Riding the Organic Energy Wave

First, organic was the new wave of food production. Organic meats, vegetables, and fruits had become all the range among health conscious mothers and green minded professionals. Now, the newest organic trend is fuel production.
Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bio-products company, has developed a new petroleum and marine diesel fuel mixture created from algae. This new foray into maritime fuel development has undergone its first test, propelling the Navy frigate, the USS Ford, from Everett, Washington south along the Pacific Ocean to San Diego. 25,000 gallons of the blend were fired through the ships diesel turbine engines to make the trip, and were comparable to operations on traditional petroleum F-76.
This Algae based fuel has raised hopes, that more attention will soon be focused on producing renewable energy from the abundant marine resources, instead of on those biofuels that require land normally reserved for food production.
According to Solazyme, all its renewable diesel and jet fuels meet all military specifications for both marine diesel and jet bio fuels. These standards have been set by the EU and American Society for Testing and Materials.
In addition to the advance of marine bio fuels, organic is also getting some play in the solar arena.
At the Center for Bits and Atoms at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as MIT) Dr. Andreas Mershin has discovered how to make electricity generating solar cells from such organic materials as grass clippings.
Dr. Mershin and his team discovered that organic materials (such as grass clippings and other agricultural waste) when mixed with a stabilizing peptide powder produces a certain protein which is already stabilized. That protein, which is essential for photosynthesis, is spread onto a glass or metal surface. Once it is hit by sunlight, the natural phenomenon of photosynthesis occurs, producing electricity. Leaves and plants have thusly become natures solar panels!
Using this agricultural waste is:
1- Inexpensive
2- Renewable
3- Potentially more affordable
The technology is still very new (the efficiency is only at about 1 percent right now) but the potential is definitely there. Dr. Mershin said “If we manage to hijack the molecules responsible for photosynthesis in plants and effectively use them to generate electricity for our own needs it becomes a great, disruptive new step in the way we generate solar power in general.”