Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Carbon Capture Technologies

We have a problem with CO2 emissions from coal-fired plants. The technology exists to capture the CO2 and there are proposals to pipe the captured CO2 into the Earth. But why would you want to waste perfectly good CO2? Doesn't it have a use?

Of course it does! Plants need CO2 to make carbohydrates. Plants take in CO2, convert it to carbohydrates with the help of energy from the Sun and then give off waste oxygen.

So what is a use for CO2? How about feeding it to green algae? The algae love it and reproduce like mad. Then you extract biofuel from the algae and are left with a bunch of dried green stuff. The dried green stuff can then be fermented into alchohol. Is this all a pipe dream? Nope.

Check out Greenfuel a company who has the technology described above. You can find out much more about algae biofuels reading this document produced by the National Renewable Energy Labortory. Unfortunately, it's a "closeout" report.

Go here for another short review and analysis of the potential of algae.

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