Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

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Thread: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

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    Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Scientists first made biodiesel from algae in the laboratory. Once that works, they move on to "demonstration" or "pilot" scale, which shows it works outside the lab, but not big enough to actually make money. Once that works, they move on to commercial scale, which is big enough to make a profit and sell it on an ongoing basis.

    Progress seen in biodiesel fuel production locally

    CARLSBAD — A major milestone has been reached in local efforts to produce a high quality biodiesel fuel from algae oil.

    The Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management recently harvested commercial-scale quantities of algae from its test salt water ponds located at New Mexico State University Agriculture Science Center in north Eddy County . . . . the produced oil appears to have all the right profiles for making high quality biodiesel fuel.
    ...
    "This marks an historical milestone in developing the technology necessary to make endlessly renewable fuel that does not compete with food crops for resources."
    Prather-Stroud said the center is projecting construction and operation of a commercial-scale integrated system for producing algae oil within the next 18 to 24 months.

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Love to have a dime for every news report I've heard that says someone has discovered how to make fuel out of so and so (fill in the blank). The most recent reports include: everyday garbage, human waste, etc. I guess we can now add algae to the list.

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Awesome!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't run into any showstoppers.

    Too bad I'll have to choose between Honda/Acura, Subaru, & Volkswagen for a reasonably priced diesel car.
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    Scientists first made biodiesel from algae in the laboratory. Once that works, they move on to "demonstration" or "pilot" scale, which shows it works outside the lab, but not big enough to actually make money. Once that works, they move on to commercial scale, which is big enough to make a profit and sell it on an ongoing basis.

    Progress seen in biodiesel fuel production locally
    The story is a bit low on details. Where are they getting the CO2 from- atmosphere or smokestack. Also I hate it when they do not put out any pricing information.

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveK364 View Post
    I guess we can now add algae to the list.
    Yes, lets finally add algae to the list.

    Way to stay on top of things.
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by agman25 View Post
    The story is a bit low on details. Where are they getting the CO2 from- atmosphere or smokestack. Also I hate it when they do not put out any pricing information.
    CO2 is not in high enough concentrations in the atmosphere to make the atmosphere a viable source. Typically CO2 is a byproduct of several industries and would be vented to atmosphere if there was no commercial use for it, so whatever gets put to use & consumed in some way (like being consumed by algae for Bio-diesel production, or reinjection into the ground for enhanced oilfield recovery) is more that does not get put in the atmosphere, if one is concerned of such a thing.
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by agman25 View Post
    The story is a bit low on details. Where are they getting the CO2 from- atmosphere or smokestack. Also I hate it when they do not put out any pricing information.
    I wouldn't expect any hard numbers from someone with a name like "Wren Prather-Stroud".

    All you sensitive types are now free to flame away.

    Pretty cool though to see algae biodiesel moving forward. Who cares if cars don't burn it - if every truck, tractor, and train used it we would see a significant drop in fossil fuel demand. (Making gasoline cheaper for our cars.)

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    To answer some people's questions:

    This is the best article I've read that helped me understand all thats involved with algae biodiesel. It's from Royal Dutch Shell and if they can solve the problems, it will be a boon!!


    http://www.shell.com/home/content/ab..._13022008.html

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Also if anyone is interested.. check out this website... http://www.greencrudeproduction.com/
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    Yes, lets finally add algae to the list.

    Way to stay on top of things.
    hahaha... kind of like the people asking "well what happens if you drive the Volt past 40 miles and then you have to call AAA to come charge your battery??? derrrr??????"

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by 377Z View Post
    Yes, lets finally add algae to the list.

    Way to stay on top of things.

    *****************************************

    Awesome!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't run into any showstoppers.

    Too bad I'll have to choose between Honda/Acura, Subaru, & Volkswagen for a reasonably priced diesel car.
    YEP.

    Or really, yep to all your posts in this thread.

    This and 'things' 'like it' could really end up being really, really, useful - all the secondary benefits.......... - maybe even help coal improve a great deal.

    This kind of stuff is where the battery money should be going.

    Lets see.......

    Battery hybrids:

    Environmental / energy consumption disaster in manufacturing and at least some aspects of recycling .

    Sweatshop and human trafficked labor in Japan and China - and God knows where else it spreads along with more Americans out of work.

    ************************************************** ******************************

    Algae/ related other - bio fuel supply production. ( Especially Bio diesel and potental Bio diesel MK. 2.0 )

    Too many to list positive, secondary environmental benefits during production. 'Recycling - self contained - net positive - NA.

    Something other than human labor does the hard part.

    The other part at least offers a realistic possibility of decent paying jobs in the USA - for it's citizens.

    Easily and attractive to set up - in one form or another (eventually) all over the USA.

    ************************************************** ********************************

    I'm Toyota - the least qualified and most undesirable OEM on the planet to have influencing American Energy/ Environmental Policy.

    I'll take the Battery.
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    The company doing a lot of the work on this is (along with NMSU and LANL) "The Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management" or CEHMM. They're website is "http://www.cehmm.org/" where you can find more information. They keep they're exact techniques classified and they don't give many details. Not sure where the CO2 comes from but that area has plenty of sources of it: there is an oil refinery and some natural gas plants around Artesia and Carlsbad.
    Last edited by mr_bots; 07-12-2008 at 03:33 PM.
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Look at all that algae in Bejing harbor. The Chinese are working all hours to clean it up for the swimmers in the Olympics. Why don't we manufacturer it here turn it into Biodiesel fuel and start selling it to the truckers and the airlines.

    GM should invest in the first Biodiesel refinery. Within 3 years they would be in the money again, and this country would be facing some better times.

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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Quote Originally Posted by AMERICA 123 View Post
    This and 'things' 'like it' could really end up being really, really, useful - all the secondary benefits.......... - maybe even help coal improve a great deal.
    What a boon for America that would be if coal gasification was found to be economically viable on a large scale. I'm not aware of what the issues are at this point, if I had to make a wild guess and say that pollution is probably part of it, as well as mining issues.

    Of course, with coal again we are dealing with a finite resource & despite having a huge amount of it, it too will run out someday. We'd be stupid not to use it however, despite all the 'peak coal' theorists that would inevitably emerge. This is why I really hope that something like algae biodiesel or green crude pans out--truly renewable, powered by the sun, consumes waste products (CO2), environmentally friendly (biodegradeable, ~CO2 neutral), no chance of railroading it with a food or fuel argument.

    Either way, there is a good chance to create more domestic industry.
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    Re: Biodiesel from algae approaching commercial scale in New Mexico

    Wow the potential of 15,000 gallons per acre vs. 20 from corn is amazing! I'd love to see a vial of the finished product....I am curious as to what color it is.....clear as water? yellowish like some veggie oils? Edible for cooking before being transformed into biodiesel? This is all very hopeful, and with none of the negative side effects of releasing into the global environment the byproducts of fossil carbon that has been sequestered underground since the Carboniferous Age. Plus as a gardener I feel certain the solid waste much be protein rich and thus usable as a food supplement for people or livestock or useful as a high nitrogen natural fertilizer.
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