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Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

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  • false
    Bobby, Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of
    Message 1 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
      Bobby,
       
      Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
       
      Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
       
      Jody


      From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
      To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

      Brian,

      Sorry for the misspelling.

      We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

      We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

      I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

      Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

      So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

      (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

      Bobby


      On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


      Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

      If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

      I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

      I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

      Brian




      From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


      Brain,

      I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

      However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

      So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

      Bobby

      On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


      Ok false, I will bite...

      My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

      But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

      In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
      The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

      Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

      have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
       
      Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

      Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

      These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
      6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

      This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

      Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
      Brian







      From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
      To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


      I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


      From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
      To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
      Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

      Hello ya'll,

      I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

      I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

      Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

      Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

      Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

      I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

      Brian



      From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
      Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
      To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


      I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


      Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

      On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


      Hi Trent:
       
      Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
      • Higher land use intensity
      • Can use marginal land
      • Brackish water options
      • High oil yield
      • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
      • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
      Cheers
      Alex
       
      -------Original Message----- --
       
      Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
      Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
       

      That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



      On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


      Dear All,
       
      How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
       
      Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
       
      Thank you very much
      Sincerely,
      Abo-Mohra
       

        

      Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

      Botany Department,
      Faculty of Science,
      Tanta University,
      Tanta,
      Egypt,     
      Fax:002-040- 3344532
      P. O. Box: 31527
       

       

        

      Abomohra



       








      --
      Toward freedom,

      Bobby Yates Emory





      --
      Toward freedom,

      Bobby Yates Emory

    • Alex Markin
      M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return. It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be
      Message 2 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
        M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
         
        Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
         
        Cheers
        Alex
         
        -------Original Message-------
         
        From: false
        Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
         

        Bobby,
         
        Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
         
        Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
         
        Jody


        From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

        Brian,

        Sorry for the misspelling.

        We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

        We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

        I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

        Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

        So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

        (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

        Bobby


        On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


        Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

        If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity' . That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

        I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

        I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

        Brian




        From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


        Brain,

        I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

        However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

        So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

        Bobby

        On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


        Ok false, I will bite...

        My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

        But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

        In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
        The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

        Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

        have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
         
        Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

        Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

        These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
        6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

        This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

        Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
        Brian







        From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
        Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


        I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


        From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
        Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
        Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

        Hello ya'll,

        I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

        I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

        Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

        Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

        Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

        I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

        Brian



        From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
        Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
        Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


        I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


        Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

        On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


        Hi Trent:
         
        Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
        • Higher land use intensity
        • Can use marginal land
        • Brackish water options
        • High oil yield
        • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
        • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
        Cheers
        Alex
         
        -------Original Message----- --
         
        Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
        Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
         

        That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



        On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


        Dear All,
         
        How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
         
        Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
         
        Thank you very much
        Sincerely,
        Abo-Mohra
         

          

        Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

        Botany Department,
        Faculty of Science,
        Tanta University,
        Tanta,
        Egypt,     
        Fax:002-040- 3344532
        P. O. Box: 31527
         

         

          

        Abomohra



         








        --
        Toward freedom,

        Bobby Yates Emory





        --
        Toward freedom,

        Bobby Yates Emory

         
      • George Peters
        This wasn t about this group, but for some reason oil_from_algae came to mind when I read it. ...perhaps because there is so little real experience? …. most
        Message 3 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
          This wasn't about this group, but for some reason oil_from_algae came to mind when I read it.
          ...perhaps because there is so little real experience?

          . most of the comments are, in my opinion, far from the truth and don’t reflect actual experience.
          The web is a great repository for opinions of the unexperienced
        • bhans@earthmimic.com
          Bobby, The difference in the coal example is that you do not have to account for the production of energy, you are taking about only conversion of energy. And
          Message 4 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
            Bobby,

            The difference in the coal example is that you do not have to account for the production of energy, you are taking about only conversion of energy. And according to the laws of thermodynamics, you must always end up with a negative EROI on conversions. No one cares where or how the energy got into the coal mine.

            But when it comes to turning sunlight into liquid fuels, you must account for that energy itself. You are not just converting algae into oil, you are also turning sunlight into algae and then into oil. You have to fix energy and that is the step that coal and other fossil fuels never have to do. You must become an energy producer, not just an energy converter like FT. And frankly, that is the most expensive step because it takes millions and millions of years and geological 'pooling' of resources (such as an oil well). That is the inherent disadvantage of trying to compete with fossil fuels by growng biofuels. That is the hurtle you have to overcome to become a viable source of energy, economics be damned. You have to be able to make more energy than what you start with. Even tho Cornahol claims + and < 2:1 sorts of numbers, when you extrapolate those sorts of numbers to the whole of US ag, you quickly find that its folly to even try.

            So when you say '2000 gal/ac/year', that is only the top line number or gross yield. That is not the final yield of the system. If you yield 2000gal/ac/year but it takes 100 ton's of coal's worth of energy/year to produce that 2000g, you have not produced any energy but only coverted coal into liquid fuels. And I promise you that FT technologies that have been around for more than 60 years can convert coal into liquids much more cost effectively than algae ever could.

            By the way, sunlight into all biofuels is infact EROI negative and will always be because of the laws of thermodynamics, you can never turn 100% of the sunlight into oil. The reality is you dont have to pay for the sunlight, so it doesnt really matter what the overall number is except when it comes to fiscial considerations (can I compete with other forms of energy). What Im asking for is how much coal is it going to cost for each gallon of algoil? An operating EROI if you will and not the overall EROI of the whole process. There are plenty of engineering, people and ways to do these sorts of calculuations, such as Dr Krassen's work.

            Just an FYI, ~ between 1/1,000,000's and 1/1,000,000,000 of the original fixed energy in fossil biomass is eventually converted into fossil fuels like coal and petrol. The rest is lost thru a combo of biotic and abiotic losses.

            One more item. I would claim that trees, prairie, garbage and 'Hutt Lagoon' sorts of algal resources all have the same advantage of time and geological 'pooling' as does fossil fuels, tho to no where near the extent. So they should all be the first target of any biofuel program because they have the best chance of competing with fossil fuels.


            From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:58 PM
            To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


            Brian,

            Sorry for the misspelling.

            We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

            We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

            I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

            Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

            So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

            (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

            Bobby


            On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


            Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

            If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

            I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

            I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

            Brian




            From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


            Brain,

            I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

            However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

            So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

            Bobby

            On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


            Ok false, I will bite...

            My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

            But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

            In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
            The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

            Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

            have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
             
            Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

            Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

            These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
            6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

            This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

            Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
            Brian







            From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
            Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


            I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


            From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
            Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

            Hello ya'll,

            I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

            I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

            Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

            Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

            Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

            I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

            Brian



            From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
            Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


            I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


            Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

            On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


            Hi Trent:
             
            Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
            • Higher land use intensity
            • Can use marginal land
            • Brackish water options
            • High oil yield
            • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
            • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
            Cheers
            Alex
             
            -------Original Message----- --
             
            Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
             

            That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



            On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


            Dear All,
             
            How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
             
            Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
             
            Thank you very much
            Sincerely,
            Abo-Mohra
             

              

            Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

            Botany Department,
            Faculty of Science,
            Tanta University,
            Tanta,
            Egypt,     
            Fax:002-040- 3344532
            P. O. Box: 31527
             

             

              

            Abomohra



             








            --
            Toward freedom,

            Bobby Yates Emory





            --
            Toward freedom,

            Bobby Yates Emory


          • Bobby Yates Emory
            Jody, Right - there are lots of processes we need that are not energy positive. Bobby ... -- Toward freedom, Bobby Yates Emory
            Message 5 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
              Jody,

              Right - there are lots of processes we need that are not energy positive.

              Bobby

              On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 7:41 AM, false <jfarris73@...> wrote:


              Bobby,
               
              Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
               
              Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
               
              Jody


              From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
              Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM

              Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

              Brian,

              Sorry for the misspelling.

              We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

              We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

              I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

              Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

              So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

              (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

              Bobby


              On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


              Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

              If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

              I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

              I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

              Brian




              From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
              Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
              Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


              Brain,

              I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

              However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

              So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

              Bobby

              On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


              Ok false, I will bite...

              My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

              But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

              In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
              The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

              Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

              have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
               
              Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

              Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

              These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
              6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

              This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

              Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
              Brian







              From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
              Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
              To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


              I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


              From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
              To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
              Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
              Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

              Hello ya'll,

              I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

              I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

              Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

              Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

              Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

              I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

              Brian



              From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
              Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
              To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
              Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


              I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


              Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

              On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


              Hi Trent:
               
              Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
              • Higher land use intensity
              • Can use marginal land
              • Brackish water options
              • High oil yield
              • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
              • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
              Cheers
              Alex
               
              -------Original Message----- --
               
              Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
              Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
               

              That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



              On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


              Dear All,
               
              How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
               
              Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
               
              Thank you very much
              Sincerely,
              Abo-Mohra
               

                

              Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

              Botany Department,
              Faculty of Science,
              Tanta University,
              Tanta,
              Egypt,     
              Fax:002-040- 3344532
              P. O. Box: 31527
               

               

                

              Abomohra



               








              --
              Toward freedom,

              Bobby Yates Emory





              --
              Toward freedom,

              Bobby Yates Emory




              --
              Toward freedom,

              Bobby Yates Emory
            • Bobby Yates Emory
              Alex, You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if
              Message 6 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
                Alex,

                You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                Bobby


                On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                 
                Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                 
                Cheers
                Alex
                 
                -------Original Message-------
                 
                From: false
                Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                 

                Bobby,
                 
                Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                 
                Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                 
                Jody


                From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                Brian,

                Sorry for the misspelling.

                We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                Bobby


                On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                Brian




                From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                Brain,

                I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                Bobby

                On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                Ok false, I will bite...

                My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                 
                Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                Brian







                From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                Hello ya'll,

                I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                Brian



                From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                Hi Trent:
                 
                Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                • Higher land use intensity
                • Can use marginal land
                • Brackish water options
                • High oil yield
                • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                Cheers
                Alex
                 
                -------Original Message----- --
                 
                Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                 

                That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                Dear All,
                 
                How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                 
                Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                 
                Thank you very much
                Sincerely,
                Abo-Mohra
                 

                  

                Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                Botany Department,
                Faculty of Science,
                Tanta University,
                Tanta,
                Egypt,     
                Fax:002-040- 3344532
                P. O. Box: 31527
                 

                 

                  

                Abomohra



                 








                --
                Toward freedom,

                Bobby Yates Emory





                --
                Toward freedom,

                Bobby Yates Emory

                 



                --
                Toward freedom,

                Bobby Yates Emory
              • Bobby Yates Emory
                George, Good point - you left out the inexperienced trying to scam people. Bobby ... -- Toward freedom, Bobby Yates Emory George, Good point - you left out the
                Message 7 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
                  George,

                  Good point - you left out the inexperienced trying to scam people.

                  Bobby

                  On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:47 AM, George Peters <ibgp3@...> wrote:


                  This wasn't about this group, but for some reason oil_from_algae came to mind when I read it.
                  ...perhaps because there is so little real experience?

                  . most of the comments are, in my opinion, far from the truth and don’t reflect actual experience.
                  The web is a great repository for opinions of the unexperienced



                  --
                  Toward freedom,

                  Bobby Yates Emory
                • Bobby Yates Emory
                  Hans, I don t think you got my point. Let s say we find out that if we keep the algae ponds at 100F, the algae grows real well. So we have to burn lots of
                  Message 8 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
                    Hans,

                    I don't think you got my point.  Let's say we find out that if we keep the algae ponds at 100F, the algae grows real well.  So we have to burn lots of coal to keep the algae warm.  Even if we have to burn as many coal BTUs as is contained in the algae oil, that is not a stopper.  Coal is cheap and algae oil, which can be used as transportation fuel, is more valuable.

                    (Reality note - I am not really suggesting that we heat the algae ponds - even though coal is cheap, it still would cost too much - I think.)

                    In accounting for energy, I think most people would not include sunlight.  If we do, we will always be hopelessly negative.  We will need to include the diesel for the trucks to truck the algae to the processing plant, the electricity for the centrifuge, and other uses around the algae farm and processing center.

                    (Reality note - there will be hundreds of energy inputs - the above are just examples.  I hope we don't have either of the above, but there will be lots of others.)

                    Bobby


                     Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 3:40 PM, bhans@... <bhans@...> wrote:


                    Bobby,

                    The difference in the coal example is that you do not have to account for the production of energy, you are taking about only conversion of energy. And according to the laws of thermodynamics, you must always end up with a negative EROI on conversions. No one cares where or how the energy got into the coal mine.

                    But when it comes to turning sunlight into liquid fuels, you must account for that energy itself. You are not just converting algae into oil, you are also turning sunlight into algae and then into oil. You have to fix energy and that is the step that coal and other fossil fuels never have to do. You must become an energy producer, not just an energy converter like FT. And frankly, that is the most expensive step because it takes millions and millions of years and geological 'pooling' of resources (such as an oil well). That is the inherent disadvantage of trying to compete with fossil fuels by growng biofuels. That is the hurtle you have to overcome to become a viable source of energy, economics be damned. You have to be able to make more energy than what you start with. Even tho Cornahol claims + and < 2:1 sorts of numbers, when you extrapolate those sorts of numbers to the whole of US ag, you quickly find that its folly to even try.

                    So when you say '2000 gal/ac/year', that is only the top line number or gross yield. That is not the final yield of the system. If you yield 2000gal/ac/year but it takes 100 ton's of coal's worth of energy/year to produce that 2000g, you have not produced any energy but only coverted coal into liquid fuels. And I promise you that FT technologies that have been around for more than 60 years can convert coal into liquids much more cost effectively than algae ever could.

                    By the way, sunlight into all biofuels is infact EROI negative and will always be because of the laws of thermodynamics, you can never turn 100% of the sunlight into oil. The reality is you dont have to pay for the sunlight, so it doesnt really matter what the overall number is except when it comes to fiscial considerations (can I compete with other forms of energy). What Im asking for is how much coal is it going to cost for each gallon of algoil? An operating EROI if you will and not the overall EROI of the whole process. There are plenty of engineering, people and ways to do these sorts of calculuations, such as Dr Krassen's work.

                    Just an FYI, ~ between 1/1,000,000's and 1/1,000,000,000 of the original fixed energy in fossil biomass is eventually converted into fossil fuels like coal and petrol. The rest is lost thru a combo of biotic and abiotic losses.

                    One more item. I would claim that trees, prairie, garbage and 'Hutt Lagoon' sorts of algal resources all have the same advantage of time and geological 'pooling' as does fossil fuels, tho to no where near the extent. So they should all be the first target of any biofuel program because they have the best chance of competing with fossil fuels.


                    From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                    Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:58 PM

                    To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                    Brian,

                    Sorry for the misspelling.

                    We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                    We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                    I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope(SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                    Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                    So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                    (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                    Bobby


                    On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@... <bhans@...> wrote:


                    Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                    If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity...' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                    I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                    I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                    Brian




                    From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                    Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                    Brain,

                    I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                    However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                    So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                    Bobby

                    On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@... <bhans@...> wrote:


                    Ok false, I will bite...

                    My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                    But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                    In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                    The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering-related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                    Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                    have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                     
                    Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                    Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                    These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                    6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                    This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                    Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                    Brian







                    From: false <jfarris73@...>
                    Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                    To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                    I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                    From: "bhans@..." <bhans@...>
                    To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                    Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                    Hello ya'll,

                    I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                    I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                    Being able to produce bio feedstocks economically to fit the intended market.

                    Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                    Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                    I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                    Brian



                    From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                    Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                    To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                    Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                    I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                    Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                    On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                    Hi Trent:
                     
                    Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                    • Higher land use intensity
                    • Can use marginal land
                    • Brackish water options
                    • High oil yield
                    • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                    • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                    Cheers
                    Alex
                     
                    -------Original Message----- --
                     
                    Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                    Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                     

                    That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                    On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                    Dear All,
                     
                    How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                     
                    Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                     
                    Thank you very much
                    Sincerely,
                    Abo-Mohra
                     

                      

                    Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                    Botany Department,
                    Faculty of Science,
                    Tanta University,
                    Tanta,
                    Egypt,     
                    Fax:002-040- 3344532
                    P. O. Box: 31527
                     

                     

                      

                    Abomohra



                     








                    --
                    Toward freedom,

                    Bobby Yates Emory





                    --
                    Toward freedom,

                    Bobby Yates Emory





                    --
                    Toward freedom,

                    Bobby Yates Emory
                  • lendlabs
                    Bobby, Yes..but heat is a waste product of electric power as well as the CO2.. Also they could make the raceways on top of the used mines as they dig and
                    Message 9 of 29 , Jul 1, 2009
                      Bobby,
                      Yes..but heat is a waste product of electric power as well as the CO2..
                      Also they could make the raceways on top of the used mines as they dig
                      and cover..Just think of all the ideas you can create with creative
                      numbers.. like 100,000 gal per Ac..
                      Eric had an interesting talk with a former poster here about two years
                      ago. He had used numbers from a highly promoted project and was asking
                      about funding..Where did he get the numbers..off a deal someone was
                      trying to sell.. It took Eric about five minutes with data to let him
                      know this was NOT CPA's numbers... etc

