TAG: Biofuels

Polluting The Seas

biofouling-on-boat-hull

If you have ever walked by a sea harbour, you may have noticed a few organisms attached to a docked large ship by the waterline. These attachments may be telling of a worse situation that lies beneath the water than the naked eye can sea. These attachments consist of micro-organism, plants, algae, molluscs and other marine organisms, and such attachment is known as biofouling. Biofouling is not a new phenomenon, it can occur on all marine vessels if appropriate anti- fouling measures are not taken. Environmental scientists have long stated that biofouling provides transportation of non-indigenous species of aquatic plant… read more

Energy from Algae

Algae Energy

An increasingly energy thirsty world craves transportation fuels, lucrative oils to run factories, and energy to supply the astounding amount of electronic devices that are proliferating. There is a great need for a new sustainable energy resource.  Algae can contain high levels of oils, carbohydrates, sugars and proteins, and can be used to produce renewable fuel, animal feed, and human food. Algae is used to run electricity to homes in Arizona and shows great possibility for a future in biodiesel. Heterotrophic microalgae are grown in large fermenters using sugar or starch, similar to the corn ethanol fermentation already providing almost 10… read more

Harnessing Waste to Generate Renewables

sewer_drainage

Despite the widespread notion that we have inadequate means to support our energy consumption, the US actually has enough from wind, solar, and tidal & wave to produce a total of approximately 6,987 terawatts of power per year. That’s far beyond the 3.9 terawatts the country currently uses. However, much of this prospective energy goes unharvested. Still, we are coming closer to attaining free energy, and the move to renewable energy has opened up a lot of room for experimentation and discovery. Beyond utilizing sources that harbor seemingly infinite promise, we are finding ways to deplete existing waste by converting… read more

Biofuel to Power 1/3 of Cars in Sweden by 2030

Natural forests

As part of an investigation into how the country of Sweden can wean their fuel needs for transportation away from fossil fuels, a study found that it would be possible to power one out of every three cars by biofuel made within the country. Researchers submitted a study, The Production of Today’s and Future Sustainable Biofuels, to the government investigation outlining their discovery that the country could increase its biofuel production to as much as 25-35 terawatt hours (TWh) annually, using mainly the residue left from forestry projects or agricultural waste. The current biofuel production level in Sweden has been… read more

Electrofuels Bacteria Eat Electrons, Poop Gasoline

Electrofuels Bacteria Eat Electrons, Poop Gasoline

A new method of producing liquid fuels for transportation uses microbes that feed on carbon dioxide and electricity to produce a “drop-in” gasoline substitute. As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Electrofuels program, researchers have developed a method for using these microorganisms to create transportation fuels that could be over 10 times more efficient than the prevailing methods of biofuel production. “Electrofuels bypass photosynthesis altogether by utilizing microorganisms that are self-reliant and don’t need solar energy to grow or produce biofuels. These microorganisms can directly use energy from electricity and chemical compounds like hydrogen… read more

Clever Uses for Coffee

Clever Uses for Coffee Grounds

Science and necessity have long looked to available resources for coming up with needed solutions. Stretching out everyday items and repurposing them can be helpful around the house as well as for the planet. Reusing coffee grounds is one interesting notion that has led to developing this ordinary essential for some into a wide range of other uses. From simple around the house chores to the advanced, cups of coffee are capable of doing more than perking people up. Leftover coffee grounds are perfect for hiding scratches and small dents in dark wood furniture. They can also be used outdoors… read more

United Airlines to Purchase Advanced Biofuel for L.A. Hub

Air pollution

A historic moment in greener aviation was recently made, with the agreement by United Airlines to purchase biofuel on a commercial scale, at a cost-competitive rate. United Airlines completed a purchase agreement with biofuels producer AltAir Fuels to take delivery of 15 million gallons of its advanced biofuel over the next few years. The fuel, said to be lower-carbon than traditional petroleum fuels, will be used for flights from United’s Los Angeles hub. To produce all of that biofuel, AltAir Fuels is retrofitting a section of a petroleum refinery near LA, containing idled refining equipment, into an advanced biofuel refinery… read more

NASA’s Algae Cultivators Could Clean Wastewater, Produce Fuel

omega_system

A small-scale version of an algae cultivation system developed by NASA may pave the way for larger systems that could not only clean up wastewater, but also produce biomass for fuels and feed. The Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae, or OMEGA system, was originally developed in seawater tanks at a California Fish and Game lab, and most recently scaled up to 450 gallon freshwater system now in use at a wastewater treatment plant in San Francisco. Growing algae in these photobioreactors could be a solution to a number of environmental issues, from reducing land use for biofuel production to… read more

Engineered Algae Could Produce Nanocellulose

Kombucha

One type of ‘wonder material’, nanocellulose, could be produced inexpensively and abundantly by genetically engineered algae, according to reports from the annual American Chemical Society meeting. Nanocellulose-based materials have a lot of potential applications, from biofuels to armor to wound dressings, and their great strength-to-weight ratio means that they can be made to be stiffer than Kevlar and stronger than steel. Genes from the family of bacteria that produce vinegar and Kombucha tea are behind the research that could turn algae into “solar-powered factories” for producing nanocellulose, and researchers say they are at an advanced stage in their work. “If… read more

Genetically Modified Organism Could Turn CO2 into Fuel

Michael Adams

We’re concerned, and rightly so, about the continued high levels of CO2 emissions that get released into our atmosphere, but if a recent discovery pans out, those same concentrations of CO2 could be turned directly into fuels. Researchers at the University of Georgia have found a way to take some of the carbon dioxide that is trapped in our atmosphere and turn them into useful products, such as biofuels, with the help of a genetically modified microorganism. “We can take carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and turn it into useful products like fuels and chemicals without having to go… read more