Barriers to Biofuels Adoption


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Barriers to Biofuels Commercialization

Right off the bat, the definition of he term “biofuels” immediately comes to mind. It used to be that what we call biofuels today, was referred to by it’s more fitting name, “synthetic fuels”. Not necessarily unlike the types of petroleum replacements the Nazi war machine had learned how to produce for themselves during WWII. Today at least in the United States, traditional ethanol with cellulosic ethanol gaining ground as “biofuels” as the field comes into the homestretch. The term biofuel has wrongly been co-opted to mean, “Anything that can be made domestically that will acceptably power a vehicle.”, omitting the additional and in my opinion obligatory, “…No matter how the vehicle needs to be changed.” The ethanol industry was a creation of and for farmers originally. Excess grain would be distilled and used to power tractors and flow fields at the lowest possible cost to farmers. In the 1960’s when it was discovered by Congress that emissions and gasoline prices could both be reduced in some small measure by cutting 97+ octane gasoline with lower octane alcohol they were prepared to subsidize the fledgling ethanol industry to life regardless of cost. Hence, “gasohol” was introduced to the public. Ever since, ethanol producers have been using an ever-increasing fraction of human foodstuffs to manufacture fuels. This is unwise as the eventual out come is transportation induced famine in the places that the corn used for ethanol could have gone to feed hungry people instead.
 
 The emissions from modern 2nd & 3rd generation advanced biofuels are across the board significantly lower than the petroleum derived standard fuels we have been using for decades. The emissions from ethanol include a few characters from the –aldehyde group of chemicals. Acetaldehyde & Formaldehyde being the two that the public would be most familiar with. From petroleum and biofuels the emissions are composed primarily of unburned fuel (HC), incompletely burned fuel (CO), fully combusted fuel (CO2) and oxides of nitrogen (NO x). None of these are nearly as toxic as ethanol emissions. I believe the term “biofuels” should apply only to domestically producible fuels, with emissions that mimic those of obsolete petroleum fuels.

As a biofuels ethanol production is inherently wasteful of water and the energy consumed in producing the finished product. A gallon of ethanol requires 9 gallons of fresh water and an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of energy contained within the ethanol itself. With embalming fluid coming out the tailpipe on top of the production inefficiency, besides an enormous government subsidized jobs program, what is ethanol? Not a biofuel, that’s for sure.

BARRIERS TO COMMERCIALIZATION OF ALGAE BASED BIOFUELS

The technology exists in multiple forms capable of scaling up as I sit here tinkling on the keys. Algae was studied by NREL for over 30 years at significant taxpayer expense only to fail to give the government what it claimed it wanted, freedom from the necessity of shipping approximately $700 Billion annually (2009) out of the USA, to OPEC and his little sisters Venezuela & Brazil. Unfortunately, the thoroughly corrupted American politicos over the past few decades has slowly chipped away at the legal protections for the citizens, from the government. All the while government has been busy making back-room deals to get Congress to subsidize businesses that have traditionally been profitable in any economy. Not unlike the petroleum companies (Big Oil) who instead of competing like the rest of us, have been illegally colluding as a cartel for the purposes of manipulating the system to be allowed to stage an ever greater invasion of the lives of private citizens. Why? So petroleum can make a greater profit this year than last year, while the bill is handed to the US Taxpayer. Corruption of the highest levels of government in collusion with the leaders of large corporations has been treating the people as cattle to be fed upon. If you’re in the petroleum industry or government, why would you be willing to allow that sweet little side-deal to be changed? You wouldn’t. This tiny view through the window of human nature is only the beginning.

Enter Climate Change, the Big Villain we all need be concerned about. Not only for the reason of a few forcing the many to live in increasingly unhealthful environmental conditions, but also for the changes that will occur to the thermodynamics of the air and most importantly, the oceans. Big Oil has already polluted an entire ocean in a new, world’s record time. Is a future famine somewhere in the world a direct result of the Gulf oil Leak? Why has nobody gone to jail? How could this be allowed to stand? All 575 Federal Government elected officials have been corrupted to the core. The people new to congress are informed of their new place in the pecking order, and told that now in the “family”, it is best to try to remain. Notice I forgot all about Climate Change. Why? Depopulation, you silly goose.

