2011-05-25, Pete Lammers, NMSU Energy Research Lab

President Richelle Ponder, she is back from the Red Neck Honolulu, called the meeting to order. Bruce Darrington gave the invocation. President Richelle lead us in the Pledge of Allegeance and John Pickett lead us in singing our state song, “O Fair New Mexico” with some modifications. (John, when you use “Nuevo” in our states’ name, use “Mejico” with it. I’ve been here since 1492, and you have been here since 1776, but you are learning.)

After meeting and greeting each other and the introduction of guest (only one today) our mystery greeter, Gary Lenzo was announced. (He must have been hiding because our entire table missed him, but we added $6 to the can).

There were several Happy Dollars contributied, Some Rotarians were happier than others.


Barbara Rose has a few tickets for the Taste of Las Cruces fund raiser to be held at the Las Cruces Convention Center on June 9, 2011. Don’t leave the meeting without one or more tickets.

June 29, 2011 we will have the “Changing of the Guard” i.e. installation of officers for the coming year.

Also on June 29, 2011 scholarships will be presented to the student winner from each high school.

Great Day of Service is Saturday June 4, 2011. We will be planting trees and bushes in the west Picacho medians. We will meet at Lions Park at 0700 hours. Be there in your farmer clothes.

NMSU logoThe Program

Program chair, Bill Harty introduced our speaker, Pete Lammers, Director of the NMSU Energy Research Laboratory. Pete has a PhD in Chemistry, and has been around the block (world) a few times and is now back to head the Algae Biofuel Research Teams.

Algae are simple plants that grow in ponds, rivers, oceans and soil. They grow in almost every region of the world. There are four main groups, blue-green, green, brown, and red. Algae is a pest to some but food to others. Food for fish and a source of food, vitamins, iodine, and fertilizer and the Irish Moss, a red algae is food for people.

Recent research in Biofuels has lead to algae as a source of fuel. We started using corn for ethenol (Corn is food and we should keep it that way). Cost and environmental concerns have slowed research. We can get oil out of algae, but it is a very complex puzzle.

Pete LammersWe need to consider the strain selection, the cultivation platform, and the site selection. We then need to consider harvesting/dewatering, extraction and refining of products and the formulation and marketing aspects.

Despite Global Warming, we will continue to mine oil, coal, etc. We must do more. How can we support such a project in this area where water is at a premium? We have an abundance of non-arable land and an enormous supply of non-potable (brackish) water, so we will not be infringing on our life style.

We need to find ways to recover and recycle our waste water. China, by necessity, is doing this. We need our researchers to look into these possible solutions for us.

We can get fuel and other products from algae but we need financing and investors. We have a 10,000 acre plant in Colorado, 10 acres west of Las Cruces, and 50 acres west of Columbus.

Our estimate is that we can harvest 100 million gallons of oil per year from a 20,000 acre algae pond. The existing technology is practical and available.

Big companies are one issue companies. We need to work with small companies. Our vision is to use the waste water, remove the protein and purify the liquid for reuse. That is our vision.

After the Program

The 50/50 was won by Lya. No can report (at least I didn’t hear one). 

<prior week   following week>

Guests of Rotarians

Guest  Host
David Thomas Gerald Thomas

Visiting Rotarians

Rotarian Home Club
Robert Francis Rio Grande


Rotarian Date Club

June Birthdays of Rotarians

Jim Parks June 5
Don Niewold June 9
Wanda Mattiace June 14
Theresa Aschbacher June 16
Christopher Dulany June 24

June Wedding Anniversaries

Gerald & Jean Thomas June 2 66 years
David & Jaki McCollum June 7 42 years
Gary & Theresa Aschbacher June 12 18 years
Charlie & Nora Yaryan June 13 47 years
John & Jackie McDowell June 17 54 years
Gary & Tina Esslinger June 18 26 years
Blaine & Carol Goss June 20 46 years
Kent & Anna Mae Evans June 23 49 years
Robert & Janet McPherson June 25 55 years
Walt & Elsa Baker June 29 50 years
Rich & Nancy Gregory June 30 39 years

June Club Anniversaries

Curt Coleman June 6 15 years
Gus Gandara June 9 9 years
Barbara Law June 11 3 years
John Schwebke June 11 3 years
Frank Szalay June 11 3 years
Russell Allen June 13 10 years
Gary Aschbacher June 13 10 years
Ted Shelton June 20 21 years
Rita Sandoval June 24 2 years

Submitted by George MillerGeorge Miller