Technical Study of Scriptural Biomass Gasification
Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Labs have announced the completion of an ARPA-E sponsored study comparing the relative gasification efficiencies of key scriptures from the world’s major religions as biomass feedstocks. The researchers gasified typical exemplars of the Bhagavadgita, the Analects of Confucius and the Tao (in one reversible volume), the Torah (with and without Talmud), the Bible plus Apocryphas, the 21 Theses, the Qur’an, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, the Book of Mormon, and several archaic Palimpsests and ancient Papyrii scrolls, among others. They quantified energy production as well as analyzed ash content and gaseous emissions from the scriptures. As study controls, they also tested Plato’s Republic, Rosseau’s Social Contract, Marx’s Das Kapital, Darwin’s Origin of the Species, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, Joyce’s Ulysses, the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Flags of the World, the ‘Compleat’ Beatles Songbook, the C+++ Operating System Code (line by line), and a transcription of the Wikileaks documents database.
The researchers emphasize that gasification is an oxygen free form of energy production and that at no time were any of the scriptures or flag books or Beatles music burned (since burning involves combustion in oxygen).
The findings suggest that scriptural biomass could provide energy at an average efficiency of 23% which compares favorably with other forms of plant biomass and is about the same rate as the controls. Since it is estimated that there exists approximately 6-8 billion tonnes of scriptural biomass in the world today, its use as a feedstock could supply enough energy to power 6,000,000 homes for one year in the developed world and about 4 to 5 times as many homes in the developing world.
They speculate that scriptural biomass may have a greater energy impact if used to take people’s minds away from worldly energy shortages and thus reduce the demand for energy in the first place. However, scriptural biomass could also be having the opposite effect by distracting people in the developing world to ignore energy related costs and thereby increase energy demand. They will be conducting a Life Cycle Assessment to try to compare the energy impacts of indirect scriptural use change leakages.
The research was co-sponsored by the International Society of April Fuels.