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Want alternative energy? Try pond scum

January 13th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Biodiesel

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Do you know that oil derived from algae is an exciting renewable fuel possibility? – see Oilgae for more.

Want alternative energy? Try pond scum

To the growing industry of biodiesel and ethanol refiners with their eyes on biomass, algae looks like green gold, says By Clifford Carlsen @ TheDeal.com – CNet News


1. 10 to 15 years from now it is hard to imagine that algae won’t be a dominant source of oil for biodiesel.
2. Unlike most plants, algae shares characteristics of bacteria, and its photosynthetic machinery operates much faster in converting inorganic substances into organic matter. While plants require a lot of fuel to sow and harvest and additional fertilizer and fresh water to nourish, algae can be continuously harvested from closed water-based bioreactors that require little additional replenishment other than inorganic fuel supplied in the form of waste gas.
3. While corn, soybeans, canola and other common food crops have drawn the greatest public interest in biomass as a source of fuel, those commodities have been championed by a nexus of growers, processors, brokers and powerful lobbying groups. Algae has few such advocates, and market demand has yet to materialize.
4. The best sources of fertilizer for growing algae are the very greenhouse gases of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone that electrical power generators are under increasing pressure to reduce and the animal wastes that are increasingly becoming a problem for industrial-scale livestock operations.
5. For investors it is daunting to risk large amounts of capital on an emerging technology with no immediate market, noting that large bioreactors covering multiple acres of ponds closed to the open air are expensive to build.
6. Briggs estimates that the U.S. would require roughly 141 billion gallons of biodiesel to replace the 60 billion gallons of petroleum diesel and 120 billion gallons of gasoline now used in U.S. vehicles.
7. But while investors recognize the compelling science behind algae technology, they believe it remains several years away from commercial viability.

Organizations & Personalities: Bill Dommermuth, plant manager, Seattle Biodiesel; Imperium Renewables; Investors as Nth Power, Technology Partners and Vulcan Capital; Michael Briggs, laboratory manager at the University of New Hampshire Physics Department

Read the full article at TheDeal.com – CNet News

Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae
Oilgae Blog
algOS – Biodiesel from Algae Open Source

About Oilgae – Oilgae – Oil & Biodiesel from Algae has a focus on biodiesel production from algae while also discussing alternative energy in general. Algae present an exciting possibility as a feedstock for biodiesel, and when you realise that oil was originally formed from algae – among other related plants – you think “Hey! Why not oil again from algae!”

To facilitate exploration of oil production from algae as well as exploration of other alternative energy avenues, Oilgae provides web links, directory, and related resources for algae-based biofuels / biodiesel along with inputs on new inventions, discoveries & breakthroughs in other alternative energy domains such as solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, geothermal, hydrogen & fuel cells, gravitational, geothemal, human-powered, ocean & wave / tidal energy. We hope Oilgae proves to be useful as a research information & inputs resources, and as a source of news & info for business & trade of algal oil, algal fuels & new alternative energy products – specially with regard to new feedstock / feedstocks, production processes and uses, and market info such as price / prices, data & statistics

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