Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?

Transforming algae into usable biofuel is the dream, and the University of Michigan has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to make it a reality.


(Biofuel from algae at the University of Michigan)

U-Mís work will include determining combinations that lead to optimal performance in areas such as fuel yield and stability. Researchers have previously found that a combination of algal species performs better than any single species, capitalizing on the individual strengths of each strain.

In order to optimize the fuelís combustion and emissions performance, researchers will look at both the biochemical properties of the algae as well as their chemical reactions in the controlled compression ignition combustion environment of the diesel engine. The biofuels will be tested in a light-duty vehicle engine and, once an optimal algae combination is determined, it will be tested in a Volvo truck engine.

Oil can be extracted from algae via mechanical means such as presses, or use of ultrasonic waves. Each approach forces oil to detach from the algaeís cell walls and be collected in a solvent. When that oil reacts with alcohol, the usable biodiesel product is separated out.

U-Mís research team uses an emerging technology called hydrothermal liquefaction to extract oil from the algae. Itís a process that simulates the pressures and temperatures that generate oil underground.

(Via University of Michigan Record.)

I kind of like the idea that Hal Clement uses in his 1950 novel Needle. In the story culture tanks make use of algae that actually produce oil as a waste product.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/20/2018)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Biology ")

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Is There Extraterrestrial Life Here In The Solar System
'How fast is it moving? ...one meter per minute.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1982.

Chinese Fern Helps Remediate Arsenic Soil
'Bioengeering had put out a spec report on the long crawly things five months back.' - Gregory Benford, 1983.

New Lifelike Material Powered By Artificial Metabolism
'... The biological robots were not living creatures.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1972.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.'

Mushroom Eats Plastic, Saves Planet
Fungus Amongus, SaveUs!

Juggalo Face Paint Disrupts Facial Recognition
'... designed to foil facial recognition systems.'

Mojipic Smart Voice Vehicle Emojis
KITT, what's your response?

Unusual Twist On Woman Dates Robot
'My hearing, vision and awareness went along with that excellent imitation of a young Adonis...'

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.'

AVAS Noisemakers Required For EVs By EU
'...a sound tape to supply the noise of a soi-disant "[internal combustion]" engine...'

Pun Generation Via Neural Nets
'You said you wanted him to be able to distinguish between laugh-power in different gags...'

Blood Battery Robotic Fish
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.'

Lightyear One Solar-Powered Electric Car (Design By Heinlein)
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

'Agression Detectors' Don't Work When Spying On Students
'The professional agitators had also learned how to modulate their voices below the danger level...'

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planetóthis little asteroid.'

Miners! NASA Wants To License RASSOR Excavator
'The borers had been dismantled and packed away.'

Bee+ Robobee Now With Four Wings
'It was a tiny thing, scarcely more than an inch and a half in length...'

CNSILK Robotic Spider Builder
'We could certainly spin a web right through the Solar System, if we can think of a good use for one.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.