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Carbon-Neutral Oil? Its Renewable too!

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Google’s Autopia blog has an interesting post on a San Diego start-up that plans to use algae to make oil that can be refined into gasolines. In addition to that, it will be carbon neutral, renewable and they’ll roll out 10,000 barrels a day within five years. Even though 10,000 barrels isn’t much (the US consumes about 20 million every day), a movement towards technologies such as these sound very interesting. Here’s the meat of it, from the CEO:

Company CEO Jason Pyle says the algal oil is chemically identical to light sweet crude and compatible with America’s $1.5 trillion petroleum infrastructure, making it a direct replacement for oil. Although the algal fuels refined from it emit as much carbon dioxide as conventional fuels, the company says the emissions are offset by the photosynthetic process that uses sunlight, water and C02 to create algal crude.

Critics say they want to see what it can really do after the production and burn processes are perfected. “Even if it is carbon neutral, the algal fuels will emit pollutants that contribute to smog and ozone, says Don Anair of the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

It would be very interesting to see the government or big oil get behind some technological frontiers in the way the Kennedy Administration spearheaded the race to the moon through NASA. When the best and brightest are pulled together, this country has come up with some pretty spectacular stuff.


Written by walonline

May 30, 2008 at 7:10 am

Posted in Energy

Tagged with , , ,

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