Good Algae Sustainable Energy 1 Essay Example
Algae Sustainable Energy 2
Algae Leading the path to Energy Sustainability in the US
I am a microbiologist and I am here to talk to U.S. Department of Energy about why you should invest in algae for a sustained future. Algae is the most viable of microbial fuels as it can produce several different types of fuels including ethanol, gasoline and diesel. These three fuels are the three common types of products that are used in transportation vehicles on the US. Algae will allow us to save our infrastructure and reduce greenhouse gases. I am asking for a sizable investment to continue research into algae to meet our energy needs.
Algae Sustainable Energy 3
Algae Leading the path to Energy Sustainability in the US
Microbes do a lot of things in our world today from recycling waste, producing foods like yoghurt and beer, producing new drugs and now in the 20th century they are becoming useful as a viable source of energy. The United States current demand in fossil fuels exists in transportation. I am developing biofuels from algae so we can keep the existing infrastructure but get substantial benefits. Algae based biofuels will quench our energy demands and can make the US both economically viable and take away the demand on foreign sources of fuels. Microbial based fuels based on alge offers to take us to new frontiers at record speeds.
Currently, there is a low cost to convert natural resources to energy but natural resources are not limited and renewable. People have cut down trees, dug for oil or coal to easily burn it to make energy for thousands of years. The US has managed to become quite dependent on oil with about 46% and 20% of the 6.89 billion barrels of petroleum are used as gasoline and diesel respectively (EIA). Petroleum is a disappearing resource and has large price fluctuations that as many people here know inflated bills at the gas station. These two products fuel our transportation needs. Unfortunately, there are few technologies besides Tesla and hybrid cars that are going to take away that burden and to transform today’s cars into electric cars would be quite expensive. Investing in microbial fuel will allow me to make gasoline and diesel cheaper for the consumers and give a stable supply to maintain the current transportation infrastructure. We plan on using more innovative chemical engineering and better microbes that can produce more gas and diesel in a smaller time frame.
How can we fuel the transportation industry using microbes? Although there are a variety of microbial fuels there are a number of different ways to utilize microbes to generate energy viz. microbial fuel cells, bioethanol, biodiesel and biogasoline. Microbial fuels cells utilize the catalytic reactions of microorganisms to convert chemical energy to electrical energy but are better for low power uses like pacemakers (Rabaey, 2005) . Bioethanol, biodiesel and biogasoline, however, can be made the prokaryotic or eukaryotic organism, algae which is robust. This organism reduces greenhouse gas when it takes CO2 from the air during the process of growth process. Firstly, bioethanol can be made from algae which can be used in up to 10% of cars in America (Flavin, 2006 ). Secondly, biodiesel is promising as up to 60% of algae dry weight can be made into the form of oil (Borowitzka, 2013) and into biodiesel. Lastly, the biogasoline can also be produced from the biomass of algae with the extracted product being similar to gasoline. In fact, the biogasoline is so similar in structure that it matches the physical profiles of gasoline from the ground (Demirpas, 2011 ). Both these products are scalable and could meet the energy demands quite quickly (Mata, 2010). It can even start producing biofuels in 3-5 days and after that oil can be harvested on a daily basis (Demirbas, 2011). We would like to increase the amount produced with a sizable investment which could increase the biofuel output, the growth and extraction process. Although microbial based fuels offer promising results I am focusing my efforts to produce these three types of fuels specifically from algae.
We are developing algae as a viable microbially produced fuel to bring renewable supplies of bioethanol, biodiesel and biogasoline to the United States. Using these fuels will allow the existing transportation infrastructure and vehicles on the road to be maintained as they are today. Additionally, there will be a less of a demand on foreign drilled oil and less of a need to build massive transportation routes to obtain this oil. The algae can produce a lot of oil locally and through innovative chemical engineering technologies we can harness this to save the US people a significant amount of money.
EIA, US Energy Information Administration. How much gasoline does the United States consume? Retrieved from http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=41&t=6
Rabaey, Korneel, and Willy Verstraete. "Microbial fuel cells: novel biotechnology for energy generation." TRENDS in Biotechnology 23.6 (2005): 291-298.
Borowitzka, M. A. (2013). Energy from microalgae: a short history. In Algae for Biofuels and Energy (pp. 1-15). Springer Netherlands.
Flavin, C., Sawin, J. L., Mastny, L., Aeck, M. H., Hunt, S., MacEvitt, A., & Mohin, T. (2006). American energy: the renewable path to energy security. American energy: the renewable path to energy security.
Mascal, M., Dutta, S., & Gandarias, I. (2014). Hydrodeoxygenation of the Angelica Lactone Dimer, a Cellulose‐Based Feedstock: Simple, High‐Yield Synthesis of Branched C7–C10 Gasoline‐like Hydrocarbons. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53(7), 1854-1857.
Demirbas, M. F. (2011). Biofuels from algae for sustainable development. Applied Energy, 88(10), 3473-3480.
Mata, T. M., Martins, A. A., & Caetano, N. S. (2010). Microalgae for biodiesel production and other applications: a review. Renewable and sustainable energy reviews, 14(1), 217-232.