Biofuel

Biofuel

Your new offshore energy source: Floating algae farms

Forget offshore oil drilling. NASA’s working on a project that would generate clean, renewable offshore energy, by growing algae in floating plastic bags. These floating algae farms would take in wastewater from treatment plants. For algae, wastewater is like the nectar of the gods: The ammonia and phosphates act as a fertilizer. So the algae would float happily contained in the baggies, getting fat with lipid oil, and cleaning up the wastewater in the process. Eventually, the algae farmers would harvest the oil, recycle the plastic and start all over again.

Food

Antibiotics in your meat? The ethanol industry might be partly to blame

Many farmers feed livestock spent grain from the ethanol process in order to lower feed costs. New research confirms what some have long suspected: Those byproducts contain antibiotics from the ethanol distilling process.

Terrified by peak oil, FedEx turns to biofuels, efficiency

FedEx owns 700 planes and tens of thousands of trucks, which is why CEO Fred Smith is crazy for energy efficiency.

Biofuel

Power source of the future: Snails

Sometimes it seems like researchers design experiments specifically to win an Ig Nobel prize. How else do you explain a paper titled "Implanted Biofuel Cell Operating in a Living Snail"?

Biofuel

Can pond scum save you from $5 gas? [VIDEO]

Short answer: no. But algae’s moment in the sun may be just over the horizon.

Biofuel

In 2014, corn biofuel is out, wood biofuel is in

Biofuel sounds like a pretty good idea — down with power plants, up with regular plants! — but if the country switches over to corn ethanol we will basically be unable to grow any other crops. A new study has calculated that corn destined for ethanol production would have to take over 80 percent of current farmland in order for the country to meet current biofuel goals. But next generation biofuels can come from many other plants besides corn. And for the first time, they might be commercially viable.

Climate & Energy

New Melbourne restaurant runs on your pee

Melbourne’s Greenhouse restaurant wants your patronage. But more importantly, it wants your pee. That’s right — this pop-up restaurant, which is open from March 2 through the 21st in honor of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, wants you to get all up in its custom-made toilets. The green eatery is collecting human urine and using it to fertilize soybean and canola crops. The restaurant, which is designed by Joost Bakker who is clearly a maniac, then uses unrefined canola oil to generate electricity for all of its operations. Urine may seem an unorthodox energy source, but it is actually …

Cleantech

Map shows avalanche of cellulosic ethanol projects on the way

In the battle between food and fuel, cellulosic ethanol might not be a great idea or even a viable solution to our energy woes, but enzyme company Novozymes says it's coming, regardless.

Biofuel

Mexico City’s giant landfill will power 35,000 homes

Mexico City will open a landfill gas power plant, which should be able to power 35,000 homes at its peak.

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