Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

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Thread: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

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    Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Shell, Biopetroleum to Build Algae Plant to Make Fuel
    Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's largest oil company, and HR Biopetroleum will build an algae- growing plant in Hawaii to produce vegetable oil for biofuels
    ...
    Algae ``can double their mass several times a day and produce at least 15 times more oil per hectare than alternatives such as rape, palm soya or jatropha,'' Shell said. It ``can be cultivated in ponds of seawater, minimizing the use of fertile land and fresh water.''

    Shell, based in The Hague, plans to expand the 2.5-hectare (269,000 square foot) pilot project to a 1,000-hectare facility after two years and later to a ``full-scale commercial,'' 20,000- hectare plant, Sweeney said on a conference call with reporters. He declined to comment on planned investment.
    ...
    The seaweed is expected to produce 60 tons of oil per hectare, a ``conservative figure,'' according to Sweeney. That compares with an average of 4 tons of oil per hectare for jatropha.
    There are 286 gallons of oil in a metric ton, so once the facility is complete, it will produce 343 million gallons of oil (which converts to the same amount of biodiesel fuel) per year.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    I've been waiting for this. The smart thing for them to do is get involved with the new technology and not try to fight it.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    This could be the very solution to world's energy problems and all we need is sea water and sun.
    Why bother with corn made ethanol, solar panels or oil itself? Also the CO2 that results when consuming this biodiesel is not CO2 stored through ages; it's the CO2 absorbed from today's atmosphere. So, what gets absorbed gets released - no CO2 waken up from ages before.
    Very, very, very cheap, plentifull and eco-friendly. Quite nice.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Um, doesn't algae suck all of the oxygen out of the water causing dead zones? How is that going to be good for the surrounding environment?

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    There may be some oxygen absorbed but there's plenty of ocean. And even oxygen pumps could be used if one cares so much about the environment. The energy 'contained' by the algaes is mostly energy absorbed from the sun not oxygen and nutrients from the water. Also these nutrients could be replaced with artificial ones (like in agriculture) if one cares so much all of a sudden about the environmnet. Ocean grown algaes are like cheap solar panels; solar panels that grow on their own.
    Anyway growing algaes won't do as much harm as initiating some underwater atomic explosions like it happened several times.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    And I thought the $13 billion in annual federal subsidies to Big Oil was being wasted. I guess I was wrong.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by fan View Post
    This could be the very solution to world's energy problems and all we need is sea water and sun.
    Why bother with corn made ethanol, solar panels or oil itself? Also the CO2 that results when consuming this biodiesel is not CO2 stored through ages; it's the CO2 absorbed from today's atmosphere. So, what gets absorbed gets released - no CO2 waken up from ages before.
    Very, very, very cheap, plentifull and eco-friendly. Quite nice.

    Excellent comment!!

    -Mike
    '69 Z/28 - X33, V0105DZ, DNE4+1, D80
    '98 Z28 - M6

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    Um, doesn't algae suck all of the oxygen out of the water causing dead zones? How is that going to be good for the surrounding environment?
    Presumably the algae would have to be contained in some way so they could harvest it. I was thinking enclosed ponds or tanks, but I don't know if there is that much flat ground in Hawaii.

    You see salt evaporation ponds on air approach to SFO. Sometimes these are bright red. Apparently this color is caused by naturally occurring algae that happen to like whatever salt level the pond is at at that moment. Seems like these ponds might be converted to this use.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Here is more:

    "Shell and HR Biopetroleum have formed a joint venture company, called Cellana, to develop this project, with Shell taking the majority share. Construction of the demonstration facility on the Kona coast of Hawaii Island will begin immediately. The site, leased from the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), is near existing commercial algae enterprises, primarily serving the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.


    The facility will grow only non-modified, marine microalgae species in open-air ponds using proprietary technology. Algae strains used will be indigenous to Hawaii or approved by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Protection of the local environment and marine ecosystem has been central to facility design. Once the algae are harvested, the vegetable oil will be extracted. The facility’s small production volumes will be used for testing."

    From this press release:

    http://www.shell.com/home/content/me..._11122007.html

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    Um, doesn't algae suck all of the oxygen out of the water causing dead zones? How is that going to be good for the surrounding environment?
    There has been algae farms there for years, this really isn't all the new (except the final product). Most of the water used comes from thousands of feet deep in the ocean - the waters off the Big Island gets deep very fast.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon
    Algae can double their mass several times a day and produce at least 15 times more oil per hectare than alternatives such as rape, palm soya or jatroph.
    Its official - growing algea is 15x more efficient than rape.
    Last edited by maksik7; 12-13-2007 at 12:25 PM.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by fan View Post
    This could be the very solution to world's energy problems and all we need is sea water and sun.
    Why bother with corn made ethanol, solar panels or oil itself? Also the CO2 that results when consuming this biodiesel is not CO2 stored through ages; it's the CO2 absorbed from today's atmosphere. So, what gets absorbed gets released - no CO2 waken up from ages before.
    Very, very, very cheap, plentifull and eco-friendly. Quite nice.
    And for those who are not fans of the eco-movement - this fuel will be 100% US material. No middle-eastern involvement at all.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by maksik7 View Post
    Its official - growing algea is 15x more efficient than rape.
    For those that don't know, what the rest of the world calls "rape", North Americans call canola.

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    For those that don't know, what the rest of the world calls "rape", North Americans call canola.
    Damn, the rest of the world is weird...
    "f-a-g" instead of cig, "football" instead of soccer, and now this
    I knew we should have bombed them into linguistic compliance long ago!

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    Re: Big Oil is building algae farm in Hawaii for biodiesel

    Your all ignoring the big question! Will this LOWER our fuel costs? Doubt it. They have seen your willing to pay over $3 bucks a gallon, why should they lower the cost. Lots of people have been working on this concept, one guy estimated a 15,000 acre algae farm could replace all the oil we use.

    Or what about the guy in NY who has built and is going to buid a plant in NY that used microwaves to turn ANYTHING into oil and gas. Makes more energy than it comsumes. He's put old tires, plastics, ANYTHING into it and gets oil out. Popular Mechanics did an article on it and the guy said big oil would want him dead if they found out. So he's probably dead by now.

    The fact that there are alternatives to oil is not surprising, what is surprsing is big oil is getting involved. Its well documented big oil has since day one fought and destroyed ANY attempt, concept, prototype, etc. that went against what they wanted. You to use more oil. There collection of patents, ideas, working prototypes, etc. that they have stollen, seized, bought, etc. must number in the millions. That alone should raise eyebrows and not in a good way.

    The only way to truly become indepenent is for each of us to become independent. I say we come up with a home algae farm. Anyone with a backyard could produce this stuff and dump it into there own vehicle. Almost for free. When we can do that my friends, we will truly be free.

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