The KIER (Korea Institute of Energy Research) said that its research team led by Dr. Oh You-gwan developed a next-generation technology to produce bio-diesel from biomass of green algae through oil extraction and chemical transformation.
Seoul, Korea, Aug 13 (Whowired) -- Over the last weekend, many Koreans were worried of widespread green algal blooms appeared in some of drinking water sources in the country. But here’s a news of ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ in the 21th century version.
The KIER (Korea Institute of Energy Research) said that its research team led by Dr. Oh You-gwan developed a next-generation technology to produce bio-diesel from biomass of green algae through oil extraction and chemical transformation. The technology is able to produce 4 liters of bio-diesel per ㎡ with 99% of collect rate within 2 minutes of aggregation process using metal particles.
So far, there has been criticism for bio-diesel that it is produced from edible plants in sacrifice of lands and foods, causing environmental harms and increases in food prices. But green algae can be easily produced in many places including wastelands, waterfronts or sea only with sunlight, water and CO2. Furthermore since green algae also accumulate high-quality vegetable oils inside through photosynthesis, its production volume per unit area is 50 to 100 times larger than those of edible plants.
Dr Oh You-gwan said “We will focus on R&D infrastructure in local bio-fuel sector to take an advantageous market position not only in local market but also in overseas markets,” adding “Green algae may cause problems such as disturbing eco-system or contaminating water sources but if it is well managed and utilized, I believe its possibility as a fuel source is great.”
The KIER plans to accelerate the development of the technology next year to work on empirical researches with power plants and exhaust gas companies by 2014. The institute expects that, its development is once completed, the production cost of bio-diesel per liter based on the technology would be less than 0.7 dollar.
Adrian Han (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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