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mrsocko





Joined: 29 Oct 2006
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Location: Southwestern Ontario

PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 8:01 pm    Post subject: Algae Biofuels for $0.20 a Gallon? Reply with quote

http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/.....chive.html

Quote:
Update: After re-reading the article at NewEnergyandFuel more carefully, and after reading the materials at the AlgaeVenture site, I need to clarify the nature of the breakthrough. The impressive improvement in processing efficiency achieved by AlgaeVenture Systems is in the intermediate step of "removing, harvesting, and dewatering." This breakthrough will indeed lead to cheaper algal biodiesel, although for production costs of $0.20 a gallon we will have to wait for similar breakthroughs in the steps of oil extraction and fuels processing / synthesis. This is still a big deal. But not quite the "magic bullet" I at first thought. The Al Fin article below is edited to reflect this more careful second reading.

Algae is a monster at growing rapidly and producing huge quantities of oil. But until now, it has cost between $10 and $20 a gallon to produce biodiesel from algae. Now a company in Ohio claims to have cut the price of processing algae for oil production by a factor of over 100! The technology involves a continuous process de-watering and dry flaking of the algae for oil removal. Brian Westenhaus gives more information:
Ross Youngs, CEO of Univenture, the parent corporation of AlgaeVenture Systems said, “For nearly 40 years, it has been widely accepted that if the cost of removing, harvesting and dewatering algae could be reduced to $50 a ton, algae could become a significant source of fuel. Today we have demonstrated a truly disruptive technology that reduces that cost by more than 99 percent – from $875 per ton to $1.92 per ton. We believe that this breakthrough moves algae back into the spotlight as an economically viable, plentiful source of fuel in the future.”

If this works, scales up and is low cost to buy and install, “disruptive” might be a vast understatement. As the following chart form AlgaeVentures shows, and its loaded to their favor but not by far, the cost to gather, separate out the water and dry down algae so the oil can be harvested is a huge capital and ongoing expense. _NewEnergyandFuel
Read the entire article above, which suggests the "algal pre-processing" price per gallon for algae fuels may drop below 5 cents a gallon! Very difficult to believe, certainly, but breakthroughs have a habit of occurring when least expected. [ The total cost of production for a gallon of biodiesel would also include the costs of cultivation, oil extraction, and fuel synthesis costs. Even so, this development puts algal biofuels on the fast track to being the biodiesel of choice.]

The disruptive part of the technology comes not only from cheap and abundant liquid fuel that is coming, but from the potential to engineer the algae to produce a wide range of chemicals and other products such as high protein animal feeds. Algae are becoming quite useful for water purification of both municipal wastewaters and agricultural runoff. And for the climate catastrophe crowd, algae can eat CO2 like every day is Thanksgiving. This is very big news, if it works.

Update: Brian Wang also covered this story a few days ago.

The longer I think about this partial breakthrough, the more important it seems to me. Algae comes in many species, capable of growing in a wide range of environments. Algal oil production might range from 1,000 gallons per acre to 100,000 gallons per acre -- depending upon the growth setting and the species of algae. Even at the lowest levels, algae can out-perform palm and jatropha -- the best oilseed crops. It has always been a matter of finding economical ways of processing the algae, extracting the oil, and creating the fuel from the oil.

It makes sense that the breakthroughs for each significant step in the overall process would take place separately, and be achieved by different groups. The important thing is that significant progress is being made on all fronts. The cost of producing algal biofuels is falling -- and if enough progress is made the price point at which algal fuels can be sold will cross the price point for petrol fuels somewhere under $5 a gallon within the next 5 to 10 years.

If we do run short of fuel, the problem is more likely to be Obamanomics and Obamapolitics rather than any failure of technology. Any jackass can invent a faux crises, claim it must be solved or it will destroy the planet, then institute policies that create even worse problems as side effects. [Of course, there are some things that could destroy the planet, but Obama is not concerned about those] In this case, the jackass is the Obama / Pelosi reich, promoting a "solution" for climate change. Such stupidity adds significant urgency to the need to develop a non-food crop fuels alternative such as algae -- which thrives on CO2, thrives on salt water and wastewater, thrives in the desert where no crops grow, and so on.


Take that eco-idiots.
kwlafayette





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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Location: Saskatoon Saskatchewan

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the POR economy will have us all wishing we had fuel in a few years. That is the Pelosi Obama Reid economy, POR for short.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Algae doesn't hold a candle to soylent green.

-Mac
RuralandRight





Joined: 30 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
Algae doesn't hold a candle to soylent green.

-Mac


:shock:
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
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Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RuralandRight wrote:
:shock:

Not a science fiction buff, I'm guessing?

-Mac
RuralandRight





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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't say I've seen that movie but that clip cracked me up!

Seems soylent green has a bit of a following :lol: :lol: :lol:

Is that the name of the sci fi movie ?

The original algae fuel sounds amazing if it is true and producible in mass quantities ... Soylent green could provide great energy needs for humanity also, while providing that population control that the Greens would love to see.
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
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votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RuralandRight wrote:
Is that the name of the sci fi movie ?

Soylent Green was the name of the movie which was about a futuristic overpopulated world where a new, revolutionary foodstuff was introduced...

-Mac
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Algae Biofuels for $0.20 a Gallon?

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