Mick Lorusso

BIODIAMOND ENERGY

Mexico City, Mexico
  • copyright: Mick Lorusso
  • copyright: Mick Lorusso
  • copyright: Mick Lorusso
  • copyright: Mick Lorusso
  • copyright: Mick Lorusso
  • copyright: Mick Lorusso
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The Biodiamond Energy project presents and encourages the idea of transforming discarded organic matter into energy, with a focus on the large quantities of such waste generated at La Central de Abasto, the largest marketplace in Mexico. The project opens up possibilities for re-imagining organic waste as energy through artistic applications of bio-energy technology, panel discussions, and interactions with the market community and students. It proposes a hopeful scenario in which the marketplace sustains its electrical needs with its own waste. A functioning bio-energy system at the Central de Abasto could influence other markets in Mexico and worldwide to adopt similar strategies for producing energy with organic waste. Such a system could take many forms, from a series of biodigestors that produce biogas fuel (methane) to bioethanol production. The Biodiamond Energy Project proposes that small scale alternative energy systems could first illuminate points of spiritual significance, which in the Central de Abasto are the shrines to the Virgin of Guadalupe that appear in almost every vendor’s stand. Through the metaphor of illuminating sites of importance with that which is generally disregarded, the project aims to highlight the collaboration of microorganisms and unseen processes in the functioning of our lives. Toward this end, the project has incorporated the investigation and use of Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs), small units that harness the ability of certain anaerobic bacteria to produce electricity while breaking down biomass into carbon dioxide and water. The bacteria that collaborate with us in these MFCs can come from the mud at the bottom of lakes and rivers. With the increasing population of the world’s cities, we are in an age in which discarded biomass must be reconsidered as a resource, as potential energy and as compost. The Biodiamond Energy Project aims to raise awareness of these potentials and to encourage individuals, groups, and institutions to make systems that process organic waste into energy and soil.  It asks what varied systems of belief can participate in reinforcing the interconnection between the seen and the unseen, the human, the microbial, and the spiritual.