Thursday, 27 February 2014

Pacific Northwest National Labratory develops a new Algae fuel ready in about an hour.

Diesel created by algae has been on the radar for a few years now but is still only available in low volume pilot plants and is heavily subsidized.  Once of the largest stumbling blocks has been the energy needed to create the dry algae used by the previous processes.

PNNL has created a process that can work with wet algae (80% water) saving vast amounts of energy and time.  Their new process creates usable crude in as little as one hour.  The process also allows for usable gas to be extracted from the waste water stream increasing the efficiency of the process even further.

This is a large step in the right direction in getting the process closer to the efficiency and scalability needed to compete with the fossil fuel market.

You can read more about this innovative process here.

The process starts with whole green algae slurry with water contents between 80% and 90% (Photo extracted from PNNL)
Under high pressure and temperatures that mimic the conditions found deep in the earths crust, the slime is converted into a light crude that can be refined in a traditional manner into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. (Photo extracted from PNNL)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Durisol ICF lowers the embodied energy of a dwelling.

Stuart Staniford at the Early Warning blogspot discusses the reduction in Embodied Energy a Durisol Foundaiton represents in a low embodied energy dwelling.  In his case study, the use of a Durisol ICF foundation over a conventional concrete foundation improved the "net carbon emissions" by 100%.

His analysis showed the the original carbon emissions associated with the foundation in the dwelling he modeled dropped from aprox 7.5 tons with no opportunity for sequestered carbon to just under 7 tons but now with the ability to also sequester close to 1.75 Tons.

Baseline with standard concrete foundations (
Utilizing Durisol ICF Block (