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Algae bags Nasa scientists are proposing algae bags as a way to produce renewable energy that does not compete with agriculture for land or fresh water.Jonathan trent, lead research scientist on the spaceship earth project at nasa ames research center, moffett field, california, says: "In fact, most of the oil we are now getting out of the ground comes from algae that lived millions of years ago.Algae are still the best source of oil we know. "Trent envisages large plastic bags floating on the ocean.The bags are filled with sewage on which algae feed.The transparent bags collect sunlight that is used by the algae to produce oxygen by means of photosynthesis.The ocean water helps maintain the temperature inside the bags at acceptable levels, while the ocean's waves also keep the system mixed and active.Semi permeable membranes that allow fresh water to flow out into the ocean, while preventing salt from entering and diluting the fresh water inside the bag.Making the water run one way will retain the algae and nutrients inside the bags.Through osmosis, the bags will also absorb carbon dioxide from the air, while releasing oxygen.Leakage won't cause any worse pollution than when sewage is directly dumped into the ocean, as happens now.Exposed to salt, the fresh water algae will quickly die in the ocean.The bags are expected to last two years, and will be recycled afterwards.The plastic material may be used as plastic mulch, or possibly as a solid amendment in fields to retain moisture. The algae may also be harvested and processed to produce food, constituting another cycle of a sustainable economy, as pictured below. Find gather groups: We can make a difference, geo engineering, libertaria, political futures, progressive politics, the reader's lounge, recommendations, going green, artistic minds geo engineering, constructive criticism, make your point!, Climate change, GreenHouses, The Political Discussion Group, Get to the point!, Biofuel Update, Change your Life, Electric Vehicles, Only the good news, today, Sustainability for Real People, carbon negative, Citizens of Earth, international politics, Post Reviews, global warming, Things that matter, Get the point?, Optionality, Politics and Social Justice, TOU Time of Use, Intelligent politics, The Greenhouse Effect, Good Point, The Transportation Forum, Electric Cars, GETTING GREEN AT HOME, Politics, Cowboy Style, To the point, Artistic Therapy, The Mobile Revolution, politics and international news, Community Food Security, What the.?, The Sharing Place, Clean Energy News, Got it?, Biochar, Share your Vision, points of view, Global Warming, Article Reviews, Peak Oil, words of wisdom, eZine, Going Green, Saving Our Environment, What's on your Mind, The Practical Green, Ratings, Earth School, Brighten Your Day, We the People, Political, Social, and Religious Views Forum, Gather Politics News Channel, Good Comments, Politics Today, what is your point?, Renewables, Progressive Greens, The Eco Friendly Corner, Political Boxing, Clear Minds Create, Read this!, Innovation Futures, Epistemology, public policy, FeeBates, Good ideas, The Age Of Aquarius, The Renewed Activist, direct choice, Direct Democracy, Make a point, Going Green, recycling, Whatever!, Conquer Fear, PolitiCat, eco home, Safe Clean Energy, People of the World, The Hydrogen Economy, Bulletin Board, Collective Energies, Come to the point, Political Open Discussion, Living a sustainable life, Save the Planet, Projects to Promote a Sustainable Life, Gather News Channel, Good idea!, Making A Difference, Open Debate, A comment for a comment, A BETTER WORLD, Change the World, what is the point?, Point Exchange, Perspectives, The Intellectual Activist, Alternative Energy, Political Views, Point taken!, Think About This, Opinionated Opinions, Global Warming and Climate Change, Best of Gather,!Team green!, News, Politics and the Economy, Urban Planning, Politics Today, Global Politics Daniel c. : "What are the up front costs and harvesting of such an operation?What would it take to get it operational? "In the nasa article, the bags are described as inexpensive plastic bags.There's no need for land, water, fertilizers, etc.The infrastructure to pump sewage to the sea is already in place.Algae can grow 20 to 30 times faster than food crops.Economically, the proposal looks sound, even before taking into account the environmental benefits.I don't see technical hurdles either.Aircraft can fly on algae oil.Back in jan 7, 2009, a continental airlines commercial aircraft(A boeing 737 800)Was powered in part by algae oil, supplied by sapphire energy.The main hurdle seems to be that algae oil is not perceived as price competitive with fossil fuel based jet fuel.To overcome that hurdle, i advocate feebates, in this case fees imposed on flights, with the proceeds used to fund rebates on safe and clean ways to power aircraft, such as by algae oil.Alternatively, the proceeds could be used to fund carbon air capture, as discussed in my article removing carbon from air and as pictured on the left.Taken on its own, each of these processes may be perceived to be too expensive.But each of them may help make the entire cycle in the bigger picture become more economic, while the cycle as a whole has additional environmental benefits that aren't currently incorporated in the price.With innovation and economies of scale, prices can eventually come down to levels that even such feebates won't be necessary and they will phase themselves out.Department of energy(Doe)Had a program to study the potential of algae as a renewable fuel.The program was run by the doe's national renewable energy laboratory(Nrel)And was terminated by 1996.Against those figures, the nasa figures are conservative and therefore look even more viable.Let me cheap michael kors outlet add a few more paragraphs on funding.By comparison, a 2007 bloomberg report estimated that the gulf of mexico's dead zone would reach more than half the size of maryland that year and stretch into waters off texas.The dead zone endangers a $2.6 billion a year fishing industry.The number of shrimp fishermen licensed in