THE ALGAE DREAM (1) 7Hallo all my dear Oilgae friends,
Today and finally I have found a little time again to create a small text again. This is a little something that might not be appreciated by quite a few people here ? but it has to be said and I am not claiming that I am right! But I rather look forward to some good answers and reflections about this problem I have with the algae to bio fuel concept.
Basically when starting to discuss bio fuels we are always turning our thoughts around one thing ? how can we provide enough petrol for our cars and transportation systems once the crude oil is out or prices are to high for a broad majority to be on the move. Nobody ever discusses the god old combustion engine, or the insane use in the northern hemisphere of our globe to use oil for heating or producing electricity or plastics. Believe it or not but fact is that the combustion engine, invented and brought into a workable state 1893 by Rudolf Diesel, is 117 years old. This principle has been changed a lot throughout the years and has been developed into a highly efficient technology, equipped with all kinds of electronic gimmicks around it. But the basics remained the same and it is still burning up important resources and it is still polluting the environment. It is time for a change. But what should come instead!? Well this is actually nothing I tend to discuss here ? the main question I have is, - should we, and can we go on to feed this antique and risking by doing that, to crate even more disorder while building up an exaggerated supply system that might endanger more than it is useful.
Here now I copied a reply which I have given in Linkedin in the community group ALGAE TO GROWDIESEL. Since everything that has to do with algae breeding for bio fuel is widely discussed by a number of members in this group, no one of these participants seemed to take any notice of this ?heretical? inlay. This made me wonder. I have waited for a fierce argumentation to prove I am wrong. I am probably not right either. But from all I know up till now it doesn?t look good for algae, nor for any other biomass to fuel concept so far. But let us see what you come up with????.
Question in Linkedin/Group- Algae to Growdiesel:
Does anyone have Algae Biofuels Production Technologies Worldwide Report? I will be really thankful if someone can share the document with me. I want to study the report for educational purpose
Hallo Mr. Kumar,
I guess you can give up your efforts. Every day just another group, or firm or person pops up and loudly claiming unbelievable things about how the world could be saved by producing bio fuels from algae. Off course it works, - and there is no doubt about it. But it is a "niche-product" and this it will stay. And such a list want last very long I am afraid. There will be a number of upspring that just will vanish, and this time very quietly.
I start to get a little bit annoyed about the persistence from the players of the algae-bio fuel front, which might be true believers (this I will give some of them!), neglecting some vital facts about what kind of masses really are necessary to fire up our transportation system and the good old combustion engine, - and this nationwide? or even world wide?
I really think there are quite a few among those actors who are only in this game to skim the market for investors or subvention money - this here reminds also a little bit like 2001 when the "New Market" collapsed. A number of investors are putting their money into something they don?t understand and a lot of people are disclaiming that this technology would bring growth and wealth until the great awakening takes place, - the insight that no money will be earned with this technology!
BBB policy I would call that!
Here just some facts (when I will get a little more time I will publish this a little more detailed!):
In our algae project (which purely produces for food/feed outlets) we need about 19 hectares for a bio reactor plant producing 2000 ? 2500, maybe 3000 tons of biomasses per year.
For the oil-industry it seems to be economical feasible if algae-bio-diesel is being produced for 0, 48 $ per litre in an ordering amount of 210 million litre ? which equals the yearly fuel requirement of 200.000 standard model factory cars. For such a production a floor space of 85 square kilometres would be necessary. The liquid volume in such a production would be 17.2 million cubic metres. This amount of liquid has to be kept floating steadily, daily harvest of at least half of the reactor volume has to be undertaken daily, the biomasses have to be dried, and, and and ??
The average lipid content (which is not bio fuel yet) of algae is about 33%. Theoretical one could produce 7-10 litre extractable algae-oil per square metre from a faultless running production plant (please notice the word "faultless"!).
One kg of algae biomasses (dried) has the calorific value of 24 mj (Mega joule) - to produce 1 kg of dried algae biomasses (waterhousehold-fluctation-movement-harvest drying) one would need 34 till 42 mj - that is for an average production facility based on 20 hectare (ponds want make so much more difference in energy consumption. The paddle wheels - losses from evaporation process that have to be filled up again - harvest - drying....) For sizes in algae plants like I have given example above the energy balance should be considerable different, - and I guess not to the better. On top of this now comes the cracking process and transport!
So much the information for your educational purpose.
We do believe in algae. It is a wonderful feedstock and an economical rewarding one, - but not as bio fuel!
Sat August 14 2010 12:00:21 AM by AlgaeNova 610 viewsLogin to Post a Comment