Thursday, December 27, 2018

Science & Technology: Underground Farms to Grow Crops With Geothermal Heat

Abandoned Coal Mines Are About To Be Transformed Into Geothermal Greenhouses (Return to Now)

Academics at the University of Nottingham would like to see the 150,000 abandoned coal mines in the United Kingdom converted into subterranean farms.

According to their research, the so-called “deep farms” could grow 10 times as much food per acre at a fraction of the cost. Like geothermal greenhouses, the farms would use free heat from the Earth’s core to allow year-round crop production.

The researchers say the mines, that once contributed to climate change, are the perfect environment for sheltering crops from its effects. Underground farms are unaffected by irregular seasons, cold winters and erratic weather patterns. The temperature and humidity levels are generally consistently temperate underground.

Ground water would provide a ready water supply, and carbon capture technology could sequester CO2 from the atmosphere and bring it down to the plants where it’s needed.

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