Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Something more mundane please... energy

What seems very clear is that if there is any chance of a transformation of the current economic atmosphere, is that it exists in the realization of a viable new means to generate energy.

Was watching something on public television about 'clean coal'. The majority of the electricity in the USA (and therefore likely the world) is generated by steam turbines where the heat for the steam comes from burning coal.

The thing that is interesting about 'clean coal' is that the technology seems to be capable of removing the greenhouse gasses from the coal burning process, but that the engineers thereof have not come up with a very viable way to *dispose* of the removed greenhouse gasses. They are talking about some wild crap where they pump it into the ground.

Now, at the same time, there are schemes for producing biodiesel by using algae. The oil from algae, more specifically. Algae is chock full of oil, it seems. It can also be 'tweaked' in a way that causes it to generate hydrogen, instead of oxygen. Algae needs a) nutrients b) carbon dioxide and c) water in order to grow, and it can be fresh or salt water.

So, clearly, the CO2 from clean coal could conceivably be used to grow algae, and thus produce biodiesel and biogenerated hydrogen.

Wouldn't that be something?


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