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New Breakthrough Process Turns Algae to Oil in 1 Minute

Green Lifestyle  (tags: environment, oil, algae, greenliving, eco-friendly, protection )

- 2054 days ago -
There has been a new biofuel breakthrough by researchers at the University of Michigan, who have turned wet algae into a viable substitute for oil. The amazing part? It's all under a minute.

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Kit B (276)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 7:02 am

This work has been ongoing for years. I guess I don't like that the oil and gas companies own all the patents on algae - how can any one own patents on a life form? That and this is neither cheap nor easily renewable. I'm not wanting to rain on parades, I just think we have much better options out there.

Donna Hamilton (159)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 7:44 am
Noted. Thanks, Cher.

gabriela v (172)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 8:31 am

. (0)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 2:54 pm
Will the oil and gas companies further this research?Being that this is expensive, I don't see much in development.

Tom C (12)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 3:34 pm
Not trying to downplay the importance of these types of things,however; this
is FAR from anything new. The ORIGINAL diesel engine was designed to
use many similar based "fuels" to run on. All these things and obviously
crude oil itself contain hydrocarbons. Sadly,we will NEVER see low cost
fuel. The "industry and YES your "fed" will see to that! I have first hand
experience in this as inventor/designer of my own systems,that they BLOCK,
deny patents on,etc.! They will NOT allow the public to have systems that
have been around since the first internal combustion engine! It is all about
THEIR money. Sorry,but it is true.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 3:53 pm
Hmmm, I think it's just more of the same old show with a new face and we the people will get screwed as usual.

Faye Swan (23)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 4:30 pm
Great idea but ideas that look like the 'right' thing to do are not profitable to start with - why can't the oil companies find ways to make to make money with 'cleaner' methods?

Stella Gamboni (17)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 5:34 pm
But does this constitute cruelty to algae?

Robert O (12)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 5:45 pm
Thanks Cher.

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 7:01 pm
Hi Cher! :)

Here is the source for that article. It was published on the University of Michigan website as the process was developed by chemical engineers at that institution.

Stephen Brian (23)
Thursday November 8, 2012, 7:13 pm
In the original article, the researchers commented that they had not yet looked closely at scaling the process and whether it would make algae-based oil competitive with drilled oil. The vast majority of even good ideas don't work out in the end, but this one looks as promising as any.

One possibility which I pointed out in the earlier thread on the topic is that there are naturally occurring and anthropogenic dead zones, like that in the Gulf of Mexico. these are already loaded with algae (so much that the oxygen in the water is depleted) which may be appropriate for the process. If so, then it may just be a matter of skimming that algae, which seems like it could be a whole lot cheaper than extracting the oil from the ground, and would also be a cleaning-operation rather than one which could threaten an accident like with the Deepwater Horizon rig. In fact, having a profitable cleaning-operation in the Gulf of Mexico dead zone could address a major U.S. environmental concern, the effect of all that fertilizer which washes down the Mississippi. If an oil-company can charge for cleaning and make money at both ends of the process, I could see it implementing industrial scale algae-to-oil conversion.

Sheryl G (360)
Friday November 9, 2012, 4:38 am
There are areas in Florida that are already growing algea for the purposes of fuel. I know there are some naysayers on here but fact is there will have to be some source for our energy to come from. We have found that corn used is costing the food prices to go up and algea is not used in the same manner as corn or our consumption.

It will take various methods to get us off of fossils fuels and we don't want to go back to burning wood to cook our foods and stay warm, we need something. If it isn't algea they'll push for more nuclear plants. I've been watching on this algea for a long time now, and I think they can get the price lower, the major players like the Oil Barons will not go away, they already have tons of money, they will buy up patterns and release at will. I don't think there is a lot we can do with that in reality. However at least if they are making their money without destroying the air, water, and land, then I'd say it would be an improvement.

Stephen Brian (23)
Friday November 9, 2012, 9:37 am
Hi Dandelion :)

I actually think the best way forwards may be going nuclear for the baseline power-grid and using algae for liquid fuel. I think Hydro- or geothermal power would probably be best for quickly adjustable grid-power where they are possible, and fossil-fuels where they are not. It's not a matter of one or the other, but what our mixture of energy-sources will be.

Past Member (0)
Friday November 9, 2012, 9:44 am
Excellent article. A promising idea that needs to be independently verified and proven to be carbon-neutral.

Justin M (2)
Friday November 9, 2012, 10:14 am

Friday November 9, 2012, 10:16 pm
Thanks Cher

Past Member (0)
Sunday November 11, 2012, 4:19 am
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