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Algae to Biofuels - one of many avenues to EI - Video

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leftupnorth Donating Member (657 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:34 PM
Original message
Algae to Biofuels - one of many avenues to EI - Video
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 07:35 PM by leftupnorth
This should get big!!
www.greenfuelonline.com
Currently there are few economically attractive options for educing GHG emissions. While fuel
switching, advanced power generation systems and conservation are important, any utilities
are investigating CO2 capture and sequestration. This option was the benefit of producing high-
purity CO2, which can be used or enhanced oil recovery in some markets. However, the process
has a high cost and significantly derates as a result of the high parasitic power and extraction
steam requirements. Further, the market for CO2 or EOR is geographically limited. Non-EEOR
sequestration raises serious technical and legal ssues, as well as requiring significant investment
in pipelines, compressors, injection wells, and monitoring equipment.
In contrast, the GreenFuel process has a low parasitic power requirement, and does not require
extraction steam, although it can beneficially use waste heat from the power plant. The proposed
GreenFuel system harnesses solar energy through photosynthesis to generate bioenergy from
CO2. The result is a net gain in value added products from the site in the form of clean products
such as biodiesel and ethanol. Because these products have a high market value, their revenues
allow the system to operate profitably on a stand-alone basis. Unlike CO2 for EOR or sequestration,
there are no limitations in the markets for biofuels, and no additional infrastructure requirements
to integrate them into the existing transportation markets.
The electricity derived from using the fuels generated by GreenFuel systems can be applied
towards meeting a utilitys renewable energy portfolio requirements. And unlike other solar
energy sources the energy generated by GreenFuel system fuels can be dispatched when it has
the most value to a utility.



Watch the Video (Realplayer):
http://www.greenfuelonline.com/mos_video.htm


This is cool stuff. These guys are on the right track.
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Norbu Donating Member (37 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. this is nothing compared to the potential for widescale open pond algae biodiesel
greenfuel does bioreactors, which is an important part of the alternative energy equation, but bioreactors alone are nothing compared to the potential for widescale open pond algae biodiesel

widescape open pond algae biodiesel production = replacing ALL fossil fuels

http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alge.html

the funding for the UNH/NREL project that published this report was cut off in 1996 on the FALSE assumption that the cost of fossil fuels was DECLINING and so algae biofuels could not quite compete on price

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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. The challenge with open pond setups is...
... it is very easy for the desirable strains of oil-rich algae to be contaminated with undesirable strains. Also, enclosed bioreactors would be well-suited to desert land otherwise unsuited to agriculture. At 10,000 gallons per acre/year, it wouldn't take much desert land to produce all the transportation fuel we need.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. It takes some care to grow specific algae strains in ***CLOSED*** setups.
One way that open pond culture of oil rich algae might be made to work would be to use genetically modified strains resistant to some wide spectrum algaecide. The evironmental consequences of such a scheme would be highly unpleasant.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. It takes a lot of money to purify CO2
from gasification.

Otherwise, you could use the "waste" CO2 as a partial medium for algae growth.
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leftupnorth Donating Member (657 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. I guess I don't understand your comment
Why would you want to gasify (burn) anything other than the fuel you were using for power generation (gas, coal)? Simply burning something to generate CO2 for use in these reactors is foolish and wasteful.

This process is built to use unrefined flue gas emmisions from power plants and other large CO2 producers.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. No, no
The idea is that coal (or whatever) would be burned for fuel and would generate CO2 as a waste product.

I was thinking you could then use the "waste" CO2 to grow plants for biodiesel.

The challenge would be purifying the CO2 enough that you wouldn't poison the plants with impurities.

It would still be a net CO2 gain for the atmosphere, but you would ostensibly be getting a lot more energy by converting the CO2 into biomass, which could then be used as energy.


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leftupnorth Donating Member (657 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-25-06 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yeah, coal is dirty
but if they scrub the mercury and sulfur out first, which they are slowly being required to do, it gets better. I wouldn't doubt that there are strains of algae that could handle an impure gas stream. After all, algae like these are what bioremediated this planet from its prehistoric volcanic atmosphere. Over millenia they were buried and decomposed into what we now know as petroleum and natural gas.

Natural gas turbines are a better fit for this, as they burn cleaner, and we can make natural gas from above ground sources as well as out of the ground. Not to mention all the biomass we could grow to replace coal. Also, if you put this algae through a biodigester, you can make more methane and what's left over is a carbon rich soil amendment, thereby sinking some carbon out of the atmosphere. This also helps solve the moral dilemma of food vs fuel, as non-arable or marginal land can be used with this (or most) algae production.

Pretty soon CO2 will be treated as a resource rather than a problem.
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