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« Intelligent shapeshifting fabric: Dynamic Physical Rendering | Main | Atmospheric vortex engine (AVE) harnesses waste heat converting it back into electrical energy »

October 04, 2006



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Smt Madhubala Sugandhi

In order to preserve our beautiful planet we are exploring such plants, technology which can absorb sun energy and convert that sun energy in night period for absorbing CO2 from nature. Please send us your valuable feedback for searching innovative technology for absorbing sun energy in day time and can be utilized in night period for preservation of planet. Thankinf you.

Yours Truly,

Smt Madhubala Sugandhi,
Chairperson, Sanjeevani Mahila Sangh

American Biodieselist

To identify the opposition to algal energy, one has only to ask who stands to _lose_ the most from it. Since when is murder "political?" I say: replacement energy, rather than creating the need for replacement limbs.


After reading a recent story in the New York Times on global warming and the lack of investment both governmental and corporate into mitigation and alt fuels, I wrote to the author inquiring why his story didn't include any mention of algae bioreactor scrubbing of CO2 from flue gases.

His response was fascinating. He first claimed that algae could not bring about a significant reduction in CO2 exhaust (which is contradicted by Greenfuel's claim of 40% reductions at their MIT installation), he then said that he didn't want to give his readers the impression that the problem had been solved.

I wonder, wouldn't it be a better thing for a journalist to do to worry that his readers had too little information rather than too much? Greenfuel has installations at MIT, at the Redhawk plant in Arizona and at NRG's coal-fired plant in Dunkirk, NY.

Could anyone imagine a reason that the "paper of record" would not have reported any of this in their pages? It seems to be political to me.

While Greenfuel has raised $18M in venture capital and is setting up demonstration projects within a couple hour's drive of New York City, the "paper of record" runs a story about the lack of investment in the areas of CO2 mitigation and alt fuel, which is exactly what Greenfuel is working on.

And the technology used by Greenshift was developed at Ohio University by David Bayless under funding from the Ohio coal industry. That would seem to be a bit of information the public should see.

G. Burton

Steve, so flue gas is not simply 'directed' into these bioreactors? Both the GreenFuels and the Greenshift. I would think that the Greenshift reactor would have a slight advantage in that it collects and distributes light over a relatively large area. I question the commercial viability of these reactors. Not due to flawed concepts but to due to the fact that change in industry is never easy.


The problems with GreenFuel's bioreactor is scaleup and the energy required to compress the flue gas, so that it can be injected into the reactor. Scale-up will be difficult.
However the principle is sound.

Steve Skill
Photobioreactor developer for 20 years.

Tom Catino

A similar technology is being developed by GS CleanTech.

C02 Exhaust to Ethanol

GS CleanTech’s Carbon Dioxide Bioreactor
Decreasing Emissions while Reducing Dependence on Foreign Oil
Greenhouse gas emissions and energy dependence are two of the United States largest concerns. During 2005 alone, the United States released into the atmosphere over 5 billion metric tons of C02, an increase of over 600 million metric tons since 1994. Carbon dioxide is a well known greenhouse gas that absorbs and traps the infrared radiation that is reflected off the earth’s surface causing surface temperatures to increase.

During 2005, the United States imported and consumed more than 200 billion gallons of oil. As our nation strives to become more energy independent and environmentally proactive, it is imperative that we implement new consumption practices that rely less on foreign oil and more on cleaner, greener sources of homegrown energy. We need to be better about conservation and we need to continue to innovate ways to consume natural resources in smarter, more efficient ways. GS CleanTech is committed to delivering innovative new technologies that help our clients achieve this and to help reduce their carbon footprint.

GS CleanTech’s Objectives:
GS CleanTech’s patented C02 Bioreactor reduces greenhouse gas emissions while creating an additional feedstock for renewable fuel production. If applied at ethanol facilities, it would boost fuel production by more than 15%, and if applied to coal fired power generation, it could produce more than 200 million gallons of renewable fuel annually for every 1,000 MW of electricity produced. Even more significant, however, is the relatively small footprint of the bioreactor. While traditional corn derived ethanol produces up to 450 gallons of fuel per acre, GS CleanTech’s C02 Bioreactor can produce more than 200,000 gallons of fuel per acre. With GS CleanTech’s C02 Bioreactor, our clients can reduce their carbon footprint while turning their exhaust carbon dioxide into a valuable source of clean, homegrown fuels.

GS CleanTech’s C02 Bioreactor is an enclosed structure with the ability to convert a concentrated supply of C02 into oxygen and biomass. The biomass can then be converted into fuel through traditional means.

All plants, including algae, need the following to live and grow: a supply of C02, light, a growth media and water with nutrients. The GS CleanTech C02 Bioreactor provides these resources in a compact, cost-efficient way.

First, concentrated C02 is captured at power plants or other source and piped to the bioreactor. The sunlight is then collected using efficient parabolic mirrors that transfer and filter the light to a series of light pipes. The light pipes channel the light into the bioreactor structure where it is distributed and radiated throughout the structure using light panels. The algae requires as little as 1.5% direct light which means that our collected light can be distributed over a substantial surface area.

Next, a growth media, such as polyester, is inserted between each lighting surface. Water, containing nutrients, continuously cascades down the growth media to facilitate the final required step for optimal growth.

Finally, to harvest the algae, the flow rate of the water over the growth media is increased slightly to gently remove a portion of the algae, allowing a portion of algae to remain and to begin the next growth cycle. The removed algae is then collected and routed for conversion into renewable fuels.

Our technology is also very flexible and can accommodate a variety of algae types. High starch, high oil, or high cellulose algae can be grown in our bioreactor depending on output fuel requirements.

GS CleanTech’s C02 Bioreactor has the ability to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and to create an entirely new feedstock for cleaner and greener burning fuels. Our bioreactor can substantially reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced from ethanol, power generation other industrial facilities while generating a significant new source of revenue. GS CleanTech’s C02 Bioreactor is profitable for our customer and cleaner for the environment.

Impact on Ethanol Facilities:
About one third of the mass of the corn input into the ethanol production process exits the process at the fermentation stage in the form of carbon dioxide. GS CleanTech’s patented bioreactor technology uses algae to consume these carbon dioxide emissions. The algae use the carbon dioxide in the exhaust, sunlight and water to grow new algae, giving off pure oxygen and water vapor in the process. If properly cultivated, the algae double in mass every 7 to 12 hours and are harvested for conversion into clean fuels as they grow to maturity.

GS CleanTech is currently deploying its first commercial scale pilot bioreactor system and anticipates use of the bioreactor technology at ethanol facilities to further enhance corn to clean fuel conversion efficiencies.

Impact on Coal Gasification

A standard coal gasification facility gasifies and partially oxidizes prepared coal with oxygen and heat into a hydrogen rich synthesis gas, or syngas. The syngas is combusted and converted into electricity in a gas-fired generator. The gasification stage of the process generates carbon dioxide emissions which, in some of the most advanced current practices, is compressed and sequestered underground in saline formations or the like. The carbon capture and sequestration stage of this process increases operating costs by more than 20% as compared to standard coal-fired gasification.

As applied at a coal gasification facility, GS CleanTech's bioreactor consumes exhaust carbon dioxide and has the potential to offset the substantial operating and capital costs associated with conventional oxygen production while producing a valuable biomass co-product that can be used to enhance the plant's power output and/or add new revenues arising from the production and sale of biomass-derived fuels.

Process Demonstration:

Contact info:

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