Soylent Greengulf pond scum…

I really can’t stand the idea of dead zones in the ocean.

Dead zones are areas in the water where algae blooms as it feeds on nutrients in high concentrations of foreign matter, such as methane, in this case, or, more typically, the components of farmland fertiliser runoff into water. The algae gorge, reproduce quickly and then, in turn, are eaten by bacteria in a process that depletes the immediate area of oxygen. Fish and other sea life cannot survive in these zones.

Follow me over here…

And here…

“you might create areas that are deprived of oxygen. You might alter ecosystems in ways you don’t understand. You might actually create organisms in your algae patch that put up greenhouse gasses more potent than the carbon dioxide, like methane.”

The really big story is here!

Then there’s the issue of how to grow millions of acres of the stuff — a prospect that concerns people uncomfortable with genetically modified crops. The top companies have very different approaches, which suggests that there is not yet a clear winner…

“And the true challenge is not only to figure out how to breed the best pond scum, grow it as easily as rice, and bring it to market, but to do it all at a cost approaching that of conventional gasoline. The really inconvenient truth is that no one in the biofuels world anticipates that green crude will earn any real premium from consumers over the Deepwater Horizon brew.

It’s a big business, apparently…

A really big business.

With big plans!

If that model turns out to be the right one, the future of the biofuel industry looks fairly straightforward. Cultivation ponds drawing water from farms, waste-streams, tainted reservoirs, the ocean and other sources would be dotted thickly throughout the southern half of the United States, each producing three to four million gallons per year. To replace the entire crude oil usage of the country, it would take between two and three thousand of these ponds, according to my back-of-the-envelope calculations.

This was so interesting…

I must say, it does feel like an on-going experiment doesn’t it?

Kind of like playing around with tinker toys as kids.

More is here on the “frankenplanet” concept.

And then, of course there is the big ethical question, too.

More frankenplanet! Can you believe it?

That “small people” concept?  I’m wondering about that in the hands of these geoengineering-pioneers, no?

6 thoughts on “Soylent Greengulf pond scum…

  1. Here’s NASA (below) in Algae pond mix. Found these today while researching dead zones/algae. This one is designed for the ocean. There is also a sea water plan in Texas. I’ll see if I can find it again. Obviously the Pentagon has until 2012 to be 50% biofuel. And Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, has spoken about it as well. btw: MMS paid SAIC to study ocean currents in the Gulf awhile back. “Never let a crisis go to waste”

    http://event.arc.nasa.gov/Green-Aviation/home/pdf/Klupar-scum.pdf

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/research/OMEGA/algae_into_oil_video.html

    When deployed in contaminated and “dead zone” coastal areas, this system may help remediate these zones by removing and utilizing the nutrients that cause them. The forward-osmosis membranes use relatively small amounts of external energy compared to the conventional methods of harvesting algae, which have an energy intensive de-watering process.

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/news/releases/2009/09-147AR.html

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  2. Well the big player here in algae fuel in the government and the military industrial complex. I am not certain that ethics is high on their list? That of course is my opinion.

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