As a concept, the idea of energy harvesting is hardly new. It comes from many similar ideas about other human needs – like food. Of course it is not feasible that everyone grows their own food because of the shortage of arable land. However, in the case of energy, we (more…)
Boeing is one of the most recognizable names in the aviation industry, so when they come up with a new design it generates a great deal of buzz. While no one would necessarily be surprised about a redesigned 747 or 777 incarnation, it is always refreshing when they announce one of their green projects. The latest of their zero emissions projects was announced the other (more…)
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is pursuing transformational solutions to our energy problems. Part of the Department of Energy, ARPA-E is modeled after the famed DARPA program at the Department of Defense that led to the internet, GPS, stealth airplane technology, and many other success stories. At ARPA-E, we are trying (more…)
By now, many have heard algae being proclaimed as the fuel source that could potentially replace a large percentage of the petroleum we use.
However, non-fuel uses of algae that can further lessen our dependence on petroleum have not gotten the attention they deserve. One such usage, while far less visible and but whom some would argue is just as important, is creating plastics.
Cereplast , a renewable plastics company, is looking into using algae as a new and renewable source of this seemingly ubiquitous material. In October 2009, it announced that algae-based resins “could replace 50 percent or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins.”
In a recent interview, Cereplast CEO Frederic Scheer explained that there are several benefits to switching over to algae-based plastics over traditional petroleum based ones. One reason is that it has the potential to help cut down the United State’s reliance on foreign oil.
“Traditional plastics are made from oil and the entire plastic and chemical industry is using up to 8 percent of our fuel and energy resources,” Scheer said. “In diverting to new [plastic] feedstock we are reducing our dependency [on foreign oil] accordingly.”