Almost all "fossil" fuel is made from algae. There is more life in the sea than there is on land. Most of the life on Earth is microscopic.
All Exxon Mobil is doing here is controlling the process. In nature, the algae live their little algae lives, they die, they sink to the bottom of the ocean, and over years, pressure converts them into hydrocarbons. Exxon is proposing to farm them and squeeze them into oil themselves.
You could do the same thing with lawn clippings or vegetable peels if you have a mind to, but this is more efficient.
It's much more efficient than growing corn, harvesting the seeds, extracting oil, refining the oil, and then throwing away 99% of the plant. That's the sort of stuff that only makes sense if you're subsidized by the government.
posted on 02/16/2010 7:35:13 PM PST
by Question Liberal Authority
("My...health care plan is a Bolshevik plot... which will destroy America." - Barack Obama)
To: Question Liberal Authority
The older theories of fossil fuel formation (popular when I was in elementary school) posited that coal comes from macro-scale vegetation (trees, leafy plants) and oil from animal matter. There wasn’t any niche in there for algae.
I hope the algae pits pan out, to mix a metaphor. It would help the USA get closer to energy independence as well as mooting any lingering debate over CO2 anthropogenic climate change guilt. But those tanks are going to need copious amounts of water. Would we be willing to sacrifice, say, Lake Michigan in order to get all the gasoline the USA needs?
posted on 02/16/2010 7:51:03 PM PST
by HiTech RedNeck
(I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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