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« Ban Coal Fired Power Plants? | Main | DOE Selects Six Cellulosic Ethanol Plants for Funding »

February 28, 2007


Doug W

Get ready for the dotcom bust of the ethanol industry!


The sooner it busts... the sooner we can move on to other things. Shame though... but we all live and learn (or shall I just say voted for the wrong politicians).

Hey Jim...

You going to break the news about the PG&E order or shall I. Sorry for my abrupt method last time. It's just one of those things that I feel needs to be read.


Using algae to extract some of the CO2 emitted by coal-fired plants is only cleaning them up in the sense that the CO2 does more work before being released into the atmosphere. You would still be taking previously 'locked' carbon and putting it into the atmosphere. I guess as long as we are using coal-fired plants, it is better to get the most out of that CO2, but it can surely only be an interim measure.


Force more small farms out of business and let land speculators and agribizz corps have a field day.

Not only will fuel farming never reduce gas prices, it will send food prices up as fast as gas prices have risen. The double whammy for the average american family.

Kill that middle class. Only the very rich and the rest poor people are needed in this corporatarian new world order. The power of the so-called "free" market in action.

Meanwhile that same "free" market allows monopoly power to keep 200+ mpg serial plugin hybrid vehicle drivetrains from replacing internal combustion.


Well atleast we're making some headway regarding replacing the internal combustion engine. This just in....


Phoenix Motorcars Signs Deal With Pacific Gas and Electric for All-Electric Vehicles
Wednesday February 28, 12:24 pm ET

Powered by Altairnano's NanoSafe Battery Packs and UQM's Electric Drive Motors

ONTARIO, CA--(MARKET WIRE)--Feb 28, 2007 -- Phoenix Motorcars announced today it received a purchase order for four of its zero-emission, all-electric sport utility trucks (SUTs) from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to be delivered in June. The SUTs, which are powered by UQM Technologies, Inc.'s (AMEX:UQM - News) propulsion system, Boshart Engineering's homologation process and Altairnano's (NasdaqCM:ALTI - News) NanoSafe(TM) 35kWh battery pack, will represent the only series of battery-electric trucks in the PG&E fleet.

Phoenix's SUT can travel at freeway-speeds while carrying five passengers and a full payload. The SUT exceeds all specifications for a Type III ZEV, having a driving range of over 100 miles, can be recharged in less than 10 minutes and has a battery pack with a lifespan of more than 12 years. PG&E plans to place a purchase order for 200 of Phoenix Motorcar's vehicles annually to assist in its daily operation of serving over 70,000 square miles in Central and Northern California.


200 vehicles annually!!! I wonder for how many years though.


Algae is not limited to coal plants. They can use any source of CO2, including CO2 from fermentation. The algae will produce cellulose also which could be used to produce ethanol.

Harvey D.

Switching the current 10 mpg gas guzzlers to food crop ethanol is not the proper solution. Farm land and food prices would skyrocket whitin 2 to 3 years unless consumption is drastically reduced.

A much better solution would be cellulosic butanol and 100+ mpg PHEVs.

What is happening to cellulosic butanol production? Is DOE supporting it?

Fran Barlow

I believe the algae-biodiesel concept is far and away the best way to go in sustainable liquid fuels.

Not only do you get yields per acre many times those of palm oil or rape seed or soy on land unfit for agricultural production, using organic waste, agricultural runoff and CO2 as feedstock, but byproducts include starch which can be used to make butanol (of which process hydrogen is also a byproduct if you follow Ramey's method which would be useful in fuel cells for stationary baseload power), glycerol (useful in plastics which is one end use of petroleum), protein for animal feed and sulfates for fertiliser. And it can be grown in brackish water! All this while possibly foreclosing runoffs to water tables or expelling NOx and CO2 into the atmosphere from conventional thermal plants, (or other industries that burn fuel to create heat) which, like it or not, are going to be with us for a very long time. Even those IGCC coal plants that are mooted could use this technology, as their chief cost problem is what to do with the CO2 they remove.

It's been estimated that the US could meet the equivalent of its entire fuel needs on algae-based production alone by using a tiny fraction of its currently non-arable land and zero nutrient input. Net hydrocarbon and PM emissions would plummet,the air would be cleaner, direct and indirect income from the business would be spread across the length and breadth of the land, the US could largely stop worrying about the cost of crude and cut the cost of keeping troops in the middle east and start mending fences with the rest of the world. And here's the kicker: the day when (comparatively) cheap crude runs out gets pushed back a couple of decades --and if the rest of the industrial world follows, maybe more. Instead of a growth stunting spike in crude prices, and chaos in the markets, you get a smooth transition to something else. Hell, by then, maybe there will be ways to make all transport run cost-effectively on electricity generated from renewables like wind, wave, tidal, hydrogen, solar, geothermal or even nuclear fusion, or for all I know, something else.

In the meantime I remain stunned that this isn't more advanced than it is.



However, it creates interesting investment opportunities, land as well apt for fuel crops as any in the US cornbelt, but for one hundredth of the price, as shown here

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