Blue-Green Algae – What’s Lurking in Your Swamp Might Save the World

The headlines are wreaking of investments in algae – yes that yukky stuff that can actually be very toxic to sea life. Wouldn’t you know, the Swamp Thing is poised to have big value. 49302168

According to an article by ScienceDaily “Algae are tiny biological factories that use photosynthesis to transform carbon dioxide and sunlight into energy so efficiently that they can double their weight several times a day.

As part of the photosynthesis process algae produce oil and can generate 15 times more oil per acre than other plants used for biofuels, such as corn and switchgrass. Algae can grow in salt water, freshwater or even contaminated water, at sea or in ponds, and on land not suitable for food production.”49302194

This oil can be used for gas, diesel, and jet fuels. Algae biofuel is also compatible with existing engines, existing storage, distribution, and delivery infrastructure. However the most important aspect is that algae-based biofuels have a low carbon footprint as they do not require the use of forests or large areas of land for production.

Some other wonderful aspects of algae-based biofuels:
– Algae biofuel is carbon neutral; only emits C02 that it absorbs.
– Algae reproduces very quickly, maximizing biofuel yields.
– Algae biofuel can scale to even possibly replace oil.

The world’s first algae fuel-powered vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus. The plug-in hybrid car, which is a Prius tricked out with a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug, runs on green crude from Sapphire Energy — no modifications to the gasoline engine necessary.

The world’s first algae fuel-powered vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus. The plug-in hybrid car, which is a Prius tricked out with a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug, runs on green crude from Sapphire Energy — no modifications to the gasoline engine necessary.


– Algae biofuel is commercially viable on an industrial scale.
– Algae biofuel can become price competitive with oil.
– There are no soil requirements for algae biofuel.
– Algae can be produced locally for food and fuel.
– Algae biofuel does not damage food prices.
– The algae biofuel industry is growing quickly with a bright future.
– Algae yields much more biofuel per acre than other fuels.
– Algae photo-bioreactors require very little land.
– Algal fuels do not impact fresh water resources.
– Algae biofuel can grow in salt water, freshwater or contaminated water.
– Human waste and sewage can be used to grow algae biofuel.
– Algae can be used to filter C02 from coal plants and create biofuel.
– Algae biofuel is more practical than solar power.
– Algae does not compete with food resources like other biofuels.

Pulled from the headlines – look whose investing in algae biofuels:
“One of the nation’s wealthiest American Indian communities is a major investor in a start-up with the twin goals of making fuel from algae and reducing emissions.”

“Exxon to Invest Millions to Make Fuel From Algae”

“Dow Chemical’s long-term interest in the ethanol produced by the algae is as a replacement for natural gas to make plastic.”

Advertisements

5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    […] Blue-Green Algae – What’s Lurking in Your Swamp Might Save the World « Naturally Green Blog naturallygreen.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/blue-green-algae-whats-lurking-in-your-swamp-might-save-the-world – view page – cached October 1, 2009 · Filed under Eco-Friendly, Environment, Green, Sustainable, Uncategorized · Tagged Algae Biofuel, Algeus, Eco-Friendly, Environment, Green, Prius, Sapphire Energy, Sustainability — From the page […]

  2. 2

    Mary bigler said,

    I own over 500 acres of swampland in NC. I was wondering what to do with it to SAVE THE WORLD.

    • 3

      Julie Gengo said,

      Probably keep it as swampland as it is serving a purpose of maintaining biodiversity and filtering runoff from neighboring areas. You could open it up as an ecological reserve. I would recommend contacting the Sierra Club or a like-minded environmental non-profit and run it by them. They will help you make a decision.

      Let me know what you choose to do.

      Cheers,
      Julie

  3. 4

    Ché Kristo said,

    Nice article. I am really looking forward to seeing algae oil displace crude oil. Use of fossil fuels is by far our biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions so if we solve this one we might just avert catastrophic climate change.

    • 5

      Julie Gengo said,

      I agree Che. It would be great if this renewable and almost zero emissions energy source replaced crude oil and even coal.


Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: