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Big Oil Sees Promise in Pond Scum

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

 I did not see a thread on this, if there is, I am sorry. Rest of the story here.


Big oil companies are betting that algae—that's right, pond scum—is a viable source of renewable energy, and they're joining academics, start-ups and the U.S. government in committing resources to studying its potential.

Photo by Fred LaSenna

"Oil companies got started in algae research and development and investment in 2007, as they realized that first generation biofuels—grain ethanol and palm or soy biodiesel—would not reach large production quantities cost-effectively," says Brian Fan, senior director of research at the Cleantech Group, a market research firm.

Unlike first generation biofuels, algae has the potential to produce thousands of gallons of oil per acre and does not compete with agriculture for cropland. And because algae are photosynthetic organisms, they feed on carbon dioxide, thus removing some C02 from the air.

Put together, it's an attractive combination.



post #2 of 6

Now just wait for the conspiracy bunch to figure out how to twist this! 

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

It is always amusing. Reason almost never rules on the extremes.  Conservation and smart energy usage makes sense on so many levels. Almost everyone can agree on it on some level, if presented rationally. Rhetoric is only good at getting politicians elected and look at the mess they can cause. We need to applaud what is good and work against what is not. Hey Russ, I think we are the old men in these forums. When I read what I just wrote, I felt like my father. Darn, I swore that would never happen. ( by the way, I did not mean any offense Russ)

post #4 of 6

Not to worry Brian,


Offense certainly not taken!


I am 64 but still going strong - this body has taken a lot of abuse over the years which tends to turn me off on many of the modern complaints.


I was just reading a blog on about rhetoric - of course they imply that only Republican candidates and denial types use it whereas Carter, Dukakis, Gore & Kerry lost because they didn't. Rather amusing though there article had the concept of rhetoric down correctly.


Amazing that over the years you finally realize that maybe your parents knew more than you thought they did - especially when we were at the age of 16!

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Another thing I noticed, is all we have to do is go back a couple of generations to learn how to conserve. I grew up in Florida with my grandparents. I know we had air conditioning, they hardly ever used it (2-3 times a year). Fans were everywhere. They had a bag to save the rubber bands from the newspaper, a bag to save bags, paperclips,  and just about anything else that could possibly be reused. They were not poor, in fact my father said, they spent so little money, that he had to keep check on their accounts because the social security and other small payments would grow very large.  They had a great time though, and so did we. They just were taught not to waste and to use wisely. My grand father is the only man I know, who kept a car so long (outside of a collectors car) that he sold it for more than he bought it, a 1973 corolla bought for 1400, sold for 1800,  22 years later. He drove it alot too, it did not sit in the garage. I don't believe that was the longest he kept a a car either. Their neighbors were not any different.

post #6 of 6

Right Brian,


I also remember my grandmothers house - don't think she threw anything away if it had a possible use and probably even if it didn't.


Mom & Dad were much the same though to a slightly lesser degree.


I suppose it came from living through the depression followed by WWII. Too many things they just couldn't get - like a new toothpaste tube - I believe you had to turn in the old one as it was aluminum.


The salary structure in those days was such that repairmen were able to make a living. Even today in India no one throws away a coffee pot - they get it repaired (normal people - my boss was a billionaire so he just got new).  

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