Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

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Thread: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

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    Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Algenol trains algae to turn carbon into ethanol

    The company has signed an $850 million deal with a Mexican company BioFields to grow algae, one of the planet's first life forms, that has been trained to convert water, sunlight, and the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into motor fuel.
    ...
    Several algae companies are trying to enter the biofuels business by drying and pressing the organisms to make vegetable oil that can be processed into biodiesel.

    Woods said Algenol will use a process he invented in the 1980s to coax individual algal cells to secrete ethanol. That way, the fuel can be taken directly from the vats where the algae is grown while the organism lives on, using far less energy than drying and pressing the organisms for their oil.

    Algenol plans to make 100 million gallons of ethanol, about the average annual capacity of one traditional U.S. distillery, in Mexico's Sonoran Desert by the end of the 2009. By the end of 2012, it plans to increase that to 1 billion gallons -- more than 10 percent of current ethanol capacity in the United States, the world's top ethanol producer.
    ...
    Algenol operates the world's largest algae library in Baltimore, Maryland to study the organism that can grow in salt or fresh water, and expanding the technique to locations beyond Mexico. The company is targeting to build algae-to-ethanol farms on coasts in the United States.
    ...
    BioFields has signed an agreement to sell the fuel to the Mexican government, probably through the state oil monopoly Pemex.
    ...
    Another advantage of ethanol from algae, NRDC's Steelman said, is its sheer productivity compared to agricultural crops. Algenol estimates it can make 6,000 gallons of ethanol from an acre of land.

    At that rate, Steelman said, if all U.S. ethanol was made from algae it would only use 3 percent of the land that corn needs to make the fuel. "It's a huge advantage," he said.

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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 jkennedy293's Avatar
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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Who says you can't teach old algae new tricks.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    ...one of the planet's first life forms,
    why is that significant? Just silly filler words.

    Algenol plans to make 100 million gallons of ethanol
    Is that an annual figure? It's a drop in the bucket since the US is consuming 388.6 million gallons of gasoline every day. Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    I just wonder how brazil does it & we can't. I like to stick it to the people who been screwing things up...

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by ByTheLake View Post
    Is that an annual figure? It's a drop in the bucket since the US is consuming 388.6 million gallons of gasoline every day. Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html
    I was talking about the statement that they plan on ramping up to 1 billion gallons per year by 2012. The fact that a single company is going to replace 7/10 of 1% of our gasoline with ethanol from algae within 4 years is big news in my book. If this works, you will see algae factories non-stop up and down every coast.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by ByTheLake View Post
    why is that significant? Just silly filler words.

    Is that an annual figure? It's a drop in the bucket since the US is consuming 388.6 million gallons of gasoline every day. Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/basics/quickoil.html
    Well obviously we are going to fail, we should just not try. While were at it, work is hard, so we can just all go on welfare.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Brazil does it by drilling for oil.
    They make ethanol from sugar cane which is much better than corn as a feedstock. If you look at Brazil's results, however, it belies the media driven notion that Brazil became energy independent by putting sugar in their gas tanks. They use a lot of oil.
    I'm an ethanol supporter; but it's drill now or get some comfortable walking shoes. We still have a fleet that is largely dependent on fossil fuels.
    Cheers,
    Ed Arcuri

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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Ronald McChevy's Avatar
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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    I was talking about the statement that they plan on ramping up to 1 billion gallons per year by 2012. The fact that a single company is going to replace 7/10 of 1% of our gasoline with ethanol from algae within 4 years is big news in my book. If this works, you will see algae factories non-stop up and down every coast.
    I agree, that's huge. Almost one percent from just one factory in just a few years. Think of what we could do if other companies start doing it too (and they will).

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    We've been hearing about this since 2005. Stop posting this information until I can actually buy it at a station near me.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion2.3H View Post
    We've been hearing about this since 2005. Stop posting this information until I can actually buy it at a station near me.
    We did not hear in 2005 that companies were signing contracts for the production and sale of biodiesel fuel from algae. We may have heard about laboratory experiments, but the fact that contracts have been signed is big news indeed.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion2.3H View Post
    We've been hearing about this since 2005. Stop posting this information until I can actually buy it at a station near me.
    Depending on where you live, you are likely already running at least *SOME* percentage of ethanol in your car. A majority of states now mandate a percentage ethanol blend and the Feds are mandating it as well.

    If you're looking for an E85 station, that's a whole 'nuther problem. It will likely take longer to figure out the distribution issues than it will to discover the technology to produce sufficient ethanol/biodiesel as a replacement for gas/diesel.

    I share your frustration in this area, which is why I am a bigger fan of biobutanol...its a better quality alcohol than ethanol and it can be shipped in existing pipelines.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by HoosierRon View Post
    I was talking about the statement that they plan on ramping up to 1 billion gallons per year by 2012. The fact that a single company is going to replace 7/10 of 1% of our gasoline with ethanol from algae within 4 years is big news in my book. If this works, you will see algae factories non-stop up and down every coast.
    It is big news and thanks for posting, as usual. I'd love more than anything to see the bottom fall out of the oil market...with China and India growing at an exponential rate, the only thing that keeps me from completely freaking out is good news such as this.

    In other words, can technology keep pace with and eventually outgrow the supply/demand gap that we are now experiencing? I do believe so.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by racy View Post
    the only thing that keeps me from completely freaking out is good news such as this.
    5 cents please.


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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    Quote Originally Posted by logansowner View Post
    Well obviously we are going to fail, we should just not try. While were at it, work is hard, so we can just all go on welfare.
    I'm all for incremental improvements, and celebrate each one. I was just putting the thread title in perspective a bit.

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    Re: Company to make a LOT of ethanol via algae secretion

    There's a lot stagnant swimming pools sitting around California due to foreclosures. All we need to do is add some algae for instant ethanol farms!!

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