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Power Science

Algae That Cleans Emissions and Produces Fuel 275

**$tarDu$t** writes "Isaac Berzin, a rocket scientist at MIT has come up with an idea for using algae to clean up power-plant exhaust. His research began 3 years ago in an experiment for growing algae on the International Space Station. His idea consists of building algae farms near power plants to provide a means to reduce CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions. Emissions are filtered through the algae. Then the CO2 saturated algae is harvested and squeezed to produce a combustible vegetable oil (biodiesel) and a dried green substance that can be further processed into ethanol."
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Algae That Cleans Emissions and Produces Fuel

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @04:55PM (#14448736) Journal
    I don't have a biology degree but it seems to me that there might be faster ways of creating strains more efficient at harvesting/reducing CO2. I have seen lectures given where Alzheimer's susceptible genes were spliced into the genes of mice neurons using a strain of the herpes virus that had previously infected neurons of Alzheimer's patients [nih.gov].

    Does anyone know if there are techniques like this to use to directly alter the genes of other organisms (like algae) using perhaps similar tricks?

    Furthermore, what if this could be used for gases other than nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide?

    Is there maybe a possibility of coating hot air balloons or zeppelins with this algae and letting them float about in the atmosphere until they become so heavy with algae they descend? I know it's kind of farfetched to propose that but stranger things that once were science fiction have become useful. The article seems to make it sound like just having the algae exposed to the air near a plant.
    • I will personally take care of any spare nitrous oxide gas you happen to have. Please contact me via the email address attached to this account.
    • by Politburo ( 640618 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:12PM (#14448910)
      I don't have a biology degree but it seems to me that there might be faster ways of creating strains more efficient at harvesting/reducing CO2.

      Well gee, please do enlighten the biologists then.

      The article seems to make it sound like just having the algae exposed to the air near a plant.

      Did you miss this part in the summary in your rush for FP? "Emissions are filtered through the algae."
      • Actually, I RTFA instead of the summary and as it turns out:

        In 1990, Sheehan's NREL program calculated that just 15,000 square miles of desert (the Sonoran desert in California and Arizona is more than eight times that size) could grow enough algae to replace nearly all of the nation's current diesel requirements.

        They make it sound like you just need to grow it and it will clean the air. Why would you put that figure out there if you have to build just as much pipe filled with algae to clean the air?

        • Correct me if I am wrong, but I remember reading that to produce a useful amount of algae, the air needs to be at least 13% CO2. Coal plant emissions reach that level. So it would be possible to run the nation's diesel fleet off 15,000 square miles of desert if that desert contained a few dozen coal power plants and a system of pipes to carry exhaust to the algae ponds.
          • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @06:24PM (#14449524) Homepage
            Nope you are not wrong. Algae are an extreme pain in the arse to grow. They require loads of sun, loads of CO2 and the moment their concentration reaches a usefull level the broth tends to start dieing out, bacteria take over and contaminate the broth. So on. Of course, growing them for fuel is different from growing them for biotech where you need them "pure", but still. The idea of using algae is wildly optimistic.
            • Algae are an extreme pain in the arse to grow.
              I've a patented solution to the problem, just dig a hole, line it with pvc sheeting, add water and ornimental fish that you actualy want to see and BAM instant pea soup! Seriously I live in SE Michigan, not exactly prime sunlight area and my garden pond gets plenty of algea, keeping it under control is work. The only time the algea goes away when the food it needs is gone, primarily phosphates. My fish are fat and happy and I typically feed once a week in early
              • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @07:08PM (#14449900) Homepage
                You are kind'a correct. True, algae grows everywhere. The problem is that it is not growing in a concentration for anything usefull. If you dip your fish in an algae broth that is as concentrated as necessary for it to be of any use for extracting food supplements they will die in 5 minutes or less because their gills will be completely clogged up. I assume that biofuel is the same (I may be wrong). And by the way - I used to study this (granted this was 20 years ago) and I used to have 8+ fish tanks around the apartment. So I know both sides of the story first hand.
                • well, if one grows algea on land you run into the issue of harvesting enough, unless you're using controlled environments where every nutrient level is precisely tuned to the needs of the algea. in which case you're not producing a huge volume, but it's very useful for cleaning emissions from coal power plants. and if every coal plant in the us used algea tanks insted of conventional 'scrubbers' enough algea to produce enough biodiesel to run a large segment of our diesel market would be produced. now tha
            • Algae are an extreme pain in the arse to grow. They require loads of sun, loads of CO2

