Algae in your tank

December 2, 2007 at 6:56 pm 1 comment

If you had mentioned algae to me last week, I would have probably asked you how to kill the stuff. As winter sinks in and the furnace comes on for more and more hours each day, the air in our house dries to an uncomfortable extent. Humidifier to the rescue! Unfortunately, our humidifier is several years old and has been gathering an unremovable layer of algae (yes, I have tried scrubbing, I have tried bleach). Ew. But it turns out that algae aren’t all bad. I might have discovered a way to produce (an inconsequential amount of) fuel oil. 🙂

Please read Algae Emerges as a Potential Fuel Source > NY Times > Science > Dec 2, 2007. The article shows a beautiful picture of a lab at U Minnesota with several Erlenmeyer’s filled with algae. I assume the tubes bring CO2 to the flask and the algae are harvested later for their oil. The article mentions one of the problems that has to be solved before you pump some algae (or more accurately oil produced by algae) into your tank: cost. There are other problems too. Check out these links for more information about the U Minnesota program and the potential of algae:


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Nov 29 Discussion Earth-friendly ammo?

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Jordan  |  December 2, 2007 at 11:27 pm

    I was really into this earlier in the year, and found a great journal article that is the best overview of biodiesel production from algae that i’ve found out there, in terms of cost, design, biology, chemistry, quality, etc.

    “Biodiesel from microalgae” by Y. Chisti, Biotechnology Advances, 25 (2007) 294-306

    This journal is not in the Reed library, but you can either order the article using ILL or I can send you a copy of mine.


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