• Backyard Algae Comes to Backyard Digest!


    I am focused on the power of photosynthetic algae to consume carbon dioxide and, using the sun's rays as a power source, rebuild long chain carbon compounds that contain useful energy for "recombustion".

    This can be done in backyards, in towns and communities, and also at commercial scale. The fats and oils in the algae biomass can be extracted and processed into biodiesel and other fuel products that can be used in conventional engines. The algae biomass also contains proteins, starches, and other components that can be used in other ways. For example, algae biomass can be used as a fertilizer, soil amendment, and/or livestock feed. In addition, the algae biomass can also be burned as a coal substitute, to create heat and/or electricity.

    Jonathan L. Gal
    Founder & President
    Texas Clean Fuels, Inc.
    419 McKinney Trail
    Rockwall, TX 75087
    Tel: 214-771-0565


  1. Sounds great! Please keep us posted, Jonathan. How long do you think it will take until we start growing our own fuels? What are the start-up costs and requirements for such systems these days?

  1. Nate,

    I could build you a 0.25 acre system - which will produce about 5,625 gallons of biodiesel PLUS 150,000 pounds of compostable, nitrogen-rich biomass per year - and have it up and running within 5-6 months from funding.

    As with most new technologies, the cost is somewhat high right now, because the TCF production line has not yet reached large scale production. A system of that size - fully installed and "started up" - would cost about $500,000 including not only the algae production equipment from TCF but also the oil extraction equipment and the biodiesel processing equipment from other companies.

    Just like with the advent of the automobile, this cost will come down over time, and with larger scale production. I am targetting a cost of $300,000 per acre for 25+ acre commercial systems; and we will continuously strive to reduce costs to make these products more affordable for the backyard producer.

  1. Smaller systems can be built, but until we achieve a greater scale of production, the per acre or per square foot cost increases with the smaller size.

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The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

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Describe your attempts At a sustainable life.