I’m intrigued at the possibility of algae farming for oil.
Forget higher order hydrocarbons (note to self: revise organic chemistry), just in terms of producing a straight vegetable oil, with no spectacular properties. Is there a plant/microbe that could conceivably be farmed, in a small scale facility, as to produce a cost effective fuel?
Could this have an application as a developing world technology (same mode as the rugged laptop with a manual battery charger)?
What are the numbers?
My connotea reading list is at http://www.connotea.org/user/ac12
It appears that the maximum possible energy yield possible using photosynthesis can’ possibly produce anywhere near enough fuel to be viable on a small scale. This is just my impression from reading a few discussions, I’ll get to the physics myself at some point.