There are some aspects of modern life that while troublesome have by their existence proven themselves to be a bargain if they were twice the price. Vehicular emission controls where a computer feedback loop controls an engine’s running parameters to assure the catalyst is between 650-1100 deg. Farenheit.

So, unburned fuel that is leaving the engine is slowed at the catalytic converter and combusted more completely before leaving the tailpipe, significantly reducing the amount of harmful emissions at the entering the environment per vehicle road mile. In order to preserve the materials in the catalyst only fuels without any lead content can be used otherwise the lead melts and sticks to the catalyst until is will no longer function. It is the use of a catalytic converter that originally begat vehicle emissions testing on a national scale. But, it is the in-use compliance testing of vehicles for meeting the EPA and DOT for x year old vehicles, (30-40K miles) where a number of appropriate vehicles are procured from DMV records prepared and tested. Depending on the failure and the percentage of vehicles our of the test population fail similarly, a recall may be issued so the carmaker pays to fix a defective product. The keys here are the testing requirements.  One of which is removing the fuel as a variable from the test data for all vehicles so differences in fuels don’t have the opportunity to hide flaws in the vehicles. The fuels used for this emissions testing is marketed under the trade name Indoline.  This fuel is chemically structured so that it is highly repeatable in characteristics. Vaporization, viscosity and volatility are all virtually the same from batch to batch of this industry and purpose specific gasoline derivative.

Without passing these efficiency and emissions tests mandated by Federal CAFÉ standards, (corporate average fuel economy) the engine family in the failed example including all of the vehicles into which it was installed must be recalled for a repair.  Otherwise the factory must re-purchase and/or replace them all and crush and scrap every nonconforming vehicle sold at the corporation’s expense. These tests are the sweating buckets, make or break tests for certification for sale anywhere within all 50 states.  Lose government’s faith in you or your vehicle’s certification, and  potentially lose billions of dollars.

Thus, it necessarily follows that unless or until an algae based “Bio-Indoline” can be developed and EPA & DOT certified for use in testing, the auto industry will have no choice but to keep within the law by forcing the use by many millions of drivers, ethanol. Why? Because ethanol is already listed as an “alternative” or “clean” fuel (even though it isn’t so clean) and as such, an ethanol powered vehicle is exempted from in-use compliance emissions testing. But not from initial baseline testing done by the government, the carmakers and confirmed by a 3rd party emissions laboratory. Bio-Indoline is an absolute necessity for adoption of biofuels on a national or global level. The same dynamic holds true for all vehicles of any type that are powered by an EPA registered liquid fuel. Jet engine emissions tested and controlled in a very similar manner. Just with the letters FAA in front instead of EPA. This basic protocol applies to engines as small as a common weed whacker or chainsaw. One of the mandatory keys to the future of biofuels commercialization is replacement of all test fuels currently in use with “bio-equivalents”. Otherwise, the alternative fuels industry is dead on arrival.

 

 
 
 
 

 

Big Green Monster

The basic physical configuration for growing algae in a sealed space.

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Hello World! Let’s Fix The Earth!


 

Litho Scipio

The Author: Matt Snyder

A FINANCIALLY FEASIBLE TECHNOLOGICAL METHODOLOGY AND FOUNDATION FOR ABATING CLIMATE CHANGE CONTAMINANTS:

A list of the cornerstone technologies available today to remediate GHG’s & particulates globally in a cost effective manner.

CORNERSTONE  #1
Commercial Scale Production of Algae Based Drop-In Petroleum Replacements:

Using the continuous cultivation system for microalgae designed by Scipio Biofuels in a de-centralized model the system can, due to the ability of the system to consume XXXXXX+ tons annually of CO2. The CO2 is consumed to cultivate algae in a pump-less flowing circuit, which will produce in excess of XXXXXXXX gallons of, algae oil per acre per year for biofuels.

How far in excess? Unfortunately at this time we can’t tell what we don’t know. From the very beginning of the design stages for this particular design we have been consumed with the ideas of under promising & over delivering in every way imaginable. As of this writing algae based biofuels can easily be produced at or very near the point of use with our equipment designs. For point of use at an existing larger facility just install our solar collector portion of the system in a circuit immediately within the perimeter fence of airports, harbors, military bases & the like. The algae, is continuously harvested & processed under the parking lot or another suitable location within or adjacent to the facility site. This process was designed to consume the maximum amount of CO2 from industrial sources.

