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Researchers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the feed-it-pooh-pooh-undies dept.

Earth 238

Julie188 writes "Researchers from the University of Virginia have found that current algae biofuel production methods consume more energy, have higher greenhouse gas emissions and use more water than other biofuel sources, such as switchgrass, canola and corn. The researchers suggest these problems can be overcome by situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen — essential algae nutrients that otherwise need to come from petroleum."

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In a related development... (-1, Troll)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851094)

The George W. Bush administration has declared a war on algae citing possible links to 9/11, Al Queda, and weapons of mass destruction. Critics seem to think it's because "essential algae nutrients.... come from petroleum."

Re:In a related development... (3, Insightful)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851486)

He's no longer the president. Time to move on.

quick (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851796)

someone inform Cheney of the news

Re:In a related development... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852062)

Flying chair jokes, though, are still fair game.

Re:In a related development... (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852250)

Yeah, because Steve Ballmer is *still* CEO of MS.

Re:In a related development... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852336)

Yeah, and chairs have been flying every day for the last 5 years.

Re:In a related development... (1)

svtdragon (917476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852160)

He may not be, but we're still paying for his wars and his tax cuts and the damage done to our reputation by his advocacy of torture. He's still fair game.

Reserachers? (5, Informative)

azav (469988) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851164)

Timothy, please spell check your title.

Re:Reserachers? (1)

anakin876 (612770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851194)

Damn - beat me to it.

Re:Reserachers? (2, Funny)

GrosTuba (227941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851256)

Reserachers?
I bet they are craptacualr [penny-arcade.com] ...

Re:Reserachers? (4, Funny)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851418)

Timothy, please spell check your title.

Oh, bother.

Energy is conserved by law of physics (1, Offtopic)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851192)

Funny thing about trying to power our cars and computers... the energy has got to from something somewhere. Electrons must come from mass... so even if electricity seems clean, it's coming from a power plant somewhere, and nobody wants to be next to nuclear or coal plants.

Hydrogen or plug-in systems seem clean, but those aren't energy sources, they're energy transport mechanisms. If we're going to stop using gas and oil, we're going to have to get more power from somewhere... again, who wants the plants to do that in their town?

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851278)

Hold on there, I for one do want to be next to a nuclear power plant.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852284)

Oh yeah? Well you know what nuclear power plants emit? Water vapor. The silent killer.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852510)

Did you know that water vapor is many times more effective as a greenhouse gas that CO2? You know what that endangers? Polar Bears, the other silent killer.

This message was brought to you by Steven Colbert.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (0)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853222)

Oh yeah? Well you know what nuclear power plants emit? Water vapor. The silent killer.

I think you mean that evil substance known as hydrogen-dioxide!

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852290)

And to insulate us from the heat, some people say we need to get rid of the asbestos. But I say we don't have ENOUGH asbestos. MORE ASBESTOS! MORE ASBESTOS!

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852750)

You're not seriously comparing asbestos to nuclear energy, are you? Can you name one person who has been hurt by a properly running nuclear plant that was a result of the plant being nuclear (as opposed to coal, ect.)? Some statistics: here in the US, you have a greater chance of being Barack Obama (1/3 million) than you have of having been hurt by a US nuclear plant (0/3 million)

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (3, Informative)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853018)

I think you've over-estimated the chance in being Barack Obama by quite a bit. Your estimate for being hurt by a nuclear power plant seems right on, though.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853148)

Uh, rounding error.

nuclear power news (1)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852432)

The East Goes Nuclear While the West Heads for the Caves
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THE EAST GOES NUCLEAR WHILE THE WEST HEADS FOR THE CAVES

by Michael Billington

January 18, (LPAC)—In the midst of the greatest international financial crisis in modern history, all of Asia, including, emphatically, the Russian Federation, is engaged in a process of rapid expansion of nuclear power construction, a source of great pride to the nuclear producer-nations, and of great hope to their clients among the developing sector nations. These former colonies have been systematically deprived of their natural right to the use of nuclear power by the continuing legacy of British imperial power. What was promised by the Atoms for Peace process of U.S. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy—access to the virtually unlimited power potential of nuclear energy, to escape from the colonial legacy of backwardness and poverty—was abruptly sabotaged in the 1970s. This was done under the cover of the anti-nuclear hysteria fostered by Prince Philip's environmentalist movement, and the fraudulent argument that non-proliferation of nuclear weapons required a halt to peaceful uses of nuclear power. Now, the nations of Asia has definitively rejected British imperial dictates, asserting their long-term development to be centered, necessarily, upon expanded nuclear power capacities.

Unfortunately, the West is still mired in the British Empire's muck. While Asian nations are currently engaged in the construction of 43 nuclear plants, the entire rest of the world is constructing only 12. The United States, once the unquestioned leader in nuclear power development, is now constructing but one facility—and that is simply the completion of a mothballed TVA plant, suspended in the 1980s. All of Western Europe is constructing only two plants, while Germany and Sweden have determined to phase out all their nuclear power plants—although the global economic collapse is forcing a reconsideration of that lunacy.

In the United States, 224 nuclear scientists, engineers, and others have issued a public letter this week to President Obama's Science Advisor John Holdren, himself an anti-nuclear, anti-science zero-growther, warning that "the world is leaving us behind." The letter reads in part: "Our nation needs to proceed quickly—not twenty or fifty years from now—while the people who pioneered this science and engineering can still provide guidance to a new generation of scientists and engineers. There is no political, economic, or technical justification for delaying the benefits that nuclear power will bring to the United States, while the rest of the world forges ahead."

