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History of biofuels • Inconsistencies with biofuels? • Projects • Algenol Company • Sapphire Energy Company • Where biofuels are now • Trends that will shape the future Why Biofuels?
The engine? • Rudolf Diesel invented his engine to work primarily with vegetable oil • Henry Ford intended his Model T to run on ethanol (grew up on a farm….) • Forced out by the supply, price, and efficiency of petroleum. • Events to come back to biofuels • 1970: Passage of the Clean Air Act • Allows EPA to regulate emission standards… • Amended in 1990 • 1973: Arab oil embargo • 1978: Iranian Revolution • August 1982: International Conference on Plant and Vegetable Oils • 1992: Energy Policy Act passed by the EPA • Increased use of alternative energy by the US government • Amended in 1998 specifically included biodiesel History of Biofuels
Will destroy food supply • It will increase emissions • Clear cut for increase crops • Increase food prices • Less crops for food • “Will complicate and worsen a number of social and environmental problems” • Oil Change International ARE THESE THE FACTS? Arguments against biofuels
BIOFUELS MADE FROM ALGAE • Decrease food supply?.......We don’t eat algae • Increase emissions by clear cut?......No clear cutting is needed • Increase cost of food?……covered that already • I fail to see how fuels will put a strain on social and ecological systems The Facts About Biofuels
Algenol’s new idea? • Developed the technology in 1980’s • Began commericaleffort when crude hit $50 barrel (2006) • As of 1/6/11, crude is $135 a barrel • There are over 10,000 strains of algae • Algenol does not cultivate its algae • It siphons produced ethanol by its bioreactor tubes How does Algae produce biofuel? Wastewater + CO2 + Sunlight + Algae = Ethanol + Biodiesel + Other Products That Used to Use Petroleum + WATER (is used to grow the algae) Bottom line: Algae is 100% renewable with no harmful effects on the environment and is closed looped A Company Named Algenol
$850 million to build an algae farm in the Sonoran Desert • Ethanol at constant $3 per gallon • Aim to produce 6000 gallons per acre per year • Production begins by the end of 2010 • Production costs = 85 cents per gallon • By 2012 – 1 billion gallons annually Algae In The Desert
Sapphire Energy in New Mexico • Why New Mexico? • Flat desert conditions • High level of sunlight • Large amount of underground salt water • 100% renewable resource • Received $104.5 million (federal funding) • $50 million from Department of Energy • $54.5 million from Department of Agriculture • Private investors? • Wellcome Trust • Cascade (owned by Bill Gates) • Venrock (Rockfeller) • ARCH Venture Partners Algae in the United States?
300 acre integrated algal biorefinery • 1 million gallons of diesel and jet fuel per year by 2011 • 100 million gallons by 2018 • 1 billion gallons by 2025 • SO WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US? • Assuming that efficiency does not play a role… • Biofuel mixed with petroleum so an accurate comparison is difficult • U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION (numbers are not strictly transportation) • 42 gallons = 1 barrel • 6.85 billion barrels of oil in 2009 • 6.99 billion barrels of oil in 2010 • 293.58 BILLION GALLONS PER YEAR Sapphire’s Plan
Biofuels play a minute role in the grand scheme • Oil price increase, increase investment in biofuels • Critics to biofuels? • Don’t know the facts yet still attempt to derail efforts • Businesses will invest? • New jobs!!!!!! • 750 jobs to build the algae farm (Sapphire) Biofuels Today
Biodiesel can run in a standard diesel engine with no modifications to the engine (Bioethanol as well) • Oil companies will have to take a risk • Decreasing oil supply vs. unlimited algae supply • Political pressure? • Nothing is going to change with the current infrastructure… • Social change is necessary? • Hummer and “soccer mom” van? • Bigger is not always better… So what does the future look like…? • ECONOMIC TRENDS!!! • As gas prices increase (due to the supply of oil decreasing) consumers will want to by cheaper fuel…the fuel of the future Biofuels In The Future
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