We are either going to save the earth or profit from it. Some will argue that biofuel (Food for Gas) just doesn’t make sense but that’s not stopping some rich people from investing big money into this technology. Below you will find both sides of the argument. Should we push to stop the exchange of food for gas or jump on the money train?
Posted by Keith Johnson (FULL STORY)
Cascades Investments LLC, Mr. Gates’ personal investment vehicle, is backing Sapphire Energy, a start up working towards a commercial-scale facility to produce oil from algae. And by all indications, he is not trying to save the world from its petro-addiction. He’s trying to make some money.
Little known outside of green-energy circles, Sapphire Energy is at the forefront of an effort to use single-celled organisms to turn out refinery-ready oil that can be either mixed with conventional crude or turned directly into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. There is still significant skepticism that Sapphire, or any of its competitors, can overcome fundamental problems of mass-producing a competitive fuel from algae. These problems include: finding the right algae strain and showing it can mass produce oil that can compete on cost with crude oil.
Still, the San Diego based company is attracting some impressive investors.
100’s of Millions are being invested!
Posted by Paul – Pickens Plan Member…
As long as the total conversion of sunlight into organic matter sits at the dismally low 0.01% efficiency, there will be limits on food & fuel. Once that hurdle is overcome then there will be little need to worry. "Have you hugged a plant biologist today?"
The algae folks can brag that their little friends are tens of time more productive than corn of any other "C-4" photo-synthetic plant... and it is, but algae is the high performer that pulls the average up to the 'dismal' rating mentioned.
When we find a plant that grows like it came out of the Twilight Zone, then we can talk about 'efficient' energy production from biomass. In the mean time it's a tough call as to whether the nutrients (fixed nitrogen etc.) in 'waste' are more valuable than the BTU's if it were all to be converted to fuel (CH4).
What do you think about all this?