Biodiesel and ethanol from smokestack scrubbers

ted | driving | Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Awesome. I truly hope this idea works out.

It works like this – you pipe the exhaust from fossil-fueled power plants into algae farms. Algae gobbles up the CO2, grows fat and happy. Every day, the algae is harvested, squeezed to release the oil it contains and is dried. The oil undergoes transesterification to convert it into biodiesel, the dried algae is then used to make ethanol and the exhaust from the power plant now has 40% less CO2 and 86% less N20.

This not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, it provides a dirt cheap basestock from which to produce biodiesel and ethanol and produces more oil per acre than soybeans – 15,000 vs. 60. The only downside is it would take a 2,000 acre farm to produce 40 million gallons of biodiesel and 50 million gallons of ethanol per year. There’s only, say, a thousand power plants in the US with that kind of surrounding space. Assuming yields and everything are correct, we’re talking about producing on the order of 40 billion gallons of biodiesel yearly from the exhaust of existing power plants.

When that biodiesel is burned, it would released the CO2 gobbled up by the algae back into the atmosphere, but more algae farms could gobble that right back up. We’re not closing the carbon loop, as is the case with soy or canola biodiesel, but we’re getting a free ride off it at least once, possibly multiple times.

Less greenhouse gasses and N2O-caused acid rain, cheaper, easier, faster biodiesel basestock production, starter material for ethanol as a waste product and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. I think this is something everybody but OPEC can get behind.

what a weird game

ted | chicago | Monday, May 22nd, 2006
  1. Game delayed for a few minutes because of a squirrel on the field
  2. Big Hurt hits 2 homers in his first 3 at bats
  3. The As have white shoes.
  4. Strike zone appears to grow and shrink with the home plate ump’s whim.
  5. Ozzie ejected after confronting HPU about #4 in second inning, saying at least five variations of “fuck” in doing so.
  6. I don’t like this disturbing trend of the NL-esque longball in the AL.
  7. Currently in extra innings.
  8. Sox win.

In other news, we saw Mexican Cheerleader at the Beat Kitchen on Saturday night. Been a long while since we’d been out to see them and we had a fantastic time, as usual. Last time was the Blizzard of ’05 in West Dundee. Despite General Mill’s refusal to sponsor the band yet make Pete speak Anthrax lyrics in the voice of Count Chocula, the show ruled. MC really knows how to rock out with their dongs out and they were really on top of their shit this time and every bit as loud as I’ve heard them. Nice.

Scott almost called me on Kentucky Derby Day (dangerous) and Jimmy Karl White claims to have rampant mint growing at casa de karl in Berwyn (BERRRR-WYNNNN). Could be dangerous, hopefully it will be. Stay tuned, Chicagorillas. Mr. Natural completely harshed on the Blue Ribbon Beer I purchased for him while we watched A.J. Pierzynski get drilled in the grill for the millionth time that day. As some manner of rockabilly show had gone on previously, I made the obvioous connection of White Sox, Rednecks & Blue Ribbon Beer.

Rental cars I have driven

ted | driving | Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

With almost all of the domestic travel I’ve done for work and a little for personal trips, I’ve had quite a few rental cars. The nice thing is I get to go on extended test drives and see what these cars are all about. Unfortunately, I have to drive these cars for a day or more. Thinking about getting a rental or actually buying one of these cars? Here are my incredibly biased views.

Remember, this is about the specific cars I drove. I know you love your whatever that I shortly will trash talk, but I don’t really give a shit. Car reviews are supposed to be subjective.

Things I have learned from the food channel, part 2

ted | food | Sunday, May 7th, 2006

The Ninja Bong asketh:

Now do you know what A&P stands for?

Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company.

Things I have learned from the Food Channel

ted | food | Saturday, May 6th, 2006

We watch the Food Channel as the default channel, so it’s on a whole lot.

A & P was the first chain grocery store in the US.
Piggly Wiggly (aka Hoggly Woggly) was the first self-serve grocery store and opened in Memphis TN.
One Rachael Ray show per day is too much. The four in a row last night were way too much.
Alton Brown should lay off the cutesy schtick once in a while and stick to science.
We miss Iron Chef.
Iron Chef America is one of the worst shows ever.
Bobby Flay is still a supreme asshole and cooks the same damn thing over and over.
Mark Summers, OCD master of Double Dare fame, is clearly a robot leased to the Food Network.

If only Rick Bayless was on PBS as much. Selah.

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