A blooming solution to gas crisis?

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 14, 2008 - 8:26 AM

An Anoka company turns algae into biodiesel fuel.

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webfootJul. 13, 08 9:52 PM

Well hey, why not take that algae out of Minneapolis' water system and use it? I think they've got enough of it. I know my water smells and tastes like algae. It's nasty!

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dmay88Jul. 13, 08 9:53 PM

Any starch in Milfoil which could be converted to alcohol. Our lakes sure have plenty of this stuff that could be harvested. Better than using corn which would be better reserved for animal feed.

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psychswedeJul. 13, 0810:20 PM

...I am all for this, but for the record, one of the by-products of making ethanol is feed for cows...

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mestes7Jul. 13, 0810:23 PM

What I would like to know is: could you use watermilfoil for the process? We could harvest a lot more of that right now, and would make lots of people happy.

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eunomianJul. 13, 0810:33 PM

one of the by-products of making ethanol is a 5:1 ratio water to end product...another is markedly higher global food prices and resulting shortages...yet another is the destruction of CRP land to feed yet another short-sighted market impulse...too many negative externalities to keep on with conventional ethanol production...go algae and milfoil!

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XenolithJul. 13, 0811:06 PM

But please cross the finish line. We keep hearing of these promising techs, but nothing has proven that it can make the US energy independent. The new energy source needs to use reusable resources, not harm the environment, and can replace 57 million gallons of crude a day. Until then, it is vaporware.

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WmToensingJul. 14, 08 3:48 AM

We need full speed ahead on plug in hybrids but diesel powered rather than gas powered. Why? Eighty percent of people drive less than 40 miles a day 80% of the time. The big downfall of electric cars has been the short range of 40 to 60 miles before needing a recharge. The plug in hybrid will provide a battery range of 40 miles & then an engine will automatically start when the battery gets low to recharge the batteries & run the car. You will then have a car capable of cross country trips that will run of batteries you can recharge at home for short trips. We also need to ramp up construction of nuclear generating plants & store the nuclear waste in Yuca Mountain. Those who object to nuclear energy site the long radioactive half life of nuclear waste. However, it is my belief that science will devise a way to use what is now nuclear waste into something useful in 100 years or less. If not, we will then have the technology to economically send this waste back to the sun.

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WmToensingJul. 14, 08 3:56 AM

It makes sense to make biodiesel & ethanol from renewable sources other than valuable crop land needed for people & animal food. Algae could be grown at sewage treatment plants. Ethanol could be made from waste that could be harvested from forests so that we don't have so many forest fires. This is just a sample on how biodiesel & ethanol could be made.

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the_vfoxJul. 14, 08 4:58 AM

makes sense instead of using food, use truly renewal sources for making fuel.

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iluvminnJul. 14, 08 5:29 AM

But its (most likely) not energy. This R and D is important. But just ask, "Where does the energy come from?" From the sun! More effective solar fuel processes exist.

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