Big development for algae biodiesel

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Thread: Big development for algae biodiesel

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    Big development for algae biodiesel

    In theory, the world could meet all of its energy demands (literally) by growing algae, sucking the lipids (i.e., fat/oil) out of it and converting them to biodiesel fuel. While growing algae is easy enough, the sticking point has always been getting the oil out of the algae in a manner that does not make the whole process unproductive. We now appear to have a breakthrough which, if it can be commercialized, could go a long way toward liberating us from foreign oil.

    International Energy Develops Continuous Bio-Oil Extraction Process from Microalgae
    Vancouver, BC – January 29, 2008 – International Energy, Inc. ... announces development of a continuous cyclic growth and hydrocarbon extraction process that can be applied to mass cultures of microalgae for the separation of bio-oils from the algal biomass. This proprietary IENI technology yields high purity microalgal bio-oils, which can serve as feedstock for the production of useful biofuels.

    The Company’s breakthrough proprietary technology allows the microalgae to be processed for bio-oil separation and harvesting, while preserving the viability and vitality of the cells that produce them. Microalgae, stripped of their bio-oils, are then returned to the growth medium for further growth and hydrocarbon accumulation. This novel approach minimizes biomass generation time while enhancing yields of hydrocarbon production.
    ...
    With today’s announcement of a breakthrough technology which allows the microalgae to be processed for bio-oil separation and harvesting while preserving the viability and vitality of the cells, International Energy has effectively resolved yet another technological challenge for the production of bio-oils from microalgae.
    So instead of growing algae, and then destroying it for the oil and having to start over (like you do with corn), the oil is sucked out and the algae are sent back to grow more (like sheering wool off sheep).

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    The State of Hawaii just signed a memorandum with the federal government to develop alternate sources of energy, including biodiesel.

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Ronald McChevy's Avatar
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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    What exactly do the algae eat? Do they have to be periodically "rotated" like crops so the area can replenish itself.

    Not a problem if this is the case... just curious.

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel


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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by ronald mcretard View Post
    What exactly do the algae eat? Do they have to be periodically "rotated" like crops so the area can replenish itself.

    Not a problem if this is the case... just curious.
    Algae make their own food through photosynthesis. They "consume" sunlight, carbon dioxide and hydrogen in water.

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Hey HoosierRon,
    Thanks for finding all this information of the bio fuel sector. It makes me think that my kids won't be sending money to terrorists! Now if only we can stop buying lead infested toys from China, we might be ok....
    Erik

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    I like this, it will allow us to continue to drive what we like but without giving money to people that will harm us. My question is how long will it take to develop this to the point where it displaces a large amount of oil we use? I always hear about such technologies but I never see it doing anything.
    Can you guess what he's going to do with the big fist? Hidden Content

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Keep it comming.

    I long for the day when we can tell OPEC to go you know where.
    "It's starting to hit me like a ....ummmm... two ton heavy thing"

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    i think algae derived jet fuel is the future of aviation, since electric propulsion simply doesn't work well for aircraft. for cars, i think it will be electrics and plug in hybrids.

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by PA Dweller View Post
    I like this, it will allow us to continue to drive what we like but without giving money to people that will harm us. My question is how long will it take to develop this to the point where it displaces a large amount of oil we use? I always hear about such technologies but I never see it doing anything.
    It is coming. If I were inclined, I could come up with 50 examples of the government and venture capitalists investing billions of dollars solely in an attempt to identify which species of algae is most appropriate for this application (or, alternatively, genetically modifying algae to make it more productive). As the story in this thread shows, progress is being made.

    Here is another story (previously posted by CJThunder) that also demonstrates true progress is being made:

    SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Green Star Products, Inc. (OTC:GSPI) today announced that it has successfully completed Phase III for winter environmental testing of its hybrid algae production facility in Montana.

    The GSPI hybrid algae production system is designed to provide a controlled algae growing environment at an affordable capital and maintenance cost, which has eluded engineers for more than three decades.

    The GSPI system endured severe Montana winter conditions, which included many nighttime temperatures below -18º Celsius (0º Fahrenheit) and snowfalls of up to 355 mm (14 inches).

    The 40,000 liter demonstration facility is located outdoors and had successfully completed Phase I and II of the project in mid-2007 (see details in press releases dated May 11 and July 9, 2007 at GreenStarUSA.com).

    The algae demonstration project was not initially scheduled to continue into the winter months; however, the success of the first two phases of the project provided an opportunity to subject the algae hybrid system to severe Montana winter conditions to gather data never before attempted by any other research organization.

