Seed Science study says Algae Fermentor Technology Best Bet for Fuel
A Seed Science Ltd. study looked at the future for algae biofuels in British Columbia and around the world and the results weren’t that heartening. First off, the results of the study showed that photobioreactors are by far not going to be commercially feasible for quite some time. The biofuels produced from these reactors won’t be able to compete with regular petroleum.
However, though most of this study was pretty “sober”, they did offer a brief ray of hope: algae fermentor. Take a look:
… The fermentor is a quite different technology that uses no sunlight and an organic carbon source. According to the analysis, this technology comes closest to commercial viability. Nevertheless, it would need further improvements to become competitive with fossil fuels and to offer real life-cycle advantages over first-generation biofuels. Table 1 compares all three technologies examined.
The verdict, based on the research, is therefore that algae research should concentrate on the two technologies identified (the raceway for warm climates and the fermentor). At the same time, other alternatives, such as using bacteria to produce biofuels, should be compared to using algae to see if they offer a bigger chance of success.
This whole article is a pretty straight forward and pretty negative towards the future of algae as fuels. I tend to be more optimistic definitely when I see articles about how catfish farmers could essentially make hundreds of thousands of dollars with just a few hundred acres of catfish ponds.
I didn’t have time to read the whole 88-page study that this article is based off of but you can see it here. However, if you don’t have time to read that (like me) here is the summary.