Interest grows in turning algae into motor fuel

  • Article by: NEAL ST. ANTHONY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 24, 2009 - 11:04 PM

A pilot project at St. Paul's sewage plant suggests reductions both in oil dependence and phosphorus pollution.

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digalvinAug. 25, 0910:07 AM

When algae was a small project to remove pollutants from water or contaminated soil, nobody cared, could barely get funding from universities. Now that there's potential BIG $$$$ to be made eveybody wants in? -- remind anybody else of ethanol & windgen about 10 yrs ago? "OHH this will save us all!" Yeah right and Exxon, US military etc. are only in it because they want to be good corporate citizens? Just watch, they want to buy and bury the technology like GM did with elec. cars and GE did with solar panels. And anybody know why a LAW firm is so interested that they sponsored this "conference"? Follow the money trails Neil and get back to us please.

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digalvinAug. 25, 0910:09 AM

When algae was a small project to remove pollutants from water or contaminated soil, nobody cared, could barely get funding from universities. Now that there's potential BIG $$$$ to be made eveybody wants in? -- remind anybody else of ethanol & windgen about 10 yrs ago? "OHH this will save us all!" Yeah right and Exxon, US military etc. are only in it because they want to be good corporate citizens? Just watch, they want to buy and bury the technology like GM did with elec. cars and GE did with solar panels. And anybody know why a LAW firm is so interested that they sponsored this "conference"? Follow the money trails Neil and get back to us please.

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fish60Aug. 25, 0911:34 AM

I've never understood why sewage plants and livestock feedlots don't produce methane. It would be a good way to recover some of the wasted nutrients and energy.

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ttaylor0711Aug. 25, 09 1:42 PM

Sewage plants and feedlots do produce methane through anaerobic digestion and use it to produce and sell electricity. The Met Council facility does that right now and there are many more companies looking to do the same. But power in the Midwest is cheap so it is hard to make a positive return on investment.

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atoonceAug. 25, 09 2:26 PM

It's made of people. They said they changed the recipe, but they didn't. It's still made of people!

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umdnickerAug. 25, 09 2:40 PM

Algae stands less of a chance than cellulosic ethanol. Too many issues with material handling and de-watering to actually gain access to the oil contained within the algae.

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hgmercuryAug. 25, 0910:43 PM

Sounds like you forgot to take your paranoia meds today. If it's economically feasible, it'll happen. But that's yet to be demonstrated. Electric cars (last round) only made sense because California MANDATED "ZEVs" - zero emission vehicles - as a percentage of sales. If GM wanted to sell cars there, they had to essentially subsidize the electrics with conventional cars. They could do that as long as the electrics were a small percentage.

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ostapbAug. 26, 09 1:50 PM

Maybe ExxonMobil is interested in this technology because it'll make them money and is economically viable. A mega corporation looking to make money? What is the world coming to!?

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algaepreneurAug. 27, 0911:47 AM

Algae is renewable, does not affect the food channel and consumes CO2. To learn more about the fast-track commercialization of the algae industry, you may want to check out this website: www.nationalalgaeassociation.com. They are made up of US algae production companies many of which are using all "off-the-shelf" existing proven technologies. They want the US to get off of foreign oil, become energy independent and create new green jobs by rolling up their sleeves and getting things done. They are the first algae trade association in the US.

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