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Old 08-12-2008, 10:09 AM
6,760 posts, read 10,409,136 times
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Anyone read up on this very much? Seems like a potentially promising source of biofuel, able to produce very clean crude oil in very large quanitities with no impact on food production areas. Might become viable in a few years, I guess we'll have to wait and see....

Technology Review: Algae-Based Fuels Set to Bloom
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:29 AM
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I agree, biofuels need to be aggressively pursued. Algae-oil is a potential that needs to be exploited as soon as we can. Corn Ethanol simply can not be produced at the scale we need (not sure about cellulosic ethanol, but I know it is no where close to algae ).

I have read, if algae-oil were capable of being produced on the scales described, that the amount of land area required would be minimal. As compared to corn, which would not be feasible.

Good interview about it here:

http://cc.pubco.net/www.valcent.net/i/Multimedia/VIN020-131.wmv (broken link)

Mcain/Obama...ever heard of this?

Last edited by cs1992; 08-12-2008 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:41 AM
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That's the big thing about algae. It can produce more than 100 times as much crude per acre when compared to corn. It can also be produced on marginal lands that aren't favorable for food crop production, and it can used wastewaters and water from salt water aquifers.

Not sure why there isn't more hype and focus on trying to move forward and see if this stuff can actually be made a viable choice.
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Old 08-12-2008, 03:22 PM
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I like it! However, I rather we move away from oil and put more money into things that will do that.... I like solar power, its eventual that we will reach that stage, might as well start now....
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:18 PM
Location: Interior AK
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Well, considering that most of our fossil oil was made from decomposed algae, it only makes sense that we follow Nature's example! It's certainly a million times more efficient than (corn) Ethanol.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:16 AM
Location: Venice Florida
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After reading the article I had this image of billions of gallons of oil sitting on "marginal land". While a viable approach for providing domestic energy, on a large scale wouldn't this approach just increase our pollution foot print. There is concern about the pollution potential with drilling in ANWAR and OCS would growing oil in ponds and marginal land be preferred?
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:56 AM
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I believe there are a lot of things being looked at as far as a way to produce algae crude without causing a lot of pollution issues. There are some methods being studied that would grow the algae in containers rather than in ponds. Also, even though I don't think carbon dioxide is an issue, algae could process A LOT of co2 and make the global warming people happy. From my understanding, the crude produced is also a very high quality crude that produces very high grade fuels and would work great as a low sulfur diesel source.

Overall, yes, we need to work hard on developing solar, wind, wave current, and other viable alternatives. But anything we can do to reduce our dependence on the middle east for oil is a good idea IMO.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:32 PM
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
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you also have to remember, it is not just FUEL we need, oil is used in nearly ever product you buy, by using the algae to produce your crude, you can break ties with the middle east and use our own crude to produce our plastics that we need. Using just wind, solar and what not to produce energy is not going to make us crude independent since it is used to make soo much.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:07 PM
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Considering where I live what I'm about to say is probably grounds for treason to a lot of my neighbors.

Corn works for ethanol, but it takes crops away from food supply, which is not a good idea. It also requires some of the best farmland on the planet to grow, which is also not a good idea. It requires a God awful amount of fertilizer, weed control, etc.

Switch grass will produce a decent amount of Ethanol per acre, requires no fertilizer (or so little that compared to corn it might as well be none) and can grow on marginal land. It grows densely as opposed to corn which needs it's space. Weed control? I think not.

The interim between now and algae should lean more towards switch grass and less towards corn.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:59 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,393 posts, read 39,713,740 times
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unfortunately the article is pretty old, but there is still a serious quest to move forward with this technology.

MIT and others are busy working on both growing and extracting.

chemical extraction has been the least expensive, (and least practical for a 'fuel replacement'... extraction using Benzene, hexane, and ether...) but is still twice the price of crushing nuts for palm oil.

Sounds like open ponds are not the most productive for highest lipid content
Algaculture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hopefully we (diesel users) will have algae tubes for siding on our homes, and every couple weeks we could squeeze out our fuel, and get a BIG check from Al Gore for Carbon sequestration. Algae Exhaust cleansers are already working well in testing on coal fired plants. Maybe we could stick them up the exhaust pipes of the school buses and 're-fuel' the fleet.

lot's o possibilities
Algae-based fuels | Startup Addict Musings

This site keep a pretty current heartbeat to algae based fuels

14 Aug 2008 article
http://www.thenewamerican.com/node/8673 (broken link)

Last edited by StealthRabbit; 08-13-2008 at 11:59 PM..
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