                      Bruce
                      --- In oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com, Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Hans,
                      >
                      > I don't think you got my point. Let's say we find out that if we keep
                      the
                      > algae ponds at 100F, the algae grows real well. So we have to burn
                      lots of
                      > coal to keep the algae warm. Even if we have to burn as many coal
                      BTUs as
                      > is contained in the algae oil, that is not a stopper. Coal is cheap
                      and
                      > algae oil, which can be used as transportation fuel, is more valuable.
                      >
                      > (Reality note - I am not really suggesting that we heat the algae
                      ponds -
                      > even though coal is cheap, it still would cost too much - I think.)
                      >
                      > In accounting for energy, I think most people would not include
                      sunlight.
                      > If we do, we will always be hopelessly negative. We will need to
                      include
                      > the diesel for the trucks to truck the algae to the processing plant,
                      the
                      > electricity for the centrifuge, and other uses around the algae farm
                      and
                      > processing center.
                      >
                      > (Reality note - there will be hundreds of energy inputs - the above
                      are just
                      > examples. I hope we don't have either of the above, but there will be
                      lots
                      > of others.)
                      >
                      > Bobby
                      >
                      >
                      > Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 3:40 PM, bhans@... bhans@...wrote:
                      >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Bobby,
                      > >
                      > > The difference in the coal example is that you do not have to
                      account for
                      > > the production of energy, you are taking about only conversion of
                      energy.
                      > > And according to the laws of thermodynamics, you must always end up
                      with a
                      > > negative EROI on conversions. No one cares where or how the energy
                      got into
                      > > the coal mine.
                      > >
                      > > But when it comes to turning sunlight into liquid fuels, you must
                      account
                      > > for that energy itself. You are not just converting algae into oil,
                      you are
                      > > also turning sunlight into algae and then into oil. You have to fix
                      energy
                      > > and that is the step that coal and other fossil fuels never have to
                      do. You
                      > > must become an energy producer, not just an energy converter like
                      FT. And
                      > > frankly, that is the most expensive step because it takes millions
                      and
                      > > millions of years and geological 'pooling' of resources (such as an
                      oil
                      > > well). That is the inherent disadvantage of trying to compete with
                      fossil
                      > > fuels by growng biofuels. That is the hurtle you have to overcome to
                      become
                      > > a viable source of energy, economics be damned. You have to be able
                      to make
                      > > more energy than what you start with. Even tho Cornahol claims + and
                      < 2:1
                      > > sorts of numbers, when you extrapolate those sorts of numbers to the
                      whole
                      > > of US ag, you quickly find that its folly to even try.
                      > >
                      > > So when you say '2000 gal/ac/year', that is only the top line number
                      or
                      > > gross yield. That is not the final yield of the system. If you yield
                      > > 2000gal/ac/year but it takes 100 ton's of coal's worth of
                      energy/year to
                      > > produce that 2000g, you have not produced any energy but only
                      coverted coal
                      > > into liquid fuels. And I promise you that FT technologies that have
                      been
                      > > around for more than 60 years can convert coal into liquids much
                      more cost
                      > > effectively than algae ever could.
                      > >
                      > > By the way, sunlight into all biofuels is infact EROI negative and
                      will
                      > > always be because of the laws of thermodynamics, you can never turn
                      100% of
                      > > the sunlight into oil. The reality is you dont have to pay for the
                      sunlight,
                      > > so it doesnt really matter what the overall number is except when it
                      comes
                      > > to fiscial considerations (can I compete with other forms of
                      energy). What
                      > > Im asking for is how much coal is it going to cost for each gallon
                      of
                      > > algoil? An operating EROI if you will and not the overall EROI of
                      the whole
                      > > process. There are plenty of engineering, people and ways to do
                      these sorts
                      > > of calculuations, such as Dr Krassen's
                      work<http://www.nanostring.net/Algae/CaseStudy.pdf>.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Just an FYI, ~ between 1/1,000,000's and 1/1,000,000,000 of the
                      original
                      > > fixed energy in fossil biomass is eventually converted into fossil
                      fuels
                      > > like coal and petrol. The rest is lost thru a combo of biotic and
                      abiotic
                      > > losses.
                      > >
                      > > One more item. I would claim that trees, prairie, garbage and 'Hutt
                      Lagoon'
                      > > sorts of algal resources all have the same advantage of time and
                      geological
                      > > 'pooling' as does fossil fuels, tho to no where near the extent. So
                      they
                      > > should all be the first target of any biofuel program because they
                      have the
                      > > best chance of competing with fossil fuels.
                      > >
                      > > ------------------------------
                      > > *From*: Bobby Yates Emory liberty1@...
                      > > *Sent*: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 10:58 PM
                      > >
                      > > *To*: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                      > > *Subject*: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Brian,
                      > >
                      > > Sorry for the misspelling.
                      > >
                      > > We are nowhere near the reality of anything. We don't need to alter
                      > > biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be
                      possible
                      > > to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.
                      Since that
                      > > is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and
                      maybe even
                      > > feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the
                      > > alternatives.
                      > >
                      > > We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI.
                      > >
                      > > I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to
                      stand in
                      > > the way of it. Let's consider a theoretical case. Coal is really
                      cheap
                      > > ($16 per ton is what I remember). Let's say we come up with an
                      improvement
                      > > to the Fischer-Trope(SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline
                      for
                      > > every 2 pounds of coal input. That would have a terrible EROI -
                      about 1/2.
                      > > And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of
                      gasoline is
                      > > worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.
                      > >
                      > > Let's make it more extreme. Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton
                      to
                      > > take their garbage. We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a
                      gallon
                      > > of kerosene from that ton. That the garbage has a million BTUs
                      and the
                      > > kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant. We are getting paid to
                      take the
                      > > input and can sell the output.
                      > >
                      > > So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant -
                      the total
                      > > cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is
                      the
                      > > important measure.
                      > >
                      > > (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that
                      we
                      > > must consider.)
                      > >
                      > > Bobby
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@... <
                      > > bhans@... wrote:
                      > >
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >> Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)
                      > >>
                      > >> If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive
                      assumption about
                      > >> biological productivity...' then you can adjust the numbers. My
                      contention
                      > >> is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption
                      about
                      > >> biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil
                      but
                      > >> increasing the production of algae.
                      > >>
                      > >> I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no
                      one ever
                      > >> talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is
                      pretty dumb,
                      > >> I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to
                      Benemann and
                      > >> others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's.
                      And even
                      > >> Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along
                      with his
                      > >> famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission
                      says 'its a
                      > >> complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers
                      drop way
                      > >> down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/year turns
                      into a
                      > >> much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering
                      gets
                      > >> included.
                      > >>
                      > >> I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of
                      'biofuels'
                      > >> with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of
                      simple
                      > >> sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system
                      make more
                      > >> energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start
                      with.
                      > >>
                      > >> Brian
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >> ------------------------------
                      > >> *From*: Bobby Yates Emory liberty1@...
                      > >> *Sent*: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                      > >> *To*: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                      > >> *Subject*: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >> Brain,
                      > >>
                      > >> I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.
                      Everyone
                      > >> talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they
                      have
                      > >> done.
                      > >>
                      > >> However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's
                      quotation.
                      > >> When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20
                      per
                      > >> barrel. Today it is about $70. If algae oil is twice as expensive
                      when
                      > >> crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty
                      well with
                      > >> $70.
                      > >>
                      > >> So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it
                      is
                      > >> possible for algae oil to be cost effective. Time to get to work
                      to find
                      > >> out if the theory can be made reality.
                      > >>
                      > >> Bobby
                      > >>
                      > >> On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@... <
                      > >> bhans@... wrote:
                      > >>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Ok false, I will bite...
                      > >>>
                      > >>> My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable
                      energy
                      > >>> and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading
                      and
                      > >>> establishing a very large library of algal research and
                      developments from
                      > >>> the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the
                      algae soup
                      > >>> during August.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;
                      > >>>
                      > >>> In the NREL algae report
                      itself<http://www.nrel.gov/docs/legosti/fy98/24190.pdf>,
                      > >>> Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                      > >>> *The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not
                      > >>> engineering-related. These analyses point to the need for highly
                      productive
                      > >>> organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of
                      sunlight to
                      > >>> biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological
                      productivity, we
                      > >>> project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than
                      current
                      > >>> petroleum diesel fuel costs.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> *Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program
                      knows
                      > >>> what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering
                      problem
                      > >>> but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;
                      > >>>
                      > >>> have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level
                      conversion
                      > >>> levels? Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel
                      pond.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very
                      thing,
                      > >>> engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself
                      that Dr
                      > >>> Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are
                      foolishly
                      > >>> working on equipment and not the organism itself.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to
                      make this
                      > >>> all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to
                      commercial
                      > >>> production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of
                      various hoops
                      > >>> and red tape.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the
                      obvious just
                      > >>> a few years ago in this article
                      <http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2541>;
                      > >>> *6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels
                      > >>> production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is
                      successful, a
                      > >>> very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile
                      trying, as
                      > >>> we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those
                      that, as
                      > >>> pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have
                      other major
                      > >>> up-front failings.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> *This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even
                      > >>> valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because
                      no one
                      > >>> has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor
                      economically positive
                      > >>> returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5
                      years
                      > >>> out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the
                      > >>> subject?
                      > >>> Brian
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>> ------------------------------
                      > >>> *From*: false jfarris73@...
                      > >>> *Sent*: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                      > >>> *To*: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                      > >>> *Subject*: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                      > >>>
                      > >>> I disagree. Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a
                      > >>> commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is
                      *definitely*within 5 years. Probably more like 3. Now you might not
                      see meaningful
                      > >>> contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude
                      supply will
                      > >>> first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market. And from what I
                      have
                      > >>> heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers
                      already exist,
                      > >>> just waiting to be filled! That is a very motivating reason to
                      stay in the
                      > >>> algae 'hunt'.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> ------------------------------
                      > >>> *From:* "bhans@..." bhans@...
                      > >>> *To:* oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                      > >>> *Sent:* Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                      > >>> *Subject:* Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Hello ya'll,
                      > >>>
                      > >>> I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something
                      isnt
                      > >>> the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing
                      algae for
                      > >>> 1000's of years.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into
                      energy/others
                      > >>> is 2 fold;
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Being able to produce bio feedstocks economically to fit the
                      intended
                      > >>> market.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit
                      into
                      > >>> the energy market.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a
                      > >>> reality.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly
                      pointing this
                      > >>> out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Brian
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>> ------------------------------
                      > >>> *From*: Trent Creekmore trent@...
                      > >>> *Sent*: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                      > >>> *To*: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                      > >>> *Subject*: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                      > >>>
                      > >>> I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed
                      produced.
                      > >>> There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing
                      > >>> viable quantities for mass production, and not at a loss of
                      revenue.
                      > >>>
                      > >>> Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?
                      > >>>
                      > >>> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin anzactwo@bellsouth.
                      netanzactwo@...
                      > >>> > wrote:
                      > >>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> Hi Trent:
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local
                      conditions,
                      > >>>> the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am
                      prematurely
                      > >>>> assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have
                      commercial
                      > >>>> value. Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other
                      biomass based
                      > >>>> routes to manufacturing fuels.
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> - Higher land use intensity
                      > >>>> - Can use marginal land
                      > >>>> - Brackish water options
                      > >>>> - High oil yield
                      > >>>> - Multiple real development efforts from credible
                      organizations
                      > >>>> - Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> Cheers
                      > >>>> Alex
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> *-------Original Message----- --*
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> *From:* Trent Creekmore trent@...
                      > >>>> *Date:* 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                      > >>>> *To:* oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                      oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                      > >>>> *Subject:* Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be
                      established.
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra abomohra@yahoo.
                      comabomohra@...
                      > >>>> > wrote:
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> Dear All,
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph.
                      D.
                      > >>>> student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from
                      microalgae.
                      > >>>> I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need
                      to
                      > >>>> search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find
                      the
                      > >>>> voting part on the left side of the page.
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot.
                      com/<http://abomohra.blogspot.com/>
                      > >>>> and vote as you seen.
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> Thank you very much
                      > >>>> Sincerely,
                      > >>>> Abo-Mohra
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> *Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra, *
                      > >>>> *Botany Department,*
                      > >>>> *Faculty of Science,*
                      > >>>> *Tanta University,*
                      > >>>> *Tanta,*
                      > >>>> *Egypt, *
                      > >>>> *Fax:002-040- 3344532*
                      > >>>> *P. O. Box: 31527*
                      > >>>> *E-mail: Abomohra@yahoo. com Abomohra@...*
                      > >>>> **
                      > >>>> *Website: **www.abomohra. blogspot.
                      com*<http://www.abomohra.blogspot.com/>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> * *
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>> *Abomohra*
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>>
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >> --
                      > >> Toward freedom,
                      > >>
                      > >> Bobby Yates Emory
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >>
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --
                      > > Toward freedom,
                      > >
                      > > Bobby Yates Emory
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      > Toward freedom,
                      >
                      > Bobby Yates Emory
                      >
                    • Alex Markin
                      Even worse - experienced scammers screwing inexperienced scammees. Quite a few of them in the algae area. In fact some of us may have fun compiling a list of
                      Message 10 of 29 , Jul 2, 2009
                        Even worse - experienced scammers screwing inexperienced scammees. Quite a few of them in the algae area. In fact some of us may have fun compiling a list of scammers for this group. At least one is in the list below.
                         

