Thunderpig’s Mirror

Crunching The Numbers On Algal Gasoline

Posted by Thunder Pig on June 28, 2008

According to the US Energy Information Administration, US gasoline consumption is currently averaging (4-week rolling) 9.027 million barrels of gasoline per day, or about 379 million gallons (42 gallons per barrel). Thus, to completely replace US gasoline consumption, Sapphire Energy would need to “scrub”, at 100% efficiency, just over 83000 cubic kilometers of air per day. Certainly there is plenty of air available – this volume represents less than 0.02% of the volume of air in the first 1 km of atmosphere. Nevertheless, it is an enormous amount to process each day.

Of course, Sapphire Energy’s near-term goals are much more modest. As CEO Jason Pyle told Biomass Magazine, “the company is currently deploying a three-year pilot process with the goal of opening a 153 MMgy (10,000 barrel per day) production facility by 2011 at a site yet to be determined.” Using my fuzzy math above, that equates to a minimum of 92 cubic kilometers of air a day. Still seems like a lot.

So where will all of the CO2 come from?

Source: Watts Up With That? (Be sure and read the whole post over there).

Commentary

This is the one thing enviro-weenies seem to forget when they try to force alternative energy on us…it is usually not scalable the way oil is scalable. They make good supplemental sources of energy, but cannot replace oil completely.

I am very interested to see more research in this direction for producing fuels from biological sources that are not also food sources. Al Fin has a post on a similar effort that boasts 100,000 gallons of oil an acre production, which leaves me to ponder the possibility of lefties and enviro-weenies (often the same creature) will begin to oppose that process should it promise to free us from bondage to the Middle East, and perhaps create true wealth here. If it is successful…count on it as surely as the protests against wind mills and clean coal plants…which they championed a few years ago.

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