ABOUT ME

T-cell ALL survivor since November 2008. Allogeneic stem cell transplant survivor since June 2010. Leukemia can be successfully treated and cured. I'm proof!
Welcome to my blog. Please navigate to this page to go to the beginning and read my story:
http://jdchasfaith.blogspot.com/2010/02/begin-blog.html or click on "I Beat Leukemia" above to read my latest post.

To browse my blog more easily scroll down to the "Blog Archive" at the bottom right of the page or click on any topic under "Labels"

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Statistics

The National Cancer Institute has updated diagnosis and survival statistics. There's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that the number of cases is increasing for some reason. The good news is that the number of deaths are decreasing at a steady rate. I'm not sure if these figures include patients who undergo a stem cell transplant. Go to this website for more information from the NCI: https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/alyl.html


Courtesy National Cancer Institute. Right-click and open in new window to enlarge image.












#Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia #Current Statistics #ALL #Survival Rates

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Exposure To Cosmic Radiation Could Cause Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

I just read the article below about cosmic rays and the exact type of leukemia I had. I'm beginning to wonder if that's how I got it. I know that Earth's atmosphere and magnetic field does NOT prevent all cosmic radiation from reaching the planet surface. It's possible that it did cause my leukemia. If so, then this is amazing because of the possibility that cosmic rays from some distant star, nebula, black hole, or even another galaxy millions of light years away (the distance light travels in one million years) could have affected me so profoundly.

http://sciencenewsjournal.com/new-study-shows-travel-mars-increases-risk-leukemia-humans/

#Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia #T Cell #Travel to Mars #Cosmic Radiation #Causes of Leukemia

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Florida Rails-To-Trails Supporter Hopeful For Massive Trail Network

Possible Future Rails-to-Trails Recreational Trail. Click to enlarge.




 Rails-To-Trails Guru Envisions Trail Between Gainesville and Leesburg Plus Huge Rails-To-Trails Loop In Central Florida



Barry Cavet is a die-hard Rails-to-Trails fan in Florida. He has ridden on every one that exists in the state. I am a fan, as well. I have ridden the West Orange Trail, The Cross-Seminole Trail, the Van Fleet State Trail, and the entire Withlacoochee State Trail. Now that I am cured of leukemia, I want to get back in to riding those trails.

"They're awesome. It's a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to get good exercise, and to ride where old train tracks helped Florida grow decades ago," he said.

Thousands of people enjoy these trails every year. They have proved to be money-makers, as well, contributing to several city and county economies. More trails are being planned for the future as Florida considers alternative modes of transportation for its ever-growing population. Planners are wanting to use abandoned railroad right-of-ways to build new trails. It's feasible because there are still many that have not been developed. "These railroads traveled through some of the most beautiful and scenic areas of the state," Cavet said. "They also have a significant historical background. Many of them carried famous passengers, goods, and cargo that helped develop the state over a century ago. This was before roads and highways existed. Just standing on these abandoned right-of-ways makes you feel that you've traveled back in time." Abandoned railroads are also convenient to use as recreational trails because the property is easier to acquire and develop. Zoning and permit costs are also reduced by building a trail in a rural area instead of in a city or along a highway. A bigger factor, however, that makes Rails-to-Trails popular is their safety.

"One thing I hate doing is riding my bike on a street or highway in Florida. It's very risky now especially with the way people drive these days," Cavet said. "You have people on their phone, texting, not paying complete attention to the road, and driving recklessly." He adds that riding a bike on a street now carries an increasing chance of serious injury or death from a careless driver. Barry and I agree that these "out-of-the-way" trails are more enjoyable because they get you off those roads, they are quiet, and they are great places to "get away from it all."

One trail he enjoys using is the Van Fleet State Trail that runs from S.R. 50 in southern Sumter County to Polk City. "This trail takes you through the middle of nowhere, and I mean nowhere. The silence and lack of civilization might overwhelm you, but it's the perfect place to get out of the city and be all to yourself," he adds. I agree with what he says because I've ridden the trail a few times.

