My thoughts on how its gonna work, if it ever does work.

My thoughts on how its gonna work, if it ever does work.

Postby hogg » Sat Jun 12, 2010 12:31 pm

On that Algae oil.
Algae has to be grown, harvested, squeezed, Distilled, filtered and then you can pour it into your Van.

The questions arise when somebody wants to know how much etc.
So far, I've been on this quest for two years and still I'm only full of knowledge and ideas.
I've yet to see where anybody is actually doing this!

I suspect;
It's going to take a bunch of pipes cut in half. Maybe a square of 12' by 12' of those pipes.
The Algae grows in those pipes.
You scrape it out and dry it. (all the water from the drying process must go back into the pipes)

When its completely dry, you squeeze the soup out of it.

Then you mix the Soup with Hexane and Distill it.

The Hexane takes out all the stuff you don't want, leaving the oil in the bottom of the Distillery Glass bowl.
The Hexane and other parts of the soup are in another bowl.

Here's the Rub.
You'd have to do this every day! Algae grows pretty fast.
If you were lucky at growing Algae, you might get to do it twice a day.

Once you collect it and set it up to dry, it might take a few days for all the water to get out of the stuff.
In my mind's eye, I see a Dryer of some kind. Warm air circulating and something fluffing this stuff.
That dried stuff gets put into a container waiting for the Big Squeeze.

Collecting and drying a 12X12' square, 1/4" thick should give you enough dried stuff to make a Gallon of Soup.
Each Distilling of a Gallon will yield about a Half Gallon of burnable oil.
So each day's growth from that 12X12(pond) will yield a Half gallon of Diesel.

So think of a place, like your Garage Roof, or along that Fence, where you can lay out these Pipes facing the Sunlight.
You have to cover the pipes with clear plastic or glass to keep the bird shit out.

You have to be able to scrape the Algae off the top, leaving the water in the pipe and some of the Algae for seed, so its gotta be down where you can easily reach it. I like the idea of pipes along the sunny side of the fence.

So Far, I've not ever seen anything in progress or heard of anybody making so much as a Bucket full of the stuff.

Thinking like an Engineer:
The cost of the pipes and apparatus to stack the pipes, and prepare them.
The Cost of drying, squeezing etc.
The Cost of Distilling. That's going to be a whopper, because its got to be done at an even temperature, and not hot enough to cause a flame up of the contents.
The labor involved. The Containers for the leftover Hexane and what to do with the stuff mixed in with the Hexane.
The cost of hexane.

All that added to the low yield make it almost out of the question for the small operator.

If four or five guys wanted to set up a 'farm' where they could all tend to the stuff frequently and automate some of the chores, it might be feasible.
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Re: My thoughts on how its gonna work, if it ever does work.

Postby cacofonix » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:48 pm

Hi Hogg.

Sterling stuff.

Thanks for all the time you took to pen down such detailed thoughts.

I think there are some alternatives to some of the processes you have suggested, but more on that later.

Just wanted to say Thanks for taking time to put down all your thoughts at one place

[url-]Narasimhan Santhanam - Energy Alternatives India[/url]
Site Admin
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Re: My thoughts on how its gonna work, if it ever does work.

Postby hogg » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:38 pm

CAC thanks for the thanks.
I'd sure be happy to read your thoughts too.
Go ahead when you get time. I'm interested, but losing ground on my race to catch the Corn Cob! :lol:
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