If you want to build soils, then farm fish, and feed them the microbes, they will poo, that will go into the bottom soil.  Remove that, add it to soil along with Oil and perhaps plant waste, add Mushrooms, and I bet they will make that soil much more suitable.  And you get the Mushrooms for a crop.  Dust storms won't stop you from this type of farming if you have the CO, Oil, and Oxygen.

Genetic engineering should make it possible to increase the nutrition value of Mushrooms.


Storing O2 could be a problem.  You could store it as a weak solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and water???  That in a tank under a lake @ hydrostatic pressurization???

You could store Liquid Carbon Monoxide on the surface so that if it leaks it is relatively safe (CO being extremely poisonous to us).

Or if you ferment it into a liquid fuel, you can store it in a tank, again at the bottom of a created lake at hydrostatic pressurization???


The symbiosis of Potatoes and Mushrooms, are a speculative notion I have had, where they would be planted in the same terrarium.  These could be small size, or so big as to require a fork lift.

They would be pressurized canisters, placed into the sunlight.  In this case we might entertain a coating of wax with Tholin in it to block U.V.???

In order for them to have frost protection overnight, the terrariums would be embedded into a liquid pool, or alternately have bags of water packed around them.  The phase change of the water would ensure that the interiors of the terrariums would be frost free, if it is done correctly.

Why terrariums?  Well you could mass produce them.  If one depressurizes or fails in another way, the others are likely to be OK.

Could you make big ones that humans could be in?  Well yes, that would be a Greenhouse.  If it leaks you loose everything.

I think that is enough for tonight.

Oh by the way, your mars cart could burn CO, and O2.


Last edited by Void (2018-07-08 20:02:15)

I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.


#530 2018-07-29 10:23:53

Registered: 2014-07-07
Posts: 126

Re: Crops

Considering much phosphate and potassium fertilizers on Earth are mined, could any chemical elements be mined from any parts of Mercury, Venus, near-Earth and near-planet objects, the Moon, Phobos and Deimos and used on Mars? These mining processes can be crossed over with the terraforming effort of Venus, the Moon and other moons of other planets in the solar system.

In short, where can human find phosphorus? Or shall be make it by transmutation and recovery of elements in nuclear fission and/or fusion waste?


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