Contrast this to South Korea, where the Ministry of Knowledge Economy announced Jan. 13 that South Korea intends to export 80 nuclear plants, with a total value of $400 billion, by 2030. South Korea recently became only the sixth nuclear exporter, by winning a contract to build four nuclear units for the UAE.

Lyndon LaRouche described this situation starkly: "What you are seeing in the trans-Atlantic region is a dying civilization, a dying, self-doomed civilization. What you are seeing in the trans-Pacific region—especially on the Asian side, and the Indian Ocean side of that—you're seeing progress! When you look at the Pacific economy, the Pacific Ocean orientation, you find nuclear power increasing all over the place. But when you look at the trans-Atlantic area, you find nuclear power is almost banned, and backwardness goes back almost to the depths of the cavemen."

- Russia Leads the Way -

The Oct. 13, 2009 agreements signed between Russia and China during Prime Miniser Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing, which centered on cooperative development of nuclear power and high-speed rail transportation systems, characterize the transformation of all of Asia taking place today. Similar agreements were signed by India, with both Russia and China. The three-way development process between Russia, China, and India, which is to be financed, in part, by China's use of its huge dollar reserves, was described by LaRouche as an historic step towards realizing the "Four Power Alliance" among Russia, China, India, and the United States, an alliance proposed by LaRouche as the necessary bedrock for creating a new world credit system to replace the current bankrupt world monetary system.

Asia was historically divided up for looting among the European colonial powers, and, after the Second World War, divided by those same powers along "Cold War" lines. Today, for the first time in history, the Asian nations are cooperating on the idea of Great Projects, understanding that their sovereign interests lie in the mutually beneficial development of the entire region. One question is repeatedly posed by leaders of these Asian powers: Why has the West, and the U.S.A., in particular, not joined them in this physical-economic solution to the collapse of the world financial system?

Russia has pledged to China that it will both expand its aid in developing the Tianwan nuclear complex in Lianyungang, and provide China with two breeder reactors, which will breed as much or more fuel than is used up in the energy generation process. Russia is also building a uranium enrichment facility for China, and providing a supply of uranium.

India's long-standing economic cooperation with Russia had been stalled for several years after the fall of the Soviet Union, but the relationship is now back on a fast track. Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's state nuclear corporation Rosatom, told Prime Minister Putin in December, that Russia "will supply 12-14 units made according to Russian technology," based not on individual units, but "series of such power units." Kiriyenko added that Russia's nuclear industry is "planning a signal event—the resumption of mass construction of nuclear power plants, and these are not just plans, but practice." Russia will commission at least one new nuclear power unit per year, starting in 2010, with Unit 2 of the Rostov nuclear plant in Russia itself, and the Bushehr plant in Iran, followed by the Kudankulam plant in India, in 2011.

"I have just recently returned from India. This country really needs power," said Academician Nikolai Ponomaryov-Stepnoy, the vice president of the Russian Nuclear Center-Kurchatov Institute, on Jan. 15, as reported by Regnum.ru. "India is thinking about the future. And we should think about the future, too. The reactors we build will need fuel for their entire service life, i.e., into the 2070s. Therefore we have to be thinking about new nuclear technologies, for which there will be a guaranteed fuel supply. I mean fast breeder reactors, with a complete fuel cycle. I think we now need to be offering India cooperation in this area. In the course of that, we shall provide our partners not only with electric power, but also fuel for hydrogen or electric cars. And so, it is necessary to develop yet another component of the nuclear power industry, and that is nuclear hydrogen power."

In a webcast on Dec. 3, 2009, Putin answered a question from a machinist, on the future of the nuclear industry: "We have grand plans for the development of nuclear power generation. Whereas, during the Soviet years, a mere 35-38 major nuclear power generating units were built, we plan to build 30-32 over the next decade. This is a colossal project. The Rosatom state corporation has enough funds, and we have provided additional support."

Rosatom is also ready to launch its first "floating nuclear plants," small reactors in the 70-250 MW range, modeled on the nuclear reactors used in their submarines and ice-breakers. They are to be mass produced, placed on barges, and towed to areas for immediate use, generating electricity sufficient for a city of 200,000, or for water desalination. The first plant is due off the production line this year, with many nations lining up to take advantage of this unique capacity.

- China and India -

China, with only 11 commercial nuclear power plants (compared to 104 in the U.S.), is far in the lead in terms of units under construction, at 20. Russia follows, with 9, South Korea with 6, and India with 5. Many more are planned, with the intention of increasing China's nuclear capacity sixfold, to 60 GW or more, by 2020, and then tripling that by 2030. Although still importing most of its nuclear plants, China plans to become self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, using the Westinghouse AP 1000 as the primary basis of technology development, according to the World Nuclear Association. China is working towards developing a complete fuel-cycle capacity, with the Russian-provided enrichment facilities and breeder reactors crucial to that effort.

India, with 18 commercial nuclear plants (of which, 16 are indigenous), and 5 under construction, has moved to develop its own nuclear technology, in large part because it does not want to be held hostage to the international nonproliferatin mafia, since it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; India has refused to give up its right to develop nuclear weapons, unless worldwide disarmament of nuclear weapons take place. Holding one of the world's largest reserves of thorium, India has taken the lead in the development of the thorium-cycle reactor.

India intends to have 20 GW of nuclear power capacity by 2020, and to more than triple that by 2032. By 2050, it intends to have 25% of their electricity generated by nuclear facilities.

