Print 20 comment(s) - last by NotFlatusTDM.. on Jan 17 at 10:53 AM

An MIT professor is pushing algae as a primary method of cleaning pollution, fueling cars and making money

This piqued everyone at the office today -- an MIT rocket scientist is pushing to use algae to clean up power plant exhaust.  His technology involves using tubular stacks of algae attached to the existing exhaust on a powerplant.  The algae absorb much of the nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide, while the algae is then harvested daily.  The nutrient rich algae can then be processed into ethanol and biodesiel. 

Algae's existing feature is that existing facilities can be retrofitted relatively easily, and the algae can be used to make a profit offsetting the cost of retrofitting.  The article quotes that algae can produce over 90 million gallons of fuel per year from a 1,000 MW power plant. 

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By RandomFool on 1/15/2006 4:58:48 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome idea, It'll probably never be widely used, it seems like more companies are against trying to do something like this unless it triples thier profits.

RE: nice
By RandomFool on 1/15/2006 8:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
I swear there was another comment above me...

RE: nice
By at80eighty on 1/16/2006 1:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
could you repost whatever you remember?

/curious to see what gets moderated/deleted on AT

RE: nice
By Sunbird on 1/16/2006 3:00:28 AM , Rating: 2
It was a "First Post" followed by two sentences, one where the guy asks, "since its efficient, will we as humans ever adopt it."

RE: nice
By KristopherKubicki on 1/16/2006 4:25:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's still there - you just have to change your threshold to "-1" to see it.


RE: nice
By android1st on 1/15/2006 9:08:43 PM , Rating: 1
Not true. The US government actually has a very sophisticated and proven effective method of regulating nitrous emissions. Mind-blowing, I know, but it's true. If power plants balk and don't implement the technology, it's only because it doesn't pay for itself in terms of meeting nitrous emissions requirements for a better price than existing scrubber technology.
This is of more value in Kyoto-honoring nations, where fossil-fuels plants need to lower CO2 emissions as well as nitrous.

RE: nice
By android1st on 1/15/2006 9:13:49 PM , Rating: 2
Errr I lied. The US government regulates sulfur emissions... Not nitrous.

RE: nice
By killerroach on 1/15/2006 11:22:18 PM , Rating: 2
I betcha somebody would get into it... there's probably a lot of money to be made for somebody in this stuff. And if all the big guys take a pass on it, it's only a matter of time before an upstart takes the tech, runs with it, and makes a load of cash before one of the big firms buys them out.

Not to mention that, once the technology is readily available in a proven form, it could be required to be used in some states under BACT (Best Available Controlling Technology) statutes...

By NotFlatusTDM on 1/16/2006 8:30:38 AM , Rating: 2
I have read several times that, if gasoline was introduced as a feul today, It waould never make it to market because it is too dangerous. Hydrogen safer than gasoline? Hardly.

I also love the way hydrogen promoters talk about it being "free". It ain't free, it takes as much energy to split hydrogen from water as you get back when hydrogen and the oxygen recombine. So where's the electricity coming from to produce the hydrogen in the first place?

RE: Hydrogen
By HDBanger on 1/16/2006 10:16:24 AM , Rating: 1
What in the hell is this changing threshold shit to see others posts? I never knew what it was for, and I most certainly didnt know I was missing posts from others..This system sux ass. lol

RE: Hydrogen
By bldckstark on 1/16/2006 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
The intention is not to split hydrogen from oxygen in water, but to mine or biologically produce the hydrogen from other sources. Few people believe that we will be splitting atoms as the source of hydrogen if it becomes a major player.

One of the possible sources are the HUGE fields of hydrogen in the oceans just off the coastal areas. It is created by small organisms as waste. The high pressure at that water depth causes it to turn to ice immediately. The bad news is this is currently impossible to mine. On the way to the surface the hydrogen expands then BOOOOM! Japan has been trying to get to this material for some time, but they keep blowing up their derricks. If a way is found the only groups able to get at it will be oil drilling companies. That way the rich stay rich and the economy does not get upended by some MIT grad. I am not sure either of these are plausible, but so far nobody has gotten very far. It would be great to take the power away from the OPEC tho.

RE: Hydrogen
By NotFlatusTDM on 1/17/2006 10:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need to split atoms, you apply an electrical current and the hydrogen and the oxygen seperate. You can use other chemicals to split off the hydrogen, but then it is no longer clean... you have leftovers... pollution.

Theoretically, the combustion of gasoline is "clean". But in the real world we know it isn't. What makes you think Hydrogen reactions will be any different?

Hydrogen does not exist in solid form anywhere on earth, or in the observable universe. I think you mean methane.

Don't get me wrong, I am a big fan of alternative energy sources. But none of the new technologies are as cheap, easy or clean as thier promoters would like you to believe. I think alcohol has the most practical promise as a replacement fuel.

RE: Hydrogen
By wien on 1/16/2006 5:34:41 PM , Rating: 2
The point isn't really that hydrogen is free. The point is that it is a clean source of energy that can be "easily" stored, and produced using any electric power-source. This means that when (if) we get all our vehicles over on hydrogen, we can produce our fuel using the cleanest method available at that time, without having to change the entire infrastructure to do it. Building a new type of "hydrogen-factory" is enough.

By goku on 1/15/2006 9:23:02 PM , Rating: 4
Yea thing is though, peta will be so far MIT's ass for something like this, it could possibly never take off. "You're kill teh algae! THEY'VE GOT FEELINGS TOO YOU ANIMAL KILLER! DIEEEE!!!!!' lol...

RE: hippies
By at80eighty on 1/16/2006 1:07:26 AM , Rating: 3
lol! its funny coz its probably true :-)

By neihrick on 1/15/2006 6:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
interesting, algae as biodiesel, "its win freaking win"

RE: nice
By Maximilian on 1/15/2006 9:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
Cheap as free!

MIT This....MIT That...
By Jackyl on 1/16/2006 10:45:43 AM , Rating: 1
These big name colleges always talk big, about inventing this-and-that, but very rarely does their big-talking help the public. None of their talking They can talk about this all they want, but it is impractical and the oil companies will NEVER let this happen.

RE: MIT This....MIT That...
By MrEMan on 1/17/2006 9:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
I recall seeing something about this on Scientific American Frontiers on PBS last year. The host, Alan Alda, hesitated when they offered him and algae "shake" to drink.

Check out if interested.

"Alda also visits the roof of MIT in Cambridge, Mass, where an extraordinary device made of large triangular glass tubes soaks up sunlight and uses it to grow algae — algae that can later be turned into hydrogen. But Isaac Berzin's invention not only converts sunshine (indirectly) to hydrogen; it also cleans up the smokestack gases from power plants."

will it catch on?
By sieistganzfett on 1/15/06, Rating: -1
"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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