Monday, March 30, 2009

Top story:Algae biofuel again!

Algae Bloom Venice.The feasibility of algae as a biofuel feedstock is under scrutiny with three separate but related developments in the US and Italy. In Italy, the city of Venice has announced a 200 million euro project to capture "Sargassum muticum" and "Undaria pinnatifida" algae seaweed and generate 40 MW of power from algae biofuel.

In Ohio, AlgaeVenture Systems has released more data on their algae harvesting and dewatering system that they say will reduce dewatering costs by up to 99 percent compared to centrifuges. The company's technology uses capillary effect, cohesion, absorption and transpiration pull - methods utilized by trees to move water from roots to treetop.

Finally, Thomas Schueneman of Environmental News Network reported back from the Algae Biofuels Summit that just concluded in San Francisco with "A sobering assessment" that blogs and mainstream media are reporting "wild-eyed optimism and pure hype".

Elsewhere in South Dakota, POET Biorefining and the city of Sioux Falls have completed a landfill gas pipeline that will supply methane gas to the 105 Mgy POET plant at Chancellor. The alternative energy sources will offset up to 90 percent of the plant's process steam needs and could in the future replace 90 percent of the plant's total energy needs.