              Tell this to anyone who has an aquarium, artifical pond in the garden, or swimming pool. I'd say it is an extreme pain in the arse to prevent algae from growing in any water that is exposed to light. I have seen them grow in cooling-water hoses that were only exposed to fluorescent light tubes. Mind you, the cooling-water circuit was filled with deionized water, so all the nutrients must have been leaking out of the vari

    • Three guesses, in decreasing order of likelihood:

      1) The guy isn't a molecular biologist and doesn't know how to do that, but does understand how to do selective breeding.

      2) The alga used here isn't a common experimental system so you don't have the tools available that you do for mice.

      3) The CO2 uptake is controlled by a pathway such that hitting one or two genes isn't enough to change it significantly.
    • I don't know the details, but Dr. Ray Crist [messiah.edu] at the college I went to worked on getting algea to clean up heavy metals since like the 70's until he passed away last year at the age of 105. Hopefully more people will work on this type of stuff... I don't think it takes a rocket scientist... though it probably helps that Dr. Crist was the director of the Manhattan Project for a time.
    • The article seems to make it sound like just having the algae exposed to the air near a plant.

      Actually, I got the impression that they diverted the flue gasses from the powerplant and bubbled them through the algae; instead of just venting the gases right into the air.
    • "Is there maybe a possibility of coating hot air balloons or zeppelins with this algae and letting them float about in the atmosphere until they become so heavy with algae they descend?"

      Plants need water to grow, even more so algae, which is an aquatic plant, and balloons have very little bouyancy for their size. I'm guessing you won't be able to life enough water to make this work.
  • ... seeing this in some documentary awhile back. It looked pretty neat. One thing that I wasn't so sure about is how the tubes that carry the circulating algae solution can be kept clean and leak free in any number of climates where it might be useful.

    Still, very neat.

  • by trailerparkcassanova ( 469342 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @04:56PM (#14448753)
    Isaac Berzin's algae IS people!!!!
  • OILIX (Score:3, Funny)

    by HunterZ ( 20035 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @04:56PM (#14448756) Journal
    Nice, they've invented OILIX from Metal Gear 2 (MSX, not PS2)!
  • by c0l0 ( 826165 )
    ...this does not sound like rocket science at all?!
    ;)
  • Algae (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mysqlrocks ( 783488 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @04:58PM (#14448771) Homepage Journal
    Can't algae itself get out of control and cause environmental problems?
    http://www.google.com/search?q=algae+blooms [google.com]
    • Re:Algae (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fireduck ( 197000 )
      Yes, under the proper conditions. Stack emissions are primarily CO2, NOx and various sulfur compounds. What primarily keeps algae levels in check in the environment are various micronutrients (phosphorous, nitrogen, iron). Given that smokestack emissions should be fairly defined composition, it should be straight forward to supply the exact amounts of additional nutrients to stimulate growth without overpopulation problems. Besides, this is an engineered process, not simply dumping emissions into a rive
    • If by cause environmental problems, you mean follow the course of nature, then yes.

      Algae blooms have been happening for a long time. It's not catastrophic. We can adapt. An algae bloom versus clean energy and pollution cleanup. Which one would you choose?
  • Cheap Solar Power? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @04:59PM (#14448776)
    1. Fuel -> Power Plant -> Emissions
    2. Emissions -> Algea -> Fuel
    3. Profit!
    • From reading the article, it's just plant-based solar power, with taking the emissions from the smokestack to help them grow. But still has all the pitfalls of solar (massive amounts of space required to soak up the sun's rays).

      And this has an additional downside: won't all the absorbed CO2 just be re-released when the fuel the process creates is burned? Thus you're back to where you started with the same amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere.

      This just seems like robbing peter to pay paul environmentali
      • And this has an additional downside: won't all the absorbed CO2 just be re-released when the fuel the process creates is burned? Thus you're back to where you started with the same amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere.

