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Old 12-26-2013, 04:49 AM   #1
Ross
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Default Algae to oil discovery .

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Scientists have discovered a process that can turn algae into crude oil, and
subsequently a variety of bio-fuels, in less than an hour, fueling widespread
speculation that we might see the end of fears over "peak oil."

The process, developed by engineers at the Department of Energy's Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), pumps a slurry of wet algae into a
chemical reactor that facilitates the transformation in a matter of minutes,
producing a crude oil that can be made into "aviation fuel, gasoline, or diesel
fuel." The process leaves behind water and a phosphorus-laden byproduct that
can be recycled and made to grow more algae.
http://www.outsideonline.com/news-fr...n-Minutes.html
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:56 PM   #2
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Interesting... but where the rubber meets the road is-do we get more energy out of the process than we put in? If they're getting better than 2:1 EROEI (Energy returned on energy invested) then we will have a clear winner here. The article is not clear on that point...

Another question-is there enough algae available to do this on a large (commercial) scale? When you think about it, the idea of replacing ~75 million bb per day is quite daunting... we'd have to generate over 3 billion gallons of crude algae oil per day to replace that (assuming 42 gal=1 barrel)... how much raw algae does it take to make algae crude? And where would we grow/collect/process the stuff? I can tell you, algae blooms are nasty business, and will suck out all the oxygen in the water, resulting in fish kills (pretty common around here) and other unpleasantries...

I like the idea, but I have my doubts whether it can work on a large enough scale to make a real dent in our oil consumption...

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Old 12-26-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
I like the idea, but I have my doubts whether it can work on a large
enough scale to make a real dent in our oil consumption...
I think they are a long way from being ready but when it does make
sense economically the Australian North consists of vast tracts of
empty sun burnt country subject to an annual wet season .
.
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