On a lighter note from the endless stream of news from the oil markets, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory say they have developed a process to convert algae to oil. Although nature does this naturally over millions of years, the scientists reckon they can reduce the process down to a single hour.
VOA News reports that in the process, a slurry of wet algae with the consistency of pea soup is pumped into the front end of a chemical reactor. Once the system is up and running, out comes crude oil in less than an hour, along with water and a by-product stream of material containing phosphorus that can be recycled to grow more algae.
While algae has long been considered a potential source of biofuel and several companies have produced algae-based fuels on a research scale, the fuel is projected to be expensive. PNNL’s technology harnesses algae’s energy potential efficiently and incorporates a number of methods to reduce the cost of producing algae fuel.
Read the rest about this fascinating discovery at: http://www.voanews.com/content/algae-to-crude-oil-in-under-an-hour/1813202.html
- Algae Converted to Crude Oil in Under an Hour (voanews.com)
- Could cars soon run on ALGAE? Scientists convert plant into crude oil in less than an hour (thisismoney.co.uk)
- Oil From Algae In Minutes, It Takes Nature Millions Of Years (b4inmain.wordpress.com)