If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Gizmodo)   Engineers at DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory devise way to turn algae into crude oil in less than an hour. That oil can be refined into gasoline that can run engines   (gizmodo.com) divider line 73
    More: Interesting, national laboratory, earthlings  
•       •       •

2799 clicks; posted to Video » on 18 Dec 2013 at 6:16 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



73 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-12-18 03:43:40 PM  
Plus the company I'm invested it can make algae underground in the dark.
 
2013-12-18 03:51:31 PM  
This is bad news for....Saudi Arabia
 
2013-12-18 03:53:25 PM  
I doubt this will be allowed to be used.
 
2013-12-18 04:23:26 PM  
The only thing this solves is "peak oil" and likely some environmental impact.  All the rest of the problems of processing and consuming oil still exist.
 
2013-12-18 04:34:56 PM  

obenchainr: The only thing this solves is "peak oil" and likely some environmental impact.  All the rest of the problems of processing and consuming oil still exist.


It does potentially reduce one of the big problems with carbon emissions, as long as we leave all the fossil carbon in the ground and replace it with algae oil, and don't use this as an excuse to just burn more.
 
2013-12-18 04:45:46 PM  

FloydA: don't use this as an excuse to just burn more.


...aaaannnd that sound you just heard was a million Americans rushing down to buy cars that get 10 MPG.
 
2013-12-18 05:06:02 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: FloydA: don't use this as an excuse to just burn more.

...aaaannnd that sound you just heard was a million Americans rushing down to buy cars that get 10 MPG.


Sadly, you're probably right.  We do have a tendency to piss in our own punch.
 
2013-12-18 05:44:00 PM  
Next week's news headling.

Engineers at DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory all die in strange autoerotic asphyxiation orgy accident police investigation reveals.
 
2013-12-18 05:55:32 PM  
Isn't the DOE one of those useless government agencies that we should get rid of?
 
2013-12-18 06:10:40 PM  

dj_bigbird: This is bad news for....Saudi Arabia


That's probably the best part.
 
2013-12-18 06:28:02 PM  
I just want to know what happens when it hits the anus.
 
2013-12-18 06:32:27 PM  
There are literally hundreds of these feelgood stories on the internet about algae.  Hopefully, this is different, but I did not hear any mention about how economical this process was from a cost and energy standpoint.  Until they are able to provide specifics I'll remain a skeptical about these stories.
 
2013-12-18 06:39:16 PM  
Hello, baby!  What did you say you're name was again?  Thermal Depolymerization?  That sounds so sexy!
 
2013-12-18 06:41:34 PM  
It's always hilarious to see the conspiracy-theory folks jump in with "the oil companies will stop this," which just goes to show how little people know about the "oil" companies.

They're not oil companies, by the way. They're energy companies. They make money by moving energy resources around. They don't give a rat's ass where the product originates.

Which means that when you buy that algae-derived gasoline, it's going to be shipped from the production facility to the refinery. Which will be owned and operated by the big energy companies.

After it's refined, it will be shipped to your local gas station in trucks that can handle hazardous chemicals. Which are owned by companies that have expertise in shipping those chemicals. And that's not going to be Uncle Bob's Organic Biofuel, Inc.

It will be Exxon, and BP, and the rest. And they won't give one single damn that it was produced in a giant pond full of algae instead of being pumped out of the ground.

On top of that, they'll happily double their profit margin by selling you a giant soft drink when you buy that fuel. Yes, literally.
 
2013-12-18 06:43:59 PM  

HeadLever: There are literally hundreds of these feelgood stories on the internet about algae.  Hopefully, this is different, but I did not hear any mention about how economical this process was from a cost and energy standpoint.  Until they are able to provide specifics I'll remain a skeptical about these stories.



Hydrothermal liquefaction is more efficient than other algae bio-crude processing, because it eliminates the need to dry the algae before processing.

This is one important piece of the puzzle, but how algae is grown and how the bio-crude is converted into fuel will also impact the cost. These are all things scientists and industry will need to consider to make the process more economical.

Several companies today do have vast algae farms just for this purpose, and research like this is improving the technology so that it can be efficient and one day compete with regular gas and diesel. For an in-depth analysis of the cost of producing fuel from algae, check out  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2013.07.003.
 
2013-12-18 06:59:50 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: FloydA: don't use this as an excuse to just burn more.

...aaaannnd that sound you just heard was a million Americans rushing down to buy cars that get 10 GPM.


