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Coal Flue Gas 3

I had an interesting opportunity to meet with a representative of Seambiotic, an Israeli company who has set up shop adjacent to a coal fired power plant outside Tel-Aviv. We met at the Youngstown State University Sustainable Energy Forum in Youngstown, OH a few days ago.

These guys are actually succeeding in producing algae at a pilot / small industrial scale using the off-gas from the coal plant using open raceways to grow their algae.

A few comments from them include:
1) "We chose open ponds because no matter what you do, you'll eventually get contaminants in the system; it's MUCH easier to clean and sweep out a raceway pond than a PBR."
2) "When you look at a wheat field from far away, it looks like pure wheat with no contaminants... problem is, that there are always going to be weeds and other plants that grow that you don't want. The genius of a farmer is that he doesn't just grow his crop, he manages the weeds and pests. We look at ourselves as farmers and we too, manage the weeds and pests."
3)Biofuel is only a very small part of what we do. Food additives and feed are much more lucrative right now and will be the driving factor for years to come.

More interesting concepts and white papers are available on their website at http://www.seambiotic.com
Wed June 16 2010 01:33:32 PM by IanJ 1936 views

Comments - 2

  • Shankar wrote:
    Wed June 16 2010 11:11:14 PM

    " no matter what you do, you'll eventually get contaminants " is disturbing. It puts back PBRs even for speciality products unless the technology is mastered.

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  • IanJ wrote:
    Thu June 17 2010 03:10:52 PM

    Just remember that he's also biased to open ponds at this point, so a bit of hyperbole may have been added.

    Also, I'm not sure it's really that big of a constraint. You just have to plan for the eventuality of having to drain and clean the system. So now it's a design issue rather than a feasibility issue. Granted the design may push the cost out of the feasibility range, but that too will eventually be overcome. There are definitely benefits to PBR's and we as a group simply need to define the boundary conditions, add margin, then design around it all.

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