A new kind of Bio-Diesel, just add water.

Discussion in 'Spare Parts, Tools & Product Developement' started by GearNut, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

  2. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    when you think about the fact that petroleum is a FOSSIL, fuel and you think about the fact that those fossils started out as living organisms...

    I am so in love with the idea of bio-diesel. It is the perfect bridge between petroleum use and renewable energy.

    I hope the tech they are working on works on a commercial scale
  3. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    unfortunately, the new diesels cannot use biodiesel without damaging the engine and the thousands of dollars of emissions carp mandated to meet the newest diesel emission requirements. anything newer than 2006 has the dreaded diesel particulate filter with active regeneration that occurs with fuel injector injecting fuel during the exahust stroke, urea injection, multiple catalysts, etc....etc
  4. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    Just add water is what E-10 gas is all about !!! LOL
  5. Slackbiker

    Slackbiker Member

    In the short term this is so amusing. The world uses 800 million gallons of diesel a day, and if all goes well in two years their 10 acre plant will make 150,000 gallons a year.
  6. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    well, yes... there is no way this one plant is going to meet the fuel needs of the world. But neither is a solar panel on a home or a wind turbine in a park...

    I love my gasoline powered car more than words can describe, but that doesn't change the fact that petroleum is finite and it is our responsibility to find alternative fuels BEFORE it runs out, even if projected stores will still last another 100 years (just throwing a number out there, based on nothing).
  7. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    Well let's see here.....
    Just for the sake of speculation, my uncle's farm is about 500 acres. A really big dairy and beef farm in Wisconsin.
    500 x 150,000 = 75,000,000 gallons. And that's the current potential of one really big fuel farm using this new technology in it's infancy. At the average price of $4.17 per gallon of diesel in my neighborhood that's $312,750,000 retail value. Let's say mark up between retail and wholesale is 1.5 %, then he would profit $208,500,000 per year on the wholesale market not deducting operating costs.
    That's a whole lot of incentive for switching to algae diesel, eh?
    I can't help but think that as this new found bio technology evolves it will become more productive and each fuel farm will produce more and more fuel per given acreage.
    At 800 million gallons a day consumed that's 292 billion gallons a year.
    It would take approx. 3893 similar sized fuel farms to produce that volume of fuel in it's current infancy.
    Is there enough room on this earth to accommodate 3893 fuel farms?
  8. RedBaronX

    RedBaronX Member

    well exactly. If someone fifty years ago had set out to invent, on the spot, a powerful computer that could fit in the palm of one's hand, they would have failed. I don't even have a smartphone, and I am sure the phone I have has more computing power than all of NASA did back during Apollo11. OK, maybe not quite exactly that, but you get the point.
  9. OBXbiker

    OBXbiker New Member

    I agree, it is a drop in the bucket comparatively. however, that drop in the bucket could mean huge change in how we live in the next 100 years. as far as 3000+ fuel farms. there are still large areas of this planet that are un-inhabited mostly deserts were there is no flora or fauna that would be displaced. imagine if a us company set up a large fuel farm in the middle east and started selling diesel against the worlds largest producer of fuel.
  10. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    I think we would see the algae's water supply tainted with bleach quite quickly.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  11. HeadSmess

    HeadSmess Well-Known Member

    the biggest joke about bio diesel is that rudolf diesel intended his compression ignition engine to be fueled with peanut oil...

    im sorry. peple are starving to death every day, yet governments spend millions every day on manufacturing weapons. and then they have the audacity to tell us theyre "green" because theyve just converted 5000000000000 acres of prime farmland, that could be used to grow food, into a valuable fuel production plant...

    oh, and investing many dollars on solar power and electric cars. someone please tell me how much power is USED to manufacture a photovoltaic cell versus what they can produce in their (20 yr at most) life span?

    do the research and you may be shocked. best to stay in the dark and just go with the flow really.

    good old chief white cloud....(forgive me if the names wrong) "when the last rivers poisoned and the last tree dead, white man will realise he cant eat money".

    no wonder you guys did your best to eradicate them all, saying nasty despicable things like that!

    maybe im too cynical?
  12. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Gearnut - the 15000 gallons/acre is how much fuel an acre of the algae can produce, if given the biomass to produce it. So, we still need to grow the "food" to feed the algae.

    IMO, a better crop for this would be sugar cane or sorghum. It could be cut and squeezed in the field, and only the sap (a thin sugar syrup) would need to be transported to the algae. A little intermediate processing (filtering and evaporation) might be justified, if the feedstock is going to be transported very far (no need to ship excess water...)