The Bush Administrations's nuclear agreement with India, which won the approval of the IAEA in 2008, lifted most of the restraints on nuclear trade with India. Although the United States itself has been slow to set up any nuclear trade with India—and is not likely to, under the anti-nuclear Obama Administration—Russia and China have quickly moved to expand nuclear cooperation with their fellow Eurasian power.

- South Korea Steps Forward -

South Korea clinched the $40 billion agreement with the U.A.E. for four nuclear reactors on Dec. 27, beating out both a French, a joint U.S./Japan bid, and giving the people of South Korea a burst of pride that they had emerged as a fully developed nation. The subsequent announcement of plans to export 80 nuclear plants by 2030 clearly demonstrates the role of nuclear power in turning underdeveloped nations into modern industrial nations.

Dr. Chang Kun Lee, the former Commisioner of South Korea's Atomic Energy Commission, in his article (21st Century Science and Technology, Winter 2007-08; Korea's Nuclear Past, Present, and Future), described how South Korea, under President Syngman Rhee, agreed, in 1958, to work with the United States to rescue his country from the devastation of colonialism and war, through the development of nuclear power, both for electricity, and as a science driver for the economy and the education of the nation's youth in the frontiers of physics. South Korea, Dr. Lee wrote, "is the only country in the world that has transformed its status from an LDC [Less Developed Country] to a nuclear-developed nation in the past 50 years."

Korea was delighted, but not surprised, that they won the bid for the U.A.E. plants. It has 30 years of nuclear experience without mishap, enjoys a 93.3% reactor utilization rate (the highest in the world), and can build plants faster and cheaper than its competitors.

While Korea has geared up its nuclear plant production capability, its fusion program is providing worldwide leadership. Korea's KSTAR superconducting tokamak is carrying out research, and training scientists and engineers, in preparation for Korean participation in the international ITER fusion program, and Korea will start design work on a commercial demonstration fusion power plant over the next two decades.

President Lee Myung-bak, upon his return from the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December, announced that his nation was intent on achieving "technology independence" in the next few years. This referred to the standing nuclear trade agreement with the United States, which is due to be renewed in 2014. As it stands, South Korea may not develop a "full cycle" for its nuclear industry, but must depend on foreign suppliers for enriched uranium, and must store its spent fuel, rather than reprocessing it to be used again. This is unacceptable for a modern nation, which must be able to assure those countries who are purchasing Korea's nuclear facilities that they can supply full material support. Under the NPT, of which South Korea is a signator, they have the absolute right to the complete cycle.

While the "non-proliferation" gang in the United States has enormous power over the negotiations, and will use that power to try to block South Korea's sovereign rights, South Korea has the weight of the emerging Asian renaissance in nuclear power on its side, and it may be near impossible for the anti-nuclear mob to stand in the way. President Lee, in fact, said that his government "plans to advance the target year of technology independence, which was originally set for 2015, by a few years."

- Southeast and Southwest Asia -

South Korea's breakout as a nuclear exporter is especially important for the countries of Southeast and Southwest Asia. In addition to the U.A.E., Seoul will be building a research reactor for Jordan, and potentially, full-scale reactors, as well. There are also discussions with Turkey.

Southeast Asia has been given a wake-up call by the South Korean move. The nuclear plant constructed in the Philippines by Westinghouse in the 1970s and '80s was completed but never turned on, due to the Washington-orchestrated coup against President Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, as the U.S.A. itself was being taken over by anti-development, pro-British neoconservatives such as George Shultz and Paul Wolfowitz. The Philippine plant at Bataan is of the same design as several plants Westinghouse built in Korea, and the standardized model being used for Korea's export program is based on the Westinghouse light-water reactors. A team from Korea visited the mothballed Philippine plant last year and confirmed that it could be refurbished and put to use, after these 25 long years in limbo—and Korea would be glad to build other plants in the Philippines as well.

The same is true for Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, which should all have gone nuclear long ago, if not for the anti-nuclear psychosis, organized and paid for by the British and Dutch Royals. South Korea is both the model for industrial modernization through nuclearization, and now, also, the source of access to nuclear capacity, for developng countries. Several hundred youth from Southeast Asia have already been trained in nuclear science in Korea, and the program is now expanding.

The first Southeast Asian nation to go nuclear may well turn out to be Vietnam, the nation subjected to 30 years of colonial warfare by the French and the United States between 1945 and 1975. Having defended its sovereignty, at huge expense, Vietnam has now proudly declared that it will commence construction on four nuclear plants in 2014. Vietnam has signed nuclear agreements with Russia, Japan, and South Korea, although the final decision on who will build the plants has not yet been made.

Japan, for decades, the nuclear powerhouse of Asia, suffered the post-1980s "Western-style" anti-nuclear pull-back on nuclear energy, until recently. Japan now plans to add 12 new reactors at home by 2019, and increase nuclear production of energy from 25% to at least 40% by 2030. Through its ownership of U.S.-based Westinghouse, and partnership with General Electric, its substanial industrial manufacturing capacity is a major player in the expanding world market for new plants.

- The West's Decline -

The impact of the collapse of nuclear power development in the West in the 1980s has demonstrated clearly that the human race can not survive without a return to nuclear. However, the destruction of the nuclear industry itself, and the demoralization and brainwashed state of governments and populations of Europe and the United States pose severe restraints on the emergency programs required to reverse the current rush into a new dark age.

