Michigan Engineering researchers can “pressure-cook” algae for as little as a minute and transform an unprecedented 65 percent of the green slime into biocrude… Once producing biofuel from algae is economical, researchers estimate that an area the size of New Mexico could provide enough oil to match current U.S. petroleum consumption.
Youtube text: Converting algae to biofuel could be a sustainable solution to the need for liquid fuel in the United States, according to U-M researchers. Scientists in the chemical engineering department are working to create an effective method for converting the plant, which can be harvested continuously and grown in any water condition. About the professor Phil Savage is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan. His research focus is on energy production from renewable resources, developing novel processes for converting biomass hydrogen, methane, and liquid transportation fuels.
Researchers at the University of Michigan have been experimenting with cooking green marine micro-algae and found that one minute is all it took to get 65% of their source material transformed into biocrude. They also used a wet algae, rather than having to dry it in the manner that is used in the more conventional process.
Youtube text: Photovoltaics, otherwise known as solar cells, are an important source of energy around the world, converting solar radiation into electricity which we use every day to power our lights, computers, and appliances. But even the most advanced solar cells can only use a fraction of the sun’s energy. What if we could use the unused solar energy to also produce fuel? Matt Shaner, a graduate student in the Lewis Research group at Caltech, shows us a demo of an intriguing new technique in the production of hydrogen, a promising alternative fuel. Plants convert the sun’s energy into sugar through photosynthesis. In this process, hydrogen is produced when the sun’s rays hit a piece of silicon, a material often found in photovoltaic cells (produced by the American Chemical Society).
Youtube text: As America takes steps to improve our energy security, home-grown fuel sources are more important that ever. One of the fuel sources of the future is algae, small aquatic organisms that convert sunlight into energy and store it in the form of oil. Scientists and engineers at the Energy Department and its national laboratories are researching the best strains of algae and developing the most efficient farming practices. This edition of Energy 101 shows how oil is extracted from algae and refined into sustainable biofuels.
For more information on biofuels visit http://www.eere.energy.gov.
Michigan State University researchers came up with a biofuel rocess that produces 20 times more energy than existing methods. If these promises materialize the breakthrough could be best described as epic. In essence microbes produce biofuel and hydrogen, based on agricultural waste feedstock.
This post presents a rather unknown potential food and biomass energy paradigm, depending on newly domesticated woody plants for primary food production, equal to industrial agriculture. These crops capture far more solar input than row-crops can; and always also produce wood; some of which will always be available for energy purposes… Make no mistake, we’re talking about a full paradigm shift; potentially achieving primary world food production from woody crop plants… We breed 3 genera of woody plants, hazelnuts (Corylus), chestnuts (Castanea), and hickory-pecan (Carya)… Bottom line: long term inputs are dramatically smaller than for standard agriculture, and potential solar energy capture is very much greater; in the range of 3X more than single crop maize… Woody agriculture can produce food; on the same scale as modern agriculture. But because of the 3X energy capture aspect the same crop can simultaneously produce a biomass fuel component.