Quote: ALICANTE, Spain (AFP) – In a forest of tubes eight metres high in eastern Spain scientists hope they have found the fuel of tomorrow: bio-oil produced with algae mixed with carbon dioxide from a factory.
Almost 400 of the green tubes, filled with millions of microscopic algae, cover a plain near the city of Alicante, next to a cement works from which the C02 is captured and transported via a pipeline to the "blue petroleum" factory.
"In a unit that covers 50 square kilometres, which is not something enormous, in barren regions of southern Spain, we could produce about 1.25 million barrels per day," or almost as much as the daily export of oil from Iraq, he said.
US oil giant ExxonMobil plans to invest up to $600 million in research on oil produced from algae.
Companies, in particular those in the aeronautic sector, have shown keen interest in this research, hoping to find a replacement for classic oil.
This is pretty incredible. An actual replacement for oil that is, in fact, oil. Just derived from an alternative source. No wonder EXXON is interested, it basically would keep the oil industry intact, just with new, artificial oil fields that use Carbon Dioxide as their source. this means a reduction in expensive exploration for oil reserves underground. All investments could be made at the surface, and it also solves one other problem: The issue of "cap and trade".
If this becomes a widespread thing, CO2 emmissions would actually be recycled to produce the oil we need. Although I still feel that the output of CO2 would vastly exceed the amount that is reinvested for oil, so I'm still in favor of emissions reductions, but the more we can find uses for the CO2 that we emit, the better it is for all of us. Plus, no more dependence on foreign oil.
As mentioned above, 1.25 million barrels of oil a day could be produced by one oil field alone. Get a few of these put in place in the united states and our dependence on foreign oil becomes a thing of the past.
Aloha717200 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4479 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2090 times:
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1): Does the process absorb more CO2 than it ultimately produces?
That depends. If you're talking about the manufacturing process alone, then I would say that yes, it does absorb more than it produced simply because if it didn't, you could harness the emissions of the refinery alone and that would be sufficient to keep the process sustained. The fact that they have to pull CO2 from outside sources says that the system produces less CO2 than it takes in.
If you're talking overall, well, then you have to consider that Blue Petroleum would allow the continued use of gas-powered machinery rather than the current movement to go electric. As a result, our CO2 emissions as a nation would not see a sharp decline. CO2 would be harvested for refining, but weigh that against millions of vehicles using gas and you'll find the harvested CO2 makes only a dent. However, if we can continue to develop more technology that harnesses CO2 as a source of energy then we remove the cap and trade problem, and instead can recycle the CO2 we currently waste into the atmosphere. So i support more projects of this type.
I believe it would be cheaper. Consider that you would not have to drill for oil, you would not have to construct rigs in the gulf, you would not be subject to OPEC's pricing, you would not be subject to the costs of importing that oil, you don't need to hire a geologist to find your reserves, etc etc.
I think it would carry a steep upfront cost to switch existing technology over to the new technology, but after that it would become much cheaper. Also consider that this is a completely renewable resource. It means an indefinite supply of oil, and what's the rule of supply and demand?
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 1): When do they think it'll go from the experimental stage to being implemented all around the world?
In the article, they state it'll be 5-10 years before this can be mass produced. I expect then, in 15-20 years, you'll see one of these in the USA. 30 years and it'll be global.
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19510 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2043 times:
Quoting Aloha717200 (Reply 2):
If you're talking overall, well, then you have to consider that Blue Petroleum would allow the continued use of gas-powered machinery rather than the current movement to go electric. As a result, our CO2 emissions as a nation would not see a sharp decline. CO2 would be harvested for refining, but weigh that against millions of vehicles using gas and you'll find the harvested CO2 makes only a dent.
Given that all carbon in plant life comes from CO2, then 100% of emitted CO2 from the combustion of these fuels will be offset by the production.
The issue is whether the net energy gain is greater than the energy cost. For corn, this is not the case. It takes more energy to grow, harvest, and extract the ethanol than there is in the ethanol itself. But for algae biofuels, this is not the case.
Fly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 1960 times:
There's plenty of other companies that have been researching this exact same thing for quite some time now. But everything seems to point to algae being the main source for petroleum in the near future.
However I'm willing to bet money that in 30 years we'll have some idiotic global freezing scandal just because the algae factories are sucking up too much CO2
okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2999 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1903 times:
Quoting Acheron (Reply 4): I wonder what's the catch. Sounds to good to be true.
The catch is the way the article is written. $600 million investing in R & D giving the idea that is all that is needed to turn 25 square kilometers into production of 1.25 million bbl per day.
There is progress in this area (algae) of research all over the world. The trick is finding the correct genetically modified algae (as in patented) to make this process fast and economical. This is one of the most promising sources of energy to come down the pike so to speak in which with little or no changes on the consumer/end user side with high energy content per pound as in diesel or jet fuel and easily used with current infrastructure.
PPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 40
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 1869 times:
While algae sounds promising, most of the literature you read online says there's still a 10-year R&D road ahead for economic viability. I hope these companies are successful, but I guess we're gonna have to wait and see.
On a positive note, there are some big names funding this research.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
Oh. My. God.
Are you kidding me? OPEC may not exist anymore as it will be a spent force... but companies like Exxon will charge as much possibly even more... "to recover their R&D costs". This is an oligopoly's perfect scenario.... quite literally, those who control this production will literally control the world. These guys already operate on the verge of criminality in their price fixing, collusion, coercion and questionable practices in third world countries like Nigeria.
Just look at the pharmaceutical companies and the gouging there. You ain't seen nothin' yet.
No, my error. Sorry about that. If you click the wrong "Selected Text Quoted" button, the text gets quoted but it gets attributed to that wrong person. How I managed to scroll waaaaay to the top to click your entry, I have no idea.