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Marine algae get the green light from Shell
New Scientist ^ | 22 December 2007 | New Scientist

Posted on 12/18/2007 10:42:43 AM PST by isaiah55version11_0

SHELL is to become the first major oil company to produce diesel fuel from marine algae. Algae are a climate-friendly way to make fuel from carbon dioxide. They produce an oil that can readily be converted to diesel, and can be fed CO2 directly from smokestacks. Unlike biofuels such as corn, they don't use up soil or water that could otherwise be used to grow food, which can pump up food prices. The US government abandoned research on algal biofuel in the 1990s because of the low cost of crude oil. But as oil and food prices began to rise, small algal fuel producers sprang up. Shell plans to begin construction on a pilot plant in Hawaii immediately, which it expects will produce 15 times as much oil for a given area as other biofuel crops, thanks to the efficiency of algal photosynthesis.

(Excerpt) Read more at environment.newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: algae; diesel; energy
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1 posted on 12/18/2007 10:42:45 AM PST by isaiah55version11_0
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To: isaiah55version11_0; sully777; vigl; Cagey; Abathar; A. Patriot; B Knotts; getsoutalive; ...
Rest In Peace, old friend, your work is finished.....

If you want ON or OFF the DIESEL ”KnOcK” LIST just FReepmail me.....

This is a fairly HIGH VOLUME ping list on some days.....

2 posted on 12/18/2007 10:43:51 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Seriously, this is a positive trend towards sustainable renewable energy!!!


3 posted on 12/18/2007 10:44:54 AM PST by griswold3 (Al queda is guilty of hirabah (war against society) Penalty is death.)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

A good “symbiotic” way to deal with sewage and garbage, too.


4 posted on 12/18/2007 10:45:16 AM PST by r9etb
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To: isaiah55version11_0
Marine algae get the green light from Shell

Way off topic, but wasn't Soylent Green supposed to be marine algae before it was found to be made from people?

5 posted on 12/18/2007 10:46:46 AM PST by SIDENET (Hubba Hubba...)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

This is really great news! I wonder what their production costs are going to be. Hawaii’s a great place for a pilot too, since that means they save on trans-oceanic fuel shipping.


6 posted on 12/18/2007 10:47:32 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Interesting development. If power plants are forced to sequester CO2, why not put it to use and grow algae with it?


7 posted on 12/18/2007 10:50:57 AM PST by Normandy
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Interesting development. If power plants are forced to sequester CO2, why not put it to use and grow algae with it?


8 posted on 12/18/2007 10:51:00 AM PST by Normandy
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more info here

http://media.cleantech.com/2189/shell-to-grow-algae-for-biofuel

9 posted on 12/18/2007 10:52:12 AM PST by isaiah55version11_0 (For His Glory)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Good news for the Dutch.


10 posted on 12/18/2007 10:52:36 AM PST by Racehorse (Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.)
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To: isaiah55version11_0
YEAAAA the SILVER Bullet to our energy/environmental crises.

But on second thought, even producing 15X as much bio fuel as we do today won't really make a dent in energy dependence.

And although the algae is grown from CO2, when algae diesel is compressed in a diesel engine with super heated 02, the byproduct is C02. So if you really want to reduce C02, shouldn't you just grow algae and leave it alone?

11 posted on 12/18/2007 10:53:56 AM PST by 11th Commandment
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To: isaiah55version11_0

This is how to solve any problem—put a profit potential in the solution and let corporate America do it.


12 posted on 12/18/2007 10:54:26 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: r9etb

“A good “symbiotic” way to deal with sewage and garbage, too.”

Finally a technology to make our Congress into something useful.


13 posted on 12/18/2007 10:56:10 AM PST by Londo Molari
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To: Normandy

Good idea. Build the power plant and the algae farm/refinery next to each other and pipe the CO2 to the farm: perpetual motion.


14 posted on 12/18/2007 10:58:24 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: 11th Commandment
So if you really want to reduce C02, shouldn't you just grow algae and leave it alone?

You can't just leave it alone. If left alone it will eventually die and rot, releasing CO2 back into the air. You have to hide it somewhere where it can't rot.

However, if you are using the biodiesel instead of petroleum you will take carbon dioxide out of the air and later put it in, instead of just putting it into the air from a millions years old store of it.

15 posted on 12/18/2007 10:59:33 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Government is the hired help - not the boss. When politicians forget that they must be fired.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
perpetual motion.

It's not perpetual motion. You need sunlight to add to the total energy supply to grow the algae. Now whether it would be better to increase the amount of usable energy by using solar cells or algae-diesel, I don't know.

16 posted on 12/18/2007 11:01:50 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Government is the hired help - not the boss. When politicians forget that they must be fired.)
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Joint press release here:

http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=54866

17 posted on 12/18/2007 11:02:26 AM PST by isaiah55version11_0 (For His Glory)
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To: Londo Molari

Al Gore.... what is he going to make a living at now? All that c02 being used for fuel.. Don’t trees eat it? Lordy, we can’t to that and starve the poor trees.. Al, we need you to protect the trees.....


18 posted on 12/18/2007 11:02:39 AM PST by primatreat ( Hold political and scientific idiots responsible by taking there money and glory away!)
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To: 11th Commandment
Leaving the algae alone would do no good. Eventually the algae die and are digested by bacteria, which release the CO2 as waste gas.

The only way to permanently sequester CO2 from the carbon cycle is to separate the carbon atom in each molecule from the oxygen atoms and process it into a non-oxidizing form such as diamond or fullerene.

19 posted on 12/18/2007 11:03:16 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Sounds good, but this statement needs to be revised: “Unlike biofuels such as corn, they [algae] don’t use up soil or water”.

Last time I checked algae required water to grow just like all other life forms on Earth.


20 posted on 12/18/2007 11:03:19 AM PST by Kolb
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To: KarlInOhio
My point exactly- Cycled carbon is a zero sum game
21 posted on 12/18/2007 11:05:06 AM PST by 11th Commandment
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Where are the clean burning diesel car engines from the Detroit auto makers?


22 posted on 12/18/2007 11:07:01 AM PST by A. Morgan (Each terrorist we kill lowers the carbon foot print of the war.)
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To: B-Chan
I understand- it was a little tongue and cheek. Algae diesel does not violate the laws of chemistry....
23 posted on 12/18/2007 11:07:13 AM PST by 11th Commandment
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To: r9etb

Global warming made Al G
Bigger than when he was VP
Now Shell has hit it
No need for carbon credits
We’ll get green with the new algae


24 posted on 12/18/2007 11:08:41 AM PST by dblshot
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To: 11th Commandment
Cycled carbon is a zero sum game

So much for AlGore's carbon tax credit scam. HA HA

25 posted on 12/18/2007 11:09:04 AM PST by A. Morgan (Each terrorist we kill lowers the carbon foot print of the war.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
This is how to solve any problem—put a profit potential in the solution and let corporate America do it.

Here is the problem with this statement. The article states this technology was abandoned in the 60's because it was too expensive compared to traditional drilling. The only reason why algae is "profitable" is because congress and the environmental lobby has artificially increased the price of oil production and gas refining. If we would drill more of a relatively free natural resource, oil would be a commodity it should be and Hawaii beaches won't be turned green with algae.

26 posted on 12/18/2007 11:12:15 AM PST by 11th Commandment
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To: KarlInOhio

You’re right.

Solar cells would be simpler in the long term with vehicles going electric. In the short term the algae diesel can drive transportation.


27 posted on 12/18/2007 11:17:46 AM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: 11th Commandment
But on second thought, even producing 15X as much bio fuel as we do today won't really make a dent in energy dependence.

That's not what's above. They say that they can get 15 times more oil out of a given acre of land using algae than, with say, soybeans, canola, rapeseed (used to produce canola oil), or some other oil-producing crop.

Rapeseed, for example, produces about 127 gallons of vegetable oil per acre - they're saying something like that they can get around 2,000 gallons per acre with algae.

28 posted on 12/18/2007 11:18:40 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: 11th Commandment

Your analysis is very simplistic. The current cost of fuel is driven more by increased demand, than by congress. You also neglect technological progress, which has most likely lowered the cost of biodiesel-farming relative to drilling.


29 posted on 12/18/2007 11:19:13 AM PST by r9etb
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To: SIDENET
Way off topic, but wasn't Soylent Green supposed to be marine algae before it was found to be made from people?

Plankton.

30 posted on 12/18/2007 11:20:05 AM PST by untrained skeptic
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To: 11th Commandment

Ah, I see. My apologies.


31 posted on 12/18/2007 11:24:20 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: griswold3

Even better, it recycles carbon dioxide that has ALREADY been formed and is destined to become part of the atmosphere. For that reason, it would generally destroy the base on which “carbon credits” trading would depend, by eliminating, before it is released to the atmosphere, any “new” carbon dioxide.


32 posted on 12/18/2007 11:25:40 AM PST by alloysteel (Ignorance is no handicap for some people in a debate. They just get more shrill.)
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To: untrained skeptic

Watch out for that plankton, you will find a piranhna in it occasionally.


33 posted on 12/18/2007 11:25:42 AM PST by 444Flyer (NEVER take a "mark" to "buy or sell"!Rev 13:16-18,John 3:1-36, Eph 6, Rev 12:11, Jer 29:13-14)
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To: r9etb
It is a very complex equation which includes gov’t control of supply. There is a basic supply demand curve for energy. Supply can come from many sources, coal, oil, natural gas, biofuels. which source is used for supply is highly dependent on government policy both environmental and fiscal. Oil land on land or under sea is leased from the government which only releases a little at a time thus artificially reducing supply, this is a major factor in the cost of oil and natural gas and coal. Technology can reduce the cost of using the raw supply but that is only a part of the overall cost structure.
34 posted on 12/18/2007 11:29:40 AM PST by dblshot
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To: 11th Commandment
But on second thought, even producing 15X as much bio fuel as we do today won't really make a dent in energy dependence.

Yes. 15 times what is currently produced still wouldn't put much of a dent in oil consumption and wouldn't likely even keep up with the rate at which oil consumption increases.

