The biofuels obsession: now using nanoparticles to extract biodiesel from algae while keeping algae alive

Posted: April 9, 2009 in science & technology
Tags: ,


Scientists certainly are obsessed with biodiesel. A few days after launching Biomara, a project to extract biodiesel from Scottish seaweed and algae, we now read that researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University have developed a nanofarming technology that allows the extraction of biofuel from living algae without destroying them. Biofuel Review reports that “the process doesn’t harm the algae like other methods being developed, which helps reduce both production costs and the production cycle. Once the algal oil is extracted, a separate and proven solid catalyst from Catilin will be used to produce ASTM and EN certified biodiesel.”

Could be nice for the algae and even better for both, the rainforests and the poor: the forests being relieved from logging and the poor being saved from loosing food production cropland to biofuel plantations. Problem though: nanofarming algae still doesn’t get us away from our oil economy. All it does is contributing to the increase in the number of cars in places like India, China and anywhere else and therefore to greenhouse gases (despite biofuels producing less of them). And we will still pollute the environment through energy consuming industries involved in car manufacturing, and in the end the poor and the forests will suffer anyway because the overall consumption of oil will increase.

Biofuels are not the solution to end global warming, the destruction of our environment and the elimination of poverty; biofuel research is just another way of pretending that climate change and global injustice can be fixed technologically rather than through a profound paradigm change.

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  1. Asela says:

    Nice article about the booming sector which is general public does not know. It is believed biodiesel that made by Algae would fulfill the biggest potion of the biofuel.

  2. dodyudia says:

    We, representing the donor agencies for projects Biofuel (bio-diesel and bio-ethanol) in Indonesia, offered to investors to come to Indonesia and make Biofuel projects with just a 5% of capital and technology transfer program, we will finance the project with the system “JOINT VENTURE”. We will finance 95% of the project.

    Provit Sharring that we offer is 60% for us and 40% for project owners. The GENERAL REQUIREMENT is below :
    1. Fully Liabilities Company (to include related licenses)
    2. New Project or development details
    3. Submit the Executive Project Summary
    4. Minimal New Investment USD. 25,000,000
    5. Minimal Your Own Capital 2.5% of Invest Required (Bank
    Account Statement)
    6. Send your Application to:
    The Chairman
    SJK-GHAM Holding Inc.
    Jalan Merdeka 87000 L.F.O.C.
    Labuan, Malaysia
    Send by email to:

  3. Casey says:

    American companies like Biocentric Energy in southern California reconized as the Wall Mart of algae by the American Algae Association have enviromentaly safe, portable, cost efficient closed loop systems already availiable for market along with a long list of strains of algae to lead us into a safer and greener future.

  4. Jim Wank says:

    Biodiesel is great because the source is very renewebal. We should always find some fuel that are renewable. ;,:,:

    Most recent post from our very own web portal

  5. Shiela Matyas says:

    i beleive that Biodiesel is the wave of the future. the good thing about it is that it is renewable. ..

    <a href="See all of the best and newest post at our own internet page

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