SciFi in Ag: Exploding Hydrogen Bubbles


(This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The purpose of this is purely entertainment, but hey, if we can spread ideas or ignite imaginations, how awesome is that?)

Volume 2 Article 10

In the supply chain of our food system, farmers are the ones doing the most value creation. Farming takes great science, cooperative weather, skill, hard work, and 100% commitment.

Farmers have to endure a lot of work to create value in the supply chain. This ends up resulting in other parts of the industry boiling down to a logistics game. Bulk fertilizers, chemicals, and seeds getting to your field, trucking the grains out, rail cars and people making margins on the transport, etc.

It’s also why the farmer generally is the one that gets squeezed for money.

When I was maybe 12 years old, I first learned about creating hydrogen bubbles using electrolysis (and you can too in a much safer way). I had the vision for creating my own cells and then pushing the hydrogen output into a combustible motor, leaning out the fuel, and driving something like 80 miles per gallon.

I didn’t care if my plan was full of flaws, I was going to do it anyway — kinda how I operate today sometimes. In order to create more efficiency, I thought, I’d utilize the 30% solution of hydrogen peroxide mix found on the farm. During this time, it wasn’t uncommon to use a concentrate of hydrogen peroxide in your spray tank to soften the water. This would create a higher efficacy for your chemicals, and was a pretty popular idea at the time.

Anyway, I added this 30% solution to one of my cells — it was a mason jar — turned the system on, and instant results! Tons of hydrogen came spewing out, similar to knocking the cap off of a full propane tank.

I turned off the power supply when I felt it was getting out of control. But it didn’t turn off. The jar was too hot to touch so I ran and got welding gloves, grabbed the jar, and threw it outside. It combusted for twenty more minutes before finally settling down. My dad thought I was going to blow the shop up, and further ending my hydrogen experiments.

Fifteen years later, energy still is an hot topical issue, and logistics still is the name of the game inside the supply chain for food.

Tesla, a leader in autopilot technology for cars, has been teasing a new semi to bring to the market. This would be an electric semi, not the first to be announced, but still exciting.

I love companies that take tough challenges and solve them.

If Tesla wins at electric autonomous trucks, they can end up changing the entire logistics game in addition to slashing serious costs.

Think about it: an automated semi could drive 24 hours a day with no stops for a fraction of the cost. No fuel, no complex transmissions, motors, and the thousands of other wear parts that could go wrong. Large warehouses and storage tanks would no longer be necessary. Also, no drivers needed either. Customers could order fertilizer on their phone and have it in their possession within 24 hours from anywhere in the continental U.S.

Many companies place fulfillment centers by Kansas City, MO. Kansas City to Los Angeles is a 24 hour drive. Kansas City to New York is a little over 18 hours for a drive. One super plant could literally serve the entire continental US. The same concept goes for grain, Why not send 30 autonomous trucks from the Pacific Northwest to your farm? It could get there in 28 hours! By just loading the trucks up with grain while they charge over the next 3 days and bam, just filled that 30,000 bushel contract. Autonomous trucks, like busy bees, could be scouring all over the country gathering grain, fulfilling contracts, 24 hours a day, 365 days a week.

Not possible you say? Electric doesn’t have enough range? Fully autonomous trucks will never happen? Rail will always be cheaper and more effective? Well, possibly you are right. But then again, who thought we would be watching endless cat videos while driving 80 down the turnpike either.