Cavet and I are hopeful for a future rail-to-trail between Gainesville and Leesburg. A railroad track, owned by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad in my youth, used to run from downtown Leesburg to the community of Rochelle, near Gainesville. Most of this railroad is gone now with only a segment of track existing from Candler to Lowell. This track is owned and maintained by Pinsly's Florida Northern Railroad. Cavet believes that FNOR will abandon the segment between Ocala and Lowell soon, perhaps within five years. "I just don't see Pinsly hanging on to this railroad north of Ocala much longer. I believe only one business is being served on it today. They can't be making a lot of money on that segment. Plus, they just recently abandoned their railroad from Newberry to High Springs which is a sign," Cavet said. I agree with his assessment. Another factor that may cause the track to be abandoned is the railroad's age. "It needs to be rebuilt and a lot of equipment needs replacing. If I was a business owner wanting to contract with FNOR and I saw how badly the railroad looked in some places, I probably would reconsider," Cavet added.  He also said that this railroad, most likely, would require at least a million dollars to rebuild.

Cavet mentions that the part of the railroad from Ocala to Candler is in much better shape and gets a lot more use. It may not be abandoned for quite some time. If FNOR decides to keep it a while longer, the recreational trail can still be built, and it could parallel the railroad to its ending in Candler. It then could run on the abandoned part of the railroad to Leesburg.

FNOR may have to let the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) know what their plans for the railroad are soon. The bridge that carries Pine Avenue (U.S. 301/441) over FNOR's railroad in Ocala is old and may need replacing or removal soon. Whether or not either of those options will happen depends a lot on Pinsly's plans for the railroad. The bridge replacement (or removal) will also depend on whether or not the railroad is turned into a recreational trail if it is abandoned. One of two options could be done. FDOT could completely remove the bridge and put the road down to surrounding ground level if the railroad is abandoned. Then, if the recreational trail is built, the trail could be routed to cross Pine Avenue at an existing traffic light crosswalk (either at U.S. 27 or Jacksonville Road.) The other option is that they could rebuild the bridge for the recreational trail (or the railroad if it stays.) But, I don't think that will be done as FDOT would, most likely, need to replace the bridge with a bigger, expanded one to prepare for a possible future widening of Pine Avenue. It would be less costly to completely remove the bridge and put the highway down to ground-level. Widening it after that would be easier and less expensive. If the railroad somehow remains and the bridge is removed, FDOT can build a new railroad crossing on Pine Avenue. The light train traffic wouldn't affect automobile traffic that much. Continuing on, there is another bridge in which FDOT may have to make a similar decision. It's the bridge on U.S. 441 south of Orange Lake that was never taken down after the railroad in that area was removed in the 80's. That bridge is getting old, as well, and carries a lot of traffic. I believe, in my opinion, that FDOT should remove it and put the highway back down to ground level. If a recreational trail is built on the abandoned right-of-way, it could be routed to cross 441 at the re-designed intersection with C.R. 25A which now has a traffic light. There is a third bridge that both FDOT and Marion County will have to decide whether to keep or not. It is on "Old 441" or C.R. 25A south of Lowell. I believe that bridge will stay up a while longer, however. It has some age, but it's in very good shape and doesn't carry a huge amount of traffic liked it used to. The replacement or removal of the bridge can probably be put on the back burner for another decade.

If the Gainesville-Leesburg trail is built, riding it from Gainesville to Ocala would be very enjoyable with the scenery at Paynes Prairie and Orange Lake. Riding it from Ocala to Leesburg would be great as well with the rolling hills around Lake Weir. This improvement would need to be made, though: The bridge that carries U.S. 27/441 over the abandoned right-of-way and C.R. 25, north of Lady Lake, would need to be removed and the intersection rebuilt, in my opinion. It wouldn't be cost-effective to replace the bridge for the trail. Motorists would likely benefit from a new C.R. 25 and 27/441 intersection anyway. The new trail could cross 27/441 at that intersection, so a bridge would no longer be needed.