    Sugar is more digestible than starches (it takes less energy to break it down.)

    One more advantage of a syrup-based feedstock is that it would not be competing against midwest food crops nearly as much, as sugar cane is a tropical climate crop (Southern coastal plains, from Virginia through Texas are ideal growing climates,) and sorghum has a wide growing range (it can grow from the deep south up through the Ohio Valley.) It's always good for farmers to have another cash crop available to them...
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  13. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    If the fuel farm requires "feeding" in the form of fertilizers or in the case of algae ponds, organic slurry, the simple need for that reduces over-all efficiency. Sugar cane, or sorghum syrup, or corn syrup, or grain and grain solids used as feed stocks are NOT the best choices.

    First, they take otherwise productive crop lands out of the food production cycle and put them into the fuel production cycle. Second, the maximum conversion efficiency of green plants of solar energy to stored chemical energy runs around 5%. Algae can do better, up to about 18% - if you feed it sugar (another "bio-fuel"). Third, they tend to exhaust productive soils quickly - if you can crop them 3 years out of 5 you are doing well.

    There is a thoroughly researched alternative, which yields biomass for fermentation, and produces both ethanol and light fuel oil - on marginal soils not typically suitable for crops, and generally not now used for such. It is called switch grass, and per dollar invested in growing/harvesting it, it yeilds approximately $2.50 of fuel at $50/barrel for crude price structures.

    It is a perennial, self-propagating, hardy, prefers marginal soils and requires only basic farm machinery - a tractor, hay mower, hay rake and a baler to prepare it for transport to the fermentation facility. It grows well from Mexico to central Canada. Given current knowledge, current technologies, current transport infrastructure, and fuel distribution infrastructure, it makes more sense than any other single alternative.

    Oh, and by the way - there is some debate as to whether petroleum is in fact a "fossil fuel" derived from plant matter.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    I hope so! I have heard of this before, guess they are still fighting the Stupid Empire (politically connected big oil and bureaucracy) over it. Other technologies have been supressed, to no surprise.

    I would like to see micro-diesel mopeds, mo-bikes, and light vehicles.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3-VLNjwIsg Micro-diesel testing and research.

    I am also a fan of raw big-bore diesel power :tt1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO_kjaxIDzc&feature=related
    1970 DMC Diesel Monte Carlo '99 Cummins turbo 24 valve, sounds like a Kenworth 18wh. :tt1:

  15. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Good post SS. Cannabis would make good companion cropping with switchgrass ;-)
  16. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I had been following that particular development since it's inception in 2007 but unfortunately Practica Foundation abandoned the project soon after citing the design untenable and the original Lohman Company performance claims grossly inflated. Micro however, is the key word in this instance, combining that with a renewable source of backyard bio-fuel would be extremely forward thinking.
  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Link to related thread on diesel bicycle engines (engine weight up to 50lb) here:
    including the famous and rare Lohman bicycle engines, and prototype asian micro diesel engines

    "home made diesel bicycle engine" running, on bike: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdroxprH4xg

    2cc (two) diesel engine, US made RC airplane engine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOToV1w4BlU
    2.5cc diesel engine, Russian made RC airplane engine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gqw70icL6Q&feature=related
    Now if we could just scale that up and get some good throttle control and make it a 4 bolt interface with clutch like auger and whacker motors, it would be super.

    Diesel engines (esp small ones) have their own set of engineering hurdles, but I don't see why small diesel mopeds would be a problem. R/C plane enthusiasts have been making hot plug engines (semi-diesel) out of 31cc Ryobi weedwhacker motors. I think they run on some combination fuels. A pure diesel engine might be kind of heavy for the displacement size. That would put off engine mfgrs because metal is high, shipping is high, and no one wants a 12lb weedwhacker engine. IF the engine was MADE for the scooter/atv/MaB market, 12lb wouldn't be such a big deal.

    I think the hardest part would be making a mini diesel engine that was
    1 easy to start
    2 had wide usable rPm range
    3 didn't require fuel injection
    4 could pass minimal emissions regulations
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  18. travboat

    travboat New Member

    According to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2147rank.html there is approximately 148.94 km-squared of land available on Earth; this converts to 3.68 x 10^9 acres (3.7 billion acres).

    Even if each farm takes about 500 acres to grow, and assuming we needed no land for housing or business (odd assumption, considering we're using gas to fuel our livelyhood), we could make about 7 million farms, well over the required amount.