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Old 03-26-2009, 04:45 PM   #1
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New solid catalyst for making biodiesel from algae

I'm a big fan of the idea of biodiesel (or possibly ethanol) made from algae grown on sewage and other waste/effluent materials. Now there's more hope for that idea.
Solid catalyst simplifies turning algae into biodiesel

...United Environment & Energy, an engineering company in Horseheads, N.Y., believes it has the answer. By using a "mixed metal oxide" catalyst (a form of certain metals resistant to corrosion but reactive), chemical engineer Ben Wen and his colleagues at United have come up with a conversion process that is 40 percent cheaper than an industrial scale version of the traditional methanol and lye process (methanol costs about 65? per gallon while lye is about $4 per pound). That process must also be finished by purifying the biodiesel with water to wash out left over chemicals that then linger in the water.

This new process would make biodiesel that also doesn't require the purification step, because there is no liquid catalyst mixed into the resulting fuel, Wen says...

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Old 03-26-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
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Mmm...Scientific American. I love their podcasts!

Anyhow, the impressive rate at which biodiesel/ethanol production discoveries are being made really highlights how little research had been put into these technologies in the past. We're still very much in the low hanging fruit stage of such developments.


Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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Yes, and now Exxon has announced they are spending $600 million to develop algae based biofuels.
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