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Posted Mon May 10 2010: from
Biofuels from algae plagued with problems, says review
Hopes that algae could become a source of biodiesel that is friendly both to the environment and the poor may be premature, according to a review. When early sources of biofuels -- mostly derived from food crops -- incurred widespread criticism for being harmful to the environment, undermining food security, and being unlikely to reduce overall carbon emissions, algae emerged as a potential biofuel source that could sidestep these problems. But they have serious drawbacks that may mean they can never compete with other fuels, according to Gerhard Knothe, a research chemist with the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.... Knothe found that "many, if not most" of the biodiesel fuels derived from algae have "significant problems" when it comes to their ability to flow well at lower temperatures ('cold flow') and they also degrade more easily than other biofuels.... Luiz Pereira Ramos, chemist at the Federal University of Parana, Brazil, said Knothe was "absolutely correct. Most of the algae-derived biodiesel investigated to date are not suitable for fuel use."
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'Doc Jim says:
Not to worry! There won't be any "cold flow" temperatures anyway!

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