Skip to comments.EERC Awarded Subcontract to Help Produce 100% Jet Fuel from Algae
Posted on 07/28/2009 7:21:41 AM PDT by Reeses
The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota has been awarded a subcontract by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to help produce jet fuel from algae. The effort is being funded by the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and is a continuation of the first successful production of 100% renewable fuel for the U.S. military by the EERC.
Under a previous DARPA contract, the EERC advanced the development of a feedstock-flexible process that can utilize various crop oil feedstocks to produce combinations of renewable jet fuel, diesel and naphtha (a constituent used to create chemicals and gasoline) that are essentially identical to their petroleum-derived counterparts.
The EERC will utilize the same proprietary technology to produce jet fuel from algae oils. Working with SAIC to produce the fuels from algae enhances the EERCs capabilities for commercial production of economically viable renewable fuels that are fully interchangeable with existing fuels and distribution networks, do not negatively impact the worlds food supply, and are environmentally benign.
SAIC is working closely with its teammates to identify ways to minimize the cost of algae production and achieve DARPAs jet fuel (JP-8) cost target of $3.00/gallon.
The cheapest supply of oil still evades the “wise”
Drill here drill now.
I agree, drill like petroleum is going out of style, because it is. We need the American jobs and tax base now. All the American fossil fuel the leftists blocked from use could become worthless overnight.
I just read yesterday that DoD has agreed to change over to USAF has agreed to switch over to Jet-A as its part of the $100 million cost savings that Obama got all of his agencies to squeeze out of their budgets. Why are they spending money to find a new way to produce JP-8?
I know there's not an enormous difference between Jet-A and JP-8, but why work on producing something that won't be used?
Omit the icing and corrosion inhibitors, lubricants, and antistatic agents and JP-8 becomes Jet-A. That’s why it’s cheaper. That might be okay for military ground vehicles but substituting Jet-A for JP-8 in military aircraft could lead to expensive surprises.
Yeah, it sure is a lot cheaper than coal gasification. And carbon neutral too. (sarc)
What amazes me is that these people actually go to school to learn this stuff. The biggest health problem in the US? Obesity. If our public school students can’t even learn that being fat is stupid, How do we expect them to get it right about economic energy production?
Why, that would be a great topic for a research grant.
That looks WAY too much like that mindless Prius commercial shown between periods of propaganda on PBS.
Is there ANYTHING that SAIC does not have a finger into?
It is a DoD contract, but never thought SAIC = POL
Have you ever tried to grow and harvest 100 acres of algae?
The people who do would never sell it for fuel, it is way too valuable as food. It will take hundreds of thousands of acres of algae production to make a dent in our fuel needs.
We have a one thousand year supply of coal. We may have tens of thousands of years of oil and natural gas, which seem to be upwelling from the earth's mantle.
Sandia labs has demonstrated a process for removing carbon dioxide from the air to produce transportation fuels that is economical at $3.25 per gallon. If the process is powered by nuclear energy, we have an unlimited supply of such fuel.
Algea fuel research, however well-intentioned, is not likely to result in a viable business model.
Resistance IS futile...
Resistance IS futile...
Algae floats and mostly grows on saltwater. 70% of Earth's sun absorbing surface is saltwater. There are fewer clouds offshore and like sunshine the farm land and water are essentially free. We could use fish to do the harvesting, which via whales was the original oil industry for thousands of years. All the energy in petroleum originally came from saltwater algae. The energy in coal came from freshwater plants.
As far as Sandia’s solar still, I sure you recognize the basic process they use: 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + E = C6H12O6 + 6 H2O, it's called photosynthesis and plants have been doing for years!
Interesting that you mention powering the process using nuclear energy, but if Fermi had the same attitude about that as you apparently have about the potential of fuel from algae, we'd still be fighting the Japanese.
I never thought the horseless carriage or those flying contraptions were worthwhile either,
So your answer no. You have not actually harvested algae oil, and other than pilot projects, neither has anybody else. An automated harvesting system is essential to large scale oil recovery, and make the R&D expensive and problematic.
Anyone still touting the fossil fuel argument is stuck on stupid. Shell is harvesting oil from 5+miles deep in the gulf of mexico. Russia and other contries have similar deep recovery strategies. Such deep oil cannot be the result of decayed surface life. Oil is more than just a fossil fuel.
If you are looking for cheap, pollution free energy, with companies that have products which can do the job in real time, I would suggest you look at ocean current energy. The Gulf Stream could produce ten times the energy of Hoover Dam.
The earth's surface is 75% water, these oceans are deep, and any effect from atmospheric gases on planet temperature trends is moderate at most. The amount of mass contained in the oceans completely dwarfs the mass of the atmosphere. Even in the atmosphere, the properties of water, vapor and condensate, not carbon dioxide, are the controlling factor.
The activity of men is an asterisk or an afterthought.
Underwater windmills are going to be more expensive than land windmills, and the land windmills do not make economic sense as it is. Extracting large amounts of energy from the wind and ocean currents is going to affect climate much more than CO2 emissions from coal would have. Windmills can not produce transportation fuel, at least with any efficiency.
The second largest component is clouds, and man can influence those. We can change the local temperature 20 degrees either direction using clouds, as well as make more fresh water and airlift it to the farm fields. Man is not helpless against nature.
There are fewer clouds over the open ocean because there are fewer nucleotides, from salt spray, dust, and particulate pollution. We could cool the oceans and control extreme weather by introducing various cloud catalysts. I'm not saying we should actually do that, just that we should know how.
So you would dispute the NASA data which has also evidenced planet warming comparable with solar output, on Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn?
Again, most climatologists now agree that the warming period stopped in 2002, strangely enough when solar output declined.
CO2 saturation in the oceans is impossible, given the moderating influence of ocean flora. As I study ice core CO2, overlaid with other tempature indicators, CO2 is a lagging climate indicator, not a predictor.
I guess you’d better present that data, cause as I see it, that’s not what NASA has said.
“’The situation is pretty ambiguous,’ said David Rind, a senior climate researcher at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who has modeled the Maunder Minimum.” http://www.livescience.com/environment/070312_solarsys_warming.html
What is not obvious, is that Earth has spent the preponderance of geologic time in what we would call an “Ice Age.”
Enjoy the warmth while you have got it.
I know this much, algae’s not the answer. Requires a ton of water, heat, and light.
Ironically, algae could be a wonderful substitute for carbon scrubbers for coal plants, which cost a ton ($400MM), and wear out.
Algae sequesters CO2, NO2 pretty well, and the BYPRODUCT is ethanol if you care to extract it.
Wanna hear the funny part? The carbon nazis don’t want to convert it to ethanol. The carbon is sequestered in the algae very nicely. What the carbon nazis want is to bury it in the ground. Guess what - nobody will underwrite the liability of it. Nobody is willing to dig the hole, put the slop in the ground, and then wait around to find out if it does any lasting groundwater damage.
I’m telling you, the whole business is a con.
Open ocean farming of saltwater algae is the obvious long term answer. Saltwater algae is where all the energy in petroleum originally came from, as well as most of the oxygen in the air. There are many problems to solve in ocean farming but like farming on land they are eventually solvable. Greenhouse farming on land for fuel though will always be too capital intensive.
Bury it? It could make great animal feed. There are a lot of projects that on paper and in the research lab look good. Making a viable industrial process is difficult mostly because of stingy conservative capital.
The equation has to look good, when compared to oil or LNG produced with little regulation. High bar to cross.