New environmentally friendly technique efficiently converts algae to crude oil within an hour

Thursday, January 02, 2014 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: algae, crude oil, renewable energy

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) The process by which common algae is converted into usable biofuel just got a whole lot more environmentally friendly and efficient thanks to new discoveries recently made at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Researchers there have reportedly come up with a new method of extracting crude oil from wet algae that uses no toxic chemicals and takes about an hour to complete, arguably the most significant renewable energy technology breakthrough in recent years.

The process is known as hydrothermal liquefaction, and some experts say it is the most promising advancement yet towards the eventual commercial production of usable fuel from algae. By putting harvested algae under immense and continuous pressure and heat, PNNL researchers discovered that the all-natural substance can be quickly and effectively transformed into usable crude oil, generating only clean water, nutrients and natural fuel gas as byproducts.

Published in a recent issue of the journal Algal Research, this amazing discovery and the research behind it are already generating quite a buzz within the renewable energy community. For the first time, science has given way to a process that allows for the efficient transformation of wet algae, rather than dry algae, into crude oil.

This is significant, because dry algae is expensive to produce -- so expensive, in fact, that virtually all hopes of producing energy commercially in this manner have been squelched by the prohibitively high costs involved. Producing energy from wet algae, on the other hand, is far less expensive, providing momentum for further refinements that could one day make commercial energy production from algae a reality.

"Not having to dry the algae is a big win in this process; that cuts the cost a great deal," says Douglas Elliott, the laboratory fellow who led the PNNL research team assigned to the project. "Then there are bonuses like being able to extract usable gas from the water and then recycle the remaining water and nutrients to help grow more algae, which further reduces costs."

The process, which puts wet algae under about 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) of pressure and heat at roughly 662 degrees Fahrenheit (350 degrees Celsius), combines what used to be several distinct chemical steps into one continuous process. This unique technique, which is the first of its kind, mimics the process by which fossil fuels were first created in the earth, and it does so without producing any toxic byproducts.

PNNL method avoids use of toxic hexane to extract fuel from algae

As far as the inputs required to complete the process, no chemical toxins are required for this, either. According to a recent PNNL announcement, the novel process is incredibly unique in that, unlike earlier technologies developed for energy conversion using algae, there is no need for toxic hexane or other chemical solvents to extract the usable fuel.

"It's a bit like using a pressure cooker, only the pressures and temperatures we use are much higher," adds Elliott. "In a sense, we are duplicating the process in the Earth that converted algae into oil over the course of [millennia]. We're just doing it much, much faster."

Though significantly more cost-effective than earlier incarnations, this latest technology is still cost-prohibitive compared to what is currently required to produce petroleum-based fuels, Elliott admits. But with the right refinements, the high-pressure, high-heat model of extracting fuel from wet algae has a lot of potential, he says, and continued research is sure to pay off with regard to eventually creating a cost-effective method of producing energy using this renewable method.

Sources for this article include:

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.