Leave a Reply

One comment on “SciFi in Ag: Exploding Hydrogen Bubbles

  1. What do you propose for work for all the unemployed truck drivers? That should be part of your solution, too, maybe?!

Data Management Stories
Data ManagementInfoAg News: Farmobile Launches DataEngine, Streamlines DataStore Buyer Process
July 17, 2018
Busy times these days out in Overland Park Leawood, KS, for ag data startup Farmobile, as they continue to – Read More
Farmer-Tablet
Data ManagementAgriculture’s Next Breakthrough: New Technologies Are Driving Efficiency, Data Insights
July 3, 2018
We live in an exciting time in agriculture. Not only is technology advancing rapidly, but the understanding and comprehension of Read More
Data ManagementThe Most Overlooked Asset in the Agtech Revolution
June 25, 2018
There is no doubt that advancements in genetics, precision agriculture, and innovative farming practices have all played an instrumental role Read More
Soil-Corn-plants-field
Data ManagementRemote Soil-Sensed Management Zones Help Increase Crop Input Efficiency
June 18, 2018
Accurate prescription maps are essential for effective variable rate technology (VRT) fertilizer application. Grid soil sampling is frequently used to Read More
Trending Articles
ISPA-Yoshua-Bengio
EventsHighlights from the 14th International Conference on Precision Agriculture
July 9, 2018
The 14th International Conference on Precision Agriculture (ICPA) presented by the International Society of Precision Agriculture (ISPA) was held in Montreal, Read More
Topcon X30 Console in cab
EventsAssociation Seeks Definitive Definition of “Precision Agriculture” — What’s Your Vote?
July 2, 2018
More than two-dozen definitions of precision agriculture have been identified through the years — but which is the best and Read More
AmericasRaven Name to Grace New South Dakota State University Facility
June 27, 2018
According to a press release issued by the company, Raven Industries was recognized today in the naming of South Dakota Read More
dropcopter
DronesNew York Apple Orchard Claims World First in Pollination by Drone
June 18, 2018
Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard in LaFayette, NY, is the first orchard in the world to use drones to pollinate Read More
JDandPessl
Sensors/IoTJohn Deere, Pessl Instruments Team Up to Create Opportunities
June 18, 2018
John Deere is best known for its line of tractors, combines, sprayers, and implements. However, in an effort to help Read More
Matt-Waits-featured
Decision Support SoftwareSST’s Matt Waits: Innovative Data Solutions Key to Transforming Global Agriculture
May 31, 2018
Proagrica, part of RELX Group, earlier this year acquired U.S.-based precision agriculture solutions company, SST Software, in a move set Read More
Latest News
Tools & Smart EquipmentCanadian Planter Manufacturer Purchases Harvest Interna…
July 19, 2018
Seeding and planting technology innovator Clean Seed has signed an agreement to strategically acquire U.S. planting equipment manufacturer Harvest International, Read More
Data ManagementInfoAg News: Farmobile Launches DataEngine, Streamlines…
July 17, 2018
Busy times these days out in Overland Park Leawood, KS, for ag data startup Farmobile, as they continue to – Read More
Agrible
Grower Services & SolutionsNutrien Drops $63 Million to Acquire Agrible
July 16, 2018
Nutrien announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Agrible for total consideration of $63 million, Read More
Industry NewsFarmobile Acquires Prime Meridian, Taps Cubbage as New …
July 13, 2018
Farmobile today announced an agreement to acquire the assets of Prime Meridian, a precision agriculture data management company based in Read More
group-photo
DronesPrecision Agriculture Takes Flight at North Carolina St…
July 13, 2018
Take a walk into the Suggs Laboratory for Precision Agriculture and Machine Systems and it’s hard not to be impressed, Read More
Skeketee-IC-Weeder
DronesAutomated Weeders Have Arrived in Vegetable Fields
July 12, 2018
The vegetable production areas of the Central Coast of California have lifted vegetable cultivation to a high art, writes Richard Read More
AgJunction, InfoAg 2014, Autosteer, GPS
Industry NewsAgJunction Settles with Raven in Patent Infringement Su…
July 12, 2018
AgJunction Inc., a leader in advanced guidance and autosteering, has settled a patent infringement lawsuit it filed against Raven Industries, Read More
Retailer-Grower-tablet
Business ManagementTaking Measure of the Precision Agriculture Program: 6 …
July 12, 2018
In the overall agriculture market, the rhetoric surrounding emerging technology over the past half-decade has been nothing short of breathless. Read More
raven-slingshot-job-generator-job-sync-1
Industry NewsNew Raven Slingshot Advancements Will Help Save Time, R…
July 11, 2018
Raven Industries, Inc. has announced several new services available on the Slingshot and Viper 4 platforms: Job Generator and Job Read More
Onsite-logo
Industry NewsAgIntegrated Acquires Exclusive Licence to Satshot’s Im…
July 11, 2018
AgIntegrated, Inc. (AGI), a leader in precision ag data integration and software development, and Satshot, a leader and pioneer in Read More
Australian Harvest
Australia/New ZealandAustralian Agritech Plants Blockchain for Efficiency
July 11, 2018
“Agritech” at one time would have meant new equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters, but today it refers to Read More
Tomato-crop-India
AsiaIndia: Using Artificial Intelligence for the Good of Fa…
July 11, 2018
After graduating from IIT-Madras, the first thing that Vivek Rajkumar did was to buy four acres near Thiruvananthapuram and start Read More
BrightFarms
Industry NewsForbes List of Innovative Ag-Tech Companies Includes Gr…
July 9, 2018
Forbes magazine recently posted a list of the 25 most innovative ag-tech startups in 2018, which includes a few companies Read More
AmericasNutrien Ag Solutions Brand, New Digital Platform Launch…
July 9, 2018
Nutrien (formerly Crop Production Services) has officially rebranded its retail business to Nutrien Ag Solutions, aligning the company’s retail operations Read More
ISPA-Yoshua-Bengio
EventsHighlights from the 14th International Conference on Pr…
July 9, 2018
The 14th International Conference on Precision Agriculture (ICPA) presented by the International Society of Precision Agriculture (ISPA) was held in Montreal, Read More
TerrAvion
Industry NewsTerrAvion Integrates Aerial Imagery with John Deere Ope…
July 6, 2018
TerrAvion, Inc., a large volume provider of aerial imagery to agriculture, has announced an integration to allow TerrAvion’s aerial imagery Read More
Farmer-Tablet
Data ManagementAgriculture’s Next Breakthrough: New Technologies…
July 3, 2018
We live in an exciting time in agriculture. Not only is technology advancing rapidly, but the understanding and comprehension of Read More
Nebraska-Storm
Precision IrrigationNotes from the Field: A Look at Irrigation Management P…
July 2, 2018
One of the things I love most about my work is making periodic treks into the field – more often Read More