Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Archive for the tag “biofuel”

Turning Algae Into Fuel In One Minute

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.


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Artificial Photosynthesis

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).


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Epic Ethanol Breakthrough?

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.


Woody Agriculture

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.


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Biogasanlage Willingshausen-Ransbach

German language vide describing a biogas installation functioning for more than a year.

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