Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Algae Powers Venice

venice algae

Work is underway in the City of Venice to build a 40-megawatt power plant that runs on fuel made from algae. Expected to be finished by mid-2011, the power plant will supply roughly 50 percent of the city's electricity requirements.

As reported in ecoworldly:

The algae will be cultivated in laboratories and put in plastic cylinders where water, carbon dioxide, and sunshine can trigger photosynthesis. The resulting biomass will be treated further to produce a fuel to turn turbines. The carbon dioxide produced in the process will be fed back to the algae, resulting in zero emissions from the plant. “Venice could represent the beginning of a global revolution of energy and renewable resources. Our goals are to achieve the energetic self-sufficiency for the seaport and to reduce CO2 emissions, including those one produced by the docked ships”, says the president of the seaport of Venice Authority, Paolo Costa.

Finding ways to extract energy from nuisance plants and biomass waste may be an effective means to move a few steps closer to zero emission energy production.