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Duckweed – the next big thing in Biofuels?

Well well well... it looks like duck weed can be used to make ethanol and is 6 times more productive then corn per acre! This once thought to be nothing more then an invasive water weed is turning out to be quite useful these folks are using it to treat waste water and feed fish. And now for biofuel wow!!!

Find a reference to duckweed dated earlier than last year, and you’re likely to be seeing complaints about the tiny aquatic plant. Like invasive water hyacinth and other floating plant species, duckweed is capable of quickly carpeting ponds and slow-moving water streams.

However, now it’s being pushed as yet another biofuel savior. Scientists from the North Carolina State University made the discovery when looking at the potential for using the noxious weed as a cleaner of animal waste.

They found that growing the tiny aquatic plant on hog waste-water not only helped to dispose of the hog waste but also produced five to six times more starch per acre than corn, according to university researcher Dr. Jay Cheng"

Read the rest here: http://www.alternative-energy-fuels.com/biofuels/liquid-biof...

Also here is the link to the waste treatment use:

This stuff can grow in just a few inches of water to...

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I got a friend who feeds his

I got a friend who feeds his chickens with duckweed. It doubles overnight in water and chickens love them.

Southern Agrarian

One of the biggest issues with ethanol...

Is that it takes a lot of water to produce. The duckweed would be great if you could grow it on land like a weed. Algae will also take lakes and lakes to produce large quantities. No matter what method is used though, the best method would be the one where local neighborhoods can hire a ethanol producer to make the fuel for the entire neighborhood. This would help to remove the central power from the Rockefellers and other interest who have ruined this control with their control over that last 100 years.

Swamp Cattails can also remove waste from water.

Swamp cattails are also high

Swamp cattails are also high producers of ethanol. The water used to distill ethanol is renewable it evaporates and returns via rain.

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Wow I just realized the implications for distillation!

Six times more Ethanol per acre than corn, Duckweed Whiskey here I come!

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"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard


I guess I can stop running my car on ducks now, their weeds seem like a pretty viable fuel.

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com

"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Duck Weed

is a very under utilized plant species, I posted this a while back, but its well worth posting again.

My experience with growing

Duckweed each year for tilapia is that I don't see enough of it being produced to really transform an industry. It only likes calm nutrient rich water and while it does produce fast in the right conditions at least where I live those conditions aren't a very long portion of the year. Seems to produce good here in Kansas from about June to September. However I do think it should be used in the waste water treatment plants wherever possible, it may not be enough to produce a ton of ethanol but it's something and it will clean the water much better then what is currently being done before it's released back into the rivers. I just don't think ethanol made with any medium is the answer with current ethanol making procedures.

The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it-Andrew Jackson

Grow any corn in Kansas

from October to May?
One of the things with duckweed is you can grow it vertically - stack ponds on top of each other. You can extend your season with a relatively small greenhouse, and you can go year-round with a heated greenhouse. But most crops have a growing season, and they also have a lot of waste by product. With duckweed, you harvest the whole thing, quick and easy. I think things like duckweed and algae are the fuel of the future, once people start to see the possibilities in 3D.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Why not it produces 6 times

Why not it produces 6 times the ethanol per acre as corn? It could easily change the industry IMO. We could easily produce enough ethanol to be energy independent on just 1% of the land not even using duckweed. With duckweed we could use land not used for crops and not even use a 6th of what we need with corn. There are a lot of myths about ethanol put out by big oil it is a very viable fuel. I even had a mechanic tell me ethanol clogs up engine... I about laughed him out of the place engines last twice as long on ethanol as there is no carbon build up. Big oil propaganda has been very successful.


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it might be viable

in warmer climates, but ethanol won't be a good answer until they re-think how they are generating the energy to produce it. If they start using solar power, wind, or byproduct heat from electric plants to lower the production costs of ethanol then it could be a game changer. As far as corn goes there is several grasses that also produce a higher sugar to ethanol ratio than corn does to ethanol. None of this will change until we stop subsidizing corn and others.

As far as ethanol being damaging to cars, the only damage it can cause is in some older cars especially ones with carburetors the fuel lines, carburetor floats and gaskets are deteriorated by ethanol. Another problem with ethanol is that it doesn't produce the amount of BTU's that petroleum does so it requires more to do the same amount of work. This isn't a real problem if you can make it cheap enough to overcome the extra cost needed to perform the same task. Also most cars currently will not run properly on straight ethanol without adjustment to the air/fuel ratio as it requires more fuel to the ratio than cars are currently tuned to.