                        http://WWW.altenergystocks.Com/archives/2009/06/investment_ideas_from_the_advanced_biofuels_workshop.HTML

                        There are now three publicly traded Algae companies.  I've previously written skeptically about PetroSun (PSUD.PK,) and Thurmond told me, "Petrosun appears to doing well in the news, but if you examine their financial statements, it's a different story."   More recently OriginOil (OOIL.OB) and PetroAlgae, (PALG.OB) have also gone public.  PetroAlgae is the industry high flyer, and is doing some interesting work growing duckweed, at least according to a hallway conversation.  Unfortunately, the stock is so thinly traded that it would be difficult for even a small investor to get in without significant price impact.  OriginOil shows better volumes, but they, too, are early in their technological development.

                        Algae has great promise, but the only investments currently available to the retail investor are very early stage.  Even if we were to assume that the algae industry will quickly meet its potential, these three companies only amount to a tenth of the current players, and the rigors of being a public company are not the best environment in which to develop an emerging technology.  Algae could well be a monumental success story, but that does not mean that any of these three companies will participate in that success.

                         
                        Cheers
                        Alex 
                         
                        -------Original Message-------
                         
                        Date: 7/1/2009 9:34:37 PM
                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                         

                        George,

                        Good point - you left out the inexperienced trying to scam people.

                        Bobby

                        On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 10:47 AM, George Peters <ibgp3@yahoo. com> wrote:


                        This wasn't about this group, but for some reason oil_from_algae came to mind when I read it.
                        ...perhaps because there is so little real experience?

                        …. most of the comments are, in my opinion, far from the truth and don’t reflect actual experience.
                        The web is a great repository for opinions of the unexperienced



                        --
                        Toward freedom,

                        Bobby Yates Emory

                         
                      • Manfred
                        ... Just a comment from a newbie in this group: In my view this would be a a perpetual process - thus impossible from physics point of view. What one could
                        Message 11 of 29 , Jul 2, 2009
                          --- In oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com, "bhans@..." <bhans@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.
                          >
                          > Brian
                          >
                          Just a comment from a newbie in this group:

                          In my view this would be a a perpetual process - thus impossible from physics point of view. What one could call for, though, is the expectation that the value of the energy you produce in teh process is worth more the value of the energy you supply. There are quite convincing examples given already.
                        • Alex Markin
                          Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy
                          Message 12 of 29 , Jul 2, 2009
                            Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                            • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                            • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                            Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                             
                            I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                             
                            Cheers
                            Alex
                             
                            -------Original Message-------
                             
                            Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                             

                            Alex,

                            You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                            I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                            Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                            M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                            But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                            And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                            But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                            If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                            Bobby


                            On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                            M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                             
                            Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                             
                            Cheers
                            Alex
                             
                            -------Original Message----- --
                             
                            From: false
                            Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                             

                            Bobby,
                             
                            Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                             
                            Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                             
                            Jody


                            From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                            Brian,

                            Sorry for the misspelling.

                            We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                            We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                            I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                            Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                            So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                            (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                            Bobby


                            On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                            Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                            If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                            I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                            I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                            Brian




                            From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                            Brain,

                            I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                            However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                            So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                            Bobby

                            On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                            Ok false, I will bite...

                            My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                            But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                            In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                            The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                            Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                            have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                             
                            Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                            Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                            These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                            6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                            This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                            Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                            Brian







                            From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                            Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                            I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                            From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                            Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                            Hello ya'll,

                            I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                            I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                            Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                            Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                            Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                            I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                            Brian



                            From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                            Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                            I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                            Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                            On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                            Hi Trent:
                             
                            Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                            • Higher land use intensity
                            • Can use marginal land
                            • Brackish water options
                            • High oil yield
                            • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                            • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                            Cheers
                            Alex
                             
                            -------Original Message----- --
                             
                            Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                             

                            That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                            On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                            Dear All,
                             
                            How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                             
                            Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                             
                            Thank you very much
                            Sincerely,
                            Abo-Mohra
                             

                              

                            Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                            Botany Department,
                            Faculty of Science,
                            Tanta University,
                            Tanta,
                            Egypt,     
                            Fax:002-040- 3344532
                            P. O. Box: 31527
                             

                             

                              

                            Abomohra



                             








                            --
                            Toward freedom,

                            Bobby Yates Emory





                            --
                            Toward freedom,

                            Bobby Yates Emory

                             



                            --
                            Toward freedom,

                            Bobby Yates Emory

                             
                          • Bobby Yates Emory
                            Alex, All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation. But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not
                            Message 13 of 29 , Jul 4, 2009
                              Alex,

                              All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                              But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                              Bobby

                              On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                              Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                              • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                              • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                              Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                               
                              I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                               
                              Cheers
                              Alex
                               
                              -------Original Message-------
                               
                              Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                              Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                               

                              Alex,

                              You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                              I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                              Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                              M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                              But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                              And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                              But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                              If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                              Bobby


                              On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                              M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                               
                              Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                               
                              Cheers
                              Alex
                               
                              -------Original Message-------
                               
                              From: false
                              Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                              Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                               

                              Bobby,
                               
                              Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                               
                              Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                               
                              Jody


                              From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                              To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                              Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                              Brian,

                              Sorry for the misspelling.

                              We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                              We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                              I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                              Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                              So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                              (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                              Bobby


                              On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                              Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                              If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                              I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                              I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                              Brian




                              From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                              Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                              Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                              Brain,

                              I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                              However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                              So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                              Bobby

                              On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                              Ok false, I will bite...

                              My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                              But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                              In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                              The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                              Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                              have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                               
                              Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                              Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                              These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                              6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                              This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                              Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                              Brian







                              From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                              Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                              To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                              Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                              I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                              From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                              To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                              Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                              Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                              Hello ya'll,

                              I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                              I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                              Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                              Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                              Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                              I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                              Brian



                              From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                              Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                              To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                              Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                              I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                              Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                              On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                              Hi Trent:
                               
                              Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                              • Higher land use intensity
                              • Can use marginal land
                              • Brackish water options
                              • High oil yield
                              • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                              • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                              Cheers
                              Alex
                               
                              -------Original Message----- --
                               
                              Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                              Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                               

                              That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                              On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                              Dear All,
                               
                              How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                               
                              Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                               
                              Thank you very much
                              Sincerely,
                              Abo-Mohra
                               

                                

                              Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                              Botany Department,
                              Faculty of Science,
                              Tanta University,
                              Tanta,
                              Egypt,     
                              Fax:002-040- 3344532
                              P. O. Box: 31527
                               

                               

                                

                              Abomohra



                               








                              --
                              Toward freedom,

                              Bobby Yates Emory





                              --
                              Toward freedom,

                              Bobby Yates Emory

                               



                              --
                              Toward freedom,

                              Bobby Yates Emory

                               



                              --
                              Toward freedom,

                              Bobby Yates Emory
                            • Alex Markin
                              Bobby: But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some
                              Message 14 of 29 , Jul 5, 2009
                                Bobby:
                                 
                                But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                 
                                We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                 
                                Cheers
                                Alex
                                 
                                -------Original Message-------
                                 
                                Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                 

                                Alex,

                                All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                Bobby

                                On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                 
                                I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                 
                                Cheers
                                Alex
                                 
                                -------Original Message----- --
                                 
                                Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                 

                                Alex,

                                You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                Bobby


                                On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                 
                                Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                 
                                Cheers
                                Alex
                                 
                                -------Original Message----- --
                                 
                                From: false
                                Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                 

                                Bobby,
                                 
                                Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                 
                                Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                 
                                Jody


                                From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                Brian,

                                Sorry for the misspelling.

