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Algae - like a breath mint for smokestacks
Christian Science Monitor ^ | 1/11/06 | Mark Clayton

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: algae

1 posted on 01/15/2006 7:46:31 AM PST by getsoutalive
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To: getsoutalive; Squantos; Pete-R-Bilt; tubebender

Interesting article re: biodiesel


2 posted on 01/15/2006 7:53:03 AM PST by glock rocks ("God's gift to you is life itself. What you do with it is your gift to God." - Leo Buscaglia)
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To: getsoutalive

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.


3 posted on 01/15/2006 7:53:14 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: 'Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS: Fake But Accurate, Experts Say.')
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To: getsoutalive

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".


4 posted on 01/15/2006 7:56:50 AM PST by Lokibob (Spelling and typos are copyrighted. Please do not use.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Did you bother to read the full article?

All your points are covered in the full article.


5 posted on 01/15/2006 8:00:01 AM PST by Lokibob (Spelling and typos are copyrighted. Please do not use.)
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To: getsoutalive
Hmmm... Looks like it might be back to Camel herding for Achmed. Can't happen soon enough for me.
6 posted on 01/15/2006 8:01:00 AM PST by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
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To: glock rocks
The January 2006 issue of Popular Science had a short article that talked specifically about feeding smokestack exhaust gases to special vertical tube ponds that can grow oil-laden algae! This type of plant could have double benefits: 1) it drastically reduces the pollutants in the exhaust and 2) the algae can be refined and processed into diesel fuel, heating oil, kerosene, possibly gasoline, animal feedstock and ethanol!
7 posted on 01/15/2006 8:13:34 AM PST by RayChuang88
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To: glock rocks

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)


8 posted on 01/15/2006 8:16:12 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: getsoutalive

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.


9 posted on 01/15/2006 8:18:21 AM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (None genuine without my signature)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
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!

/sarcasm

10 posted on 01/15/2006 8:23:43 AM PST by somniferum
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To: getsoutalive

Finally, an idea that doesn't sound like a something for nothing project.


11 posted on 01/15/2006 8:28:07 AM PST by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Because hemp is very difficult to process with machines. There are better alternatives such as buffalo grass.


12 posted on 01/15/2006 8:28:53 AM PST by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: somniferum
Hemp has zero industrial use, which is why we have to import it from other countries!

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.

13 posted on 01/15/2006 8:32:05 AM PST by Moonman62 (Federal creed: If it moves tax it. If it keeps moving regulate it. If it stops moving subsidize it)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

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.


14 posted on 01/15/2006 8:33:41 AM PST by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Nothing grows faster than algae.


15 posted on 01/15/2006 8:35:20 AM PST by Old Professer (Fix the problem, not the blame!)
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To: glock rocks; Pete-R-Bilt
I have my own algae factory. We have had so much rain and so little sunshine that algae is growing on the diamond plate bed rails, hood and next to the body moldings of my Silverado.

Did you check out landing of the Comet Collector this morning. It was a bust here?
16 posted on 01/15/2006 8:49:35 AM PST by tubebender (Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else...)
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To: tubebender

I glanced at the live thread when I got up. It's snowing.


17 posted on 01/15/2006 8:51:29 AM PST by glock rocks ("God's gift to you is life itself. What you do with it is your gift to God." - Leo Buscaglia)
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To: getsoutalive

what do they call the ethanol, bug-sh$t gin?


18 posted on 01/15/2006 8:55:36 AM PST by patton ("Hard Drive Cemetary" - forthcoming best seller)
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To: Squantos

more indicators that light sweet crude is probably bug poo, not dead dinosours. And hence renewable.


19 posted on 01/15/2006 8:57:53 AM PST by patton ("Hard Drive Cemetary" - forthcoming best seller)
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To: patton

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 !


20 posted on 01/15/2006 9:03:49 AM PST by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. )
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To: Squantos

Sounds like it is almost as fun as a dog sled. ;)


21 posted on 01/15/2006 9:06:56 AM PST by patton ("Hard Drive Cemetary" - forthcoming best seller)
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To: getsoutalive

86 percent less nitrous oxide.


And all this time, I thought it was a GOOD gas!


22 posted on 01/15/2006 9:27:16 AM PST by sig229 (If you see a fork in the road, take it.)
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To: glock rocks

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.


23 posted on 01/15/2006 10:30:19 AM PST by q_an_a
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To: getsoutalive

bfl


24 posted on 01/30/2006 12:49:39 PM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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