Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oil From Algae



The question as always is how well does it scale? How much surface area does it require per BTU of fuel?

Oh, yeah. What is the conversion efficiency? Watts of sunlight vs BTUs from the fuel. And BTUs per dollar.

H/T Robthebob Talk Polywell

3 comments:

rumcrook said...

hopefully this idea has merit.

becuase burning our food (corn) in our vehicles is not a winner. and has been pushing food costs up. and has hurt the poor of mexico hard.

higher costs for an important food staple like corn can have very bad unintended consequences.

simentt said...

While I truly wish to schemes of this type succeed, I wonder how much they are a symptom of the current cheap credit provided by the various stimulus-packages.

Slashdot (never a really reliable source) has a story about Algenol getting funding from Dow for a similar oil-from-algae project.

What will happen when the stimulus ends and the bust begins anew? Will those of these projects that are valid survive while those that are blue-sky money-sinks go down, or will they all go down?

-S

LarryD said...

Reality check #1: If the process is using sunlight, then it's productivity is limited by the insolation value for where ever the bio reactors are. which means it's going to take a lot of area when it's scaled up.

#2: If it's not using sunlight, then the exterior power has to be factored in, and the whole thing suddenly looks a lot less "renewable" and economical.