We are working on growing algae in a water cycle. Right now i am living with friends on the canarian islands, where we have perfect conditions for this kind of research.
The algea, i.e. spirunella, can ideally double its biomass in 24 hours, runs photosynthesis in every cell, and consists up to 40% of burnable fat.
It can be pumped and processed in water because it has no roots, therefore can be applied in a artifical setup.
The resulting biomass should burn when dehydrated, and the long term goal is to transform it to liquid fuel.
Right now, the setup consists of a pump of a windshield washer of a car + psu, some tubes and canister, plasic bags and cord.
The Algae needs a lot of CO2 and light, therefore it will be flowing over a suface out of plasic bags, like a solar-thermal installation.
The processing will be:
- for dry fuel, dehumidify the algea in the sun
- for liquid fuel: first decomposing the cell structure with non-toxic and cheap/ recycleable chemicals or via an ultrasonic transducer (audio amplifier + nano spray impregnated high power tweeter),
then separating the components with a centrifuge (modified washing machine).
The resulting material can be then transported and stored as you like.
Of course, thats not a energy storage device like a electric battery for charge and discharge, but it may supply heat for your 50° C shower water.
Plus, when the liquid fuel processing works, you can fill it in your generator/ car and drive around to charge your smartphone :).
The main reason for me to do practical research on algae is, that is was the conclusion of a friends and my thoughts on developing a energy storage.
Because it is a substitute for fossil fuel, it means all the existing cars and home-heating systems can be used, which makes the environmental impact low.
We try to dumpster most of the materials from trash and keep the costs as low as possible. When the processing setup is up and running, it should ideally be supplied by solar panels.
We want to use energy at another time, place and at a different amount than when or where it is generated.
For a home you will find that a system with a decent amount of energy capacity comes at a cost that makes you rather waste surplus energy, and produce more when you are in need.
So, by using scap parts there may be a option to skip the
Probably the oldest way of storing energy is stacking wood. But as we know, huge areas of forest have been cut down, resulting in a astonishing impact on landscapes and nature.
The use of biomass for heating and processing in thermodynamic applications is still the number one energy supply of mankind today.
Its limitation is the avalibility, which then determines the energy costs.
Fossil ressources are limited by definition, and exploiting naturally growing biomass in large scale is destroying the basis for many creatures.
We are looking for a way to store energy which meets following conditions:
- has a low impact on nature
- is safe to use
- low cost
Hopefully, the efford and cost per kg/ liter of algae fuel will meet these requeirements.
It would be awesome, if it can be applied in third-world societies, with parts already availible.
The project is just at the beginning... there will be updates.