Tag Archives | algae biofuel

Cellulosic ethanol questioned, government report

A Department of Agriculture reports suggests that after two decades of research into cellulosic ethanol with no technical breakthroughs, that algae biofuel and oil crops should get the funding.

One problem with cellulosic is the logistics in getting hundreds of tons of agricultural waste (or crops grown specifically for ethanol) on a daily basis to the processing plant. However, cellulosic ethanol does work fine if sited where the feedstock is, like at a paper processing plant.

The future in biofuel increasingly looks like it will be algae.

Arizona to become center for algae biofuel production

ASU researchers say they are three to five years from large-scale production, a breakthrough that could eventually reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Arizona, with its plentiful sunshine, available land, and excess of wastewater, is ideal for growing algae. Their agricultural wastewater tends to be high in nutrients and salt, which makes it undrinakable – but algae loves it.

Scientists say the hard research is done, now it’s “largely an engineering problem” and then we could have industrial-scale biofuel production.

Using CO2 to produce biofuel algae

Instead of sequestering or storing CO2 underground so it won’t be emitted, biofuel manufacturers are using it as a feedstock to grow algae. This most definitely a win-win situation. The algae is then used to create biofuel.

The cement industry is also using CO2 as a feedstock.

With carbon-capture industries like these gaining ground, it’s not hard to envision a future where CO2 is treated less as the enemy and more as an integral ingredient in the global economy. While a zero-carbon future is “hard to imagine,” Zenk said, “I think you’ll find [a] low-carbon [future.] We can win the war on climate if we think about it in those terms, at least in my lifetime.

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