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Algae Fuel Could Help Solve The Navy’s Oil Dependence

According to the 2011 USDA Fertilizer Import Summary - "U.S. nitrogen and potash supplies largely depend on imports. More than 54 percent of nitrogen (N) and 85 percent of potash (K2O) supply was from imports in calendar year 2011. Because domestic production capacity is limited, any increase in nitrogen and potash demands will have to be met largely by imports." A decade ago we were net exporters of rock phosphates (also the only known economic source of ag. and ind. phosphorous) that supply the phosphorus (most critical element) in NPK fertilizers. We now import a growing amount - 15% of our consumption in 2011. From where you should ask? Well, that would be largely from Morocco. If we have to import the fertilizers that we use for military biofuel and food production - how is that better than importing oil? How does it reduce our critical dependency on foreign resources - especially in times of war?

January 18, 2013 at 6:51 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

2012 Could Determine Future Of Algae As Fuel

"Seeing the production that comes out of it (Algae biofuel and biofuel development in general) and seeing the oil flowing out of it, that's the game changer," said Mayfield. "That's a mind changer for everybody in this country."

Wrong! Seeing the money flowing into a company from large scale biofuel sales that are competing head-on with other forms of alternative energy - all alternative energy necessarily competing with petroleum production costs (not market costs) - is the mind and the economic game changer globally.

This isn't likely to happen since algae and other large scale biofuels are tied cost wise to the industry with which they compete petroleum. Petroleum (natural gas) costs control the price of nitrogen fertilizer, diesel fuel costs control the economic feasibility/mining costs of peak phosphates. The N and P are the primary and critical peak resource components of NPK fertilizers which control commercial scale algae and other biofuel production. All at-scale biofuel production is dependent upon NPK - with which algae and biofuels will compete for against human food production.

Biofuels are essentially non-starters from this particular economic sustainability perspective. Unfortunately, it's the economics of biofuel production that get the least attention by biofuel entrepreneurs and developers - and our gov. scientifically and economically illiterate political leadership.

December 5, 2011 at 11:17 a.m. ( | suggest removal )