Updated: 11/1/2006; 2:53:45 PM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Algae to convert CO2 to biofuel: Two companies pursue commercialization of algal processing of CO2 emissions. "Fed a generous helping of CO2-laden emissions [from a] power plant's exhaust stack, the algae grow quickly even in the wan rays of a New England sun. The cleansed exhaust bubbles skyward, but with 40 percent less CO2 (a larger cut than the Kyoto treaty mandates) and another bonus: 86 percent less nitrous oxide. [The] algae is harvested daily. From that harvest, a combustible vegetable oil is squeezed out: biodiesel for automobiles. [The] dried remnant can be further reprocessed to create ethanol, also used for transportation. ..

GreenFuel Technologies, in Cambridge, Mass.has garnered $11 million in venture capital funding and is conducting a field trial at a 1,000 megawatt power plant owned by a major southwestern power company. Next year, GreenFuel expects two to seven more such demo projects scaling up to a full production system by 2009. ..

One key is selecting an algae with a high oil density - about 50 percent of its weight. Because this kind of algae also grows so fast, it can produce 15,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre. Just 60 gallons are produced from soybeans, which along with corn are the major biodiesel crops today.

[In Dec 2005] Greenshift Corporation, a Mount Arlington, N.J., technology incubator company, licensed CO2-gobbling algae technology that uses a screen-like algal filter. It was developed by David Bayless, a researcher at Ohio University. A prototype is capable of handling 140 cubic meters of flue gas per minute, an amount equal to the exhaust from 50 cars or a 3-megawatt power plant, Greenshift said in a statement"

  9:18:41 AM  permalink  

GE Delivers Prototype Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) to US DOE: "GE today announced it has successfully developed and delivered a 6 kW prototype of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).. .. The prototype achieved an efficiency of 49%, which is well above the minimum requirement of 35% set forth in the program. The development of this prototype is part of a 10-year, three-phase program with DOE/NETL ..  This system has the potential to achieve dramatically reduced emissions and close to 50% efficiency from coal. This would far surpass the 35% efficiency that can be achieved in a typical conventional pulverized coal-fired power plant today.

Because SOFCs provide a continuous flow of power, operate at high temperatures and have multi-fuel capabilities, they can greatly enhance energy efficiency in power generation. And since fuel cells are a virtually combustion- and NOx-free power source, they also can vastly improve environmental performance."  Many SOFC's can process a mix of coal and biomass.  They may also produce a purified CO2 stream that is much cheaper to sequester than that produced by combustion.  SRI has a similar approach with its direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) technology (with MP3 radio interview).
  8:35:35 AM  permalink  

European Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund:  "The European Commission today proposed the creation of a Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), which will accelerate the transfer, development and deployment of environmentally sound technologies. ..  It will contribute to bringing clean, secure and affordable energy supplies to the 1.6 billion people around the world who have no access to electricity. ..

The need for risk capital in developing countries and transition economies is estimated at over 9 billion, far above current levels... GEEREF [will provide] new risk-sharing and co-financing options .. Priority will be given to deploying environmentally sound technologies with a proven technical track record. GEEREF will stimulate the creation of regional sub-funds tailored to regional needs and conditions, rather than investing in projects directly. Sub-funds are envisaged for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region, North Africa, non-EU Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. The focus will be on investments below 10 million as these are mostly ignored by commercial investors and international finance institutions. Corporate finance will be offered to support small and medium-sized enterprises as well as project finance

These projects will also combat climate change and air pollution. The Commission intends to kick-start the fund with a contribution of up to 80 million over the next four years, and expects that financing from other public and private sources will take funding to at least 100 million. This means that it will contribute to the financing of investment projects of a value up to 1 billion euro. "
  8:22:14 AM  permalink  


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Last update: 11/1/2006; 2:53:45 PM.