NewEnergyNews: WORK ON ALGAE ONGOING

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

While the OFFICE of President remains in highest regard at NewEnergyNews, this administration's position on climate change makes it impossible to regard THIS president with respect. Below is the NewEnergyNews theme song until 2020.

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Colbert On The Newest Climate Fiasco
  • Weekend Video: Consumer Reports’ Tesla Vs. Bolt Face-Off
  • Weekend Video: All About The Eclipse And The Power Grid
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Is ‘Game Of Thrones’ About Climate Change?
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Surprises In The New Global Solar Rankings
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Denmark’s Vestas Wins Mexico’s Biggest Wind Deal
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Supervolcanoes Could Grow Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, August 17:

  • TTTA Thursday-Is The White House Hiding DOE’s Grid Study?
  • TTTA Thursday-Will The White House Hide The Climate Report?
  • TTTA Thursday-Crucial Transmission Line For Wind Denied
  • TTTA Thursday-Wind And Solar Are Saving Lives
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Organizing California’s Distributed Energy Efforts
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Deep Look At Evolving U.S. Efforts To Support Solar
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • TODAY’S STUDY: Big Growth In Customer-Sited Wind
  • QUICK NEWS, August 15: New Forest To Offset Bad U.S. Climate Policies Has 120,000 Pledges; Wind Becoming The Go-To Power; 88,000 Jobs And The Fight Over Solar Imports
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Work On Tomorrow’s Grid So Far
  • QUICK NEWS, August 14: Climate Is The Elephant In The Room; Long-Term, NatGas Is Not The Answer; Why Wind Is Such A Good Choice
  • --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Research Associate and Contributing Editor Jessica R. Wunder

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    --------------------------

    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

    -------------------

    -------------------

      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

    -------------------

    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, August 21:

  • TODAY’S STUDY: The Wind Market Now
  • QUICK NEWS, August 21: Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Is A ‘Teaching Tool’; Target Targets Big Wind Buy; Michigan Grows Its Solar Garden

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    WORK ON ALGAE ONGOING

    In 1996, when oil and gas prices plummeted, the Department of Energy cut back or abandoned promising research projects on alternative liquid vehicle fuels such as the development of algae-based biofuels. A few years later, the best electric vehicle experiment ever done by a major carmaker – the EV1 project – was abandoned.

    The payoff: In 2008, when oil and gas prices were at an all-time high, there was no alternative to internal combustion engine (ICE) liquid fuel vehicles and no alternative liquid vehicle fuel available. The U.S. and the world were at the mercy of oil speculators.

    Last summer, promising plug-in vehicle technology was a mere 2 years from showrooms and R&D on algae, one of the most promising sources of alternative liquid vehicle fuels, was the 3rd biggest application of venture capital in the New Energy sector last summer.

    Greg Mitchell, biologist, Scripps Institution at UCSD: “Algae yields five to 10 times more bioenergy molecules per area, per time, than any terrestrial plant…Nothing else comes close.”

    With petroleum products now at an inflation-adjusted near record low and sources of investment capital disappearing, is history – as acted out in 1996 – about to be repeated?

    If so, it is worth noting a recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report showing the world’s biggest oil fields running dry at an unprecedented rate and predicting oil prices will likely be back to $100+/barrel by 2015, a mere 6 years from now.

    If battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are not brought to market and R&D on algae biofuels does not go forward now, the summer of 2008 – with all its attendant drama over vehicle fuel costs – is merely a predictable 2nd act of a repeated, if ill-advised, historical farce whose next act can be expected in the middle of the next decade.

    By 2015, the Obama administration promises to have 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on U.S. roads. They will need liquid fuel for their longer trips. There will still be something like 240 million ICE vehicles on the road. They will need liquid fuel.

    A moment of dark humor: If there was no need to grow crops for food or animal feed (and no global climate change), it would presumably be fine to use farmlands for AGROfuel source crops. Such a plan, though, is unworkable until world populations get large enough to go the
    Soylent Green route and use people for food. (That would also solve the global climate change problem.)

