Have you ever gone fishing only to discover that your favorite fishing hole was over grown with algae? Well now that same green algae can power jet turbine engine or diesel engine trucks. That’s right the algae grown in ponds can be converted to oil and the oil refined into Biofuels for jet aircraft and automobiles.
Algae have the potential to evolve into a mainstream fuel feedstock. Algae are not a food crops, they grow fast and algae remove massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.
Algae are not a food crops and there has been a huge debate and more focus on the food vs. fuel question. Some critics say agricultural based crops are not sustainable as a fuel source. Corn and Soybeans are being used currently as Biofuel which some say are the blame for higher food prices. For example; some waste collections companies have seen the cost of WVO (Waste vegetable oil) or yellow grease increase to an all time high worth as much as $3.50 cents per gallon. Hey!! Correct me if my math is a little off, but isn’t that almost the same price as a gallon of diesel fuel? Algae farms can produce 100 times more oil per acre than traditional oil crops (such as soy oil), which can be converted to Biodiesel.
Algae grow fast. Algae can be grown especially well in desert states that have plenty of sunshine and access to water unusable for drinking. Because of the high salt content in algae, saltwater can be used more economically than fresh water for optimal growth. Meaning our sunny southern states with saline aquifers will make fast and efficient locations to grow algae on commercial farms.
Algae remove massive amounts of CO2 (Carbon dioxide) from the air. Algae farms are glutton eaters of CO2 gas providing a means for recycling waste carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion. It is possible to sequester as much as one billion tons of CO2 per year from algae farms. The United States has one energy plant that produces 25.3 millions tons of CO2 by itself. This new technology has attracted companies that need inexpensive CO2 sequestration solutions. Algae was responsible for creating the Earth’s oxygen atmosphere three billion years ago and it took around two billion years to form the modern atmosphere with 20 percent oxygen. Without algae we would not be here.
Algae Biofuel will play a very important part in meeting the worlds growing energy need, Algae has a place in not only our past, but in our future as well.