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Algae turns waste into fuel

Original post made on Apr 20, 2012

Worried about the scarcity of fossil fuels? Researchers at Mountain View's NASA Ames say they have a solution.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 20, 2012, 10:48 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm

So while I am a huge proponent of this sort of research, this is WAY off from working, if ever.

First, to be practical, it needs to not have to compete with fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are NOT drying up any time soon. I would love to see us rid of them. But if the amount produced is so much less than fossil fuels that it needs them to dry up to be attractive, this is generations off.

Second, the amount of sea needed will mean that all sorts of groups will flock to fight the fields wherever you put them. Shipping will fight them, fishing will fight them, and yes, environmentalists will fight them (like they do with nuclear and massive wind farms). Every group will say it is fine as long as it is not near them.

Finally, with the amount of time it will take to get this practical (50-100 years, look how long solar has been around and still not prevalent), something else will be established WAY before them.

But I do hope I am wrong.


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Posted by Martin Omander
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

This is exciting stuff going on right in our back yard. And I'm happy our tax dollars are paying for science that becomes open-source. We should do more of this, and less of subsidizing oil companies.


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Posted by Hardin
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm

This is great stuff. In terms of market viability, let's remember that the current results are achieved through experimental conditions and at a lab scale. Once industry takes over, you can bet that economies of scale and increase in the "yield" and/or rate at which oil can be in this manner will naturally increase, perhaps exponentially, to the point this becomes market competitive/superior, and takes a smaller footprint.

One needs to only look at the progress microprocessors have made in the past 10 years to see this phenomenon.

For all the faults of a capitalistic, technology driven society, making things faster, better, and/or cheaper is one of the benefits.


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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Don't let the detractors slow you down MR Trent, keep working on the research and it will take root and inspire other ideas.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 23, 2012 at 5:33 pm

@Ron

"this is WAY off from working"

That's why it's called research. Were you perhaps looking for an article about where you can find algae-fuel stations in the bay area?


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