Mutant Algae Is Hydrogen Factory
Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have engineered a strain of pond scum that could, with further refinements, produce vast amounts of hydrogen through photosynthesis. ... "When we discovered the sulfur switch, we increased hydrogen production by a factor of 100,000," says Seibert. "But to make it a commercial technology, we still had to increase the efficiency of the process by another factor of 100." Melis’ truncated antennae mutants are a big step in that direction. Now Seibert and others (including James Lee at Oak Ridge National Laboratories and J. Craig Venter at the Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland) are trying to adjust the hydrogen-producing pathway so that it can produce hydrogen 100 percent of the time. ... (If) scientists can find solutions for those two problems will have a lot to do with realizing the vision of a hydrogen-powered economy based on algae farms in desert areas.
Plenty has been said regarding vats of algae. Seems algae will save the future. When did endless vats of outgassing algae replace healthy forests? Who cares, as long as we can press the algae into candy bars for the slaves who glue our shoes together on the Mariana islands.
The catch is, it doesn't work. Furious progress has been made, putting humankind on the cusp of producing vast amounts of hydrogen, but meanwhile, we are producing miniscule and minute amounts.
Somebody send me a postcard when we have positive EROEI. And send me another when we can fill an oil tanker (energy equivalent to oil, not literally) full of algae-produced hydrogen in a month or less.
That would be cool. I'm not holding my breath.