Sunday, November 16, 2008

Taxpayers spent $10,200,000 for this?

Carroll Creek Algea Diesel 014

This stinks, literally, right now it doesn't (it's too cold), let it get hot outside again...

Carroll Creek means biodiesel?

I really did hope to post a link to a 'hi tech' solution that somehow our over worked and under paid public servants simply missed, but sadly...

Oil from algae

Algae yield is not included in the yield tables because, in spite of all the hype about yields of 20,000 gallons of oil per acre and even 100,000 gallons per acre and so on, biodiesel from algae is still something of the future, not of the present.

As of mid-2008, there is no such thing as biodiesel from algae apart from a few laboratory samples. There are some hopeful signs, but technical obstacles remain, pilot projects are not yet feasible for production purposes, and the claims made for high yields have never been demonstrated and remain theoretical.

No doubt that will change, but it's been "just around the corner" for years. When it does emerge, it's very likely to be in the form of high-tech industrial-scale solutions, not for backyarders or farms or villages.

We're sad to be so negative about it, but there's a lot of confusion about biodiesel from algae.

On a brighter note, this guy's site is chock full of alternative fuel "How To's"!
And full to the brim with footnotes and geek speak.

I'm not a biodiesel scientist but I did stay at a Holiday Express last night"
Does that count?

Carroll Creek Algea Diesel 017

Issue #22
November 16, 2008

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1 comment:

  1. David,

    Your aren't being negative, you are being truthfully generous regarding algae oil development. I've been producing algae commercially for nearly 40 years (not for fuel) and it has been apparent from the beginning of this oil crisis/alternative fuel grant bonanza that the primary target of algae oil developers was to develop the grants - put out for it by our naive gov. and NGOs.

    If you examine the economic sensitivities (basic first level exercise in any R&D, you find that the most sensitive factors lie not with the algae production, but with the processing of the algae from growout to finished and stored fuel. Yet all the research is framed in terms of algae produced per acre, or oil produced per acre - where it should be oil produced per dollar. The field suffers not from to little technological understanding, but from too little economic understanding. Until this changes - nothing else will and algae oil will continue to be one of the most popular grant and investment scams. As such, we actually mover further from petroleum independence - not closer because of our ignorant policy makers.