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A 2012 report, 'Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels", from the National Academy of Sciences, states that scaling up algae based biofuel production using existing technologies could create 'unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources.'
Not all is pessimistic though, as the report also targets specific areas needing Research & Development, including strain selection, and wastewater use.
Green Car Congress covers results of Korean research into conversion of Sewage Sludge into Biodiesel:
Original research paper here.
Thor Renewable Energy, Inc is looking for tax abatements from Brevard County to help establish a corporate/RD headquarters in Brevard County, Florida. Part of their plans include a commercial biodiesel production facility, employing 55 new engineering and plant operator personnel at an average wage of $48,838. The anticipated volume of the plant is 10,000 gallons of biodiesel per day - likely feedstock being biomass per this article at Florida Today. With the support of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast (EDC), it would be somewhat surprising if this application for abatement is not approved by the County Commissioners.
The process used is likely a product of work from UCF chemistry professor Richard Blair. Using a ball mill to grind up the feedstock, his process does not require sulfuric acid and has no hazardous byproducts. The match between UCF and Thor was made via the Space Coast Energy Symposium.
Florida Today reports that a 50,000 barrel shipment of biodiesel from Green Earth Fuels of Houston arrived recently. Green Earth Fuels reports soybeans and camelina (a non food source) as possible feedstocks for their product. At Seaport Canaveral, blends of B5 to B20 will eventually be used in cruise ships.
No word yet if any retail pumps will be available for users in North Brevard to fill up...
Scott G. has about 50 gallons of methanol in two drums, and a couple 15 gallon totes that he'd like to go to a good cause, such as making more biodiesel. He's in Chuluota, FL and could drop them off if you're in a convenient location.
Contact Scott at sgiacomi at ist.ucf.edu, or 321-695-8612 if you're interested.
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