Algae to Crude While You Wait

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Engineers at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington have beat nature by millions of years in turning algal glop into crude oil,  cooking a “a verdant green paste with the consistency of pea soup” into oil, water, and a nutritious batch of byproducts. Douglas Elliott, the laboratory fellow leading PNNL team’s research says, “It’s a bit like using a pressure cooker, only the pressures and temperatures we use are much higher.  In a sense, we are duplicating the process in the Earth that converted algae into oil over the course of millions of years. We’re just doing it much, much faster.” “Faster” means an hour or less, researchers having combined several chemical steps normally associated with …

LCA – Life Cycle Analysis

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

The Link below provides a conceptual background for the study and chart, which give us insight into life cycle analysis, a valuable tool for determining the true costs of our energy sources. Note in the following that the actual costs and carbon emissions for a product may be greater than those for the actual operation of that product.  Obviously, wind turbines and solar cells are clean in their operation – but what does it cost to manufacture, transport, and dispose of the obsolete or unservicable units?  This is a good tool for making those assessments, but I’d love personally to have even more definition of the “human equivalents” listed in the chart found in the link below.  Perhaps an expert in …