Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Algae Energy


Photosynthesis is one of the keys to bio fuels. This important process in the life of plants enables the absorption of CO2, which is good. Why is it good? Plants, trees, and other types of foliage take in some of the carbon dioxide we create or put off and they change it to oxygen. That's wonderful, right? But there's another good thing about it. We can use these living organisms as fuel alternatives to coal, oil, and other fossil fuels.

One form of bio-fuel that most people have never heard of is Algae Fuel. Eviana Hartman of the Washington Post has written a wonderful article on this newer fuel. She has placed the following in her most recent article:

"If you replaced all the diesel in the U.S. with soy bio diesel, it would take half the land mass of the U.S. to grow those soybeans," says Matt Caspari, chief executive of Aurora Bio fuels, a Berkeley, Calif.-based private firm that specializes in algae oil technology. On the other hand, the Energy Department estimates that if algae fuel replaced all the petroleum fuel in the United States, it would require 15,000 square miles, which is a few thousand miles larger than Maryland.

Isn't this a wonderful factoid? So next time your thinking about the gross stuff that's growing on the river or the creek near your home and how nasty it looks. Just look up at the blue sky and think of the possibilities and it may look a little less disgusting and a little more acceptable.



Picture source: http://www.pngtourism.org.pg/png/export/pics/gallerypictures/images/Algae.jpg

7 comments:

The Slusser Family said...

OH, I LOVE This! Thanks, Green Blog!

addt said...

Does anybody know about this site ( http://www.earthlab.com ) ? I have seen other environmental sites with carbon calculators like yahoo and tree huggers, but I am wondering what the deal with earthlab.com is? I saw they also published a list last month of the top ten greenest cities ( http://www.efficientenergy.org/Top-Ten-Green-Cities-in-the-United-States ). Does anyone know if this site is better than the others? Fill me in!

I took their carbon foot print test and it was pretty interesting, they said that I put out 4.5 tons of carbon, does anyone know about any other tests?

Julia Borsos said...

It's all very fascinating, I love it. Nice blog, too :)

You can always buy carbon "bonds?" online.

Keala said...

cool
Now how do I convert this to use in my Corolla?

sky said...

Namaste', I have been making biodiesel to fuel my vehicles, but find your article fascinating. I know though that no matter what we all do in regards to the very near future crisis of fueling our hungry land hogs, that the population of the human race needs to get themselves in check. In the wild there are many things that go against wild animals, disease (no hospitals keeping them alive till they are 90 plus and no doctors to cure them when they get ill) predators to hunt them, losing their homes consistently as land is encroached forcing them to move on, In the wild when ever a wild animal gets out of check humans jump in and start *managing* populations (culling), interesting how we would never remotely think of applying the same rules to our own species,(and am glad for that! BTW) But are we all that much more important than any other species? We have made it so that humans lives have become a process of experiments over time, and eliminating all those things that affect all othe life on the planet. (Howeve environmental issues will affect us ALL in the end, but hey the ants might get their big chance then ;0) ) the smarter some get the madder perhaps? ;0) hahaha I really enjoyed the article and it definitely has got me thinking (possibilities,possibilities...they are endless till they are no longer available.)

American Genius said...

That is awesome. IF we could use algae, and not our food sources, which require a lot of petroleum anyhow, everyone would benefit, except maybe the arabs.

adrian2514 said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it always has great insight. But I am very frustrated with the fact that so few people are talking about presidential candidates and their thoughts on global warming. Now that it is down to just a few candidates I would think that this would be a bigger issue.

Live Earth just picked up this topic and put out an article ( http://www.liveearth.org/news.php ) live earth is also asking why the presidential candidates are not being solicited for their stance on the issue of the climate change. I just saw a poll on www.EarthLab.com that says people care a lot about what their next leader thinks of global warming. Does anyone know of another poll or other results about this subject?

Here is the page where I saw the EarthLab poll: http://www.earthlab.com/life.aspx. This is a pretty legit website; they are endorsed by Al Gore and the alliance for climate protection and they have a carbon footprint calculator. Does anyone have a strong opinion about this like I do? No matter what your political affiliation is or who you vote for this is an important issue for our environment, our economy and for homeland security.