It is possible to generate, algae oil (or green crude) for algae based biofuels in the tens, to thousands of tons per day depending on the number of PBR’s at a given facility. As long as geothermal heat (on a small scale) can also can be tapped on site, the latitude limits for algae cultivation, year-round, stretch to the Arctic and Antarctic Circles until photo-period simply won’t allow growth rates to be economically feasible. As luck would have it, we have multiple solutions for that as well. I’m not supposed to get bothered about using energy to make energy, as conversions are never 100% efficient. I don’t like to do this. Although in our case the ends justify the means.

The exact same equipment can be used to grow on the same scale the algae that produce Omega-3 & Omega-6 fatty acids. For pharmaceutical use these oils sell (as of this writing) for $200+ per gallon. As well as algae that bears astaxanthin. The substance that makes salmon pink is an antioxidant 300x more powerful than Vitamin E. With a value rarefied much higher than that of Omega-x fatty acids. Algae can produce feed stocks for many industries including plastics and cosmetics & more. This diversification gives greater stability to the alternative fuels industry and by extension, the economy as a whole. But we can’t get caught up in just growing high value strains. We’re producing fuel.

With such a de-centralized system producing tens of thousands (to millions) of tons of press-cake annually at or near each point of use, combined with centralized sites producing tens of millions of tons annually, it is conceivable that there will not be enough consumers of press-cake products. This is OK. In order to alleviate the need to scrap the coal cars that emerged full from mines in the past. Today the coal cars are to be empty for putting the “green coal” back into the ground. Using first of the 4 cornerstones, algae production to consume the CO2 regardless of production in excess of the global demand. This means that carbon sequestration is an issue that resolves itself for at least a hundred years when the coalmines are again almost full. Then and only then does carbon sequestration again become a problem.

Grow algae, harvest algae, remove oil. press-cake and overproduction got to coal mine.
CORNERSTONE  #2
Comprehensive System for Bioremediation of Eutrophic Water bodies & Watersheds

By using several different methods combined, wholly or in part during a portion of the year determined by photoperiod & solar cycle, the existing nutrients in and around a lake can be drawn from their source. By growing plants on automated hydroponic racks each of the racks shuttles in-turn from rooting to harvest along a dedicated path. The specific plants are chosen based upon what contaminants are in and around the lake water cross-referenced by the species that have rapidity of growth as well as requiring uptake of trace elements matching as many entries on the list of contaminants as possible. Each different species of plant will then consume directly from the environment. For within the water itself we could install algal mats which promote rapid algae growth with the property that the algae from the water will tend to stick to the mats to be removed from the lake with the mat. Removal of the mats occurs just before photoperiod decreases sharply at summer’s end. This means that when the die-off of the algae overgrowth that would then recycle those nutrients back into the water, those nutrients are instead taken up with the mats.

This same type of timing model is used with terrestrial plants around the shoreline and as far out as contamination, access and funding allow.

To eliminate stratification & passively oxygenate the volume of the lake’s water, a device equating to a smaller version of Cornerstone #3 was originally created to be part of this bioremediation system.

Many different techniques are initiated and discontinued in a very specific order, sequence, phase and period after which the area is then tested, plant species possibly adjusted then repeated annually for up to 40 years or more for very heavily contaminated areas. After the first 2 or 3 years, water as dirty as Lake Elsinore in California could be drinkable year-round. By that time, contamination levels should have decreased to allow more & different plants to be grown as feed-stocks for other industries offsetting the systems cost substantially. There are over 500 lakes in the southwest U.S. on EPA clean-up lists with funding waiting in vane, until now. It is a most important relationship to find/make/initiate between Scipio Biofuels & high level EPA people as soon as possible. This is how we assure enough water for everyone.
CORNERSTONE #3
A wind powered method for passive de-acidification of the oceans.

By using a floating, wind driven apparatus, to inject pressurized ambient air at a given depth, the dynamic we are manufacturing artificially is that of, crashing waves, or an artificial wave action. That is the only function of this device. The rate at which it functions is directly dependent on wind speed. When artificial wave action begins a number of interesting things begin to occur.

As the bubbles rise, the air within exchanges some gasses with the seawater and will also be saturated with water vapor to 100% RH.  As the air bubble reaches the surface it will contain more water vapor by volume than in the ambient air.  This overall increase in ambient humidity will eventually result in increased rainfall somewhere.

By deploying large numbers (TBD) of this floating apparatus as a test by for example: dotting the Mississippi River Estuary, even miles out to sea the effects on the Gulf of Mexico’s eutrophic estuarial dead zones will be significant and immediate. The increased oxygen levels from the simulated wave action. As the “wet” air mass in the atmosphere increases, eventually this extra “distilled” fresh water in the atmosphere will logically increase rainfall globally, including on the ocean. For de-acidification it is this added fresh water rain that is the true agent of change. When pure H2O, contacts carbonic acid H2CO3 the CO2 molecule is broken off and the carbonic acid leaving water again thus raising the pH and liberating a molecule of CO2 from the seawater as it is raining at the surface. With luck, the increased rainfall in any one place will indicate increased rainfall eventually everywhere. Putting water in the air by putting air in the water, passively will serve us well.

We need not worry about covering every square mile of the seas with these machines. They should be concentrated where ocean currents are strongest and we allow the currents to distribute the oxygenated seawater for us when possible.

My understanding is that well within 30 days after small-scale deployment the first positive effects will be unmistakable.
CORNERSTONE #4
Method for the removal of both particulates and CO2 100%, directly from the atmosphere in one pass.
 
For the sake of brevity I’m going to describe the system using common objects for analogy based on the physical dynamics employed.

Please imagine. a high volume PV solar powered vacuum pump connected to what is in essence sealed room with an inlet pipe dropping into a cistern creating in effect an enormous hooka.

What is actually in the hooka is limewater, an automated method for sensing & replenishment of the lime in the water a drain and a bottom, cleaning device. The CO2 within the rising bubbles reacts with the limewater causing a precipitate to settle on the bottom.  With 100% of the particulates drawn in by the vacuum pump as the intake air is not filtered remaining suspended in the limewater. What the bottom cleaner does is gather and deposit for collection all of the calcium carbonate in which the CO2 is permanently sequestered. It also uses limewater for reasons of low expense, toxicity, and simplicity.

CORNERSTONE #5
Emission free electrical power generation (almost) that preserves current upstream fiefdoms.

To manage the environmental sting out of electrical power generation without massive disruptions of service or political and or social upheaval the current paradigms must be included as a part of the solution.

Adjacent to a coal fired power plant we build algae cultivation capacity capable of sustaining the energy needs of the local community plus the difference between that, and the amount of CO2 needed to produce the algae annually to fuel a more flexible combined gas/steam turbine power system. When all is installed and running, only the CO2 necessary to run the secondary system is produced. The original power entity is only generating power at approximately 5% of original capacity and in effect becomes a Licensed CO2 “Producer”.  The best part for all is that nobody has to look for a new job. This concept won’t work everywhere. But we have a number of ways to accommodate different technical issues relating to coal, biomass, ethanol & gas fired power generation all with the same end results.

CONCLUSIONS

These are the “5 Cornerstones” for a framework of what is economically feasible yet still accomplishes what is necessary to abate Climate Change. It has been my intention to do these things privately at my own expense as profits from the algae based biofuels would allow. I have no reason yet to believe implementing these technologies on a global scale will have unmanageable deleterious effects on the environment. But much positive effect on Climate Change causing contamination. Creating an unknown number of jobs everywhere isn’t a bad thing either. I’m in this not to get rich. Wealth will occur merely for making it happen at all and as such is tertiary. I’m here to help for lack of a better word, bioremediate CO2. Why? Because my professional experience has afforded me a unique view of the problem combined with highly specialized knowledge that allows me to simply state, because I know how.

By using all 4 of these processes in combination we can without technical difficulty, inexpensively and rather rapidly reverse the direction Climate Change contamination. When eventually appropriate in however many years, simply recycle the equipment from the processes no longer needed

There’s always more to tell but if this isn’t enough for you to chew on, what is? Thank you for your willingness to take the time to read about what I’ve created.