Seaweed An Alternative Fuel?


Earlier this year I messed around with creating bio-diesel for my senior project. This experience was very rewarding and messy. Through weeks of research on different types of bio-fuels, I came across this concept of oil derived from seaweed being used in vehicles. This idea takes all the negatives of biofuels out of the equation. In the past we have fooled with ethanol bio-fuel. This has many negative side affects, because it takes up valuable farmland that could be used to produce other goods. This switch to growing corn also distorts the food market causing an increase in price. Using ethanol doesn’t reduce the carbon footprint due to the processing of the corn, and shipping, by the time it gets in your tank it is just as damaging as gas. Seaweed can be grown in the ocean taking up no farmland. Also oil derived from seaweed has a large yield and is very efficient. Here is an article that has some promising information about algae

Sam Gressett

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4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Tom Smith said,

    You make an interesting point and I agree ethanol isn’t the answer to our energy problem but wouldn’t just straight electric cars make more sense than seaweed because we already have that technology pretty well refined?

    • 2

      konaka237 said,

      How refined is the electric car? How often does the battery need to be changed? What happens to the old battery? I love that seaweed could be the answer because I love seaweed! Though when a new option comes up and sounds awesome, people tend to find the backlashes of it so I’m hoping that’s not the case here.

  2. 3

    AspenB said,

    Seaweed is actually a good idea for bio fuel. I like your way of thinking. Of course we still can’t expect to over do it because then we’ll affect the marine life since so many of the smaller or single celled organisms depend on it.
    However for the time being there are actually many other uses for seaweed that can benefit us. I tracked down an article that shows many other uses for seaweed.

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/Y4765E/y4765e0c.htm

    -Aspen B

  3. 4

    konaka237 said,

    Wow! After reading the two articles about seaweed being a super resource for all sorts of products and ways of use, I am blown away by the prospects of it. The article “Energy Balance”, posted by the original blogger, mentions that seaweed can be grown by carbon emissions from power plants, while being fertilized by sea water polluted by sewage. I agree with the article that it seems we have a winner! All this time I have complained about the beauty of the beach being ruined by the smell of seaweed at low tide, and the ugliness of it, while already enjoying the healthy benefits of it as a food staple, and in my beauty products; but I never thought of it being anything else, or being of any use besides that. I truly wonder where this can take us in the future, and am very excited to keep of with the news of the developments in this field.
    -Anne-Marie


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