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Nature_and_Environment.10

Renewable Energy Living

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{Nature_and_Environment.10.34}: ... {wren1111} Fri, 15 Apr 2005 03:12:32 CDT (33 lines)
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<b>ALGAE AS A BIOMASS SOURCE</b><p>
http://www.energybulletin.net/1330.html

<b>ENERGY FROM ALGAE </b>
http://www.accesstoenergy.com/view/atearchive/s76a5002.htm

<i>A more sophisticated way of collecting solar energy biologically
is to grow algae that can be induced to form fatty substances
suitable for refining into petroleum products.

Algae have been grown for some time as health food ingredients and in
oxidation ponds for wastewater treatment. Under normal circumstances,
algae contain mainly hydrocarbons and proteins; the fat content does
not exceed 20% of the total dry weight. But in 1980 it was discovered
that under nutritional stress¾limited nutrients or saline
environment¾certain microalgae will accumulate up to 72% of their
weight as lipids (fatty substances).

So by starving them you make them grow fatter? Only in a sense: by
limiting their food, you make them form a higher percentage of their
body weight as fat.

A typical algal mass has a heating value (heat produced by
combustion) of 8,000-10,000 BTU/lb, which is better than lignite; but
the heating value of algal oil and lipids is 16,000 BTU/lb, which is
better than anthracite.

Another species of freshwater algae, Botryococcus, is thought to be
responsible for present petroleum reserves, for it is capable of
synthesizing hydrocarbons. It is hoped (but not yet certain) that the
hydrocarbons extracted from this and other species can be readily
processed by the present petrochemical industry to produce gasoline
and other petroleum products.</I>

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