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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." ®

▲ Greenhouse-covered pools similar to the lake in Biosphere 2 might one day grow novel microorganisms, plants or algaes designed to produce hydrogen, sequester carbon dioxide, or convert crops into fuels.

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

URSI White Paper on Solar Power Satellites. International Union of Radio Science, November 2005. Available at 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

For more information about the ITER and ARIES fusion reactor projects, see and

Further details about high-altitude wind generators are available at, and

A Webcast of the Second International Conference on Synthetic Biology is available at

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