• Question: Would you be able to make a fossil fuel out of rushes?

    Asked by clairemac12311 to Aggelos, Andrew, Eileen, Naomi, Shane on 14 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Aggelos Zacharopoulos

      Aggelos Zacharopoulos answered on 14 Nov 2012:

      you could have a go trying to turn the into slury and them let them bio-degrade into a sealed container. They will produce methane eventually which you can use in a gas boiler. I am not sure rushes will produce enough methane for you though. You are much better off with stuff like cow dung, cabages, patato skins etc… Overall will be more efficient and will produce more methane per kg.

    • Photo: Andrew Jackson

      Andrew Jackson answered on 15 Nov 2012:

      Over long enough time, you could bury any animal or plant material deep under the ground and leave it long enough under the ground until it turned into oil or gas. But this process takes a lot of squeezing from the rocks above, and takes millions of years to occur

    • Photo: Naomi Elster

      Naomi Elster answered on 16 Nov 2012:

      Yes – if you were very, VERY patient. Fossil fuels are made when dead plant/animal material is buried deep underground and slowly turned into mulch by the pressure of the rocks that form above it over millions of years.You’d be better off trying to harness some of the wind we have into energy – it would be quicker, cleaner and renewable.

    • Photo: Eileen Diskin

      Eileen Diskin answered on 16 Nov 2012:

      Yes – but like the others say, it might be a pretty complicated process, that would take a very long time! There is a bit of a movement away from getting energy from things like this, which are ‘non-renewable’ – that means once we use them, they’re gone.

      Scientists are always looking for new ways of getting energy. Right now, they’re especially interested in ‘renewable’ energies, things like solar energy and wind power that we can’t use up, because its always there for us!