The Speculist: Welsh Fishing Buddies Save the Planet

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Welsh Fishing Buddies Save the Planet

All right, really they're an organic chemist and a couple of engineers. But they got the idea for their Greenbox -- a device that captures a vehicle's carbon emissions and stores them for eventual processing as biofuel -- while fiddling around with carbon dioxide in order to grow algae as apart of a fish-farming project.

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If the system takes off, drivers with a Greenbox would replace it when they fill up their cars and it would go to a bioreactor to be emptied.

Through a chemical reaction, the captured gases from the box would be fed to algae, which would then be crushed to produce a bio-oil. This extract can be converted to produce a biodiesel almost identical to normal diesel.

This biodiesel can be fed back into a diesel engine, the emptied Greenbox can be affixed to the car and the cycle can begin again.

The process also yields methane gas and fertilizer, both of which can be captured separately. The algae required to capture all of Britain's auto emissions would take up around 1,000 acres.

Seems like a technology such as this -- if it pans out -- could be a big helping in cutting emissions during the long transitional phase from gas-powered vehicles to hybrids to plug-in hybrids to fully electric vehicles. And then once we're fully electric, all we need is something to power the electric grid.

More squishy green algae goodness here.

Comments

I wonder how much of a performance hit you take? Even a muffler saps the engine somewhat.

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