        As opposed to INCREASING atmospheric CO2 by burning fuel you've sucked out of the ground? I'll take it.

        Besides, you will not get 100% of the carbon back out of the algae. Even after you've extracted the biodiesel and fermented the remains to make alcohol, you will have goop left over that c
      • Not quite. As is, we only get to use that CO2 once, before it's in the air. With this, we get to use it from coal, for electricity, and then again in trucks/cars, before it's released. Basically twice the energy, for the same amount of CO2 production (or to look at it another way, half the CO2, for the same amount of energy).
  • UNH Biodeisel? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ydnar ( 946 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @04:59PM (#14448781) Homepage
    This sounds very similar to a similar process documented by the UNH Biodeisel Group [unh.edu].
    • Re:UNH Biodeisel? (Score:5, Informative)

      by PaintyThePirate ( 682047 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:14PM (#14448919) Homepage
      The UNH study is based on a ~20 year U.S. DoE study on algae biodiesel [energy.gov]. Anyway, while it is true that there is enough land in the United States to grow enough algae to replace all gasoline and diesel fuel use, it's not the ideal solution. The problem is that the algae requires something around 13% CO2 gas to grow in any useful amount. The level of CO2 naturally occuring in the atmosphere is about 0.035%. The only economical source to generate that much CO2 is burning Coal. So, the entire process still yields tremendoes amounts of CO2, contributing to global warming. Certainly, it is better to harness CO2 from existing Coal power plants for biodiesel instead of releasing it into the atmosphere, but it is not a permanent solution.
      • About 1/3 of CO2 emissions comes from point sources like coal power plants. If you could capture half that using algae, it would be a huge win for the environment. Other proposals, such as coal gasification, add cost. The algae method actually reduces fuel costs since the recaptured carbon is used as fuel.
  • by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:00PM (#14448789)

    Now -- With the cleaning power of Slime!!!
  • covered on PBS (Score:5, Informative)

    by LEPP ( 166342 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:01PM (#14448809)
    They had a Scientific American segment on this. Here [pbs.org] is the segment transcript. It was quite interesting.

    LEPP
  • by Bob_Villa ( 926342 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:05PM (#14448848)
    From reading the article, the algae suck up the CO2 and the Nitrogen Oxides from the power plant emissions. That's obviously a good thing. The algae are then used to create methanol and biodiesel. What happens when you burn the methanol and biodiesel? Doesn't that just release the stored CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides back into the atmosphere, or am I missing something here?

    Also, if these algae are so great, why don't we fill up thousands of acres with them, not just 15,000, and suck the CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides out of the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gasses. Maybe the algae could then be dumped into the deep ocean, creating a carbon sink.

    Does it take less pollution to create methanol and biodiesel this way, versus drilling them from the earth?
     
    • What happens when you burn the methanol and biodiesel? Doesn't that just release the stored CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides back into the atmosphere, or am I missing something here?

      Yes, you are. See in the current situation, both powerplant CO2 and vehicle CO2 (and NOx) are being emitted from different energy sources. For the sake of argument, let's assume equal amounts of emissions are emitted from the powerplant and the vehicles.

      So you put in the algae and you get .4x CO2 out the powerplant stack, and let's as
    • am I missing something here?
      Yes. The theory is that you'd get twice the amount of use from the same amount of CO2 emissions -- once to generate electricity, and again to drive some cars (or something else). End result is total CO2 emissions are reduced because driving the cars only emitted the CO2 that the electicity generation plant would have already emitted otherwise.
    • It's not carbon neutral is what your getting at. That's ok. It cuts carbon in half. The CO2 that was used from that plant to make auto fuels, would have gone into the atmo anyway. But we do save on the carbon output of the cars, since they are only spitting out CO2 that we took from the (already waste) exaust of the coal plant.

