Another alternative fuel thread

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Ed Archer's picture
Ed Archer
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 12 2008
Posts: 225
Another alternative fuel thread

Just found this link, not sure how feasible it is but I think some here would find it an interesting read none the less.

Inside specially designed reactors, Joule’s engineered microbes thrive off of sunlight and CO2. In return, depending on the type of organism, they can produce straight ethanol, diesel or a number of other types of hydrocarbons.

Although the process sounds similar to algae-produced biofuels, the Joule process is incredibly (and beneficially) different for several reasons:

  • Doesn’t produce biomass
  • No agricultural feedstock needed
  • Can be conducted on non-arable land
  • Doesn’t need fresh water
  • Produces fuel directly without the need for extraction or refinement
Link

Inside specially designed reactors, Joule’s engineered microbes thrive off of sunlight and CO2. In return, depending on the type of organism, they can produce straight ethanol, diesel or a number of other types of hydrocarbons.

Although the process sounds similar to algae-produced biofuels, the Joule process is incredibly (and beneficially) different for several reasons:

  • Doesn’t produce biomass
  • No agricultural feedstock needed
  • Can be conducted on non-arable land
  • Doesn’t need fresh water
  • Produces fuel directly without the need for extraction or refinementhttp://gas2.org/2009/11/10/biofuels-breakthrough-making-fuel-from-air-with-engineered-microbes/
bluestone's picture
bluestone
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 29 2008
Posts: 263
Re: Another alternative fuel thread

Ed

very interesting.  My gut feeling is the biofuels from algae  and I suppose other microbes show potential, but probably at a much lower EROEI than oil..  I have never seen any reported numbers though.  It's a shame that our nation hasn't been putting its effort into this type research and infrastructure over the past 30 years. 

 

rhare's picture
rhare
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 30 2009
Posts: 1323
Re: Another alternative fuel thread

It's a shame that our nation hasn't been putting its effort into this type research and infrastructure over the past 30 years.

Why do you think it hasn't?  Amyris, Joule, Mascoma, LS9, Solix

All of those are US based companies.  Who do you think starts and funds those companies?

<WARNING:POLITICAL COMMENTARY>

Unfortunately with our new decision to increase government involvement in everything we are less likely to have businesses like those listed above and more like  GM, GS, USPS, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, in the future.

</WARNING:POLITICAL COMMENTARY>

gtazman's picture
gtazman
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 48
Re: Another alternative fuel thread

Ed,

Good link.  This shows promise.  2011 is the earliest to get a small scale plant going?  I followed your link and would add this link to get more of an explanation: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/blog2/2009/11/10/fuel-from-thin-air-joule-reports-direct-microbial-conversion-of-co2-into-hydrocarbons-no-biomass-no-extraction-no-refinement/

Gary

mesaboogieman's picture
mesaboogieman
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 16 2009
Posts: 42
Re: Another alternative fuel thread

 

 

Seems too good to be true,surely  you need x amount of nutrients going in, in order to have fuel coming out?  In which case where do you get a plentiful supply of 'food' for the algae?

docmims's picture
docmims
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 17 2009
Posts: 644
Re: Another alternative fuel thread

Algae are a good sink for all the CO2 overproduction.  I have thought for a long while that plankton and algae would provide the sink for the "global warming" CO2, but I got out of Marine Science and into medicine and never followed it up.  Sorry.

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