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Turning Algae Into Oil, with Help from Fish
The New York Times ^ | August 12, 2009 | Matthew L. Wald

Posted on 08/12/2009 4:29:54 PM PDT by Reeses

There are two big problems associated with extracting liquid fuel from algae: getting the algae out of the water, and then getting the oil out of the algae. The pumps and centrifuges required to do this consume a lot of energy.

A California company, LiveFuels, is trying out a new, less energy-intensive approach: It is feeding the algae to small fish — and letting them do the job of harvesting.

After the fish fatten up, workers catch them in nets and process them for oil (as well as protein for animal feed). This is a bit like gathering whale oil, but the fish are closer in size to minnows. The resulting oil is a lot like the Omega 3 oil packaged into capsules and sold in supermarkets as a diet supplement. But it can be used to run cars and trucks, according to the company.

(Excerpt) Read more at greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; US: California; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: algae; biodiesel; opec
This is a back to the future idea. The original oil industry used this concept for thousands of years. This technology could be used for cleaning up algae blooms in the Gulf of Mexico, preventing oxygen depletion from too much fish food gone to waste.
1 posted on 08/12/2009 4:29:55 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Reeses

It would be a whole lot more straight forward to turn coal in liquid fuel. But then energy independence isn’t the real goal of the leftards, is it.


2 posted on 08/12/2009 4:33:13 PM PDT by Tarpon (The Joker's plan -- Slavery by debt so large it can never be repaid)
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To: Reeses

Through sufficient genetic wizardry it ought to be possible to get the algae to secrete the oil. Then it just floats to the top of the tank and can be skimmed off.


3 posted on 08/12/2009 4:33:19 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Democrat Party: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party)
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To: Reeses

This should work....unless you live in the California fish protection area.
As a KOI pond owner, I can throw in some feeder goldfish and in less than 6 months they will grow to the size of your hand....
I put in bacteria to eat the Algae during hot weather. Maybe I have an Oil well equivalent off my backyard patio ?


4 posted on 08/12/2009 4:36:19 PM PDT by 4Speed
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Splice some of Al Gore's DNA into a fish.


5 posted on 08/12/2009 4:37:53 PM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Tarpon

Exactly. This process explains why we don’t eat tiger meat. It’s just not economical to feed cattle to tigers until the tigers are ripe for butchering and serving up. Unless people WANT to pay $250 a pound for fresh tiger fajita meat.


6 posted on 08/12/2009 4:38:41 PM PDT by willgolfforfood
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To: Reeses
PETA will have a hissy fit...

Fish are like kittens...You wouldn't make your kitten work to run your car, would you --lol


7 posted on 08/12/2009 4:39:19 PM PDT by libertarian27 (Ingsoc: Life, Liberty and the Department of Happiness)
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To: Reeses
Have the PETA folks heard about this yet? Has this idea been cleared by them?

Μολὼν λάβε


8 posted on 08/12/2009 4:41:49 PM PDT by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)" or "come get some")
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To: willgolfforfood

Yep, I sometime wonder what has happened to the ability to reason in America. Coal to liquids conversion runs $30-40 barrel equivalent depending on the coal quality. The USA has between 25-30% of all the world’s supply of coal. The coal to liquids conversion process, was invented in the 1920s and perfected by Germany in WWII.

I saw a study today that the cash for clunkers reduced CO2 at a cost of $416 dollars a ton. Now that’s a great return for the money spent.


9 posted on 08/12/2009 4:42:29 PM PDT by Tarpon (The Joker's plan -- Slavery by debt so large it can never be repaid)
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To: wastoute

Also what about all that cruelty to vegetables?


10 posted on 08/12/2009 4:46:20 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Democrat Party: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party)
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To: Tarpon

“It would be a whole lot more straight forward to turn coal in liquid fuel. But then energy independence isn’t the real goal of the leftards, is it.”

The environuts are only in favor of sources of energy that don’t exist ore are not yet feasible. Once they become feasible then they will be against it. That is why you’re starting to see opposition by the ‘nuts to large scale wind and solar, as they already are against hydro and nuclear.


11 posted on 08/12/2009 4:47:49 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: Tarpon

Coal pipelines were still being looked at in the 70s and 80s. I’m surprised that Germany was supposed to have gotten that down pat decades earlier.


12 posted on 08/12/2009 4:48:31 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Democrat Party: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party)
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To: libertarian27
"You wouldn't make your kitten work to run your car, would you"

Sure I would. Grab a herd of neighborhood kitties and put them in the squirrel cages of a Chevy Volt, and off you go!

13 posted on 08/12/2009 4:49:10 PM PDT by Paladin2 (Big Ears + Big Spending --> BigEarMarx, the man behind TOTUS)
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To: aquila48

Yes, once it becomes big enough to clutter somebody’s backyard view, they start screaming.


14 posted on 08/12/2009 4:49:22 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (The Democrat Party: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party)
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To: Tarpon
There's a typical leftard comment at the blog: It’s time for us to realize that we need to make some sacrifices in our lifestyles.

They don't really mean "we need to make some sacrifices" but that "you need to make some sacrifices". Misery loves company.

15 posted on 08/12/2009 4:55:01 PM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
You don't need coal pipelines, you put the conversion refinery in the coal fields, pump the resultant fuel. That way you don't end up with high transport costs for the material you don't use. The Crow Indians are building a plant right now, or at least planning and designing.

China has 10 coal to liquids plants in construction.

The conversion process is called Fischer-Tropsch.

Germany ran their entire WWII war machine on a Fischer-Tropsch process derivative. Germany has no oil, has lots of coal that is ideally suitable for conversion. It was a matter of necessity.

