Sure do enjoy the blog though I don’t contribute much to it. It has stirred
up some good memories and helped me sort out some things that I wasn’t clear
about. I left Dunseith first at age 13 to go to school at Queen Ann High in
Seattle, but returned home at Christmas and stayed in Dunseith the rest of
the school year (8th grade) then through my freshman year. After that I
went to Oak Grove Lutheran High School in Fargo and graduated there.
But what I’m writing about is to add to the list of email recipients Ruby
Desjarais who lives in Everett now, but works in Lynnwood about three
minutes drive from me. Her email is:
see her writing in the blog soon.
Have a beautiful Christmas. Bob Hosmer
It is my pleasure to add Ruby.Ruby, we are looking forward to hearing from you too.Gary
The Bakken’s biggest threat could be algae of all things.
Scientists and engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced Tuesday a continuous chemical process that turns harvested algae into crude oil in less than 60 minutes.
The catch? While the process takes minutes rather than a million years to form crude oil, the process isn’t exactly cost-efficient yet.
“Cost is the big roadblock for algae-based fuel,” said Douglas Elliott, the laboratory fellow who led the PNNL team’s research, in a release. “We believe that the process we’ve created will help make algae biofuels much more economical.”
What cut the cost to a more economical level was being able to use wet algae in the chemical process, as opposed to using energy and money to dry it out. The PNNL’s new process uses a “slurry” of algae that uses up to 90 percent water.
This isn’t the first time algae has been considered a viable biofuel and the PNNL is far from the first lab to experiment with it — instead it has just found the most success with continuous processing of the slurry.
With a little more refining to the algae-based oil, it can also be converted to aviation fuel, gasoline or diesel fuel. Even the wastewater is processed further to create burnable gas and substances such as nitrogen and potassium, which the PNNL says can be recycled to grow more algae.
“Not having to dry the algae is a big win in this process; that cuts the cost a great deal,” said Elliott. “Then there are bonuses, like being able to extract usable gas from the water and then recycle the remaining water and nutrients to help grow more algae, which further reduces costs.”
The PNNL’s recent work is part of the Department of Energy’s National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts and was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Don’t expect algae to replace traditional crude extraction any time soon though.
Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have improved the cost and efficiency of drilling and multi-well pads, which could begin holding up to 30 wells on one spot, have even further reduced the cost of the process.
That doesn’t mean biofuels won’t come to fruition.
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp laid out her case for keeping yearly biofuel production targets in place that were set forward in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
She said North Dakota’s corn-based ethanol industry can also stand to benefit and would suffer if the administration’s proposal to limit biofuels production go through.
“At a time when we are rapidly increasing our production of North American energy resources, now is not the time to limit our ability to produce a home-grown renewable fuel like ethanol,” Heitkamp said in a statement. “In North Dakota, we see firsthand how biofuels help support our economy, create well-paying jobs, support rural communities and provide cleaner energy.”
Genifuel Corp., which has worked with the PNNL team since 2008, believes its a matter of just getting biofuels economical, and the PNNL’s recent success is good start.
“It’s a formidable challenge to make a biofuel that is cost-competitive with established petroleum-based fuels,” said Genifuel President James Oyler. “This is a huge step in the right direction.”
This has been the most interesting reading. Thanks for all the
work you are doing to keep the history of Dunseith alive. It
seems many of us remember several of the same things with only
minor variations probably do to our own perspectives of that
memory at that time. I do very vividly remember the sunny day
when Capt. Bill Hosmer and his wingmen decided to dust off
Main Street in Dunseith. How many towns of fewer than 800 have
ever had a private aerobatic show by the Thunderbirds? Bill,
thanks for the memories. One other thing that I remember is
going to the show at the Althea. I remember stopping first at
Said (Sy) Kadrys pool hall for a Sugar Daddy sucker. We all
waited for the show hall to open and would lay the suckers on
the sidewalk so they would freeze. When the Hackman kids would
open the door everyone would grab their Sugar Daddys and break
them like glass. Then in the show you could eat a piece at a
time without getting all sticky. Smart kids. In the late 50′s
and most of the 60′s you could have a night out for 25 cents.
The show ticket was $.10, pop $.5,popcorn was $.10! My how
things have changed!I have many good memories of growing up in
Dunseith and I encourage others to share their stories with us.
On a current note; Kenny Nerpel asked about our music group,
The Turtle Mountain Hillbilly Band. We will be playing in Minot
at The Frozen Fingers Bluegrass Festival Feb.9 at 1PM This is
at the hotel at Dakota Square Mall.If you attend be sure to
come find us after the gig. I did hear a recording of Kenny and
his wife Sherry doing several songs, it was very good. Hope to
see any of our old friends there. Again, thanks