I See Bam Wants To Harvest Algae To Make Gas

I see by the miserable excuse that passes for news these days that Obama wants convert pond scum to gasoline.

Well, let’s see. Crude oil weighs about 7 pounds per gallon. Call it 300 pounds to the 42 gallon barrel.

The United States used a staggering 6,935,000,000 (six billion, nine hundred thirty five million) barrels of crude oil in 2009, before Bam’s economic wrecking party got a good start.

6,935,000,000 barrels of crude oil would weigh approximately 2,080,500,000,000 (two trillion, eighty billion, five hundred million) pounds. Or one billion, forty million, two hundred fifty thousand tons.

Now, algae, pond scum, is mostly water. And some back of envelope energy estimates suggests we might be able to harvest a ton of dried algae an acre. So getting enough algae to convert to fuel would take a lot of acreage.

The Earth is a pretty roomy place. The surface area of this roughly 8,000 mile in diameter rock we live on is 36,500,000,000 acres. The United States acreage is given as 2,263,960,501 acres. The arable acreage in the US is give as 400,000,000 acres.

So Bam is talking about turning half our land area, or three times the arable acreage in the United States into ponds to grow pond scum. In order to avoid drilling and all that other messy stuff. You know – save the environment and make politicians rich.

Of course, Bam’s super algae might yield more than a ton per acre. If the yield is 5 tons per acre, which hardly seems likely, Bam and his sooper sientists would only need 208,000,000 (two hundred eight million) acres of ponds to grow pond scum.

The total amount of cultivated land in the United States is 400,000,000 million acres. So at five tons to the acre Bam proposes to turn half the arable land in the US into ponds to raise scum.

Someone needs to take another toke and go back to sleep.


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