Jun
28
2007

Pond scum to the rescue: Researchers are looking at ways to produce fuel from algae. Photo from NOAA.
Pond scum to the rescue: Researchers are looking at ways to produce fuel from algae. Photo from NOAA.

If some researchers in Colorado have their way, you may one day be driving a car powered by pond scum. Solix Biofuels is one of a handful of companies trying to produce biodiesel from algae.

May people consider biodeisel fuels, like ethanol, a preferable alternative to gasoline for powering. It is renewable (we’ll never run out; we just grow some more); it pollutes less; it is non-toxic and biodegradable; and we can grow it in the US, and not have to import oil from overseas.

One of the big problems with biofuels, though, is they are made from plants. Some of those plants, like corn and soybeans, we eat. Turning those plants into fuel is already driving up the price of food. And replacing all our oil with biofuel would require more farmland than exists in the entire nation.

This is where algae comes in. Algae produces vegetable oil, which can be refined into biodiesel. It can grow anywhere you can set up water tanks. It thrives on sunshine, which is plentiful and free. And it pulls carbon dioxide out of the air. (You could, in fact, take the CO2 produced by a traditional power plant and pump it straight into an algae farm)

Algae researchers are a long way from producing any biofuel yet. But this could be a way of meeting our energy needs while being gentler to the environment.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

mbbgournay's picture
mbbgournay says:

The biodiesel is still carbon rich.. The sun... thats one key... and what about the guy doing cancer research that figured out how to shake the hydrogen out of salt water and burn it ... with some radio waves.. Instead of CO2.. you get some some salt and more oxygen... I guess the risk is we get air that is too clean and eventually the Oxygen in our atmosphere becomes flamable... But, we'd all be breathing pretty well before the explosion that ended us...

posted on Fri, 09/21/2007 - 4:35pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

BIO-DIESEL FROM ALGAE AT ECONMICAL COST IS NOW MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE INTERNATIONALLY PATENTED INVENTION " PROCESS AND SYNTHESIZER FOR MOLECULAR ENGINEERING OF MATERIALS" .PLEASE VISIT :

http://www.hydrodrive.co.in

posted on Mon, 10/22/2007 - 4:27am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options