January 27th, 2014
Episode 338 of 559 episodes
Today, 3.5 billion people are alive because of a single chemical process. The Haber-Bosch process takes nitrogen from the air and makes ammonia, from which synthetic fertilizers allow farmers to feed our massive population. Ammonia is a source of highly reactive nitrogen, suitable not just for fertilizer, but also as an ingredient in bomb making and thousands of other applications. We make around 100 million tonnes of ammonia annually - and spread most of it on our fields. But this is a very inefficient way to use what amounts to 1-2% of the planet's energy needs. Only around 20% of fertilizer made ends up in our food. Professor Andrea Sella explores some of the alternative ways we might make fertilizer. Vegetables such as peas and beans, allow certain cells in their roots to become infected by a specific type of bacteria. In return, these bacteria provide them with their own fertilizer. Could we infect the plants we want to grow for food – such as cereals – in a similar way to cut down the climatic and environmental impact of Haber-Bosch?
Have you trembled ‘round the campfire as the ghost stories are told? Do tales of horrors wrought by nature and beyond strike fear in your soul? Is it best when you are afraid to turn out the light? Thrill to stories that strike at your deepest fears, as host Stephen Kilpatrick brings the best of horror fiction to your ears and your mind, read to you by the most chilling narrators that podcasting has to offer. <br /> <br /> Podcasting the finest in genre fiction, Tales to Terrify is where the depths of horror reveal the truths of good, evil, and the human spirit in the District of Wonders podcast network. Like all shows in the District of Wonders, Tales to Terrify is supported by a welcoming community of dedicated fans and contributors. Subscribe today, and begin your journey through the spine-tingling depths of storytelling.<br /> <br /> Everyone has a story in the District of Wonders. Come and find yours.