May 14, 2010

Ewaste could replace U.S. petroleum demand with biodiesel.

"The next best thing" - industrial design students at of the University of Illinois are boasting that it can make a Electronic Waste  'algae bioreactor'  that produces algae for Biofuel that "could replace U.S. petroleum demand with biodiesel."
Waste Electronic parts serve as a reservoir to cultivate algae that can be used to make biodiesel.
Inhabitat -  The makeshift tank’s water pump aerates the algae, while a faucet lets users extract algae on demand. Ultimately, the students hope that their device can change the biofuel game by increasing output and lowering costs of algae production(it doesn’t get much cheaper than recycled electronics). According to the students, if just 6.5% of Americans housed Bio-Grows, they could generate enough algae to completely replace petroleum with biodiesel. Read full via Discovery News  image source
Comment: I would love to see the EROI to disprove this but, the 'next big thing' may offer nothing more than 'obvious empty statements' considering the amount of energy, water consumed during the process may return less energy it requires produce it (i.e. the corn ethanol effect).  Yet this team does make some great work here and substantiates that fact that we can offset ALL U.S. energy and transportation needs with waste we currently send off to third world nations or landfills. AND if they utilize renewable water and energy (wind/waste water) sources for the process, their EROI are numbers would work.
"We do not want to believe that with the 'trillions' we have literally throw away for three decades on hydrogen unicorn power dreams and ethanol subsidies could have built a sustainable biodiesel and biogas energy program utilizing the waste and by products we discard everyday."
While we may not 'want to accept it', it is an inarguable fact - Haase