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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Biodiesel from Marine Algae. Three cheers for Shell Oil.

Productuion of Biofuels helps relieve energy shortages and fight global warming. However, it also worsens the world food shortage. A solution would be production of biodiesel using algae grown in areas which currently generate little food per acre (Oceans and deserts).

In this case, obviously, the problem is a shortage of fresh water. That means it is important to know if there are species of marine algae which can be used to make bio diesel. I don't think there are any marine algae as greasy as the fresh water algae currently being used to make biodiesel. However, I didn't know if there is current research on using marine algae to make biodiesel. So I googled and found that Shell Oil is working on it.

Shell Oil to grow biofuels from marine algae

Shell Oil formed a joint venture with HR Biopetroleum called Cellana and they plan to produce biofuels from marine algae. Shell, which owns a majority stake in the venture, will start production of a demonstration facility on the Kona coast of Hawai'i Island immediately.

The announcement is dated December 12 2007 and I have been thinking about this since long before then (of course HR Biopetroleum has been shopping this around for years).

Now back when Shell was collaborating with the evil dictator Sani Abache (you have received spam from fraudsters who claim to be his widow) to exploit Oil in the Niger delta and was thus involved in his repression, I attended a May 1 boycott Shell rally. Now they pollute and mistreat the locals in collaboration with a democratically elected President Umaru Yar'Adua (OK I googled that too but I remembered that his predecessor was O. Obasanjo) .

My boycott Shell pin is a treasured memento of my youth. I think I'll keep it, but I won't boycott Shell.

Also I drink Nestl├ęs instant coffee every day.

1 comment:

reason said...

You STILL drink instant coffee? Wow, I didn't know there were people who still did that!