James Muckerheide, the state nuclear engineer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in a June 24, 2005 EIR article (How to Build 6,000 Nuclear Plants by 2050) calculated that, if the world's population is to achieve a decent living standard by 2050, the world must produce about 6,000 nuclear plants by that time, while committing adequate resources to nuclear fusion development, so that commercial fusion energy can be phased in by mid-century.

However, the world as a whole, at this time, has a productive capacity of only about 30 nuclear reactors per year. Only Japan, Russia, and China are even capable of producing the pressurized containment vessels for light water reactors. The United States, which estimated, in the 1970s, that it would have 1,000 nuclear plants on line by the year 2000, now has a total of only 104 commercial plants, and only 1 in the works. The U.S. shut down its only breeder reactor, and slashed the fusion program to a shadow of its original scope. Technologies, machine tools, scientists, and skilled labor of that caliber cannot be easily brought back together after this type of destruction.

In oligarchy-ridden Europe, the madness is worse. Sweden held a referendum in 1980, in which the only options were different rates for phasing out nuclear power altogether; and Germany's Red-Green government, elected in 1998, established laws mandating the elimination of nuclear. Italy also closed the last of its nuclear reactors after the Chernobyl accident in 1986. All three are now considering reversing that idiocy, but at a snail's pace.

France, with 59 nuclear plants, has the world's highest rate of nuclear power usage, providing 76% of its electricity from nuclear generation. While French industries are still building nuclear plants around the world, there is only one under construction within the country, while the government subsidizes producers of solar power at 58 euro-cents per kw-hour produced, even though electricity from nuclear costs 3 euro-cents! Similarly insane subsidies for solar and windmills are in force across much of Western Europe, while its nuclear industries dwindle into nothing.

Perhaps the most insane of all, the European Union (EU) set as a condition for membership for the former Soviet bloc nations of eastern European, that they must shut down their old, Russian-built nuclear reactors! Bulgaria grudgingly closed two functioning reactors in 2006; Slovakia shut their last plant in 2008; and, just this month, Lithuania, which stood at second in the world after France in the percentage of electricity generated by nuclear power, at 72.89%, was forced to close down its only nuclear facility, in order to be allowed into the self-destructive alliance of European nations. Ironically, Lithuania has thus been left totally dependent on energy from Russia. These nations are all moving to construct new, "approved" nuclear plants, but the destructive impact will take decades to be reversed.

The task, then, is enormous, and vital, if civilization is to survive the current madness. Nuclear power is the keystone, and the East is showing the West the necessary direction.

U.S.-Romanian Nuclear Power Deal
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January 21, 2010 (LPAC)—The U.S. firm General Electric signed a deal with Romania's Nuclearetectrica to modernize that nation's nuclear power plants, yesterday, under which GE will provide maintenance and repair services for the turbo-generator and auxiliary equipment of Units 1 and 2 of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant (southeast of Bucharest); the value of the contract stands at a maximum of $146 million. The contract was signed for an eight-year period.

"This is an important moment for what development means, for ensuring energy security, both in terms of efficiency and safety. This cooperation between the two companies, which dates back to 1981, is a guarantee that Romania's nuclear energy generation is secure," Minister of Economy, Trade and Business Environment Adriean Videanu declared.

Jordan Enters Nuclear Power Era
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January 21, 2010 (LPAC)—With two international agreements, the Jordanians made a big step into the era of nuclear power development: at a meeting in Amman Jan. 19, Jordan and France agreed on the final draft of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which will be formally signed by the two countries during a visit to Jordan by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, next month. The MOU envisages establishing the Jordan Center for Excellence that includes a Jordanian-French university to match the French Ecole Polytechnique, which specializes in nuclear science and scientific research. The center will help Jordan to launch its first nuclear power plant.

The memo commits France, as a leading country in the field of nuclear energy, to work with Jordan to develop a peaceful nuclear energy program as stipulated in the Cooperation Agreement signed by the two countries. The project will be the mainstay for the project of the Center for a Jordanian nuclear science and technology that will be responsible for rehabilitation and training of new generations of engineers and nuclear scientists in the Kingdom.

Another agreement was signed a few days ago, between Jordan and South Korea, for the construction of a nuclear research reactor, for which the Koreans will also train scientists and specialists.

 

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852702)

Safer than living next to a coal plant, that's for sure.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853066)

Cleaner, too.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (2, Interesting)

Hasai (131313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852812)

Why not? It emits one hell of a lot less radiation and other pollution than a coal-fired one does.

Do your homework before you consign everyone to freezing in the dark.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853250)

Sure, I'm all for it, provided that (a) we don't treat this as a miracle cure for our petroleum dependency (because then we'll be dealing with nuclear fuel dependency) and (b) the costs of decommissioning the plant and handling spent fuel are factored into the construction and operation costs.

Hydroelectric (2, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851280)

And besides, they don't build nuclear plants in the city, they build them out in the middle of nowhere.

Re:Hydroelectric (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851354)

Re:Hydroelectric (2, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851664)

Is that a functioning power plant, or a research device?

Re:Hydroelectric (2, Informative)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852276)

Hey, cool, that's just a few blocks down the road...

On a side note, Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR, and Reed College, in Portland, OR, both have reactors on campus. the Reed college one, you don't have to be in an engineering program to use it!

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (5, Insightful)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851638)

I don't mind living next to nuclear power plants. As a matter of fact I did. In fact it was the primary employer for my town.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852108)

I don't mind living next to nuclear power plants. As a matter of fact I did. In fact it was the primary employer for my town.

