Algae to Oil
Algal ‘slurry’ turns to crude oil in minutes
by Jonathan O’Brien and Dr Carl Wieland
Scientists in the US have worked out how to convert algae into crude oil in less than 60 minutes. Looking much like pea soup, a mixture of green algae and water is subjected to a temperature of 350°C and pressure of 3,000 PSI, which breaks the algae down into oil and gas. The scientists learned that a mixture of up to 80 to 90% water made the best algal ‘slurry’ for the process.
Just like crude oil that comes out of wells, the resultant oil can be easily refined into aviation fuel, gasoline, diesel and other products, and the gas can be converted to natural gas, with multiple uses such as household heating and cooking, and powering cars.
It has been widely believed for decades that ‘fossil fuel’ oil and gas took millions of years to form from algae and plants (and other buried organic material), after being slowly trapped in rocks and subjected to the earth’s heat and pressure over eons.
However, we now know that the millions of years are unnecessary. This industrial process (which does not involve chemical reagents) shows that heat and pressure suffice to form oil in ultrashort time periods. And both heat and pressure are ‘naturally’ available when organic material is buried deep within the earth, which would have happened on a vast scale at the time of the Genesis Flood. The thousands of years since then are thus far more than necessary to generate the huge fossil fuel deposits of the present day…
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image credit: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory