Feed Algae with CO2, Feed the Earth with Algae :: An EcoEco Solution
We live in a carbon cycle. CO2 falls to the earth because it is heavier than air. The CO2 is photosynthesised
into the planet - into trees and soil, into the oceans and rivers, but
not into concrete. Carbon in effect cools the planet since soils and
trees attract water and rain, but not concrete. That's why cities are
hot and plume like chimneys projecting masses of heat upwards, and
trees and forests are cool and lush, attracting rain and storing water.
We are a carbon based life - the earth is carbon - and we cycle carbon.
Even though there is much talk about global warming there seems to be little said about the Carbon Cycle.
It's ALSO important to note: the soils of the earth have contributed to global warming because they have breathed "out" their CO2 deposits.
Good farming soil started out life covered with trees, trees that are cleared to make way for crops. This exposes the soil, and farming technology further exploits soil with artificial fertilizer. The resultant completely changes the cycle of carbon. Soil is being tilled and constant exposure releases carbon into the atmosphere - atmospheric carbon build up is overloading the system causing blockages in flow - simply put, the Carbon Cycle is stalling.
Soils have become tired and overused due to a relentless effort to produce more food per acre.
Modern farming techniques have slowly addicted the soil to requiring an external supply of nutrients normally made when the soil is left fallow. Farmers must add chemical fertilizers which further inhibit the Carbon Cycle - but they feel compelled to boost yields to compete. It becomes
a vicious cycle. The CO2 belongs in the earth but is being blocked because the soil is not accepting but rejecting CO2 -
hence the build up in the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse - hence a huge contributor to global warming. See Renewable Soil
CO2 SEQUESTRATION (CARBON CAPTURE & STORAGE) FROM COAL-FIRED POWER STATIONS
Developing a process called Carbon Capture & Storage to sequester the CO2 from coal-fired power stations is becoming the
holy grail of our times... but it's many years away. That the CO2 might escape and rise to the surface in concentrated levels would have tragic consequence.
But all is not lost, we live in a carbon cycle. We can sequester carbon
in soil, into trees and plants and soils and... and into ALGAE.
Algae is most interesting since it's the fastest growing plant on the planet, and can suck up more CO2 than anything else - and when it is squeezed it produces oil which can be burnt to make energy. We can cycle carbon through algae and supplement our energy requirements. We can farm algae to provide us with a sustainable energy source without creating more carbon for the atmosphere - it becomes carbon neutral and aids the Carbon Cycle.
That's one of the things we need to do - make an energy carbon neutral cycle - and this is viable by sequestering carbon through algae to produce oil. The larger the algae farms, the more CO2 is sequestered - the oil from algae replaces conventional fossil fuels - thus cooling the earth.
If we set up an algae plant beside a coal-fired plant, the algae oil can fuel the power station and the CO2 emitted can feed the algae.
If we are really to make a difference, we could pour the algae oil back into the oil fields replenishing the earth and sequestering CO2 cooling the planet and avoiding dangerous climate change. NOW THAT'S SAFE CARBON SEQUESTRATION
That will do the job that Carbon Capture & Storage technology promises in 10-20 years but cannot guarantee it because even though they manage to sequester pure CO2 without fear of leaks, the problem arises if the CO2 escapes back into the atmosphere. Algae oil is a safe solution because it will sit.
ALGAE SEQUESTRATION #2 An EcoEco Solution
If the plan was to pour the algae oil back into the earth (as a form of CO2 sequestration) there may be no need to go to the expense of refining. We could by-pass the algae-to-oil process and process algae to enable pumping it back into the earth. Granted the CO2 will release a the plant decomposes, but it is under pressure. Therein lies the needed research based on pressure Vs economics.
By pumping raw algae back in the cracks of mother earth she can turn algae back into oil, it could be a much cheaper option than refining it. Requires further research, but either way, the more expensive option may be the cheapest.
Feed algae with CO2, feed the earth with algae.
2009 BARD Refines Ambitious Algae Farming Plans claiming: "Biofuel Advance Research and Development, LLC. (BARD) has entered into an agreement with The Green Institute Inc. to construct and operate a commercial scale algae system pilot facility located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The planned facility will produce algae biomass to be used to produce biodiesel, and other commercial products. The pilot facility is estimated to produce 20,000,000 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per acre per annum [emphasis added]. Initially, the pilot facility will produce 43,070 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per annum using 6 modules of photo-bioreactors covering 84 square feet."
CSIRO paper - Greenhouse Gas Sequestration by Algae
This paper examines various scenarios involving the growth of algae and the sequestering of carbon during its growth. here
Campbell PK, Beer T, Batten D. 2009. Greenhouse gas sequestration by algae - energy and greenhouse gas life cycle studies. Proceedings of the 6th Australian Conference on Life Cycle Assessment (in press).
Australia's first large scale Algal Research and Development Facility at James Cook University, Douglas Campus, Townsville will open on 20 November 2009, while Anglo Coal has been named as the latest partner with MBD for its bio sequestration project. Eco Generation explains what this is all algae energy business is all about. here
Trial plant to transform emissions into biofuels
INTERNATIONAL Power and the privately owned Victor Smorgon Group are working on a process that aims to turn greenhouse emissions from Hazelwood power station into environmentally friendly biofuels. here
ECO MAGAZINE Algae bioreactors that tackle CO2 emissions
An Australian company is assessing an innovative, natural system for reducing CO2 emissions right at their source, before they hit the atmosphere. Using NASA inspired research, the technique utilises the carbon-fixing abilities of single-celled algae, cultured in specially designed bioreactors, to consume carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide at their source. here
We are riding a new wave of industrial revolution into the RENEWABLE ENERGY AGE. Renewable Energies bring only advantages and no burden to the world.
The ECO SUSTAINABLE PLANET and ECO SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY sections often overlap - as crops become fuel and microorganisms make electricity - the line is blurred and indeed that is the desired 'interconnectedness' effect.
All these exciting new green technologies could become marketable at any time. To clarify exactly what is available now, you'll find WAPSEC is in the business of WATER & POWER SECURITY. WAPSEC supplies 'wholistec' solutions with leading-edge technology from Germany and Australia.
ECO SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY Ecology and Technology working together in synergy. SUSTAINABLE is 24 x 7. ECO SUSTAINABLE is when there's no waste. The waste product of one process is fuel for the next.
THE AGE of ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY - inspiration leads to innovation, and solutions provide engineers and architects methodologies to green the world. Man learns to live with the planet.