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LONDON, 23 December - US scientists believe they may have cracked one of the great biofuel conundrums. They have turned a thick soup of algae into a mix of crude oil, gas, water and plant nutrients in less than an hour. That is, they have taken 60 minutes to do what Nature does – at great pressures and temperatures – over millions of years.
Better still, the researchers at the US Government's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) believe they have invented a continuous process that is not only faster than the experimental methods pioneered so far for making oil from natural growing things, but cheaper, and more self-sustaining.
somewhere between 50% and 70% of the algal carbon is converted to potential energy in the form of crude oil, which in turn can be made into aviation fuel, gasoline or diesel.
The leftovers are clean water, a mix of fuel gases and nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that can be used to nourish more algae.
Wow, you guys are so pessimistic!!
reply to post by Bedlam
Is it? I looked in Fragile Earth. If it's elsewhere, sorry...
still - good news! Wanted to spread it around.
It's a travesty that solar and wind haven't been properly funded or given a grace period....
it is also possible to desalinate sea water...
Also, what is the net greenhouse effect from this "crude oil" compared to conventional crude?
Well, I'm pretty sure this topic is already a thread, BUT that said, it's not new. And usually, it's a negative balance sort of thing in that it takes more energy to reform the biomass into fuel than you get back from the fuel.
Your research topic is: Thermal Depolymerization. That's what this is, and it's old hat.