Biomass into OIL

About: anything that grows 'can convert into oil'

It's still burning stuff, but maybe it might eventually get us out of the MiddleEast! http://bellbioenergy.com/

Tags

  1. biomass
  2. bookmark
  3. algae
  4. bags
  5. tracking

Comments


Seth says

Maybe they can use those bacteria to turn algae into oil.   It is said that you "can produce about 100,000 gallons of algae oil a year per acre, compared to about 30 gallons per acre from corn; 50 gallons from soybeans".   

Mark de LA says
I suspect that one limiting factor might be the need for water with algae.  There is a lot of unwanted biomass & waste biomass such as kudzu & johnson grass.  I can even imagine some kind of local recycling in that regard. One should look at the numbers like the return on investment energy wise. Lots of schemes ignore that number.  I saw a SCI channel thing where they were using microbes in pig shit to power a fuel cell.


Seth says

Until I make my own algae tracking item i'll use this one. 
source: NASA
Trent envisages large plastic bags floating on the ocean. The bags are filled with sewage on which algae feed. The transparent bags collect sunlight that is used by the algae to produce oxygen by means of photosynthesis. The ocean water helps maintain the temperature inside the bags at acceptable levels, while the ocean's waves also keep the system mixed and active.
Independently i had the same vision of plastic bags floating on the ocean .  It makes a lot of sense because it does not take up scarce land.  The bags are necessary to make a controlled environment.  Hopefully the 2007 law can be rewritten to support algae development.

Mark de LA says
How many square miles of ocean (presumably you wouldn't use up the beach)  has to be used to get a decent amount of oil & make a ROI on the plastic bags etc.  The US Navy used to have plastic bags used for portable fuel stations, but they were not transparent. Persumably you need transparency.


Seth says
MR 2009-04-30 13:12:09 9743
How many square miles of ocean (presumably you wouldn't use up the beach)  has to be used to get a decent amount of oil & make a ROI on the plastic bags etc.  The US Navy used to have plastic bags used for portable fuel stations, but they were not transparent. Persumably you need transparency.

There is not enough info in the article to do that calculation unless you want to use the 2000 gal/ acre that can be read off of the graph in the article i cited.  Note that is substantially less than the 50,000 gal per of the Russell Industries report and dramatically less than the vertical stacking scheme of 250,000 ... these figures are varying all over the place which perhaps means it is too early to do those kind of calculations.  However, i'm not at all sure that it is pertinent to this method of using the ocean ... there is lots of ocean.

Mark de LA says
Well, an acre is about 90% of the size of a football playing surface. It is a rather large surface to carve out of the ocean near to the shore because of recreation & shipping. It would probably need to be out to sea a few miles or so.  That increases the cost of moving the oil back to land. Maybe floating verticals could be a scheme, who knows? The whole thing seems a bit bulky to me for the return - added to the fact that you are still burning oil.

Mark de LA says
seth 2009-04-30 15:50:33 9743
I don't see why the same technology that routs oil from ocean drilling platforms could not be deployed here.  There is plenty of space out a mile or so from the coast and even the refining plants could be located there.
Are you suggesting that we re-use/repurpose the drilling rigs for oil?  They cost a lot & that infrastructure is not going bring the cost of oil down to a competitive price I suspect. Unless of course Obama taxes everything else so that it is $5/gal.

Seth says
MR 2009-04-30 23:23:43 9743
seth 2009-04-30 15:50:33 9743
I don't see why the same technology that routs oil from ocean drilling platforms could not be deployed here.  There is plenty of space out a mile or so from the coast and even the refining plants could be located there.
Are you suggesting that we re-use/repurpose the drilling rigs for oil?  They cost a lot & that infrastructure is not going bring the cost of oil down to a competitive price I suspect. Unless of course Obama taxes everything else so that it is $5/gal.
Nope, just that "the same technology that routs oil from ocean drilling platforms could not be deployed here" ... iow if you use pipes to rout the oil from the platform you should be able to use that same technique to rout the algae oil from a cluster of algae bags floating in the ocean ... or perhaps use a barge. Or make a cluster of clusters and rout the pipe from that. You could cover 20 square miles of ocean with clusters of bags and rout that back to the shore with a pipe or have a barge shuttle from the central cluster to the shore.  Lots cheaper than purchasing a 20 square mile farm in Kansas.  You could scale that up to 200 square miles or 2,000 or 200,000.  What's to stop you?

