GreenFuel technologies - Biodiesel from algae

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by Taurin, May 11, 2006.

  1. Taurin


    I saw a special on GBH a few months ago about Isaac Berzin from MIT and his company GreenFuel Technologies. I don't know if anyone else is familiar with the system they've developed but it's very interesting. He claims that they can reduce CO2 emissions from powerplants by 40% and Nitrous Oxide emissions by 86% while growing algae which they can then use to create ethanol and biodiesel.

    thoughts? seems very :cool: IMO. I'm no more than 45 minutes from Boston so I'm thinking of checking out the company and their equipment first hand.
  2. Since I'm a big fan of renewable energy, I thank you for the link.

    If the oil companies don't buy up these patents too, it seems algae could very possibly be one of the leading prospects for our near future.

  3. Great idea, wish them luck with it.

    I might have to check out the NJ company they mentioned.
  4. Algae is also beging used to produce hydrogen as well.

  5. Taurin


    yep. when i watched the special on TV he didn't even mention ethanol or biodiesel... he just talked about using the algae to create hydrogen. I think i remember him saying that the process does add to pollution though, i could be mistaken.
  6. Currently folks, the only viable substitute for gas or diesal is to change over to vegetable oil. The cost is not significant and the glycerine component in the oil is a superior lubricant. To refuel, simply stop at any fast food restaurant and ask them to give (they often throw it out) or sell you their old rancid deep fryer oil.

    If for some reason you could find a fast food place willing to do that (yeah right) you could simply go into a market and buy some vegetable oil. Problem solved. Mileage is comparable to gas or diesal

  7. McDonalds can become a biodiesel trader. Hmmm.
  8. Yes and the next time you cook something in a pan using oil, so can you. Just put it aside in a container. If you had vehicle that was adapted to use the product you would just "gas up" at home and drive off.
  9. nonam


    NZ firm makes bio-diesel from sewage in world first

    By Errol Kiong

    A New Zealand company has successfully turned sewage into modern-day gold.

    Marlborough-based Aquaflow Bionomic yesterday announced it had produced its first sample of bio-diesel fuel from algae in sewage ponds.

    It is believed to be the world's first commercial production of bio-diesel from "wild" algae outside the laboratory - and the company expects to be producing at the rate of at least one million litres of the fuel each year from Blenheim by April.

    To date, algae-derived fuel has only been tested under controlled conditions with specially grown algae crops, said spokesman Barrie Leay.

    Aquaflow's algae, however, were derived from excess pond discharge from the Marlborough District Council's sewage treatment works. Algae take most chemicals out of sewage, but having too many of them taints the water and produces a foul smell.

    Creating fuel from the algae removes the problem while producing useful clean water, said Mr Leay. The clean water can then be used for stock food, irrigation and, if treated properly, for human consumption.

    Mr Leay said the process could also benefit dairy farmers and food processors as the algae also thrive in those industries' waste streams.

    And unlike some bio-fuel sources which require crops to be specially grown - using more land, fuel, chemicals and fertilisers - the algae already exist extensively.

    To get the fuel, the algae are processed into a pulp before lipid oils are extracted to be turned into bio-diesel.
  10. Taurin


    The problem with WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) is that you have to first run the car on diesel or biodiesel until it is up to operating temperature and run coolant lines to the veggie oil tank to heat it up and lower the viscosity. A diesel engine will run on biodiesel regardless of the temperature and doesn't require any modifications to the vehicle. There isn't enough vegetable oil used and thrown out to power all the diesels in america, but this company is claiming that with just 9.5 million acres of their algae growing system they can replace all the transportation fuels in america. Don't forget, their system also yields ethanol which can be used in gasoline engines to some extent as well.

    "To replace all transportation fuels in the US, we
    need roughly 140 billion gallons of biodiesel. To produce that amount of
    biodiesel by growing soybeans would require almost 3 billion acres or over 1
    billion acres growing canola (rapeseed), at nominal yields of 48 and 127
    gallons oil per acre, respectively.(7) To produce that amount, by growing
    algae producing 15,000 gallons per acre, would require a land mass of
    roughly 9.5 million acres (almost 15,000 square miles ). To put these
    numbers in perspective, consider that the Sonora desert in the
    southwestern US comprises 120,000 square miles...450 million acres are
    currently used for crop farming in the US, and over 500 million acres are
    used as grazing land for farm animals (1). As has been shown here it is not
    possible to grow enough of the more conventional crops to meet our fuel
    needs, but using algae it is possible."
    #10     May 12, 2006