louisiana has declined 40% since 2001.Farmers in the 2007 spring planted the most acreage with corn since 1944, due to demand for ethanol.As the report further describes, the dead zone is fueled by nitrogen and other nutrients pouring into the gulf, and corn in particular contributes to this as it uses more nitrogen based fertilizer than crops such as soybeans.That's $1.45 per gallon of ethanol(Or $2.21 per gallon of gas replaced).At un climate talks in bonn, the world's poorest nations proposed a levy of about $6 on every flight to help them adapt to climate change.The levy could raise up to $10 billion per year and would increase the average price of an international long haul fare by less than 1% for standard class passengers, but up to $62 for people traveling first class.In the light of those amounts, it doesn't seems unreasonable to expect that fees imposed on conventional jet fuel could raise billions per year.Proceeds could then be used to fund algae bags and air capture of carbon dioxide, which could be pumped into the bags on location to enhance algae growth.With the help of rebates, the infrastructure to grow algae in such bags could be set up quickly, helping the environment, creating job opportunities, making the us less dependent on oil imports, while leaving us with more land and water to grow food, resulting in lower food prices.Importantly, that would also help with the development of air capture of carbon dioxide, which is an essential part of the blueprint to reduce carbon dioxide to acceptable levels. Thanks ann.Yes, using bags floating on the sea that produce fresh water by means of solar power is also a great idea that could become more viable in combination with the algae bags.Another such idea is wave power technology that uses air filled buoys that float in the sea, which can be combined with desalination, as i described in an earlier article. The picture below outlet michael kors bags indicates how fees on aviation could assist with the development of floating algae bags. As the picture indicates, proceeds could be used to fund air capture of carbon dioxide, and the co2 thus captured could be pumped into the bags in an arrangement that is financially attractive to the development of algae bags.Fuel processing facilities on location could then use both the co2 and the algae to produce biofuel, which would in turn be used by aviation.Bags could also reduce the amounts of sunlight penetrating the water, since the bags cover the surface of the water.In conclusion, there will be less of those organisms if bags are installed.In areas referred to as dead zones, that would be good, since excess amounts of micro organisms cause oxygen depletion, suffocating fish and shrimp.Also, in the case of dead zones, bags wouldn reduce light penetrating the water, since the water is already pretty much covered by bloom anyway.Yet, i can imagine that some balance could be found, where bags cover only parts of the seashore, while some sewage would still reach the water and stimulate growth of micro organisms. Baby j: ".If this strain of algae is released into the wild, will it compete with native species? "Since the bags are filled with fresh water from sewage, the algae grown in the bags will be fresh water algae.In case some of these fresh water algae would escape from the bag, they would be exposed to salt from the sea and will quickly die.Even if released in fresh water, i don't expect much harm, since the algae in the bags will be strains that feed on very nutrient rich water and that are non toxic.By contrast, some of the native algae are toxic and can cause tumors.Boiling the water will not destroy the toxins it will kill algae but in doing so cheap handbags uk will release toxins into the water.In fact some toxins become more dangerous as a result of boiling the water.Of course, anything that grows somewhere will compete with anything else that could grow there.The algae in the bags will compete with the aquatic vegetation or phytoplankton in that area.Currently, however, excess amounts of phytoplankton, showing up as algal blooms, do cause a variety of problems including lack of oxygen in the water, choking fish and shellfish.As said, i can imagine that some balance could be found, where bags cover only parts of the seashore, while some sewage would still reach the water and stimulate growth of aquatic vegetation. Here's another image associated with the nasa article.I've also included it in an article focusing on funding of carbon air capture at the geo engineering blog, where i also advocate to impose fees on conventional jet fuel, funding rebates on air capture of carbon dioxide, which could then be pumped into the bags on location to enhance algae growth.With the help of such funding, the entire infrastructure could be set up quickly, helping the environment, creating job opportunities, making the us less dependent on oil imports, while leaving us with more land and water to grow food, resulting in lower food prices. As a clean energy alternative, nasa invented an algae photo bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products.The company plans to refine and integrate the nasa technology into biorefineries to produce renewable energy products, including diesel and jet fuel. "Nasa has a long history of developing very successful energy conversion devices and novel life support systems, said lisa lockyer, deputy director of the new ventures and communication directorate at nasa ames.Using energy from the sun, the algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and nutrients from the wastewater to produce biomass and oxygen.As the algae grow, the nutrients are contained in the enclosures, while the cleansed freshwater is released into the surrounding ocean through the forward osmosis membranes.The omega technology has transformational powers.It can convert sewage and carbon dioxide into abundant and inexpensive fuels, said matthew atwood, president and founder of algae systems.After the oil is extracted from the algae, the algal remains can be used to make fertilizer, animal feed, cosmetics, or other valuable products.
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