Finally, once you get into Leesburg you would have more scenic views to enjoy such as the Harris Chain-of-Lakes. Also, this trail would likely connect to a possible rail-to-trail from Leesburg to Brooksville. It would cross the Withlacoochee State Trail in Croom. This trail would go through the communities of Center Hill, Webster, and St. Catherine. Center Hill's abandoned downtown could be revitalized. It would be awesome if this "Gainesville to Croom" trail looped back up to Gainesville via the northern end of the Withlacoochee Trail.  It's very possible and would be easy to build. A railroad, now long abandoned, used to run from Dunnellon to Archer (not the existing coal train railroad that runs to Crystal River. It's another one.) Also, there's abandoned right-of-way and existing trails that run parallel with S.R. 24 from Archer to Gainesville. A trail runs further to Rochelle and Hawthorne. There's even abandoned right-of-way between the Rainbow River (at the community of Juliette) and Ocala. This loop could provide about 200 total miles of recreational trail! Additionally, Lake County is wanting to extend the South Lake Trail westward to the Van Fleet State Trail. This will eventually become part of a proposed Coast-to-Coast trail that would run from St. Petersburg to the Atlantic Coast. If the Gainesville-Croom Loop and the Van Fleet spur are built, they would connect to that proposed Coast-to-Coast trail creating a huge network of recreational trails and alternative transportation. This potential expanse is exciting! See image below.



Barry and I are very hopeful about this "loop" being built in the future, and we guarantee that we will be the first riders on it if it's ever built.

This is an editorial-based article. I am an avid biker and a fan of rails-to-trails in Florida.
Barry Cavet is a business planner and a railroad enthusiast. 
The ideas posted here are copyrighted and can not be used without my permission.
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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Site of Atlanta Bridge Collapse - Piedmont Avenue under Interstate 85

Just in case someone's curious, here's what it looked like under the overpass before the fire. GDOT should have built a more solid fence to secure this area. Spending a couple of grand to build a good fence versus the millions to repair the interstate would've been smart. It's too late now. Click photo to enlarge.


Courtesy Google


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Anyone Can Get Cancer Regardless Of Lifestyle

This latest article from ScienceDaily is basically saying that any person can get cancer, regardless of their health, habits, and lifestyle. Don't freak out. This has been true for centuries and is not news. DNA mutations are unavoidable and part of life. However, with today's industrialization and use of chemicals, I believe the risk of a person developing cancer from these mutations is increasing, although it has not become an official fact. It's basically common sense. We can't live without petroleum-based products and chemicals. They're in the air, in the water, and in the food we eat. These chemicals can not be good for our body, and who knows what they can do when they interact with our DNA.

One of the leading cancers that I believe will never be curable is lung cancer. But, most lung cancer cases today CAN BE AVOIDED. Why? Because the major cause of lung cancer that many people want to brush off and ignore is tobacco. I would really like for tobacco to be banned. The enormous amount of suffering, deaths, and medical costs related to tobacco use over the years is appalling to me. I am 43 years old, and in all that time, I have never smoked or had cause to. I have seen a lot of stressful moments in my life, but I have had other ways to deal with them rather than smoke.  I wish I had taken a video of the people I saw in my cancer doctors' offices who were suffering from lung cancer. Of course I wouldn't have been able to put it on Youtube or television because they would have been too graphic. But, suffice it to say, it was very hard to look at them and their suffering and not cry.

The good news is with all of our technological advances and medical breakthoughs, other cancers are becoming easier to treat. One of the last things my oncologist told me at Moffitt Cancer Center was that within five years, most cancers may become more easily treatable and curable. That was four years ago, so it's just around the corner!
.
I believe my leukemia was definitely caused by a DNA mutation, and I believe that's what causes most leukemias. I was young, fit, and healthy, plus I never drank or smoked. It came at random and hit me like a rock. This is why I believe that it was caused by a mutation. Leukemia is basically created by a genetic "error." It corrupts the bone marrow and causes mutated white cells to reproduce out of control. The only way to completely get rid of it (my leukemia, that is) is to destroy the bad bone marrow and get replacement bone marrow from an unrelated matching donor's stem cells. As a result, I am completely cured. However, I am still at risk, like everyone else in this world, in getting cancer again. Although, I have a much higher risk of getting it because of all the chemotherapy drugs used to treat my leukemia.

Read the article here:
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170323141403.htm

Hash tags:
#causes of cancer #cancer causes #leukemia #causes of leukemia #cancer hope #lung cancer #cigarette smoking

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Hidden Florida Concrete Highway Found

Thank God for the people who created Google Streetview. I was browsing highways in the Volusia County, Florida area and found an old concrete road around Lake Winnemisett east of DeLand and just west of  I-4. This street could also be an old alignment of S.R. 44.

