CO2 to biofuel with algae

Biofuels from algae, is not new, its an idea which is old enough to have been discontinued and restarted. That is one of the mark of serious idea. I noticed that New Scientist, this week, is running a story about US firms that are using algae to convert the carbon dioxide from power plants into biofuel. What makes me worry…about this idea is that it is not really going to do much more than delay the day that the carbon dioxide goes into the atmosphere. Good news, I agree for the algae, and probably good news for the generators doing it in terms of carbon credits. And good news for Green Fuel, which is selling the technology but probably not much use for the rest of us. But hardly sustainable.
This is because the power plants are burning non-renewable resources. Carbon dioxide is converted usefully into fuel for transportation and burnt. That is postponing and not preventing the inevitable. This would only really make any kind of environmental sense if the carbon dioxide from vehicles could be captured and turned back into fuel…. I’d be happier if the firms involved were making something durable out of the biofuel. That should be possible with a bit of chemistry.

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21 Responses to CO2 to biofuel with algae

  1. Roger Netherwood 8 October, 2006 at 9:38 am #

    I have been involved in the production of bio fuels for arround 6 years, and have made some very intersting and sustanable results.
    1. Can produce Biodiesel from used cooking oil, with no use of chemicals.
    2. Working on an Algie that can produce oil which can be refined into either Petrolium or used straight away as diesel, best bit is the algie is reusable just leave it for 6 months and can do the same process all over again.
    3. Also working on a project to produce electricity from old Tyres. no waste no carbon into atmosphere, in fact carbon and steel from tyres is sold at a profit.

  2. Peter Nienaber 5 April, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    Greetings , I would like to know more about how to remove oil out of the algae.Process etc.And which algue to grow and how ? Yours in biodiesel , Peter.

  3. Prabhat Garg 1 June, 2007 at 7:48 pm #

    Good News for the IPCC that they are not the only one who are worried about the “Climate Change”. “Green fuel” is here to provide the solution for this “hottest ever issue”.
    “Greenfuels” wish you Good-luck to translate the technology, gracefully, into the reality with commercial viability.

  4. worries sinkala 11 July, 2007 at 8:41 am #

    The world is indeed worried about food sercurity in countries where biofuels should be processed from wheat, corn e.t.c, but thanks to the potential of biofuel from algae.
    I need more information on the method of extraction of biofuel from algae.

    Worries(student of Environmental Engineering)

  5. pravin 8 March, 2008 at 5:37 pm #

    respected sir,
    i m interested in knowing the chemistry of production of biofuel from algae.
    thanking you.

  6. Go Green Jay 7 July, 2008 at 6:52 pm #

    I would Also like to know more about how to remove oil out of the algae.
    Process etc.And which algue to grow and how ?
    Has anyone purched the book
    “Making Algae Biodiesel at Home” from the globle warming site
    Its only 100.00 and clames to tell-all
    I just don’t want to spend 1/4 tank of fuel on somthing that dosn’t work

    Go Green Jay.

  7. webclocker 9 July, 2008 at 11:23 pm #

    i have read website after website about algie, and how its going to save the world, even watched videos on utube. but what no one has mentiond yet, is how to extract the oil. i wonder if these people are just looking for dumb investors like that jahoba nonsence in the seventies. were millions of people were just ripped off thinking they were going to make millions. is somone going to mention how the oil is extracted. if not then im sorry untill they do i think they should shut up.


  8. Simon Robinson 10 July, 2008 at 9:27 am #

    Hi webclocker,

    I suspect that they scoop it out of the water, dry it off (quite energy intensive that bit) and then press the oil out of the algae like oil out of sunflowers. I could be quite wrong of course. Another approach would be to use a chemical process to break down the cells of the algae. but then you’ve got to separate it from the oil you want… which would need another process…

  9. webclocker 10 July, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

    hello simon
    i can see two ways 1 centrafugfal force and 2 putting it through a liquidiser, both proccesses should separate the oil. oil being lighter than water the oil should float. there is another proccess that might work and that is same proccess canabis people use to extract canabis, and its called bubble bags. water and ice. but my piont is. is there oil there in the first place or just hype to get grants and investment. ive never seen the oil this algie produces, just a bucket ful of gunge


  10. Simon Robinson 11 July, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Hi Webclocker,

    I’ve not seen any oil myself, but it would have to be a pretty big conspiracy to gain scientific grants across the globe like people perusing algae as a biofuel have done. Seaweed is another area that some people are looking at. It appears that seaweed is like big algae.

  11. webclocker 11 July, 2008 at 7:34 pm #

    hello again simon

    do a search on jahoba, and how many people were hood winked into coughing up millions. or de lorien cars, the brittish government forked out £300 million to de lorien. im not saying that algie is a lie. im just saying were is the oil, surley by now there shuould be a production, but its no were to be seen.

    i used to keep koi carp in rather a big pond, and fought algie on a regular basis. ive seen how fast it can grow. i killed it regularly with potassium permanganate, now surley as the algie died and decomposed id have seen an oily residue on top of the water. im going to try an experiment with oil and potassium permanganate just to see what effect it has on the oil. its soluble in whater but ill see if it is oil soluble. and let you know


  12. webclocker 11 July, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    sorry simon jojoba

  13. webclocker 13 July, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    this might interest youre readers simon still going through it my self, but its a start to getting to how to extract it.

    what happend to my last post. dead against cencorship


  14. Simon Robinson 14 July, 2008 at 2:14 pm #

    Hi Webclocker,

    Take care with chemicals.

    all the best


  15. Simon Robinson 14 July, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    If you post things over the week end you might expect there to be a delay until I get back to work. I hope you have more success with your algae searches.

  16. webclocker 16 July, 2008 at 1:19 am #

    simon you realy have to get a grip of youre self. its suposed to be you that does the research not us. since 2007 how many people have posted youre site. give me something i dont know thats why i came here. i live in scotland and your behaving like an english lord. we’re not here for you to live off, put a bit of effort into it. get off your arse mate. or im off.


  17. Simon Robinson 16 July, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    Good work. That’s an interesting video.

  18. David Ahlport 16 July, 2008 at 11:10 pm #

    Fun with thermodynamics showing why Algae isn’t really that viable.

    Unless of course you consider $1200 a barrel to be viable.

  19. Simon Robinson 17 July, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    HI David, and welcome,

    Good to see some numbers about the viability of this technology. Most of the promotional material fails to talk about the yield and rate of the reaction.

  20. webclocker 17 July, 2008 at 10:02 pm #

    hello david thank you for are you saying all thows plastic bags in the video are a waste of time. but before you answer. from my point of veiw, im only interested in filling my own tank. not saving the plannet. im interested in how much space id need, and how much light. if other people can do the same, good for them.

  21. webclocker 25 July, 2008 at 12:15 am #

    david surley youve read what i posted. i read you what you posted, can you elaborate on what you posted. or did you just post someone elses post and try to come across as being clever. all im trying to find out is can i be self sufficient in growing algie to run my car. if i can do it in a small space with a certain amount of light then ill do it, and hundrens of thousands of other people who read this can do the same, and not have to buy diesil or petrol. or is it that you work for a petro chemical company who want’s me to keep depending on your masters, that boring old share holders thing,at the end of the day that is the real stumbling block. if you cant come back on that within a week, then all you did was try to keep in place that age old problem masters and slaves, and people like you you that alow them to continue. i think the word im looking for is traitor. your post david or someone elses. give me hope.


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