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Algae: The Biofuel Revolution

This is great news!

The sustainable energy age has begun. It was recently announced that a company in Florida called Green Flight International (GFI) has plans to construct a $100-million, algae biofuel plant aimed at making fuel for the aviation industry as well as for ground-based transportation.

GFI has also completed the world's first jet-aircraft flight powered by 100% biofuel. GFI president and CEO Douglas Rodante says that "algae-based biofuel would be able to replace petroleum without alterations to engines or infrastructure, and could be used for all sorts of transportation."

The potential of algae biofuel for both vehicles and air travel is so promising that it will play a large role in helping America finally become energy independent. Biofuel from algae completely eliminates the food vs. fuel concerns of other biofuels, and CO2 will be significantly reduced. Algae are the fastest growing plants in the world, and that fact translates into 20,000 gallons of biofuel per acre! Soybean, corn, switchgrass and other biofuels cannot even compete.

Since the average diesel engine is 35% more efficient than a gasoline engine, maybe the Big Three auto manufacturers in the US crying for a bailout would be wise to create a nice selection of diesel-hybrids, because only diesel engines can run on biofuels.

In Europe, there already exists the "Volkswagen One-Litre," which is a "two-seater prototype that’s been on the roads in Europe, does 237 mpg." It is estimated that by 2010, these cars will be running at 250 mpg.

Try doing a search for the "VW Lupo" or "Audi A2," however - the Lupo seems to have disappeared much like the EV1 by GM did. What's up with that?

As an example of innovative green technology, there are several cool diesel motorcycles, such as: "The eCycle Hybrid Motorcycle is a...diesel-electric hybrid...accelerating from 0-60 mph in 6 sec and with fuel consumption at 160 mpg." Diesel motorcycles have been old news throughout Europe for years. I'd love to see Harley-Davidson create a diesel-hybrid with fuel efficiency in mind for Americans.

The use of biofuels in diesel engines has been clearly known for 100 years:
"The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time."

- Rudolph Diesel, 1912
I encourage Americans to learn the history of Rudolf Diesel and his diesel engine, created in 1895, which used biofuel over 110 years ago. After Diesel’s death, the idea of fueling engines with biofuel was quietly swept under the rug. His original designs were modified, and Diesel engines were made to run on petroleum fuels.

This information about Diesel shows how long vehicle manufacturers and big oil companies have known that we never needed to be addicted to oil - and just look where that addiction has gotten us! We are on the verge of global chaos, with countries going bankrupt, while other countries like Saudi Arabia have been enriched through oil money to conquer once-powerful nations like Great Britain and the U.S. Many of our most dire problems on this planet, from pollution to political chaos, can be traced to oil consumption.

Rural areas, towns and cities across America could have their own algae plants customized to their own local needs. This development could minimize fuel distribution costs and reduce traffic by keeping those semis off the roads too.

Americans need to demand that the government and manufacturers get serious on this issue now. With our persistence, author Tom Friedman will be right: Green will become the new red, white and blue.

Sources:

GFI to build $100M plant

Green Flight International
Bio Fuels Revolution
Renewable Energy Lab
Algae Biofuels Of The Future
Algae Biodiesel Photo Bioreactors and Algae Harvesting
Algae the Perfect Biofuels Feedstock
Origin Oil

ALGAE -- THE HOLY GRAIL OF BIOFUEL?

18 comments:

The Green Girl said...

I love this blog! That's such hopeful news.

I'm with you on this sustainable world...

:)

Keep up the good work.

Awvote said...

Oh wow, I hadn't heard about this news yet. I'm really hopeful. This could really be amazing.

MusicFreak313 said...

Such an insightful blog. I've recently seen a bit of this on the documentary FUEL (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EahCiQ5FjTU) not sure if it was about Florida but if you liked this blog you should check out the film.

Change your fuel to save the world.

BicycleGal42 said...

Wow, that will be so great if the future of flight involves biofuels! I concur with MusicFreak313... I saw a screening of FUEL in LA. It has a lot of great tips on the individual actions we can take towards sustainability.

Anonymous said...

That is so exciting and it makes me feel a sense of hope. I recently saw a documentary about biofuel, called FUEL. They talked about the possibilities of using algae to create biofuel. very interesting!

Anonymous said...

I recently saw FUEL as well. The possibilities of alternative energy are awesome!

mimoe79 said...

FUEL is a great movie. A real eye opener. Everybody should see this movie and start thinking more about the environment

erthluva said...

I've just added "Fuel: The Movie" to my "Sustainable Picks" section down towards the bottom, right with some other fantastic websites that I hope will get passed around.

Thanks for the positive feedback - I want this blog to get into view of the big 3 auto makers - hopefully the news media will help. Post this blog at CNN and all your favorite media outlets.

The big 3 need to make the necessary changes that WE want regardless if they get that $25 billion dollar bailout or not. If they will listen they can make diesel-hybrids as one selection of small cars that get over 100 MGP - that run on ALGAE biofuel.

Another option would be an all electric car along with many other options that can altogether, guarantee US energy independence. Especially from dangerous countries in the mid-east like Saudi Arabia who want to destroy America and spread their fundamentalist brand of Islam funded with US petro dollars.

No thanks - absolutely not!

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. This looks like a good and viable solution

The Green Girl said...

I'm really happy to see this great response to this fantastic news, erthluva.

Not only do I think we can finally go GREEN and make us all happy about our wasteful technolives, but I agree that America's security is at issue here too.

Heck, the security of the whole world is at issue here, because not only does oil pollute the entire planet but it funds terrorism.

smalltown48 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
smalltown48 said...

The world is changing in such a positive way, with blogs like this biofuels becoming more available and films like FUEL, it will be amazing to see where we are 30 years from now!!

Anonymous said...

This is exciting :)

ivana.setiawan said...

Go Green ad save the world!!
I really like the idea:)

good insight from MusicFreak313, I watched FUEL trailer and I like it a lot:)
we seriously have to start this! spread the word!! :)

peace!

Anonymous said...

With so much bad news over the past several months, this is like a breath of fresh air.
As long as the present oil companies don't intervene.
They will do their damndest to keep oil as the fuel of choice simply to enrich themselves.
If Diesel could do this in 1895, think of how much time, effort and "energy" has been lost in the meantime.
Begging for money has led auto CEOs to reduce their salaries to $1p.a., but what about their bonuses and other perks?
Hope at last!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve said...

Groovy green people. Getting fuel from algae is exciting but way off in the future. It needs oil to be expensive. Most of the well intentioned people who report or work in the area have not done validated economic and environmental impact assessments. This is massive aquaculture on a scale never before imagined.

Mikey said...

love your blog good stuff

Anonymous said...

Continental flight powered with biofuel takes off