News and information about Biodiesel & alternative fuels.

2004/06/20

Algae

Via Slashdot via JMacD, there's news that a certain type of algae could be harnessed to produce biodiesel:
"The focus of this program was to investigate high oil yield algaes that could be grown specifically for the purpose of wide scale biodiesel production1. Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content (some as much as 50% oil), and extremely fast growth rates. From the results of the Aquatic Species Program2, algae farms would let us supply enough biodiesel to completely replace petroleum as a transportation fuel in the US (as well as its other main use - home heating oil)."
Even better,
"Algae grows ideally in either hot desert climates or off of waste streams. NREL's research focused on the development of algae farms in desert regions, using shallow salt water pools for growing the algae. Another nice benefit of using algae as a food stock is that in addition to using considerably less water than traditional oilseed crops, algae also grows best in salt water, so farms could be built near the ocean with no need to desalinate the seawater as it is used to fill the ponds."
Read the rest of the article, from the University of New Hampshire's Biodiesel Group.

2004/06/01