Fixed.
 
2013-12-18 07:18:14 PM  
YEEEEEEEEE-HAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!

www.thetruthaboutcars.com
 
2013-12-18 07:20:01 PM  

mrshowrules: Plus the company I'm invested it can make algae underground in the dark.


should get interesting when Moema comes online
 
2013-12-18 07:40:53 PM  

Ghastly: Next week's news headling.

Engineers at DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory all die in strange autoerotic asphyxiation orgy accident police investigation reveals.


Forgot to mention they were all driving a porche, the same porche.
 
2013-12-18 08:15:39 PM  
What's the cost per gallon?
 
2013-12-18 08:29:05 PM  

nyseattitude: What's the cost per gallon?


Falling, apparently.
 
2013-12-18 08:33:53 PM  
Renewable fossil fuel. Huh.


Is that something that the environment needs right now?
 
2013-12-18 08:45:01 PM  

Ghastly: Next week's news headline...

Engineers at DOE Pacific Northwest National Laboratory all die in strange autoerotic asphyxiation orgy accident police investigation reveals.


THIS.
 
2013-12-18 08:53:46 PM  

Ishkur: Renewable fossil fuel. Huh.


Is that something that the environment needs right now?


Yes.
 
2013-12-18 09:00:27 PM  

revrendjim: Isn't the DOE one of those useless government agencies that we should get rid of?


Yep.

"As millions of Americans groaned at the rising cost of a gallon of gasoline, the president took algae as a substitute for gas. Algae as a substitute for gas," McConnell said in apparent disbelief.
Link
 
2013-12-18 09:12:04 PM  

impaler: revrendjim: Isn't the DOE one of those useless government agencies that we should get rid of?

Yep.

"As millions of Americans groaned at the rising cost of a gallon of gasoline, the president took algae as a substitute for gas. Algae as a substitute for gas," McConnell said in apparent disbelief.
Link


I hate these anti-scientific idiots.

A troubled look crossed her face. "And sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good, things like ..." she grinned, shaking her head side to side, her voice rising to a facetious pitch "... fruit fly research in Paris, France." Feeling in tune with the guys in her audience, she added, "I kid you not."
 
2013-12-18 09:28:47 PM  

Ishkur: Renewable fossil fuel. Huh.


Is that something that the environment needs right now?


We can just start putting CFCs back in AquaNet and making real Freon again. The holes in the ozone layer will let out all the CO2.

Science.
 
2013-12-18 09:32:17 PM  

tarkhuna: HeadLever: There are literally hundreds of these feelgood stories on the internet about algae.  Hopefully, this is different, but I did not hear any mention about how economical this process was from a cost and energy standpoint.  Until they are able to provide specifics I'll remain a skeptical about these stories.


Hydrothermal liquefaction is more efficient than other algae bio-crude processing, because it eliminates the need to dry the algae before processing.

This is one important piece of the puzzle, but how algae is grown and how the bio-crude is converted into fuel will also impact the cost. These are all things scientists and industry will need to consider to make the process more economical.

Several companies today do have vast algae farms just for this purpose, and research like this is improving the technology so that it can be efficient and one day compete with regular gas and diesel. For an in-depth analysis of the cost of producing fuel from algae, check out  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2013.07.003.


I heard that some of the algae companies in the UCSD biotech cluster are thinking of renting out parts of the Salton Sea, which is a nasty manmade piss-hole anyway.

Win-Win, especially if we can use it for polymer feedstock, not just as fuel.
 
2013-12-18 09:42:05 PM  
I don't think you can call it "fossil fuel" if you make it from algae.  I also think that there is some debate as to whether all the fuel we've been using for decades came from fossils.
 
2013-12-18 10:36:55 PM  

impaler: revrendjim: Isn't the DOE one of those useless government agencies that we should get rid of?

Yep.

"As millions of Americans groaned at the rising cost of a gallon of gasoline, the president took algae as a substitute for gas. Algae as a substitute for gas," McConnell said in apparent disbelief.
Link


Mitch McConnell should be removed from office for his repeated efforts to impede the progress of humanity as a whole.  F*cking nitwit.
 
2013-12-18 10:42:21 PM  

bubbadave1056: I don't think you can call it "fossil fuel" if you make it from algae.  I also think that there is some debate as to whether all the fuel we've been using for decades came from fossils.