I love old concrete highways in Florida, and to find this one was a real treat! Click to enlarge image.






Image Courtesy of Google

State Road 41 In Dade City

The other day I was on Google Streetview looking at streets in downtown Dade City. While scrolling over streets, I noticed a "state road 41" circled emblem over 14th Street. At first I thought it might be an error on Google's end, but I got to noticing how that street starts to look like a "state road" when it leaves the city and runs north to Frazee Hill Road. I also noticed, to the south, how it connected to Fort King Road via Coleman Avenue. I believe a long time ago S.R. 41 turned east at Old San Ann Road on to Coleman Avenue. Then it continued to 14th Street and went north. To support this theory, I found an old State Road Department Right-of-Way marker on 14th Street at Long Road. I believe that S.R. 41 then turned west on Frazee Hill Road and went all the way to current Spring Valley Road. It then continued on to Spring Valley through the community of Blanton (Spring Valley Road is old S.R. 41.)

Click on the image below to view a map that I made to better illustrate my theory. Also, notice on this map the old alignment of S.R. S-577 on Jessamine Road and the old alignment of S.R. 41 on Jessamine and James Roads. I got this info. from an old Pasco County road map (see my other road posts.)




Monday, February 13, 2017

Like To Thumbs Down Videos On Youtube?

Does someone you don't like have a Youtube channel and you want to thumbs down all their videos out of spite? Do you like to thumbs down spam videos? Do you like to thumbs down stupid videos? Well, I just found out that Youtube imposes a limit on the number of thumbs downs you are allowed to do. I'm not sure of the exact number but if you thumbs down around ten or more videos per day, the ratings will not show on those videos you've excessively thumbs downed.  For instance, if you've reached the maximum Youtube allows and you want to thumbs down a new video with no ratings, the thumbs down icon will be highlighted, and it will continue to show "0" thumbs down. If you log out of Youtube and go back to that video, you will also see that it continues to have "0" thumbs down.  As a result of reaching the thumbs down limit, you will be put on "probation." Your excessive thumbs downs will not show for two or three days, maybe a week. After you've served your "probation," Youtube will reset the limit, and you can thumbs down more videos until you reach the limit again. Then you're on probation for another few days, and so on.

Youtube says nothing about excessive thumbs-downing in their terms of service. I guess they want to keep it secret that they can do more things as a dictatorship video-sharing platform.

Btw Youtube, if you're going to delete this post because I've exposed you, I have a copy of it on my hard drive and will repost it. I'll continue to repost it over and over again, if you want to play the deleting game with me. I'll also file a lawsuit against you.

Friday, January 13, 2017

How To Find The Door Keypad Code On A 2001 Ford Explorer Sport


Lost or forgot the driver door keypad code on your '01 Explorer Sport? Purchased an '01 Explorer Sport as a used vehicle and need the code? Here's an easy and no-cost way to get it. It took me about five minutes to get my code. Note, this is to locate the factory code only. The code is located on the computer module under the defroster vent on the passenger side. The code should be in this location on all 2001 Ford Explorer Sport SUVs.

Right-click on images to enlarge:




1. Using a straight-blade screwdriver, carefully pry the entire defroster vent off of the dash. Use a straight-up prying motion so that you don't break the clips.












2.  After prying off the entire vent (from passenger side to driver side,) set it out of the way.












3. With the vent removed, this shows the location of the computer module on the passenger side of the dash.












4. Looking through the windshield from outside the vehicle, you can see the computer module exposed by the removal of the defroster vent.









5. Use a flashlight to illuminate the white label. You will have to bend down toward the windshield wiper to be able to see the number. It's in large print (thank God!) and should be easy to read.



6. After you get the number, test it to make sure you didn't misread it. If it works, go ahead and put the defroster vent back on. Be careful to position it correctly, using the edges on the dash as a guide, so that the clips go in easily.