It will need to be produced on a much larger scale than that.

The nice thing about marine algae, it that it can be grown in salt water which doesn't use up fresh water resources which are relatively scarce in some areas. It also doesn't face the same problems of land use because it can be grown in the ocean.

And although the algae is grown from CO2, when algae diesel is compressed in a diesel engine with super heated 02, the byproduct is C02. So if you really want to reduce C02, shouldn't you just grow algae and leave it alone?

When we burn oil, we release CO2 that was removed from the carbon cycle long ago. That increases the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

When you burn a biofuel, you release CO2 that was already currently in the carbon cycle, and would be released as the plants decomposed or were used anyway, unless sequestered somehow.

The real benefit of using biofuels in from not using fossil fuels instead which would add more CO2 into the carbon cycle.

However, using C02 to grow algae doesn't sequester CO2 unless the algae, or it's remains are sequestered.

35 posted on 12/18/2007 11:32:49 AM PST by untrained skeptic
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To: Kolb

Ocean?


36 posted on 12/18/2007 11:34:24 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: untrained skeptic

As the appetite for oil grows, it won’t matter where it came from if we reach the tipping point; oh, how many times in my youth, on some overheated assignation, did I long for that sweet tipping point...


37 posted on 12/18/2007 11:38:14 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Normandy
If power plants are forced to sequester CO2, why not put it to use and grow algae with it?

I'm no engineer, but that sounds like a great idea to me. Let's take it one further. I wonder about what it would take to crack the C02 back to its component gases, release the O2 back to the air, and reclaim the carbon for fuel? I'm sure the enviro nutcases would find a reason to stop it ("We're poisoning the environment with too much oxygen!").

Any smart FReepers got an idea on the above? I know, of course, the first part of the answer is "Huge, huge amounts of energy".

38 posted on 12/18/2007 11:39:48 AM PST by Hardastarboard (DemocraticUnderground.com is an internet hate site.)
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To: Kolb
Last time I checked algae required water to grow just like all other life forms on Earth.

Most algae need salt water which for now is an unlimited resource. They float and can handle waves. If we invent nanobots or something to manage wild algae "weeds" we can grow all our petroleum using a few percent of Earth's ocean surface.

Leftists refer to algae as slime since they are well aware it is a serious threat to their plans for utopia.

39 posted on 12/18/2007 11:39:57 AM PST by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: isaiah55version11_0


We're glad to help
40 posted on 12/18/2007 12:11:38 PM PST by G8 Diplomat (Creatures are divided into 6 kingdoms: Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Monera, Protista, & Saudi Arabia)
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To: Reeses
You can grow algae in clear plastic tubes on the sunny side of the smokestack.


41 posted on 12/18/2007 12:13:25 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Somewhere off in the future somebody will be complaining about shortages of CO2.


42 posted on 12/18/2007 12:19:04 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Hardastarboard

Actually, cracking CO2 into oxygen and methane is a very simple, exothermic reaction, provided you have hydrogen to feed into it. And you can generate hydrogen using solar-powered photosynthesis.


43 posted on 12/18/2007 12:19:37 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: isaiah55version11_0
The most productive way to produce biodiesal is to use algae. Last year a cambridge company harnessed the CO2 output of some coal plants in arizona to their algae cannisters. The stuff grows fast and the oil yield on the algae they used was many orders of magnitude higher than any other agricultural substitute. Currently tests are running in arizona to scale up production into greenhouses. If you can convert the CO2 output from coal plants to oxygen with greenhouses full of algae producing biofuel--you've solved several problems.
44 posted on 12/18/2007 12:51:27 PM PST by ckilmer (Phi)
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To: mvpel

Algae can also be grown dry such as in lichen, an algae / fungus symbiotic relationship. I bet algae can grow on fabric sheets without the fungus to be used in filters. A problem with liquid filled vertical tubes is the pressure climbs with length. The algae might not do well with a significant variety of water pressure.


45 posted on 12/18/2007 1:00:15 PM PST by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
Good idea. Build the power plant and the algae farm/refinery next to each other and pipe the CO2 to the farm: perpetual motion.

You're too late!

GreenFuels Technologies

46 posted on 12/18/2007 1:15:30 PM PST by Texas Mulerider
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To: Reeses

Use flat tubes and simple mirrors on heliostats to avoid the pressure differentials.


47 posted on 12/18/2007 1:34:13 PM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: isaiah55version11_0

Waiting for the Sierra Club and Earth First to scream for protection of the endangered Marine Algae!


48 posted on 12/18/2007 1:44:46 PM PST by Redleg Duke ("All gave some, and some gave all!")
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To: Texas Mulerider

Thanks for the link.


49 posted on 12/18/2007 3:02:21 PM PST by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: SIDENET
Way off topic, but wasn't Soylent Green supposed to be marine algae before it was found to be made from people?

Dunno. I always assumed it was supposed to be made from soya beans and lentles. Hence the brand name...

50 posted on 12/18/2007 3:07:38 PM PST by null and void (Nully, you think of the oddest things. - sweetliberty)
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