The bold effort the present bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it-Andrew Jackson

Ethanol is cheaper to make

Ethanol is cheaper to make then gasoline. Your right corn is not the best its in the middle somewhere sweet sorghum is as good or better then sugar cane and can grow anywhere corn does and often get two cuttings from it.

It does not require more Ethanol to do the same amount of work as gasoline. Ethanol does not have the btu's that gasoline does but that does not translate to the same as efficiency or work performed. It only takes more ethanol in engines tuned for gasoline to do the same work. A properly tuned engine for ethanol will get as good or better mileage then gasoline and more power and is more efficient burns clean etc. Gasoline is only 20% efficient most of it goes out your tail pipe unburned! Which is why they have forced catalytic converters etc.

Ethanol can also be used on diesel engines and jet engines with the proper tuning.

From 1988 and up most cars will run 50% - 80% ethanol no problem. With some minor tuning they can run 100% no problem. It is still better to tune them for ethanol so they are more efficient.

Like I said big oil anti-ethanol propaganda has been very successful at spreading myths about ethanol. Everything bad you have heard about ethanol is propaganda and can be be traced back to one professor on the standard oil payroll...

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Can't duckweed be used as

Can't duckweed be used as feed for aquaponics as well?

"It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere".

It's hard not to be a menace to society when half the population is happy on their knees. - unknown


Many AP systems have a grow bed or 2 just for duckweed.

Love or fear? Chose again with every breath.

Jefferson's picture


always felt this was cutting edge as far as biofuels go..


Where it differs from algae or duckweed, is that the microorganisms create a "direct to market" fuel, where the others require extraction and refining.

I sent this to Dr. Paul a couple of times encouraging him to make energy independence a cornerstone of his campaign, but it was ignored. I know the guy who was responsible for bringing Joule's pilot plant to central Texas, and could have easily set up a tour and some photo ops.

Oh well..

Jefferson, we messaged about Jouleunlimited some time ago

Do you how that plant in Texas is going? If half of their estimates are true, this is a game changing technology. The fact the system is scalable from an acre to thousands of acres and uses brackish water would make producing alcohol from corn obsolete. I can't help but think there may be some special interests out there that would not like this technology developed.

Jefferson's picture


trux. I remember that. The DP is where I learned about Joule.

I don't have any updates as far as their progress. Once I saw John Kerry visiting their HQ in Boston, I got the same feeling you did in that it would be suppressed. Meanwhile the Saudi Arabian scam continues.

I just watched this on a BBC link

Regarding Joule, its at 41.08 of this vid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPk1v7cVyEQ

This technology is huge, the estimate that 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel could be produced on one acre of land at a cost of less than $2.00 is amazing. This would kill the gasohol producers, so I have no doubt that they would like to suppress this technology.

Interesting. It seems to be a

Interesting. It seems to be a a lot of processing still to get to the end product but I like how it is all set up from beginning to end.

What would be the cost of setting this up? What are the micro organisms being used? Is this an engineered bacteria? I agree this would be cutting edge on a large production scale at least.

It seems like this would take some deep pockets to set up and get into production. Have to look into it more had not heard of it before.

However with duckweed I can grow it in my backyard in kiddie pools etc. and process it myself into ethanol.

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Jefferson's picture


website can explain it better than I can.

From what I understand they can create specific organisms to make Diesel, Jet fuel, gasoline, lubricants, etc. They are grown on a self contained "closed loop" system in salt water.

One of the ideas is to hook the system up to the exhaust of a plant that produces C02. The C02 enhances the rate for growth for the organisms and also filters it out of the environment.

This is based on the premise that C02 is "bad for the environment" which I don't believe. I think that's all BS promoted to get you to pay a global carbon tax. Plants LOVE C02 and they produce oxygen in return as well as filter the air.


Hemp, would reduce the amount of available CO2 way better than any "poor people" tax would.

Ron brought the Liberty movement together, Rand is expanding the crap out of it! :)

Jefferson's picture


acre of hemp is supposedly the equivalent of 5 acres of trees. If anything it would help filter out the impurities in the air, not the C02 which I think is beneficial.

Plant life is basically Earth's HEPA filter. So anything that helps plants grow bigger and faster like C02, is a good thing imo.

It's amazing how they get people to believe things like "sunshine" and C02 are bad for them and make them feel guilty enough to pay a "poor people" tax, when the real polluting giants are exempt.