This thread is reserved for all the naysayers, doubters, haters, trolls, skeptical enquirers, and anyone else with a beef against algae for biodiesel or what have you.
I'll kick it off with a couple:
Algae oil is impossible to harvest
You'll never grow enough
The oil companies will stop you in your tracks
The oil is too expensive
The DNR won't let you do it
It's a waste of water
I'm not going to bother addressing any of these here. Most of these points should be covered as I and others build this open-source website with serious, documented information on algae. If you have a serious question, post it under the FAQs. If you have a gripe, smear, or attack you need to let out, post it here!
Thanks in advance!
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I don't think it is stupid. I do think it "works", depending on your definition of "works".
I do think it is a long way of from being a financially and energetically viable way to produce fuel.
As far as I know these issues have not been addressed. When/if they are, I will be happy to drive around on that fuel. When it can be done at home, I will be happy to do it.
I'd like to point something out to you:
It seems like you want to paint anyone who questions the ideas around algae as a person who wants to
And must be
Interesting style of having a discussion. Seems kind of unproductive to me.
If you have good, well supported answers, then it would seem you would welcome questions, etc. No?
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I don't understand why people want to get so emotional and champion an as yet unproven cause like they are defending a child or spouse.
If it works great, If it doesn't, it's not like you have been personally insulted.
The true viability and benefits of it can do are more important than defending a concepts reputation as if it was your girlfriend.
For now it doesn't work simply because it isn't working and no one is making it work.
That may or may not change in the future but why not let something develop and prove itself one way or the other instead of getting emotional about it?
There are all sorts of 'unconventional' sources of oil like algae, fly larvae, coffee grounds, etc. which might someday prove to be viable for fuel. Meanwhile there are oil sources like animal fat 'waste' from the huge industrial meat industry as well as VO 'waste' from the food processing industry which can be far more easily utilized. Research on how to maximize the fuel potential of these sources is probably a much better utilization of scarce research funds at this time.
Of course algae are stupid, so are most other vegetable sources of oil for fuel. These are not intelligent organisms.
Plants work at peak efficiency 24 hours a day. I spend at least one hour of every 24 playing spider solitaire. Which is the smarter organism?
All ha-has aside, I'm finding it curious that this person would post an 'ad' for their 'cheep dry alage' under my tongue-in-cheek 'algae is stupid' post.
The plants always loose at spider solitaire; you're obviously smarter.
You're right. I should give myself credit for occasionally beating the wily spider...
You guys might like to stop bickering and read page 25 of New scientist 25 July 2009.
A quick interview with Craig Ventner by Catherine Brahic.
You'll find it interesting.
Currently you are correct. However...I dont like "will NEVER work." Everything new didnt work until it was research and a way was discovered. 20 years ado the internet was impossible, 60 years ago spliting an atom was science fiction, 100 years ago seeing an atom was a fools dream....we did it all. Doesnt that mean someone will make algae viable...I dont know...and you dont either until its tried. Keep in mind biodiesel itself is still in infancy. Before algae is fully research someone may come up with something we havent even thought of yet.
It can work.
If millions of $$$ could go into research, I have no doubt that in a few years we could see plausible results. Big business runs the world, so we have to rely on the geniuses who sacrifice their own time, money, and effort to yield results.
The technology could be there if it was funded and researched, but big oil and coal want us to drag out feet before they give up their money making dirty habits.
Time and effort generally pay off.
I am living through an idea, [Someone elses this time.], that took 6 years, a bit of cash but less then you would guess, and am watching with interest as the US Patent office decides if my friend will get his patent for new electric motor technology.
Six years ago he was told, "When Scotty can beam me up I will be able to design you that motor."
It would not suprise me if Algae or some sort of engineered bacteria is on it's way to becoming a major source of fuel in 5-10 years.
I just read this thread for the second time,
Great info, thanks..
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I just finished watching a video with the CEO of Origin Oil on MoneyTV and 5 years is exactly what he said would be the time frame to the first algal oil products, not necessarily diesel fuel, but new algae oil stepping in to replace something currently made from old dino-oil.
They already have pilot plants in Mexico and Australia. Or maybe the Mexico plant isn't online yet, I can't remember.
I guess I should go out and tell my 98 H1 Hummer, 99 Dodge Ram, generators, tractors and Polaris they should stop running this will never work.
I love posts like this where people that never actually make it can bash it.
We are the most intelligent people as a society in history, never underestimate what we can do when we set our mind to it.
Fire was invented, the wheel, concrete and so on, I'm sure some day an extremely intelligent person will come along and solve the minor issues people have against algae (Unless he reads this forum and finds out it will never work, then he may just go cure cancer or something else!!!).
You can never say never, we pride ourselves on ALWAYS coming up with a solution!!!
Until then I'm satisfied with my 600 gallon bioreactor, and 3 open ponds.
Texas provides a great resource of free algae most of the year, open ponds are great you just have to indentify what you have to know the oil content.
DAVIDGWAR I hope you have read this!!! You need to stop all of your businesses this does
not work, LMAO!!!
British University of Southampton joins global race to commercialise algae biofuels.
Algae oil is difficult to harvest .But it has many benefits like Adding algae oil to your diet has been proved to lower high triglycerides.So it is worth trying and it has been considered as the most efficient way to make biodiesel fuel
Gcompton how big are your open ponds, how often do you skim or mine or harvest the algae? What kind of equipment are you using? What kind of output are you getting? The leftover algae, what uses do you put it to, fertilizer, animal feed?
Although I live in town and in Iowa I do have a big back yard and think I could make a set of tanks that could be used as ponds. I would like to know what I would be looking at as investment and how much time would need to be invested for how much output you receive.
The two pounds are basically stock tanks (around 40x40 4ft deep).
The algae grows freely but is a lesser quality.
From what I can tell under the microscope the open pond looks like Tetraselmis suecica,
which is a low oil content strain (maybe 12-20%)
We use a seine net right now and harvested about every 3-4 days.
We then used an old trampoline to dry the algae in the sun, which also had a custom built water collector under the trampoline to catch and reuse the water on other plants.
Several farms in my area want me to clear their tanks of algae in the summer so I have a harvest machine in the works.
The harvest machine will be a remote control floating "combine" pulling a floating trailer to hold the algae. But this is still in the planning stages.
I also have a farmer that has a 60x60 pond totally covered with Duckweed which we will harvest for ethanol.
The bioreactors perform much better, one unit has (6) 6ft tubes 509 cubic inches of media per tube.
Nannochloropsis from the UTEX culture lab have been used in this setup and maybe provide about 3.5-5.0 gallons a week. I don't watch it like I should, since I have gotten more into Jatropha in the past couple of months. I have some land that is pretty poor and would like to use it for Jatropha.
The by product left over is used to either (attempt) to make ethanol or fed to the livestock.
Biggest problem is not drying out the algae in the 100+ Texas heat. I have a normal job and sometimes get sidetracked and let it sit to long.
My bioreactor cost me around $325, it has been modded about 20 times. The output is very low but I don't spend as much time doing it than I should. I have to many ideas and can't stay focused on one, LOL.
Hope this helps.
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