                                We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                Bobby


                                On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                Brian




                                From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                Brain,

                                I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                Bobby

                                On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                Ok false, I will bite...

                                My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                 
                                Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                Brian







                                From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                Hello ya'll,

                                I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                Brian



                                From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                Hi Trent:
                                 
                                Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                • Higher land use intensity
                                • Can use marginal land
                                • Brackish water options
                                • High oil yield
                                • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                Cheers
                                Alex
                                 
                                -------Original Message----- --
                                 
                                Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                 

                                That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                Dear All,
                                 
                                How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                 
                                Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                 
                                Thank you very much
                                Sincerely,
                                Abo-Mohra
                                 

                                  

                                Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                Botany Department,
                                Faculty of Science,
                                Tanta University,
                                Tanta,
                                Egypt,     
                                Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                P. O. Box: 31527
                                 

                                 

                                  

                                Abomohra



                                 








                                --
                                Toward freedom,

                                Bobby Yates Emory





                                --
                                Toward freedom,

                                Bobby Yates Emory

                                 



                                --
                                Toward freedom,

                                Bobby Yates Emory

                                 



                                --
                                Toward freedom,

                                Bobby Yates Emory

                                 
                              • Bobby Yates Emory
                                Alex, Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies. My concern is that as soon as someone has a
                                Message 15 of 29 , Jul 5, 2009
                                  Alex,

                                  Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies.

                                  My concern is that as soon as someone has a way to grow a few gallons of algae, we don't jump down his throat asking questions he has no way to answer.  Let's encourage people, not stifle them.

                                  (Reality note - Esso changed to Exxon - maybe they will come back for algae oil.)

                                  Bobby

                                  On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                  Bobby:
                                   
                                  But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                   
                                  We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                   
                                  Cheers
                                  Alex
                                   
                                  -------Original Message-------
                                   
                                  Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                  Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                   

                                  Alex,

                                  All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                  But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                  Bobby

                                  On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                  Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                  • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                  • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                  Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                   
                                  I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                   
                                  Cheers
                                  Alex
                                   
                                  -------Original Message-------
                                   
                                  Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                  Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                   

                                  Alex,

                                  You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                  I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                  Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                  M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                  But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                  And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                  But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                  If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                  Bobby


                                  On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                  M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                   
                                  Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                   
                                  Cheers
                                  Alex
                                   
                                  -------Original Message-------
                                   
                                  From: false
                                  Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                  Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                   

                                  Bobby,
                                   
                                  Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                   
                                  Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                   
                                  Jody


                                  From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                                  To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                  Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                  Brian,

                                  Sorry for the misspelling.

                                  We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                  We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                  I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                  Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                  So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                  (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                  Bobby


                                  On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                  Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                  If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                  I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                  I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                  Brian




                                  From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                  Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                  Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                  Brain,

                                  I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                  However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                  So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                  Bobby

                                  On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                  Ok false, I will bite...

                                  My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                  But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                  In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                  The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                  Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                  have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                   
                                  Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                  Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                  These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                  6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                  This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                  Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                  Brian







                                  From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                  Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                  To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                  Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                  I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                  From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                  To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                  Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                  Hello ya'll,

                                  I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                  I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                  Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                  Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                  Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                  I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                  Brian



                                  From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                  Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                  To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                  Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                  I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                  Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                  On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                  Hi Trent:
                                   
                                  Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                  • Higher land use intensity
                                  • Can use marginal land
                                  • Brackish water options
                                  • High oil yield
                                  • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                  • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                  Cheers
                                  Alex
                                   
                                  -------Original Message----- --
                                   
                                  Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                   

                                  That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                  On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                  Dear All,
                                   
                                  How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                   
                                  Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                   
                                  Thank you very much
                                  Sincerely,
                                  Abo-Mohra
                                   

                                    

                                  Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                  Botany Department,
                                  Faculty of Science,
                                  Tanta University,
                                  Tanta,
                                  Egypt,     
                                  Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                  P. O. Box: 31527
                                   

                                   

                                    

                                  Abomohra



                                   








                                  --
                                  Toward freedom,

                                  Bobby Yates Emory





                                  --
                                  Toward freedom,

                                  Bobby Yates Emory

                                   



                                  --
                                  Toward freedom,

                                  Bobby Yates Emory

                                   



                                  --
                                  Toward freedom,

                                  Bobby Yates Emory

                                   



                                  --
                                  Toward freedom,

                                  Bobby Yates Emory
                                • Alex Markin
                                  Questions do not necessarily stifle. In fact they nay help by identifying a path to follow. Studies need to be done under controlled and transparent conditions
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Jul 6, 2009
                                    Questions do not necessarily stifle. In fact they nay help by identifying a path to follow. Studies need to be done under controlled and transparent conditions to allay natural skepticism and duplicated by third parties, independent of the inventor. The successful exceptions are very very rare.
                                     
                                    Dissing does stifle. Ad-hominem attacks are ineffective. No sense doing that. 
                                     
                                    Cheers
                                    Alex
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                    -------Original Message-------
                                     
                                    Date: 7/5/2009 4:55:02 PM
                                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                     

                                    Alex,

                                    Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies.

                                    My concern is that as soon as someone has a way to grow a few gallons of algae, we don't jump down his throat asking questions he has no way to answer.  Let's encourage people, not stifle them.

                                    (Reality note - Esso changed to Exxon - maybe they will come back for algae oil.)

                                    Bobby

                                    On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                    Bobby:
                                     
                                    But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                     
                                    We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                     
                                    Cheers
                                    Alex
                                     
                                    -------Original Message----- --
                                     
                                    Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                     

                                    Alex,

                                    All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                    But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                    Bobby

                                    On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                    Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                    • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                    • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                    Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                     
                                    I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                     
                                    Cheers
                                    Alex
                                     
                                    -------Original Message----- --
                                     
                                    Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                     

                                    Alex,

                                    You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                    I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                    Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                    M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                    But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                    And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                    But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                    If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                    Bobby


                                    On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                    M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                     
                                    Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                     
                                    Cheers
                                    Alex
                                     
                                    -------Original Message----- --
                                     
                                    From: false
                                    Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                     

                                    Bobby,
                                     
                                    Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                     
                                    Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                     
                                    Jody


                                    From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                    To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                    Brian,

                                    Sorry for the misspelling.

                                    We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                    We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                    I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                    Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                    So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                    (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                    Bobby


                                    On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                    Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                    If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                    I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                    I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                    Brian




                                    From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                    Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                    Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                    Brain,

                                    I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                    However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                    So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                    Bobby

                                    On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                    Ok false, I will bite...

                                    My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                    But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                    In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                    The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                    Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                    have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                     
                                    Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                    Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                    These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                    6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                    This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                    Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                    Brian







                                    From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                    Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                    To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                    I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                    From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                    To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                    Hello ya'll,

                                    I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                    I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                    Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                    Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                    Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                    I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                    Brian



                                    From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                    Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                    To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                    Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                    I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                    Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                    On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                    Hi Trent:
                                     
                                    Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                    • Higher land use intensity
                                    • Can use marginal land
                                    • Brackish water options
                                    • High oil yield
                                    • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                    • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                    Cheers
                                    Alex
                                     
                                    -------Original Message----- --
                                     
                                    Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                    Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                     

                                    That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                    On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                    Dear All,
                                     
                                    How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                     
                                    Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                     
                                    Thank you very much
                                    Sincerely,
                                    Abo-Mohra
                                     

                                      

                                    Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                    Botany Department,
                                    Faculty of Science,
                                    Tanta University,
                                    Tanta,
                                    Egypt,     
                                    Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                    P. O. Box: 31527
                                     

                                     

                                      

                                    Abomohra



                                     








                                    --
                                    Toward freedom,

                                    Bobby Yates Emory





                                    --
                                    Toward freedom,

                                    Bobby Yates Emory

                                     



                                    --
                                    Toward freedom,

                                    Bobby Yates Emory

                                     



                                    --
                                    Toward freedom,

                                    Bobby Yates Emory

                                     



                                    --
                                    Toward freedom,

                                    Bobby Yates Emory

                                     
                                  • Bobby Yates Emory
                                    Alex, I don t disagree, but the attitude should be - what you have done is great, how can we help you validate it - not - what you have done is not valid
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Jul 6, 2009
                                      Alex,

                                      I don't disagree, but the attitude should be - what you have done is great, how can we help you validate it - not - what you have done is not valid because you haven't hired an MBA to write a report on it.

                                      Let's encourage, not disparage.

                                      Bobby

                                      On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                      Questions do not necessarily stifle. In fact they nay help by identifying a path to follow. Studies need to be done under controlled and transparent conditions to allay natural skepticism and duplicated by third parties, independent of the inventor. The successful exceptions are very very rare.
                                       
                                      Dissing does stifle. Ad-hominem attacks are ineffective. No sense doing that. 
                                       
                                      Cheers
                                      Alex
                                       
                                       
                                       
                                      -------Original Message-------
                                       
                                      Date: 7/5/2009 4:55:02 PM
                                      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                       

                                      Alex,

                                      Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies.

