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Thread: Story in The Mercury: "Charlie fuels himself up with fries ... and algae"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
    Posts
    4

    Story in The Mercury: "Charlie fuels himself up with fries ... and algae"

    http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story...504848-3462,00.

    Fantastic to see some work on this very promising area of alternative fuel research being done right here in Tassie. Given that WVO is a dead end for fuel production beyond a handful of hobbyists, and other oil crops have serious problems aswell, algae could be quite a silver bullet.

    Out of curiousity, does anyone know how they actually get the oil out of algae? I'm assuming the process from there on is little different to what we already do with WVO.

    Cheers, Ben.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Natone, Tasmania
    Posts
    77

    Re: Story in The Mercury: "Charlie fuels himself up with fries ... and algae"

    [QUOTE=headwerkn;32217]http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story...504848-3462,00.

    Fantastic to see some work on this very promising area of alternative fuel research being done right here in Tassie. Given that WVO is a dead end for fuel production beyond a handful of hobbyists, and other oil crops have serious problems aswell, algae could be quite a silver bullet.

    Out of curiousity, does anyone know how they actually get the oil out of algae? I'm assuming the process from there on is little different to what we already do with WVO.

    Hi Ben
    I spoke to Charlie about this: the extraction is very simple by smashing the cell membranes with a ball mill. He is a bit down because the government would only put up half the money he had to put up the rest, but some pretty respectable work is being done in this field anyway - it seems that to promote lipid production rather than the usual starch/cellulose of green plants the algae has to be stimulated with a LOW SULPHUR environment. Co-incidently this confirms the fossil hydrocarbon thesis - that oil and gas are produced in a greenhouse world where the ocean current temperature conveyor breaks down, the seas go anoxic except for the surface where wave action oxygenates the water and everything that dies falls into a dead zone where there is nothing but bacteria that burn sulphur instead of oxygen and produce hydrogen suphide (rotten egg gas, deadly in fairly low concentrations). So instead of limestone or mudstone, ocean sediments end up as black pyrite and oil rich shales and all that CO2 is fixed by the humble algae for the next lot of dumb munchkins to pour into their cruisers. That was the Permian extinction where something like 70% of life on earth died off.

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