Leave a comment, follow my blog, and check back for more tips that I will post on '01 Explorer Sports


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Florida Renewable Energy Growth Will Stop



1/25/17: A while ago, I wrote the following post about renewable energy in Florida, but after the election of Donald Trump, I think I wasted my time. I am confident that renewable energy growth in Florida may stagnate or even go backwards with Trump in office. What I've written here will probably never have any credence. Oh well, I needed to practice my writing skills anyway...


 


This is an editorial blog post about renewable energy. It is mostly opinion-based with facts presented on the basis of common sense and some research. I am presenting my views, opinions, and ideas here. The post is not intended to be a complete representation of the topic. If you want more credible and in-depth information on what I've posted here, there are numerous internet search engines at your disposal.

I am very interested in renewable, or clean, energy in the production of electricity. If I can survive potential complications from my leukemia treatment, I would like to start a new career in that lucrative field. Before I begin, I want to reveal a MAJOR pet peeve that I have on renewable energy. First, it is scientifically immoral to use the word energy in that context. Anyone who has taken a basic physics class knows that energy can not be created or destroyed. I can't stand to see the phrase "create energy" in a renewable energy article. For the remainder of this post, I will be referring to renewable energy as clean "electricity."

Every day I read and study topics of clean electricity from all over the world, not just the U.S. and Florida. I enjoy reading stories of new solar plants, wind farms, hydroelectric plants, or anything that doesn't involve releasing carbon into the atmosphere. In addition to clean electricity, I enjoy reading articles on carbon capture and new methods of removing CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the air. As a result of keeping current with developments in these fields for years, I have become fairly knowledgeable of what is "good" and "bad" in those new developments.

Solar plant recently completed at Walt Disney World. Courtesy News13
First,  I am positively certain that to stop rising CO2 levels and the resulting effects on the climate two things must be implemented: Stop the artificial release of CO2 in the atmosphere, and remove the excess that's there and put it back in the ground. Easier said than done, but not impossible.

 Fifty Years From Now?

I believe our use of fossil fuels, mainly natural gas and oil, will not change within the next fifty years at minimum. However, I do believe that the use of coal to produce electricity will stop well before then for two reasons. The U.S. government is gearing toward mandating new coal power plants to have carbon capture systems. These are very expensive right now. In order for power companies to continue to use coal in the future, these systems will have to get cheaper or the companies will have to stop using coal.  Another reason coal use will stop is that natural gas is highly abundant and dirt cheap right now. Power companies, thinking of their profit margin of course, will choose this type of fuel instead of coal, as a result. Additionally, I expect China, which is also a heavy coal user, to possibly stop all coal burning within the next fifty years, as well. This article explains my reasoning:

http://e360.yale.edu/feature/with_trump_china_stands_along_as_global_climate_leader/3057/ 

Read this also:
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/why_us_coal_industry_and_its_jobs_are_not_coming_back/3059/ 

Automobiles will continue to run on gasoline for at least another fifty years until electric and alternative-fuel vehicles finally take over. Other industries that require fossil fuels such as steel, plastics, concrete, etc. will also continue to release carbon dioxide well into the future.

So, high amounts of CO2 from human activity will continue to be released into the air for many years. That's not going to change. Our society and economy is too reliant on fossil fuels. The only logical thing to concentrate on now, in reversing the effects of rising CO2 levels, is to develop alternative fuels to replace fossil fuels and develop cheap and effective methods to capture CO2 and put it back in the ground. Biomass, organic material from plants and animals, could do both.

Biomass "Could" Reduce CO2 Levels Drastically If Managed Correctly

Biomass from plants is one effective method to capture CO2 and lock it up. One way of utilizing biomass for carbon capture involves planting trees and lots of them. The trouble with this method is that it takes years, even decades, for them to have any effect on CO2 levels. Another form of plant biomass which is being researched vigorously is algae. 


