[ February 21, 2007 by Jimmy Hogan ]
Virgin Earth Challenge Entry
Driven by greed in the way only an Ayn Rand disciple can be... I've decided to take on the 'Virgin Earth Challenge' to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere by 1 billion tons. My summary thoughts are as follows:
Bubbling C02 and the nitrogen oxide emissions from coal plants into waste-water canals seeded with high-yield algae can easily mitigate 25% of TVAs (Tennessee Valley Authority) fossil emissions and perform municipal tertiary waste water treatment at the same time.
The result: clean air; clean water and an algae biomass that (by using almost-free off-peak electricity from the co-gen plant next door) is easily refined into biodiesel and ethanol to replace oil-based fossil fuels.
The algae by-product IS the ultimate feed stock for biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol because:
1) the planting, harvest and transportation costs are eliminated by taking advantage of the algae flow through the canals as is the excessive land use requirements of other feedstocks.
2) the nutrient/fertilizer costs are handled with municipal waste water; with the biomass acting as a purification process
3) and the waste CO2, nitrogen oxides, and heat from the electric plant encourage fast growth throughout the year.
It's all a matter of synergy in combining existing technologies in a cost effective manner.
OK... there's my entry into the 'Virgin Earth Challenge'. Using this technique Tennessee should be able to mitigate the required 1 billion tons of CO2 a year all by itself. Just tell Richard Branson and Al Gore to make that $25M check out to me.