      Oh, and you DEFINETLY don't want to sink the dead algee to the bottom of the ocean. Were as CO2 will stay submerged, rotting organics make methane... that doesn't stay submerged, and
    • by j1m+5n0w ( 749199 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:31PM (#14449074) Homepage Journal
      What happens when you burn the methanol and biodiesel? Doesn't that just release the stored CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides back into the atmosphere, or am I missing something here?
      Yes, it ends up in the atmosphere in the end, but you get to use it twice. If you're going to polute, you might as well pollute in a way that maximises the energy generated per quantity of carbon dioxide produced. Also, this could partially solve a political problem of reliance on foreign fuel.
      Also, if these algae are so great, why don't we fill up thousands of acres with them, not just 15,000, and suck the CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides out of the atmosphere, reducing greenhouse gasses. Maybe the algae could then be dumped into the deep ocean, creating a carbon sink.
      I assume that the algae grows better in an environment with a high concentration of carbon dioxide, such as power plant exhaust. The gains from pumping regular air through an algae filter would be less dramatic (and you could probably acheive a similar result by, say, planting a tree).
    • "Doesn't that just release the stored CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides back into the atmosphere, or am I missing something here? "

      Sure it does. But you've gained more useable energy per unit of pollution. You've also gained more useable energy per unit of your original fuel.

      The idea is that you are recycling the C and N, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. It's just bio-solar power.
    • "What happens when you burn the methanol and biodiesel? Doesn't that just release the stored CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides back into the atmosphere, or am I missing something here?"

      That's what an Algaelytic Converter is for! You just grow the algae in your carpool and pump your exaust through it. :)
    • From reading the article, the algae suck up the CO2 and the Nitrogen Oxides from the power plant emissions.

      I know thousands of hippies that would spend $5 a balloon for the nitrous oxide. Give the CO2 to some, err, plants, and everybody's happy.

    • What happens when you burn the methanol and biodiesel? Doesn't that just release the stored CO2 and Nitrogen Oxides back into the atmosphere, or am I missing something here?

      The only thing your missing is what it's replacing. When you use diesel made from petroleum you release carbon that's been sequestered below ground for millenia. Furthermore, petrochemical diesel has a high sulfur content, which leads to acid rain. Biodiesel -- whether from algae or other sources -- is "carbon neutral" because the p

  • While he is certainly one of the first to moot this idea I struggle to believe he is the first. I have heard people talking about this sort of thing for years. I haven't read the article yet (naturally) but I do know that there are some big problems with this type of technology that aren't going to be solved in the near future. I suspect this is just another set of plans talking about how we could remove CO2 using algae rather than an in depth costing to see if it is actually worth it. By worth it I don't m

    • " I haven't read the article yet (naturally)"

      Then please refrain from commenting.

      "I suspect this is just another set of plans talking about how we could remove CO2 using algae rather than an in depth costing to see if it is actually worth it."

      Rather than just bring it up, why not add something to the discussion by spending two minutes with google looking for cost-effectiveness studies of similar projects?

      Or how about realizing that an in-depth cost study is impossible until the tech is refined?
    • Re:His idea? (Score:3, Interesting)

      A coal plant with a 2000 acre algae farm might produce 40 million gallons of biodiesel. Sold at market value, that's $100million USD. Per year. Amortized over a period of many years, just how much could the system cost for that one coal plant, before it's not worth it?

      Especially considering that it means staving off new regulatory costs when we have a non-asshat president and something like Kyoto goes through? (If we were going to have to spend $25 million per year starting in 2009 anyway, just to be clean.
  • Maybe it's just me, but the way the story is worded makes me feel a little sorry for the algae.

    Dan East
  • Sounds a lot like perpetual motion to me:

    1) Burn oil fuels

    2) Oil turn into CO2

    3) Turn CO2 into oil.

    Rather, rinse, repeat.

    Now I know it isn't literally perpetual motion because of all the energy that goes to work, heat, etc, but still if this is true then it sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
    • The other energy source is solar power. To capture all the CO2 of a large power plant would require extensive surface area (my guess is on the order of a square meter per 10-100 Watts of continuous power) in a sunny location. But I see no reason in theory that this couldn't be made into a closed loop system aside from some periodic insertions of small amounts of nutrients.
    • Rather, rinse, repeat.

      Busted! You talk while you type. I always fumble that expression the same way when I try to say it, too;-)

  • are interesting, the real solution as I've pointed out in the past is cost effective Solar power. Solar power has been coming down in price exponentially for years and the latest breakthroughs in nanotech promise to make it cost effective when compared to even Oil and Coal. This company [nanosolar.com] is one of the many companies that are working on this type of technology. And no, I do not have a financial interest in this company.
    • This is a method of producing cost effective solar power; in a stored form with good energy density and handling characteristics, to boot!
      • I believe you are thinking of Biodisel. Yes, biodisel is solar power. So is coal and oil since they originally derived their energy from the Sun (just over a longer time frame). I should have refered to this as photovoltaics to be precise. The advantage of photovoltaics over biodisel is that we can improve on Biology by using technology.
        • You really think we can best algae at converting sunlight to useful energy? The little buggers have been around billions of years. We've been screwing with photovoltaics for decades. There's this thing known as "expertise"...
          • Sure we can do it more efficiently. That's like saying that since Oil is currently the cheapest form of energy, we cannot possibly beat it because it's been around for billions of years or whatever. We're getting close with photovoltaics and in the next 50 years (maybe way less) photovoltaics will be the cheapest form of energy and used the most. Already, if you are not on the energy grid, it's cheaper to use photovoltaics than it is to extend the grid to your home.
    • "Solar power has been coming down in price exponentially for years"

      Exponentially: I do not think this means what you think it means. I think you mean the decrease in cost has been increasing logarithmically.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:27PM (#14449030)
    I'd bet that this will work more effectively if the algae/water mixture is sprayed into the power plant exhaust rather than bubbling exhaust gas. Spraying will maximize the surface area exposed to the exhaust and reduce the system's energy use. It will take much less energy to compress a small volume of algae-liquid and make small drops than it does to compress a massive volume of gas to make small bubbles.

    I can even imagine a multistage sprayer. A hot-stage sprayer injects matured algae-mix into the hot exhaust gases to both cool the exhaust stream and create a desiccated algae powder (for fuel production). A cool-stage sprayer injects living alga mix into the cooled water-saturated exhaust stream. Even with the two stage process I'd bet that the "cool" stage will still run at a relatively high temperature. Perhaps the engineers will need to adapt a thermophilic algae (such as live in hot-springs) to make the system feasible.
    • "Spraying will maximize the surface area exposed to the exhaust and reduce the system's energy use"

      The idea is not to maximize exposure of the algae to CO2, but to maximize the exposure of CO2 to the algae. Also, bubbling the exhaust through is passive, spraying requires energy input, as well as a more complicated mechanism.

      "A cool-stage sprayer injects living alga mix into the cooled water-saturated exhaust stream."

      For new plants, maybe. But for existing plants (especially since few new plants ar
  • by ikornalot ( 734157 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:32PM (#14449087)
    This has been under discussion here [biodieselnow.com] since 2004.
  • Check out this dangerous idea [edge.org]
  • Related Yahoo group (Score:2, Informative)

    by flicken ( 182650 )
    The Yahoo group, oil_from_algae [yahoo.com] has many knowledgeable people who are currently looking into the best strains of algae to grow, as well as methods for extracting oil from the algae.
  • all time favorite (Score:3, Informative)

    by alex_guy_CA ( 748887 ) <alexNO@SPAMschoenfeldt.com> on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:44PM (#14449201) Homepage
    This issue was previously reported on Slashdot. last year [slashdot.org]

    I have to say, as an environmentalist, this line of research is one of the most hopeful I have seen. Besides cleaning power emissions, it can clean farm and industrial waste while generating fuel.

    While at a farm products convention I talked to the bio- diesel and ethanol people from Iowa about this stuff. They had never heard of it, which is a shame. It seems like there should be better ways to get good ideas out there, but I guess market forces are the best we can do considering the government is so in line with the status quo.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:45PM (#14449218) Homepage
    It's not actually processing any significant fraction of the flue gases. It's just connected to a sampling line from the smokestack. The big question is how much equipment you need to process the output from a power plant. Numbers like a thousand acres of tube field are mentioned. And how much manual servicing does this gear take?

    Here's the technical paper. [greenfuelonline.com]

  • by brianerst ( 549609 ) on Wednesday January 11, 2006 @05:46PM (#14449237) Homepage
    I've long been fascinated by the UNH and GreenFuel proposals for algal biodiesel, so everytime it pops up, I take a look. No big changes lately, but the GreenFuel process still seems like the one that could actually have a real impact in our lifetimes.

