NASA Growing Pond Slime In Plastic Bags

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NASA is growing algae in unrecyclable plastic bags and it’s going to cost you, the taxpayer, since, as you know, the government has no money.

I was worried about Obama’s war on coal, oil, natural gas and I thought that NASA was made into an irrelevant political organization but, as it turns out, I have nothing to be concerned about.

I know you have all heard about our $14 million investment in alternative algae energy research, well, guess what, algae fuel development is well on its way and I’m thinking that in 30, 40, 50 years, it will be ready to go if it’s even feasible, which no one knows.

NASA wants $10 million to launch algae farms. The only thing relevant to a space program is the word “launch” though they seem to think it has potential as jet fuel. They spent millions already.

There is a problem [I bet you are shocked], they need to use a lot of plastic bags – I mean a LOT – to implement their plan. Isn’t that an environmental no-no? They won’t even sell plastic bags in a town east of my house.

Another problem is that NASA has their experimental algae slime plant near San Francisco [why am I not surprised?] and the weather is not conducive to this project.

There are a host of other problems.

Technology Review: Next week, NASA will show off some of its latest technology: a system for growing algae in floating plastic bags. The system is the result of a $10 million, two-year project that investigated whether the algae could be used to make biofuels, including jet fuel.

The system is designed to reduce the cost of making fuel from algae by making it possible to put algae farms near wastewater facilities, which offer a large source of nutrients.

But it may prove difficult to implement. For one thing, it will require a lot of plastic. In one possible setup, five square kilometers of plastic bags would be used to produce 2.4 million gallons of algae oil per year—a drop in the bucket compared to the 800 million gallons of oil the U.S. consumes every day. And the bags will likely need to be replaced every year.

The setup has been tested in four nine-meter-long plastic bags at a wastewater plant near San Francisco. The researchers demonstrated that they can grow enough algae to produce nearly 2,000 gallons of fuel per acre per year—if the weather cooperates. So if a commercial system gets built, it may need to be in someplace warmer and sunnier…Read here

Obama’s vision for NASA and our future – pond scum

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