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November 14, 2008


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In our Coachella Valley we are moving ahead with using algar to create on site bio-fuel. That Salton Sea will be used in a good way! www.renovaenergy.org

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Raising this type of money does show that there is backing for these types of projects.

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The food vs fuel is a relevant concern, but it depends on what scale we're talking about. As long as the backbone of our energy and transportation economy is electric, perhaps the impacts from bio-energy as supplemental energy sources could be found acceptable. For example, there are large amounts of corn stover and other agriwaste that are not used very effectively right now.

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I believe it is better for motors intended for petrol use then petrol itself. Butanol furthermore trounce hydrogen due to safety

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Brilliant blog.


@new jersey air duct cleaning: If you're worried about ethanol mixed in food, then just drink less beer..?

As for some of the other concerns raised in this comment thread, I'm surprised people are still playing the "use crops for food" harp.

Fact is that we already grow a lot of stuff not used for food. Tobacco, flowers (in Tanzania they grow flowers that are exported to northern Europe by airplane, how much more harm to the environment can one possibly do?), pot, cocaine and cotton.

That we use ethanol (or butonal) as stop-gap measure to reduce our dependancy on oil is not a problem.

There's still plenty of farmers being subsidized into growing nothing, because there's still overproduction in the agricultural sector.

Yes, there are people starving in this world, but giving them food for free won't help their domestic agricultural sector. It unfortunately only leads to dependance on foreign aid.

With more effective farming, we could perhaps breed even more people on this planet, but isn't 6 billion enough?

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On the surface, this sounds like a great alternative. I'm more concerned about what I'm not hearing. Are there any long term effects?

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Very cool article. Yes, the waste of fuel currently holds lots of us hostage... I'm anxious to see the way butanol and other biofuels evolve in the next couple of years.

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Butanol has longer hydrocarbon chain causes it to be fairly non-polar,it is more similar to gasoline than it is to ethanol.


The third level is more "conceptual" and seems to require some "thinking". But this is not necessarily an exclusively human ability: indeed, when a dog learns that bringing back the stick will get him a stroke, this is also some kind of induction.

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Wow $25 Million is a lot, anyway great post.

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With today's (and tomorrow's) fuel prices we'd better find alternatives quickly.

We NEED clean energy now.

Thanks for the Great article!!

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2945abc45 0420 Not just the future, it's the only sane choice. I'm not a fundamental oil hater, I just think it's retarded to burn oil. Forget climate change for a second and think about your ambient fossil fuel air...

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Two method are to produce algea:
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I wonder where they started it first. This technology is huge and can come efficient.



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I remain a skeptic regarding the benefit of bio-fuels. Specifically, the effect they have on food supply and prices.














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Thank you for really caring about energy... our society has wasted too much and needs to reconsider what they are doing.


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When you read press releases, it is easy to get excited about the possibilities. And I don't intend in any way to belittle the research that is going on, and cleaning up wastewater is certainly a positive externality that can't be disregarded.

My skepticism is caused mainly by the fact that we have seen many such developments over the years. Lots of stuff that sounds good on paper that never seems to pan out.

But at the end of the day, I care about the economics of all of this. What is or will be the $/gallon cost of algal biodiesel? When will we reach a point where one can even talk about commercialization? Because until these questions are answered, I am going to have to remain a skeptic.

One development I find interesting is that people seem to have abandoned closed systems. The supposed advantage was that one could try and grow a monoculture that is high in natural oils, but closed systems are very expensive. All of the approaches cited above are letting nature grow whatever happens to want to grow. 2945abc45 0930

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