Author Topic: Algae is the answer for our energy needs  (Read 4294 times)

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Offline iskdude57

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Algae is the answer for our energy needs
« on: March 30, 2013, 08:35:46 pm »
Algae is the fastest growing plant that there is since it doesn't have to fight gravity, only makes sense to cultivate it.  Considering that oil came from algae why wouldn't we?  Anyways check out the video below, we can get ethanol and diesel from algae.  The only question is why aren't we doing this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ih-DLurcZA

Offline fred.greek

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Re: Algae is the answer for our energy needs
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 08:46:11 pm »
He said fuel production per acre is 20,000 gallons, which sounds awfully high.  How much of the acre production would be required to operate the algae facility?  He mentions to fuel the US would require a space 1/10 of the area of New Mexico.

From the web, 1/10 of the area of New Mexico would be 12,159 sq.mi. Look at his setup. 

Imagine building that such that it completely covers a square that is 110 miles on a side.


Retired but still working in the garden...

Offline iskdude57

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Re: Algae is the answer for our energy needs
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2013, 07:34:37 am »
He said 20,000 gallons for a traditional pond setup which isn't as good.  20,000 gallons per acre is a hell of a lot, but you could also include other sources of algae or even other crops.  Wild harvesting of algae for example, check out the sargassum sea.  We could utilize not only land but water (mariculture) where algae grow naturally, we could grow algae such as kelp on the sides of the California or the gulf coast.  People already harvest certain seaweed for food like this with nets in which the algae grow on and then come back later to collect the nets. 
The setup that the guy in the video has certainly looks more expensive; perhaps such a setup could be used more on a local level for people with not that much land or for private use possibly in order to help run a facility or plant somewhere or even in the backyard... 

I'm not an expert on the subject of algae growing/harvesting/cultivation.  But here are a couple of good websites I found that look reputable and have a pretty good amount of information:
 
http://www.oilgae.com/

http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/

Offline iskdude57

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Re: Algae is the answer for our energy needs
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2013, 07:45:31 am »
Also, one of the main reasons for his setup is because algae only need 1/10th of the sunlight that hits it.  Many plants don't need as much sunlight as it gets throughout the day either which is one of the reasons conventional agriculture/monoculture isn't that great.  

The pond farming setups have motors with water wheels to disturb the ponds so that the algae move around and aren't always in the sun.  The algae move up to the light and then move down into the dark and gets mixed.