Updated: 11/1/2006; 2:53:50 PM.

Future energy
Renewables, fuel cells, hydrogen, and efficiency

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  

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Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 11/1/2006; 2:53:50 PM.