Scientists have repeatedly touted the possibility of turning algae into biofuels. Now a Florida-based company called Algenol is working with Dow Labs in Texas to convert carbon dioxide produced by algae farms into ethanol, which will then be used to make plastics. Even better, the oxygen byproduct left over from the conversion can be used to produce cleaner, more efficient coal power.
The New York Times' Green Inc. blog says that the best part about burning coal in oxygen is that it produces more carbon dioxide in return, which can be pumped back into the algae. So essentially what you get is an ethanol-producing cycle of sustainability.
[via Green Inc.]
Um.... Algae breaths CO2 and produces Oxygen. Are you sure you got your facts straight here?
You dry the algae, then press all the fatty lipids from the algae. That oil can then be turned into bio-fuel.
If you could turn CO2 into Ethanol I'm sure we'd have already been doing it.
Check your facts, I've seen several blunders in these short PopSci articles and it's rather disappointing.
I think it's possible that this plant is going to use CO2 produced by neighboring factories to feed the algae.
New Belgium brewery in Fort Collins Colorado sells their pure CO2 to a nearby algae research facility. It's said breweries can supply the purest form of CO2 available anywhere.
From sugars to yeast to algae to fuel for my car!
All plants take in CO2 and give out oxygen - it's what they do and where all our oxygen comes from. All the carbon in plant products comes from absorbed CO2.
while its true that plants consume CO2 as a carbon source to create glucose, plants also undergo aerobic respiration and yield CO2. But the plan has nothing to do with using the CO2 byproduct of respiration, that was probably a typo.
They plan to grow the Algae in water saturated with CO2, then use the ethanol for plastics, and pump the O2 produced into a coal plant, then use the CO2 produced from the coal plant to replenish that used to grow the algae.
lnwolf41 Sounds good, but no one metions how cost effective it will be to run said plant.
Inwolf, the point of the plant is that the CO2 going into the algae produces 02, and the 02 going into the coal burning produces CO2, so it's perpetual recycling. It should be _very_ cost effective.