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My final presentation for Jen Van der Meer's If Products Could Tell Their Stories

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  • Original idea. So I did some research on diesel engines because they can run on bio-diesel. Rudolph Diesel’s internal combustion engine that was invented in 1893. In 1912 he stated: “The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant... But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.” As concerns over energy resources and fuel prices continue to escalate around the world, investigations into alternative energy sources are an area of significant research. ANTICIPATED/foreshadowing 1st and 2nd generation biofuels: Food crop - non food crop. there is a threshold above which they cannot produce enough biofuel without threatening food supplies and biodiversity. They are not cost competitive with existing fossil fuels such as oil, and some of them produce only limited greenhouse gas emissions savings. When taking emissions from production and transport into account, life cycle assessment from first-generation biofuels frequently exceed those of traditional fossil fuels. There is a race to figure out the most efficient way to produce algae and turn it into a bio - fuel. But at it’s base, it is very hard to It doesn’t have the problems that the earlier generation biofuels had. People are also approaching this problem through more fuel efficinetly
  • Marginal land use greater photosynthetic rates and higher lipid content than most plants. Algae produces heat at 8 - 14 kj/gram and the highest energy producing wood (ie red oak) burns at 14kj/g. making algae comparable energy source.
  • This is the algae lca. Basic inputs. The thing to note: algae consumes co2 to grow and when it’s burnt produces co2 making it a carbon neutral slide.
  • One of the issues with algae is that it has not figured out the economies of scale re: production Disadvantage: can’t do it on large scale and compete with oil and col. The refining of the algae - The lysing of the cell is the cost prohibitive and energy ___ part of the system, so rethinking it as biomass (a burnable product) The ad: can do small scale algae production and consumption which you can’t do for the other energy resources. Can’t have a small scale oil rig, etc. One of the factors prohibiting algae biofuel to compete with oil and coal on the large scale is that right now, it’s too expensive to bring it to that scale. however., while that is a disadvantge for the integration of algae to biofuels, on a small scale, algae can be produced making it more appropriate for something like pellet, bricks production. Maybe we want to get away from large scale centralized systems, anyway… and towards decentralized, distributed models of power. Weak point = Point of leverage? The system’s weakness is scalability… And while this could be a larger overhaul for the whole system, it might be most applicable in places where they could use algae as a biomass.
  • Like in developing world countries where deforestation has made wood biomass fuel scarce. In countries like Darfur Women and children can spend up to 4 hours each day collecting fuel for cooking making them targets for assault and RAPE as they venture far beyond the safety of their villages And keeping them away from the home, from educational study, from play or income-generating efforts to improve the family’s position. carbon dioxide (40%), The current reliance on electricity generated from carbon based sources is not sustainable from an environmental or economic standpoint. black carbon accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Traditional cooking methods cannot achieve clean combustion so the majority of the heat is wasted and up to 20 percent of the biomass is converted into toxic substances like carbon monoxide, particulates, benzene and formaldehyde.
  • Reducing the amount of time that they have to spend outside the camp Alongside high-efficiency cookstoves uses only one third the amount of firewood made of sheet metal or cast iron, designed to use less wood or alternative fuels such as animal dung. Improved tech, to have a large impact that is locally appropriate using less resources and employing and incentivizing the process. Science: UC Berkeley science, engineering, business and public health to develop technology-driven solutions to hardships faced by the three billion people in the world living on less than two dollars a day. Scale: small scale solution with large scale impact. We design solutions that can benefit millions of people living in developing countries. To ensure large numbers of people can access our products, we develop cost-efficient supply chains and partner with international development organizations working in our target areas. Sustainable: To ensure our clients continue to use and benefit from our products, we involve users in designing technologies that are locally appropriate. We also provide ongoing technical assistance to our local partners. Impact: The Berkeley-Darfur Stove® uses only one third the amount of firewood as the traditional three-stone fires common in Darfur. The Darfur Stoves Project has distributed 5,000 fuel-efficient stoves to date in Darfur. We plan to distribute 9,000 more by mid-2010. Economics of algae Wood: $55 and $95/month (second biggest expense after food) Gas cylinder: $18/ 1-2 months Cheaper, cleaner and less smoke Algae: TBD
  • Better stoves is a bandaid. Not having to get the wood is a solution.
  • of creation and distribution - jobs creation. Algae can be grown cheaply in Saltwater Ponds of the desert or even more efficiently in proprietary photobioreactors (which solve a lot of the problems encountered in open ponds for a few more dollars on the initial investment). It's conceivable that the photobioreactors could be placed in a desert environment, although one of the challenges for growing algae is to keep the water at a very consistent temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit so that will likely also influence optimal placement of the photobioreactors. Dessert seems like a reasonable solution given that seasonal sunlight levels and temperatures don't vary as much as they do further away from the equator. Algae strains suitable for the desert cultivation includes, * Haematococcus pluvialis * Microcoleus vaginatus * Chlamydomonas perigranulata * Synechocystis
  • Harvest/rake
  • The making of algae fireballs Raking, harvested algae pond scum, blending it all together, strain, drying it and burning it It is more difficult than other fuels like wood chips, paper fireballs and wood pellets to light and this may explain why it smokes during the beginning of the burn.
  • Research and testing funding… Want to integrate the existing infrastructure, so while I am initially drawn to darfur because of their situation, I am also interested in other locations.
  • Ifproductswerealgae

    1. 1. Desert Bloom Hana Marie Newman
    2. 2. Diesel Engine to Bio-fuels
    3. 3. Algae to oilgae: The Benefits <ul><li>Production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-competitive with food crops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilization of saline and waste water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great photosynthetic rates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consumption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon neutral source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complement and diversify our renewable energy portfolio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High lipid content: Comparable energy to wood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Algae: 8-14 kj/gram Best wood: 14 kj/gram </li></ul></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Lca
    5. 5. Scale and rethinking the form <ul><li>Disadvantage: Large </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too expensive to compete with large scale oil companies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Advantage: Small </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-sufficient, distributed energy plant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Algae biomass </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bricks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pellets </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Light my fire, but not with wood <ul><li>Half the world’s population cook their daily meals over wood fires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inefficient and toxic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produces soot = Black Carbon = 18% of emissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deforestation, desertification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Costly collection </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Algae </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is an aliphatic compound (least soot producing compound) </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Darfur: Inspiration <ul><li>Darfur Stoves Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scale </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Impact </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Algae biomass a “fundamental solution”? <ul><li>&quot;This is a Band-Aid, not a fundamental solution to the problem…but this is what we can do. We are trying to tap into the existing knowledge, to see if we can make a substantial difference, to reduce the misery in Darfur…. we have now shown that we can make a difference.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ashok Gadgil of Darfur Stoves Project </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Desert Bloom: A System <ul><li>Algae farms run by and employing locals. </li></ul><ul><li>Selling their products locally at competitive prices. </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting the local environment, economy and health. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Grow, Dry, Compress <ul><li>Grow: Cultivate pond growth </li></ul><ul><li>Dry: Strain the algae, Sun/Air dry </li></ul><ul><li>Compress: into logs or ground into a powder and pelletize or briquette </li></ul>
    11. 12. Conclusion and Next Steps <ul><li>Field tests </li></ul><ul><li>Backyard algae growing and drying </li></ul>