Skip to comments.Algae - like a breath mint for smokestacks
Posted on 01/15/2006 7:46:30 AM PST by getsoutalive
BOSTON Isaac Berzin is a big fan of algae. The tiny, single-celled plant, he says, could transform the world's energy needs and cut global warming.
Overshadowed by a multibillion-dollar push into other "clean-coal" technologies, a handful of tiny companies are racing to create an even cleaner, greener process using the same slimy stuff that thrives in the world's oceans.
Enter Dr. Berzin, a rocket scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. About three years ago, while working on an experiment for growing algae on the International Space Station, he came up with the idea for using it to clean up power-plant exhaust.
If he could find the right strain of algae, he figured he could turn the nation's greenhouse-gas-belching power plants into clean-green generators with an attached algae farm next door.
"This is a big idea," Berzin says, "a really powerful idea."
And one that's taken him to the top - a rooftop. Bolted onto the exhaust stacks of a brick-and-glass 20-megawatt power plant behind MIT's campus are rows of fat, clear tubes, each with green algae soup simmering inside.
Fed a generous helping of CO2-laden emissions, courtesy of the power plant's exhaust stack, the algae grow quickly even in the wan rays of a New England sun. The cleansed exhaust bubbles skyward, but with 40 percent less CO2 (a larger cut than the Kyoto treaty mandates) and another bonus: 86 percent less nitrous oxide.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Interesting article re: biodiesel
It's just another form of "impounded carbon". The problem with fossil fuels is that they introduce additional carbon into the atmosphere. If there were a feedback mechanism, like increases in plant mass, then an equilbrium point would be reached.
What happens to the algae? Do they decay to form methane and CO2, in which case the long run benefit is nil? If they are self sustaining, nature would compensate with increased plant life, mainly in the Pacific Ocean, anyway. Seems like a dead end to me.
Truth is stranger than fiction.
L. Ron Hubbard, in his book(s) "Mission Earth", the main charactor cleans up earth pollution by sending algae up smokestacks.
And even stranger, this is in "Christian Science Monitor".
Did you bother to read the full article?
All your points are covered in the full article.
My Sis works for Excel Energy....forwarded the story to her. Only bad thing I see is when the refinery blows up we lose lights too !........:o)
I don't know why industrial hemp isn't considered for energy usage. The plant has dozens of uses. This is truly a no-brainer.
Go back to DU you drug addled hippie! Hemp is nothing but a back-door attempt to legalize marijuana! Hemp has zero industrial use, which is why we have to import it from other countries!
Finally, an idea that doesn't sound like a something for nothing project.
Because hemp is very difficult to process with machines. There are better alternatives such as buffalo grass.
Its uses are limited because there are better alternatives, and the countries we import it from have to subsidize it because it's such a poor crop.
Did you read the whole article?
The algae is to be harvested daily and processed into dried and liquid forms and stored for future use, on site use, or further processed and refined for distribution.
Since the usuable products would replace current fuels the net gain in "pollutants" would be a breakeven proposition with the side benefit of a net decrease in smokestack emissions, especially a dramatic reduction in nitric oxides.
Nothing grows faster than algae.
I glanced at the live thread when I got up. It's snowing.
what do they call the ethanol, bug-sh$t gin?
more indicators that light sweet crude is probably bug poo, not dead dinosours. And hence renewable.
Just watched My Classic Car show where Jay Leno took the host for a ride in a stanley steamer....pretty bizzare as to starting it yet when they got going it was pretty cool !
Sounds like it is almost as fun as a dog sled. ;)
86 percent less nitrous oxide.
And all this time, I thought it was a GOOD gas!
the end of the stone age did not happen because of a lack of stones. Now the oil field is under attack from coal plants if this idea works and hybrid cars that use E85. Good bye to funds for Wahabbi Imams.