Biomass is also considered an alternative fuel. One form of  "environmentally-friendly" electricity is to burn plant biomass in power plants. This method would only "recycle" CO2, not get rid of it. Trees, plants, algae, etc. could absorb large quantities of CO2 during their lifetime.  However, when that plant matter is burned in power plants, most of that CO2 goes right back into the atmosphere. This is why biomass is called "carbon neutral." Biomass can reduce our usage of fossil fuels, though, and that could ultimately reduce new CO2 emissions. Two reasons explain further. One is that biomass does not take carbon from under the ground and add it to the atmosphere like fossil fuels do. The second one is that for more biomass used, the less fossil fuels have to be consumed to produce the same output. Now if, by some miraculous scenario, we stopped using fossil fuels and started solely using biomass for power and biofuel production, it would have a profound impact on lowering CO2 levels in the air. This is because no carbon would be taken out of the ground anymore, and the natural processes of removing CO2 from the air, in excess of biomass, would start to lower atmospheric CO2 levels dramatically. I'm not saying this scenario is likely, I just wanted to clarify my reasoning. See this diagram, also:


Effects on CO2 levels if all fossil fuel usage stopped








 Florida Can Do Better!

So, what's the story of clean electricity in Florida? Well, in my opinion it could improve drastically, especially in the solar field. Florida does have some large solar plants. It could have many more and could rival California's solar. The state receives more sunshine during the cooler months of fall and winter than any other time of year. Also, photovoltaics are more efficient in cooler weather. Florida could produce a massive amount of photovoltaic solar electricity between the months of October and April if more plants were built. As far as the warmer months of May through September, Florida could still produce solar power, but the frequent afternoon clouds and storms in the summer, the reduced efficiency of photovoltaics in hot weather, and the supply/demand fluctuations from air conditioning makes solar photovoltaics unreliable as a major power source. Solar thermal would be more effective and practical in warm weather. One such plant already exists in Martin County, and it's operating fairly well.

Florida does have some other major clean electricity producers. In addition to some big solar plants, there are a few large biomass plants including one in Gainesville and one in South Bay, two small hydroelectric plants in the panhandle, and several waste-to-energy incinerators throughout the state. There are many smaller biomass and landfill gas plants as well. Click on the link below to view a map of more plants (requires Adobe Reader:)

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/air/emission/bioenergy/Bioenergy0711.pdf 

 Added together, the electric output of all this clean electricity is extremely low in comparison to the enormous electrical demand of the state. Florida has much room for improvement and could do better supplementing solar with a more practical and reliable type of clean electricity: Biomass.

Biomass plant and animal feedstock (trees, forest/logging waste, citrus waste, sugar waste, urban yard waste, sawmill waste, human/animal waste, etc.) is plentiful throughout most of the state. The areas of the state in which biomass is not plentiful can look into using algae. Biomass can be used to produce biofuel oil, gas, even hydrogen. 

Courtesy WPTV


This news story reveals the amazing reproductive capabilities of algae:
http://www.wptv.com/news/region-martin-county/emergency-declared-over-algae-in-martin-st-lucie-counties

Algae can be a cheap, quick, and effective form of biomass, and it can absorb CO2 quite effectively.  Algae farms can be sited near fossil-fueled power plants to capture carbon from those plants' emissions. A facility near the farms can then process the algae into biofuel, where it can either be turned into oil or turned into a gas similar to natural gas. This gas can be used for co-firing in those same fossil-fueled power plants. The CO2 is, therefore, recycled over and over. Not only that, but the use of fossil fuels in those plants would decrease significantly while still producing the same amount of electricity.  The algae facility will require an initial power input that is provided by fossil fuels. But once the facility is producing, biofuel from the algae can take over and power the facility. Solar power can even help power it, as well. Algae, in my opinion, is a great type of renewable fuel because of the fact it can recycle CO2 quite rapidly. However, biomass from trees or other plant waste, is not so great, unless it can use a type of plant that grows extraordinarily fast.  This could be done using invasive plant species...


Invasive Plants for Biomass?

Air Potato Vine

Elephant Ear

Paper Mulberry trees with five months' growth after being cut down to the ground


The same trees with an additional month's growth in a severe drought!



