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Forget Fuel, Algae Could Help Feed the World

Forbes -- Five years ago, algae was the “it” feedstock in the biofuel realm. The idea of taking an organism that feeds off of CO2 and using it to create fuel was as intoxicating to research scientists as it was to venture capitalists. Financing was available to fund the placement of extremely expensive photobioreactors next to power plants. Decades-old research from the National Renewable Energy Lab proved that some strains of algae could effectively be used to create high-grade fuels. Startup CEOs talked of being able to produce algae-based biofuels cheaply and at a large scale within the three to five years.

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Submitted May 07, 2012 By: eromitlab
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Forget Fuel, Algae Could Help Feed the World Back to Topics
REPLIES (newest first) Post a Reply
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eric2theem
Sophomore Author Riverside

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:17:49 PM

the first humans fed off of spirulina whats your point!
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blazerbob91
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:15:54 PM

Make it happen.
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suzmar
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:15:06 PM

We need to quit trying to use sources of food for energy. We have plentiful natural gas and it is proven and cheap.
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koikaze
Veteran Author Sacramento

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:12:25 PM

any new alternate fuel will do
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serrog
Champion Author Nova Scotia

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:10:38 PM

Ho Hum
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TWS658
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:10:22 PM

Ok.
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CAD69
Champion Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:09:19 PM

Whatever!
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Hewy67
Sophomore Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:05:05 PM

soylent green
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GassipperMN
Rookie Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:04:34 PM

I think this process should focus on consuming waste and sequestering CO2, if a by-product of this is usable bio-fuel then even better.
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us4usa
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 8:02:08 PM

So could corn but we burn it for fuel... Fishing for tax dollars???
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tucker355
Champion Author Manitoba

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:56:44 PM

ok?
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edlrph
Veteran Author Ohio

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:55:54 PM

algae wtf batman!
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knot2swift
Champion Author Calgary

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:53:26 PM

Algae could cure us of the idiot obsession to rid the world of plant food (CO2) by making this simple plant grow a lot more.

Starve a tree to feed pond scum. It's all good but how many billions to we spend on this scheme?
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djgunrunner
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:52:09 PM

While all the time and money is wasted on something that has a slim or little chance of working we are paying ultra high prices for gasoline. We are waiting on a dream that has a little chance of coming through. We could have used some of the money for infrastructure and converting gasoline vehicles to bi-fuel vehicles and the price of gas would have come down the pollutions would have come down and the BS would have come down. This is one of the dumb ideas that obama was throwing out for the replacement of gasoline. He did not consider the fact that it is a very long way out if it ever comes through and in the mean time we are getting gouged on the price of fuel. It just sounded good so he used it. Natural Gas support would have made a difference, just how big we will have to wait and see until obama quits blocking it or is gone.
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n3tbc
Veteran Author Wilmington

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:47:26 PM

It will be interesting to see due to the last article claiming the sheer expanse of land needed to grow enough algae in order to make it profitable would not be practical. As more more research is put into this topic the amount of land is decreasing and the yield is increasing. It will be interesting to see how far technology can take this.
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abcdMA
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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:47:12 PM

how about crabgrass?
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dong1971
All-Star Author Vancouver

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:46:05 PM

really?
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DEG
Champion Author Las Vegas

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:42:09 PM

If algae can create fuel and other algae can create food; then why not do both?
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Beaveronparade
Champion Author Hartford

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:42:06 PM

Algae is said to be a great source of some nutrients. I actually take a supplement that contains "Blue Green Algae". It works great for me so you never know.
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fuelsaverMN
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:37:53 PM

If it happens will it work.
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speedys
Champion Author Utah

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:32:11 PM

I just can't see it happening.
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Ray_10589
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:28:04 PM

not keen on this idea ....
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knutzAL
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:25:50 PM

good for crap!
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Tucker16
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:24:08 PM

Who's gonna want to eat algae?
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NemoIL
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:23:49 PM

Perhaps we should call it soylent green.
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ericbcire
Champion Author Nevada

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:23:12 PM

Don't use tax $$$.
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vroomputtputt
Veteran Author Oregon

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:21:46 PM

Sure
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1Casey
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:19:20 PM

Keep moving forward with more research and development.
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Eugenian
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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:17:31 PM

Looks promising.
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gmcgas
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:17:06 PM

when the government starts regulations, it won't be cheap.
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itsjustme719
Champion Author Hamilton

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:14:49 PM

Sounds good. But cheap renewable resources are needed.
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jb107
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:13:50 PM

This is good. Remind me again when it happens.
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Bonito
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:13:23 PM

SO WOULD CORN IF WE WOULD QUIT BURNING IT IN OUR GAS!
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NotmeuQc
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:09:32 PM

Keep up the good work. Great for fuel, but I'm not sure I would not want to eat it, but then...............
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IUVidiot
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:09:22 PM

ok
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iamforiu
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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:06:30 PM

hummmm
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windows7isfast
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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:06:03 PM

wow
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Nguyenvan
Rookie Author San Diego

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 7:02:51 PM

true
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lone
Rookie Author Arizona

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:59:01 PM

"Soylent Green" ... anyone ?
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my2002m
Champion Author Tulsa

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:57:04 PM

Another lab experiment.
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paulydel
Champion Author Delaware

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:56:52 PM

Anyone for an algae salad?
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OKRifle
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:49:25 PM

If it is true, then get to it!
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cisson
All-Star Author Sarasota

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:47:53 PM

agree
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GoGoGoodyear
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:45:59 PM


The article right next to this one on Forbes, titled "The Achilles' Heel Of Algal Biofuels: Peak Phosphate" describes a different scenario, where the world's problem is that we don't have enough phosphate mined out of the ground to both grow food crops and grow algae for either food or fuel. Phosphate is used to make fertilizer, and the article claims the world will reach "peak phosphate" in about 18 years or around 2030 if consumption continues as expected.

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97beater
Veteran Author Madison

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:44:49 PM

cool
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LCSTEELERBOB
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:44:21 PM

food and gas both good ideas
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bvrbill
Champion Author Eugene

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:43:16 PM

This technology sounds more promising than solar.
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aggietim
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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:42:44 PM

ok
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herbiepopnecker
Champion Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:38:52 PM

Isn't my Big Mac already made from that? Tastes like it....
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iceman11
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:33:47 PM

Great
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jdc17327
Champion Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:33:32 PM

okay...whatever works the best...there should be enough of that stuff for everything...I have met a lot of slimy FUNGI!!!
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whaboush
Champion Author Richmond

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Message Posted: May 7, 2012 6:31:43 PM

Yeah - we've heard this...
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