    Seriously: A better plan is development of algae. Algae are immensely promising. They consume atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow and can be grown in waste and ocean waters, leaving all clean, fresh water for human uses. The algals that comprise more than half of their weight can be harvested in tens of thousands times greater volumes per space used than any other biofuel source. And, unlike most other biofuels, algals can be refined into anything petroleum can be refined into.

    Challenges definitely remain. Commercial-scale growing and production facilities have yet to be established. Cost-competitive algal fuels for cars, trucks, and airplanes remain an exciting but unaccomplished hypothesis.

    Greg Mitchell, biologist, Scripps Institution at UCSD: “Given their advantages, I believe marine algae are not only the most promising option for bioenergy fuel, but the only option that can scale up massively at the global level…Most scientists who understand these processes are concluding that algae has the best chance. There is no silver bullet when it comes to energy, but there is a green bullet, or rather a green missile.”

    It is fortunate indeed that – whatever happens to the BEV projects during this anomalous period of economic downturn, compromised financing and atypical oil prices – some of the biggest money in Silicon Valley remains pledged to the development of algae.


    click to enlarge

    Biofuel Development Shifting From Soil To Sea, Specifically To Marine Algae
    December 20, 2008 (University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Newswise via ScienceDaily)

    WHO
    Scientists, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego (Greg Mitchell, biologist; Ralph Lewin, Professor Emeritus; Mark Hildebrand, biologist); William Gerwick, professor and researcher, Scripps’ Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine; Bernard Raemy, executive vice president, Carbon Capture Corporation

    WHAT
    Scientists at UCSD are fervently pursuing research on marine algae as a source of biofuels with a variety of San Diego institutions and a combination of public and private funding. They see the potential as so great they call it a “green bullet” or “green missile.”

    click to enlarge

    WHEN
    - The scientists believe a new algal biofuel industry could be established within 10 years.
    - Professor emeritus Lewin grew marine algae for biofuel in experimental ponds at UCSD in the 1980s.
    - Mitchell has been at Scripps since 1987.
    - Funding for algae research evaporated in the 1990s,

    WHERE
    - Algae can be grown in a desert with salt water, eliminating the need for cropland or fresh water.
    - Algae are carbon neutral, consuming CO2 from pollution sources.
    - Algae can feed off the nutrients in wastewater.
    - Carbon Capture Corporation maintains ponds for algae biofuel research in California’s Imperial Valley desert.

    WHY
    - Marine algae are the most efficient organisms on Earth, absorbing light energy and converting it into a natural biological version of petroleum oil.
    - The nutrient-rich protein left after the algal is harvested can be used for animal feed.
    - The first formative facilities are emerging, farms with huge ponds producing hundreds of pounds of algal biomass per day. The best species of algae must still be chosen. Airborne contaminants are a threat. Many growth scenarios and production models are being tested.
    - Algae’s energy is in their algals, a type of lipid similar to human fat.
    - Refining: A simple chemical process turns lipid globules to liquid. Further chemistry turns the liquid to biodiesel fuel for cars, trucks, and jet fuel.
    - Algae produce more oil per acre than any other plant source because they double daily but with adequate nutrition they produce more carbohydrates than algals.
    - It is considered a matter of economics and the engineering to produce alge biofuels at scale.
    - The secrets of algae are a matter of the manipulation of plant photosynthesis.

    click to enlarge

    QUOTES
    - Bernard Raemy, executive vice president, Carbon Capture Corporation: “There is still a lot of work to do, but algal-derived biofuels have the potential to become a major source of transportation fuel…”
    - William Gerwick, professor and researcher, Scripps’ Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine: “Algae are my life…There is an amazing transformation happening at the moment with a groundswell of interest in new energy sources…We have tested about 15 different ways for eliciting (lipids)… We see some evidence in which we were able to greatly expand their growth rate and production of oils. It’s early but I’m excited.”
    - Mark Hildebrand, biologist, Scripps: “We know almost nothing about how lipids are synthesized and where the gene regulation is occurring. It’s like proposing to develop agriculture without understanding how plants grow…We’ll need to keep studying new areas and coming up with new solutions because new problems will need to be addressed. That’s the beauty of basic research.”

    0 Comments:

    Post a Comment

    << Home