Mark de LA says
...., er the cost of the pipes, the island if you want a floating one with refinery,etc.  IOW the infrastructure costs are going to make the cost of the biodiesel about the same as regular diesel. True, the only new technology is vertical algae farming. For any solution to foreign oil or alternative energy you need to add up all the costs. The farther away the oil source is from it's ultimate destination adds additional costs to the consumer.


Seth says
MR 2009-05-01 08:53:41 9743
...., er the cost of the pipes, the island if you want a floating one with refinery,etc.  IOW the infrastructure costs are going to make the cost of the biodiesel about the same as regular diesel. True, the only new technology is vertical algae farming. For any solution to foreign oil or alternative energy you need to add up all the costs. The farther away the oil source is from it's ultimate destination adds additional costs to the consumer.

Well certainly you need to add up all of the costs and there is no doubt that before capital invests it will do so.  We can only note here that one of the costs compared to agra-farming has been substantially eliminated - the cost of land. That is what is new here.  I don't see why the cost of farming algae in the ocean should be any different than drilling in the ocean.  Of if you develop oil fields like in Alaska, then you will also have the cost of the pipe and i would hazzard a guess it is easier to lay pipe on the ocean floor than through fragile tundra.  Alternatively bringing in crude from the ME has, not only transportation costs, but also geo-political costs ... not to mention the supply/demand costs.  Don't forget that oil went up to $138/barrel when the economy was booming back in 06' ... do you doubt that it will happen again?   

Seth says
One thing to realize in a new-aged energy mix is that ... and i believe that MR said it first ... you can't run a jet plane with electricity from wind or solar.  This is why there probably needs to be some chemical based fuel in the mix.  News, like the article below from Fedx, tells us why betting on ocean-algae farms may be a long term winner. 
source: Reuters
FedEx wants a third of its jet fuel to come from biofuels by 2030, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday in a speech delivered during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit.

Seth says
MR 2009-04-30 15:05:32 9743
The whole thing seems a bit bulky to me for the return - added to the fact that you are still burning oil.

Algae fixes CO2 as it grows - that might offset what it releases when it burns - unlike fissile fuel.

Mark de LA says
Mother Nature conducted her own experiments apparently & the result was black & hairy & stinks. See this article on the blob.


Mark de LA says
(maybe not so green).  The input-output of the energy system as a whole should always be calculated.   Like a move to electric-battery cars should calculate the energy footprint of making the batteries as well as generating the electricity to charge the car.


Mark de LA says
Your method is similar to the congressional notion: "pass the cap & trade bill & then we'll find out what's in it!"


Mark de LA says
seth 2010-07-29 09:43:49 9743
I  think you need to get the system working and then you can work out the supply chain.  I wouldn't expect anything to spring into existance totally perfect from the start.

On another matter, we generate here in our one household about (really rough estimate) a pint of grease every week.   That is primarily bacon grease and grease from the Foreman grill on which i make Jason's almost daily hamburger.   I collect this in a vat and then don't really know what to do with it.  Only thing i have come up with is to wrap it in a paper bag and put it in the recycled garbrge and hope it doesn't foul the bio-digesters in Maple Valley.   I really would like to do something more useful with it.  Any practical ideas?
Send it to Daryl Hannah or one of the other biodiesel celebrities ; or ask one of them. For me, it's only a stopgap measure to lessen economic pressure from foreign oil - it still burns something!

Seth says
M 2010-07-29 10:08:54 9743
seth 2010-07-29 09:43:49 9743
I  think you need to get the system working and then you can work out the supply chain.  I wouldn't expect anything to spring into existance totally perfect from the start.

On another matter, we generate here in our one household about (really rough estimate) a pint of grease every week.   That is primarily bacon grease and grease from the Foreman grill on which i make Jason's almost daily hamburger.   I collect this in a vat and then don't really know what to do with it.  Only thing i have come up with is to wrap it in a paper bag and put it in the recycled garbrge and hope it doesn't foul the bio-digesters in Maple Valley.   I really would like to do something more useful with it.  Any practical ideas?
Send it to Daryl Hannah or one of the other biodiesel celebrities ; or ask one of them. For me, it's only a stopgap measure to lessen economic pressure from foreign oil - it still burns something!
i'm more prone to Google for it or ask a techno freak than ask a politician .

M1g0r says
Two questions unanswered:
  • How do you get it started without pellets yet
  • How much "fuel" does it use - one lawn?
  • If it is more than one lawn can you ever mow a lawn with it?
Nice idea shows up on Facebook & here





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