Google up "Fischer-Tropsch" it's one of the biggest secrets out there. Ignore the libtard claptrap on Wikipedia. One of the things to remember is methane, CH4, is the basis for most liquid hydrocarbons we use today. Methane is natural gas, which also converts easily into liquid fuels.

16 posted on 08/12/2009 4:58:12 PM PDT by Tarpon (The Joker's plan -- Slavery by debt so large it can never be repaid)
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To: wastoute

I’m sure PETA is appalled at this idea however they have no sway in international waters, 70% of Earth’s surface.


17 posted on 08/12/2009 4:59:30 PM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Tarpon

Coal to liquid conversion has high CO2 emissions. It will work for a while but we can’t triple the economy this way.


18 posted on 08/12/2009 5:04:48 PM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Reeses

Wouldn’t gravity be a better way to get the algae out of the water and generate the power from hydro to extract the oil from the algae.....


19 posted on 08/12/2009 5:07:06 PM PDT by FTJM
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To: Reeses

What with the coming ice age we need all the CO2 we can get.


20 posted on 08/12/2009 5:20:58 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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To: Balding_Eagle

We’ll prevent the next ice age and other unwanted climate changes with cloud control. The human influence on clouds is already much more profound and visible than our influence on CO2 levels but the envi-mentalists hate to bring up that subject. More clouds means more freshwater, more wind to churn up ocean nutrients, more mostly good things. 100 years from now when we’re using the open ocean to grow algae for fuel they’ll be laughing at the expensive efforts we tried to reduce plant food. Hopefully the global warming scam will be used frequently as a club against the Luddites.


21 posted on 08/12/2009 5:35:50 PM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Reeses
So we need to put the CO2 into lots of soft drinks, and grow plants, plants love plant food.

Most knowledgeable people say that the coal supply would last the USA for another 200 years. Generating more oil by many times over the amount in all the Saudi reserves.

22 posted on 08/12/2009 5:38:58 PM PDT by Tarpon (The Joker's plan -- Slavery by debt so large it can never be repaid)
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To: Tarpon

Yep. Oil only needs to be around $45/bbl to break even on coal gassification.


23 posted on 08/12/2009 5:48:33 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Obamacare: all the efficiency of the DMV and all the compassion of the IRS.)
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To: Tarpon

North America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. The problem is how to use coal without massive emissions, bringing up the world’s standard of living. We can use coal for now, but eventually we’ll need closed loop technologies such as saltwater algae fuel. We could completely replace the Middle East petroleum industry using 1% of the ocean surface, far from land in the ocean dead zones.


24 posted on 08/12/2009 5:50:13 PM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Reeses
To heck with these CFLs. Whale oil! Illuminating the FUTURE!

Additional hot stock tip: Invest in buggy whips!

25 posted on 08/12/2009 6:57:04 PM PDT by Rodamala
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To: Reeses

Ever heard of Occams Razor?

Why not we just use coal and nuclear power like China?

In a few more decades maybe we will have fusion power.


26 posted on 08/12/2009 7:32:20 PM PDT by Tarpon (The Joker's plan -- Slavery by debt so large it can never be repaid)
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To: Tarpon
Why not we just use coal and nuclear power like China?

China doesn't care about pollution and life is cheap there. Where are we going to get non-idiot nuclear plant workers from, the public school system? From the same pool of people where half voted for Obama? Many private investors have lost their shirts funding nuclear plants, so there are no investors without special new laws to insure their profits, while others take the risk, sort of like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. Fusion produces radioactive waste too, just less of it. Volume isn't the problem. Where do you put the stuff?

27 posted on 08/13/2009 3:48:58 AM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Reeses

You reprocess spent fuel, like France does. Too bad the US law, passed by the loony toon Democrats forbid us from doing that. The rest, low level waste is stored in Yucca mountain, Oh yeah, forgot, the Democrats shut down that.

You quickly get the idea that it’s not energy technology that is the problem, It’s the Democrat party that is the problem. Those stupid idiotic leftards who hate America.


28 posted on 08/13/2009 4:59:36 AM PDT by Tarpon (The Joker's plan -- Slavery by debt so large it can never be repaid)
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To: Reeses
Coal to liquid conversion has high CO2 emissions.

That's a political issue, not a physical problem.

29 posted on 08/13/2009 5:41:27 AM PDT by LTCJ (God Save the Constitution - Tar & Feathers, The New Look for Summer '09)
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To: LTCJ
It's not a physical problem now, but if the American economy were to double, and China and India's go up by a factor of 10, could increasing use of the atmosphere as a sewer continue? We need either cold fusion, or closed loop chemistry, if we want unrestrained wealth and prosperity in the future. Coal to liquid fuel is an emergency wartime resource, but it's not the long term replacement for petroleum.
30 posted on 08/13/2009 6:37:32 AM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Tarpon
Those stupid idiotic leftards who hate America

They've been with us from the beginning. Cain was the very first leftard, killed his brother Able in envy. We've never figured out any way to get rid of them. They spontaneously re-form from the Universe's disorder. They are the dark half of the human condition.


31 posted on 08/13/2009 6:52:51 AM PDT by Reeses (Leftism is powered by the evil force of envy.)
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To: Reeses
My comment was specific to the CO2 aspect; it's a non-issue if we confine ourselves to nonfiction. As far as classic pollutants go, I like clean air as much or more than the next guy.
32 posted on 08/13/2009 9:59:39 AM PDT by LTCJ (God Save the Constitution - Tar & Feathers, The New Look for Summer '09)
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To: Reeses

Scientists don’t even understand how clouds form. Any kind of control is a long, long ways down the road.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2311377/posts


33 posted on 08/13/2009 5:18:24 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)
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