Monday, December 24, 2007

A Sustainable Bio-fuel Source Slowly Emerges: Algae

My skepticism of biofuels as an answer to the globe’s fossil fuel dependency is pretty well documented in this blog. But I’m bullish on the potential of a (kind of) new candidate. Not switch grass, sugar beets or sugarcane: it’s algae. Yes, green, cold, slimy algae.

In a recent National Geographic feature, “
Green Dreams,” I found that algae devours CO2 from smokestacks and cranks out 5,000 gallons of biofuel per acre annually. That compares to 300 gallons of biofuel from an acre of corn each year.

Algae’s not really a new biofuel candidate. The government was researching the slime as a fuel source back in the 90s, but abandoned it because it was so expensive,
reports New Scientist.

But with oil around $100 a barrel, cost is suddenly not so much an issue. In fact, according to New Scientist, a good ol’ fashion fossil fuel company, Shell, is set to begin production of diesel from algae.

4 comments:

Elvina said...

Great work.

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Pound360 Archive

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.