Sunday, January 13, 2008

A new slimy, gooey fuel?

This morning I read an article in the Wilmington Star News about a potential new fuel supply. Instead of slimy, gooey oil our vehicles may one day be powered by slimy, gooey algae. Yes, that yucky green stuff that is an ugly nuisance in aquariums and ponds might become a renewable fuel.

The pollution created by fossil fuels along with our dependence on foreign oil are big concerns in the United States. Biofuels, fuels made from plan material, are one possible solution,

Brunswick Community College (BCC) here in Brunswick County, North Carolina is about to begin research into algae as a biofuel. Because this water-borne plant can be grown vertically it uses less space to produce than current biofuel sources. We don't eat algae so we can use as much as we want for fuel and it will not affect food prices.

The plan at BCC is to secure the funds to build algae tanks at a wastewater treatment plant in the county. Kim Jones, a chemistry teacher and grant writer, hopes to see the school produce algae in industrial quantities and then extract oils that could be sold to companies for the mass production of biofuel. Treated wastewater would be used for growing the algae.

"Wouldn't it be a wonderful vision to have every wastewater treatment facility ... growing algae for oil to produce biodiesel?" Jones said.

Anything that helps us to protect creation and reduces our potential to fight over a finite supply of oil is indeed a wonderful vision.

1 comment:

Kim Jones, PhD said...

David, I just came upon your blog posting from January, as I was creating a blog for the new website that I am developing. Thanks to the encouragement of folks like you, I have begun a venture in algae culturing for biofuels and other value-added organic products. I would like to invite you to visit my website, at, and also follow my blog on our progress. I would like to see the venture grow as a community-based, grassroots endeavor to seek better, more responsible and more energy independent solutions in our own backyard. Cheers to the work you do and to the encouragement you have provided!