Uhh, all crude oil is made primarily from bacteria and algae and some plants.  The remnants of 3 billion years worth of life dying and settling into the sediment before animals ever came along.
 
2013-12-18 10:46:33 PM  

LrdPhoenix: Uhh, all crude oil is made primarily from bacteria and algae and some plants. The remnants of 3 billion years worth of life dying and settling into the sediment before animals ever came along.


If I'm not mistaken, oil comes from animals. Coal comes from plants. Not sure which algae would qualify for, however.
 
2013-12-18 10:54:24 PM  
LrdPhoenix:
Uhh, all crude oil is made primarily from bacteria and algae and some plants. The remnants of 3 billion years worth of life dying and settling into the sediment before animals ever came along.

Some of it is, but it's looking more and more like a lot of it was formed from chemicals like methane that were trapped in the Earth when the planet was formed. A few billion years of heat and pressure, and you get all sorts of interesting petrochemicals - and, apparently, a biosphere that feeds off of it.
 
2013-12-18 10:56:37 PM  

Ishkur: If I'm not mistaken, oil comes from animals.


Is plankton an animal?
 
2013-12-18 11:03:31 PM  

impaler: Ishkur: If I'm not mistaken, oil comes from animals.

Is plankton an animal?


Some are, some aren't.  Technically, plankton are anything that live in the water but can't actually swim and have to go with the flow, including algae and such.
 
2013-12-18 11:04:44 PM  

Ishkur: LrdPhoenix: Uhh, all crude oil is made primarily from bacteria and algae and some plants. The remnants of 3 billion years worth of life dying and settling into the sediment before animals ever came along.

If I'm not mistaken, oil comes from animals. Coal comes from plants. Not sure which algae would qualify for, however.


Other way around.  Coal comes mostly from trees and plants, buried underground in some disaster or another like a landslide, flood, mudslide, etc.  Algae are usually considered to be plants.
 
2013-12-18 11:05:24 PM  

LrdPhoenix: Ishkur: LrdPhoenix: Uhh, all crude oil is made primarily from bacteria and algae and some plants. The remnants of 3 billion years worth of life dying and settling into the sediment before animals ever came along.

If I'm not mistaken, oil comes from animals. Coal comes from plants. Not sure which algae would qualify for, however.

Other way around.  Coal comes mostly from trees and plants, buried underground in some disaster or another like a landslide, flood, mudslide, etc.  Algae are usually considered to be plants.


Oh wait, not the other way around, but oil comes from microorganisms usually, coal from macroorganisms.
 
2013-12-18 11:08:38 PM  

impaler: Is plankton an animal?


Plankton doesn't refer to any specific species, it's just a handy classification for oceanic living things that do not technically swim but drift through currents. Some are animals, some are plants, some are protists and single-celled eukaryotes and archaeas and bacterium. Plankton is made up of a whole bunch of junk, and very tasty to larger predators. It's like the gumbo soup of the ocean.
 
2013-12-18 11:11:41 PM  

tarkhuna: For an in-depth analysis of the cost of producing fuel from algae, check out  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.algal.2013.07.003.


That was a great report.  Thanks.
 
2013-12-18 11:36:44 PM  
I was in this for awhile. Lots of government funding to produce fuel at $18 a gallon, and it is all about to be displaced by a fermentation process using another organic that produces 3x more oil than algae and is easier to convert to biodiesel.
These guys will be left holding a big pile of green debt.
 
2013-12-18 11:42:57 PM  
It took them less than an hour to devise that? That's impressive.
 
2013-12-18 11:43:36 PM  

mrbach:  it is all about to be displaced by a fermentation process using another organic that produces 3x more oil than algae and is easier to convert to biodiesel.


link?
 
2013-12-18 11:51:56 PM  

LrdPhoenix: bubbadave1056: I don't think you can call it "fossil fuel" if you make it from algae.  I also think that there is some debate as to whether all the fuel we've been using for decades came from fossils.

Uhh, all crude oil is made primarily from bacteria and algae and some plants.  The remnants of 3 billion years worth of life dying and settling into the sediment before animals ever came along.


The technical definition of a "fossil" is a "trace of life from a prior geological age."  If we make oil from algae, it will not be "fossil" fuel.  What makes oil a "fossil" fuel" has nothing to do with its source and everything to do with its age.  bubbadave1056 is technically correct.  Any organic material that is less than 10,000 years old is, by definition,  not a "fossil" fuel.

