German power plant testing CO2-scrubbing algae

Jul 22, 2010
Algae specimens being tested at a lab. Swedish energy group Vattenfall said it had launched a major pilot project Thursday using algae to absorb greenhouse gas emissions from a coal-fired power plant in eastern Germany.

Swedish energy group Vattenfall said it had launched a major pilot project Thursday using algae to absorb greenhouse gas emissions from a coal-fired power plant in eastern Germany.

The two-million-euro (2.6-million-dollar) trial run, which will continue until October 2011, in the depressed Lausitz mining region is one of several experimental attempts in the sector using to slash carbon dioxide output.

"The microalgae use climate-killing CO2 to create valuable biomass," the chairman of Vattenfall Europe Mining and Generation, Hartmuth Zeiss, said in a statement.

"Moreover the new technology will bring useful know-how to the Lausitz and increase its importance as a region for energy production."

Half the funding for the project called green MiSSiON (Microalgae Supported CO2 Sequestration in and New Energy) comes from Vattenfall, the other half from state and European Union subsidies.

The gas emitted at the Senftenberg brown-coal-fired plant is being pumped through a kind of broth using algae cultivated in 12 plastic tanks.

"The aim is to find out what kinds of algae work with brown coal dust and then, how economical this kind of CO2 reduction is," a spokesman for the Vattenfall division, Axel Happe, told AFP.

The biomass produced in the process can be used to produce biodiesel, to feed biogas power plants and as a nutritious supplement in fish food, Happe said.

He said it was difficult to quantify the amount of normally emitted at Senftenberg or estimate how sizeable the reduction could be with the use of algae, which can scrub 10 times as much CO2 as land-based plants.

But he said the company aimed to publish initial results in late 2011.

A project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 found that diverting CO2 through an algae broth could reduce emissions by as much as 85 percent.

Vattenfall is the third biggest electricity provider in Germany.

Last month, European aerospace giant EADS unveiled what it called the world's first "hybrid" aircraft to run on algae fuel.

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gunslingor1
1 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
"He said it was difficult to quantify the amount of CO2 emissions normally emitted at Senftenberg or estimate how sizeable the reduction could be with the use of algae, which can scrub 10 times as much CO2 as land-based plants."
-which is still at a snails pace... think how much a tree grows in a year. Coal plants put out trillions of tons/year.

"A project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 found that diverting CO2 through an algae broth could reduce emissions by as much as 85 percent."
-Highly deceptive statement. Are you talking 1-for-1 volume of algea to volumn of CO2? then sure, I beleive it. But to do that on a coal plant you'd need a solid pool of algea 100 times the volume of NY state.

Just think about it.. CO2 has doubled on this planet in 100 years. That's with all plants converting CO2 to O2 all the time... If you cannot do it with the entire planet, what makes you think you can do it with a pool of algea.

BigOil pushing the unrealistic yet again.
rgwalther
5 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
If you cannot do it with the entire planet, what makes you think you can do it with a pool of algea.
BigOil pushing the unrealistic yet again.

EVIL CORPORATIONS!!! I can see Rockefeller staring in 1860 at his stolen Pennsylvania oil wells and cackling, "Some day this oil will destroy the world! And I did it! Mmhahahaa!
As for trying to find a solution to Rockefeller's evil plan, GIVE UP! There is no hope, so don't try. Remember that Ford joined Rockefeller and intentionally replaced the benign mountains of horse dung with the death-spewing internal combustion engine. Of course they were both working as minions of Sauron to poison the air. Soon the descendants of the evil corporations can remove their humanoid coverings and breathe deep the toxic stew they have created to fill their alien reptilian lungs.
Stop CO2 emissions by plugging the stacks with the empty heads of driveling pseudonyms. The capacity of said heads to absorb and transport toxins is infinite.
gunslingor1
2 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
I don't think they are inherently evil, just in plane old denial or manipulation of the truth for profit.

The tobacoo campanies area nother example....Do they want to kill people...nope, they need customers... but money is more valueable to them.
danlgarmstrong
4 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
The power plant will use the algae to produce biodeisel. The biodiesl will be burned in some combustion engine that does not trap the CO2 and it goes straight into the atmosphere. But I guess the plant still gets lots of carbon credits. And might even make money selling the fuel. Just possibly a net minus in atmospheric carbon from the petro-deisel it displaces.
cris777
3 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
If they create this, I think they can develop something to convert CO2 in energy.
mattytheory
2 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2010
Wow rgwalther, wow. Working as the evil minions of Sauron? That is either very true or very creative...
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 23, 2010
Just think about it.. CO2 has doubled on this planet in 100 years. That's with all plants converting CO2 to O2 all the time...


That's not entirely true. Plants do convert CO2 to O2 during the day (to make sugars), but reverse the process during the night - converting the sugars to energy and breathing out CO2 in the process (this is the reason why you shouldn't have loads of plants in your bedroom).

Over the entire lifecycle of a plant the O2/CO2 balance is neutral. Only when plant matter is sequestered does the atmospheric balance change in favor of O2 (the most concentrated sequestration are coal and oil deposits, peat bogs, etc. )