Gallons per acre of biodiesel from a CO 2-fueled algae farm
which man-made microbes could then convert to fuels. Chu expects biological processing to be far more efficient than the energy-intensive processes, such as steam explosion and thermal hydrolysis, currently used to make ethanol.
With oil prices approaching $80 a barrel, bioprocessing may not have to wait for life-forms built from scratch. GreenFuel in Cambridge, Mass., has installed algae farms at power plants to convert up to 40 percent of the CO2 they spew into raw material for biofuels. The company claims that a large algae farm next to a 1-GW plant could yield 50 million gallons a year of ethanol. "There are great opportunities here," Chu avers. "And not only that—it will help save the world." ®
Advanced Technology Paths to Global Climate Stability: Energy for a Greenhouse Planet. Martin I. Hoffert et al. in Science, Vol. 298, pages 981-987; November 1, 2002.
Proceedings of the Hydrokinetic and Wave Energy Technologies Technical and Environmental Issues Workshop. Washington, D.C., October 26-28, 2005. Available at http://hydropower.inl.gov/hydrokinetic-wave
URSI White Paper on Solar Power Satellites. International Union of Radio Science, November 2005. Available at www.ursi.org Engineering Life: Building a Fab for Biology. Bio Fab Group in Scientific American, Vol. 294, No. 6, pages 44-51; June 2006. A video tour of the DIII-D fusion reactor is available at www.sciam.com/ontheweb
A Webcast of the Second International Conference on Synthetic Biology is available at http://webcast.berkeley.edu/events
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