Algae as fuel

Algae Oil for as low as $2.28 / gallon possible says OriginOil

A preliminary analysis by algae technology company OriginOil, looking at the latest in growth, harvesting and fuel conversion technologies, points to potential production costs as low as $2.28 per gallon for gasoline and diesel from algae.

The company has created a model to analyze the entire algae production process at scale, integrating the latest advances in growth, harvesting and fuel conversion, to find the possibilities for commercialization behind various techniques. In the lowest-cost scenario, algae harvested using OriginOil's Algae Appliance is blended with waste feedstocks and then converted onsite to achieve a modeled production cost of $2.28.

OriginOil is making the software model available to algae producers free of charge for business planning and scale model revision in hopes that the industry will both benefit from and improve the software.

The company cautions that these preliminary findings from the modeling software are only a first look at how the various technologies in the industry could impact large-scale production. But with the low cost and ready availability of waste products for use in blending, the company believes that production costs of under $2.50/gallon for gasoline or diesel derived from algae are more than feasible.

As fellow TorqueNews writer Frank pointed out yesterday, algae as a source for fuel is a compelling potential driver in moving us away from peak oil fears and production slumps in the United States.

President Obama spoke about the potential of algae biomass to displace 17% of our current consumption of petroleum. This is not unreasonable given recent improvements in biomass harvesting and collection efficiencies and other technology enhancements being made by companies like OriginOil in partnership with the INL for further developing and validating these technologies.
--OriginOil scientific adviser Dr. Thomas H. Ulrich

OriginOil has been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy on a Blendable Feedstock Standard and Dr. Ulrich has been working closely with his former colleagues at the DOE's Idaho National Laboratory to that end. Ulrich says that we now need to move forward in testing and validating th promising technologies present in algal oil and fuel production and move forward quickly towards their adoption.

With petroleum prices continually on the rise, with foreign oil dependence driving most of our national policies, and with the painful reminder that these easy petroleum sources are dwindling, the time is ripe for a more stable, localized replacement fuel to power our infrastructure.


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