Most BioFuels are grown in the sun. The problem is that the sun is not entirely reliable in all parts of the world. Of course, you could just not use SolarPower in these areas, which might include BioFuels. However, because of BioFuels are a dense form of Energy, they have a big advantage over fuels such as Hydrogen. So, it would therefore be a good thing to be able to convert between Hydrogen and a BioFuel. A BioFuelGenerator is one way of doing this.
The basic idea is very simple. You take an organism capable of PhotoSynthesis and then you put it under lights powered by the Hydrogen.
The reality is likely to be somewhat more complex.
- We need an appropriate organism.
- We need is a CarbonDioxide source, which the organisms
convert into more complex Carbon forms.
- We need a light source.
- A container.
- A functioning ecosystem.
The most likely candidates here are one of the CyanoBacteria, or a SingleCelledAlgae. These both grow very quickly.
Of course, you can get this easily enough CarbonDioxide out of the atmosphere, but this is likely to be inefficient and limiting. Of course, the most obvious place to get this from is the Combustion of BioFuel. This won't necessarily work as the BioFuelGenerator are likely to be in a different place form the site of use.
There could also be quite a lot of scope from augmenting the CarbonDioxide source from NonRenewable sources. Currently, there are a lot of FossilFuels around, and these produce lots of CarbonDioxide. It is worth noting that this doesn't actually remove the CarbonDioxide from the environment for any length of time (in the way that CarbonCapture tries to); the point of the BioFuelGenerator is to produce BioFuel which will be used; at this time, the CarbonDioxide will be released into the atmosphere. However, this use of FossilFuels CarbonDioxide does not make the situation any worse, and, in fact, will increase the efficiency of a Renewable EnergySource. ,
There are lots of very easy ways of making light. You could take Hydrogen and burn it, you could use it to heat up some metal and let it glow (the hotter the better). Mostly likely, though, Electricity based lighting will be used. The most efficient forms of lighting these days are fluorescent or LCD based.
Actually, there is a potential problem here. These forms of light tend to produce mostly only a few different colours of light, compared to incandescent bulbs which produce a broad spread of colour. PhotoSynthesis tend to consume most efficiently only a few different frequencies. Which means if the light is the wrong colour the organism is going to grow slowly. So you'd need to select or modify your light source fairly carefully. The impact of the container on the light obviously needs to be considered carefully.
There are lots of containers that you could use and lots of different arrangements of the light sources. My initial idea was to just have a big glass reactor surrounded by light sources, You'd then dripple in Water (and probably some other nutrients) at the top, bubble air (preferrably laced with CarbonDioxide) at the bottom, and slowly draw off Algae Soup at the bottom.
The problem with this is that it puts a lot of demands on the maintenance of the ecosystem. So it might make sense to make a stack system instead. In this arrangement you have a stack of flat glass containers. You shine light from the top down through this stack. Then you slowly rotate the stack, removing full containers from the top.
This is the difficult bit. You need to keep the organism growing efficiently, with enough nutrients, CarbonDioxide and light. We also need the whole system to sterile enough, or at least self-maintaining enough, so that the whole thing doesn't get take infected with a bacteria.
From all of this, you end up with an Algae soup, which you have to do something with. The main difficulty is that it's going to very wet. One solution to this, is to stick the whole lot into a AnaerobicDigestionPlant, which should be able to cope with quite a lot of water. This will result in Methane production.
Another solution is to dry the soup to produce an AlgaeCake. This obviously takes Energy to do. The AlgaeCake you can use later by Combustion. If you select your organism carefully and it has small enough cells it could even be used in an InternalCombustionEngine. This AlgaeCake is has an advantage over Methane, in that it is likely to be a more dense form of Energy.
A BioFuelGenerator is much the same thing as a BioFuelReactor with the addition of an artificial light source