Scientists from the Department of Energy at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have managed to convert algae into crude oil in less than an hour. It all starts with a chemical process that produces crude oil minutes after it is poured into harvested algae, a continuous reaction since it produces a recyclable byproduct containing phosphorus that can then be used to grow more algae. Continue reading for one of the first vehicles powered by this green crude oil.
“In the PNNL process, a slurry of wet algae that has the consistency and appearance of pea soup is poured into the front end of a chemical reactor. Inside the reactor, the algae undergoes a combining process known as hydrothermal liquefaction and catalytic hydrothermal gasification. After stewing in conditions at 350° C and a pressure of around 3,000 PSI for less than an hour, crude oil comes pouring out along with a water and phosphorus byproduct. The scientists say with additional conventional refining, the crude algae oil can be converted into a variety of fuels for aviation, gasoline burning cars, or diesel vehicles,” reports Inhabitat.