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Algae to Methanol to Fuel Cells to Electricity and Back to Algae!

December 11th, 2008 | 2 Comments | Posted in Algae-Cultivation

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Was going through an interesting patent filing when I came across this paragraph: “A method of cultivating an algae, comprising: introducing oxygen produced by the algae into a hydrogen fuel cell assembly; introducing methanol produced by the gasification of an algae pulp of the algae into the hydrogen fuel assembly; processing the oxygen and the methanol in the hydrogen fuel cell assembly to produce carbon dioxide and water; and cultivating the algae with the carbon dioxide and the water.”

So that appears like a neat little idea – grow algae and get oxygen during its growth, take the algae, gasify it to get methanol, use the methanol in a direct methanol fuel cell to get electricity, CO2 and water, and send the CO2 and water back again for algae growth. Interesting, not sure about the economics though.

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2 Responses to “Algae to Methanol to Fuel Cells to Electricity and Back to Algae!”

  1. tony Says:

    The concept of a closed loop fuel cell system is good.

    But I think we could use extracted oils instead of making methanol from algae.

    Or even further we might be able to make photocatalysts that could take the suns energy and produce methanol from carbon dioxide and water.

  2. Warner Kimo Says:

    Take the Algae and separate the oil with methanol, use the water and biomass again as the waste can be gasified to make ethanol/methanol or energy. The CO2 is take out in a closed loop operation and each is a profit center. Carbon credits not needed. More energy from algae than any plant on the planet .A perpetual supply of algae to use for the products.

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