There may be all sorts of other criticisms about this project, I don't know, I'm not a chemist, but it is certainly not a "fossil" fuel.
 
2013-12-18 11:58:09 PM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: mrbach:  it is all about to be displaced by a fermentation process using another organic that produces 3x more oil than algae and is easier to convert to biodiesel.

link?


Second.  What fermentation process is producing oil and not ethanol?
 
2013-12-18 11:59:14 PM  

FloydA: There may be all sorts of other criticisms about this project, I don't know, I'm not a chemist, but it is certainly not a "fossil" fuel.


Okay, so it's a biofuel. Fine. We've developed renewable biofuels.

Now, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, is that something we should be doing? I mean, great that it solves our energy needs, but pouring more CO2 into the atmosphere forever isn't exactly a winning gambit. We need to get off burning carbon-based products for power, not make more of them! Is anyone not terrified at the environmental implications of this?
 
2013-12-19 12:07:36 AM  

Ishkur: FloydA: There may be all sorts of other criticisms about this project, I don't know, I'm not a chemist, but it is certainly not a "fossil" fuel.

Okay, so it's a biofuel. Fine. We've developed renewable biofuels.

Now, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, is that something we should be doing? I mean, great that it solves our energy needs, but pouring more CO2 into the atmosphere forever isn't exactly a winning gambit. We need to get off burning carbon-based products for power, not make more of them! Is anyone not terrified at the environmental implications of this?


It's a first step.  Instead of increasing the amount of carbon in circulation in the biosphere, we're cycling the stuff already present around.  The first stage of solving a problem is to stop making it worse.

Further down the road, there's hydrogen fuel and non-fossil stationary power generation, but they won't be ready to go for a while.  In the meantime, using a non-fossil biofuel that's compatible with our current infrastructure is the best solution while the next generation of technology matures.

At some point, we need to get the carbon we've released back into the ground.  My favourite approach is to take the carbon offset dollar rich guilty liberals are paying (I'm a poor guilty liberal) and use it to fund a scheme where Chinese peasants grow and harvest bamboo by hand and bury it in abandoned coal mines.  I say Chinese because China has both the raw manpower and utter lack of human rights that proposal would require.
 
2013-12-19 12:07:39 AM  

Ishkur: Now, to paraphrase Jeff Goldblum, is that something we should be doing? I mean, great that it solves our energy needs, but pouring more CO2 into the atmosphere forever isn't exactly a winning gambit. We need to get off burning carbon-based products for power, not make more of them! Is anyone not terrified at the environmental implications of this?


In the case of algae, it's getting its carbon (that turns to CO2 when burned) from the CO2 in the atmosphere.

Basically it captures CO2 and energy from the sun, to be turned back into energy and CO2. It would be the biggest thing since computers and airplanes if it works.
 
2013-12-19 12:12:06 AM  

Mentat: impaler: revrendjim: Isn't the DOE one of those useless government agencies that we should get rid of?

Yep.

"As millions of Americans groaned at the rising cost of a gallon of gasoline, the president took algae as a substitute for gas. Algae as a substitute for gas," McConnell said in apparent disbelief.
Link

I hate these anti-scientific idiots.

A troubled look crossed her face. "And sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good, things like ..." she grinned, shaking her head side to side, her voice rising to a facetious pitch "... fruit fly research in Paris, France." Feeling in tune with the guys in her audience, she added, "I kid you not."


I know, right?  Stupid libs.  Everybody knows the best energy can only be found by digging deep underground, either by tearing apart mountains to get to the sweet sweet coal that God himself placed in our easy reach (he also apparently invented pneumoconiosis, but never you mind that) or by building a rig in the middle of the ocean and jamming a pipe into the ocean in the middle of nowhere.
All of it.  Harness the sun wherever you are?  Bah, moonbeams.  The wind?  Unicorn FARTS!  If it's not ripped from the earth and shipped miles to where I want it, it's CRAP!
And it had better be BLACK when it comes out of the earth, buddy.

/but seriously, imagine how stupid the first whale-hunters must have sounded to the people who were using wood fires to get things done...and the first petro oil driller...
 
2013-12-19 12:17:26 AM  

revrendjim: Isn't the DOE one of those useless government agencies that we should get rid of?


One of?!
 
2013-12-19 12:31:31 AM  
or oil and gas came from no dead stuff.  fossil fuels just a theory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenic_petroleum_origin
 
Displayed 50 of 73 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report