Ecology And Environment

The Alternative Energy Source with the most Potential



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Fuel For 0.90 cents per gallon.

With oil and gas prices at a record high, scientists are scrambling to find ways of creating alternative fuels from renewable sources. In February 2000, a report stated that a study funded by the Department Of Energy (DOE) and carried out by four talented scientists. Two from that department and another two from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, discovered that by manipulating the normal growth pattern of a particular type of algae, they would be able to make the plant produce larger amounts of hydrogen.

Apparently, by removing sulphur from the plant's growth medium it was unable to photosynthesize and produce oxygen as it normally would have. It's metabolic processes adjusted accordingly, and as a result the miraculous little plant began to produce hydrogen instead. I suppose one could liken this to an unhealthy process that can occur in our own bodies when muscle is being burned to provide us with energy rather than it burning stored fat to survive and function.

The scientists indicated that this process of disrupting photosynthesis can be "turned on" just as soon as the plants have grown to a healthy state by receiving copious amounts of sunlight, water and fresh air. The plants are then placed into the new controlled environment where no sulphur or oxygen is available, and it is here that they then commence hydrogen production at the rate of 3 parts per thousand every hour, for around 4 days before being returned to a more natural environment which allows photosynthesis and regeneration to take place. Evidently the plants can be transferred back and forth repeatedly without causing them harm. The process of photosynthesis is what allows the plants to take on their green color.

Production:

April 1, 2008, was the scheduled opening of a large-scale commercial algae farm near San Padre Island, Louisiana, by Petrosun Biofuels Inc. The property was formerly a shrimp farm and has almost 2,000 acres with over 1,000 acres in use for algae growing ponds. Petrosun is in process of expanding it's operation to other locations overseas including Australia.

Yet another company hailing from Texas claims to be able to produce B100 biodiesel for as little as 0.90c per gallon.

Since conventional fuels are derived from fast depleting sources of fossil fuels, this alternative solution, which comes from renewable energy sources, is a very exciting discovery.

Source:

University Of California, Berkeley (2000, February 23). Common Algae Can Be Valuable Source Of Hydrogen Fuel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2008, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000223071940.htm

Algae Oil Biodiesel

http://cogeneration.net/algae_oil_biodiesel.htm

Petrosun

http://www.biodieselnow.com/forums/t/20375.aspx

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