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Algae Biofuels Create Poisoned Water

May 2, 2010

Poisoned Water : Tobacco Good, Biofuels Bad

A few years ago the whisper went around about cyanobacteria, saying that is was the next great biofuel.  Huge lakes of the stuff would be grown, harvested and then magically transformed into fuel to make our cars go broom-broom.

So various highly scientific people rolled up their sleeves and got to work fiddling around with the little critters.  Before too long they’d worked out that the whisper was right.  The US Department of Energy chucked wads of cash at the researchers and we now have petri dishes of gloop which secrete the all important biofuel through their skin like some kind of … oozy fuelly thing.  Yum yum.

However there is a problem with cyanobacteria or, to use its devil-spawn name, blue-green algae.  Many of its forms are toxic, producing fatal poisons which stick around in the water long after the algae itself has been removed.  The hows and whys of this aren’t fully understood, but thankfully it doesn’t seem to occur in the green scummy stuff in your pool in the back yard.

This is where the tobacco comes in.

(more…)

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Greening Hollywood

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