    Check out the original Slashdot thread [slashdot.org] on GreenFuel from back in May, 2005. The news.com article link has changed [com.com].

    News.com had a few followup articles as well here [com.com] (about investing in clean tech) and here [com.com] (about J. Craig Venter looking at bioengineering more effective microbes for doing this kind of stuff).

  • Every other article is about someone coming up with too-good-to-be-true ideas that over the past five years tend not to come into existance. Even something like this that blends into a larger effort. It'd be nice if we could filter out some noise (not that this isn't an exception).
  • Anyone remember Sierra's EcoQuest? It taught me that algaes are perfect for this thing and that was in 1991!

    http://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/ecoquest-the-sea rch-for-cetus/screenshots [mobygames.com]
  • The question that comes to my mind is how much surface area do you need to disperse the exhaust emissions of the power plant through in order to have a significant enough level of C02 for the algea without too high a level for it to thrive, and for that emmission gas to move fast enough through the algea bed to avoid a rapid accumulation of either heat or backpressure? Doesn't the plant produce waste gas at a high enough volume that the algea beds would quickly be overwhelmed?
  • It's great that they're thinking up ways to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions and producing fuels at the same time... but I didn't see any mention in the article of how much energy it requires to accomplish the process.
    1. Building a set of this sort of processing equipment large enough will take a lot of work using big machines.
      (Burn fuel.)
    2. Getting the CO2 from the flue gasses into aqueous solution requires blowers and/or pumps.
      (Burn some fuel.)
    3. Tons of fuelstuff means tons of algae, and it's not going t
  • just go nuclear, ok? no green house gasses, no well-funded religious extremists, just drive electric cars

    modern pebble bed reactors don't go china syndrome: no silkwood, no three mile island, no chernobyl

    additionally, old style fuel rod reactors only used 5% of the fuel, requiring tens of thousands of years of high grade waste storage and a constant bomb threat

    the new reactors use 90% of the fuel and only require a couple hundred years of low grade low threat storage

    so, review: modern nuclear tech has no gr
    • Re:people please (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Yergle143 ( 848772 )
      'Just go Nuclear OK'

      This scientist considers the problem a bit more carefully.
      World Power consumption tallies 12 TW annually.
      Recoverable Uranium deposits tally 3.4-17 million metric
      tons with a total energy content of from 60-300 TW.
      So after 6-30 years and all of the U is used up the world
      will be left with the same quandary it had before (assuming
      that WMD proliferation and/or an acute waste problem have
      not forced the issue sooner).
      Nature (2002) v 298 p 981
      The trouble with coal is it is very cheap.
      The trouble
      • Doesn't that total energy content come from one trip through a thermal reactor? You get about a 1000 kilowatt per gram, but you also produce plutonium.
        octave:1> kw_per_gram=1000 kw_per_gram = 1000
        octave:2> kw_per_metric_ton=kw_per_gram * 1000000
        kw_per_metric_ton = 1000000000
        octave:3> 3.4 * kw_per_metric_ton
        ans = 3400000000

        So this agrees with your calculation. But we aren't at this point "right back where we were before", because the "waste" is actually a fuel (which France's and Japan's br
    • Re:people please (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dbIII ( 701233 )

      so, review: modern nuclear tech has no greenhouse gases

      Please stick with reality - the fuel is made from a rock dug out of the ground and processed, so there are greenhouse gasses, but with high grade fuel it comes out at about one third less than the next contender (gas turbines). This still makes nuclear look very good on that point but has the advantage of being real and not just being advertising spin. If you want to advocate nuclear power on an unrelated article first learn about how it works and the

  • I might be missing a step here, but I think a transportation system could be built that would be reduce emmissions output to zero (or near enough).

    Start with a vehicle that burns the biodiesel. Capture the emmisions into some substrate(s) to sequester the CO, CO2, and NOX. Add a system which monitors this and displays it on the dashboard. When you go to fuel up your tank, depending on the level of the emmision capture modules, you can trade them in for new, empty modules (what would be even cooler is if the

  • in the power station. Hey, perpetual motion, sustained by some solar photosynthesis to make up for the inefficiencies.

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