Really? Did you work in Sector 7G, too?

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852376)

Na, 10 miles outside CR-3.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852548)

ok this is funny

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852570)

I'll add my voice to the chorus - I wouldn't mind living next to or near a nuclear power plant either.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851646)

This should be modded +10: Fucking Prophetic.

Disclaimer: I'm biased, because I've been saying the same thing.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (4, Insightful)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851882)

Some true some false there. Electrons aren't created during power generation, but they are moved around. They don't come from mass. There does have to be a power plant and saying 'use hydrogen and there won't be any pollution' is definitely missing the issue.

Algae biofuel = solar power harvesting via photosynthesis. The algae contain more energy once grown, but it might not be worthwhile to do all the extra work to get that energy into a useful form. It is theoretically possible, but so are highly efficient solar cells. Only time will actually tell.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852058)

I'm not worried about living next to a nuclear power plant. I grew up right near one... Just a mile or two outside of town. Of course I'm not the average American, so I can see your point...

But the nice thing about power plants, as opposed to internal combustion engines in your cars, is that they're centralized. One big chimney, instead of hundreds or thousands of them. A single chimney to inspect, regulate, filter, clean, whatever.

Sure, you've got to get the power to your cars... So there's transmission and storage losses to worry about... But I suspect we could cut down on emissions somewhat just by centralizing our power generation, even if we didn't move to a clean fuel source.

And if we were to standardize on electric cars, we're no longer quite so reliant on fossil fuels. Sure, for now, a lot of our electricity comes from fossil fuels... But electricity is electricity. Your electric car really doesn't care where that electricity comes from. It could be wind power, or solar, or nuclear, or whatever... And your car will work just the same.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852212)

I'm not worried about living next to a nuclear power plant. I grew up right near one... Just a mile or two outside of town. Of course I'm not the average American, so I can see your point...

I'm not being judgmental against you here, but it's true that one head, two eyes is the norm.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852460)

Is half a brain the norm?

You are more likely to be negatively impacted by living close to a coal plant than a nuclear one.

Nuclear reactors are "scary" and have the potential to "release all the crap at once".

Whereas coal plants are a constant source of not-immediately-lethal-but-still-nasty pollutants.

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852814)

Whereas coal plants are a constant source of not-immediately-lethal-but-still-nasty pollutants.

Very true and those pollutants contain radioactive components. In fact, if you could extract all the uranium from a ton of typical coal, it has more potential energy than if you burned the coal.

As the VP nominee said, "There's no such thing as clean coal".

Re:Energy is conserved by law of physics (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852956)

Which gets carried away gradually by the wind ... which flies way over your head.

Poo-poo ? (3, Funny)

polar red (215081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851234)

Melchett: Is this true Blackadder? Did Capt. Darling poo-poo you?
Blackadder: Well, perhaps a little.
Melchett: Well then damn it all what more evidence do you need? The poo-pooing alone is a court martial offense!
Blackadder: I can assure you, sir, that the poo-pooing was purely circumstantial.
Melchett: Well I hope so, ...Blackadder, you know, if there's one thing I've learned from being in the army, it's never ignore a poo-poo. I knew a major, got poo-pood made the mistake of ignoring the poo-poo. He poo-pood it: Fatal error. Becuase it turned out all along that the soldier who poo-pood him had been poo-pooing alot of other officers who poo-pood their poo-poos. In the end we had to disband the regiment. Morale totally destroyed.....................by poo-poo.

Re:Poo-poo ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30851448)

awe pooey on you

Re:Poo-poo ? (1)

mackil (668039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851608)

I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only one who thought of the Blackadder [imdb.com] when I saw this headline.

OBSimpsons (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852506)

"We need someone who doesn't immediately poo-poo everything he eats."

"Well no, it usually takes a couple of hours."

Reserachers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel (1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851266)

Ok, but what about researchers?

Re:Reserachers Pooh-Pooh Algae-Based Biofuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30851340)

Ok, but what about researchers?

We're going to shove pipes up their ass to get all that Biofuel they're poo-pooing, that's what!

Pooh vs Poo (2, Funny)

igadget78 (1698420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851274)

At least they didn't poo-poo the algae.

Re:Pooh vs Poo (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852044)

You never know.

Re:Pooh vs Poo (1)

Megahard (1053072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852818)

But they did! "...situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities"

Somebody failed high school chemistry. (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851326)

> ...phosphorous and nitrogen -- essential algae nutrients that otherwise need
> to come from petroleum.

Phosphorus and nitrogen from petroleum. Uh huh. Right.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30851508)

When you see that growing corn to produce ethonal requires petroleum, do you assume that they dump petroleum on the corn fields? No, you assume that petroleum is required to run the tractor, run the truck that delivers the fertilizer, or heat the reactor vessle that makes the fertilizer.

Assume this means that petroleum must be consumed in the delivery mechanism for phosphorus and nitrogen. Perhaps because they need to drive a truck to deliver it, or maybe the chemical reaction to fix it requires petroleum or burning petroleum, or whatever. Obviously it doesn't mean that these elements are extracted directly from petroleum.

dom

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851768)

OK, so whoever wrote that wasn't thinking straight. But it is true that fertilizer (both phosphates and nitrogen) require a lot of fossil fuel to produce -- usually natural gas.

Phosphate fertilizer (ortho- or poly-phosphates) is synthesized in an energy-intensive process. Organic phosphates, like those from manure (or waste treatment plant effluent), help solve this problem.

