The technology that I see coming to the fore involves growing the algae heterotrophically (feeding the cells sugars rather than classic phototrophic growth using sunlight in open ponds.) Many algae grow in this way so that they can still metabolize at night. Solazyme has been growing algae in this way to produce 50,000+gallon batches of oil, using algae that yield 75%+ lipid by weight. The use a portion of the residual materials for cosmetics, and you can find it under the Algenate linke in Sephora stores (JC Penneys or Mall stores) that they sell for a pretty hefty price as an economic pull-though product to supplement the fuel oil side. They have been supplying batches to the military and commercial airlines to blend in for experimental cruises and flights (See their website link for "Media"http://solazyme.com/media-coverage
. The growth and production yield growing the algae heterotrophically is supposed to be in the range of 100-fold greater, and avoids issues of contamination in open-pond systems. The big trick will be finding a good source of cellulosic sugars as a feedstock so that they can move away from Brazilian sugar cane and develop a feedstock that can be regionally/locally sourced.
dogman wrote:Looks cool.
I'm becoming quite the fan of algea biofuel, especially since a company is building production scale facilites in my area, hiring people, etc. Pond production stuff though.
Apparently they have the fuel they will produce sold to the army. So the tanks at nearby Ft Bliss might be green carbon neutral vehicles someday. That's a mind boggler for ya, green tanks.