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Oil by Labor Day

by Ivan Seeking
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Ivan Seeking
#1
Sep10-07, 08:31 PM
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For those of you who know about my efforts to join the biofuels industry, we did in fact have algae oil by Labor Day, which was the goal this summer. One of my short cuts failed so for now we only got a few grams extracted, with the rest still in the algae, but a number of tests seem to confirm that the oil is there and we are within reasonable range of the target yields. I guess I will have to break down and spend some bucks to get the oil out. Nonetheless, it was cool to finally see some real oil!

Of course we have about a thousand issues to sort out yet, but we are working the problems, and all in all our efforts have been successful. The biggest goal was to test the bioreactor design in 100+ weather and see if we could keep the algae alive and productive, which, after a few modifications, we did.

I just harvested the second batch from a semi-scale [cross section at scale] field test reactor, that ran for two months. Even more encouraging are the number of cost and energy reductions made in the process and design. So far, overall, we are pretty much on target.
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Astronuc
#2
Sep10-07, 08:56 PM
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Congratulations, Ivan!

Ever since your announcement, I can't pass a pond, especially one covered in pond scum, without thinking about you.

Cheers!
turbo
#3
Sep10-07, 09:02 PM
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Nice! I like that you might be able to scale-up without too much trouble or expense, once you've got the base stock established.

Integral
#4
Sep10-07, 10:45 PM
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Oil by Labor Day

Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Congratulations, Ivan!

Ever since your announcement, I can't pass a pond, especially one covered in pond scum, without thinking about you.

Cheers!
Yeah, when I see Ivan I think of pond scum too!
hypatia
#5
Sep10-07, 10:57 PM
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Bravo! Hopeing everything runs in your favor. I can't seem to help it either..but feel P.S.O.C {Pond Scum Oil Company} has a nice ring to it.
Ivan Seeking
#6
Sep10-07, 11:02 PM
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Quote Quote by Integral View Post
Yeah, when I see Ivan I think of pond scum too!
What is this, "old men with beards gang up on Ivan day"?

Thanks guys, and likewise Astro, when I drive by the decommissioned Trojan plant, I always think of you.
Astronuc
#7
Sep10-07, 11:11 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
What is this, "old men with beards gang up on Ivan day"?
Integral has a beard?

Thanks guys, and likewise Astro, when I drive by the decommissioned Trojan plant, I always think of you.
Well, I have a few more years before I'm decommissioned.
Ivan Seeking
#8
Sep10-07, 11:22 PM
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Quote Quote by Astronuc View Post
Integral has a beard?
Down to his knees.
Astronuc
#9
Sep10-07, 11:33 PM
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His pics have disappeared from the Members Photo Thread. Got any?
Integral
#10
Sep10-07, 11:54 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
Down to his knees.
Yeah, as long as I am sitting on my heels!

Opps! looks I cleaned up some web space, I'll see if I can get some back up soon.
Ivan Seeking
#11
Sep11-07, 12:16 AM
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Quote Quote by hypatia View Post
Bravo! Hopeing everything runs in your favor. I can't seem to help it either..but feel P.S.O.C {Pond Scum Oil Company} has a nice ring to it.
Here's the funny thing, for years I have used the ultimate line to win arguments with Tsu: "You're right, I'm wrong, I'm slime." So it seems that life has come full circle, but now she has to call me Mr. Slime.
zoobyshoe
#12
Sep11-07, 01:50 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
For those of you who know about my efforts to join the biofuels industry, we did in fact have algae oil by Labor Day, which was the goal this summer. One of my short cuts failed so for now we only got a few grams extracted, with the rest still in the algae, but a number of tests seem to confirm that the oil is there and we are within reasonable range of the target yields. I guess I will have to break down and spend some bucks to get the oil out. Nonetheless, it was cool to finally see some real oil!
I just did some googling to see what the extraction process entailed. There are a few different methods of varying cost and ease. Which are you experimenting with?
Ivan Seeking
#13
Sep11-07, 11:57 AM
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pressure and solvents

I just didn't have enough pressure in my rigged approach, and I didn't want to invest in a good production press until I saw some real results.

I have a relatively cheap back-up plan that should work well. Then, once I see the oil in sufficient quantity, I'll buy a press.
zoobyshoe
#14
Sep11-07, 12:13 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
pressure and solvents

I just didn't have enough pressure in my rigged approach, and I didn't want to invest in a good production press until I saw some real results.

I have a relatively cheap back-up plan that should work well. Then, once I see the oil in sufficient quantity, I'll buy a press.
I have no idea what kind of a press you need, but there's nothing like a large hydraulic car jack for creating great pressure.

Edit: Here's someone's home made press for sunflower seeds:

http://journeytoforever.org/biofuel_.../oilpress.html

It seems to take a long time: half an hour per batch.
Ivan Seeking
#15
Sep11-07, 12:22 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
I have no idea what kind of a press you need, but there's nothing like a large hydraulic car jack for creating great pressure.
Yep.

There are far more sophisticated approaches, and efficiency is a huge concern, but all in all this part of the process is relatively straight forward.

The hardest part was keeping it alive and healthy in hot weather [this strain likes it around 68 degrees F], but that problem is solved.
Ivan Seeking
#16
Sep11-07, 11:15 PM
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btw, it occurred to me that I should mention that the Trojan plant was a nuclear power plant, and not the other kind of Trojan plant.
Math Is Hard
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Sep12-07, 12:07 AM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
btw, it occurred to me that I should mention that the Trojan plant was a nuclear power plant, and not the other kind of Trojan plant.
oops! I had that completely wrong! Thanks for clarifying.
Chi Meson
#18
Sep13-07, 05:57 PM
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Ivan, Do you have a link to the technical aspects/statistics of algae-oil. It sounds like an interesting subject for my students.


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