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Old 11-18-2011, 12:29 PM
4,990 posts, read 4,472,480 times
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Excellent thread, jet!

I know in past threads you might not have considered it a viable alternative to fossil fuel, but algae could be one of the best contenders to save us from the fact that our entire civilization revolves around a resource that is not only finite, but is directly related to costly and deadly wars and environmental destruction.

Check out the links under US Navy Leads on Biofuel Innovation.

I think we would be much better off if our military and its private sector partners invested their time and energy on algae R&D, rather than spend trillions of taxpayer dollars at the cost of thousands of American lives waging an eternal crusade for a resource that's on borrowed time.

Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
the cost of rail construction far exceeds even the mad debting ambitions of congress.
the bottom line, we are broke. bus lines could reduce fuel consumption by moving us to a public transport instead of private. buse lines are cheap and quick to set up and easy to change.
also can be subcontracted. simple and cheap is the way of we the people but grandious pork barrel and heavy debting is the way of DC.
In terms of cost and simplicity, algae also looks like a good investment.

Originally Posted by kovert View Post
"Last year, 4% of the US transportation fuel supply came from corn based ethanol. It took 23 million acres to achieve that. Warner says that if we had committed the same land area to growing algae instead, it would have produced 50% of our supply. This suggests that less than 50 million acres, an area about the size of the state of Nebraksa, would be sufficient to grow enough algae to power our current transportation fleet. That's a little over 2% of the total land area of the US.

The second great thing about algae, Warner tells us, is the fact that it is a "drop-in fuel," which means that it can directly replace gasoline without any modification to the cars, the pipelines, pumps, refineries, etc. That's a pretty big deal. Our current fossil fuel infrastructure represents a $12 trillion investment.

As for the cost, Warner says that they are projecting that commercial algae-based oil will be available for $80 per barrel, a price that is competitive right now and will only become more so, as oil supplies dwindle.

"When I heard about algae," Warner said in an interview with Fast Company, "I had that state of readiness that enabled me to recognize that it was the solution. It's not going to compromise food production, it's not going to compromise potable water, it doesn't require land that is in high demand for alternative uses, and it's very low carbon, so it's not creating a negative environmental footprint."

Is it sustainable? Warner says it is. Algae requires CO2 to grow productively, thus becoming an effective source of carbon sequestration, capable of pulling 14-15 kg of CO2 per gallon of algae-based fuel produced. While this scenario is not carbon-free, it does represent, on a lifecycle basis, a reduction of as much as 70% in greenhouse gas emissions when compared mile for mile with conventional diesel fuel, or 61% when compared to gasoline."

Last edited by kovert; 11-18-2011 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:00 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,169 posts, read 9,264,725 times
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I prefer using "present" solar over "past" solar (embodied in fossil fuels).

I am skeptical about claims that are overly optimistic. But I hope biofuels do succeed.

But in the mean time, we must reconsider our national policy of subsidizing one of the most wasteful forms of land transportation - the automobile - and roll back fuel / energy consumption.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:03 PM
Location: Prepperland
13,169 posts, read 9,264,725 times
Reputation: 9070
Editorial: The Nonsense of Biofuels - Michel - 2012 - Angewandte Chemie International Edition - Wiley Online Library
  • Biodiesel : 0.1% efficient
  • Bioethanol : less than 0.2%, and
  • Biogas : around 0.3%.
  • Photovoltaic solar cell : 15% efficient

Summation -- the energy efficiency of photosynthesis is so small, that it is a waste of resources to "grow" fuel instead of food.
{recycling food and human wastes is reasonable}

Recommendation -- use present solar, direct or indirect, to generate electricity. Use it to power electric traction rail.
================================================== ==

What proves rail is cheaper over the long term?
[] common sense -
[] lower energy cost -
[] less surface area per unit cargo or passengers -
[] less pollution -
[] durable -
[] higher capacity -


In 1920, 90% of all travel was by electric traction rail (streetcars), average fare - $0.05. ($36.50 annual cost for taking a round trip every day; 730 x 5 cents.)
In 1920, you could buy a brand new Ford Model T for $300.00
In 1935, you could buy a brand new Plymouth for $565.00.
In 1979, you could buy a Honda Accord for $7000.00.
In 2012, you can buy a Ford Focus for $16,500.00
In 2012, 30-Day Unlimited Ride MetroCard on NYC mass transit - Cost: $104, reduced fare $52
(per annum = $ 1,248 / $ 624) (Children ride free, if with fare paying adult)

2012 Ford Focus 2.0L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual True Cost to Own
$31,115 over five years is the "true cost to own" that Ford Focus.
$6,223 per year.
In relation to minimum wage ($7.25 / hour), that expense computes to 41% of gross wages. If one earns double minimum wage, that's 20.6% of pre-tax gross wages. In that case, one will be working 1/5 their life to "support" their habit. If one works from 18 to 70 (assuming later age of retirement), the automobile costs them over TEN YEARS of labor.

  • The point: The buying power of funny munny keeps dropping (prices keep inflating), which wipes out the benefit of "saving". (Thanks! Congress)
  • The point: Inflation is a hidden tax increase as well as a hidden pressure to increase government budgets, which increases deficits.
  • The point: To afford a modest car, a necessity in many locations, consumes a large proportion of one's earnings, and indirectly consumes resources, via taxation to build, improve, and maintain the extensive infrastructure that it requires.
  • The point: Is it really worth it for government to SUBSIDIZE automobiles - one of the most expensive, wasteful, inefficient means of land transport?
  • Is it worth it to YOU to spend over ten years working just so you have the convenience? And work even more "for the government" who expends it on automobile infrastructure?
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