Archive for December 9th, 2008

Good scum

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

With increased concern about the apparent link between elevated atmospheric CO2 levels and climate change, there has been a real push recently to produce liquid fuels from organic matter. However enthusiasm over grain-based ethanol is tempered by concerns about increased cost of food, especially for poor countries where a significant increase in the price of grain could make a difference between having a meal each day or going without.

As a forester, I would like to see more research into the production of cellulosic ethanol, especially if it can be produced economically from parts of the tree that presently get piled and burned.

However a really fascinating option is the idea of producing fuels from algae. Those disgusting scummy green ponds may have a lot more value in the future.

Here’s a video clip about one private research facility that’s investigating algae biodiesel.