Algae save the world? McCoy thinks so, and is willing to help prove it

by Susie Apple­gate
   Can Algae help to save the world from glob­al warm­ing? Har­lan McCoy thinks so, and he’s will­ing to put 1500 acres into pro­duc­tion to prove it.
   New tech­nol­o­gy devel­oped by an M.I.T. sci­en­tist, accord­ing to McCoy, is capa­ble of clean­ing smoke­stacks from dirty coal-fired pow­er plants, remov­ing up to 40 per­cent of the car­bon diox­ide and 86 per­cent of the nitrous oxide emit­ted by these plants. An added ben­e­fit, he says, is that the process also cre­ates biodiesel fuel and ethonol, envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly alter­na­tives to gaso­line and petro­le­um diesel.
   McCoy Agri­cul­tur­al Tech­nolo­gies has dis­cov­ered that a local vari­ety of algae has the required “high oil den­si­ty” to be eco­nom­i­cal­ly fea­si­ble.
   So, will Ger­maine become a major pro­duc­er of biodiesel? Not ini­tial­ly, says McCoy, “We will be more like a green­house, or seed­ing bed. The actu­al biodiesel farms will be attached to the stacks of the pow­er­plants in oth­er parts of the coun­try.
   How­ev­er, he thinks that the tech­nol­o­gy has oth­er pos­si­ble adap­ta­tions, such as garbage burn­ing plants like the one being pro­posed in west Wilbur Coun­ty. While he claims to be adamant­ly opposed to such a devel­op­ment, Har­lan McCoy is philo­soph­i­cal about it. “If it hap­pens,” he said, “it could have it’s good side.”

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