Green Gold: Algae, Possibly The Next Popular Biofuel
December 9, 2008 10:00 AM
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Algae used a biofuel is inching closer to reality
As companies look for alternative fuels to help ease the world's reliance on oil, researchers and companies have created several viable alternatives.
The aerospace industry hopes
algae can be refined
and used to help fuel commercial airliners and jets. In the short term, it's likely algae would be mixed with gasoline and diesel, though it's possible algae could be used to eliminate both resources at some point.
Select Boeing aircraft will use a mix of jet fuel and fuel made from algae and jatropha seeds, Boeing said. Continental Airlines will be the first airline company to use algae as a fuel, with Air New Zealand and others expected to begin testing algae or jatropha-based technologies.
Continental's first demonstration flight is expected to take place in Houston on Jan. 7, though the flight
will not carry passengers
and use a blend of jet fuel with algae and jatropha.
Even with the backing of Boeing and other aerospace giants, algae supporters must now request the federal government give them loans, research and development backing, tax breaks, and other similar perks that corn and soybean researchers are actively receiving.
"We are up against formidable opposition from competing interests," said Jason Pyle, Sapphire Energy CEO. Sapphire Energy has created a new "green crude" gasoline that is entirely made up of algae.
Algae for use as a biofuel has been more widely researched in the past few years, and it seems like it will continue to be a popular topic.
The Colorado Field Institute (CFI) will host a biotech meeting with Colorado State University to discuss the use of algae as a biofuel later this week. The focus of the meeting is the use of a
in rural Colorado.
Researchers will continue to look for alternatives to gas, but even with major research breakthroughs, it's unlikely the heavy U.S. reliance on foreign oil will end any time soon. Ethanol, a popular technology that still receives major research,
caused the cost of food to soar
, and much work will have to be done in order to
make ethanol a more viable solution
or to develop a satisfactory alternative.
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RE: This or hydrogen
12/10/2008 4:06:55 PM
It's attitude like that that's causing problems today in society. LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. If you replace 10 60W bulbs with 10 13W bulbs (place them in lamps if you're so damn picky about how your shine looks like) you alone save 470W. Doesn't really seem like much considering its only one house. Multiply that by 10 million. 4.7 GIGAwatts. And SUV's are fine; Honda's CR-V and Toyota's Highlander hybrid are really efficient and as said previously, recycling is the best method. There are some car companies that will take your old SUV for recycling and gives you a discount deal on their cars.
Suppose you change your P4 computer to a Dual Core processor. The HP Slimline costs $400 bucks and its MORE than enough for people and only takes 180 W. A P4 machine takes around 400W. So you save around 200W. Again, doesn't seem like much. Multiply it by 10 million. Over 2 GIGAwatts. Its the little changes that adds up and in time will really make a difference.
And switching our light bulbs saved us on average 30-40 bucks a month. Over 400 bucks in savings a year. Big picture.
RE: This or hydrogen
12/10/2008 5:56:32 PM
Hoping people will do what you consider to be the right thing is just wishful thinking... a 60W bulb costs less than a dollar (I think, I haven't bought them in a long time) vs $2 or so for a 13W bulb. The fact the lower watt bulb pays for itself in under a year doesn't sink in for most folks.
Also, some applications might NEED incandescent lighting (though I have no idea why).
Recycle your old SUV and buy a new car....yeh, that makes more economic sense than reselling your used car.
The only way you can change what people do in a free society is to make the better alternative more attractive to the people.
RE: This or hydrogen
12/11/2008 12:14:44 PM
At CostCo you can buy a 10 pack of CFL bulbs for 9 bucks. And as I said, you can just put these in lamps (not bright, brighter, brightest nor dimmable, just regular lamps) and forget about it.
And recycle your old SUV to get a DISCOUNT on a new car (obviously don't do this if you aren't in a financially sound situation).
And...yeah I can't argue with that point. Consumers will only get something if its shiny.
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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