Thursday, May 26, 2011

Using Carbon Dioxide for Algal Biofuels

It seems that Australia is about to move forward several steps in developing commercial use of waste carbon dioxide.

Origin Energy has announced a new medium scale [a prelude to larger scale use if successful] waste CO2 from its power plant to produce fresh water algae, which it then plans to harvest for potential biofuel production.

More here -

[ interestingly - reported in US not Australian media]

At about the same time, a leading US saltwater algal producer has announced a scaling up of existing work in the Pilbara region of WA, which uses CO2 from LNG processing as the accelerator of algal growth.

More here -

Both are in regions of Australia with plenty of sunshine, especially in the Pilbara.

Coincidentally, the aviation industry announced this week that they saw biofuel as a suitable fuel, with lowered CO2 emissions overall, as a substitute for existing fossil oil fuels.

Australia does have open spaces and sunshine, but so far a timid set of national and state governments, that seem reluctant to embrace non fossil fuels, although industry does seem more active to use them.

There is a major program in the private sector with wide support across industry and academia to develop base load solar thermal power stations, but so far without major support from government. More details are here -

And there is a very comprehensive range of documents that do seem to provide evidence and analysis that would support the plan.

Could Australia prosper on waste carbon............after all, we are the highest per head producer of carbon???

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