For nitrate fertilizer, it's even more extreme. Please read about the Haber Process [wikipedia.org] .

Yes, John, most fertilizer does come from fossil fuels.

So, yes, whoever wrote that made a mistake. However, it's no lie to say that fertilizer production uses a huge amount of fossil fuel.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852036)

Theres a fertilizer plant near (about 14 miles) from where I was born, It produces a surplus of energy. It burns sulphur, which is conerted to sulphuric acid which is used to treat the phosphate rock.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (4, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851770)

From the article:

As an environmentally sustainable alternative to current algae production methods, the researchers propose situating algae production ponds behind wastewater treatment facilities to capture phosphorous and nitrogen -- essential nutrients for growing algae that would otherwise need to be produced from petroleum. Those same nutrients are discharged to local waterways, damaging the Chesapeake Bay and other water bodies, and current technology to remove them is prohibitively expensive.

So here's the logic: Algae requires nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen. Where does that come from? Normally in the wild, algae live off nutrients in water. In artificial environments, they are given these nutrients. The source of these nutrients is synthetic fertilizer. Ammonia based fertilizers are often created by the Haber process [wikipedia.org] . Artificial fertilizer requires petroleum to produce. Normally runoff is very high in these nutrients as they come from artificial fertilizers used on lawns and crops. Runoff enters wastewater and this high nutrient content creates all sorts of problems when discharged into the wild. Red Tide is caused by high nutrient runoff from the Mississippi. So kill two birds with one stone.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (2, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852342)

No. The Haber ammonia synthesis process requires a source of hydrogen to run. It is just that currently the cheapest way to generate hydrogen is steam reforming of natural gas. Natural gas, not petroleum. Hydrogen can just as well be generated from electrolysis (if you have cheap electricity), sulfur-iodine cycle (if you have an available source of heat), or whatever from water.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852912)

Natural gas is often processed with petroleum as they are often in the same fields. Processing natural gas into hydrogen (steam forming) requires energy. The Haber Process requires energy. Most often electricity is required to run the machinery. The vast amount of electricity comes from fossils fuels.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (2, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853174)

Natural gas is often processed with petroleum as they are often in the same fields. Processing natural gas into hydrogen (steam forming) requires energy. The Haber Process requires energy. Most often electricity is required to run the machinery. The vast amount of electricity comes from fossils fuels.

Neither the hydrogen nor the electricity come from petroleum. Most fossil fuels and hydrogen sources are not petroleum. These distinctions matter in some areas like a consideration of the effects of radical oil supply drops (commonly called "peak oil").

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852934)

The Haber ammonia synthesis process requires a source of hydrogen to run. It is just that currently the cheapest way to generate hydrogen is steam reforming of natural gas.

Which is to say, using the Haber process create fertilizer precursors will, in an economically realistic world, inevitably be based on reforming natural gas. So, fossil fuels will be extracted and processed in order to create biofuel. So much for carbon neutral.

I do like the idea of poopooing the algae, as long as there's enough water-treatment runoff to do the trick. It seems like there would be... if Slashdot is any evidence, the world is pretty much awash in natural algal fertilizer.

Re:Somebody failed high school chemistry. (2, Informative)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852070)

Nitrogen fertilizer (ammonia) is made from natural gas through the Haber Bosch process. Phosphorus is produced in a relatively small number of huge mines and shipped around the world by a supply chain powered by oil

Haven't you seen the BP ads? (2, Funny)

BetterSense (1398915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853014)

He's not the only one that failed chemistry. BP is now selling gasoline that is "fortified with the power of Nitrogen". Seriously. I hear it has what plants crave.

Re:Haven't you seen the BP ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30853172)

It really works! I have my car to rigged to inject a gas mix of about 4 parts Nitrogen to each part Oxygen into the intake and it runs great!

People don't realise this... (0, Troll)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851356)

... but arable farming uses an unholy amount of petrochemicals. If the entire population of the world went vegan, we'd survive for about a decade.

Re:People don't realise this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30851586)

Funny how people had been able to grow fruits, vegetables and grains for the last few centuries without petrochemicals before.

Population size (2, Informative)

geek2k5 (882748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852176)

Population size makes a big difference. It wasn't until around 1800 that the population of the Earth was close to 1 billion. We're now adding that many people in less than 20 years but we are NOT adding enough land to take care of that increase.

Re:People don't realise this... (5, Funny)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851684)

[Citation Needed]
            \O/
              |
            / \

Re:People don't realise this... (4, Insightful)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852162)

You mean organic? Going vegan would probably let us double the world population considering the huge amount of grain and soy that's fed to animals.

Oil and natural gas won't last forever. The most optimistic estimates says 30 years before peak production rate, and we hit shortages on a growing planet. What's the plan to feed ourselves after that? Grow bigger and crash harder?

Re:People don't realise this... (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853188)

And other people don't realize that with simple crop rotation the same results as industrial fertilization can be achieved. In fact a US university has had a running crop rotation experiment going for over 100 years that has demonstrated yields equivalent to industrial farming.

You may not realize it but the only reason we have to use fertilizers is farmers don't rotate crops anymore. We could re-institute crop rotation with little impact to food production and eliminate the use of fertilizers.

Also (5, Funny)

killmenow (184444) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851372)

Christopher Robin was unavailable for comment.

Land values (2, Insightful)

PetiePooo (606423) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851380)

So, in other words, the algae ponds should be located close to the waste water treatment plants, which are located next to large population centers. And how much more does land cost in urban/suburban areas than in rural or even desert areas?

