Biodiesel Green-Energy

1) Biodiesel Green-Energy – the U.S. now imports over 60 percent of its petroleum with most of this petroleum coming from politically unstable areas such as the Middle East. If the U.S. is to achieve economic security, and avoid more conflict in the Middle East, we must begin to grow much of our own energy with “green-energy” crops such as algal-biodiesel. The basic biodiesel production system is designed to recover and recycle excess nutrients (such as manure effluent) --- and by using algalculture means the algal crop converts these nutrients into lipids (biodiesel). NPI has the proprietary (patented) technology to do just that with your financial backing. (See U.S. Patent No. 5,121,708).

by Linda C. Ehrlich, Ph.D.

Preparedness Systems International, with technical support from NPI, has developed the foundations of a system based on microalgal biotechnology that could significantly augment the atmospheric carbon removal achievable by other terrestrial options and marine aquaculture. Fully developed, these low-cost microalgal biomass systems offer potentially high rates of carbon uptake in the order of hundreds of millions of tons. The estimated potential impact (USDOE, 1999) in terms of gigatonnes of carbon sequestered is > 0.25 Gt/year.

The technology will utilize intensive aquaculture of aquatic photosynthetic microalgae for CO2 uptake and storage. Specifically selected strains of algae will be grown in a novel outdoor bioreactor designed by PSI and known as the Nutrient Enhancement Potable Water (NEPW) device for carbon sequestration. Algal strains selected for desirable growth and harvesting attributes will be grown under optimized environmental conditions, i.e. light, temperature, pH, alkalinity, pCO2, and nutrients. The reactor will be engineered with simple structural features, e.g. baffles and alternating opaque strips that will serve to increase photosynthetic efficiency. Nutrient sufficiency will be achieved by integrating this CO2 utilization/recycling system with wastewater treatment.

Single cell photosynthesis in shallow, terrestrial ponds provides the most efficient use of land and water. The greater metabolic surface area of single algal cells results in high productivity and rapid growth rate (ten times that of trees). Thus, this is a sustainable technology for many areas, including marginal lands unsuitable for conventional farming. Soil fertility is irrelevant in terrestrial aquaculture, and water use is relatively low. Even areas with saline surface waters can be exploited by using halotolerant species.

The financial, social, and environmental benefits of this technology will be numerous. The microalgae biomass produced can provide a source of energy, chemicals, and food, while wastes can be converted or recycled into useful byproducts. It is technologically feasible to couple algae bioreactors with power plants to remove CO2 from stack gases. Microalgal ponds will increasingly be used in municipal wastewater treatment and onsite waste treatment in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Microalgal biotechnology is already a well established field that has led to several commercial applications. Co-production of biofuels with large volume/higher value biopolymers and other chemicals will help to make this type of CO2 reduction more commercially feasible. The sale of algae multi-nutrients, hydrocarbons, lipids, and algal-polyphenolics will provide farmers worldwide with a new source of income. The perfected NEPW reactor can be produced as a “kit” to provide over 2 billion of the Third World’s poor with potable water and nutrient supplements at the local level. By improving the health and hope of the world’s poor, we can begin to erode the basis of support for many terrorist and narcoterrorist organizations, indirectly providing homeland security benefits. Additionally, the project avoids genetic modifications that are so strongly opposed, for religious and personal reasons, by over 1/3 of the world’s population.

The possible negative impact of phycoremediation is that it is partly a temporary form of CO2 storage, i.e. the metabolism of the biomass or combustion of biofuel will re-release some of this gas to the atmosphere. If there is another negative factor, it is that producers may need to form algalculture production cooperatives to share costs of algal harvesting and processing.

N.B. The algalculture technology, discussed above, is U.S. Patent No. 5,121,708 and associated Trade Secrets by David A. Nuttle, NPI’s founder and President.