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Restablishing the idea that algae could be used as biofuel.

A few years back this idea seemed to be a possibility but has since diminished. Why are we no longer looking into this? Or are we and its just leased talked about? This could be such a great development for society.

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  • Nov 19 2012: To the best of my knowledge, ExxonMobil is still pursuing this.

    Check out these links:

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-10/big-oils-big-in-biofuels

    http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/files/news_pub_algae_factsheet.pdf
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    Nov 19 2012: I would look at the units of energy required to produce a unit of bio fuel.

    I know the best one is light crude oil from the middle east and one of the wost is ethanol.
  • Nov 19 2012: I think we should change it. Though the only way that's going to happen if the production price can compete with today's gas prices. Which will eventually happen because the price of fossil fuels will rise.
  • Nov 19 2012: The question "can" algae be used for biofuel needs to be replaced with "Can we make use of biofuel economically competitive with regular fuel?". The total energy picture for Biofuel, and other energy alternatives, needs to be considered from start to finish and compared to existing fuel sources. I am all for further investigation, but let's not push forward a politically correct choice before if has been developed far enough to truly be an improvement. We need to look at energy required to produce, process, and transport the fuels. We need to consider the cost of modifying equipment to run on this fuel and new maintenance steps required through the equipment's life cycle. We need to consider the availability of this fuel worldwide once we have modified our equipment. We need to consider the energy density of the fuel produced and the performance of the vehicle. For example, golf carts might be tolerant of lost performance of a less reliable system, ambulances would not.

    I am in favor of additional research and development to try and make these fuels economically competitive, but I do not support changing because it will win more votes.