One thing I would like to see in the future of Florida biomass is the use of existing invasive plant species. Off the top of my head I can think of a few species that could be very effective in recycling CO2 in a short time span. They are melaleuca trees, bamboo, air potato vine, kudzu, paper mulberry trees, elephant ear, water hyacinth, hydrilla, and Australian pine trees. All of these plant species thrive in Florida with minimal or no care. They also grow fast and are capable of absorbing large quantities of carbon dioxide in a short period of time.  Farms could be developed to cultivate these plants as long as strict controls are in place (to avoid allowing them to spread off site.) The machinery used to cultivate and process the biomass can be powered by biofuel produced from that biomass (electricity and vehicle fuel.) Solar power can also help power the equipment. Some of the invasive plants I mentioned above could also be used to treat water discharged from sewage treatment plants. The nitrates and phosphorus in that water would cause the plants to grow even faster. When harvested, the biomass could then be turned into a cheap, carbon-neutral biofuel. Read this article of an innovative way that sewage treatment discharge water is handled: 

http://www.cityoforlando.net/wetlands/history/ 


Animal and Human Waste

Florida's large agricultural industry also includes livestock (beef, dairy, pork, and poultry.) Dairy, poultry, and pork farms create a large amount of manure which eventually creates methane. Depending on how large the farm is, this methane could be processed and burned to create a substantial amount of electricity. Sewage treatment plants also create methane which could be used to produce electricity. Trash in landfills, also considered a form of human waste, creates methane. Several large landfills in the state already capture landfill gas and use it to produce electricity. However, if all sewage treatment plants and landfills in the state were mandated to use the methane they produce to generate electricity, a substantial amount of renewable electricity would be added to the grid. This would, possibly, prevent a new fossil fuel plant from being built in the future. Burning methane from waste is not carbon-free, obviously. But, using it instead of fossil fuels for generating electricity reduces new carbon emissions. Furthermore, the methane has to be burned anyway. It can not just simply be released into the atmosphere, so why not use it for something constructive like creating electricity.

Pyrolysis 

I am more in favor with solid biomass being turned into a gas or liquid fuel by pyrolysis rather than it be left as a solid fuel to be directly burned. The reason is that less CO2 would be released, and the remaining solid components after pyrolysis is complete could be turned into a useful soil additive. Also, before burning, the biomass feedstock must be dried which is a long and energy-intensive process. Pyrolysis, an energy-intensive process as well but not as much, heats biomass in the absence of oxygen to create a liquid fuel or synthetic gas similar to natural gas. Pyrolysis could be more energy-efficient by using waste heat from power plants. The implications for biofuel use in Florida is huge! It could be used to create electricity, carbon-neutral crude oil and fuel, and numerous environmentally-friendly consumer products all while reducing the use of fossil fuels and cutting the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere.

What About Sending It To Europe or Burying It?

Biomass produced from waste or invasive plants in Florida could be processed into chips or pellets and exported to Europe. There is a huge market for wood chips over there because they are burning more and more wood/biomass instead of coal to produce electricity, especially in England. This could be a very positive contribution to Florida's economy. Also, if the equipment and transportation used in the chips/pellets' processing is powered by biofuel or another "green" fuel, this method of biomass use could become 100% carbon-neutral.

Moving on, if using biomass solely for carbon capture becomes a more preferred method in the future, it can be easily done by burying it. If fast-growing plants, like the ones I mentioned earlier, could be harvested and buried deep in the ground on a daily basis, it would provide an instant, cheap method of carbon capture. The material could be shredded at the farm and either be buried on site, transported a short distance to another site and buried, or buried in old phosphate mines/pits. If buried deep enough, the biomass would not have access to oxygen preventing the creation and release of carbon dioxide. Another method of carbon sequestration that could work in Florida is to bury bulky woody material (logs and stumps) from fast-growing plants in large lakes, the Atlantic Ocean, or the Gulf of Mexico. The carbon from that dense woody mass would remain in the water for centuries. In addition, the woody material would provide new shelter and habitats for fish and other marine life.


 Final Thoughts

Biomass, along with more solar, could make Florida an enormous clean-electricity-state. The value of biomass could potentially be extensive. If utilized properly and efficiently, it could help reduce the release of CO2 significantly and keep more fossil fuels in the ground. After all, the main goal of preventing climate change is to keep carbon in the ground. The methods of biomass usage I've mentioned could be used throughout the world, not just Florida. If more governments, companies, and people would be willing to develop these methods, it could drastically cut CO2 levels in the future before the effects on Earth become more extreme. 

 The ideas and opinions I have posted here are copyrighted and are my personal property.