I think there's a production flaw here somewhere; I just can't put my finger on it.

Re:Land values (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851634)

Because everyone wants to live right next to their local waste processing plant.

Re:Land values (4, Interesting)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851678)

They could also put them downstream from chicken farms. I believe one of the biggest problems with the Chesapeake bay water shed is to much nitrogen in the water. If this could be used to produce fuel and clean up all the nitrogen run off from industrial agriculture it would be a double win.

Re:Land values (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852632)

Excess nitrogen comes from a wide variety of sources - here, the Hood Canal gets its excess nitrogen (IIRC) from failing septic systems and lawn fertilizer.

pooh-pooh? (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851530)

Well, that's one way to add nutrients back into the system.

One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (4, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851668)

Diesel, wholesale, is a couple bucks a gallon. Which means it is far FAR less than a dollar a pound.

A good algae is worth far MORE than that per pound as animal feed, dietary suppliments, etc. So why turn something that you can sell for $2/lb into something you can only sell for less than $.5/lb?

Re:One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851998)

Because it's "green." And we all want to be "green," even it's wasteful and actually uses more energy.

Re:One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852018)

volume.

Re:One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852338)

1. Animal feed is itself a wasteful use of resources (admittedly looking at solely cost-per-calorie).
2. The demand for feed and supplements is dwarfed by the demand for energy.

Longish-term, the demand for algae-energy (by snooty rich liberals willing to pay $2/lb) should increase production, thus lowering the price of algae. Or as another poster explained: volume.

Hmm... it's almost as though those snooty rich liberals are smarter than we give them credit for.

Re:One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (4, Interesting)

martinbogo (468553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852646)

Actually .. there are both yeasts and algae that literally -output- diesel as a byproduct of their metabolic processes. The researchers in this article focused on the conversion of algae to biofuels using heat and industrial processes, but this is not the technique currently in favor amongst the algae biofuel startups. Most have strains of yeasts (and algae) that were discovered around the world that have low yields of diesel fuel byproduct, and are working via rapid natural selection and genetic engineering techniques to increase the yield to commercially viable levels.

So, you get the valuable algae .. AND .. you get the diesel byproducts. It costs sunlight, and fertilizer plus some post processing and captures more carbon than is emitted by burning the fuel. Sounds pretty good to me.

Re:One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (4, Insightful)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852768)

Right now farm runoff containing nutrients is creating vast dead zones in places like the gulf of Mexico. If we could channel farm runoff through algae growing operations we might be able to help with the dead zone thing which would help the fishing industry.

Reducing corn subsidies for biofuel, which we should do anyway, could drop the value of feed algae because we wouldn't be be turning so much corn into ethanol (assuming you could replace algae-based feed with corn).

The cost of petroleum is not just the wholesale price + taxes + mark ups. The cost also comes in the form of dependence on foreign oil and the security problems that causes, maintaining a military that can help ensure our access that oil, and the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels.

If ultimately they can't make the economics of algae growing work then clearly they shouldn't do it but there are other factors than the wholesale price of these commodities.

Re:One other reason, Algae is more valuable! (2, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853182)

This is America. We already produce more food than we could ever need. You're right, we should probably continue to do so, and to export that food to the rest of the world in exchange for their energy resources. But at any point that becomes unprofitable, we need large-scale, clean, renewable primary energy sources to fall back on. Luckily the same infrastructure can be used for both.

Give the green monster a chance! (3, Insightful)

Dirty Fool (1611901) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851708)

Algae has great potential and should not be ignored; the process just needs to be refined. It has much greater yield than other biofuels crops, and can be more easily turned into fuel oil of various types than other sources. Ethanol should be avoided; because it is plain inefficient no matter how well you develop the process. Ethanol when burned produces 30% energy by weight than petroleum, and requires at least as much petroleum to produce as it displaces. Furthermore, it cannot be transported like petroleum-based fuels due to it propensity to mix with water. That means even more petroleum transporting this crap around in tanker trucks. Algae on waste water ponds and treatment systems not only produce fuel, but naturally help clean the water. Growth tanks can also be setup at industrial sites with CO2 emissions being piped into the tanks. There is a lot to do with these wondrous little plants; we just need to give them a chance. ..and John Hasler, look up the Haber Bosch Process. It’s called nitrogen fixing that requires lots of fossil fuels.

Re:Give the green monster a chance! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852968)

I'm sorry, but that little pipe dream of yours doesn't give the corn people any money, and is thus fatally flawed.

Re:Give the green monster a chance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30853244)

Ethanol when burned produces 30% energy by weight than petroleum, and requires at least as much petroleum to produce as it displaces.

Bollocks, the Irish were producing it long before petroleum was even invented.

That's interesting (3, Informative)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851746)

The company that I worked for commissioned a few studies on algae based biofuels. It turns out that the most efficient way of handling the material was to collect the algae in cakes and burn it in a reactor to make synthesis gas. Synthesis gas is a mixture of CO and Hydrogen. If you add steam, you could then perform a shift reaction to get methane or methanol. The main value of the process was not in producing fuel, or generating electricity. The main thing you could use it for was as a chemical feedstock. Methanol is a good starting point for many plastics.