                                      My concern is that as soon as someone has a way to grow a few gallons of algae, we don't jump down his throat asking questions he has no way to answer.  Let's encourage people, not stifle them.

                                      (Reality note - Esso changed to Exxon - maybe they will come back for algae oil.)

                                      Bobby

                                      On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                      Bobby:
                                       
                                      But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                       
                                      We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                       
                                      Cheers
                                      Alex
                                       
                                      -------Original Message-------
                                       
                                      Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                       

                                      Alex,

                                      All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                      But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                      Bobby

                                      On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                      Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                      • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                      • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                      Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                       
                                      I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                       
                                      Cheers
                                      Alex
                                       
                                      -------Original Message-------
                                       
                                      Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                       

                                      Alex,

                                      You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                      I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                      Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                      M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                      But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                      And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                      But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                      If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                      Bobby


                                      On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                      M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                       
                                      Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                       
                                      Cheers
                                      Alex
                                       
                                      -------Original Message-------
                                       
                                      From: false
                                      Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                       

                                      Bobby,
                                       
                                      Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                       
                                      Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                       
                                      Jody


                                      From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                                      To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                                      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                      Brian,

                                      Sorry for the misspelling.

                                      We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                      We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                      I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                      Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                      So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                      (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                      Bobby


                                      On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                      Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                      If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                      I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                      I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                      Brian




                                      From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                      Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                      Brain,

                                      I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                      However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                      So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                      Bobby

                                      On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                      Ok false, I will bite...

                                      My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                      But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                      In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                      The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                      Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                      have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                       
                                      Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                      Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                      These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                      6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                      This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                      Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                      Brian







                                      From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                      Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                      To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                      Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                      I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                      From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                      To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                      Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                      Hello ya'll,

                                      I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                      I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                      Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                      Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                      Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                      I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                      Brian



                                      From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                      Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                      To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                      Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                      I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                      Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                      On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                      Hi Trent:
                                       
                                      Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                      • Higher land use intensity
                                      • Can use marginal land
                                      • Brackish water options
                                      • High oil yield
                                      • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                      • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                      Cheers
                                      Alex
                                       
                                      -------Original Message----- --
                                       
                                      Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                      Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                       

                                      That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                      On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                      Dear All,
                                       
                                      How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                       
                                      Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                       
                                      Thank you very much
                                      Sincerely,
                                      Abo-Mohra
                                       

                                        

                                      Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                      Botany Department,
                                      Faculty of Science,
                                      Tanta University,
                                      Tanta,
                                      Egypt,     
                                      Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                      P. O. Box: 31527
                                       

                                       

                                        

                                      Abomohra



                                       








                                      --
                                      Toward freedom,

                                      Bobby Yates Emory





                                      --
                                      Toward freedom,

                                      Bobby Yates Emory

                                       



                                      --
                                      Toward freedom,

                                      Bobby Yates Emory

                                       



                                      --
                                      Toward freedom,

                                      Bobby Yates Emory

                                       



                                      --
                                      Toward freedom,

                                      Bobby Yates Emory

                                       



                                      --
                                      Toward freedom,

                                      Bobby Yates Emory
                                    • Alex Markin
                                      Bobby: I have no problem with that approach. But I would not waste my time if the invention was violating fundamental energy balance and mass balance
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Jul 7, 2009
                                        Bobby:
                                         
                                        I have no problem with that approach. But I would not waste my time if the invention was violating fundamental energy balance and mass balance principles and being yet another case of "Gee whiz, I invented perpetual motion. "
                                         
                                        Cheers
                                        Alex 
                                         
                                        -------Original Message-------
                                         
                                        Date: 7/6/2009 9:57:58 PM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                         

                                        Alex,

                                        I don't disagree, but the attitude should be - what you have done is great, how can we help you validate it - not - what you have done is not valid because you haven't hired an MBA to write a report on it.

                                        Let's encourage, not disparage.

                                        Bobby

                                        On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                        Questions do not necessarily stifle. In fact they nay help by identifying a path to follow. Studies need to be done under controlled and transparent conditions to allay natural skepticism and duplicated by third parties, independent of the inventor. The successful exceptions are very very rare.
                                         
                                        Dissing does stifle. Ad-hominem attacks are ineffective.  No sense doing that. 
                                         
                                        Cheers
                                        Alex
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        -------Original Message----- --
                                         
                                        Date: 7/5/2009 4:55:02 PM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                         

                                        Alex,

                                        Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies.

                                        My concern is that as soon as someone has a way to grow a few gallons of algae, we don't jump down his throat asking questions he has no way to answer.  Let's encourage people, not stifle them.

                                        (Reality note - Esso changed to Exxon - maybe they will come back for algae oil.)

                                        Bobby

                                        On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                        Bobby:
                                         
                                        But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                         
                                        We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                         
                                        Cheers
                                        Alex
                                         
                                        -------Original Message----- --
                                         
                                        Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                         

                                        Alex,

                                        All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                        But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                        Bobby

                                        On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                        Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                        • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                        • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                        Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                         
                                        I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                         
                                        Cheers
                                        Alex
                                         
                                        -------Original Message----- --
                                         
                                        Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                         

                                        Alex,

                                        You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                        I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                        Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                        M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                        But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                        And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                        But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                        If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                        Bobby


                                        On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                        M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                         
                                        Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                         
                                        Cheers
                                        Alex
                                         
                                        -------Original Message----- --
                                         
                                        From: false
                                        Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                         

                                        Bobby,
                                         
                                        Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                         
                                        Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                         
                                        Jody


                                        From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                        Brian,

                                        Sorry for the misspelling.

                                        We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                        We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                        I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                        Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                        So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                        (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                        Bobby


                                        On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                        Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                        If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                        I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                        I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                        Brian




                                        From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                        Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                        Brain,

                                        I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                        However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                        So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                        Bobby

                                        On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                        Ok false, I will bite...

                                        My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                        But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                        In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                        The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                        Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                        have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                         
                                        Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                        Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                        These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                        6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                        This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                        Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                        Brian







                                        From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                        Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                        I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                        From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                        Hello ya'll,

                                        I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                        I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                        Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                        Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                        Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                        I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                        Brian



                                        From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                        Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                        To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                        Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                        I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                        Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                        On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                        Hi Trent:
                                         
                                        Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                        • Higher land use intensity
                                        • Can use marginal land
                                        • Brackish water options
                                        • High oil yield
                                        • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                        • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                        Cheers
                                        Alex
                                         
                                        -------Original Message----- --
                                         
                                        Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                        Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                         

                                        That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                        On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                        Dear All,
                                         
                                        How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                         
                                        Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                         
                                        Thank you very much
                                        Sincerely,
                                        Abo-Mohra
                                         

                                          

                                        Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                        Botany Department,
                                        Faculty of Science,
                                        Tanta University,
                                        Tanta,
                                        Egypt,     
                                        Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                        P. O. Box: 31527
                                         

                                         

                                          

                                        Abomohra



                                         








                                        --
                                        Toward freedom,

                                        Bobby Yates Emory





                                        --
                                        Toward freedom,

                                        Bobby Yates Emory

                                         



                                        --
                                        Toward freedom,

                                        Bobby Yates Emory

                                         



                                        --
                                        Toward freedom,

                                        Bobby Yates Emory

                                         



                                        --
                                        Toward freedom,

                                        Bobby Yates Emory

                                         



                                        --
                                        Toward freedom,

                                        Bobby Yates Emory

                                         
                                      • Bobby Yates Emory
                                        Alex, I think we are talking about two different things. I am talking about a backyard experimenter who has solved one portion of the oil from algae puzzle. I
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Jul 7, 2009
                                          Alex,

                                          I think we are talking about two different things.

                                          I am talking about a backyard experimenter who has solved one portion of the oil from algae puzzle.

                                          I think you are talking about all the PR we see from scammers who are trying to suck in investors with wild claims.

                                          I don't want to discourage the first group, even if they have solved only one tiny part of the puzzle.

                                          I agree with you that we should be very sceptical about the pump and dump scammers and their press releases.

                                          Bobby

                                          On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                          Bobby:
                                           
                                          I have no problem with that approach. But I would not waste my time if the invention was violating fundamental energy balance and mass balance principles and being yet another case of "Gee whiz, I invented perpetual motion. "
                                           
                                          Cheers
                                          Alex 
                                           
                                          -------Original Message-------
                                           
                                          Date: 7/6/2009 9:57:58 PM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                           

                                          Alex,

                                          I don't disagree, but the attitude should be - what you have done is great, how can we help you validate it - not - what you have done is not valid because you haven't hired an MBA to write a report on it.

                                          Let's encourage, not disparage.

                                          Bobby

                                          On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                          Questions do not necessarily stifle. In fact they nay help by identifying a path to follow. Studies need to be done under controlled and transparent conditions to allay natural skepticism and duplicated by third parties, independent of the inventor. The successful exceptions are very very rare.
                                           
                                          Dissing does stifle. Ad-hominem attacks are ineffective. No sense doing that. 
                                           
                                          Cheers
                                          Alex
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          -------Original Message-------
                                           
                                          Date: 7/5/2009 4:55:02 PM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                           

                                          Alex,

                                          Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies.

                                          My concern is that as soon as someone has a way to grow a few gallons of algae, we don't jump down his throat asking questions he has no way to answer.  Let's encourage people, not stifle them.

                                          (Reality note - Esso changed to Exxon - maybe they will come back for algae oil.)

