Posted by Ron, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, 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.
Posted by Hardin, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, 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.