    The successful testing and results of the cold weather program provided invaluable data that has increased the efficiency of the environmental control system. For example, as winter approached, a small generator (under 1 kW demand) was added to the system to provide electric power for the water pumping system. The exhaust from the generator (CO2) was fed to the algae (algae eats CO2) and the heat from the exhaust was passed into the algae water, which provides some warmth for the algae.
    Just remember how new this entire field is. 10 years ago, oil sold for under $20/barrel, and no one was giving any thought to getting car fuel from pond scum.

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    I have been a fan of this since I read about it a few months back in a diesel mag. Algae is great, since there is so much of it and they do not need much to grow and expand. I would also like to see how that US air force experiment with a jet powered on liquid coal worked out, since we also have a lot of coal.

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by NoNameDenton View Post
    I have been a fan of this since I read about it a few months back in a diesel mag. Algae is great, since there is so much of it and they do not need much to grow and expand. I would also like to see how that US air force experiment with a jet powered on liquid coal worked out, since we also have a lot of coal.
    If detailed analysis of flight test data and physical inspection prove out, the US Air Force plans to certify its entire B-52 bomber fleet for use of a GTL-JP8 blend by the end of the year. The Air Force recently concluded its flight and ground tests of the 50-50 GTL (Gas-to-Liquids) blend.
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007..._force_pl.html

    Last week, Virgin announced plans to test fly a Boeing 747-400 from London to Amsterdam using a blend of about 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent jet fuel. The flight, set for late February, will be the world's first in-air test of a biofuel by a commercial jet.
    http://www.motherjones.com/washingto...l-warming.html

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    We now appear to have a breakthrough which, if it can be commercialized, could go a long way toward liberating us from foreign oil.

    Ron,

    Thanks for the update. I like reading your postings on all the new developments!

    Although it's important not to be dependent on foreign oil, just do some research on the remaning reserves of oil in the world - it's very finite and we only have about 5-20 years left (dependent on a lot of factors). Ignore the Peak Oil extremists, and just read the facts from credible sources

    Combined with the fact that we are dumping way to much CO2 into the atmoshpere, it's very good news to hear that people are starting to work on this now before it's too late. Experts estimate it will take 15-20 years to complete a changeover from fossil fuels to bio fuels. Let's git 'er done!!

    The other promising area is cellulosic ethanol. We all know that corn ethanol is extremely inefficient (fubar quite frankly). The work GM is doing with Coskata is the way to go!!! And let's do it now before it's too late and we have a national energy crisis on our hands.

    M
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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    Sounds like not from just this article, but others as well, that there's solid traction in the development and viable commercial cost effective options to produce biodiesel coming online.

    My main concern is the retail side. In an area of 3.5 million people where I live, there are less than a handful of retail locations that sell biodiesel. Out of these handful all of them are independent small ventures done out of some industrial complex or way out of the true traffic areas.

    Movement needs to be made to somehow get retail locations to offer the product. Without the retail aspect it seems that we are still years away from offering the consumer the actual alternative.

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    Re: Big development for algae biodiesel

    the biggest hurdle for bio-diesel to over come outside of mainstream production, which is being worked on as the above posts show, is it's gelling point. B100, depending on what it is produced from can have a cloud point of anywhere from 68F to 14F. If it starts to gell, filters clog, fuel delivery stops, diesel injectors and be damaged, then if you have water in your bio, it crystalizes at 32F etc etc etc. The best diesel engine to run B100 is one that does not use common rail injection, unless you use a fuel tank heater and a fuel heater prior to entering the high pressure fuel pump. However heating b100 also grows microbes which can also clog filters.

    Also where water in diesel is detrimental to the engine, hence the need for diesel/water separators, and Bio attracts water. The water in the fuel lowers the BTU of the fuel, rots paper fuel filters, rusts fuel pumps and fuel lines, etc etc etc.

    So just like my post that I do prefer B100 as a fuel over ethanol, I am well aware of its problems as well.

    Also Bio-diesel is a solvent, and thus, if you use even B20 in a vehicle that has been running on dino-diesel, the Bio fuel will clean any crap off the sides and bottom of the fuel tank, fuel lines, etc etc and clog filters and this crap, if not filtered out to less than 2 microns will damage injectors. You will need to have really good filters and change them frequently if going from dino-diesel to Bio diesel. Not to mention that any parts in the fuel line made from rubber need to be changed to synthetic material as the solvent characteristics of biodiesel will deteriorate rubber hoses and o-rings.

    There is alot more one should know before switching from dino-fuel to bio-fuel, but think this post is long enough for now.. LOL

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