                                          Bobby

                                          On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                          Bobby:
                                           
                                          But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                           
                                          We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                           
                                          Cheers
                                          Alex
                                           
                                          -------Original Message-------
                                           
                                          Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                           

                                          Alex,

                                          All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                          But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                          Bobby

                                          On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                          Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                          • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                          • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                          Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                           
                                          I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                           
                                          Cheers
                                          Alex
                                           
                                          -------Original Message-------
                                           
                                          Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                           

                                          Alex,

                                          You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                          I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                          Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                          M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                          But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                          And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                          But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                          If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                          Bobby


                                          On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@...> wrote:


                                          M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                           
                                          Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                           
                                          Cheers
                                          Alex
                                           
                                          -------Original Message-------
                                           
                                          From: false
                                          Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                           

                                          Bobby,
                                           
                                          Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                           
                                          Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                           
                                          Jody


                                          From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@...>
                                          To: oil_from_algae@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                          Brian,

                                          Sorry for the misspelling.

                                          We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                          We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                          I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                          Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                          So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                          (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                          Bobby


                                          On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                          Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                          If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                          I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                          I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                          Brian




                                          From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                          Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                          Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                          Brain,

                                          I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                          However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                          So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                          Bobby

                                          On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                          Ok false, I will bite...

                                          My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                          But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                          In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                          The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                          Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                          have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                           
                                          Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                          Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                          These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                          6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                          This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                          Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                          Brian







                                          From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                          Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                          To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                          I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                          From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                          To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                          Hello ya'll,

                                          I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                          I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                          Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                          Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                          Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                          I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                          Brian



                                          From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                          Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                          To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                          Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                          I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                          Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                          On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                          Hi Trent:
                                           
                                          Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                          • Higher land use intensity
                                          • Can use marginal land
                                          • Brackish water options
                                          • High oil yield
                                          • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                          • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                          Cheers
                                          Alex
                                           
                                          -------Original Message----- --
                                           
                                          Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                          Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                           

                                          That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                          On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                          Dear All,
                                           
                                          How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                           
                                          Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                           
                                          Thank you very much
                                          Sincerely,
                                          Abo-Mohra
                                           

                                            

                                          Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                          Botany Department,
                                          Faculty of Science,
                                          Tanta University,
                                          Tanta,
                                          Egypt,     
                                          Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                          P. O. Box: 31527
                                           

                                           

                                            

                                          Abomohra



                                           








                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory





                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory

                                           



                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory

                                           



                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory

                                           



                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory

                                           



                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory

                                           



                                          --
                                          Toward freedom,

                                          Bobby Yates Emory
                                        • Alex Markin
                                          Bobby, I am not sure we are talking about two different things. Even tinkerers such as you are describing need to at least satisfy themselves and others that
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Jul 7, 2009
                                            Bobby, I am not sure we are talking about two different things. Even tinkerers such as you are describing need to at least satisfy themselves and others that they are not inventing new fundamental scientific principles such as exceptions to principles of energy and mass balances, or if they are, they can clearly state where their finding deviates with some explanation besides pure faith or "trust me".  Incidentally tinkerers finding new algae with better lipid content or coming up with novel separation technologies are those I'd listen to.
                                             
                                            That character whom I talked with re hydrogen from algae turned me off in seconds when he swore that hydrogen used for fuel cells would generate more energy than was needed to electrolytically generate the hydrogen in the first place from water. And then he waxed poetic about magnetic engines where energy output exceeds energy input or that within minutes water fed to algae would become a biofuel.  Upon checking his relationships I found he was involved in the infamous Remat engine from the GMC Holding Corporation. Even the idiot SEC knew investors were being suckered.
                                             
                                            What I am saying is that any backyard experimenter needs to pass a sniff test - demonstrate some veracity and understanding.
                                             
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            -------Original Message-------
                                             
                                            Date: 7/7/2009 5:59:55 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            Alex,

                                            I think we are talking about two different things.

                                            I am talking about a backyard experimenter who has solved one portion of the oil from algae puzzle.

                                            I think you are talking about all the PR we see from scammers who are trying to suck in investors with wild claims.

                                            I don't want to discourage the first group, even if they have solved only one tiny part of the puzzle.

                                            I agree with you that we should be very sceptical about the pump and dump scammers and their press releases.

                                            Bobby

                                            On Tue, Jul 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                            Bobby:
                                             
                                            I have no problem with that approach. But I would not waste my time if the invention was violating fundamental energy balance and mass balance principles and being yet another case of "Gee whiz, I invented perpetual motion. "
                                             
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex 
                                             
                                            -------Original Message----- --
                                             
                                            Date: 7/6/2009 9:57:58 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            Alex,

                                            I don't disagree, but the attitude should be - what you have done is great, how can we help you validate it - not - what you have done is not valid because you haven't hired an MBA to write a report on it.

                                            Let's encourage, not disparage.

                                            Bobby

                                            On Mon, Jul 6, 2009 at 11:42 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                            Questions do not necessarily stifle. In fact they nay help by identifying a path to follow. Studies need to be done under controlled and transparent conditions to allay natural skepticism and duplicated by third parties, independent of the inventor. The successful exceptions are very very rare.
                                             
                                            Dissing does stifle. Ad-hominem attacks are ineffective.  No sense doing that. 
                                             
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex
                                             
                                             
                                             
                                            -------Original Message----- --
                                             
                                            Date: 7/5/2009 4:55:02 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            Alex,

                                            Agreed - before Esso builds a thousand acres of algae ponds, someone needs run tests and do these studies.

                                            My concern is that as soon as someone has a way to grow a few gallons of algae, we don't jump down his throat asking questions he has no way to answer.  Let's encourage people, not stifle them.

                                            (Reality note - Esso changed to Exxon - maybe they will come back for algae oil.)

                                            Bobby

                                            On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                            Bobby:
                                             
                                            But the backyard inventor has to have some inkling about this so  he does not end up misleading herself or himself. All too often I hear of some breakthrough that is not so because these considerations that I mentioned were paranoidically viewed by the inventor as a plot by the establishment to suppress free thinking.
                                             
                                            We see a lot of that in a parallel group - Alternative Power.
                                             
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex
                                             
                                            -------Original Message----- --
                                             
                                            Date: 7/4/2009 7:15:59 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            Alex,

                                            All reasonable questions for an investor to ask a corporation.

                                            But remember that if a backyard inventor is not able to answer your questions, it does not prove that his ideas are wrong, only that he does not have an MBA on his staff.

                                            Bobby

                                            On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:52 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                            Bobby - exactly. Once we understand the M&E balances, we are in a position to more accurately assess the viability, recognizing full well that different energy inputs have different unit values..
                                            • So for example if we rely on high cost energy inputs to generate an equivalently valued fuel (say ethanol) and overall there is little to no energy gain  we should understand there are some serious questions regarding viability.
                                            • But if we use low cost energy input (say algae relying either on direct photosynthesis or on sugars or equivalent nutrient/source of energy, those mainly relying on photosynthesis) we then have a different case, admittedly needing still to establish mass scale economics and consistency of output.
                                            Given all the usual hype and PR fluff algae and other alternate energy promoters are so adept at issuing (sometimes their sole core competency), transparent M&E balances and realistic investment and operating facility data for the whole system as well as understanding the owned or accessed intellectual property and organizational experience and key personnel skills are a must for making any reasonable assessment. 
                                             
                                            I apologize if this sounds too MBA like, but short-circuiting this disciplined assessment is an invitation to be scammed.
                                             
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex
                                             
                                            -------Original Message----- --
                                             
                                            Date: 7/1/2009 9:31:52 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            Alex,

                                            You are correct - there are absurd claims being made. 

                                            I fear that there are lots of scam artists trying to follow whatever is hot this month to see if they can grab some crumbs.

                                            Unfortunately, these two groups make it difficult for those people who are seriously trying to accomplish energy independence.

                                            M&E balances are useful details to help us understand the claims being made.

                                            But we must remember that even if only 10% of the incoming mass goes out as product, it can still be a viable process.

                                            And even if we are using twice as many BTUs as the output oil, it can still be a viable process.

                                            But don't get carried away with the thought - the reason the negative comments about corn ethanol are valid is that they are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel. 

                                            If we are using a transportation fuel to produce a transportation fuel and the energy balance is negative - we would be losing just like corn ethanol is.  But if we are inputting a fuel that would be awkward to use as a transportation fuel and getting as output a fuel that is a viable transportation fuel, the energy balance is not necessarily a killer.

                                            Bobby


                                            On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                            M&E balances are crucial in determining the sensitivity of the economic return.  It is the framework along with unit costs by which viability can be established. Just seeing claimed returns does not satisfy my need to understand. All too often I have run across stated ROIs that were hypothetical and absurd if not outright cons/scams once all inputs and assumptions were made transparent. 
                                             
                                            Regarding oil from algae I am assuming companies seriously committed to commercial production and not just tapping money from well-intentioned investors are on a learning curve, accumulating experience and figuring out how to cut overall system costs while improving consistency and quality of the final product. Today they are not yet at the economic tipping point. Solazyme openly says $2/gallon is their target. I think others are saying the same.  
                                             
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex
                                             
                                            -------Original Message----- --
                                             
                                            From: false
                                            Date: 7/1/2009 6:42:25 AM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            Bobby,
                                             
                                            Materials and energy balances are important to any process flow diagram for several reasons.  However, your point is well taken.  From a standpoint of economic viability, M&E balances are somewhat irrelavent.  To determine if a process or product is viable, you only need to know what it costs you to produce it and what you can sell it for.  If you can sell it at a profit, it is viable. 
                                             
                                            Production and distribution of industrial gases (such as hydrogen) stick out in my mind as good examples.
                                             
                                            Jody


                                            From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:58:07 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                            Brian,

                                            Sorry for the misspelling.