(final comment, my spell checker wants to change biofuels to befouled)

Can't we all get along (1)

Yergle143 (848772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30851794)

I have a keen interest in algae biofuels and have been attending some of the communal events in San Diego. I just read this paper and it is pretty interesting...note leaders in algae biofuels since the 60's have the same reservations so this is not all "news". Nor are they deal breakers, there is no law of thermodynamics that says that some of these problems cannot be overcome. For example, one of the main energy "costs"(the paper says 40%) for algae is harvesting them. Grown in a pond, unless the algae flocculate they must be harvested by centrifugation -- very expensive. There may be ways to improve this part of the balance for example. Also note, intellectual honesty suggests that algae are not a cure all for CO2 emission, rather a possibly carbon neutral source of portable fuel, but with important long-term sustainability that our crops and fossil fuels do no offer. Finally some of what is propelling algae is the idea of energy independence for the good old USA. However to me this is very short sighted, as a long term part of the energy equation, many developing countries would be better sites for massive algae facilities. It would be good for the field if it would stop including the cost of land in CA and start considering the Baja.

EVERY biofuel is stupid! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852000)

Because it’s taking the space that is needed for OUR own food, the food for our animals, and the food for other animals.
It just takes away too much space for what it delivers.

We should primarily pursue direct sunlight/energy-storage conversions. Electrochemical (batteries), or chemical (fuel), or in another way. But based on the sun. Because that resource is, at least for a looong time, virtually endless. We could use more solar panels than there is space on earth. Simply by putting them on satellites or dead planets.

Re:EVERY biofuel is stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852270)

Well algae isn't particularly stupid as far as a potential biofuel source. And it also has other uses too. Algae can be used to remove nutrients from runoff/waste water that would otherwise end up in the oceans potentially causing algal blooms which aren't particularly good for the oceans.

Re:EVERY biofuel is stupid! (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852590)

Because that resource is, at least for a looong time, virtually endless.

Another way to put it:
Solar energy will literally last until the end of the Earth (and then some).

Re:EVERY biofuel is stupid! (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853240)

Most of our food doesn't need space. It needs fertilizer.

I can replace? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852106)

now I can replace my bio-diesel processing plant in my garage with a bunch of algae eating researchers?

How about reusing the leftover N and P? (1)

thue (121682) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852240)

How about reusing the N and P from the harvested algae? We only want the C-H chains for fuel, so it might be possible to separate the P and N from the harvested algea, and reuse it for algae fertilizer.

Re:How about reusing the leftover N and P? (2, Informative)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853012)

To make fertilizer, you want fixed N (that is, N that is connected to carbon). Doing that is a big part of the energy cost in the fertilizer.
(this doesn't mean you can't come up with an algae good at fixing N; but there's plenty of N around anyway, N2 is most of our atmosphere. Such would be a good starting point for using algae to make fertilizer. My point is what we're really trying to get out of the algae is energy, which making fertilizer also requires).

Lucky it's not made from shit (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852310)

Lucky it's not made from shit, or they'd have to pooh-pooh poo-poo based biofuel.

Diesel, ftw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30852388)

Diesel fuel can be made from a huge variety of sources. Algae fed on shit, or the left over grease from your local restaurants, or even your lawn clippings. We could produce diesel from garbage turning all that piled up waste into something useful. Obviously some methods of production are more efficient than others, but the point is that it can be done. Diesel fuel isn't difficult to make and it's a renewable resource. It's cheapest for oil refineries to produce from crude oil right now, but unlike gasoline it can be produced from other sources efficiently enough to be economically useful.
Diesel engines inherently are more efficient than gasoline engines. Mile for mile a diesel car can deliver the same performance as a gasoline engine while getting significantly better mpg.
I get 45 to 50 miles per gallon without even trying.
Until this decade one of the major problems with diesel engines is the perception that they were "dirty" compared to a gasoline engine. You could see the exhaust easier, so despite the fact that diesels put out less greenhouse gases than gasoline engines they appeared to be "bad for the environment". Diesel is around 50% of the car market in the EU so they do a lot of R&D, the days of "dirty diesel" are long gone.
The environmental damage of a Prius or any other hyrbid or electric vehicle available compared to that of a modern diesel car is no contest. In every way, the diesel car wins by a land slide.
Why the fuck don't we have more diesel cars available in the US?!?
 

Pond vs Bioreactor (5, Interesting)

geek2k5 (882748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852430)

The article seems to be focusing on pond based algae biofuels as opposed to the bioreactor based ones that have been getting recent media attention.

They do mention the bioreactor based algae biofuels, but claim that the photo bioreactors are unlikely to scale efficiently and that unlined ponds are the most reasonable configuration. Of course, the paper they are using for this claim dates back to 1996. They really need to update their economic analysis reference.

Pooh-Pooh? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852468)

It's not that the researchers didn't like the idea of algae biofuel, they were just preoccupied with their plan for a helium lifter system to help them get hunny for their rumbly tummies...

Salt Water Biofuel (4, Informative)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30852886)

I notice a few people commenting on using fresh water. Well according to CSIRO (Australia) you can happily use salt water [biofuelsdigest.com] There is even a prototype plant that has been commissioned [abc.net.au] to look at making this more cost effective.

Rehash (2, Informative)

tngaijin (997389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853010)

This sounds like the University of Virgina is just regurgitating information published by Michael Briggs of the University of New Hampshire. http://www.energybulletin.net/node/2364 [energybulletin.net] This isn't really a new idea nor a new recommendation. It is sad that it is at least 6 years old and it is being treated as new information though.

Uh, (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30853262)

"essential algae nutrients.... come from petroleum."

FAIL

This should be tagged 'dontgetit'

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