Building in Beyond Earth
|Requires|| Algae near the city|
|Specialist slots||2 Traders|
|Effect|| +3 Energy|
+2 from Algae
Early colonial biofuel plants used methods and plants (wheat, beets, corn, cane, etc.) traditional on Old Earth; indeed, pre-fab ethanol refineries were included as part of the cargo of many missions. Upon landing, colonial engineers assembled these even as colonial chemists began the search for new sources among this planet’s fauna. The first successes in this search were the algae and xenomass so prevalent; the bio-diesel, methanol and butanol that came from these had a higher octane rating than anything previous. A few of the fungi were found to provide – with processing – bioethers, syngas and solid biofuels. Currently, research is focused on the production of myco-diesel from cellulose, for several fungi have the unique ability to convert cellulose into medium-length hydrocarbon chains; a useful byproduct of this is methoxymethane, also capable of being used a gaseous fuel. In general, colonial biofuel plants are large operations covering several hectares with multiple buildings connected by pipes. The flow diagram of a typical one includes (but is not limited to) some sort of digester, atmospheric and/or vacuum distillation units, a catalytic reformer, fluid hydrolytic or hydro-cracker, a merox or alkylation unit (depending on the intended octane value), cooling towers and storage tanks. Specialty end products, such as lubricants or asphalts or coke, require further steps. As a result of safety and environmental concerns, most biofuel plants are located on the outskirts but within the defensive perimeter of settlements.