                                            We are nowhere near the reality of anything.  We don't need to alter biological productivity - almost everyone agrees that it should be possible to grow 2000 gallons of oil per acre with the current biology.  Since that is on land that cannot grow crops, using water that is salty, and maybe even feeding the algae with wastes - we should be way ahead of all the alternatives.

                                            We are nowhere near having the facts to do a realistic EROI. 

                                            I believe EROI was invented to let people who oppose progress to stand in the way of it.  Let's consider a theoretical case.  Coal is really cheap ($16 per ton is what I remember).  Let's say we come up with an improvement to the Fischer-Trope( SP?) process that produces 1 pound of gasoline for every 2 pounds of coal input.  That would have a terrible EROI - about 1/2.  And any energy company would jump at it - because the 1 pound of gasoline is worth much more than 2 pounds of coal.

                                            Let's make it more extreme.  Let's say a city will pay us $5 per ton to take their garbage.  We have a pyrolysis process that will produce a gallon of kerosene from that ton.    That the garbage has a million BTUs and the kerosene has 150,000 BTUs is irrelevant.  We are getting paid to take the input and can sell the output.

                                            So how much energy goes in and how much comes out is irrelevant - the total cost of what goes in compared to what the output can be sold for is the important measure.

                                            (Reality note - in both examples, there are lost of other costs that we must consider.)

                                            Bobby


                                            On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 8:22 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                            Hey Bobby, its Brian but thanks for the complement :)

                                            If you re-read his comment, it says 'even with aggressive assumption about biological productivity. ..' then you can adjust the numbers. My contention is that we are no where near the reality of 'aggressive assumption about biological productivity'. That is the hurtle, not the price of oil but increasing the production of algae.

                                            I also content that there is another, more ominus hurtle that no one ever talks about, EROI. For the same reason that corn to ethanol is pretty dumb, I ask what is the EROI of algae to energy systems? According to Benemann and others, cost and EROI immediately throws out the concepts of PBR's. And even Dr Briggs has admitted to me that he regrets not publishing along with his famous essay that he didnt include EROI but as his own admission says 'its a complete unknown'. But what is crystal clear to me that the numbers drop way down once complete LCA calculations are run. 20000gal/ac/ year turns into a much smaller theoretical number when real live process engineering gets included.

                                            I find it curious how people have clung to the same ideal of 'biofuels' with algae as they did with ethanol without the proper analysis of simple sets of baseline assumptions like 'does this algae energy system make more energy than it uses'. IMO, its the most important question to start with.

                                            Brian




                                            From: Bobby Yates Emory <liberty1@gmail. com>
                                            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 7:07 PM
                                            Subject: Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                            Brain,

                                            I agree with your scepticism about all the PR being put out.  Everyone talks about what they are going to do "real soon now" not what they have done.

                                            However, you left out an important fact about Dr. Benemann's quotation.  When he made that judgement, crude was selling for less than $20 per barrel.  Today it is about $70.  If algae oil is twice as expensive when crude is less $20, that would be less than $40 - compares pretty well with $70.

                                            So his quotation should now be updated to say that theoretically it is possible for algae oil to be cost effective.  Time to get to work to find out if the theory can be made reality.

                                            Bobby

                                            On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 6:24 PM, bhans@earthmimic. com <bhans@earthmimic. com> wrote:


                                            Ok false, I will bite...

                                            My professional opinion comes from my years of Botany, renewable energy and catalysts research expertise. It is also formed from reading and establishing a very large library of algal research and developments from the 1910's on. And living on a lake where we can walk across the algae soup during August.

                                            But more importantly, my professional opinion is based on;

                                            In the NREL algae report itself, Dr Benemann states the following on pg 4;
                                            The factors that most influence cost are biological, and not engineering- related. These analyses point to the need for highly productive organisms capable of near-theoretical levels of conversion of sunlight to biomass. Even with aggressive assumptions about biological productivity, we project costs for biodiesel which are two times higher than current petroleum diesel fuel costs.

                                            Lets assume for a moment that the guy who ran the algae program knows what he is talking about. He is saying that its not an engineering problem but a biological problem. So let me ask a set of questions;

                                            have we solved the biological riddle of near theoretical level conversion levels?  Answer No, not even close. Certainly not in a paddlewheel pond.
                                             
                                            Has most of the PR and hype coming out been focused on the very thing, engineering improvments, rather than improving the organism itself that Dr Benemann states is the real issue? Answer is yes they most are foolishly working on equipment and not the organism itself. 

                                            Assuming that it will take a genetically engineered organism to make this all work, how many years does it take from Patent application to commercial production of a GMO organism? Likely over 10 years because of various hoops and red tape.

                                            These and many more reasons are why Dr Benemann restated the obvious just a few years ago in this article;
                                            6. Open ponds may plausibly be considered for algae biofuels production, but this assumes that indeed the required R&D is successful, a very BIG IF (but that is true of all R&D). But it is worthwhile trying, as we must try all plausible options. But we must also reject those that, as pointed out in this posting, violate first principles and have other major up-front failings.

                                            This sums up my informed position, that its still R&D, maybe even valuable R&D but not even close to a commercial ideal yet. Because no one has proven anything close to neither EROI positive nor economically positive returns, Im not sure how anyone really believe that algoil is 3to5 years out. IMO, Benemann is right, 'Its Bizarre, its totally absurd'.

                                            Im curious how and where your and other opinions are formed on the subject?
                                            Brian







                                            From: false <jfarris73@yahoo. com>
                                            Sent: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 4:16 PM
                                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                            I disagree.  Algae to jet fuel (or renewable diesel) on a commercial, unsubsidized, competitive playing field is definitely within 5 years.  Probably more like 3.  Now you might not see meaningful contributions to the liquid fuel RFS, because the algal biocrude supply will first have to satisfy all of the jet fuel market.  And from what I have heard, many standing purchase orders from jet fuel customers already exist, just waiting to be filled!  That is a very motivating reason to stay in the algae 'hunt'.


                                            From: "bhans@earthmimic. com" <bhans@earthmimic. com>
                                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 7:11:35 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here

                                            Hello ya'll,

                                            I would point out that just proving one can mass produce something isnt the major threshold to overcome. People have been massproducing algae for 1000's of years.

                                            I would say that the major thresholds to produce algae into energy/others is 2 fold;

                                            Being able to produce bio feedstocks economica lly to fit the intended market.

                                            Being able to produce bio feedstocks that are EROI positive to fit into the energy market.

                                            Neither of these important thresholds are even close to becoming a reality.

                                            I think Trent (and others) does a fine job of consistantly pointing this out, as should everyone before they drink the 'algae kool aid'.

                                            Brian



                                            From: Trent Creekmore <trent@...>
                                            Sent: Monday, June 29, 2009 6:36 PM
                                            To: oil_from_algae@ yahoogroups. com
                                            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here


                                            I would say not until it can be proven that it can be massed produced. There is a lot of hype in this area, but nobody still producing viable quantities  for mass production, and not at a loss of revenue.


                                            Until that can be feasible, how can there be a must?

                                            On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM, Alex Markin <anzactwo@bellsouth. net> wrote:


                                            Hi Trent:
                                             
                                            Won't the feasibility be a function of geography and local conditions, the technology chosen and scale of operations? Maybe I am prematurely assuming that oil and/or chemicals from algae will prove to have commercial value.  Intuitively this makes a lot more sense than other biomass based routes to manufacturing fuels.
                                            • Higher land use intensity
                                            • Can use marginal land
                                            • Brackish water options
                                            • High oil yield
                                            • Multiple real development efforts from credible organizations
                                            • Less sensitivity to other fuel costs than other routes
                                            Cheers
                                            Alex
                                             
                                            -------Original Message----- --
                                             
                                            Date: 6/29/2009 3:25:29 PM
                                            Subject: Re: [oil_from_algae] Please Vote Here
                                             

                                            That does not make sense. The feasibility first needs to be established.



                                            On Mon, Jun 29, 2009 at 11:00 AM, abomohra <abomohra@yahoo. com> wrote:


                                            Dear All,
                                             
                                            How are you? I hope all are fine and in a good health. I'm a Ph. D. student and work in my research on production of Biodiesel from microalgae. I put a vote on my web page and need all vote on this "Do we need to search about using of algae in biofuel production?, ". You find the voting part on the left side of the page.
                                             
                                            Kindly visit this page http://abomohra. blogspot. com/   and vote as you seen.
                                             
                                            Thank you very much
                                            Sincerely,
                                            Abo-Mohra
                                             

                                              

                                            Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,

                                            Botany Department,
                                            Faculty of Science,
                                            Tanta University,
                                            Tanta,
                                            Egypt,     
                                            Fax:002-040- 3344532
                                            P. O. Box: 31527
                                             

                                             

                                              

                                            Abomohra



                                             








                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory





                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory

                                             



                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory

                                             



                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory

                                             



                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory

                                             



                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory

                                             



                                            --
                                            Toward freedom,

                                            Bobby Yates Emory

                                             
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