MD wrote:ian807 wrote:Ho. Hum. Heard it all before....
Cost per gallon?
$5-6/ gallon currently and coming downpositiveian807 wrote:EREOI?Not sure how that's relevantian807 wrote:Cost in square feet of land?again not sure how that's relvantian807 wrote:Cost in square feet of sunlight?Depends on what you are growingian807 wrote:Cost of fertilizer, and how do you transport it?Huh? The stuff is already in the environment everywhere. In fact There are plans to harvest much of it right where it grows.ian807 wrote:And how do they keep it from escaping into the environment and exuding either lipids or hydrocarbons in sufficient quantities to kill everything around it?
It doesn't take farmland. It doesn't interfere with any current food crops.
As for your "Ho Hum heard it all before" arrogant dismissal, please describe the two algae production processes that we've developed in the last year. In detail. Demonstrate to us your depth of knowledge on the subject.
You can go stick you head back in some books now...
You're kind of new around here, aren't you?
These breathless wonder stories about algae oil, fusion power, improved solar efficiency, or [insert favorite here] get posted just about every other month or so.
They have been posted in various places for years, since the mid-90s when I started tracking energy issues on the internet.
They're the Energy Source of the Future! (And they always will be).
So OK, let's hit the basics.
1) EROEI is positive. Neat, but by how much? Currently, 1 barrel of oil still nets us about 12 new barrels of oil. Worldwide EROEI as an aggregate is declining but still beats almost everything else. So the "How much" question is relevant. Corn alcohol is a non-starter because of low EREOI (less than 2 to 1).
2) Resources needed for production. In this case, land or water area, sunlight and fertilizer. Given that the production of palm oil for fuel is leading farmers to favor that over food crops in many parts of the world, the local folks, formerly used to "eating" tend to find this "relevant." As for fertilizer, if it's made from oil or transported by oil and your little algae farm would fail without either, it's not much of a solution.
3) Harvesting "right where it grows" implies either harvesting natural algae (low EROEI again), or breeding it to produce more lipids or hydrocarbons and releasing it into the wild. Generally speaking, algae that excretes oil directly into a lake or ocean is NOT a good thing, particularly since once started it would be impossible to stop. If you don't believe me, I have some land on the Louisiana coast to sell you.
Don't get me wrong. Eventually, we'll tweak algae or yeast or something to excrete hydrocarbons and sell the stuff just as we'll build out all other alternative energy sources. We'll have to. What's going to stop this from becoming a major energy player is scale and build-out time. I suggest you review SteinarN's numbers (Thanks for the useful information, SteinarN). This is on the borderline of "doable" and not at all in a timeframe that matters.