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Solix Biofuels

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Sounds Interesting from the motley fool uk from the motley fool us. I have sent an e-mail to Solix regarding this technology and will get back to you if I get a response. Sounds almost too good to be true.

This is part of a post by MFOutlier over on the US board :




so any recs belong to him - and any brickbats. ;-/ I've not DMORed on any of this, but easily rolled-out modular algal biofuels at $20/bbl would obviously be quite relevant to the POO ;-/




Algae bioreactor technologies have now evolved to the point of commercialization. (My interest in algae biofuel systems was peaked by a reported claim several months back by a Spanish researcher of developing a plankton-based crude oil production system that was 400 times more productive than any other biofuel system in use. No further information on his claim has emerged since the initial news report.)


At least U.S. three firms claim development of commercially viable systems capable of blending solar energy with fossil fuel flue gases to yield biodiesel, ethanol, methane, and/or hydrogen. Solix Biofuels suggests their system is capable of producing 100 times more oil per acre than soil-tilled crops now in use and with deployment in unused space around existing U.S. power and ethanol plants capable of supplying U.S. demand for diesel fuel (estimated as 4 million barrels/day.) Excerpt from press release reads


"Solix officials estimate that widespread construction of its photo-bioreactor system could meet the demand for the U.S. consumption of diesel fuel - about 4 million barrels a day - by growing algae on less than 0.5 percent of the U.S. land area, which is otherwise unused land adjacent to power plants and ethanol plants. The plants produce excess carbon dioxide, which is necessary to turn algae into oil. In addition to producing biodiesel, the process would prevent a large portion of the greenhouse gases produced by coal-burning power plants from being expelled directly into the atmosphere."



Global Green Solutions is building a pilot plant using an alternative algae bioreactor technology that is supposedly capable of 150,000 gallons (3,570 barrels) of bio-oil annual yield per acre at a cost of about $20/barrel. (Cost elements included in the calculation are not specified.) http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/10/global_green_to.html


Green Fuel Technologies and an electric utility partner are currently installing the first industrial scale installation (that I know of). The facility is currently scheduled for completion in first quarter 2007. Earlier pilot plant productivities (using flue gases from 20MW cogeneration facility at MIT and from 1,060MW combined cycle Redhawk power plant in Arizona) suggest annual per acre yields of 5,000-10,000 gallons each of transportation grade biodiesel and ethanol (119 – 338 barrels). The system is designed to provide for easy daily harvesting of mature algae and reuse of the water with yield (and cost) in part a function of reliance on cold press alone, use of organic solvents, or both. Green Fuel Technologies claims 70% of the fossil fuel electric power plants in the country have multiple acres of adjacent (contiguous) unused space suitable for installation of the systems. And, the technology has been licensed to other firms for commercial use in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.


At the upper end of the Green Fuel Technologies yield range, the biodiesel output is better than some “strip” wells producing crude that must then be transported, refined, and product transported to market. [Note: A seven day test of the 2004 pilot facility at MIT indicated substantial removal/scrubbing of NOx (85.9% +/- 2.1%) and CO2 (43.6% - 94.8% depending on sunlight conditions.]



There is little, if any, reason to believe construction of a facility using any of these technologies would take even as much as one year. The systems are designed for daily harvesting of mature algae and fuel production could begin within weeks if not days of system startup. The dried, residual material from any of these bioreactors holds some potential as a source of relatively rare minerals such as indium (which has been found in flue dust of some coal fired plants). All of the bioreactor technologies scrub NOx and CO2 from fossil fuel flue gas streams and leave residual wastes suitable for several commercial products to further boost returns on investment. All existing, large fossil fuel burning facilities (power generation, petrochemical, petroleum refinery, industrial plant, etc.) situated on sites with vacant space and solar exposure are potential candidates for retrofitting one or another of these bioreactor technologies. So are fossil fuel powered facilities with roofs capable of supporting (now or after reinforcement) the weight of an algae bioreactor.




I repeat, the stuff between the lines is part of a post by MFOutlier, not me.

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