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Integrated Commercial Cattail Farming

 

“Natures Super Wal-Mart”

Producing Ethanol Fuel , Animal Feed, Fish Food & Fiber...

By consuming sewage solids & CO2 greenhouse gases...

The Broadleaf Cattail (Typha Latifolia) has been aptly described as “Natures Super Wal-Mart” in that it produces an extensive number of consumable commodities.

 

Evidence exists that this plant was in common use in Europe as long as 30,000 years ago. Anthropologic evidence of use extends to every culture on every continent.

Rhizomes (roots) were used as dried and ground starch based flour, or were boiled, baked and / or steamed much like potatoes. The rhizome starch was milled and used to produce a fermented whiskey that was common in Roman times.

Seed pod uses ranged from the eating of boiled pods to the use of seed pod fluff for feminine hygiene products, infant hygiene products, wound dressings, fire kindling, portable torches, pillow & mattress stuffing and flotation devices.

The seeds and pollen are known to have been collected and used as flour by the natives of South, Central & North America.

The leaves were used for roof thatching, woven wall panels, woven mats, basket weaving, boat building, furniture making, military fighting shields, rope and cord making, fabric weaving, etc.

 The leaf base contains a natural antibiotic that was commonly used as a home remedy and is now being employed in the treatment of modern antibiotic resistant bacteria.

 

Once again… the mighty cattail is brought to the service of humanity by means of systematic integration into modern sustainable development in both the energy and agricultural arenas.

 

Modern Applications of Typha Latifolia (Cattails)

 

Rhizomes (roots)

Rhizomes are grown and harvested as starch for enzymatic conversion to fermentable sugars and thence ethanol fuel production. They yield up to 10 times the ethanol yield per acre of corn and do not use land suitable for food production to create fuel.

The residual mash left over from ethanol production can be manufactured into pelletized livestock feed and / or can be used in Vermiculture operations to produce high quality plant food and high protein animal feed supplements.

Leaves & Stems

The leaves and stems are suitable for conversion to animal feeds and / or when mixed with animal manures, including human sewage solids, can be digested into biogas suitable for turbine electric power generation.

The leaves & stems can also be land applied to deficient agri-soils thereby replenishing both the organics and minerals content creating healthy soils and increased food crop production.

The leaves and stems are now being used to produce building construction materials similar to Oriented Strand Board (OSB), which eliminates the consumption of trees to this use and maintains the natural environment.

The leaves and stems can also be used in Vermiculture operations to produce high quality plant food and high protein animal feed supplements.  

In developing nations, leaves and stems can be processed as charcoal briquettes for cooking and heating.

 

Bio-Remediation of Sewage Solids

The process of growing cattails for integrated sustainable development also carries with it an exceptional ability to consume sewage solids from human habitation and / or manure from industrial meat farming applications. 

The use of sewage and / or manure solids as a nutrient base for cattail propagation eliminates those solids and the negative environmental impacts they pose to our drinking water supply.

Sewage laden water can be processed by the cattails into clean fresh water suitable for irrigation or direct transfer back to lakes and streams without pollution.

CO2 Scrubbing

Commercial Cattail propagation consumes large volumes of the greenhouse gas CO2, thereby offsetting the production of this air pollutant caused by fossil fuel combustion and other sources.

Carbon tax credits add to the viability of commercialization of the process.

Commercial Mining Land Reclamation

The Americas are littered with the result of mineral mining operations that have left tens of thousands of acres useless to either human habitation or agriculture. Many open pit mines and gravel pits sit abandoned and full of water after depletion of the minerals they once contained.

These depleted assets can be recovered and re-utilized for agricultural application by technically advanced systems of commercial farming of cattails.

As earlier mentioned, Vermiculture may play an important role in the successful integration of cattail farming and food production. The potential is for an integrated fish farming use of retired mines wherein the Vermiculture produces high protein fish food and the cattails are fed by the fish waste thereby creating starches for use in production of ethanol fuels.

Ethanol Fuel

Ethanol is already commonly used in motor fuel in the Americas. Most gasoline’s contain 10% of ethanol and E85 fuel contains 85% ethanol. Many of today’s motor vehicles come E85 equipped from the factory and can utilize alcohol fuels.

Ethanol fuels are far less polluting than petroleum based fuels both in combustion and in the manufacturing, refining and transportation to market processes.

In Brazil, ethanol fuel is far more available than petroleum, simply because they produce ethanol from the waste of their sugar industry.

Ethanol fuels will replace the high cost imported petroleum and result in both financial windfall and energy independence in the Americas.

Locally grown ethanol fuel will provide a clean, safe, abundant source of motor fuel, home heating fuel and fuel for generation of electricity well into the future.

 

All from Nature’s Super Wal-Mart… the Cattail…

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