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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?


7 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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To: HiTech RedNeck
Most science is biased toward multi-cellular organisms, but the vast majority of life on Earth is microscopic. You're really just a transportation system for bacteria and the like. Even PETA rarely gives a second thought to killing billions of organisms with a single dab of soap.

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?

My swimming pool will bloom an unbelievable amount of algae in short order if left unattended. One of the biggest problems municipal water plants have is algae. That's why phosphates are banned in detergent - not because they harm life, but because it's basically algae fertilizer.

Algae is not difficult to grow, and once you harvest it, you can re-use the water over and over and over again. Near as I can tell, it would take about 220,000 square miles of algae farms at the rate of 2,000 gallons / acre to replace all of the oil in the USA. But that's to replace every single drop of fossil fuel, and it's possible that the numbers would improve with more advanced technology.
12 posted on 02/16/2010 8:22:16 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority ("My...health care plan is a Bolshevik plot... which will destroy America." - Barack Obama)
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