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That does not matter either - What they are attempting to do is to create an algae that expends a lot of its metabolic energy creating hydrocarbons for extraction for fuel - any wild micro organism that picks up that trait is going to be at exactly the same disadvantage as the original engineered algae, and promptly die outside the very carefully maintained production facility. The problem is that the conversion efficiency of sunlight to biomass via photosynthesis is in fact, well, eh, kind of awful. And since the yield of this setup is the metabolic surplus of the algae soup, not the total production, you loose a good bit of the already anemic output just maintaining your algae soup..
heck, I am reasonably sure that using high-grade photovoltaics or solar termal generators to produce electricity, and then converting that into liquid fuel (ammonia, or one of the other reasonably easily synthesized energy carriers) would in fact yield significantly more fuel per square meter of facility.. As in: orders of magnitude more.
by Thomas on Thu Jul 29th, 2010 at 07:21:38 PM EST
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