Field of Science

Red bud fracking instead of hydraulic fracking

Hydraulic fracking is quite an issue just now in Lincolnland.  One of the key issues is how much water must be used to fracture deep sediments.  This is one of those things where industry wants to pretend the resource is free, the water is free, without an environmental cost.  It would be nice if there were an alternative to using water to fracture those deep sediments.  Then came this idea.  Plant red buds, lots of them over the sediment you wish to fracture. Based upon the effort needed to pull a tiny red bud seedling from the ground and the length and depth of its root penetration, by the time the red bud stem reaches about the diameter of your finger, it's roots should have penetrated the sediments in question and simply pulling the red buds will certainly fracture the sediments in question.  This is a simple extrapolation of the finding that 3-4 inch tall red bud seedlings, some with the cotyledons still attached, have a root penetration somewhere around a mile and a half based upon those TPP has pulled.  By the time you notice red bud seedlings, they are already too deeply rooted to pull even if you have a weed wrench. Hmm, that's the problem obviously, nothing we've invented can pull up such roots.  Drat!  So close to a solution. 

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