Skip to comments.Lean green microbe machines
Posted on 05/01/2013 2:48:39 PM PDT by neverdem
Pond scum algae gained prominence a few years ago, emerging from research obscurity to hog the green limelight. With questions over growing food crops for biodiesel and concerns over fuel security and global warming, algae seemed to offer a renewable, carbon-neutral source of fuel. Algal cultivation could use a large amount of non-arable land without harming food production, said the sales pitch, and its demand for water could be met with non-potable supplies, even saline or wastewater. As algal biochemist Alison Smith of the University of Cambridge, UK, explains, I was being phoned up every five minutes by people who wanted to talk about algae. That was in 2007, when she had helped found the UKs Algal Biotechnology Consortium.
Six years on and algae are today used to produce feed for agri- and aquaculture and dyes like carotenoids. The latter are used industrially as food pigments and feed additives, and in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, and there has been increasing interest in their potential as functional food ingredients. Algal biomass is the main source of polyunsaturated fatty acids, for instance, which are recognised as offering health benefits.
The algae eaten as food supplements are Spirulina, Dunaliella and Chlorella, generally as tablet or powder form. Spirulina thrives in water with such a high pH that it excludes potential competitors, which helps make production viable. The food supplement itself, in powdered form, smells like aromatic moss peat, earthy and floral. Earthrise Nutritionals, based in southern California in the US, produces about 500 tons annually of Spirulina in 30 one-acre ponds about a foot deep. The smoothie made from the powder tastes surprisingly good fruity with an aromatic twist.
Apart from the reputed benefits of drinking the green stuff, some supporters of algae see them as a solution to feeding the world. Algae flour, proponents argue, can substitute for that made with corn, wheat, rice or soy, and algae oils offer a healthier alternative as they are higher in micronutrients and deliver more omega-3 fatty acids than many conventional oils...
Nice concept but can never grow or harvest algae in a high enough concentration to make the production of biodiesel economic.
I'm sure that green slime water will slide right down the gullet like a raw oyster dipped in oil but no thanks.
The idea that this “unportable water” could be used is ludicrous. In the Arizona desert land every drop of water, even waste water, is a valuable commodity that has to turn a profit.
Old ranch land was purchased for its water rights which were then diverted to housing starts. Palo Verde nuke plant bought waste water and built a big pipe line from Phoenix to the plant water treatment facility and considered themselves fortunate to get it.
The idea of slime ponds in the desert is bizarre.
you’re right about algae.
However, bacteria is another matter. google joule unlimited.
see my comments to allendale
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