Digging for details on growing algae for biofuel
Algae have been touted as a promising source of renewable fuel, but questions remain about whether the U.S. has the resources needed to grow it on a large scale. Ongoing PNNL research indicates that algal biofuel's sustainability can be increased by carefully analyzing the resources available at specific growing sites. Current efforts are building on earlier PNNL research, which involved developing a detailed map of the nation's freshwater and land resources to calculate algal biofuel production potential. PNNL researchers are digging deeper by also examining alternative water sources such as seawater, the nutrients needed to grow algae, real estate prices and costs to transport algal oil to existing refineries. The combined information will help determine the financial and environmental bottom lines of U.S. algal biofuel. PNNL's Mark Wigmosta will present a poster that describes early results, including that the Gulf Coast region generally has the nation's best water supplies and climate for growing algae.
H53H-1632: "A high-resolution national microalgae biofuel production and resource assessment," 1:40-6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7, Hall A-C, Moscone South. Media contact: Franny White.
Modeling tidal power's environmental effect
Extracting energy from the natural ebb and flow of the ocean's tides could help wean the world off of greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels. But, with very few tidal power projects in existence, it's difficult to know how such efforts could affect the marine environment. To help answer that question, PNNL scientists developed a detailed, 3-D computer model of a hypothetical bay where seawater enters through a coastal channel. They added tidal t
|Contact: Franny White|
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory