Water vapor gets its energy from two major sources:
Ionic compounds, like the water droplets that form on the surface of a leaf, are made of two ionic molecules (hydrogen and oxygen). Ionically, the chemical bonds in water are simple: hydrogen and oxygen are connected by a pair of “holes” — an oxygen electron and a chlorine electron. There are two ways to react with water molecules, either by absorbing their electrons — which breaks the hydrogen bond — or by expelling the hydrogen atoms.
In the former case, water molecules tend to get knocked out of orbit and end up at high altitudes. When these high-altitude water droplets are evaporated from the atmosphere by evaporation, they’re heated, transforming into a stream of free hydrogen. This gas, along with free water, can be carried down through a “downwash” of water molecules (this could take several hours) to reach plants, where it can then be transformed into biomass fuel.
However, when free water reaches the ground, the hydrogen is quickly evaporated, leaving behind a cloud of water-based vapor — not a very good fuel source, anyway. Plants need at least a trace amount of water vapor to maintain their water content of between two and fifteen percent; without enough water to do this, they end up wasting precious water (and, ultimately, more energy) producing energy on the sun’s heat input. So plants can only produce energy from biomass in relatively dry environments, like arid lands, dry soils, and arid deserts. Water is no longer an abundant, safe, and effective source of energy…at least not in the absence of evaporation.
And that’s about where life starts!
But, this means that plants need to be water-dense. There are many plant species which can’t grow in dry soil. If they couldn’t grow, there would be no way for plants to use nutrients in this dry atmosphere (which requires more water vapor) to maintain their “water content” of between two and fifteen percent. And there aren’t many places to grow these dry species with less water (water-dense soils) to support them — no farms growing them, no water pumps!
And so water and other elements have been trapped in this dry environment – where all natural elements are locked, and only life can get them out! It’s also where the great idea for harvesting energy comes in.
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