Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

Is any of this even cost effective yet? - Page 24

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Posted by Winston on December 24, 2010, 12:01 am
Jim Wilkins wrote:

So, I appear to be throwing away $0 worth of methane
a month for every 55 gallon drum I don't have digesting
ensilaged grass clippings.  Not too bad for less than
5 gallons of stuff normally given to the city for
disposal. Two drums would make a dent in the
old heating bill!

Yeah yeah. I got it the first time.  :)

You got my point that Mr. Plasma is the new 'Mr. Fusion', too.  :)


Posted by Curbie on December 23, 2010, 10:12 pm
On Thu, 23 Dec 2010 10:16:00 -0800 (PST), Jim Wilkins

Well, I'm sure this does not qualify as serious chemical or biological
engineering, but I keep coming back to and testing algae, both
oil-rich and starch-rich varieties for bio-D, ethanol, methane and
possible combinations. I have no clue if this testing will yield
anything practical for DIY home-scale energy production, and so far I
can't get the numbers to work, but as new ideas emerge, I keep going
back for another look.

All I'm doing is testing to get the most accurate hard data I can,
then looking at a hypothetical system as a computer model for
home-scale viability, the testing is pretty cheap although it takes a
lot of time and planning, so far, just garage-sale fish tanks to mimic
open raceway type systems, 2 liter soda bottles $ to mimic
photo-bioreactors, and recently zip-lock bags $ to mimic another type
of photo-bioreactor, purchased oil-rich algae strains are under $00
and indigenous algae strains are free.

Testing of this type isn't at expensive, but I'm trading time for cost
and it is a mathematical mouse maze.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 23, 2010, 11:08 pm
How do you measure results?


Posted by Curbie on December 23, 2010, 11:59 pm
 On Thu, 23 Dec 2010 15:08:11 -0800 (PST), Jim Wilkins

Well, that question depends of which passage of the mouse maze I'm

Algal growth rates are g/surface ft2 (of PBR or pond).

Oil production is % by weight.

Starch production is by the volume of ethanol produced for a given
weight of algae (this is a mouse maze on is own) what process frees
the most starch and what enzymes convert available starch for the most
fermentable sugars.

Last go round I was mostly interested in best oil-rich algae, this
time I'm looking at indigenous starch-rich strains and vertical bag
type PBRs.


Posted by Jim Wilkins on December 24, 2010, 1:05 am
I meant specifically the equipment and procedures to prepare and dry a
sample, weigh it, extract the oil and weigh that (or the remaining
insoluble residue). We had to learn some tricks and practice for a
while to obtain good repeatable results.

I initially learned that in the lab of a leather factory where I
worked after school, doing the routine testing to free the chemist for
his projects.


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